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The Message?


des
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Anybody ever hear or read the Message (or parts thereof)? It is described as a translation, but from what I have read it isn't really that. Still it presents Bible words in very fresh language that is at times pretty compelling. Jesus talks like a real person.

 

BTW, I was amused at someone's critique on amazon that it was written at an 8-9th grade reading level-- given what I know about such things. If so that would be pretty high, the typical daily newspaper is written on a 6th grade level. :-)

 

 

--des

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Here's some official info about The Message:

 

BibleGateway.com Version information: The MessageThe Message strives to help readers hear the living Word of God—the Bible—in a way that ... Some people like to read the Bible in Elizabethan English. ...

www.biblegateway.com/versions/index. php?action=getVersionInfo&vid=65〈=2

 

I have used this version of the Bible in my daily devotional life and have also found it to be helpful when preparing sermons. Basically, it reads like a paraphrase that seeks to convey Biblical truths in contemporary speech and colloquialisms. I wouldn't say it's particularly scholarly or literal in its translations, but it does read like a breath of fresh air - on the whole.

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BroRog, your link didn't work even to cut and paste.

 

Sometimes they read parts of The Message in church. Some of the liturgists have used it and occassionally the pastor. It all sounds very new. I really like the parables as they come

across like someone would actually speak them (today).

 

I haven't actually seen it, but understand you can get it for free? (Of course, I might wonder what strings might be attached on a free Bible, if you get my drift. :-))

 

 

 

--des

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In looking for BroRog's link last night (which I did find), I located something else, which I think (from the limited no. of quotes I saw is so bad it actually comes out funny. It's something called "Good As New" by Henson, which is also a "paraphrase" if not actually another set of books entirely. In it Peter goes by the name "Rocky", which I guess if apt, is pretty funny. I don't know any real people named Rocky, but I have met a dog or two wtih that name.

 

Anyway, the funniest thing I've seen quoted is the scene with John the Baptist.

 

John the Baptist is called John the Dipper. I have heard that that is right out of the Greek and quite a literal translation, though strange to my ears. And then:

"A pigeon flew down and perched on him. Jesus took this as a sign that God's Spirit was with him. A voice from overhead was heard saying, 'That's my boy!' "

 

I found the pidgeon an ugly visual image as I am used to the nasty pidgeons all over Chicago, but I suppose doves are a kind of pidgeon, so I would guess it is pretty close to the translation

 

OTOH, maybe it didn't say that. As I also read this for the same verse, and am wondering if the critic above was just a little upset! :-) . But "that's my boy"!?

 

(16) After Jesus had been dipped in the river and was climbing up the bank, there was a sudden gap in the clouds and he experienced the coming of God's Spirit. She was like a pigeon flying down and perching on him. A voice from overhead was heard to say, "This is the one I love and I'm delighted with him."

 

I found it worded another place as saying "Atta boy!"

 

Apparently it also says to have sex so you don't get frustrated.

Now there's a Bible we could all believe in. ;-)

 

 

BTW, I found it a bit surprising that: 1. some evangelicals really like The Message (not Good as New) and it is quoted several times in that right leaning devotional book, "Purpose Driven Life" (some friends of my mom were having her read it which I thought a little odd as she is 86 or so, you know if it didn't have any purpose so far why worry? :-))

 

2. That the author (or paraphraser) did not want it read in church. He wrote as a project for his adult Bible study students who were not excited by the passages. I think he was concerned himself that it was not really a "real translation". Anyway, when it has been read in church, everyone says something like "I am reading from The Message" or "This is from the Message, Mark 5", for instance). If they use an actual translation, no body but the pastor ever identifies it and he doesn't always. If they do say the Bible translation they identify it as this is the NSVR or the Oxford, etc." They won't ever say, this is the Bible translation "The Message". It doesn't seem too blurred to me.

 

This all seems interesting to me, though I have been known to tell people way more than they wanted to know. :-)

 

 

 

--des

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Des

 

The real name which pigeons are called by is "rock doves" so you see how the story fits together now. If you think the rock doves are bad in Chicago, you should see them in Paris. My daughter calls them sky rats after some experiences we had there. Meaning is in the eye of the beholder

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Here's a paraphrase of the Bible that I really enjoyed!

 

Details...The "Greatest Story Ever Retold" is based on the book The Cotton Patch Version of Matthew and John by Clarence Jordan in which the Gospel is presented in a ...

www.dramaticpublishing.com/ catalogdetail.cfm?listcode=C05 - 22k - Cached - Similar pages

 

 

Cotton Patch GospelBook page for Clarence Jordan's Cotton Patch Gospel. These books were published by Smyth & Helwys Publishing, Inc. located in Macon, Georgia.

www.helwys.com/cpg/cpg4vols.html - 13k - Cached - Similar pages

 

 

Review: COTTON PATCH GOSPELCOTTON PATCH GOSPEL. Book by Tom Key & Russell Treyz ... "Cotton Patch Gospel" is based on a bold reinterpretation of the New Testament by translator ...

my.en.com/~herone/CottonPatch.html - 7k

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www.studylight.org has The Message, as well as about a dozen other translations and versions online. At the top of the page, type in the passage or keywords that you're looking for and the version you want to look in. After it brings up results, you can tell it to do a side by side comparision with up to (I think) 10 other versions. It's pretty cool.
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"The Message" was put together by Eugene Peterson, a Presbyterian pastor and poet, over a period of 9 years starting in the early 1990s. I think it is a very good addition to the ever growing collection of English language Bibles.

