You can call it a commentary. You can call it a study guide but dont you dare call that trash a bible. My advice anybody reading solely the message bible needs to pick up a KJV or ESV.That is all.
Problems With Peterson’s Philosophical Approach1. Peterson’s assertion that the New Testament was written in the “street language” of the day is misleading.Arthur L. Farstad writes: As a Bible translator and editor myself, I must disagree. Yes, God did use the koine or common Greek dialect of the first century. However, it was written by men whose minds were saturated with the truth and beauty of the OT Scriptures. Also, who would say that the Sermon on the Mount, the Upper Room Discourse, Romans 8, First Corinthians 13, the Book of Hebrews, or Revelation 5—to choose a few famous texts—are in “street language”? (Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society Volume 9: vnp.9.2.71)By “updating” the Scripture in a modern “street” language, Peterson removes the historical and religious context resulting in a book far removed from the day and culture in which it is written. This qualitative decision may give some readers a fun reading experience, but it will not give a realizable understanding of the Scripture.2. Peterson has confused the mission of the Holy Spirit with the mission of a Bible translator.As Peterson moved from seminary teacher to pastor, he encountered a congregation that had little interest in reaching the Scripture. In the introduction to The Message he writes: “The first noticeable difference was that nobody seemed to care much about the Bible, which so recently people had been paying me to teach them. Many of the people I worked with now knew virtually nothing about it, had never read it, and weren’t interested in learning. Many others had spent years reading it but for them it had gone flat through familiarity, reduced to clichés. Bored, they dropped it. And there weren’t many people in between. Very few were interested in what I considered my primary work, getting the words of the Bible into their heads and hearts, getting The Message lived. They found newspapers and magazines, videos and pulp fiction more to their taste.” (The Message, Introduction)Peterson’s concern for the spiritual life of his congregation is admirable. His hope was that The Message would serve as a tool to get people interested in reading the Bible. Peterson’s underlying assumption is that his “translation” can do something the Holy Spirit is unable to do; give people a passion to read The Word. In reading The Message, I am drawn to the conclusion that Peterson has a diminished view of the Holy Spirit. The Message often eliminates the personhood and ministry of the Holy Spirit as the third person of the trinity who is given by Jesus as the beginning and source of our faith.Galatians 3:2-4 (Click the image to read a verse by verse comparison)3. Peterson believes the Bible, without his work to modernize it, is insufficient to transform lives. Peterson writes, “There is a sense in which the Scriptures are the word of God dehydrated, with all the originating context removed—living voices, city sounds, camels carrying spices from Seba and gold from Ophir snoring down in the bazaar, fragrance from lentil stew simmering in the kitchen—all now reduced to marks on thin onion-skin paper” (Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading: 88).The first problem is that Peterson’s solution is to eliminate the rest of the context; religious, historical, and spiritual, and we are left not even with the onion-skin. The second problem is voiced will by Tim Challie on his blog: “While this is true, at least to some extent, what Peterson fails to mention is that this is exactly how God intended to give us the Scriptures. God never refers to His Word as “dehydrated” or in any way deficient. Yes, we need to invest time and effort in knowing, studying and understanding them, but we do so knowing that the Scriptures, exactly as they are, are just what God desired that we have. Any fault we perceive in them is a fault within us.”4. Finally, even if the Bible is God’s “dehydrated” Word, the solution is not Peterson’s “street-language” commentary.What we need is utter dependence on the living Water, the Spirit given by the Father, who brings freshness to the written Word so we can drink it into our life. Peterson’ solution to spiritual apathy is to transform the Bible rather than transform people.Based on all I have read, it seems that Peterson, confronted with a people apathetic to God’s Word, relied on his own ability to transform the Scripture rather than doing the hard work of teaching and allowing God to transform the people. Compare Peterson’s approach to just two actual paraphrase-translations.Kenneth S. Wuest’s “The New Testament : An Expanded Translation” is prefaced as follows, “THIS translation of the New Testament, unlike the standard translations such as the Authorized Version of 1611 and the American Revised Version of 1901, uses as many English words as are necessary to bring out the richness, force, and clarity of the Greek text. The result is what I have called an expanded translation. It is intended as a companion to, or commentary on, the standard translations, and as such it complements them in several important respects.”Challies writes the following based on his comparison of the ESV. His conclusion stands for both the ESV and Weust’s paraphrase. “It is interesting and helpful, I think, to compare Peterson’s philosophy of translation to that of the English Standard Version. In the preface to the ESV we read, “The ESV is an ‘essentially literal’ translation that seeks as far as possible to capture the precise wording of the original text and the personal style of each Bible writer. As such, its emphasis is on ‘word-for-word’ correspondence, at the same time taking into account differences of grammar, syntax, and idiom between current literary English and the original languages. Thus it seeks to be transparent to the original text, letting the reader see as directly as possible the structure and meaning of the original.” Note the difference. The ESV seeks, in so far as possible, to bring the original text before the reader. Peterson seeks to bring about the understanding and response of the original reader. The ESV values words while Peterson values response. [emphasis mine]”With this basic understanding of Peterson’s approach, the next post will move into a direct verse by verse comparison that will demonstrate why The Message is NOT a translation or a paraphrase, but a commentary.
