occurs twelve times in the New Testament ( Hebrews 9:15 , etc.) as the rendering of the Gr. diatheke, which is twenty times rendered "covenant" in the Authorized Version, and always so in the Revised Version. The Vulgate translates incorrectly by testamentum, whence the names "Old" and "New Testament," by which we now designate the two sections into which the Bible is divided. (See BIBLE .)
A covenant; an agreement.
For where a TESTAMENT is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a TESTAMENT is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. Whereupon neither the first TESTAMENT was dedicated without blood. ( Hebrews 9:16-18 )
The word diatheke, almost invariably rendered "covenant," was rendered in the King James Version "testament" in Hebrews 9:16,17, in the sense of a will to dispose of property after the maker's death. It is not easy to find justification for the retention of this translation in the Revised Version (British and American), "especially in a book which is so impregnated with the language of the Septuagint as the Epistle to the Hebrews" (Hatch).
See COVENANT, IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.
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