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The Message Remix (Bible In Contemporary Language) (2008)

The Message Remix (Bible in Contemporary Language) (2008)
Rating
4.43 of 5 Votes: 4
ISBN
1576834344 (ISBN13: 9781576834343)
languge
English
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publisher
navpress
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The Message Remix (Bible In Contempor...
The Message Remix (Bible In Contemporary Language) (2008)

About book: Here is the second bible on the list - aren't you just thrilled to hear the outcome? If it helps - it wasn't half as bad as the last one...and so we come to 'The Message', which has a similar aim, if not style, to 'The Word on the Street'. (Background by the way, the reason for these reviews is to help my vicar find a decent youth Bible). And by the way, special thanks are owed to Jesi and Torr for their comments on the last supposed bible which made said vicar laugh!===Boring stuff===Title: The MessageAuthor: Eugene H.PetersonGenre: Bible (fiction or non-fiction - up to you)ISBN: 0-89109-853-4Publisher: Navpress Publishing Group (17 Jul 2002)Price: RRP: £15.99, but from Amazon the paperback is going for as little as £0.01 and the hardback for £0.33 at time of writing.===Aim===Much the same as the last supposed Bible that I reviewed; the aim of this is to use contemporary language to bring across the message of the Bible. It uses the fact that the New Testament originally was written in the street language of the day, in the idiom of the playground and the marketplace...not in the formal, lofty language of government decrees and historical documents. Like 'the other' one (I will not even dignify it with a name), 'The Message' aims to bring out the 'expressive, earthy flavour of New Testament Greek'. The main question is, has it managed it without being as darn condescending, patronising and idiotic as 'the other' one...?A main point worth mentioning before I even really start is that this is only the New Testament, it is not a full Bible. If you are looking for a full Bible in contemporary language then look elsewhere...just please don't look in the direction of Rob Lacey.===Language===The language as a whole I have no complaint with, my only issue would be that it is very Americanised, it depends on how much this would effect what you the translation for and if this would annoy you. One of the things my vicar asked me to keep an eye out for was if the language was too American. It is not as bad as it could be, but there is a definite American twist to the language that on several occasions had me scrunching my brow and thinking 'that's not right.'I think one of the things that very much appealed to me was a very simple thing, and it was to do with the language used. In Matthew 18;21 Peter asks Jesus a question that he knows will probably make him sound like an idiot. And in the typical translations it is simply 'Peter said to him', however in this it's 'Peter got up the nerve to ask'. Which is actually more realistic? To me this made the whole thing more accurate, more true to life. ''Eli, Eli, lama sabacthani?' which means 'My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?'' Now, ok, my translation has 'forsaken me' which I personally feel is a much better way of putting it, but it doesn't patronise. It puts the Aramaic first, then explains what this means...rather than saying 'Daddy, why am I here?' I like most of the language for this reason alone, it doesn't seem to think that you are an idiot, and yet it explains the parts that most people wouldn't understand.A minor issue that did annoy me about the language used was that points of it could be very poetic, but then in the same verse suddenly switch to the complete opposite of poetic. A perfect example of this would be 1 Corinthians 13, 'If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but do not love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.' It starts brilliantly, but then ruins itself...and points like that did kind of set my teeth on edge, particularly as 'noisy gong or clanging cymbal' (NRSV) is far more poetic===Style===In complete contrast to 'the other' bible this was not patronising, and if anything explained many of the points very well. Often or not it would explain a 'difficult' point without making it clear that the author was clarifying, at the same time sticking to the original meaning that the Bible itself gave. An example of this would be Matthew 5:27-28: 'You know the next commandment pretty well too, 'Don't go to bed with another's spouse'. But don't think you're preserved your virtue simply by staying out of bed. Your heart can be corrupted by lust even quicker than your body. Those leering looks you think nobody notices - they are also corrupt.' From this you can see that it is not too simplistic or patronising, while at the same time sticking to the actual meaning that was originally given.This next point might annoy some people, but to me it makes it all the more appealing. The Bible isn't necessarily meant to be a page turner, you all know about the long lists of names that the book excels at. And this translation doesn't miss them out, which is shown in Luke 3: 25-32. The style sticks as closely as possible to the actual Bible, while trying to make it more accessible to the ordinary reader who does tend to get lost in Leviticus although they started with the best of intentions. It is still a 'Bible' because it doesn't just miss out the bits that the author knows will bore some people.