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4.4 out of 5 stars160
4.4 out of 5 stars
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159 of 161 people found the following review helpful
on 8 October 2003
I borrowed the Message from my Mum while she was in Australia for a month and I've been totally loathed to give it back. I've used it every day. It's so accessible and easy to read. I particularly found it useful for reading the Old Testament. It reads like a story and while I certainly wouldn't recommend it as an alternative to the original translation it does take away the "Scare-Factor" I always used to feel.
Where the original translation seems distant and irrelevant the Message brings the Bible alive and has given me a great overview that I will now take back to my study of the original text.
The characters become real and the story unfolds so that you can follow threads that run through a text which spans hundreds of years and link the old with the new testament without getting bogged down in the language, layout or jargon.
I'd definitely recommend this to any Christian contemplating buying it. It's definitely cheaper on Amazon than anywhere else I've seen it, (and no they didn't pay me to write that!).It is a lot of money, but for me it has been a good investment and a great aid for getting my head around the Bible.
Hope you find my review helpful
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150 of 154 people found the following review helpful
on 19 November 2002
There have been many recent efforts to put the Bible into contemporary language. In our varied Western cultures and our so-flexible English language, the translator will always have an impossible task, trying to get across the original sense with a single translation, yet read elegantly and simply.

Some don't try - they render the original (or a 17th century AV) idiom, often trying to translate the ancient language word-for-word and yet somehow get this to read well in modern English. They might, if we're lucky, give us some help to understand this. These can make 'worthy' translations, but they aren't rated well for being intelligible to ordinary folk. Others go too far with idiomatic paraphrase in addressing a particular sector of readership: think of the 'hip' testaments; or there's the 1000 word Simple English NT that jumped through hoops to 'avoid difficult words'!

Most modern translations steer a middle course, and for the past 35 years, all those I've seen have done it pretty well. A few are outstanding. The Living Bible and Good News Bible are the two popular versions which get quite colloquial. Both have been criticised for it, usually for missing important - to the critic - nuances. Well, of course! You can't have it all!

Eugene Peterson's 'The Message' New Testament is in the tradition of Weymouth, Moffat, Rieu and Phillips, aiming for an idiom that will be easier to understand than the more formal and especially the 'literal' translations, yet avoiding 'street language' that outdates faster than fresh fish. It first appeared in 1993 and, with help, he has expanded it steadily to finally see a full Bible this year.

It is colloquial, sometimes in the extreme, and uses a homely North American idiom which still feels comfortable in Britain and the Antipodes. What have ensured its steadily rising popularity, though, are Peterson's subtly 'right' turn of phrase, his terse yet apposite choice of words and, above all, his sheer poetry in many places. All of these are shown well in the earlier Psalms.

It isn't an even translation. Some parts are merely well-translated and without the spark of the best. However, I love it for the wonderful passages I keep finding when I look through a dozen versions for quotes to use in talks and prayer notes.

No translation can keep everyone happy and some reviews here show discontent in those who like their scripture smooth and erudite. Peterson is earthy, pungent and frequently poetic, but his scholarship is good (though imperfect as any mortal's). He hits my spot so often that I like to keep his translation near me, along with the AV, NIV and NLT for variety.Long live the people's translator!
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on 21 December 2011
I am a big fan of The Message and bought the hardback version as soon as it came out. A key use is for bible study groups. Eugene Peterson's paraphrase version of study passages is always a good source of lively discussion.
I have bought Kindle versions of my favourite bible translations which means I no longer have to carry a heavy bag (3-4 copies of the Bible) but can slip my Kindle into a pocket instead. Imagine my dismay when I discovered that there is no means to navigate to an individual chapter: indeed, when you navigate to a book of the Bible you aren't even at the start of the book - you're taken to the introductory commentary. I had foolishly assumed that an e-book with "numbered edition" in the title would have some means of navigating at least to chapter level.
If you are buying this kindle edition to read entire books of the Bible then this is fine. If you need to navigate to individual chapters then you will be as deeply disappointed as I am - buy the hardback instead.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 29 March 2008
The Message is a paraphrase in modern mid-atlantic English with American spellings which won't be to everyone's taste. I find that The Message though helps me understand for example some of the intricacies of Paul's language in his letters and the concepts outlined in the more elegant English of the NIV. It also helps with explaining at grass roots level say in a sermon given to a wide audience. i started reading odd bits a year ago as it was recommended by my Vicar. I used to read bits off the Biblegateway website which was good but there is a limit to what one can read on screen. however this is useful to see the difference and see if you like the style.

