testament (Gk. diathekç)

A will or an agreement. 1 The last will and testament of a person, disposing of the person’s property. 2 A covenant in the sense of the Sinai Covenant and of the “Old Testament” and “New Testament.” Paul presumes meanings 1 and 2 in his discussion in (Gal 3:15-18). 3 A literary genre common in Jewish literature in the intertestamental period (ca. 200 BCE–50 CE) and also found in the Bible. In a literary testament a famous figure delivers a speech or gives a blessing to his descendants or followers. Usually the speech contains predictions of their future destiny, moral exhortations, or blessings. Jacob’s blessing on his twelve sons (Gen 49) is the model for many other writings, including the account of Moses’s blessing on Israel in (Deut 33); Jesus’s last discourse in (John 13-17), and, especially, the nonbiblical book The Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs.

Gal 3:15-18

The Promise to Abraham
15Brothers and sisters, I give an example from daily life: once a person's will has been ratified, no one adds to it or annuls it.16Now t ... View more

Gen 49

Jacob's Last Words to His Sons
1Then Jacob called his sons, and said: “Gather around, that I may tell you what will happen to you in days to come.2Assemble and ... View more

Deut 33

Moses' Final Blessing on Israel
1This is the blessing with which Moses, the man of God, blessed the Israelites before his death.2He said:
The Lord came from Sin ... View more

John 13-17

Jesus Washes the Disciples' Feet
1Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Hav ... View more

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