===Translation===The 'new' translation of the Lord's prayer - again - annoyed the living jeepers out of me. This is the second supposed bible I've found with an absolutely awful translation of the Lord's Prayer, when I have seen some absolutely brilliant versions in my time (and how old does that me sound!). What is it with people and an inability to write a decent Lord's Prayer, when it is quite obvious that there are some brilliant versions out there?===Biblical Telling===An issue that I found was that 'The Message' did not necessarily stick to the contextual knowledge that you need if you are actually going to read and understand the Bible. If you take Matthew 5:39-40 ; 'If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also;...and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile.(NRSV)' Without any background knowledge this could be, and often is, taken as a message just to take whatever is doled out to you - and this is the way that 'The Message' portrays it. But this is not the way it was necessarily meant to be taken; in turning the other cheek you were forcing your attacker to either hit you with the palm of him hand or with his fist - not the back of his hand which was an insult to you. And considering the times in which these passages were written, a Roman soldier could ask you to walk one mile carrying his stuff - but any more than that and that Roman soldier would face a flogging. Does this sound like Jesus was telling people to just 'stand there and take it'? Or does it sound more like passive resistance on a scale that is reminiscent to Martin Luther King or Mahatma Ghandi? Because if like me you think the latter, then the translation given in 'The Message' is rather incorrect, and for no reason other than the fact that not enough background research has been carried out. You may not necessarily need the contextual information, but that doesn't give the author any reason to presume.However in actually re-telling most of Jesus' direct teachings this bible does do a remarkably good job at it, A brilliant example of this would be Matthew 18;3-5, in which they are explaining why the children and childlike rank the highest in God's kingdom, and to anyone who 'receives the childlike on my account, its the same as receiving me.' Direct teachings and parables alike are often done very well.===Other===The short introductions at the beginning of each book of the New Testament which explains the background and the basics of what is going to be told in said book, as well as how it is going to be told are very useful. To the uninitiated this would make the whole thing easier to read, as you are not just being shunted in at the deep end, but instead have a certain amount of introduction to work with, which will impact how you actually read the book in question. In addition to this the lack of verse numbers in the text made it far easier to read as an uninterrupted story, rather than it being forever interspersed with numbers which take away from the flow. This does make it more difficult to reference, but the verse numbers are included at the top of each page and it's not that much more effort to flick through all the corresponding verse numbers to find what you want...===Conclusion===It doesn't molly coddle the reader, doesn't patronise or use supposedly 'street' language in order to impress...which ends up annoying any reader who is educated enough to be literate in any sense of the word. It works with the semantics of the text, not necessarily the idiomatic, which again make it easier to read and far less likely to confuse a reader. There are some minor flaws, mostly in the language, but as far as I'm concerned the pluses do outweigh the minuses, it is by no means the best of the bibles I've been looking through but it's well beyond decent...

I love this contemporary Bible! It’s not the most accurate translation—it’s really not fair to even call it a translation, but rather a paraphrase betraying Peterson’s religious convictions—but I just find it enjoyable to read. It’s poetic and beautiful. Do not use it as a study Bible, but as an inspiring read.I chose the book of John to highlight some of the translations, so you can get a feel for the wording. These aren’t my favorite passages, but they do highlight what I mean by a “paraphrasing.”KJV: John 1:12-13, But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.Message: But whoever did want him, who believed he was who he claimed and would do what he said, He made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selves. These are the God-begotten, not blood-begotten, not flesh-begotten, not sex-begotten.KJV: John 1:31, And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.Message: I knew nothing about who he was—only this: that my task has been to get Israel ready to recognize him as the God-Revealer. That is why I came here baptizing with water, giving you a good bath and scrubbing sins from your life so you can get a fresh start with God.KJV: John 3:29-30, He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.Message: The one who gets the bride is, by definition, the bridegroom. And the bridegroom’s friend, his ‘best man’—that’s me—in place at his side where he can hear every word, is genuinely happy. How could he be jealous when he knows that the wedding is finished and the marriage is off to a good start? That’s why my cup is running over. This is the assigned moment for him to move into the center, while I slip off to the sidelines.KJV: John 6:43-44, Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to me, except he Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.Message: Jesus said, “Don’t bicker among yourselves over me. You’re not in charge here. The Father who sent me is in charge. He draws people to me—that’s the only way you’ll ever come. Only then do I do my work, putting people together, setting them on their feet, ready for the End.