 

When in seminary we read Peterson's edition of the Book of Job while studying Job. It really gave a great perspective.

 

I don't usually use The Message in public liturgy, as I personally find it better suited to personal devotions due to the writing style used by Peterson.

 

In our worship services I like to use the New Living Translation. I find that it does a good job of communicating the message in an easy to understand way. www.newlivingtranslation.org

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Well I don't know quite as much about this sort of thing as you do, Carl. If someone hadn't read it in church, I never would have heard/ seen it. I never heard of it before about a month or so ago. Maybe it was even read before, but some passage or other just came alive, like it had not before. I understand it might not fall in the category of a true "translation" but I think it has its place. After all, we are progressives anyway.

 

I like a variety of translations read as I think you can sometimes see things a bit better in one than another. It also takes the mundane out of things. I'm not quite "ready" for "Good as New" though. :-)

 

BTW, in looking around noticed some KJV only folk. That was pretty interesting. Christian Science will only use the KJV, I asked my mom what might happen if at some point nobody understood it. Of course, I was way way overestimating the life span of CS. ;-)

 

--des

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Well I don't know quite as much about this sort of thing as you do, Carl. If someone hadn't read it in church, I never would have heard/ seen it. I never heard of it before about a month or so ago.

--des

 

You make a very good point about the advantage of using different translations/paraphrases of Scripture in our worship service.

You are right, it is a great way to expose more people to them. You have challenged me to include other versions more often with that goal in mind. Thanks :)

 

PS - when I said "The Message" is not ideal for public reading to to Peterson's style - I didn't mean because he was not as accurate as anyone else is.

I was referring to the fact that he writes in the style of poetry not prose and does not include verse numbers. I have found that for public reading, the liturgists in my church prefer the more common presentation of other translations (IE: easy to find chapter and verse).

Edited by Carl
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I read tonight while looking up various scriptures in The Message on studylight.org that it is now available with chapter and verse.

 

I can just imagine trying to use a bible w/o chapter and verse in church:

 

"Please turn to page 325, about 1/4 way down the page, third word in from the left ... Everybody at the word "the"? Next word "Son"? ... Sister Jones, I think you are about 5 lines too far down the page ..." :blink:

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I read tonight while looking up various scriptures in The Message on studylight.org that it is now available with chapter and verse.

 

I can just imagine trying to use a bible w/o chapter and verse in church:

 

"Please turn to page 325, about 1/4 way down the page, third word in from the left ... Everybody at the word "the"? Next word "Son"? ... Sister Jones, I think you are about 5 lines too far down the page ..."  :blink:

 

That was exactly my reason for not using it! I'm glad to hear it is in chapter and verse! That makes it much better suited for public use.

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I love "the Message." Reading from this paraphrase, at least for me, really does seem to put a new light and breath new life into the Bible.

 

I mainly use it for devotional reading and for writing my own devotionals.

 

When it come to "serious" Bible study, though, I go with my trusty NRSV. Much more literal for word studies.

 

I'd love to see a comparative Bible with the NRSV in one column and "the Message" in the other.

 

Grace to all.

 

bloved

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I think the Message with chapters and verses is called The Message Remix. I had no idea it was around without chapter and verses. I can't imagine reading that in church either. Yikes.

 

I think a Bible with a couple different versions would be very interesting. I wouldn't call The Message a "literal Bible" either or even a real translation from all I have read, but I was a bit amused re: some fundamentalists pages comparing various translations (including everything from Good News to NSRV to....) to "literal Bible". Maybe it was King James, not sure, as I have heard there are problems with that translation. The whole factor of translation is in itself a pretty complex topic. In many cases we don't even share the same words or concepts from one language to another. I'm not sure how they assume that this is somehow different than from ancient Greek (and other languages the Bible was in) to English. In some cases we might have whole concepts that never even existed back then. I think this is the case with the "homosexual" passages, love and commitment between two same sex individuals I doubt that concept even existed (note no references to lesbian relationships). I also saw much ado re: inclusive language editions.

 

 

--des

Edited by des
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It was first introduced without chap and verse to emphasize the poetic nature of the text and help provide the reader with a different experience of reading the text than they were used to, an experience a little closer to the first manuscripts which didn't have chapter/verse markings.

I'm glad it can be had both ways now.

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