Author Topic: The Message  (Read 12933 times)

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Offline prodromas

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The Message
« on: October 09, 2007, 07:25:10 AM »
Has anyone heard of the Message translation of the bible? I don't want this discussion to fizzle down to which English translation is authoritative for Orthodox but just a genuine what is up with this version? here are some examples of the translations that freak me out and take away the succinct beauty of the verses:

1 Corinthians 10:16 (King James Version)
King James Version (KJV)

16The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

1 Corinthians 10:16 (The Message)
The Message (MSG)

15-18I assume I'm addressing believers now who are mature. Draw your own conclusions: When we drink the cup of blessing, aren't we taking into ourselves the blood, the very life, of Christ? And isn't it the same with the loaf of bread we break and eat? Don't we take into ourselves the body, the very life, of Christ? Because there is one loaf, our many-ness becomes one-ness—Christ doesn't become fragmented in us. Rather, we become unified in him. We don't reduce Christ to what we are; he raises us to what he is. That's basically what happened even in old Israel—those who ate the sacrifices offered on God's altar entered into God's action at the altar.



John 3:16 (King James Version)
King James Version (KJV)

16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:16 (The Message)

16-18"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. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person's failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.

The sins I don't commit are largely due to the weakness of my limbs.

1915-1923 Հայոց Ցեղասպանութիւն ,never again,
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: The Message
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2007, 07:34:41 AM »
This isn't that version in which St. Peter gets called "Rocky" by Christ is it?
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Offline EofK

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Re: The Message
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2007, 08:48:30 AM »
This isn't that version in which St. Peter gets called "Rocky" by Christ is it?

LOL... I can just see it... "Yo, Adrienne!"

The Message, though, isn't really a translation, it's a paraphrase designed to put the scriptures in modern language so we "modern" people can understand it.  A third-hand passing on of the story, if you will.  A lot of people like it because it puts the scriptures in a new light, but I for one don't feel it's trustworthy.  For it to paraphrase the scripture would involve an awful lot of interpretation, more so than just a translation. (And Eugene Peterson is a Presbyterian pastor, so I imagine what interpretation bleeds through will be through Presbyterian eyes.)
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Offline Anastasios

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Re: The Message
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2007, 09:42:23 AM »
The worst one I have seen so far is "The Word on the Street" and "The Word on the Street: Remix"

My dad's friend, a New Zealander, remembered a book floating around called something like, "God is for real, man"

I have also seen the "Black Bible Chronicles" detailing the adventures of Jesus and his possee. ugh.
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Offline Veniamin

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Re: The Message
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2007, 09:44:33 AM »
This isn't that version in which St. Peter gets called "Rocky" by Christ is it?

So do we sing "Eye of the Tiger" instead of "Christ is risen", then?
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: The Message
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2007, 10:55:29 AM »
So do we sing "Eye of the Tiger" instead of "Christ is risen", then?

Christ is Risen = Word up!
Truly He is Risen = Sho 'nuff!
« Last Edit: October 09, 2007, 10:55:40 AM by cleveland »
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: The Message
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2007, 11:14:58 AM »
Christ is Risen = Word up!
Truly He is Risen = Sho 'nuff!

Oh dear! To think that the Gospel which Christ preached in a way that even the uneducated peasantry could understand needs to be dumbed down today. This is so depressing. Where's that bottle of Jagermeister?
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: The Message
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2007, 01:03:31 PM »
Oh dear! To think that the Gospel which Christ preached in a way that even the uneducated peasantry could understand needs to be dumbed down today. This is so depressing. Where's that bottle of Jagermeister? 

Well, thankfully this version of the great Paschal dialog hasn't needed to be used yet.
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
Met. Meletios of Nikopolis & Preveza, from his ordination.

Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: The Message
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2007, 01:14:13 PM »

Oh dear! To think that the Gospel which Christ preached in a way that even the uneducated peasantry could understand needs to be dumbed down today. This is so depressing. Where's that bottle of Jagermeister?
Oh my! It looks like no one else likes ebonics either. ;D
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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: The Message
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2007, 01:17:05 PM »
Oh, no...not THAT again...
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: The Message
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2007, 01:19:44 PM »
Oh, no...not THAT again...
No no, just teasing my buddy George... ;)
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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: The Message
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2007, 01:24:21 PM »
Whew... :D
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Offline observer

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Re: The Message
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2007, 06:13:45 PM »
I heard some computer geek or greek ;D was translating the Gospel into binary code - nah just joking! ::)
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Offline Nyssa The Hobbit

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Re: The Message
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2007, 06:22:59 PM »
No, the "Rocky" version is a different one.

I used to like The Message.  My Evangelical Free pastor told us it was great, so I got a copy.  I read the New Testament and was maybe halfway through the Old when I realized it was changing things.  It was not a reliable paraphrase or a reliable source for good hermeneutics etc.  Yet EVERYbody references it in Evangelicalism these days.  Pastors read from it, magazine articles use it, even Rick Warren uses it.  I finally got sick of it and gave it away to charity.

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Offline Ian Lazarus

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Re: The Message
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2007, 06:28:22 PM »
"And some of yous aint gonna die until you see Da Kingdom comin' down like gangbusters!"
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Offline prodromas

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Re: The Message
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2007, 06:52:26 PM »
Is it really paraphrased? when I see verses like the famous John 3:16 simple yet powerful message change from one sentence to a paragraph it worries me to see the actual physical size of the message!
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1915-1923 Հայոց Ցեղասպանութիւն ,never again,
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(1914-1923) Ελληνική Γενοκτονία, never again

Offline EofK

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Re: The Message
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2007, 08:44:12 PM »
I used to like The Message.  My Evangelical Free pastor told us it was great, so I got a copy.  I read the New Testament and was maybe halfway through the Old when I realized it was changing things.  It was not a reliable paraphrase or a reliable source for good hermeneutics etc.  Yet EVERYbody references it in Evangelicalism these days.  Pastors read from it, magazine articles use it, even Rick Warren uses it.  I finally got sick of it and gave it away to charity.

I did too, just because it was a different perspective from the usual King James version you can't get away from in Baptist churches (or NIV, even worse). 

Yay for "hermeneutics!"  There's a word I haven't heard in years.

You're right, just about every Evangelical references the Message these days.  I'm not opposed to a paraphrase as long as it's not the sole source of contact with scripture.  If I had the time and a deeper knowledge of the language, I'd read the Septuagint and the NT in Greek, though.  I think I ended up giving my copy of the Message to charity as well.  Or maybe to a protestant friend.
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Offline EofK

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Re: The Message
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2007, 09:20:09 PM »
Is it really paraphrased? when I see verses like the famous John 3:16 simple yet powerful message change from one sentence to a paragraph it worries me to see the actual physical size of the message!

Paraphrased, not summarized.  It tends to expand on the really popular verses, especially John 3:16, and just rephrase the less exciting ones.  That's where you really see the private interpretation coming through.  The John 3:16 passage reads like a hip-to-be-modern preacher would read it.  There are a lot of redundant phrases in that particular passage:

Quote
John 3:16-18 (The Message)
 16-18"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. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person's failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.

Here's an example of a passage you don't hear as often.  (I used the New American Standard as comparison as it tends to translate with less flair and just stick to what the word probably means.) 

Quote
Jude 22-23 (The Message)
 22-23Go easy on those who hesitate in the faith. Go after those who take the wrong way. Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. The sin itself stinks to high heaven.

Quote
Jude 22-23 (New American Standard)
22And have mercy on some, who are doubting;
23save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.

