Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Message translation: like a bad movie you just have to finish watching...

I'm drawing close to the end of the Message translation of the Holy Bible, and now I'm firmly convinced that Eugene Peterson really had no idea what he was doing in this translation. I've just finished the letters to Timothy, and in addition to some of the sillier translations of familar passages, now, apparently, there are no gender restrictions to church leadership (per ch. 5, "Don't promote people to church leadership too hastily." Now it's people in leadership?) It just feels like this is the translation written for a United Methodist congregation, that just missed the mark of providing a literal translation of the holy text. I found this online, too, that offers a good identification of questionable areas of the translation, and is worth checking out for anyone considering picking up this tranlation.

It's sad to make this comparison, but the Message translation/distortion of the Scriptures is like a bad movie, that you just have to see to the end to justify the purchase cost ($10 at Lifeway. And on a related note, I'm becoming convinced of something that Pastor Baucham once said, that "Christian" bookstores like Lifeway need to put signs on their doors that say "the views expressed inside are not necessarily that of Christ and the Bible" (or words to that effect.)

On the surface, the idea behind the Message is a good one: roll the text out in a more easy to consume format for contemporary readers. But at the cost of compromising the integrity of the original MESSAGE, the Message misses the mark. I wonder if I can make a return to Lifeway, on grounds of Scriptural errancy in the translation?

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