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Tes"ta*ment, n. Etym: [f., fr. L. testamentum, fr. testari to be a Witness, to make one's last will, akin to testis a witness. Cf. Intestate, testify.]
Defn: a solemn, authentic instrument in writing, by which a person declares his will as to disposal of his estate and effects after his death.
Note: this is otherwise called a will, and sometimes a last will and
testament. A testament, to be valid, must be made by a person of
sound mind; and it must be executed and published in due form of law.
A man, in certain cases, may make a valid will by word of mouth only.
See nuncupative will, under nuncupative.
2. One of the two distinct revelations of God's purposes toward man;
also, one of the two general divisions of the canonical books of the Sacred Scriptures, in which the covenants are respectively revealed; as, the Old Testament; the New Testament; -- Often limited, in colloquial language, to the latter.
He is the mediator of the new testament . . . for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament. Hebrews 9:15.
Holographic testament, a testament written wholly by the testator himself. Bouvier.
---excerpt from the Illustrated Bible Dictionary
Testament - 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.)
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