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The Message: The New Testament in Contemporary Language

4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  749 ratings  ·  42 reviews
The message preserves the authentic, earthy flavor and expressive character of the Bible in contemporary language. With more than six million copies sold, Eugene Peterson's unique paraphrase has opened up understanding and insight into God's Word. This new easy-to-carry format is great for carrying or for giving away. This new format brings the life-changing power of the N ...more
Paperback, 544 pages
Published March 5th 2000 by NavPress (first published June 1993)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,214)
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For someone concretely atheist, I must admit that if anyone were to want to understand the gist of the Christian bible in a tolerable way, this would be it. I got my hands on this book thanks to the well-intentioned aunt of a boyfriend during high school. Written as a novel about the life of Christ, this version of the New Testament is highly readable (compared to the alternatives).
Paul Cockeram
The Good Book has been enshrined in its King James version so long that, for most of my life, every time I heard quotations from the Bible, the language sounded medieval--a bit stilted, though definitely poetic. The poetry of the King James edition, a preacher friend once told me, is what he associates with the Bible. But that same man went and bought me this edition, which has been translated into the idiom of our day, in order to show both of us something important about the Good Book: It's al ...more
I love how The Message reads so smoothly, takes me into large sections of text, and makes me laugh when I recognize a verse and how appropriately Eugene Peterson expressed it with creative, insightful language. I recently read the intro to the Promise Keeper's edition and fell in love with his pastoral heart for us. I love how an author I've never met can feel like a personal mentor.
My second time through this version of the New Testament. It is easy reading and am now reading The Message Bible by Eugene Peterson. I've learned that to really gain insight into The Word, you keep rereading the Bible, whatever version you're comfortable with. As soon as you read the last page of Revelations, you turn to the first page of Genesis and start again.
The message is not only The Word of God, it also brings lots of laughs! Like Jesus saying shut up... Haha!
I read through the Bible every year, but I chose this version for 2013 because I think for personal growth it is important to at least occasionally explore something different than my normal NIV. While there were sections that really brought new insight, for the most part I didn't enjoy this particular translation. The modern, everyday language often felt too modern, too laid back, too secular. At one point during the year, I told two of my daughters that I was reading The Message for my daily B ...more
Sometimes called a paraphrase more than a translation, Peterson's The Message has none of the omissions and other problems that plague true paraphrases like The Living Bible. I've read elsewhere that The Message is actually superior to many "pure translation" Bibles in its fidelity to the original Greek and Hebrew. In my own reading, I've found it compares favorably with the New King James Version, and I can say personally that its breezy, colloquial phraseology saved my life at a time when I ne ...more
Truly love Peterson's creative, insightful translation. Masterful, and imminently helpful. Recommended to all. I have read it again and again, and will continue to do so.

It's not a word-for-word translation, wasn't intended to be, and doesn't need to be. But when you need a break from standard Bible versions, or a fresh approach to the Bible for any reason, The Message can be just the thing. It has reignited my love of the Bible time and again when it was needed, or carried me when my heart just
Lene Pienaar
I'm sorry if this upsets people (that's not my intention) but the fact of the matter is that a serious look into "The Message" reveals some devastating changes to the original meaning of the scriptures. This takes ad lib-ing to a whole new level and the fear of God should at least make others look into the matter with honesty. It's colorful language and easy to read style does not excuse it's total lack of often even a vague similarity to the original text.
I love to read The Message, OT and NT, for my daily Scripture reading. It is a paraphrase, and I would always confirm the meaning with ESV, Greek NT, etc. before teaching a passage. However, I love to read The Message.
I really enjoyed the contemporary language style . . . But sometimes I miss the more poetic phrasing and more accurate interpretation from an NIV. Best to keep one on hand. But overall, a much easier read. Oh yes!
I loved this translation of the New Testament it makes it easier to go back and I now know the overall idea of what was going on in each book.
Jake Foster
It's allright... but I really don't how it's all that worth it anymore. Now the NLT translation is on the market which took allot of liberties in translation to convey the desired effect and meaning.

The NIV is readable, and quite modern... and even the New Kings' James versions that take out the 'thou' and stuff and modify sentance structure is quite readable. But if not, I hear the NASB (New American Standard Bible) is the best modern word-for-word translation.

If you were to read this, I would
Sean Jacobs
Forty years in the pulpit preaching the Word of God! Eugene Peterson has used his creative style of writing to present God's Word in easy to understand words and phrases, a fresh voice to the scriptures indeed. I read the book through and through before becoming an elder in the First Presbyterian Church.
Jan 18, 2011 Brett added it
Shelves: religion
I'm going to avoid giving a star rating to this volume, but it isn't what I'd recommend to people. I very much liked the Peterson translation of the Wisdom Books because of the layout of the text--the poems were spread out like poetry is supposed to be. It had room to breathe. The layout is less essential here since little of the New Testament is written as poetry.

The colloquialisms are fine with me, but the introductions to each book don't really tell us anything about the history/context/cult
Mike "Poet"
I got this book as a gift from my church friends. They all signed it after I studied the bible with them in 2007.

I was going through a few challenges in my life in 2006 and I met up with a good friend from high school. We drifted apart and weren't friends for 15 years, yet it was God's way of letting me know there are people who care. I know I am not perfect, I am just appreciative of people who help me learn to trust again and learn to be a better person.
I have mixed feelings. The rewording of the prose really works for me - it really makes me think about the text, and helps clarify the intent of some of the verses - but I love the familiar wording of the Psalms from the NIV. This new version just doesn't seem to flow, or have the beauty of language, that I'm used to.
I am currently reading this, as it is divided day by day. It is a personal, down-to-earth devotional, with the author's Bible translation as the basis for the scripture. The readings assist the believer in maintaining a lifestyle of Christian relevance in today's world.
have used this as part of my reading through the Bible as an alternative version. There are some areas that it makes easier to follow , some of the OT Message is very hard to read through in terms of the impact that the modern working gives.
I am flying through the Old Testament reading this version of the Bible! So easy to read & understand. The contemporary is almost funny at times, because I'm so used to the poetic quality of other versions. But I like!
Good modern interpretation of the bible. More entertaining in laymans language. Good reference tool to use for comparison purposes or to help you understand more complicated verses and books of the bible.
My review is solely for this specific translation. I like some of the way that Peterson translates the NT, but in some places the contemporary language is far inferior to more poetic translations.
This was an unexpected birthday gift from my fiance 2-16-09
(Not sure how to find the specific edition I have- it has numbered verses & includes Proverbs & Psalms)
Carlene Havel
Wonderful. Magnificent. Yes, I read it, every word--and the Old Testament message by Peterson as well. Greatest book ever, well paraphrased vs. translated.
Peter Twele
The Message is a very nontraditional and very refreshing translation which puts life into "the message" contained within its pages.
I enjoyed reading this version. Psalms was also added to this book and I enjoyed the modern interpretation of them very much.
Jimi-carol Benton
I liked the easy wording and how down to earth it is but I feel like it looses something in having such a childish tone.
Very easy to read. Does not replace literal translations, but it is a nice addition and help when studying the Bible.
Sharman Wilson
I mostly enjoyed this translation of the New Testament, but I didn't find it as compelling as I had hoped.
Melissa Windsor
NEAT...the bible in novel form....interesting transations...not all of it is accurate in my opinion however..
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Eugene H. Peterson is a pastor, scholar, author, and poet. For many years he was James M. Houston Professor of Spiritual Theology at Regent College. He also served as founding pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Maryland. He has written over thirty books, including Gold Medallion Book Award winner The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language a contemporary translation of t ...more
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