O Me of Little Faith

This is the last full entry on the survey of translations from Pocket Guide to the Bible. If you missed the earlier installments, here they are up to this point:

Now, on to one of the most controversial versions of the Bible, a paraphrase-in-the-vernacular that people either love with a passion or hate with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns.

The Message

Complete version first published in: 2002, by NavPress

Translation style: Paraphrase

Quick description: A contemporary paraphrase from the original languages by Eugene H. Peterson, a prolific pastor, scholar, and author with impeccable credentials in the evangelical world. It’s originally written to recapture the informal “street language” of the New Testament, resulting in a rhythm and flavor completely different from any other Bible translation.

Why you should read it: It’s in common, readable English but doesn’t sound at all like a children’s Bible. Plus, you get occasional fun idiomatic expressions like this: “They traded the glory of God…for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand” (Romans 1:23).

Not so fast: Some think The Message is an appalling distortion of God’s Word, riddled with deletions, alterations, and additions to the original text. Then again, most of these same naysayers also believe the NIV to be personally endorsed by Satan.

“No carved gods of any size, shape, or form of anything whatever, whether of things that fly or walk or swim.” (Exodus 20:4)

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.” (John 3:16)

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