Meaning of Testament

Wednesday, March 4, 20150 comments

                                         By Diakon Negatu Abebe
The bible consists of two volumes or parts
1)   Old Testament (OT)
2)   New Testament (NT)
v The term OT and NT came into general use since the time of Tertullian in the ordinary sense of the term.
v The word testament in its ordinary sense means the last will of a person where he gives a legal expression of his whishes for the disposition of his property after death.
v The corresponding term for testament is diatheke.
v In this secular meaning diatheke is used only in two places in the New Testament which is in
Ø Gal 3:15
Ø Heb 9: 16-17
v The Greek word Diatheke in all other instances in the NT (24 times) and almost always in the LXX.
v LXX means “covenant” rather than testament.
v The corresponding Hebrew word for covenant is berith.
It means tertillia (ca 160-220) who rendered the Greek term Diatheke into Latin “testament” which came into General use.
v Which we consider the content of the Old Testament and the new testament in more significant to designate them as the “old covenant” and “new covenant”.
v A covenant is an agreement or contact between two parties.
v The biblical writers in both OT and NT speak of a covenant between God and men.
v In the Old Testament we find God making covenants with
Ø Noah (Gen 9:8-17)
Ø Abraham (Gen 15: 18-21)
Ø Moses at Sinai (Ex 19:5-6)
Ø David and with the Nation Israel
v In all this covenants the initiative always came from God’s Side.
v The covenant is God’s doing and God’s Gift.
v God is always the giver and man the receiver it differed from human covenants.
v There are two types of Covenants
1)   Unilateral Covenant (Unconditional)
2)   Bilateral Covenant (Conditional)
v The biblical Covenants have 3 parts
1)   A statement about God’s saving act (with God brings to the agreement)
2)   A statement about what God expects from humanity in response.
3)   A sign or symbol as a reminder of the covenant.

to be continued.................

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