Why is The Message (Bible) not safe ?

By Justin Peters

A Brief (and by no means exhaustive) Summary of Passages Contained Within “The Message” by Eugene Peterson Which Directly Compromise Fundamental Tenets of Orthodox Christianity.

What follows is a comparison/contrast and analysis of several well – known passages as found in major translations such as the KJV, NASB, and NIV as well as these same passages as found in The Message authored by Eugene Peterson. Any intellectually honest assessment of the following notes leads to the inescapable conclusion that The Message compromises some of the fundamental doctrines of orthodox Christianity.

I began this study when I was made aware that the high school seniors of a nearby church were given copies of The Message as graduation gifts. I did not at the time own a copy of The Message nor had I read it. My exposure to it at that point was seeing it cited in other works. I purchased a copy and began to read and study this paraphrase more in depth. What I discovered stunned me. The Message is not only a poor paraphrase, but it is, in fact,heretical.

Matthew 6:9

New American
Standard Bible : 1995

9 “Pray, then, in this
way: ‘Our Father who is
in heaven, Hallowed be
Your name.

The King James Version

9 After this manner
therefore pray ye: Our
Father which art in
heaven, Hallowed be thy

The New International

9 “This, then, is how you
should pray: “‘Our Father in
heaven, hallowed be your

The Message

9 With a God like this loving
you, you can pray very
simply. Like this: Our Father
in heaven, Reveal who you

This is a passage from what is commonly referred to as “the Lord’s Prayer.” There are two problems with Peterson’s rendering of this familiar passage. The first is that Peterson includes an imperative from Jesus to the Father that is not in the text. The second, and much more serious, problem is the nature of His imperative – Reveal who you are. Why would Jesus Christ who is the revelation of God (Heb. 1:1-3) ask God to reveal  Himself? The Revelation of God is the One Who is praying the prayer! This imperative by Jesus certainly strongly implies that Godhas yet to reveal Himself. I beg to differ. Also, notice the room which is implicitly provided for a later revelation of the antichrist who will, of course, claim to be the revelation of God.

John 10:30

New American Standard Bible
: 1995 Update

30 “I and the Father are one.”

The King James

30 I and my Father
are one.

The New International

30 I and the Father are

The Message

30 I and the Father are one
heart and mind.”

This is another familiar passage. The NASB, NIV, and KJV are all practically identical, save for the insertion of a personal pronoun found in the latter. Not so The Message’s rendering. The Message denigrates the uniqueness and deity of Jesus. Let us remember that David was a “man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22) but he was not God.

1 Timothy 4:1-5

New American Standard
Bible : 1995 Update

1 But the Spirit explicitly
says that in later times
some will fall away from
the faith, paying attention
to deceitful spirits and
doctrines of demons,

The King James Version

1 Now the Spirit speaketh
expressly, that in the latter
times some shall depart
from the faith, giving heed
to seducing spirits, and
doctrines of devils;

The New International

1 The Spirit clearly says
that in later times some will
abandon the faith and
follow deceiving spirits and
things taught by demons

The Message

1 The Spirit makes it clear
that as time goes on, some
are going to give up on the
faith and chase after
demonic illusions put forth
by professional liars.

Of the passages which I have cited in this letter, this is the least worrisome but is worrisome nonetheless. Paul is clearly referring to demonic powers but note the unmistakable human spin which Peterson employs. He diminishes the demonic powers by referring to them as mere “illusions” which are forwarded not by demons but by “professional liars.” Such a reference could encapsulate a carnival barker.

Matthew 5:5

New American Standard
Bible : 1995 Update

5 Blessed are the gentle, for
they shall inherit the earth

The King James

5 Blessed are the
meek, for they shall
inherit the earth

The New International

5 Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the

The Message

5 You are truly blessed when
you are content with just who
you are – no more, no less.

Not only does this not have anything to do with the passage at hand, it is stunningly un-biblical. What if a homosexual is reading this? Should he be content with “just who he is?” What about an agnostic? A Hindu? What about one who believes himself to be a “Christian” but is living in sin? This is not even true for a Biblebelieving, committed Christian! There should never be a time when we are “content with just who we are.” This is a profoundly unbiblical statement.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

New American Standard
Bible : 1995 Update

9 Or do you not know that
the unrighteous will not
inherit the kingdom of
God? Do not be deceived;
neither fornicators, nor
idolaters, nor adulterers,
nor effeminate, nor

10 nor thieves, nor the
covetous, nor drunkards,
nor revilers, nor swindlers,
will inherit the kingdom of God.

11 Such were some of you;
but you were washed, but
you were sanctified, but
you were justified in the
name of the Lord Jesus
Christ and in the Spirit of
our God.

