"the message"

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by mont974x4, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. mont974x4

    mont974x4
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    Why do people insist on quoting that abomination called "the message"?

    This is a review written by me a few years ago.

    The Message by Eugene Peterson
    First I must say that we all paraphrase. We all try to find creative ways to help people understand our point. Jesus Himself sets an example of using terms and phrases that are relevant to the people of a particular culture. The problem is when we claim our paraphrase is Scripture and when we have failed to stay true to the original message given by God. Peterson claims “the message” to be a Bible and it is not a Bible. It is a paraphrase and he has failed to stay true to the original intended message of God. I will provide some examples:
    Quotes from “the message” taken from www.biblegateway.com
    (the message)
    Matthew 6: 25-26"If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.
    27-29"Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.
    30-33"If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
    34"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

    (NASB)
    Mat 6:25 "For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
    Mat 6:26 "Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?
    Mat 6:27 "And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?
    Mat 6:28 "And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin,
    Mat 6:29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.
    Mat 6:30 "But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!
    Mat 6:31 "Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?'
    Mat 6:32 "For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
    Mat 6:33 "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
    Mat 6:34 "So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.


    The problem is not about being worried about being in style or having the best things, the problem is worrying about the most basic necessities of life. When we follow God desiring to be always in the center of His will He is a faithful provider.


    (the message)
    Romans 1:
    18-23But God's angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over truth. But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can't see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn't treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.

    24-25So God said, in effect, "If that's what you want, that's what you get." It wasn't long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out. And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshiped the god they made instead of the God who made them—the God we bless, the God who blesses us. Oh, yes!
    26-27Worse followed. Refusing to know God, they soon didn't know how to be human either—women didn't know how to be women, men didn't know how to be men. Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men—all lust, no love. And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it—emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches.

    (NASB)

    Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
    Rom 1:19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
    Rom 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
    Rom 1:21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
    Rom 1:22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
    Rom 1:23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
    Rom 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.
    Rom 1:25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
    Rom 1:26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,
    Rom 1:27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

    The people were not confused. They did not “forget” how to properly have sex. They were engaged in sin. Peterson negates the seriousness of sexual sin, specifically homosexuality, in his abomination he claims to be Scripture.


    (the message)
    Psalm 1

    1How well God must like you— you don't hang out at Sin Saloon, you don't slink along Dead-End Road,
    you don't go to Smart-Mouth College.

    2-3 Instead you thrill to GOD's Word,
    you chew on Scripture day and night.
    You're a tree replanted in Eden,
    bearing fresh fruit every month,
    Never dropping a leaf,
    always in blossom.

    4-5 You're not at all like the wicked,
    who are mere windblown dust—
    Without defense in court,
    unfit company for innocent people.

    6 GOD charts the road you take.
    The road they take is Skid Row.

    (NASB)
    Psa 1:1 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
    Psa 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.
    Psa 1:3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.
    Psa 1:4 The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
    Psa 1:5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
    Psa 1:6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish.




    These are just a few examples. A careful examination of the text in light of a reliable translation of the Bible will expose more dangers. I will end this review with this verse :
    (ESV)
    Psa 138:2 I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.
     
  2. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
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    I agree 100% with you.
    It should not be read in church, nor promoted as being the word of God.
    I was at a church some years ago where the elder used to read from it occasionally. It made my flesh creep!

    Steve
     
  3. seekingthetruth

    seekingthetruth
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    I am not a fan of NASB, but at least I believe it is an honest attempt at accuracy.

    But the Message? something seems diabolical and evil about the intent of the translation. It is just weird.

    I was given a copy a few years ago by a Nazerene preacher. I read some of it one night and got it out of my house the next day.

    John
     
  4. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    Did you have to quote his entire post...

    Anyways, the Message isn't terribly bad and shouldn't vex you so mightily. Though I don't use it as a primary text it is helpful from time to time in helping explain difficult reads.

    There are times when I disagree with Peterson's take on a text, and other times I find him wonderfully encouraging. But this isn't an abomination. You're being overly dramatic.

    Peterson's intention was to take the broad concepts in Scripture and illumine those from the text, sort of a major on the majors thing, because too often we get bogged down in the minutiae and fail to see the big picture.

