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XVII. The Pre-Mosaic Servants of God in the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs and in the Writings of Justin and Irenaeus

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Chapter Summary

This chapter summarizes some of the points made in the last section of the article, titled The patently Christian elements. It analyses, first, a number of passages in the Testaments which formulates the purpose of the exhortations in the last words of the sons of Jacob, and, next, the predictions regarding the resurrection of the patriarchs. Then, it turns to Justin's views on the obedience to God's commandments in the time before Moses and his statements concerning the future resurrection of those who have proved faithful. The next section of the chapter deals with Irenaeus' treatment of the question of the pre-mosaic law in Adv.Haer. IV 13-16. Comparison between the passages in the Testaments and those of Justin and Irenaeus shows that the Testaments may have functioned very meaningfully in Christian circles of the second half of the second century, and later.

Keywords: God; Irenaeus; Justin; Justin Andirenaeus; Moses; Patriarchs; Pre-Mosaic Servants; Testaments; twelve patriarchs; Writings



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