The Two Testament Notes


[1] The Revised Version regularly gives 'covenant' for diatheke in the New Testament. But in Heb. 9:16,17, in spite of using 'covenant' elsewhere in the same passage. both before and after, the Revisers felt themselves compelled to use 'testament': 'For where a testament is, there must of necessity be the death of him that made it. For a testament is of force where there hath been death: for doth it ever avail while he that made it liveth?" Similarly the R.S.V., which elsewhere translates diatheke by 'covenant', translates it by 'will' in these two verses. The reason is that diatheke which has the wider sense of 'settlement', can include the idea of 'bequest' or 'testament', and this is the particular kind of diatheke meant in these two verses, because this is the only kind of settlement whose validity depends on the death of the person who makes it. The New English Bible marks the transition from the general sense of 'covenant' to the special sense of 'testament' by beginning verse 15 : 'And therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, or testament.

[2] The idea of the covenant as a marriage-union between God and His people is specially emphasized in the Book of Hosea; cf. Jer. 2:2; Ezek. 16:8.

[3] Mark 14:24. Here, as in Matt. 2.:28, R.V. and R.S.V. Omit 'new' in the text but supply it in the margin. In any case, it is implied if not expressed. Matt. 26:28 adds 'unto remission of sins' after 'many'. Luke 22:20 reads: 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood, even that which is poured out for you.' But some early authorities omit Luke 22:19 after 'This is my body' and the whole of verse 20. The earliest written account of the Institution is in I Cor. 11:23­25; here the words spoken over the cup (verse 25) are: 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood: this do, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me.'

[4]The parallel passage in Luke (10. 23, 24) has 'prophets and kings' instead of 'proplaets and righteous men.

[5]Marcion (1921), p.217.

[6]Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, chap. 37 (Chandos Classics edition. Vol. II. p.516).

[7]The 'four books of Kings' are those which we know as I and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings. Gibbon's information came from the Arian historian Philostorgius. Probably Ulfilas did not live to complete his translation. See p.216.

[8]History, Prophecy and God (London. 1954), p.61.

[9]In these two New Testament passages A.V wes 'church'; R.V. has 'church' In Acts 7:38 ('congregation' in margin), and 'congregation' in Heb. 2:12 ('church' in margin); R.S.V. has 'congregation' : the word in both cases is Greek ekklesia. See p.244.

[10]This is true no matter what language our Lord was speaking on the occasion. Probably He used the Aramaic term kenishta.

[11]Gal. 3L8.

[12]Rom. 4:16 if.

[13]Heb. 11:26.

[14]Heb. 11L39,40.

[15]Rev. 21:13,14.