Sunday, May 31, 2015

#BIBLE #REVIEW: The Message by Eugene H Peterson

Title: The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language
Series: none
Editor: Eugene H Peterson
Published Date: 2002
Publisher: Nav Press
Format: hardback
Pages: 2265
ISBN: 9781576832899
Genre: bible
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 3 1/2 stars

Synopsis: Heart-Racing. Thought-Provoking. Life-Changing.
If you find reading the Bible uneventful, "old hat," or downright confusing, then it's time for The Message. Join the millions of readers who have been drawn to God through Eugene Peterson's best-selling Bible paraphrase.

Translated directly from the ancient Hebrew and Greek texts into today's American idiom, The Message is designed as a reading Bible. With no distracting verse numbers or stiff, formal language, the sixty-six books of Scripture unfold like a gripping novel. Passages you've read many times before will come alive, revealing the vibrant energy and passion of God's Word.

From the mysterious Old Testament stories to the straightforward teachings of Jesus to the encouraging early church letters, reading The Message will jump-start your heart, challenge your mind, and forever change your life.

My Review: I am very torn about this Bible. On one hand, I want to dance! There is a Bible out there that I can truly sit down and read and understand. When I sit down with this Bible, I sit down and feel like I am having a cup of coffee with a friend and just talking. It is very comfortable with no language that I will stumble over. Reading this Bible is like being transported back in time and being a part of the whole story as it unfolds and understanding it.
On the other hand, because it doesn't have the language that I expect from the Bible, it doesn't feel authentic. This is not a word for word translation into modern day language but a general feel for what the Bible is saying put into contemporary language.
The only way you can truly understand the dilemma The Message is, is to have it side by side with another version on the Bible:
The Message has The Lord's Prayer as:

"Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what's best -
As above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you
and forgiving others.
Keep us safe
from ourselves and the Devil.
You're in charge!"

A little different than what we are used to, huh? Does it get the very basic gist of the prayer, yes, somewhat. Does it completely change it to something we may not even recognize? Absolutely! And that is why I can't truly enjoy this version. In small pieces, yes. As my main Bible, absolutely never.