Eugene Peterson's Message
All ready for some more New Age Bible version mumbo-jumbo?
Here's the latest The Message, "transliterated" by Eugene Peterson. The
following is a dig aimed at the authorized King James Bible is found at the
"One of the most striking features of the New
Testament is that it was written in the street language of the day. The idiom
of the playground and marketplace not the formal, lofty language of government
decrees and historical documents..."
This insult indeed judges them. In it, we see that they
don't consider God or His commandments lofty or formal. Yet doesn't the Bible
say that God is the Most High? Isn't He the High and Lofty One? Isn't the Jesus
Lord of lords and King of kings? Isn't He majestic? Then why in the world would
we use the worst of the English language to describe Him? Why would we use
"playground language"? Why wouldn't God's book be written in lofty language?
Lofty language is more consistent with God. Why wouldn't we use the best for
Him? We use the best in our textbooks, government documents, thesis papers--why
wouldn't we use the best for God Almighty?
Additionally, if The Message is so good, why try to
put down the King James Bible? Why not put down the
RV or the NKJV?
Because the Authorized Kings James is a superior translation. The Message
publishers attempt to pull down the best in order to exalt their own poor
There is so much wrong with this translation that it
speaks for itself. Below, on the left side, read the faithful, accurate King
James Bible, on the right side, read the irreverent, inaccurate message from
The Message. Note their use of New Age mumbo-jumbo like "energies" and "your
MATTHEW 5:1-8 KJV
MATTHEW 5:1-8 TM
|1 And seeing the
multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples
came unto him:
||1 When Jesus saw his
ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside... This is what he
|2 And he opened his mouth,
and taught them, saying,
||2 "You're blessed when
you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and
|3 Blessed are the poor in
spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
||3 "You're blessed when you
feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced
by the One most dear to you.
|4 Blessed are they that
mourn: for they shall be comforted.
||4 "You're blessed when
you're content with just who you are no more, no less. That's the moment
you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.
|5 Blessed are the meek:
for they shall inherit the earth.
||5 "You're blessed when
you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best
meal you'll ever eat.
|6 Blessed are they which
do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
||6 "You're blessed when you
care. At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find yourselves cared for.
|7 Blessed are the
merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
blessed when you get your inside world your mind and heart put right. Then
you can see God in the outside world.
|8 Blessed are the pure in
heart: for they shall see God.
Which one is clearer? Which one has less words and less
clouded meaning? How can people using these two radically different Bibles have
a Bible study without confusion? Which of these KJV words don't you understand?
In the next examples, The Message verses are all jumbled up into paragraphs so
it is not as easy to compare verse by verse, yet you will be able to follow
insofar as you can understand the mumbo-jumbo:
|13 Ye are the salt of the
earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted?
it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden
under foot of men.
"Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that
brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how
will people taste godliness? You've lost your usefulness and will end up
in the garbage.
"Here's another way to put it: You're here to be
light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be
kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I
make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a
bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you
there on a hilltop, on a light stand shine! Keep open house; be generous
with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up
with God, this generous Father in heaven." (148 words)--[NOTE: I did
not write this "148 words. I don't know what it means.")
|14 Ye are the light of the
world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
|15 Neither do men light a
candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth
light unto all that are in the house.
|16 Let your light so shine
before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father
which is in heaven.
|43 Ye have heard that it
hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
"You're familiar with the old written law, 'Love your friend,' and its
unwritten companion, 'Hate your enemy.' I'm challenging that. I'm telling
you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the
worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of
prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created
selves. This is what God does. He gives his best -- the sun to warm and
the rain to nourish -- to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice
and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus?
Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do
you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.
"In a word, what I'm saying is, Grow up. You're
kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity.
Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward
|44 But I say unto you,
Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate
you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
|45 That ye may be the
children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise
on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the
|46 For if ye love them
which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
|47 And if ye salute your
brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
|48 Be ye therefore
perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
6:1-4, 6 KJV
6:1-4, 6 TM
|1 Take heed that ye do not
your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of
your Father which is in heaven.
"Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don't
make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who
made you won't be applauding.
