The Message “Bible”

“The MESSAGE” is not an actual translation of the Bible!

My first Bible was an NLT study Bible from our church’s local bookstore.  I loved that Bible because it was easy for me to understand being a new Christian.  A few years into my walk, Eugene Peterson came out with “The Message,” and I had heard how easy to read and how modern it was.  I was intrigued, so purchased it.  It wasn’t long after that, that I began to seriously question what was in this new “Bible” translation.  Much of it, I found, was actually more difficult to understand and didn’t really make much sense, so I decided to research some information on this book I was reading.  After the information I found, I quickly got rid of “The Message” and will not depend on it again for any valid interpretation of Scripture.

If you’re taking “The Message” as the Word of God, it is not.  Do NOT depend on this book for accuracy.  It’s simply one man’s devotional book misinterpreted as God’s Word so that the book makes lots of money… and it’s working.

Reasons why you shouldn’t believe “The Message” Bible paraphrase:

1)    It was written by one man who thought his congregation was bored with the actual Bible and wanted to spice it up.

2)    The author, himself, does not think it should be read in church, worship, or studied.  It makes him uneasy thinking that it’s being used as the Word of God.  He knows it’s not.

3)    The publishers of this ‘version’ promoted it as a new version of the Bible even though the author knew that it was not.  They wanted it to be a best seller – and it is.

4)    Eugene’s “Bible” was to be interpreted and taught allegorically, not literally.

5)    And, most importantly, It’s not accurate and not God’s actual Words.  Why?

  1. Parts have been omitted
  2. Extra words have been added
  3. God’s main points have been misrepresented and changed to make it more interesting  (1,000’s of examples can be listed)
    1.   Instead of ‘respecting’ or ‘submitting to’ their husbands, wives are now told to ‘take care of them,’ totally different meaning
    2.   “Resist the devil and he will flee” has been changed to “yell no to the devil”
    3.   Changed from ‘the disciples were amazed’ to ‘the disciples went wild’, kind of sounds like they had a crazy party
    4.   “Every Word of God is pure…”  changed to “Every promise of God proves true”
    5.   Day and night become “Madame Day” and “Professor Night” in Psalm 19:1,  I guess they now have genders and names
  4. The Message changes what Jesus said including the Lord’s Prayer including “Holy be your name” to “Reveal who you are”.  “Do not lead us into temptation” becomes “keep us safe.”  So, we’ve taken out the fact that God is holy and perfect, and we’ve taken out the whole sin temptation thing and lowering it to a safety aspect.
  5. The original Hebrew & Greek texts were not referenced when it was made (which is required for all approved Bible translations).
  6. Long and formal Bible sentences have been replaced with punchy phrases that sometimes don’t even make sense.
  7. Specific sins have been removed, such as homosexuality, and it has been generalized to “use and abuse the earth.”

6)    True translations refer to Jesus as Lord Jesus over 100 times, while the Message never uses such titles as Lord Jesus, Lord & Savior, or Jesus Christ, or Our Savior Jesus Christ.

7)    The Message references Jesus 85 times and only as new age titles, “Master Jesus (82 times), Master God.  The Message changes His title to “The Presence” (John 3:13), Priest-of-My-Alter, Altar-Rock (Ps 19:14), God-Who-Puts-Everything-Right (Jer 23:6).  “Lord” was reworded into “My rescuing knight” (2 Sam 2:22)

8)    “Lord” or “Jehovah” is found nearly 80,000 times in over 6,500 verses in the Bibles, but only 62 times in The Message – mostly related to Lord God Most High.

9)    The intent was not that it be the Word Of God, but just a fun paraphrase.

  1. Psalm 119:14 “Thy Word is very pure; therefore thy servant loveth it.”  – Those who truly love God’s Word and know the power of it would never change it.  They accept it by faith.

10) The “Spirit” is not referenced in the text and has been replaced so that I doesn’t exist as a part of our being.

11)  Warning to changing scripture:  Revelation 22:18-19- For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

It’s best not to even reference this book, as it is a false “Bible.”  God doesn’t take too kindly to those who change and corrupt His Word and lead His children astray.  So, stick to Bible versions which are actually the Bible as only God’s true word can change lives.