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Is the Message Bible good to use or not?

Discussion in 'Bible Study Q & A' started by Jesus Freak, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. Jesus Freak

    Jesus Freak Well-Known Member

    Is it bad to read paraphrased scripture? Im not memorizing or anything just reading it. Also, spare me the KJV only comments please. :)
  2. GlennO

    GlennO Well-Known Member

    Short answer...Think Rick Warren....:nono

    I'll go deeper if you want JF.

  3. Jesus Freak

    Jesus Freak Well-Known Member

    Okay. Gotcha Glenn. There is absolutely nothing else you need to say. hahaha Thanks brother.
  4. mattfivefour

    mattfivefour Well-Known Member

    Good paraphrases are not bad. They help you get a sense of what God is saying. Unfortunately the Message "bible" is not one of them. It uses New Age terms in reference to God and the spiritual realm and significantly twists the meaning of some scriptures to actually mean the opposite of what the original says. It is not worth the time to read it.

    I would recommend the Living Bible, The Good News Bible (also known as Today's English Version), The Bible in Basic English. But remember these are good for an overall reading. You cannot properly discern God's Word and derive His doctrines from paraphrases. You need a good translation, not a paraphrase.

    I highly recommend the NASB; the NIV is also good. Personally, I use them in conjunction with the KJV and about a dozen other translations. But you cannot go wrong with any one of them. The John MacArthur or Charles Stanley's study versions of the NASB are particularly useful for study ... but remember that just because either of them believes a certain meaning of scripture does not mean that they are necessarily correct in all things. Use them as a guide, perhaps, but let God speak to you directly from His Word.
  5. GlennO

    GlennO Well-Known Member

  6. Meg

    Meg Well-Known Member

    This thread is another really good one. Thank you Glenn and Adrian for answering with dignity and respect. If someone just goes emotional and tells me the Message is terrible, get rid of it before it catches my bookcase on fire, I'm going to tune them out. Give me a good reason on the other hand to get rid of my copy, and yes I still do have a copy (now on its way to the trash, because I know exactly what "As above, So Below" actually means...), I will take your reasoning seriously and make an informed choice. Why did I hang on to that book for so long? Because Peterson says he is a Pastor who taught Greek and Hebrew at a theological seminary! He is alleged in the introduction to be a professor and scholar! If I have to decide if I am going to believe a man who is stated to be a college professor teaching Greek and Hebrew, or someone trying to get me to believe that the KJV is the world''s only credible translation of the Bible... Well, I finally got rid of my copy of the Message, but my 2 Life Application NIV's stay, OK.

    I never did read the Gospels in the Message; thats how I missed the Pagan stuff. I kind of liked what he did with the Epistles and some of the OT, and I liked the book intros. This thread raises a very disturbing point though, in that there may be room to wonder if Peterson honestly has no idea, or at least when he first did the message, had no idea, what "As above, So Below" actually means to the people who use that phrase. To put it simply, "below" doesn't mean Earth, as related to Heaven above, "below" means wherever satan is now, only they don't think its satan, they think it means something else like tinkerbell, and the "above" part? Thats Earth, where we are now. Thats how genuine new agers who use that phrase correctly explain it anyway.

    OK, so that being unpacked, question for Mattfivefour, whats the technical difference between the NIV and the NASB? I have both, but work in the NIV.
  7. mattfivefour

    mattfivefour Well-Known Member

    I am not qualified to tell you the technical difference. But I find that while the NASB uses the best manuscripts available (as does the NIV) and modern English (again as does the NIV) to translate the words from the original Greek, Hebrew and Chaldean, it tends to do so in a manner that is a lot closer to the majesty and cadence of the KJV, which I happen to like. Dr. Charles Stanley calls the NASB the most accurate translation of all. From what I have learned, I would agree.
  8. Robert

    Robert Well-Known Member

    The KJV, ONLY if you have no other bible handy! :lol:

    Seriously, I would not use the "Message" to form doctrine or do serious research. I prefer the KJV myself, but due to personal preference. God would not allow the creation of numerous translations just to let Satan trick people into reading a "perverted" version. All the same, some like the message you do need to take care around, IMO.
  9. Semachiah

    Semachiah New Member


    Well I can see that I will not be staying on these forums very long but I have to stand up and say even though I do not like the Message Bible it is fine to use. Use whatever offers you understanding. When you were growing up and in school the teacher did not just use any one way to teach you things. They presented what they wanted and then they offered other ways for you to see the information. Once they saw that you were grasping the concept then they led you back into thew understanding that they wanted you to obtain from the onset. It is much better for you to have an incomplete understanding than it is to be totally lost.

    The Message Bible was desinged by Eugene Peterson for just that purpose. He designed it so that his CHRISTian college students could get a basic understanding of the concepts of the Bible before he and other professors would want them to go more deeply into it and for those students who would otherwise never open a Bible again. he never claims it to be more than a paraphrase and he never intended it to become something that someone would ever rest upon.

