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The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language [Hardcover]

By Eugene H. Peterson (Author)
Our Price $ 33.99  
Retail Value $ 39.99  
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Item Number 10007  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   2265
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.1" Width: 6.3" Height: 2"
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2002
Publisher   Navpress Publishing Group
ISBN  1576832899  
EAN  9781576832899  
Point/Type Size: 0.00

Availability  0 units.

Alternate Formats List Price Our Price Item Number Availability
Hardcover - Full Color $ 34.99 $ 29.74 27276 In Stock
Hardcover $ 39.99 $ 33.99 10007
Hardcover - Navy Blue $ 39.99 $ 33.99 19745 In Stock
Hardcover - Full Color (Large Print) $ 39.99 $ 33.99 59019 In Stock
Imitation Leather - Burgundy (Large Print) $ 59.99 $ 50.99 59018 In Stock
Paperback - Full Color $ 7.99 $ 6.79 23710 In Stock
Paperback - Full Color $ 12.99 $ 11.04 33911 In Stock
Paperback - Full Color (Large Print) $ 19.99 $ 16.99 9993 In Stock
Item Description...
The entire Bible in contemporary language--paraphrased translation in the form of a personal message to the reader (reads more like a narrative)

*reader friendly
*no verse numbers or formal language

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More About Eugene H. Peterson

Eugene H. Peterson Eugene H. Peterson (born November 6, 1932), is a pastor, scholar, author, and poet. He has written over thirty books, including Gold Medallion Book Award winner The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language[1] (Navpress Publishing Group, 2002), a contemporary translation of the Bible.

Peterson was born in East Stanwood, Washington and grew up in Kalispell, Montana. He earned his B.A. in philosophy from Seattle Pacific University, his S.T.B. from New York Theological Seminary, and his M.A. in Semitic languages from Johns Hopkins University. He also holds several honorary doctoral degrees. In 1962, Peterson was a founding pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) in Bel Air, Maryland, where he served for 29 years before retiring in 1991. He was Professor of Spiritual Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia until retiring in 2006. He now lives in Montana.

Eugene H. Peterson currently resides in Vancouver. Eugene H. Peterson was born in 1932.

Eugene H. Peterson has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Experiencing God
  2. Exploration in Vocational Holiness
  3. First Book Challenge
  4. Growing Deeper
  5. Growing in Christ
  6. LifeChange
  7. Lifeguide Bible Studies
  8. Message
  9. My First Message
  10. Navpress Devotional Readers
  11. Quiet Times for the Heart
  12. Studies in Christian Living

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Bibles > Other   [1325  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Bibles > Translations > Message   [85  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Read's like a childrens book  Jul 14, 2005
Ok, if you have a very small vocabulary and don't like to get the exact meaning of things but like to get an overall idea of what is going on, then this book is for you. It's so paraphrased that is honostly upsets me. It seems like it's not even really the bible. Passages and stories are designed to read like modern day times, but the only problem is that this stuff isn't modern day at all, and isn't supposed to be. I don't suggest it unless you've never read the bible before and are in elementary school.
"The Message" is clear and unchanged  Jun 25, 2005
First a quick personal testimony. Second an answer to some of the critics.

Please understand that my intent is not to bash reviewers with whom I disagree. My intent is to address some of the criticisms that "The Message" has been hit with. Many of these reviews use biblical texts to mislead and are based on personal biases, not biblical truth as they would have you believe. And many other criticisms don't provide any support whatsoever for their ideas .

I have found this version of the Bible refreshing. There is an assumption within the translation that the Bible is given to us for LIVING, not for mere thinking and forming religious systems. Many do not understand this, which is the reason that you will see criticism of the translation of words such as "salvation", "repentance", "faith" (which is not merely believing certain facts about God or Jesus), etc. It has opened my eyes to the meaning of the many verses of the Bible that I have struggled with. One of the strengths of this translation is how each chapter and paragraph, especially within the Epistles, is connected to the others. There is a logical flow, much like you would expect in a letter. It's easier to see the overall idea of a book, and enables doctrine to be formed by looking at the "message" as a whole, not in a chopped up way where doctrines appear to be unrealted to each other.

