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Figures of Speech - markmoore.org

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Figures of Speech
2. If we miss a figure of speech we will likely misunderstand the AIM (Jn 2:19-20; 6:51-52; 7:34-35; 8:51-52; 11:11-12; 14:4-5).
3. Figurative does NOT mean untrue or less important. (E.g. transubstantiation, millennialism.)
4. Definition: Language used in non-literal ways.
1. Figures of speech are universal to language.
Figures of Speech
1. It attracts attention and is more forceful.
3. Because it is more picturesque, it is better for illustrations.
4. It can make the complex simpler (and visa-versa) through abbreviation.
Why use it?
2. It is more memorable and encourages reflection.
Figures of Speech
Imagery in Context
Words or Verses:Type; Symbol; EmblemAnalogy; figures of thought
Sentences or Verses
Simile, metaphor, metonymy, hyperbole, paronomasia
Passage
Parable, allegory, fable
Book, Letter
Literary Patterns
Figures of Speech
1. It should be considered literal unless there is a valid reason to take it figuratively.
3. Would the literal meaning contradict other Scripture?
4. Would it cause an immorality (cf. Mt 18:8-9; Jn 6:53-58). Caution: Gen 22!
Interpretation
2. Would the literal meaning cause an absurdity or an inconsistency?
Figures of Speech
5. The author may clearly identify it as a figure (Jn 7:37-38)
8. Use common sense – what is the “feel” of the passage?
7. Poetic or prophetic genre or symbolic terminology (colors, numbers, images).
Interpretation
6. Sometimes there is a qualifying adjective (cf. John 6:32; Eph 6:17; 1 Pet 2:4).
Figures of Speech
1. The Author’s explanation is best and final.
3. Read the literal comments about the non-figure which is illustrated by the figure.
4. Notice whether the main point of comparison is identified (cf. 1 Kgs 12:4).
Contextual Clues
2. Consider the author’s intention and the nature of the subject beyond just the figure itself.
Figures of Speech
1. Identify the point(s) of comparison between the non-figure and the figure.
3. Work out the major points first, then go on to the minor ones.
4. Distinguish between essential and embellishing details of the analogy.
Point of Comparison
2. Each point of comparison is used in only on way. Don’t go crazy here.
Figures of Speech
1. Historical and biographical research will help greatly since figures are based on the historical and cultural reality of the author.
3. The natural meaning(s) are most likely.
Other Considerations
2. Figures are often used to explain figures.
4. Use parallel passages, but cautiously – figures do not always mean the same thing in different contexts.
Figures of Speech
Greek =Tupos(15x): Imprint (John 20:25), blueprint (Acts 7:44, Heb 8:5), example (1 Cor 10:6; Phil 3:17; 1 Thess 1:7; 2 Thess 3:9; 1 Tim 4:12; Titus 2:7; 1 Pet 5:3).
Types & Antitypes
Antitype (2x): Baptism, 1 Pet 3:21 and Tabernacle, Heb 9:24.

Most of them revolve around the Christ, the Cross, and the Christian (see chart).
Figures of Speech
1. Resemblance – one thing to another.
3. Prefiguring – predictive/foreshadowing.
Types & AntitypesCharacteristics:
2. Historic Reality – not just an analogy.
4. Heightening – The N.T. thing is bigger.
5. Divine Design – not made up by me.
6. Apologetic value – because of #5
7. Not “interesting and profitable lessons.”
Figures of Speech
1. Enables us to see God’s design in history.
3. Apologetic, like prophecy.
Benefits of Typology:
2. Pulls together the O.T. and N.T. into one redemptive plan.
4. Creates wonder at God.
5. Creates interest in Bible students.
6. Provides illustrations for sermons.
Figures of Speech
1. Determine the literal sense of the type.
3. Note the specific area(s) of contrast.
Interpreting Types:
2. Note the specific point(s) of comparison.
4. Note the direct N.T. assertions that verify the typological correspondence.
5. Use as pictures in preaching.
6. Don’t base typology on colors, numbers, materials or shapes.
7. Avoid dogmatism when the N.T. is unclear.
Figures of Speech
A sign which suggests meaning rather than stating it.
Symbol:
1. A type is a real historical entity, a symbol may not be.
2. Types/Antitypes span both testaments. Symbols can stand alone in either.
3. Types may have multiple points of connection. Symbols have but one.
4. Symbols may have multiple referents (e.g. Lion [1 Pet 5:8; Rev 5:5]).
Figures of Speech
1. Objects: blood (Heb 1:3), Rainbow (Gen 9).
3. Ordinances: Baptism, Eucharist.
Categories of Symbols
2. Actions: Laying on hands, tearing clothes.
4. Materials: Bronze (Rev 1:5), linens (Rev 19:8).
5. Numbers: 1, 2-3, 3 ½, 4, 7, 10, 12, 144.
6. Colors: Purple, white, red.
7. Names, especially when they are changed: Eve (Gen 3:20), Abram (Gen 17:5), Peter.

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Figures of Speech - markmoore.org