I strongly suggest the HCSB translation bible.
I like the message for the purpose of seeing different versions of the passage, to see it in a different perspective, but I love the New Century Version
I like the NLT. But I agree, the message bible is not THE bible.
I agree it's not the Bible but I do like to read different verses in it because it feels more relevant. I don't rely solely on that. To me it's like reading a sermon if that makes any sense at all. I like when pastors take a verse and preach on it and that what it's like to me to read certain verses in the Message. I tend to stick to NIV because that's what I grew up on and that's what my current Bible is. It's hard sometimes to switch to a different translation when you have verses memorized in a different translation. Just my random thought. :D
I feel it is a bit harsh and hateful to call The Message trash first of all.. I agree it is not meant to be The Bible, but rather a reference tool to hopefully grasp an understanding of certain words or situations in a different light. I know people it has helped understand certain things in the Bible, but I still stick with my NIV. I wish this thread was started with kinder words. We are called to love, not judge. We can not discredit that The Message has been a good outreach tool, to those unfamiliar with the word and given something they can relate to more. I think we tend to forget it is called "The Message" Not "The Bible" or even "The Bible Remix" or with some over edition attached to Bible. It was meant to be recognized as something else.
Reagan agrees with Rob^^^
I believe bringing the lost soul to realize the risen Christ and trust in him for salvation is our goal, if not the first, in life. When it comes to translation preferences I am very careful about what I say because I know there might some listening who dont know the difference or dont care about such arguments. I know some in my circle have been turned off by this and have turned away from the church because of it. BUt I do believe The Message is NOT the best translation out there but personally I wouldnt trash it publically. There are many books, and translations, out there I would love to burn and trash! Lol. I prefer to use my trusty old NASB and recently liked the ESV; literal word-for-word translations. THe message is close to or IS and interpretation. And interpretation of whoever translated it into the 'street language' that it is. And we're at the mercy of someone else's interpretation without any room for other interpretations, therefore, applications. BUt I guess if im gonna push anything on anyone it would JESUS and not translation preferences (NOT implying the WereFromTheLight did that). Because Ive found that kind of thing turns people off. Last night I had a heated discussion with a KJV only advocate. I can honestly say the argument went no where and added nothing as far as edification to ourselves, nor glory to God.
BUt I do agree, in essence, with werefromthelight that The Message is not the best Bible to read. If you need something easy to read and cant understand the NASB, ESV, KJV, dont settle for anything less than the NIV. THe Niv is a thought-for-thought translation; translators attempted to transfer into English the author's intended meaning in ideas instead of single words as NASB and ESV.
The author actually does market it as a bible and can be quote to calling it such. If it were considered a bible commentary perhaps it would be ok, but is actually marketed as a bible, as scripture. It is a single mans(Eugen Peterson) exegis of scripture and is not sufficient source for God's word.
You subject to interpretations all the time such as your pastor at your church or in a bible study and also to your own.. We tend to push away that which doesn't stick with our own interpretations. The Message may be marketed under the Bible section, but the title of it does not say "The Bible" and I am sure that was for a reason and I am sure in it before you start reading he explains it is his interpretation of the Bible. All in all I am just think calling it "that trash" isn't the best thing for us to do as Christians who are called to love, when it can be used as an outreach tool to certain people still. It takes time to develop Hermeneutics and you have to start somewhere that is comfortable for you. God speaks through his people.
Yeah, I don`t believe it should be read as the Bible. Only as a study guide or something like that. I have grown up withthe KJV and enjoy reading it, but I like the NIV, too, because it is just like nowadays language.
I prefer the NIV to the others. I'm not particularly a fan of the Message but I don't try and judge anyone reading it. I truly do not believe that one of the qualifications to get into heaven in on which version of the bible we read, I admit I own a message, but I also have an NIV, two TNIV's, NKJV, and a KJV (read occasionaly, but not my favorite). :P
I agree with Rob... Don't call it trash.
I agree with what Rob said also. And Jon also made a good point when he said that it isn't a qualification to get into Heaven on which Bible we read.I own a Message. But I don't use it as MY Bible, I use a NIV (which my church uses). I just use it to see a different perspective. And for that I think it's great. I was reading the preface to the Message and I thought it was interesting: "It is not intended to replace the excellent study Bibles that are available. My intent here (as it was earlier in my congregation and community) is simply to get people reading it who don't know that the Bible is read-able at all, at least by them, and to get people who long ago lost interest in the Bible to read it again. But I haven't tried to make it easy-there is much in the Bible that is hard to understand. So at some point along the way, soon or late, it will be important to get a standard study Bible to facilitate further study." - Eugene Peterson, Page 8 of The Message.I think he was just getting people to get interested in the Bible again. But even he admits that it does not take the place of a Bible. So, just my two cents :) .
King James Version FTW!! :)