Monday, June 22, 2009

Discussion Re: The Message "Bible" - A Compare/Contrast

Hey Brothers & Sisters,
I would love your thoughts on the 4 page document by Justin Peters (JustinPeters.orgthat can be found at the link below. It is a only a quick summary of a few passages within "The Message", but I found it to be quite powerful. I've have never done a formal study from the message myself, but the few times I have pulled from it I found it to be entirely too much of a paraphrase for my personal taste...however I never read the passages cited in the article.

In the words of the apostle Paul (Phil 1:9-11)
"And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledgeand all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God."

For His Glory,
-W.S. (Mike)


Caron said...

Thanks for passing this on! This is Mike from Trish's blog, right? Are you on Facebook? If so, add me - you can also add Justin. Blessings!

Wretched Sinner said...

Yup, thats me. :D I just added both you and Justin on Facebook.

GiBee said...

Well... nothing like a loaded question! How about a long answer?

I can honestly say that I've never done a close page by page, verse by verse, word by word comparison of the Message to anything else.

I have purchased the Message version as a gift for my MIL because (and forgive me) but she has a difficult time understanding even the NIV (from HER mouth, not mine). So I got her a parallel Bible that has the NIV AND the Message side by side. She loves it because she can understand it, and she can see what the NIV says at the same time.

She told me she reads the Bible all the time now, instead of "occasionally or when she has to." In essence, it was an educational problem she was having, not a spiritual problem, and the Message translation became a tool for her, rather than the end-all (if that makes sense).

I have also referenced it in my blog because there are certain scriptures that in my mind, just come alive in the Message translation.

From what I understand... Peterson did NOT start the translation of the Message version as an official translation, but rather as a paraphrase to help young adults understand in modern language (the same reason the KJV came about).

With that in mind, I would venture to say that it was probably written with the seeker-sensitive church person in mind -- and you already know how I feel about that.

Further, I would also venture to say that the KJV was translated with some incorrect (inaccurate) wording from the Greek manuscripts, with theological bias removed, and the language used was that of the people at that time. Sound familiar?

The KJV has been reworked and republished three times to reflect accuracy in translation... something I can only hope that Peterson would be willing to do himself.

So what do I think? I think the Word of God is inerrant, inspired, and our final authority for faith and life and should not be taken lightly. I think translation of the Word comes to us from the Holy Spirit and not man. Then we (man) apply that translation to our lives.

Yes, I appreciate the Message, and yes, it has gotten loved ones back in the Word, which totally rocks. But at the same time, I feel that it needs to be read with caution, and with the understanding that it is man interpretation (as are all other versions) that was written to be "less controversial."

Having said all this… what do you think of the NLT and the TNIV? Check out 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 in those versions. (both translations are famous for being gender-neutral and PC)

Is there one true translation that we should read? Tough question… one I don’t have an answer for. That’s why I believe that the Holy Spirit needs to be the translator.

Yet another reason to look up the original Greek and Hebrew meanings.

GiBee said...

Can someone say... "Hijack!"