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Testes Singulares In Early Jewish Law And The New Testament

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Chapter Summary

The sectarian evidence law at CD 9:16-23 may be divided into four components: (1) a special evidentiary procedure whereby a capital case may be rendered "complete"; (2) a non-capital sanction to be imposed in a capital case on the evidence of two witnesses; (3) a statement of sufficiency of two witnesses in a case concerning property; and (4) the same non-capital sanction (as in (2)) to be imposed in a case concerning property on the evidence of one witness. Before entering into any comparison, it is necessary to decide some doubtful points in the text de novo. The mainstream of Jewish law took a very different line, rejecting testes singulares and preferring a more crude solution to the practical difficulties inherent in corroboration rule. New Testament exegesis appears to have been one of the channels through which the institution of testes singulares was transmitted from CD to the mediaeval sources.

Keywords: capital case; evidentiary procedure; Jewish law; New Testament; non-capital sanction; testes singulares; witnesses



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