An Armenian version of Ephraim’s commentary on Hebrews?

An email in the ABTAPL list raised a very interesting question.

In the IVP Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, in the volume on Hebrews, there is an excerpt from Ephraim the Syrian.  Looking at the reference, we find this:

Marco Conti, trans. Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews. Works of Ephrem in Armenian.  ACCS translation project.

Except that no publication appears to exist.  According to IVP:

Marco Conti (Ph.D., University of Leeds) is professor of medieval and humanistic Latin literature at the Ateneo Salesiano and lecturer in classical mythology and religions of the Roman Empire at the Richmond University in Rome.

In 1836, the Mechitarist Fathers in Venice published the works of Ephraim from the ancient Armenian versions, in 4 volumes.  Some of Ephraim’s works, indeed, no longer exist in the original Syriac, and the Armenian versions are all there is.  A bibliography is here.  But I have not been able to locate this Venice edition online.

However in 1895 they published a Latin translation of the commentaries on the letters of Paul.  This I did find, here.  And in the PDF, on p.217 of the PDF (p.200 of the printed text) there is the start of material on Hebrews!

It would be interesting to know whether Dr Conti prepared a complete translation of Ephraim’s Commentary on Hebrews.  I hope to find out!


12 thoughts on “An Armenian version of Ephraim’s commentary on Hebrews?

  1. Dear Prof. Pearse: I am wondering if you could explain what you discovered concerning the Armenian version of Ephrem’s commentary on Hebrews. I am interested in chasing down what he actually wrote on Hebrews 8:2, rather than the English translation, since I suspect that he, along with Lactantius, read tWn hagiWn literally with reference to “the saints,” “that is, the very tabernacle,” rather than the more comment translation that this is the genitive of ta hagia. The image he uses is of the Lord being a servant of the saints, i.e. in the washing of feet, and would fit this literal rendering. But I have no original to check. Thanks.

  2. I somehow got the transliterated name of the edition and searched for it, knowing that a lot of the Armenian editions of the 19th century have been digitized somewhere.

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