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Hebrews 5:6, priest/kohein/kumra

As most of us in Aramaic primacy know, the Peshitta differentiates between the two words "kumra" and "kohein", especially in the Epistle to the Hebrews. Most Hebrew editions of the New Covenant are made from the Greek and I only know of one that is from the actual Eastern Peshitta text, which is the the bi-lingual Hebrew/Aramaic Peshitta available from

Unfortunately, this particular modern Hebrew translation of the Peshitta (which I love to use) does not differentiate between "kumra" and "kohein", and uses the Hebrew word "kohein" instead, whereas the Peshitta text uses "kumra" (which is a different type of priest than the Levitical order). It probably would have been best for the translator of the Hebrew edition to simply have transliterated the Aramaic "kumra" instead of trying to make it say something different than the Aramaic. In my personal opinion, this is most unfortunate, especially for those who may use this Hebrew edition in their apologetics because, if they don't have access to the original Aramaic or are unable to read it, they will run into a spot when others say that Yeshua was not a part of the Levitical order, or line of Aharon. I noticed this in Hebrews 5:6 and have not gone through the entire text as of yet to see if it is consistent.

Anyway, thought I'd share this note.

Yep, as Paul Younan said in a recent post, you always lose something when you try to translate into a different language, even if that language is Hebrew, which is close to Aramaic.

Ironically, Hebrew does have these two words for priest. Cohen, like Aramaic, is the usual word, when referring to the Levitical priesthood. But Komer is also used - in modern Hebrew you would use this when referring to a priest from a different religion (not Judaism).

By the way - be very wary indeed of the Hebrew/Aramaic New Covenant at Aramaic Books. The Peshitta has been changed dramatically in at least one place. In 1 John 5:7, the extra clause has been added with no comment, not even putting it in brackets to indicate it is disputed. This is not honest. It looks like the Aramaic has just been back-translated from the Greek. There are lots of other differences, too, which give the impression that the Aramaic has been revised to make it read "better". Let the reader beware.
- Ewan MacLeod
Shlama Ewan,

Thanks for the note about this particular version of Peshitta. I haven't studied this version close enough to know where there may be differences. This is good to know. I did know that some of the disputed texts were in there. If I'm not mistaken, the Hebrew text has brackets around the questionable texts most of the time. What a mess that such a thing has happened.


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