testaments

testament

[tes-tuh-muhnt]
noun
1.
Law.
a.
a will, especially one that relates to the disposition of one's personal property.
b.
will2 ( def 8 ).
2.
either of the two major portions of the Bible: the Mosaic or old covenant or dispensation, or the Christian or new covenant or dispensation.
3.
(initial capital letter) the new testament, as distinct from the Old Testament.
4.
(initial capital letter) a copy of the New Testament.
5.
a covenant, especially between God and humans.

Origin:
1250–1300; Middle English: will, covenant < Latin testāmentum, equivalent to testā() to bear witness (see testate) + -mentum -ment

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
testament (ˈtɛstəmənt)
 
n
1.  law a will setting out the disposition of personal property (esp in the phrase last will and testament)
2.  a proof, attestation, or tribute: his success was a testament to his skills
3.  a.  a covenant instituted between God and man, esp the covenant of Moses or that instituted by Christ
 b.  a copy of either the Old or the New Testament, or of the complete Bible
 
[C14: from Latin: a will, from testārī to bear witness, from testis a witness]
 
testa'mental
 
adj

Testament (ˈtɛstəmənt)
 
n
1.  either of the two main parts of the Bible; the Old Testament or the New Testament
2.  the New Testament as distinct from the Old

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

testament
late 13c., "last will disposing of property," from L. testamentum "a will, publication of a will," from testari "make a will, be witness to," from testis "witness," from PIE *tris- "three," on the notion of "third person, disinterested witness." Use in reference to the two divisions of the Bible (c.1300)
is from L.L. vetus testamentum and novum testamentum, loan-translations of Gk. palaia diatheke and kaine diatheke. L.L. testamentum in this case was a mistranslation of Gk. diatheke, which meant both "covenant, dispensation" and "will, testament," and was used in the former sense in the account of the Last Supper (see testimony) but subsequently was interpreted as Christ's "last will."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Testament definition


occurs twelve times in the New Testament (Heb. 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.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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