The Message

The Message

21st November 2018

One of the functions of a pastor or shepherd is to protect the flock, the flock being the congregation in their care. And it is out of this pastoral duty that I am writing this warning to all Christians.

As Christians we face all kinds of dangers which can harm us. One of the dangers we face comes from those who try to mislead us or keep us from knowing the truths of scripture. This usually comes from false teachers but it can also come from books. And it is a book that I want to warn you about on this occasion.

The book in question is one that is called ‘The Message’. It claims to be a bible for modern times but in truth it is not a true bible. It is a paraphrase of the bible, written by Eugene Peterson. The books of the bible were written in three languages; Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. They were inspired by the Holy Spirit and the words were chosen very carefully. And anyone who translates these languages into English must be careful to make sure that the meaning of the original language is accurately expressed in the new language. They must not add something that was not in the original language or take away something that was there in the original language. If this is not done then we will misunderstand what God is saying to us and we will miss out on some things that God wants to say to us. The trouble is Eugene Peterson did not follow these important rules. Instead he chose to write a book based on the bible but written so as to conform to the current values and thinking of the Western world which are often at odds with the truths of the bible. He was conforming to the pattern of this world which Paul told us not to do. See Romans 12:2.

In ‘The Message’, Eugene Peterson has omitted words from the original text and added words that were never there. In doing so he has destroyed much of the original meaning of the texts. I suggest you read his versions of Matthew 6:9-13 and 1 Corinthians 6:9 and you will see what I mean. Understanding and putting into practice all the truths in the bible are so important for us as Christians but ‘The Message’ stops this from happening and that is why it is so dangerous. If we read this book it will have damaging effects upon our lives because it will mislead us. Therefore, if you have one of these counterfeit bibles I urge you to destroy it and have nothing to do with it. And it should not be used in your church or your study groups.