Tag Archive for 'The message'

The Message for Clarity

I have no idea if this clarity is correct but in looking at Proverbs 14:31 ESV

Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker,
but he who is generous to the needy honors him.

I can’t tell if the oppressor’s Maker is being insulted or the poor man’s Maker. Obviously they are the same Maker, but I was curious. So in looking at all the other translations I usually look at, I had no clue.

Proverbs 14:31 NLT
Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker,
but helping the poor honors him.

Proverbs 14:31 TNIV
Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker,
but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.

The others being almost identical to one of these.

So finally The Message takes a side.

Proverbs 14:31 MSG
You insult your Maker when you exploit the powerless;
when you’re kind to the poor, you honor God.

Do any of the Hebrew geeks know? Does it matter?

When The Message gets it right

Sometimes the Bible translation The Message gets it right when most or all others don’t in the opinion of a couple of bloggers. Here are two examples:


What’s your favorite passage from The Message?

A few months ago I decided to mainly write positive posts pertaining to translations. The Message isn’t one of my favorites but I’ve learned it has its bright spots thanks to other bloggers. If you don’t like it at all please don’t comment.

Mine is Psalm 119:92 “If your revelation hadn’t delighted me so, I would have given up when the hard times came.”

I wrote about this in a previous post.

If you have a favorite verse or passage, or more than one, please post them here.

Psalm 131:1 – What a difference a translation makes

Psalm 131:1 ESV
O LORD, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.

I don’t know what “my heart is not lifted up” or “my eyes are not raised too high” means.

Psalm 131:1 TNIV
My heart is not proud,
Lord, my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
or things too wonderful for me.

TNIV clarifies this by indicating that it’s about pride and haughtiness. But are we not supposed to think of great matters or strive to concern ourselves with wonderful things that may for now be too wonderful for us to understand?

Psalm 131:1 NASB
O LORD, my heart is not proud,
nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me.

Even NASB is more clear on a couple of these things.

Psalm 131:1 HCSB
Lord, my heart is not proud;
my eyes are not haughty.
I do not get involved with things
too great or too difficult for me.

I’m kind of surprised that HCSB uses the archaic word haughty. How about arrogant or egotistical?

Psalm 131:1 MSG
GOD, I’m not trying to rule the roost,
I don’t want to be king of the mountain.
I haven’t meddled where I have no business
or fantasized grandiose plans.

This is a nice interpretation of what the meaning may be.

John Gill on v. 1b:
neither do I exercise myself in great matters; or, “walk” (m) in them; these were not the subject of his employment and conversation; he did many great things, in killing the lion and the bear that came into his father’s flock; in slaying Goliath with a sling and stone only; in leading out the armies of Israel, and slaying his ten thousands; and he exercised himself in the great things of the law, which he was careful to observe, and studied the great things of the Gospel, which he had the highest esteem of, and desired to understand; but he did not seek human greatness, or the great things of this world, for himself; he had no ambitious views, or was desirous of the kingdom he was anointed to, before the proper time; see 1 Samuel 18:18;

or in things too high for me: or “too wonderful” (n); see Job 42:3. He contemplated the wonderful make and frame of his body, the texture, symmetry, and use of each of its parts; he observed the wonderful providences of God towards him ever since he had a being; and particularly he took notice of the wonderful love of God to him, and remembered and talked of, and declared, the wonderful works of grace and redemption; but not things above his capacity, out of his reach, and which are secret, or not clearly revealed: and such things we should be content to be ignorant of, or not to have adequate ideas of, or be capable of accounting for;

Related Scripture:

Romans 12:3 HCSB For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one.

1 Corinthians 3:18-20 HCSB
No one should deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks he is wise in this age, he must become foolish so that he can become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God, since it is written: He catches the wise in their craftiness — 20 and again, The Lord knows the reasonings of the wise, that they are futile.

Philippians 1:9-10 HCSB
And I pray this: that your love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment, 10 so that you can determine what really matters and can be pure and blameless in the day of Christ,

(Emphasis added)

Philippians 2:21 HCSB
all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.

Psalm 119:92 with a surprise ending

Most translations of Psalm 119:92 go something like this:

If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction. (TNIV)

To me the word perish means to pass away, die a physical death, be destroyed etc.

Matthew Henry says:

He was in affliction, and ready to perish in his affliction, not likely to die, so much as likely to despair; he was ready to give up all for gone, and to look upon himself as cut off from God’s sight; he therefore admires the goodness of God to him, that he had not perished, that he kept the possession of his own soul, and was not driven out of his wits by his troubles, but especially that he was enabled to keep close to his God and was not driven off from his religion by them.

John Gill says:

must have perished, not eternally, but as to his comforts: his heart would have fainted in him, and he would have sunk under the weight of the affliction, had it not been for the relief he had from the word of God, the doctrines and promises of it;

So what is the only translation I found that conveys the meaning of this verse to me?

If your revelation hadn’t delighted me so,
I would have given up when the hard times came.
Psalm 119:92 The Message

I’ll just say that I don’t like The Message a lot, to put it in my vernacular. I’ve never seen a single verse or passage quoted that I liked until now. This is the only translation I found that conveys the meaning to me. Let’s just keep this between you and me. I know as of now there are about 6.7 trillion people who don’t read this blog.

For more reading:
C.H. Spurgeons’s The Treasury of David