Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Message Bible

Eugene Peterson paraphrased The Message Bible. I became a fan of his recently while reading a book he wrote called A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. I really liked the perspective he gives on discipleship and spiritual growth.

My wife has been a fan of The Message for some time. She brings it to our Wednesday night Bible study and people enjoy hearing verses in a different form than we are used to.

Author and speaker Lisa Bevere had this to say about The Message:

So many of us have been Christians for so long that when we read the Bible, we read a sentence and we know what the next sentence is going to say because we have been reading it for so long. So you kind of become accustomed or familiar with what you are reading. So I began to read The Message Bible during my times of devotion.
I can really identify with that perspective. I know that many times, in devotional reading, I zoom through passages because I am too familiar with them. The Message is different enough from regular translations that it helps you to slow down and think about what you are reading.

The Message is not the only Bible you want to have. It is a paraphrase and is not what you would use for study but it sure shakes up the daily reading.

I’m thankful to Olive Tree for making The Message available for my PDA. That way if I want to read from it, it is available but I also have my ESV or NASB. No matter where I am, I have what I need for Bible study or devotions.

Here are a few common passages from The Message:

John 3:16 This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.

Philippians 4:6 Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.

Gal 5:19-21 It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on. This isn't the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God's kingdom.

Here is the New American Standard and The Message:

.....

Different isn't it. As I said, it's not a literal translation and I have found some places where literary license was taken a little too far. That said, I have no problem recommending this paraphrase as it gives a freshness to devotional reading.

Philip

Olive Tree
The Message Bible
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