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Although the roots of such fig. views were developed in the later Platonic academy, they grew and flourished in the Medieval period. The complex exegesis of the Roman Church sought for manifold levels of meaning in the text of the Scriptures. The “types” of Christ, Mary and the various OT and NT are shown in church art and celebrated in hymns. This interpretation survived the Reformation and appealed to pietist and romanticist alike, and so they have become part of the inheritance of various groups in the modern age. In recent decades types have been less frequent in Biblical studies.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

fig’-ur, fig’-yur (cemel, cemel; tupos):

The Revised Version (British and American) has "a figure" margin "an interpretation," for "the interpretation" (Pr 1:6; the word is melitsah, only here and Hab 2:6, meaning properly what is involved and needs interpretation; in Hab 2:6 it is translated "taunting proverb," the Revised Version, margin "riddle"); "figured stone" for "image of stone" (Le 26:1); "figured stones" for "pictures" (Nu 33:52).