- A Paraphase with a Unique Perspective
In 1992, after 29 years of service at Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Maryland, Eugene Peterson began his translation of The Message. Today more than 10,000,000 people are readers of this inspiring version of the Bible.
The original writings of the New Testament were done in the street language of the day. At that time in the Greek-speaking world, there were two levels of language: formal and informal. Formal language was used to write philosophy, history, government decrees, and epic poetry. Some people fely that language dealing with a holy God and holy things should be elevated —stately and ceremonial. However, Jesus preferred to speak informally in telling His down-to-earth stories and in His association with people.The followers of Jesus in their witnessing, preaching, translating and teaching, have always tried to get the "good news"—into the language of whatever street they happened to be living on.
The Message, is a contemporary idiom that is current, fresh, and understandable in the same language that we use in all of our activities. The goal was not to render a word-for-word conversion of Greek into English, but rather to convert the tone, the rhythm, the events, and the ideas into the way that we actually think and speak.
Many people ask is The Message a translation or a paraphrase?
It is probably most accurately called a "translation of tone" or a "paraphrase from the original languages." It is a bridging of the gap between the original languages and English, and between centuries of time and language change, to bring to us the New Testament as it originally sounded.
The Message is the boldest and most provocative rendering of the New Testament I've ever read. If you've become so comfortable with your Bible reading that the Scriptures no longer excite you, then this book is what you need.
The Message is certainly destined to become a devotional classic not to mention a powerful pastoral tool
Opening The Message is like reading the Bible with fresh eyes. Whether you've read the Scriptures through a hundred times or are just starting out, The Message is a wonderful tool for understanding God's Word!
There's a translation of the Scriptures that this guy Eugene Peterson has undertaken. It has been a great strength to me. He's a poet and a scholar, and he's brought the text back to the tone in which the books were written.
There is so much that is fake about our society. My generation is craving something that is real, honest and true. The Message is straight up! It's modern, relevant, and direct.
The Message is one of the most dynamic recent versions of the New Testament that I have seen ... Children can easily understand it, and veteran Bible readers will see Christ's words in a fresh light.
In this crowded world of Bible versions Eugene Peterson's blend of accurate scholarship and vivid idiom make this rendering both distinctive and distinguished. The Message catches the logical flow, personal energy, and imaginative overtones of the original very well indeed.
We should thank the Lord for the ministry Eugene Peterson has performed in The Message. He has given the church an opportunity to read the Bible afresh.
The Message is exegetically sensitive yet speaks in the language of today—with the special flair for English style that has come to mark Peterson's work.
At last, a translation of tone. I read not only the words, but I hear a voice behind them speaking—as, in fact, all these documents were originally experienced. Peterson's translation transforms the eye into an ear, opening the door of the New Testament wider than perhaps it has ever been opened.