Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, an early Jewish work, with some Christian interpolations, reckoned among the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. 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 Scrolls.
See J. H. Charlesworth, ed., The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (Vol. I, 1983).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.