"When you do something for someone else, don't call
attention to yourself. You've seen them in action, I'm sure 'playactors' I
call them treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage,
acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the
crowds. They get applause, true, but that's all they get. When you help
someone out, don't think about how it looks. Just do it quietly and
unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love,
working behind the scenes, helps you out. . . .
"Here's what I want you to do: Find a quiet,
secluded place so you won't be tempted to role-play before God. Just be
there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from
you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace."
|2 Therefore when thou
doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do
in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men.
Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
|3 But when thou doest
alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
|4 That thine alms may be
in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee
|6 But thou, when thou
prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to
thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall
reward thee openly.
|6:9 After this manner therefore pray
ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
||With a God like this loving you, you
can pray very simply. Like this: Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are.
|6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done
in earth, as it is in heaven.
||Set the world right; Do what's best
as above, so below.
|6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.
||Keep us alive with three square meals.
|6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we
forgive our debtors.
||Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving
|6:13 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.
||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.
|5:7 For scarcely for a
righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would
even dare to die.
understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can
understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless
sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in
sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.
Now that we are set right with God by means of this
sacrificial death, the consummate blood sacrifice, there is no longer a
question of being at odds with God in any way. If, when we were at our
worst, we were put on friendly terms with God by the sacrificial death of
his Son, now that we're at our best, just think of how our lives will
expand and deepen by means of his resurrection life!
|5:8 But God commendeth his
love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
|5:9 Much more then, being
now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
|5:10 For if, when we were
enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more,
being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
5:20-21, 6:6-9 KJV
|5:20 Moreover the law
entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did
much more abound:
and doesn't, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness
we call grace. When it's sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin
can do is threaten us with death, and that's the end of it. Grace, because
God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us
into life-a life that goes on and on and on, world without end. . . .
Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was
nailed to the Cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life
no longer at sin's every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get
included in Christ's sin-conquering death, we also get included in his
life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead
it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death
have the last word.
|5:21 That as sin hath
reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto
eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
PHILIPPIANS 2:1-6 KJV
PHILIPPIANS 2:1-6 TM
|2:1 If there be therefore
any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of
the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any
difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means
anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care then do me a favor:
Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don't
push your way to the front; don't sweet-talk your way to the top. Put
yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting
your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of
himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself
that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not
|2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that
ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
|2:3 Let nothing be done
through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem
other better than themselves.
|2:4 Look not every man on
his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
|2:5 Let this mind be in
you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
|2:6 Who, being in the form
of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
PHILIPPIANS 2:12-16 KJV
PHILIPPIANS 2:12-16 TM
|2:12 Wherefore, my
beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now
much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and
in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy
is God's energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and
working at what will give him the most pleasure.
Do everything readily and cheerfully no bickering,
no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of
fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a
glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving
Message into the night so I'll have good cause to be proud of you on the
day that Christ returns. You'll be living proof that I didn't go to all
this work for nothing.
|2:13 For it is God which
worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
|2:14 Do all things without
murmurings and disputings:
|2:15 That ye may be
blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a
crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
|2:16 Holding forth the
word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run
in vain, neither laboured in vain.
PHILIPPIANS 4:4-9 KJV
PHILIPPIANS 4:4-9 TM
|4:4 Rejoice in the Lord
alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to
all you meet that you're on their side, working with them and not against
them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up
Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let
petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know
your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything
coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful
what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life
Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best
by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable,
authentic, compelling, gracious the best, not the worst; the beautiful,
not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.
|4:5 Let your moderation be
known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
|4:6 Be careful for
nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known unto God.
|4:7 And the peace of God,
which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through
|4:8 Finally, brethren,
whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever
things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there
be any praise, think on these things.
|4:9 Those things, which ye
have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the
God of peace shall be with you.
I don't know how anybody can say
this is right. Nevertheless, even after reading this comparison, some
people will still defend each Bible version as being true and right. They
can't all be right because they contradict each other. These people don't
want to face the facts they are proud and are so determined to be
"right" even in the face of facts. A wise man will consider his ways, but
the fool won't. He'll keep going on in his folly and paying the price.
When a man who is
honestly mistaken hears the truth,
he will either quit being mistaken or cease to be honest!
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