The author of The Message paraphrase version of the Bible, Eugene Peterson, has died today at the age of 85. He was a prolific author and theologian.
This has made me think about The Message. I have a problem with The Message paraphrase version of the Bible especially when it is read as an accurate translation of the Bible along the same line as New King James Version. It is not.
The Message is a man’s paraphrase opinion of what each verse of the Bible says. It’s not an interpretation from the original Greek and Hebrew texts. It’s a paraphrase into contemporary language. Now please hear me. I am not entirely negative on The Message. I think it has it’s place to help people understand what the Bible is saying: to a point. I think if you want the deeper meat of the Word then you have to use the right study tools and I don’t consider The Message to be one of those tools.
Another problem I have, is when preachers preach consistently quoting The Message. It is not a version of the Bible and is certainly not a version that should be used by preachers to expound the word. I have to say that it bugs me when preachers quote it without even mentioning that its a paraphrase version.
Now here is my disclaimer. I have quoted The Message about five times in my Pastoring life but only after quoting the New King James Version and also after saying…this is from The Message Paraphrase version of the Bible.
Again let me reiterate:- I think The Message has its place and I think it has helped people have a preliminary understanding of the Bible…but I don’t think it should be used by preachers nor by people wanting to undertake deeper study.
Anyway, that’s just what I think