    It appears that there are 10,000 different Bibles available in the bookstore today. Which one is "right"? The one that brings you closer to YHVH. What may help today may seem almost offensive tomorrow as your understanding grows. My Jewish forefathers refused to allow YHVH to be YHVH. They preferred to rest in "their understanding" of what YHVH had said and failed to be led by The SPIRIT into any greater depths within The WORD. They were condemned for this by many of the early CHRISTians and by many young or immature ones today and they are guilty of the exact same practices. Y'SHUA said...
    Mar 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
    NOBODY has it all; has it all right or understands it all, NOBODY!
    If you claim that you do then you have become stuck in your own tradition and cannot be led by YHVH. You will then be left to die in your own personal desert.
    Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
    If you claim to be "a Son" of YHVH then you must be able to be led by YHVH through HIS SPIRIT into new understandings. This cannot happen if you are locked into your "Traditions"!
  10. Semachiah

    Semachiah New Member


    The NASB is an excellent text translation of the Textus Receptus (TR). It is probably the most accurate version available for us today. The problem is not in the translation of most Bibles but in what they are translated "FROM". At the Council of Nicea, around 325 CE or AD what today we call the "Catholic Church" (RCC) corrupted the TR. At that Council they added to the text. Today with almost 5000 texts, manuscripts, scrolls and fragments of Biblical and pre-Biblical writings available to us we have been able to discover most or possibly all of their corruptions.

    Today the Textus Vaticanus (TV) proves to be a more accurate version of the original text. At the time the TR was chosen it, the TR was a more complete version and thus it was taken as the choice text. The TR had its areas of incompleteness and worse, it actually disagreed with the RCC doctrine in places but at Nicea they corrected these failings. This then "corrected" version is what was disseminated for translation purposes. All the while the TV was left in the hands of the Eastern Orthodox Church (EOC). This was basically then left untouched with the noted exceptions of where it contained missing section. For these the EOC referred it readers to the TR; this is and was the right thing to do!

    The RCC was attempting to quiet the cries of the people about the corrupt priesthood. They people were demanding to know why there were basically no more miracles occurring? They wanted to know why the people were being relegated to little more than tools to finance the church. They wanted to know why "they" were not allowed by the church to do the miracles that Y'SHUA had promised that they would do. By adding to The Scriptures the RCC could quiet the masses and control them into the future until they became much like cattle. Later the Church of England (CoE) did even more of this when they translated the KJV with the additional condition that they not offend their financier; King James.

    Thus what we have today are good translation of a bad or more accurately phrased corrupted document. The best available Bible for us today is that which the EOC uses but it is not commonly translated for English usage.
    In any case one might then ask, "Why would YHVH allow this for HIS Sons?"
    Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
    We are not to have idols or place anything above YHVH. We are not to look to anything else or depend upon or even to absolutely trust anything above the leading that YHVH will provide through HIS HOLY SPIRIT.
    When I was growing up the KJV was so idolized that it was almost a sin to place something on top of it, physically I mean. It was declared by some to be sacrilegious to write in your copy of it. Today we have the "KJV Only" cult within the body.
    Deut 6:4 "Sh'ma, Yisra'el! ADONAI Eloheinu, ADONAI echad [Hear, Isra'el! ADONAI our God, ADONAI is one];
    6:5 and you are to love ADONAI your God with all your heart, all your being and all your resources.

    "ALL" does not mean that you can share this love for YHVH with ANY other thing; ANY!
    Exd 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name [is] Jealous, [is] a jealous God:
  11. mattfivefour

    mattfivefour Well-Known Member

    Welcome to RF, Semachiah. Glad you joined us. Hope you will find good fellowship here.

    But I must take issue with a couple of statements in your second post. Not to be disagreeable, but I am not sure where you came up with the idea that the current NASB used the TR and the idea that the TV is superior to the TR.

    The NASB actually uses critical texts incorporating all of the lexicographical knowledge gleaned from the latest recovered papyrii—Jewish, Christian and secular—along with the Dead Sea Scrolls. Speciifically, the current major revision (1995) of the NASB uses the Hebrew critical text derived from the third edition of Rudolf Kittel's Biblia Hebraica, as well as the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia and the Dead Sea Scrolls. For the Greek it uses the 26th edition of Eberhard Nestle's Novum Testamentum Graece.

    Interestingly, Dr. Jack Lewis, one of the main translators of the NIV, praises the NASB as representing "a step forward in the communication of God's Word", adding that "it supplies many insights into obscure passages." I don't know if you are familiar with radio pioneer V.E. Howard who founded the famous International Gospel Hour, but he was highly critical of nearly all modern bibles. He only ever recommended three translations: the KJV, the ASV, and the NASB.

    As to the Textus Vaticanus, it being an early Roman Catholic Church modification of the TR is, to put it honestly and frankly, a corrupted text that—without any justification whatsoever— removes 237 words, 452 clauses, and 748 entire sentences from Stephanus' Textus Receptus.
  12. GlennO

    GlennO Well-Known Member


    Meaty, solid and kind!:thumbup:thumbup:hat:
  13. GlennO

    GlennO Well-Known Member

    Traditions may come and go...but in the words of our Redeemer:

    (Luk 21:33) Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
  14. paul&katie

    paul&katie Well-Known Member

    I like this comment about the message – “Paraphrasing by New Age sympathizers can sometimes generate interesting results!”

    The creator of the message added in pan-in-theism (god is in all things) and as said we should study the bible less not more, run from the heretical message bible!

  15. mattfivefour

    mattfivefour Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the link paul&katie. Excellent balanced resource. :thumbup
  16. myinnuendo999

    myinnuendo999 Well-Known Member



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