Those familiar with any part of the Bible will recognize John 3:16, with a mind-altering difference. The words are fresh, new, and sound like the 21st century. That's because they are from The Message, a presentation of the Word of God crafted for a modern age. Eugene Peterson, translator and editor, learned from his years of teaching and pastoring that most people, through familiarity or frustration with the Bible, were missing the whole message of Scripture: the Word that God uses to create and save us, heal and bless us, judge and rule over us. So he set out to give us that word in language we use every day, a reading Bible that would enable the Word to penetrate our hearts and minds, transforming us day by day into the person God desires us to be.
©2003 Eugene Peterson; (P)2003 Oasis Audio LLC, Under Arrangement With NavPress, Publisher Of The Original Book Version
"Acclaimed biblical language scholar Peterson has paraphrased the original Greek and Hebrew of these most popular books of the Bible into vibrant, easy-to-read modern English." (Ingram)
I love having this in audio book form, it means you can listen to scripture whilst carrying on with your day. I often found it hard to find time to sit down and read my Bible. Although I would make sure to try and do so everyday, often it would mean my time would be cut short. Being able to listen to this is great as it allows you to fit reading the word of God in to your day to day life, journey to and from work, cooking, house work, anywhere. As "The Message" translation is more fluid compared to others; this has helped when listening to it whilst on the move.
In this format, from Audible, it comes in 3 parts. Titled Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. This means its not easy to find particular books, chapters or verses. If this was an important feature for you, then I would suggest getting it in CD format, which would make it easier to find specific books and chapters. Otherwise I would definitely recommend getting a copy of this! Beautifully read and easy to listen to, but be warned its not so easy to put down! You may find you have spent the whole day absorbed in the word of God!
"Real Life Bible"
This paraphrase is the first Bible that speaks to my every day real life. It is a Bible that I feel I can actually do, not just read or listen to and try to figure out how do I do that in my everyday life. I'm a PK (preacher's kid) and attended Bible college and reading this is the first time in 40 years that I feel like I'm truly understanding God's word .
This is the finest paraphrase of the Bible that is in existence. Eugene Peterson makes the Bible come to life in our modern times. Highly recommended for Christians and non-Christians alike.
"A Bible that Makes You Laugh?"
If you don't think of the Bible for "casual listening" or "pleasure listening", this version of "The Message" will challenge that opinion. "The Message" has to be among the best - if not the best - English version for listening. The prose is contemporary and engaging and Eugene Peterson does an exceptional job providing continuity of the text where other, more literal versions do not. He captures the spirit of the text well, unafraid to use emotional terms and colloquial phrases to express the points. I have found myself laughing and smirking on multiple occasions at his choice of words - well-capturing the emotional tone (funny, serious, sarcastic, etc.) of the original authors.
While I would never use "The Message" as my exclusive study Bible, it is exceptional for my lengthy daily commute and I find it easier to track with than the New International Version to which I have listened. And it makes the Bible very approachable to anyone who considers it intimidating or too complicated. Peterson makes it clear in the introduction that he's aiming at a thought/sense translation, not a literal one. He absolutely hits the mark.
Kelly Ryan Dolan's reading is exceptional and nearly right-on; I have found few phrases or sentences that I would have emphasized differently. (He is consistently good with his reading of John Eldredge's "Waking the Dead".)
I would recommend this version to those who have never considered the Bible approachable; this version will change your mind. I can also recommend it to those who have read the Scriptures for years as this version will give you a fresh perspective. And for those who are convinced there is only one "real" version? Please remember that God expressed them through men in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek - not English - and that same Holy Spirit works to interpret the Scriptures for people of all tongues today - even contemporary English! God bless all who seek the truth.
"Not For Study, But For Illumination"
Simply the best modern translation of the Bible in existence. Not for detailed study of the scripture, but the translation was written to be read like a novel, and it succeeds. Many scriptures I'd been confused over became clear with this translation. I'm eagerly awaiting the Old Testament.
"Perfect translation for listening to."
By using current idioms Peterson brings the Bible to the 20th (and 21st) century. But this translation is also very easy on the ear. We should remember the original texts were supposed to be received by listening, not an individual sitting quietly and reading. I have found changing the "input" to the ear and not the eye, has added more meaning to already familiar texts. It is read in an interesting and at times exciting way, which fully captures Petersen's intent. A perfect example of the "change" from past translation: Instead of "Verily, verily I say to you..." is now " Are you listening to this? Really listening?"
"An easy and thought provoking listen"
I really enjoyed listening to this version while I am doing mindless chores around the house. Since it is using modern euphemisms, colloquialisms, and slang it is very easy to follow. When terms like self-help, new-age, or even stuff (George Carlin?) are used, I grasp the meaning of His sermon like I have never before. Really worth your while to listen to.
I am a new Christian. I got the King James version and it was good but kept putting me to sleep. The Message on the other hand is so good it's hard to stop listening! The reader narrates with all the enthusiam of Tony Robbins which I think is a good thing. This version of the Bible truely breaths new life into stories and letters I've heard since I was a child. The language is easy to understand without changing the story. It is powerful and wonderful and an absolute joy to listen to! This one will stay on my IPOD for life!!!
"Higest praises for a great listening experience"
The Message is more of a paraphrase than a translation, so it's not meant for serious Bible study. If you just want to pick up something to read, however, it's nicely done.
But we're here to talk about the audiobook: This recording is simply superb! It's like listening to a novel. Great for readers/listeners who are familiar with the New Testament and for those to whom it is brand new.
"You cannot escape the impact"
The narrator is just awesome, even if you just listen for five minutes, you are bound to be impacted. Eugene Paterson has done what the disciples did 2000 years ago in Acts chapter 2, as they changed the level of the use of language for religious matters, i.e. from high Hebrew theological to common street Greek, and other local lannguages and made Jesus and the Message of God for the common folk. This is why the people were surprised as well as called them drunk at the same time.
"A Real Life Message for Today's Confusing World"
The Message is truly inspirational and completely catches the listener off guard. Many translations of the Bible leave many people wondering about the understanding or meaning of what they read. The Message brings these difficult understandings and meanings to life in today's vernacular. It speaks in an understanding that allows insight to any individual who opens their heart and mind.
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