If the 'liber qui appellatur Testamentum Job, apocryphus' mentioned in the Gelasian Decree refers to our Testament, there would seem to have been a Latin version of it circulating in the West in the fifth and sixth centuries. But apart from this possibility, there is no reference to the Testament, or certain quotation from it, anywhere in antiquity.
The Testament was first introduced to the modern world by A. Mai, who in 1833 printed a Greek text in the seventh volume of his Scriptorum Veterum Nova Collectio. Mai did not disclose the source of his text, since identified as the 13th century Vatican MS Vat. gr. 1238. In 1890 M. R. James 'was able to examine a MS of the Testament at Paris': this was B.N. gr. 2658 ( 11th century), containing also the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs as well as the well-known 'Interpretation of Hebrew Names' and the 'Questions and Answers' attributed to Anastasius of Sinai; and it was this MS that was used by James as the foundation of his edition in 1897, the variants of Mai's text, which are often considerable, being set out in full in the apparatus. The only other MS known to James was Paris B.N. gr. 938 ( 16th century), which was obviously a transcript of B. N. gr. 2658 and therefore negligible. In 1911 the collation of a fourth MS ( Messina San Salvatore 29; AD 1307), made against James's text, was published by A. Mancini.1
Meanwhile, the existence of a version in Slavonic had been
brought to light. In 1878 S. Novakovic published the first text of
this version from a MS in Belgrade; and thirteen years later Gj.
Polívka produced a critical edition, printing the text of a