All that being said, I don't believe that this Bible is meant to be used on it's own, and neither does the author. From the intro to "The Message" - "Keep in mind that The Message is a reading Bible. It is not intended to replace study Bibles." This is from "The Message//Remix". You will find that this paraphrase complements the "word for word" translations very nicely. I repeat, USE IT AS A COMPLEMENT TO A MORE WORD FOR WORD VERSION. They are meant to go together. This doesn't make The Message any less true or useful.

The one criticism that I have is that there is no index in the back (once again, not meant to be used as a study Bible).

While "The Message" can speak for itself, I would also like to take the time to address the accusations of many of the reviewers. I can understand why some are wary of translation issues, I am one of them. It is important to understand the differences between "word for word" and "thought for thought" translations. But I am disturbed by the lies of those reviewers who accuse Peterson of not being a Christian, and amazed that people so freely use bible verses to mean that THEY are right about everything. They usually have their mind made up before hand and will seek diligently to prove their beliefs. They use verses like Deuteronomy 4:2 "You shall not add to the word which I command you to observe, nor take anything from it" and Deuteronomy 12:32 "Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it." and Proverbs 30:5-6 "Every word of God is pure..Do not add to His words, lest He reprove you, and you be found a liar."

What is the reviewer trying to say here? That all thought for thought translations are perverted forms of the Bible. Clearly some people have no idea what the "Word of God" is, as if it is merely black lines scribbled on ancient parchment, confined to space and time. Taking this logic to it's conclusion, we'd all have to learn Greek and Hebrew! Let noone tell you that the "literal versions" don't have translation philosophies, they do. That doesn't mean that we can all just go out and produce our own Bibles. There has to be accountability. But there is no reason to accuse Peterson of "preaching a different gospel".

Maybe you will read someone using Galations 1:8 to prove that there is a "different gospel" being preached. Please note that they probably don't tell you how, but simply use this verse to prove that they're thoughts on The Message are right. If there is some sort of a reference, investigate it. You will find that the message has not changed.

Or another comical one was that "The Message" doesn't use the word "Lord" when referring to Jesus, using "Master" (which they say to be a new age word) instead. Here is the definition of "lord" per Webster's Collegiate Dictionary - a person having great power and authority; ruler; MASTER. Check it out for yourself, lord and master have virtually the same meaning. While the true understanding of the word "lord" has been lost to us, the meaning of the word "master" remains. This is the whole philosophy of "The Message"!!! There is NOTHING occultic about the word "master".

Here are some other specific criticisms:

Acts 20:21
KJV: Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
Message: urging Jews and Greeks alike to a radical life-change before God and an equally radical trust in our Master Jesus.

The reviewer than says "Faith is changed to "radical trust", and repentance toward God is removed in favor of a "radical life-change"."

Tell me, what is "faith"? To the reviewer, it must be different that trust, it must be an understanding of doctrine or something. The criticism that "Christians don't believe in God, they believe in their beliefs" is justified by this thought. And this reviewer does not fully understand what repentance is. Repentance IS life change. Not merely "feeling bad" as this reviewer supposes. Repentance is not a thought, it's a reality, a CHANGE in heart that leads to a CHANGE in life. An important idea to understand, it contrasts with what we usually think of as "repentance". True repentance is defined as (per the complete word study new testament) as - "to repent with regret accompanied with a change of heart toward God". Not feeling bad and then believing a new set of doctrines. My point here is to show that the reviewers criticism is not valid.

Acts 16:31
KJV: And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Message: They said, "Put your entire trust in the Master Jesus. Then you'll live as you were meant to live--and everyone in your house included!"

