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Samuel, Samuel!

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jan 11, 2006

In the current First Things (not yet available on-line) Fr. Richard Neuhaus takes on the needlessly, perversely clumsy Bible translation that serves as the base for our Lectionary, the Revised New American Bible (RNAB). Massgoers often cringe in anticipation as the lector climbs onto the podium, since it's a rare reading that doesn't contain at least one clunker. This morning's offering was no exception.

Samuel grew up, and the LORD was with him,
not permitting any word of his to be without effect.
Thus all Israel from Dan to Beersheba came to know
that Samuel was an accredited prophet of the LORD.

An accredited prophet?

One would be inclined to write this down as another random RNAB infelicity, were it not for the mindset that "full-time ministry" does, in fact, require a Master's degree and a cursus of qualification workshops. It's hard to allay the suspicion that, in rendering the Hebrew so as to make Samuel into an Accredited Visionary, the translators thought they were paying the lad a compliment.

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  • Posted by: - Jan. 14, 2006 8:01 AM ET USA

    I have a copy of the RSV and it is better that the NAV, but still pales in comparison with the DRB.

  • Posted by: Vincit omnia amor - Jan. 13, 2006 5:57 PM ET USA

    With very few of the Catholic RSV editions out there, I'm still disappointed (hint, hint) that Ignatius Press can't publish one that doesn't have the print running out near the edge of the page and running together toward the center of the book making an otherwise fine edition frustrating to read... again, hint hint.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 13, 2006 9:21 AM ET USA

    Gic, RSV Catholic Edition is AWESOME!!!!! John

  • Posted by: - Jan. 13, 2006 4:43 AM ET USA

    Why don't we just go back to the Douay-Rheims? I did. When I converted, the first Bible I got was the NAB precisely because it was the version proclaimed at Mass. After years of careful reading and comparing with the Church Fathers and the Latin Vulgate, I have chosen to relegate my NAB to the bookshelf along with other protestant versions and to use the Douay-Rheims for my daily reading and for my serious biblical study!

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Jan. 12, 2006 6:32 PM ET USA

    The ID card is good for a fine laugh but one assumes the line "void if touched by a razor" refers to the face of the subject. Otherwhere, the touch of a razor is, of course, mandatory.

  • Posted by: Iberville - Jan. 12, 2006 1:07 AM ET USA

    Accredited. My liberal alarm sounded at the sound of that word in the Mass reading today, too. Thanks, Uncle Di, for always giving global voice to our outrage meters. You've got fine ecclesiastical instincts. Remain vigilant.