Notice the difference between Peterson's paraphrase and the NAS?  To me, there is an emphasis in the Message on "love the sinner, hate the sin" (implying the speaker has conquered sin), but in the NAS there's more emphasis on mercy (not the same as pity as the Message suggests) and fear for the other person's salvation as well as your own.  I think the NAS preserves the Orthodox view here.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2007, 09:29:25 PM by EofK »
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Offline Priest

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Re: The Message
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2007, 10:17:21 PM »
The message is that JEWS KILLED GOD-JESUS, WE HATE JEWS.

There, you don't have to read the whole book.

You're an idiot.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2007, 10:22:29 PM by ozgeorge »

Offline lubeltri

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Re: The Message
« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2007, 10:23:39 PM »
I've seen the Message all over the place myself.

It seems everybody has their own favored translations. Non-denom Evangelicals prefer the NIV. Fundamentalists tend to go for the King James. Conservative Reformed folks like my father really seem to like the New American Standard (at least, it seemed so at all the Reformed Baptist churches my father took me to growing up). Liberal Protestants go for the NRSV. Conservative Catholics like the RSV Catholic Edition and traditionalist Catholics go for the Douay-Rheims.

Offline EofK

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Re: The Message
« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2007, 10:57:37 PM »
The message is that JEWS KILLED GOD-JESUS, WE HATE JEWS.

There, you don't have to read the whole book.

You're an idiot.


Thank you, George.  :)  I agree.

PS:  Jesus is Jewish.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2007, 10:58:16 PM by EofK »
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Offline EofK

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Re: The Message
« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2007, 11:05:06 PM »
I've seen the Message all over the place myself.

It seems everybody has their own favored translations. Non-denom Evangelicals prefer the NIV. Fundamentalists tend to go for the King James. Conservative Reformed folks like my father really seem to like the New American Standard (at least, it seemed so at all the Reformed Baptist churches my father took me to growing up). Liberal Protestants go for the NRSV. Conservative Catholics like the RSV Catholic Edition and traditionalist Catholics go for the Douay-Rheims.

Interesting, isn't it?  I guess I betrayed my background there... my parents were Free Will Baptist, I went to a Southern Baptist school, so I gravitate toward the NASV and the NRSV.  I have to confess, I haven't done as much bible reading as I used to do so I'm not sure what version I like best these days.  I do appreciate the Orthodox Study Bible, though I've not been in it much. 
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. -- Douglas Adams

Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: The Message
« Reply #22 on: October 09, 2007, 11:07:35 PM »
The message is that JEWS KILLED GOD-JESUS, WE HATE JEWS.

There, you don't have to read the whole book.

You're an idiot.


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Offline BrotherAidan

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Re: The Message
« Reply #23 on: October 09, 2007, 11:27:28 PM »
Christ is Risen = Word up!
Truly He is Risen = Sho 'nuff!

LOL! Literally
thanks!  ;D

Offline BrotherAidan

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Re: The Message
« Reply #24 on: October 09, 2007, 11:36:53 PM »
Like it or hate it (the Message) Eugene Peterson is a good guy.

Not some liberal, nor some whiny evangelical.

He was trying to do a good thing. Whether he succeeded is totally up for grabs.

Most of these paraphrases die within a generation.

Here is something Peterson has said about discipleship:
This is slow work, it cannot be hurried.
This is urgent work, it cannot be procrastinated.

Pretty good thoughts.

I, myself, don't care for the Message.

But on the proverbial desert island, if I had a choice between only it and the NIV (the new reformed, calvinist protestant version) I would be hard-pressed to choose

Offline lubeltri

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Re: The Message
« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2007, 01:02:28 AM »
Interesting, isn't it?  I guess I betrayed my background there... my parents were Free Will Baptist, I went to a Southern Baptist school, so I gravitate toward the NASV and the NRSV.  I have to confess, I haven't done as much bible reading as I used to do so I'm not sure what version I like best these days.  I do appreciate the Orthodox Study Bible, though I've not been in it much. 

I've got a RSV-CE, which I like a great deal, though I'm planning on getting a pocket Douay-Rheims. With my historical and linguistic background, the 16th-century English doesn't bother me, so why the heck not? I don't have to have something in modern English. I could use something more sacral. I love the KJV, though it's not an option for devotional reading, being Protestant.

