The Acts of God
by Francis Foulkes ©

The Acts of God.

A Study of the Basis of Typology in the Old Testament

Francis Foulkes, M.A., B.D. (Oxon), M.Sc. (N.Z.)
Tutor of Immanuel College, Ibadan, Nigeria

The Tyndale House Old Testament Lecture for 1955

The lecture was delivered in Cambridge on 1st July 1955 at a meeting convened by the Tyndale Fellowship for Biblical Research

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last,
the beginning and the end.
Rev. xxii. 13, RV.
Beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, he interpreted
to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
Lk. xxiv. 27, RV.

© 1958 Francis Foulkes. Originally published in London by The Tyndale Press.

Wordprocessed text kindly supplied by Robert I. Bradshaw.


For many years the typological study of the Old Testament was left to a very large extent on one side, and dismissed as allegorical and improper interpretation. But the revival of biblical theology has brought a new interest in it, as the theological literature of the past ten or twenty years evidently shows.1 There is, however, among many Christian scholars a fear of typology because so frequently it has been contaminated by allegory.2 The purpose of this lecture is to try to show that such a theological and eschatological interpretation of history has its roots deep down in the Old Testament itself.

Our study will be divided into three parts. First, we shall try to show the way in which the prophets and the writers of the Old Testament had, as the very basis of their understanding of the work of God in history, the conviction that His acts could be and were repeated, that as He had done, so He could and would do again and this because He acts in accordance with principles of unchanging righteousness and mercy.

Secondly, we find in the Old Testament the hope and the conviction, not only that the past acts of God will be repeated, but that in the future they will be repeated on a scale greater and more wonderful than that of the past.

Finally we shall consider briefly what is typological, as distinct from allegorical, interpretation, and try to understand how we should read the Old Testament in the light of the fulfilment in Christ of its history, as well as of its direct prophecy.