Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs

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Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs,

an early Jewish work, with some Christian interpolations, reckoned among the Old Testament PseudepigraphaPseudepigrapha
[Gr.,=things falsely ascribed], a collection of early Jewish and some Jewish-Christian writings composed between c.200 B.C. and c.A.D. 200, not found in the Bible or rabbinic writings.
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. The work may have been written as early as 1st cent. B.C. It purports to be the final sayings ("Testaments") of the 12 patriarchs, i.e., the 12 sons of Jacob, to their respective families. They each reflect on the meaning of life and the sins which they have committed. Many of the Testaments espouse apocalyptic theology, teaching an ethical dualism similar to the Dead Sea ScrollsDead Sea Scrolls,
ancient leather and papyrus scrolls first discovered in 1947 in caves on the NW shore of the Dead Sea. Most of the documents were written or copied between the 1st cent. B.C. and the first half of the 1st cent. A.D.
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.

Bibliography

See J. H. Charlesworth, ed., The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (Vol. I, 1983).

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In this latter category are Philo's Questions and Answers on Genesis and Exodus, as well as the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, a work dating from the first-century BCE.
Loader included in this volume an exploration of the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, a second-century Christian editing of a Jewish work usually included among the pseudepigrapha, along with Philo and Josephus, because they all share attitudes toward sexuality and ethical philosophy (437).
David Frankfurter, for example, shows the plausibility of reading texts such as the Ascension of Isaiah, 5 and 6 Ezra, and the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, not as originally Jewish works later edited by Christians, but as "the work of continuous communities of halakhicallyobservant Jewish groups .