The book belongs to a genre that has been fundamental for Western research at least since the beginning of the series of Meyer's commentaries (1829); but it is relatively rare in Russian biblical studies, especially confessional ones. This is a commented translation of one of the most important Old Testament apocrypha, which, apparently, was compiled in Jewish literature of the times of the Second Temple; then, it borrowed by Christians and became very popular in Christian literature both in the East (beside the Greek text, Armenian and Slavic translations are known), and in the West (there is a widely read Latin medieval version). The author completed his translation with an extensive introduction about sources: he describes manuscripts, ancient and medieval versions, and translations of the monument into modern languages; he put a special attention to the origin of the work – Jewish or Christian, the language of its original and possible versions of the text, as well as its dating. S. comes to the conclusion that the monument is of pre-Christian origin and was created in the first half of the first century BCE. This position is quite consistent with views of scholars of our days. S. discusses the relationship of the text of the ‘Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs’ with the New Testament writings, showing the commonality of phraseology and figurativeness of the ‘Testaments’ and some New Testament texts. S.'s translation is philologically accurate and in case of discrepancies between the Greek, Armenian, and Slavic texts, the author presents alternative versions in parallel columns.