Book Review: The Message

Have you taken a look at The Message? No, not the The Message by Nas but the Holy Bible? No, not the Holy Bible, the King James Version but The Message! In my opinion, one of the best translations of The Good News.

It’s not the most poetic translation and may not fit specific needs the same way the Jefferson Bible can (but that’s not really a translation). However, for bible study, seekers and those who are new to Christianity, regardless of age, this would be my first choice translation. Some easy to read English translations can make you feel as if the mystery and profoundness of The Good news is superficial. The word usage is among the same words found in See Spot Run and that can be…disappointing. Whereas an older/classical version with outdated language can make you feel as if you are better off learning Hebrew or Greek to get to the true meaning of the scriptures.

Somehow, The Message has a rhythm to it where you can read chapter after chapter like a novel, a really good novel (think The Harry Potter series) with thorough comprehension. The word complexity makes me feel as if I’m reading the words of a wise elder (especially Paul’s letters) instead of a neurotic professor. It’s as if C.S. Lewis, Dr. Seuss and Oprah translated the Bible together and this is their joint masterpiece. The actual person behind the translation is Rev. Eugene Petersen.

Check it out for yourself. Look up some of your favorite passages or scriptures that give you a hard time in multiple versions.

Even look at the Chapter titles. For Paul’s Letter to the Romans Chapter 2 in The NRSV is titled, “The Righteous Judgement of God” In The New English Translation it is “The Condemnation of the Moralist” and in The Message, “God Is Kind, but Not Soft.”

I have been using the New King James version of The Bible for years, it was a gift from my paternal grandparents when I was confirmed in the Methodist tradition and has brought me great comfort for around two decades. I still love the weight and feel of the leather bound book with page marker and well worn index. But my testimony today is that I’m thankful that I have The Message on my ipad, where I can gobble up line after line of The Good News with renewed amazement.

What’s your favorite translation?

  1 comment for “Book Review: The Message

  1. Re. Regina
    August 8, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Definitely a translation that I often consult when preparing sermons. It delivers translations that are easy on the ear. Glad to know others are reading it.

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