The King James Version

9 Know ye not that the
unrighteous shall not
inherit the kingdom of
God? Be not deceived:
neither fornicators, nor
idolaters, nor adulterers,
nor effeminate, nor
abusers of themselves
with mankind,

10 Nor thieves, nor
covetous, nor drunkards,
nor revilers, nor
extortioners, shall inherit
the kingdom of God.

11 And such were some of
you: but ye are washed,
but ye are sanctified, but
ye are justified in the
name of the Lord Jesus,
and by the Spirit of our

The New International

9 Do you not know that the
wicked will not inherit the
kingdom of God? Do not be
deceived: Neither the
sexually immoral nor
idolaters nor adulterers nor
male prostitutes nor
homosexual offenders

10 nor thieves nor the
greedy nor drunkards nor
slanderers nor swindlers
will inherit the kingdom of

11 And that is what some of
you were. But you were
washed, you were
sanctified, you were
justified in the name of the
Lord Jesus Christ and by
the Spirit of our God.

The Message

9 Don’t you realize that this
is not the way to live? Unjust
people who don’t care about
God will not be joining in his
kingdom. Those who use
and abuse each other, use
and abuse sex,
(Guess what’s missing!)

10 use and abuse the earth
and everything in it, don’t
qualify as citizens in God’s

11 A number of you know
from experience what I’m
talking about, for not so long
ago you were on that list.
Since then, you’ve been
cleaned up and given a
fresh start by Jesus, our
Master, our Messiah, and by
our God present in us, the

This one is serious. One of the sins to which the Apostle Paul is clearly referring is that of homosexuality. Notice that The Message completely omits the word. In its stead, Peterson inserts the phrase “those who use and abuse the earth.” The earth? From where in the world (or the text as the case may be) did he get the earth? There seems to be an environmental agenda at work here. One could not read this passage in a real Bible and come away believing that homosexuality was permissible under any circumstances. One would never know from reading The Message, however, that it was a problem in any sense.

Romans 1:26-27

New American Standard
Bible : 1995 Update

26 For this reason God
gave them over to
degrading passions; for
their women exchanged
the natural function for that
which is unnatural,

27 and in the same way
also the men abandoned
the natural function of the
woman and burned in their
desire toward one another,
men with men committing
indecent acts and receiving
in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

The King James Version

26 For this cause God gave
them up unto vile affections:
for even their women did
change the natural use into
that which is against nature:

27 And likewise also the
men, leaving the natural use
of the woman, burned in
their lust one toward
another; men with men
working that which is
unseemly, and receiving in
themselves that recompence of their error
which was meet.

The New International

26 Because of this, God
gave them over to shameful
lusts. Even their women
exchanged natural relations
for unnatural ones.

27 In the same way the men
also abandoned natural
relations with women and
were inflamed with lust for
one another. Men committed
indecent acts with other men,
and received in themselves
the due penalty for their perversion.

The Message

26 Worse followed.
Refusing to know God,
they soon didn’t know
how to be human
either—women didn’t
know how to be women,
men didn’t know how to
be men.

27 Sexually confused,
they abused and defiled
one another, women with
women, men with men—
all lust, no love. And
then they paid for it, oh,
how they paid for it—
emptied of God and love, godless and loveless

This passage dealing with homosexuality is quite a bit more problematic for Peterson. In 1 Cor. 6:9-11, he had only to omit one word. Here, he has two entire verses with which to wrestle. What to do here? Well, Peterson provides a loophole: all lust, no love. The not-so-subtle insinuation is that ‘Well, if these people had just done this out of love, then it would have been ok.’ There is clearly in The Message room for a ‘committed, loving’ homosexual relationship. In Peterson’s rendering of the Bible, it is not the nature of homosexuality in and of itself that is the grievous sin, it is simply the absence of love.

1 Timothy 1:10

New American Standard
Bible : 1995 Update

10 and immoral men and
homosexuals and kidnappers
and liars and perjurers…

The King James

10 For
whoremongers, for
them that defile
themselves with
mankind, for
menstealers, for

The New International

10 for adulterers and
perverts, for slave
traders and liars and

The Message

10 but for the irresponsible, who
defy all authority, riding
roughshod over God, life, sex,
truth, whatever!

The Message again simply leaves out the reference to homosexuality and replaces it instead with the generic “sex.” Inexplicably, the NIV appears to do the same. There are 3 passages in the N.T. that deal with homosexuality and The Message utterly fails on all three.

Note: The Message does, in fairness, appear to be relatively on track in regards to Leviticus 18:22. This, though, does not excuse its abject failure in the N.T. Let’s be honest, how many people (teenagers especially) are realistically going to do devotional reading from Leviticus? They are far more likely to spend their time in the New Testament

Romans 8:35

New American
Standard Bible : 1995

35 Who will separate us
from the love of Christ?
Will tribulation, or
distress, or persecution,
or famine, or
nakedness, or peril, or

The King James

35 Who shall separate
us from the love of
Christ? shall tribulation,
or distress, or
persecution, or famine,
or nakedness, or peril,
or sword?

The New International

35 Who shall separate
us from the love of
Christ? Shall trouble or
hardship or persecution
or famine or nakedness
or danger or sword?

