Zanchi’s Interprative Maximalism

Zanchi is an interesting fellow because he is both a predestinarian scholastic and a liturgical-sacramental exegete. Just check out this exert from Of the Spiritual Marriage Between Christ and the Church:

The Position

  1. Eve, whom god would have to be the wife of Adam, was created not of any other, than of Adam himself.
  2. The manner of her creation was this: the Lord sent a heavy sleep upon Adam, and he took from him sleeping, a rib: the void place he filled with flesh: of the rib he framed and made a woman.
  3. The cause why eve was made of the rib of Adam was showed a little before; to wit, because god would not have the beginning whence mankind should come to be of a diverse kind. Therefore would he have Eve to be taken also out of Adam alone, that all men might come from one.
  4. Herein Adam was a true type and figure of Christ: because, as out of him Eve and all mankind hath proceeded, and still proceeds: so of this second Adam, which is Christ, as of one only principle and beginning the whole Church was, and even to this day still is begotten. And this is it, that the Apostle interpreting those words of Adam, says, “That we are flesh of the flesh of Christ, and bone of his bones.”
  5. Therefore, the spouse has nothing but that which she has received from Christ her husband and head, and she is partaker of his nature.

  6. But what does this manner of creating Eve from Adam mean? God indeed could have taken a rib from Adam when he was awake, and made Eve thereof: but he would not for the mystery of things to come, whereof the Apostle says, “this is a great mystery.”
  7. For sleep, or that deep and heavy sleep which God caused to fall upon Adam himself, was a type or figure of the death of Christ. For if the sleep of David, whereof you may read, Psalm 3.5, was a type of the death of Christ, as Augustine and after him Luther, and others do expound that place of the death and resurrection of Christ, much more shall this heavy sleep of the first Adam be a type of the death of the second Adam.
  8. For sleep is the image of death: whereupon they that are dead, are said in the holy scriptures to sleep.
  9. Therefore, as the matter whereof Eve was framed and made, was taken out of Adam sleeping, so also there issued and came forth blood and water out of Christ being dead upon the cross, wherewith the Church was washed from her sins, and was conceived and born anew, and was made flesh of the flesh of Christ, and bone of his bones and this new birth is through the bleed of Christ: the washing is by the water.
  10. But whereas I say, that the Church is taken and created out of the side of Christ being dead; that has a double meaning: First we may understand, that it is by the way of merit, because then, Christ with his blood did merit and obtain of his father remission of sins, and regeneration unto eternal life for all the elect which ever were or shall be to the end of the world, of whom alone the Church consists.
  11. Secondly, we may understand, that it is by the way of communication, which we have in baptism.
  12. For baptism is a sacrament of regeneration, and the matter of our regeneration or new birth is the blood of Christ dead for us.
  13. Therefore the Apostle says in the sixth chapter to the Romans: “Know ye not that so many of us as are baptized into Christ Jesus, we are baptized into his death?”
  14. Therefore, because in true baptism, which is by water and by the spirit, the force and efficacy of the death and blood of Christ is communicated unto us, whereby we put off the old man, and put on the new man, and are made a new creature: therefore every one of us are then said truly and in very deed to be made bone of the bones of Christ, and flesh of the flesh of Christ, when we are regenerate and born anew in baptism.
  15. Behold now the mystery of Eve made of the rib of Adam, which was taken out of his side when he was cast in a heavy sleep.

  16. hereto belongs that which Isaiah says, “When he,” that is the Messiah, “shall make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, his long seed.”
  17. And with this agrees that saying of our savior Christ, “Except the grain of corn, falling into the ground dies, it abides alone: but if it dies, it brings forth fruit.”
  18. This much fruit is the Church, which being of the same nature with the dead grain of corn, is by participation of the death and blood of Christ made flesh of his flesh.

  19. And it is a mystery, that Eve was made of the rib of Adam which was a hard bone: and that the void place was filled up with flesh.
  20. The rib (as also the godly fathers do interpret it) signified the strength and force of the godhead of Christ, and by the flesh is signified the infirmity of his human nature. Christ communicates unto us his divine nature (as Peter says) and makes us strong and on the other side he takes upon him our infirmities.
  21. By the bone therefore is signified, the divine nature of Christ: and by the flesh, his humanity. Therefore the Apostle mentions both, in saying, “Bone of his bones, flesh of his flesh” because in regeneration, both we are made partakers of his divine nature, and our flesh, that is, our nature is renewed and sanctified, and is made another flesh that is to say, the flesh of Christ.
  22. The word also which Moses uses there of “building”, where he says, “And the Lord God built the rib into a woman,” hath its mystery: for thereby is signified the building of this most large temple, which is the Church. Of which building the Apostle speaks, Ephesians 2, “In whom ye also are built together to be the habitation of God by the spirit, etc.” And I. Corinthians 3, “You are the temple or building of God.”
  23. The foundation of this building is that most strong rock Christ, whose force and strength was signified (as I said before) by the rib.

And thus much of the second part of that history taken out of the second chapter of Genesis, wherein the creation of Eve is described, and the regeneration of the Church is shadowed out unto us.
Good to see that typology ain’t nothin new.

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About Steven Wedgeworth

Steven Wedgeworth is the associate pastor of Faith Presbyterian Church in Vancouver, British Columbia. He writes about theology, history, and political theory, and he has taught Jr. High and High School. He is the founder and general editor of The Calvinist International, an online journal of Christian Humanism and political theology, and a Director for the Davenant Institute.

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