The Message

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The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language was created by Eugene H. Peterson and published in segments from 1993 to 2002. It is a paraphrase of the original languages of the Bible. Peterson states that reason the The Message was written was:

“ While I was teaching a class on Book of Galatians, I began to realize that the adults in my class weren't feeling the vitality and directness that I sensed as I read and studied the New Testament in its original Greek. Writing straight from the original text, I began to attempt to bring into English the rhythms and idioms of the original language. I knew that the early readers of the New Testament were captured and engaged by these writings and I wanted my congregation to be impacted in the same way. I hoped to bring the New Testament to life for two different types of people: those who hadn't read the Bible because it seemed too distant and irrelevant and those who had read the Bible so much that it had become 'old hat.' ”

According to the Introduction to the New Testament of the The Message, it was written in a “contemporary idiom keeps the language of the Message (Bible) current and fresh and understandable”. Peterson notes that in the course of the project, he realized that this was exactly what he had been doing in his thirty-five years as a pastor, “always looking for an English way to make the biblical text relevant to the conditions of the people.”

The Message was published in piecemeal over a nine year period. The New Testament was published in 1993. The Hebrew Bible Wisdom Books were published in 1998. The Hebrew Bible Prophets were published in 2000. The Hebrew Bible Pentateuch were released in 2001. The Books of History came out in 2002. The entire Bible was released the same year and follows the traditional Protestant layout.

Contents

Scriptural Concerns

Romans 8:35-37

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?" (KJV)

The Message: "Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ's love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:"

This adds a promise not found in the word of God by saying "not even the worst sins listed in Scripture".

1 Timothy 4:1

"...in later times some will abandon the faith and follow seducing spirits and doctrines of demons." (KJV)

The Message: "...as time goes on, some are going to give up on the faith and chase after demonic illusions put forth by professional liars."

In this verse it replaces reference to "doctrines of demons" with "professional liars".

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