Reading Proverbs in The Message (!)

I’ve been reading through Proverbs repeatedly (aren’t I great) as we study it in our small group and while reading through Waltke’s commentary. I read it in the NLT, my secondary translation first, which is easier to understand but misses many Hebrew-isms, which is fine because then I read through it about four times in the HCSB, my primary translation.

I wanted to try other translations so I chose the REB next, an excellent literary translation which I’m almost finished with. Other than either some big words or words they use over dere in da UK that we don’t in the U.S., it has been a great read and I like the REB a lot.

I was re-reading Rick Mansfield’s blog post on his favorite translations and read this about The Message:

While I would never recommend it as a primary Bible, the Message is easily the best pure paraphrase of the entire Bible ever produced. Those who detest it don’t “get” it, in my estimation. Eugene Peterson essentially redefined the word paraphrase, which had previously been applied to works reworded from existing translations, since Peterson created his paraphrase directly from the Hebrew and Greek texts.

Some parts of the Message are admittedly troublesome and some parts are genius. I particularly like the Old Testament wisdom literature (especially Proverbs) in the Message.

I used to think the Message was abominable. But some of my blogging friends who are very knowledgeable about the original languages and translations said I should give it a chance, just as another one to use for comparison. Much of it makes me laugh (on the inside), which isn’t good, but some of it surprises me. See Psalm 119:92 with a surprise ending.

So at the risk of turning off some of you to this blog, I will be reading through Proverbs this time around in The Message translation. I know some of you think it’s from the devil, but Eugene Peterson is definitely one who is very serious about Scripture and has written a number of highly regarded books on the subject.

If anyone has done this or would like to do this with me, let me know.

Any silly comments will probably be deleted unless we want to have fun ridiculing them.

2 Responses to “Reading Proverbs in The Message (!)”


  1. 1 Gary Simmons

    Cool beans. Tell me how it goes. P.S. I finally gave in and wrote on the new NIV. Sort of. Feel free to stop by and take a look.

  2. 2 Scripture Zealot

    Thanks for not hating me. I’ll write about it if I have anything to say.

    I haad a feed of your name but nothing there. So I unsubscribed and resubbed and I’ve got you now. Sorry about that.
    Jeff

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