Where did the terms “Old Testament” and “New Testament” come from?

Standing on Shoulders

The first recorded time this kind of designation was used was by Melito of Sardis in the late second century (recorded in Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 4.26.14; available online at http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf201.iii.ix.xxvi.html [accessed on 5/29/09]). In his listing of the books of the Hebrew Scriptures, the first such list among the extant Christian writings, he called the group of writings the “Old Covenant” (Greek: palaia diatheke). The Greek word for “covenant” (diatheke) was translated by Jerome in the fifth century into the Latin Vulgate as testamentum. Since the Latin Vulgate was widely used throughout the Middle Ages, it greatly influenced later translations into vernacular languages. Thus, for example, one of the first English translations of the Bible, made by John Wyclif in the fourteenth century (1382), translated diatheke as “testament,” following the Latin testamentum. William Tyndale’s sixteenth-century English translation followed suit (1524), along with the Geneva Bible…

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Book Review: Holger Gzella, Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament Volume XVI: Aramaic Dictionary

Book Review: Holger Gzella, Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament Volume XVI: Aramaic Dictionary

Reading Acts

Gzella, Holger. Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, Volume XVI. Aramaic Dictionary. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2018. xlvii+884 pp. Hb; $75.  Link to Eerdmans  

After nearly fifty years, the Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament is now complete. The final volume of TDOT is an unabridged translation of the German Dictionary published in seven installments between 2001 and 2016. This Aramaic Dictionary contains nearly all the vocabulary of biblical Aramaic (Ezra 4:8-6:19 and 7:12-26; Daniel 2:4-7:28; a brief clause in Jeremiah 10:11 and Genesis 31:47 (יְגַ֖ר שָׂהֲדוּתָ֑א, Jegar-sahadutha, Laban’s name for the Hebrew place-name Galeed).

In his editor’s preface, Holgar Gzella says this volume situates the Aramaic sections of Ezra and Daniel “in the context of its linguistic and cultural history and, thereby, frees Biblical Aramaic from its role as an appendix to the Hebrew Bible.” This “linguistic and cultural history” is illustrated throughout the dictionary with…

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Is the Bible Any More Accurate than Other Religious Texts?

Confidence in Christ

Though I’ve done some research on Islam, Mormonism, Buddhism, and Jehovah’s Witnesses, and I have a basic understanding of other religions, I wouldn’t want to disrespect the people of these faiths by portraying their beliefs in shallow ways with my limited knowledge.  Since I’m constantly reading attacks on Christianity by people with strong opinions but poor understanding of my faith, I wouldn’t want to do the same.

That being said, let me point out some things I’ve found to be unique about Christianity and the New Testament (NT).  I’m not going to comment specifically about other faiths or their scriptures, but encourage you to research these things and compare and contrast them to other religions.

1. Style

Many other religions’ scriptures are simply sayings or teachings said or written by their founder, but the NT is unique in that it’s made up of histories and letters.

These men were…

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