Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Message Bible by Eugene H. Peterson

Eugene H. Peterson, The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language. Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2002.

Everyday you might want to read a chapter from Proverbs from The Message for that particular day. For example: on August 30 I would read chapter 30; since there are 31 days a month and there are 31 chapters of Proverbs then you can read one for each day.

Proverbs 30: 1-9 of 31 verses  The Words of Agur Ben Yakeh
God? Who Needs Him?
 1-2 The skeptic swore,
"There is no God! No God!—I can do anything I want!
I'm more animal than human;
   so-called human intelligence escapes me.

 3-4 "I flunked 'wisdom.'
   I see no evidence of a holy God.
Has anyone ever seen Anyone
   climb into Heaven and take charge?
   grab the winds and control them?
   gather the rains in his bucket?
   stake out the ends of the earth?
Just tell me his name, tell me the names of his sons.
   Come on now—tell me!"

 5-6 The believer replied, "Every promise of God proves true;
   he protects everyone who runs to him for help.
So don't second-guess him;
   he might take you to task and show up your lies."

 7-9 And then he prayed, "God, I'm asking for two things
   before I die; don't refuse me—
Banish lies from my lips
   and liars from my presence.
Give me enough food to live on,
   neither too much nor too little.
If I'm too full, I might get independent,
   saying, 'God? Who needs him?'
If I'm poor, I might steal
   and dishonor the name of my God."

Then you can read 5 chapters a day from the Psalms, since there are 150 Psalms,
150/30 = 5 chapters a day.

Psalm 150 the whole chapter 
   Hallelujah! Praise God in his holy house of worship,
      praise him under the open skies;
   Praise him for his acts of power,
      praise him for his magnificent greatness;
   Praise with a blast on the trumpet,
      praise by strumming soft strings;
   Praise him with castanets and dance,
      praise him with banjo and flute;
   Praise him with cymbals and a big bass drum,
      praise him with fiddles and mandolin.
   Let every living, breathing creature praise God! Hallelujah!

Finally, try reading thru the New Testament, one chapter a day. Start at Matthew and end with the Book of Revelation.

Colossians 3:15-17 of 25 verses
15-17 Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.

Of course you can also add reading a chapter a day from the Old Testament from Genesis to Malachi.

Genesis 30: 1-5 of 43 verses
1 When Rachel realized that she wasn't having any children for Jacob, she became jealous of her sister. She told Jacob, "Give me sons or I'll die!" 2 Jacob got angry with Rachel and said, "Am I God? Am I the one who refused you babies?"

3-5 Rachel said, "Here's my maid Bilhah. Sleep with her. Let her substitute for me so I can have a child through her and build a family." So she gave him her maid Bilhah for a wife and Jacob slept with her. Bilhah became pregnant and gave Jacob a son.

What’s the benefit of reading in this manner? Well, the first thing you’ll notice is the soothing voice of Peterson coming thru as you read along. You’ll grow accustomed to his voice. And soon you’ll realize that it’s the voice of God speaking to you from every passage!

The late Walter Martin (The Bible Answer Man) responds to the question about modern translations of the Bible and how close they are to the original autograph, the original “God-breathed” words “as recorded by His servants.” In his book, Essential Christianity, Martin says,

To illustrate, the label on all RCA records contained a picture of a dog listening to an old Victrola with the caption "His Master's Voice." Dr. Eugene Nida of the translation department of the American Bible Society has pointed out that the dog listening to the Victrola will hear an imperfect transmission of his master's voice because the needle scratches the surface of the record. However, no matter how scratchy the record sounds, the needle cannot obliterate the sound of the master's voice – the message still comes through. (Martin, p7)

I believe The Message is the clearest clarion call for this generation there is today of any media form of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

The Message Bible (MSG)—Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995 by Eugene H. Peterson retrieved from © Copyright 1995-2010 Gospel Communications International

Walter Martin (Martin) )—Copyright © 1962 Zondervan, Grand Rapids; Essential Christianity: A Handbook of Basic Christian Doctrines. This was republished by Vision House, Santa Ana, 1975, and reissued with minor additions by Vision House, 1980. ISBN 0-88449-043-2

Essential Christianity  download PDF—

Review of The Message Bible Copyright © 8.30.11 Jim Hughes; Rav Reviews by Jim Hughes