Ever since The Message Bible was published back in 2002, I have felt a great unease about man’s need to find an alternative version to God’s own message so that other men find it easier to digest and process. It is one thing to translate the original manuscripts into all the different languages, but to come up with a new text, new terminology which is fitting with the times we live in, that is just preposterous, bordering heretical and an offence to the Lord Jesus who has blessed us with the presence of the Holy Spirit precisely so that as we meditate, read and pray over the word of God in as close to the original a form as possible, we seek the Holy Spirit’s touch, His voice and His guidance; we ponder over what it is that God is communicating to us through a particular passage or book.
What is this obsession with having to ensure that we use every method and way possible to make reading the bible as easy and worldly an experience as possible? Why do we insist on feeding ourselves with milk, when we know we are ready for something more substantial, something much more exciting and mysterious than a man’s interpretation of what he feels God is trying to say in His word? I can understand to a point that there is a need for children to have access to more simplified versions of Bible stories and teachings, but to see, hear and read about pastors, elders, and mature Christians all around us using The Message Bible as their primary source of developing a personal relationship with God and as a primary source to teach those who yet do not know Him at all, makes me tremble, quite frankly.
In the past I have only been exposed to other people reading extracts of this version. I have never owned a print of this version and I never will. The little I have ever heard was enough, and I never took the trouble to look into this further. I felt it was everyone’s personal choice what they put on their hands as the primary source of knowledge of their God. But in these past few weeks, I have strongly felt called and burdened to look into this in further detail, and so today I did some research on the net and read various reviews done by other Christians on this subject and on the book itself.
Here are two links to get you started:
If you happen to read, learn or teach from The Message regularly, I would be interested in hearing your thoughts and specially why it is you think that you enjoy reading that book better than the Bible itself. Thank you!