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Reviews
Keri
I've been so blessed by reading through this paraphrase of the Bible. I am thrilled to have finally completed a lifelong goal of reading through the Bible. But more importantly than that, I've felt joy in reading and it has not simply become a task I "had" to do...instead something I looked forward to. As the Psalms say I "thrill to God's Word, you chew on Scripture day and night." (Ps. 1:2)This is not the best for deep study but it is so readable and reminds us that the Bible is a story - the greatest story - of God's all-consuming love for His people and His continued pursuit of them. God loves you and has a plan for your life...simply accept that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and rose from the grave to live eternally with God. "This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trust in him is acquitted;" (John 3:16-17)
Jerry
Synopsis: Called a "Bible in contemporary language," The Message is a paraphrase that updates the antiquated, archaic language found in most translations, whether the 1611 KJV or the 2010 NIV.  This audio version features narration from experienced voice actor Kelly Ryan Dolan, as well as popular contemporary Christian music artists ranging from Steve Green to Janna Long (Avalon) to TobyMac reading selected passages, it's God's Word as you likely have never heard it before!Production Values: 3.5/5I bought this expecting a multi-cast narration, a la The Word of Promise or The Bible Experience.  Instead, what I got was one guy (Dolan) reading most of the Bible, with others reading passages that usually amount to a few chapters, if even that.  Though Mr. Dolan puts more expression into his voice that Alexander Scourby ever did, the lack of variance in his voice is a bit bothersome.  When God has the same voice as Rachel, who has the same voice as Jonathan, who has the same voice as the serpent, it's just...well, not good.  The other narrators--who are musicians, not actors--don't change their voices either, but some of their readings are better than others.  Rebecca St. James, who reads Ephesians, and Steve Green, who reads the account of Abraham, both do pretty well, but Tricia Brock's reading of Jude and Steven Curtis Chapman's performance of the epistle of James are a bit hard to sit through.Compatibility: 3.5/5The edition I bought of The Message // Remix is the MP3 CD edition, as pictured above.  Some reviewers on CBD said that they had trouble getting the files onto their computer/MP3 player, but they were all Windows users; I figured my flat-screen iMac would copy them just fine...but I was wrong.  Though it mostly copied correctly, most of the book of Isaiah was unable to copy.  That wouldn't be that bad...if it weren't for the fact that Isaiah is one of those books where a paraphrase would really help.  So, whether you use Mac or Windows, beware.Content Concerns: N/AThe Bible is God's Word, and is not subject to the same analyses that I would give a Disney Channel movie or a Saturday morning cartoon.  Therefore, I am not going to analyze its content.  All I will say is that some people might have a problem with the nature of the translation, but, as long as The Message has been around, pretty much everyone has already made up their mind about it.Conclusion: For a while, I have had a bit of a penchant for audio Bibles.  I own both the original and Next Generation editions of The Word of Promise, as well as two audio NIVs and The Bible Experience.  They are a great study tool, especially when I read and listen at the same time.  Though The Message // Remix is moderately well-done, I've heard much better.  Maybe someday Mr. Peterson's paraphrase will get the Word of Promise treatment and actually sound really good; the nature of the translation seems to be perfect for that.Score: 3.5/5
Chris Suleske
When Peterson's original Message transliteration was published, I eschewed it, taking my direction from critics who cherry-picked passages with which they took issue. By the time this version had been released, I'd mellowed in my take on such things. More than that, I'd come to appreciate Peterson's style of writing. It is easy to take passages with which we are accustomed and contrast them with the Message, producing instant dissonance. Psalm 23 is Psalm 23, in the KJV translation. Best to hear it as such, if it works for you. I find I like to turn to the Message for the long streams of the Bible with which I've had less exposure, particularly the minor prophets. Peterson rocks some serious Nahum. I'd probably give this work 4 stars if it were not so grand an undertaking. But because of the colossal endeavor that is a completely new interpretation and telling of the Word of God, I have to reward the effort with a fifth star. C'mon, this is a serious gift to humanity.I should add that my 82 year old friend, who came to Christ just about the time I was born, is the one who had me reevaluate my take on the Message.
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