It is my understanding that this version is a translation from the original Greek, and not a paraphrase. The intent of the author was to phrase things in modern language so his congregation could understand the nuances they seemed to be missing when studying one of the New Testament books. It isn't really meant to stand alone but to enhance the meaning that was lost in translation in the the other versions. Language is constantly changing and in order to understand the real meaning of Scripture, we need to speak the same language.
Personally, my Bible reading was getting automatic and stale. I had to push myself to do it because I should. Then I switched to The Message and Scripture came alive again, seeing things in it I had missed and the best part of all, I WANT to read more. I still take my NIV to church and Bible studies, but I often read The Message when I'm preparing and sometimes take it with me to share the differences. It's a great tool in helping today's generation understand what Scripture is really saying.
I ordered this particular book because I was giving the version a "test drive," to see if I really wanted to purchase this new. This is a great paraphrasing of the Bible. The language is inviting to those interested in reading the Book. And it has, so I will purchase this new, in a nicer, fancier binding.
As for this compact, easy to carry paperback, the print is smaller than most paperback. Actually, it's almost too small. I know there is much to cram into about 500 pages, but the book size takes away from the leisure-reading aspect of this Bible.
Wilma G. (mygoo) reviewed The Message: The New Testament in Contemporary Language on
Helpful Score: 1
this is not my first copy of The Message. I have my own copy, but I also got one for my sister-in-law who is a new Christian. She then gave a copy to her mother and talked to a friend about getting one. This is particularly useful for new Christians who always thought the Bible was "dry reading" and didn't understand it.
The Bible is God revealing Himself to mankind. He shows different aspects of Himself throughout His book. Reading The Message reveals WHY people were furious with Jesus. A fresh look at the same truths with the lenses of relationship to clear one's vision. A MUST READ, after all the Bible was never intended to be a textbook!
THE NEW TESTAMENT LIKE YOU'VE NEVER READ IT BEFORE.
It is commonly assumed that a book with a holy God should sound elevated, stately, and ceremonial. If this is how you've always viewed the New Testament, you're about to make a surprising discovery.
One of the most striking features of the New Testament is that it was written in the street language of the day. The idiom of the playground and marketplace--not the formal, lofty language of government decrees and historical documents.
Written in the rhythms and idiom of contemporary language--the way you'd talk with friends, write a letter, or discuss politics--The Message brings out the expressive, earthy flavor of New Testament Greek.
The Message translation is not a literal translation of the Bible. It is a paraphrase, and as such, the translator's bias and preconceptions are bound to have a strong effect on the text. Stick with a literal translation like KJV, NKJV, NASB, or ESV.