The reviewer said: "The above paraphrase also changed the message of salvation into living your life, actually deleted any reference to salvation."

There is a very important doctrinal difference between the reviewer and the Bible here. The reviewer views salvation as merely "getting forgiven" or maybe just "not going to hell". " What does life have to do with salvation?" this reviewer would say. "Salvation" cut off from actual life, viewing salvation as little more than a doctrine, is the main reason that Christians don't seem more moral, joyful, or hopeful than anyone else. Contrast this thinking with Luke 13:18-22 where you see the Kingdom of God compared to a growing seed or yeast pervading the entire life. Salvation cannot be reduced to a thought, or a doctrine, or some kind of a legal condition that we're never really sure if we're in. It is a REALITY, a new life given to us by God through Jesus. This is a VERY important issue, and The Message does illustrate the difference between the Bible and the commonly taught and understood concept of "salvation"!! It's good that people have noticed! I encourage you to think more about the relevance of God to our lives NOW for yourselves! Don't reduce Jesus to some kind of pawn in a dogmatic game of "getting to heaven". That is a far cry from the true message of the Bible. My point here is not to preach, but just to demonstrate that the reviewers criticism that there is no reference to "salvation" is not true.

One criticism that is true is that Eugene Peterson did the translation himself. This doesn't, however, automatically make it bad or wrong or "new age" or anything. But it is a reason to use it alongside another version. ANY translation should be used that way, including KJV, NIV, NASB, etc. (all of which will contradict each other in translation in places).

Once again, please understand that my intent is not to bash reviewers with whom I disagree. My intent is simply to address some of the criticisms that "The Message" has been hit with. These reviews mislead and are based on personal biases, not biblical truth as they would have you believe. And don't underestimate the power of crying out to God for understanding! He is the Author and the Way! There are important issues here!

Mike Herzberger

Good version for devotional reading; not serious Bible study  May 27, 2005
This version of the Bible is, in my opinion, good only for leisurely reading. The lack of verse numbers allows the reader to continue reading and not lose their train of thought. When it says, "contemporary language," that's exactly what you will get. I would rate the readability of "The Message" on an eighth or ninth grade reading level.

This version is a paraphrase; it only puts forth the idea of what the Scripture passage is conveying. But be cautious: like other paraphrases I have read in the past, the thing to remember is that the translator's beliefs and doctrines are usually interjected into the translation.

I would never recommend "The Message" for serious Bible study; NIV, KJV, or even the English Standard Version are better choices for study. But as far as easy reading, "The Message" is a good choice.
Refreshing, enjoyable, uplifting!  Apr 21, 2005
I have read the Bible in a few other translations and while I was curious about the Message I never considered it a real "Bible" and since my reading time is limited I stuck with more traditional translations. I have finally began reading it (ok so I read NIV alongside) but either way I find it wonderfully refreshing. Some people complain that he takes too much liberality with his metaphors and although not all of them hit the mark some of them are really great. My biggest complaint about other reviewers is that they have given low ratings just because they don't think it counts as an official "Bible" version. Is that really a fair criteria? Was that the author's aim in writing it? Whatever you believe about that issue shouldn't impact your grade of the text. Its a good read and a helpful guide, and for that its worth 5 stars, no matter what you think about the issue of it being a real Bible!
I Couldn't Go Lower Than a 1  Mar 30, 2005
The Message is a book of Bible stories by Eugene Peterson. It is NOT a Bible. Unfortunately, people believe that it is. It is actually well beyond a paraphrase. It is, unfortunately, now being quoted everywhere one goes, and in books, sermons, etc. I have read that the author himself, Peterson, is somewhat distressed that people are taking it as an actual Bible translation. I think it wise to heed the author's distress. Make a wise choice of a formal equivalent Bible translation in modern English, such as NKJV, NASB, ESV, HCSB. There you will be getting the Scriptures themselves.

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