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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