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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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is the frequent rendering, in the New Test., of the Greek διαθήκη (literally a disposal), and both are used in two distinct senses (see Cremer, Lex. of N.T. Greek, p. 576 sq.).

1. The natural, and in classical Greek, as in ordinary English, the only, signification is a devisement by will or legacy (Plutarch, De A dulat. 28; Plato, Legg. 922; Demosth. 1136, 12), and in this sense the word occurs in Hebrews 9:16-17. (See INHERITANCE).

2. But the more common signification in the New Test. is one that has come over from the Sept., which often uses διαθήκη . as a rendering of the Heb. בַּרַית, or covenant; and in this sense "testament" is the rendering in the A.V. of the Greek word in Hebrews 7:22; Hebrews 9:20; Revelation 11:19; and especially in the phrase the new testament (Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 3:6; Hebrews 9:15 [i.e. "new covenant," as ill Hebrews 8:8; Hebrews 12:24]), which has gained currency as the title of the Christian Scriptures as a whole. See New- Englander; May, 1857, Lond. (Wesleyan) Quar. Rev. July, 1857. (See COVENANT).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Testament'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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