I would highly recommend buying this book.

As the commentator above says the large print makes the text easier to read for those like me who are too mean to buy varifocals.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 26 December 2009
An excellent version of the Bible in modern language which captures the real meaning of many difficult passages of Holy Scripture. Not for the traditionally-minded Bible Scholar - but a great help to those seeking to explore and understand the texts of both the Old and the New Testament. Highly recommended despite its large size - the print, although not heavy type, is clear and readable
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
At 75 hours you get a lot of audiobook for your money with the Message Bible on CD. The MP3 CD format works well; you get all 75 hours on 5 CD's, a convenient format or anybody with a computer, an MP3 player or an MP3 CD player (most DVD players and modern car stereos will play these disks). But do make sure you have the right equipment as these discs will not play on a normal CD player.

The Message Bible itself is an incredible piece of work, Eugene Peterson is a former theological scholar and a former church pastor with many year expirience of explaining the Bible to theology students and oridnary folk alike. He brings this wealth of expirience and expertise to his writing and has produced a bible paraphrase that is widely used and respected by about as diverse a range of Christian demoninations as you could possibly hope to cater for.

The production is very good, splitting the reading into a male american voice for the bible books and a female english sounding voice for the introductions. Christian American audiobook production companies can't resist a bit of cheeseily cheerful back ground music, but thankfully this is only used in the (66) book introductions.

The main reader is fluid and has the varied tones necessary to read such a diverse collection of literary styles convincingly. I have wanted to get a good listening bible for several year but I have been put off by the religous tone of the American readers, I'm pleased to say that this reader is a pleasure to listen to.

I recommend this as an excellent production and a great way to get more familiar with the themes and events of the Bible to inspire and inform your reading. It could only be improved by a larger selection of readers (75 hrs is a long time) and by loosing the 'inspirational' music.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 5 February 2013
Have had the un-numbered as bedtime reading for many years and I read it every night. the numbered version makes it easier to compare with the KJ version which helps to explain things both to me and to other people. As I read this wonderful translation which speaks in the modern idiom, albeit in american english, I feel that the connection between me as a reader and the written word centuries old is as fresh as if I was recieving a letter from a concerned and dear friend. If you have never read a Bible, or even if you have and not got on with it, try this it is amazing how it speaks to your heart and soul; and if you are a confirmed KJ reader try this because it helps to bring your language up to date to reach a wider audience.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 4 January 2010
I bought this Bible in addition to a hardback copy of The Message. Obviously I like The Message version for everyday use. This particular edition is more easily carried around and feels good to the touch.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 24 October 2013
I have the paper back version of The Message and love it. However I am finding the print a bit small now so treated myself to the Kindle version. I think it is so easy to use, when you want to find any book in the Bible just go to ‘Table of Contents’ click on the book then on chapter. If you need a particular verse then you need to move forward until you get to the verse you want, but you need to do this in the paper version anyway. The Kindle version means you have the whole of the Bible in an easy and lightweight version but with the advantage of being able to increase the text when needed. Also downloaded it onto the I Pad too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 6 December 2011
I come from Holland. But this bible is realy my bible. I have two now. And it read so easy. I read it with plesure and can't wait to read it to my kids. But they don't understand english yet.
It is a bible to read with plesure.
It is easy to understand even for someone whose english isn't that good.
I don't read my dutch bible anymore. Wait till this bible will be translated in Dutch. Than my kids understand the words from God.
I find comfort in it. When I'm down, When I just need a word from God.
I can recomend it to everyone. It's worth it to be in your hands and read it.
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