I'd love to have a copy of the Clementine or Stuttgart Vulgate, but my Latin skills aren't great, so it would be a pretty slow read. Not really good for devotional purposes until I am more proficient.


Offline EofK

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Re: The Message
« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2007, 08:44:44 AM »
With my historical and linguistic background, the 16th-century English doesn't bother me, so why the heck not? I don't have to have something in modern English. I could use something more sacral. I love the KJV, though it's not an option for devotional reading, being Protestant.

I like the 16th century English as well and I agree, I don't really care if it's modern language or not.  Agreed on the KJV, though... it's a beautiful read, but not great for devotion.  I've heard theories that Shakespeare had a hand in translating the KJV. 
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Offline prodromas

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Re: The Message
« Reply #27 on: October 10, 2007, 08:47:35 AM »
I like the 16th century English as well and I agree, I don't really care if it's modern language or not.  Agreed on the KJV, though... it's a beautiful read, but not great for devotion.  I've heard theories that Shakespeare had a hand in translating the KJV. 

Well Sir Francis Bacon translated that version and he is purported to be the writer which took on the pseudonym of Shakespeare to allow the defamation of the the royal family without repercussions on to himself.
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Offline EofK

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Re: The Message
« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2007, 09:01:13 AM »
Well Sir Francis Bacon translated that version and he is purported to be the writer which took on the pseudonym of Shakespeare to allow the defamation of the the royal family without repercussions on to himself.

Not a bad plan, if that's what happened.  I'm not sure where I stand on that whole debate; I'm of a mindset that I don't care much who wrote Hamlet as it's a fantastic piece of literature in any case.
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Re: The Message
« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2007, 10:20:35 AM »
I did too, just because it was a different perspective from the usual King James version you can't get away from in Baptist churches (or NIV, even worse). 

Yay for "hermeneutics!"  There's a word I haven't heard in years.

You're right, just about every Evangelical references the Message these days.  I'm not opposed to a paraphrase as long as it's not the sole source of contact with scripture.  If I had the time and a deeper knowledge of the language, I'd read the Septuagint and the NT in Greek, though.  I think I ended up giving my copy of the Message to charity as well.  Or maybe to a protestant friend.

Sorry, I disagree with the view that everyone in Evangelicalism references the Message. A lot of us use either the New King James, NIV, or NRSV (amongst other translations). I am not saying which is better or worse (that's not my point), just saying this: please don't generalise.

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Offline ComingHome

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Re: The Message
« Reply #30 on: October 10, 2007, 11:39:44 AM »
Here is a page that has some interesting commentary on The Message (I realize this page is Protestant to the core but it does give some good side-by-side comparisons of The Message with the KJV).

http://www.crossroad.to/Bible_studies/Message.html


Offline EofK

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Re: The Message
« Reply #31 on: October 10, 2007, 10:05:03 PM »
Sorry, I disagree with the view that everyone in Evangelicalism references the Message. A lot of us use either the New King James, NIV, or NRSV (amongst other translations). I am not saying which is better or worse (that's not my point), just saying this: please don't generalise.

Thank you.

No offense meant, I do apologise.  :) 
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. -- Douglas Adams

Offline Leumas

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Re: The Message
« Reply #32 on: October 11, 2007, 06:30:18 AM »
No offense meant, I do apologise.  :) 

Hey it's ok. I wasn't angry ... just wanted to point out what I felt to be a misrepresentation.

Thanks. :)
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: The Message
« Reply #33 on: October 11, 2007, 10:18:30 AM »
This post was made by the poster ComingHome, and went missing for some reason:

Here is a page that has some interesting commentary on The Message (I realize this page is Protestant to the core but it does give some good side-by-side comparisons of The Message with the KJV).

http://www.crossroad.to/Bible_studies/Message.html
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