'The Message Bible' makes the 'The Good News translation look like the 'RSV'! Never cared for it.
I wasn't taken with its novelties when it was published and I was a Protestant.I'm less taken with it now, as a Catholic. It ought not be called ecumenical or Catholic. Why?Unitentionally, the article's author admidts it is not truly ecumenical when he states, "It is identical to the original...", except for the addition of the seven particular books of the O.T. traniphraased by a Catholic [though the article nowhere states that Griffin is Catholic; curious]. The portions previously tranisphrased by Peterson, a respected Protestant scholar remain fully in tact and the only portion that is Catholic are the seven books of the O.T. normally removed in most Protestant bibles. I have nothing, nothing against an ecumenical translation but this is effectively neither truly ecumenical or truly Catholic.Slick marketing though and many folks will be none the wiser.
Rolf, thank you for the laugh! I couldn't agree more; the Message leaves much to be desired.
As a person in the catechetical trenches, I just received a promotional e-mail for this "Bible" from a Catholic distributor asking if I would consider it for the programs I direct. One look at Psalm 1 and its reference to the "sin saloon" and "slinking along dead-end road" should be enough to indicate its value. Do we really need to dumb down the Bible for it to seem relevant to people? Is that how bad the literary scene has gotten in our culture? Somehow I don't think hysterical laughter on a reading of the psalms is the response intended by the original sacred author. I will pass, thank you!
As someone who is making his way through this Bible right now, i have to say i'm enjoying it. It's like listening to a homily on every chapter. You have to know what you are reading when reading The Message. It's not meant for 'serious study' nor is it meant to be a primary Bible. But as some devotional reading (like reading any other work of devotion based on the Bible), i am finding it quite edifying.
I don't care what the publishers claim, this thing is not a translation. It's a paraphrase at best, and an extremely loose one at that.
Hmm.. ok...I think I woke up on the wrong side of the bed when I commented previously. I have NOT read much of this Bible and probably should reserve my opinion until I have seen more of it, but I doubt that will happen anytime soon. The bits I have seen don’t appeal, but then again, I enjoy some portions of the Good News Translation, and many would give me grief about that! In face, I thought about it and there are some fellow Catholics who crinkle their nose at the NJB, which I particularly enjoy, as well. Peterson is just trying to make the Bible more accessible, I suppose, to people not used to it, and he can’t be faulted for that. As long as it’s clear that this IS a Bible for devotional reading, not for serious (or even moderate) study, I suppose there’s no harm. I STILL can't stomach Psalm 1's “sin saloon” though. Yuck. Maybe they'll fix that in the inevitable Revised Message, or "The ReMessage"...
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