The Message Bible is kind of unique . I just bought ( for less than $2.00 ) the book of Proverbs by Eugene Peterson . I don't have the rest of the Bible by Peterson . I really don't think I will buy his work on the rest of the books of the Bible . I bought his treatment of Proverbs last Saturday . I'm not sure how much of the work was his alone . Two other people are mentioned as being on the editorial team . But I would think that he did most of the work . The Message style of translation is not my preferred method . I like something along the lines of a combo : modified literal , like the TNIV , HCS or ISV ( can't wait to buy the completed form of the latter when it's released ) . However , TM fills a niche . It has a catchy , or if you'd like -- an arresting way with expressing things . It is very free -- too free much of the time . Occasionally it translates close to the manner of the more formal versions , only occasionally . It's a surprise when it does . Peterson's translation is so free much of the time that the NLTse in contrast seems to read more word-for-word . Sometimes there is barely a connection with the form of the original . Peterson really did "translate" the NT . So , even though TM is known for being even more free than a paraphrase -- it is really a translation -- just not in the sense that we are used to . I don't know how much Hebrew he knows in comparison to his knowledge of the Greek . This extra-dynamic ( not technical jargon -- my way of wording it ) is a shock to my system at times . Sometimes EP can really convey his intrepretation in a most helpful manner . Yet he does not consider this a real Bible as such -- he prefers the NRSV for purposes of study and preaching . I think he may be this generation's J. B. Phillips . Nevertheless , because he uses such an idiomatic style , this version will be out-of-date in 15 or 20 years . It's good to put things across in colloquial language -- but his overabundance of contemporary speech is overkill at times . Anyway , I will give some samples of one or two phrases from each chapter of Proverbs . I will not identify the verses that the phrases orginate from -- you can guess . I'll just name the chapter . 1) When you grab all you can get , that's what happens : the more you get , the less you are . 2) those who are lost themselves can't tell a trail from a tumbleweed 3) stupid living gets the booby prize 4) She'll garland your life with grace , she'll festoon your days with beauty 5) You don't want to end your life full of regrets , nothing but sin and bones 6) Riffraff and rascals talk out of both sides of their mouths 7) She runs a halfway house to hell 8) You can find me on Righteous Road -- that's where I walk -- at the intersection of Justice Avenue 9) confront bad behavior and get a kick in the shins 10) Wise son , glad father ; stupid son , sad mother 11) a God-shaped life is a flourishing tree 12) A good person basks in the delight of God You can't find firm footing in a swamp 13) sin dumps the wicked in the ditch 14) a quick-tempered person stockpiles stupidity 15) fools are leaky faucets , dripping nonsense he stands with those who have no standing Well , I'll take a brealk now . I'll be back later to give more samples from the remaining chapters .