Monday, October 22, 2018

Critical Exposure Of The Message Version

  • Introduction:
          -The Message Bible, put together by Eugene H. Peterson, was first published in segments from 1993 to 2002. It is not so much a translation of Scripture, but more so a paraphrase. It is an attempt to simplify the language of the Bible to suit the language of contemporary culture. When a person invests time into comparing the Message to well-known, reputable translations of the Bible, however, he or she will encounter many rather significant differences in the meaning of the text. This work appears to contain intentional doctrinal alterations, which of course disqualifies it from being a trustworthy study tool. As a matter of fact, the modernized, slang type language occupied throughout this version reveals a complete irreverence for God. Following are examples of textual perversion within the Message Bible.
  • Matthew 6:9:
          -The Message: "Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are."
          -New American Standard: "Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name."
          -NET Bible: "Our Father in heaven, may your name be honored"
          -King James Version: "Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name."
          -Comments: Why would Jesus Christ, the revelation of God (Hebrews 1:1-3), pray that God reveal Himself?
  • Matthew 6:13:
          -The Massage: "Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.You’re in charge! You can do anything you want! You’re ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes."
          -New American Standard: "And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen."
          -NET Bible: "And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one."
          -King James Version: "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen."
          -Comments: This is a perfect example of the Message watering down God given truth.
  • John 10:30:
          -The Message: "I and the Father are one heart and mind."
          -New American Standard: "I and the Father are one."
          -NET Bible: "The Father and I are one."
          -King James Version: "I and my Father are one."
          -Comments: The unique rendering of John 10:30 presented by the Message Bible would change our understanding of the relationship between the Father and the Son.
  • 1 Corinthians 6:9-11:
          -The Message: "Don’t you realize that this is not the way to live? Unjust people who don’t care about God will not be joining in his kingdom. Those who use and abuse each other, use and abuse sex, use and abuse the earth and everything in it, don’t qualify as citizens in God’s kingdom. A number of you know from experience what I’m talking about, for not so long ago you were on that list. Since then, you’ve been cleaned up and given a fresh start by Jesus, our Master, our Messiah, and by our God present in us, the Spirit."
          -Compare to the renderings of the New American Standard, NET Bible, and the King James Version.
          -Comments: Notice how the author of the Message utterly omits homosexuality from the list of sins, thus distorting the meaning of the text. In 1 Timothy 1:10 of the version being examined here, the word "homosexuality" has been replaced with "sex." That is a change from a specific act to a broad category. Also, he inserted with no contextual justification the phrase "use and abuse the earth" into 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
  • Colossians 2:9:
          -The Message: "You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything."
          -New American Standard: "For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form."
          -NET Bible: "For in him all the fullness of deity lives in bodily form."
          -King James Version: "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."
          -Comments: Why would the inspired Apostle Paul need to make mention of astrology which is condemned by God?
  • Additional Commentary On The Message Version:
          -"...there are numerous websites and articles devoted to the translation errors in The Message, too numerous to reiterate here. Suffice it to say that The Message has engendered more criticism for its lack of serious scholarship and outright bizarre renderings than just about any other Bible version to date. One common complaint from many who read The Message or hear it read aloud is “I didn’t recognize it as the Bible.” Other critics declare The Message to be not a paraphrase of what the Bible says, but more of a rendering of what Eugene Peterson would like it to say. In an interview with Christianity Today, Peterson described the beginning of the creative process that produced The Message: “I just kind of let go and became playful. And that was when the Sermon on the Mount started. I remember I was down in my basement study, and I did the Beatitudes in about ten minutes. And all of a sudden I realized this could work.” (Got Questions, "What is The Message (MSG)?")


Glenn E. Chatfield said...

"The Message" is truly, truly a "MESS"

Tim Lewis said...

The Message never says that Jesus is the Lord and only ever refers to Him as "Master" which is the clearest sign that this should be avoided. 1 Cor 12 v 3