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Jewish Apocalyptic Literature: Testament of Abraham

Specific Approaches, Passages, and Themes

Testament of Abraham

The Testament of Abraham, of which there are two Greek recensions (one longer, A, and one shorter, B) and which is extant in numerous languages (Arabic, Coptic Bohairic, Ethiopic, Romanian, and Slavonic), is most likely a Jewish composition dating to the first century. In the first nine chapters, the archangel Michael vainly seeks to obtain the soul of Abraham, who refuses to die. A deal is arranged in which Abraham agrees to come with Michael if he can first see the created world, a wish that is granted and described in an apocalyptic section that covers 10-14. When he returns home, Abraham refuses to die, but he is eventually tricked by Death.

General Resources

Translations and Commentaries