    If you don't care for it, that's fine. There are plenty of things I don't care for. But let's be a bit more charitable than throwing it under the bus and running back and forth over it. I've given a copy to some people from time to time and they've found it helpful for their journey. I'm thankful for Eugene Peterson, and his ministry.
     
  5. seekingthetruth

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    Well I do agree with you on one thing.

    I didn't have to quote the entire post.

    I will be more careful about which button I reply with from now on.

    John
     
  6. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
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    Would see the message as being modern Living Bible, a paraphrase...

    NOT a real version of Bible, but OK IF known as being just a parphrase!
     
  7. mont974x4

    mont974x4
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    The problem with it, and the reason I threw it under the bus, is because it perverts God's Word. That is a serious issue that lends itself to the serious response.

    Pastors should know better but I still find them quoting it. They use it to justify bad doctrines and stances on issues that are not supported by actual Scripture. A prime example is Peterson's twisted and diluted version of the Sermon on the Mount.
     
  8. thomas15

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    Not defending the Messasge but I personally don't see the difference between using a paraphrase to defend bad doctrine vs. using a good translation to defend bad doctrine (covenant replacement theology for example).

    Actually the latter is worse because the message doesn't pretend to be the inerrant word of God but replacement theology uses the inerrant word to justify an unbiblical concept.
     
  9. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
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    It's not my cuppa joe but I've found certain verses in that paraphrase to be quite illuminating.
     
  10. Amy.G

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    I don't like the message of The Message. :smilewinkgrin:

    IMHO, it's a paraphrase and a lousy one at that.
     
  11. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
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    It is the Living Bible for today!
     
  12. mont974x4

    mont974x4
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    The problem is not paraphrasing. The problem is how far Peterson strayed from the intent of Scripture. He has made passages say things that God did not intend. That is the real issue. That is why I say it is an abomination. It is intellectually dishonest and it leads people away from the truth not to it.
     
  13. SolaSaint

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    Careful now, you will offend America'a pastor Rick Warren. He loves the Message, he mixes it in with the NIV and several other translations to make his point. I would never advise proclaiming the Meassage as God's word in church, however I would say one could use it as a sort of commentary.
     
  14. glazer1972

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    Rick Warren's not this Americans pastor.
     
  15. RG2

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    +1, my problem with it is that it is not JUST a paraphrase. It's more of a paraphrase plus his own personal interpretation/commentary included within the scripture... unfortunately there are many people out there that thing that it IS scripture.

    Though it is FAR better than "The Word on the Street" by Rob Lacey, but at least that guy says it's not a proper Bible.
     
    #15 RG2, May 8, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2012
  16. franklinmonroe

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    The Message has been called a paraphrase by many folks; it even refers to itself as a "paraphrase" within its' own pages (from The Translator and His Friends) --
    ... After teaching at a seminary and then giving nearly thirty years to a church ministry in the Baltimore area, he created The Message-- a vibrant Bible paraphrase that connects with today's readers like no other...
    But I don't think it should really be called a paraphrase. The definition of PARAPHRASE is a restatement of a text, passage, or work giving the meaning in another form (online MW dictionary). The keyword that distinguishes a PARAPHRASE from a TRANSLATION is "restatement". A TRANSLATIONn is a transfer or conversion from one language to different language, which is not a "restatement". "Restatement" implies that the text previously existed (for the reader of that language). Peterson did not restate an English text, "he worked from the original Greek and Hebrew texts"; and his work was reviewed by about scholars (including Moises Silva and Darrell Bock) to ensure that it was "accurate as well as faithful to the original languages". It may be better labeled a very free DE or FE translation.
     
    #16 franklinmonroe, May 8, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2012
  17. Oldtimer

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    Amos 8:11 (KJB)
    Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
     
  18. Yeshua1

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    probably best to call it a poor excuse for a Bible, and have someone read the NLT istead if having real hard time understanding what they are reading!
     
  19. seekingthetruth

    seekingthetruth
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    I don't even understand what you just wrote:wavey:

    John
     
  20. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
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    just was saying that many use the message, as they see it easier to read and understand, but would rather have them read a 'real" bible, such as the NLT, as that is easy to read!
     

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