Chapter

The <i>Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs</i>

David A. deSilva

in The Jewish Teachers of Jesus, James, and Jude

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780195329001
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979073 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195329001.003.0008
The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs

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In their present form, the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs contain distinctively Christian material, and our principal (and only complete) manuscript witnesses have been produced by Christian scribes. A vocal minority within scholarship has begun to argue that the Testaments are in fact, or should at least be read simply as, products of the ante-Nicene Christian church. This chapter renews the case for the Jewish (Hasmonean period) origin of the vast majority of the material in the Testaments and for the discernment of Christian interpolations on the basis of textual, literary, and tradition criticism. After a survey of the contents and ethical and eschatological teachings of these texts, their contributions to the teachings of Jesus and James are explored, together with points of development and divergence.

Keywords: Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs; Rewritten Bible; Jewish Ethics; Messianism; envy; Love of God; Love of Neighbor; Jesus; Letter of James

Chapter.  31601 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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