In a broad sense the term "testimonia" is applied to the use of Old Testament texts in the New Testament to show that certain events of the Christian dispensation had been foreseen and foretold by the Prophets and inspired writers of Israel; in a narrower sense the term is used of written collections or anthologies of Old Testament texts for the use described and often called messianic proof-texts.
That such written collections existed and were used in the early centuries of the Christian Era is certain. St. Cyprian is credited with such a collection, and it is clear that he simply revised and expanded an earlier work; a leaf of another book of testimonies from the fourth century has also been found and is now in the John Rylands Library. The collecting of such Old Testament proof-texts to be applied to their own situation is also attested among the monks of the qumran community.
Bibliography: j. r. harris, Testimonies I–II (Cambridge, Eng. 1916–20). c. h. dodd, According to the Scriptures (New York 1953). a. m. hunter, Paul and His Predecessors (rev. ed. Philadelphia 1961) 58–64, 131–134.
[w. n. schuit]