*** w15 3/15 p. 9-11 par. 7-14 “This Is the Way You Approved” *** 7 If you have been serving Jehovah for decades, you may have noticed a gradual shift in the way our literature explains many of the narratives recorded in the Bible. How so? In times past, it was more common for our literature to take what might be called a type-antitype approach to Scriptural accounts. The Bible narrative was considered the type, and any prophetic fulfillment of the story was the antitype. . . . Can we conclude, though, that every character, event, and object described in the Bible foreshadows someone or something? 9 In the past, such an approach was often taken. Consider, for example, the account about Naboth, whose unjust trial and execution were arranged by wicked Queen Jezebel so that her husband, Ahab, could seize Naboth’s vineyard. (1 Ki. 21:1-16) Back in 1932, that account was explained as a prophetic drama. Ahab and Jezebel were said to picture Satan and his organization; Naboth pictured Jesus; Naboth’s death, then, was prophetic of Jesus’ execution. Decades later, though, in the book “Let Your Name Be Sanctified,” published in 1961, Naboth was said to picture the anointed, and Jezebel was Christendom. Hence, Naboth’s persecution at Jezebel’s hands pictured the persecution of the anointed during the last days. For many years, God’s people found this approach to Bible accounts faith strengthening. Why, then, have things changed? 10 As we might expect, over the years Jehovah has helped “the faithful and discreet slave” to become steadily more discreet. Discretion has led to greater caution when it comes to calling a Bible account a prophetic drama unless there is a clear Scriptural basis for doing so. Additionally, it has been found that some of the older explanations about types and antitypes are unduly difficult for many to grasp. The details of such teachings—who pictures whom and why—can be hard to keep straight, to remember, and to apply. Of even greater concern, though, is that the moral and practical lessons of the Bible accounts under examination may be obscured or lost in all the scrutiny of possible antitypical fulfillments. Thus, we find that our literature today focuses more on the simple, practical lessons about faith, endurance, godly devotion, and other vital qualities that we learn about from Bible accounts. 11 How, then, do we now understand the account about Naboth? In much clearer, simpler terms. That righteous man died, not because he was a prophetic type of Jesus or of the anointed, but because he was an integrity keeper. He held to Jehovah’s Law in the face of horrific abuse of power. (Num. 36:7; 1 Ki. 21:3) His example thus speaks to us because any one of us may face persecution for similar reasons. (Read 2 Timothy 3:12.) People of all backgrounds can readily understand, remember, and apply such a faith-strengthening lesson. . . . For example, we can rightly say that Naboth’s integrity in the face of persecution and death reminds us of the integrity of Christ and his anointed. However, we can also be reminded of the faithful stand of many of the Lord’s “other sheep.” Such a clear and simple comparison has the hallmark of divine teaching. A SIMPLER APPROACH TO JESUS’ ILLUSTRATIONS . . . 14 What, though, about the more detailed stories, or parables, that Jesus related? Some, of course, are symbolic and prophetic; others emphasize practical lessons. But which is which? Through the years, the answer has gradually become clearer. For instance, consider the way we have explained Jesus’ parable of the neighborly Samaritan. (Luke 10:30-37) In 1924, The Watch Tower said that the Samaritan pictured Jesus; the road from Jerusalem to Jericho, which ran downhill, pictured mankind’s downward course since the rebellion in Eden; the thieves on the road pictured giant corporations and profiteers; and the priest and the Levite typified ecclesiastical systems. Today, our literature uses that illustration to remind all Christians that we must be impartial in rendering aid to those in need, especially in a spiritual sense. Does it not make us happy to see that Jehovah makes his teachings clear to us?