The Message

35 Do you think anyone is going to
be able to drive a wedge between us
and Christ’s love for us? There is no
way! Not trouble, not hard times, not
hatred, not hunger, not
homelessness, not bullying threats,
not backstabbing, not even the
worst sins listed in Scripture:

This one really is troublesome. Notice that all of the elements which Paul rightly asserts will never separate us from Christ are very earthly and temporal (tribulation, persecution, famine, etc.). Paul is basically talking about hard times. Eugene Peterson brazenly inserts into the passage: not even the worst sins listed in Scripture. Wow. This should trouble any clear thinking believer. Sin IS what separates us from God! That is why we need a Savior! For the one who is lost, sin separates from God positionally. For the believer, sin separates from God relationally. Sin is not even remotely in view in this passage. This is heresy.

Pick up a copy of The Message and you will see on its front cover “The Bible in Contemporary Language.” The Message is NOT the Bible. It is one man’s commentary on the Bible, and an extraordinarily poor one at that. Some object to criticism of Peterson’s work by saying The Message is not a literal translation but rather a paraphrase. True. But even paraphrases should be an accurate thought for thought rendering of the original biblical text. We are not talking here about a paraphrase of “Green Eggs and Ham.” We are talking about the Word of God. God holds His name and His word above all things (Psalm 138:2). His Word must be rendered and handled accurately. What we believe about God is derived from what we read in His Word. If one reads an erroneous Bible, then it logically follows that what one believes about God will also be in error.

The Message is, in large part, marketed toward teenagers, young adults, and young believers – the most impressionable among us. Youth ministers are reading this to their students and teaching from it. Many preachers are, sadly, quoting it in their sermons. Hopefully, much of this is being done in ignorance. The question must be asked, ‘Would Jesus Christ approve of this rendering of His word?’ Certainly any honest intellectual assessment would have to lead one to the answer of “no.” If Christ would not approve then certainly we must not either. In a concluding thought, it is not Mr. Peterson’s intentions or sincerity which is important. In fact, they are irrelevant entirely. Peterson may well be sincere. Sincerity, though, is not the issue – Truth is the issue. Misplaced sincerity is a profoundly dangerous commodity.

In Him and for His Truth

Most respectively submitted,

Justin Peters

Source : 


DOWNLOAD THE FULL PDF :  The_Message[1] beware

62 thoughts on “Why is The Message (Bible) not safe ?

    • I believe that it is safe to read the message as long as you read it with another version of the bible.
      It can help the reader relate to the bible in a fresh way and if read with another version of the bible the reader can see what has been added to the text.
      I wouldn’t call the message a ‘bible’ but more a commentary of the whole bible.


      • Joseph

        Thank you for commenting.
        1. There is no need to read a false and at best, a highly questionable version of what the Word of God says. There are other versions which are solid interpretations, should one wish to read the Word of God in more modern English.
        2. The Message is marketed as a Bible version which it is not, by those who do not discern the incorrect text in it. It is not marketed as a commentary.
        3. Even if it were marketed as a commentary, it would still be incorrect. There are also solid commentaries which can be consulted, should one require correct interpretation.
        4. What if a young or immature Christian were to read the Message alongside another version of the Bible, and choose to believe what is written in the Message instead of the truth? How would an inexperienced reader know which one is true? There is no need to allow others to run such risk.
        5. There is no fresh or new truth revealed. God gave us His Word once for all generations. All true believers are enabled to understand His Word, by the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who enables true believers to know that they should reject the Message, as it inaccurately portrays God’s Word.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It still delivers the wrong interpretation. It should only be in your library to show others just how deceiving it is.


    • Yes you are correct. It is a false bible. Please not its use of the phrase “as above, so below” in the Lords prayer. As above, so below, is a satanic occult term. When you see the goat headed creature basmophet one hand points up, one down, as above, so below. Also a new age term. I also noticed the message refers to Jesus as the ‘slaughtered lamb’ in revelation. Yuk. Its not good folks, put it down!


      • *Please note. Not ‘please not’ sorry. Funny, i just posted this and opened my bible. It opened on Ezekiel 34 ‘irresponsible shepherds’ lol, God is good!


  1. Ken

    Thank you for your comment. The Message is not a Bible but heresy it is not safe. The article clearly lifts out the error and is nothing but a misleading book full of doctrines of demons, it should be very clear to the discerning believer. We are to test everything to see if it proceeds from God. One cannot as a true born again, discerning believer suggest this book full of misleading heresy.

    1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,
    1Ti 4:2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared,

    The Holy Spirit, both in the Old and the New Testament, spoke of a general turning from the faith of Christ, and the pure worship of God. This should come during the Christian dispensation, for those are called the latter days. False teachers forbid as evil what God has allowed, and command as a duty what he has left indifferent. We find exercise for watchfulness and self-denial, in attending to the requirements of God’s law, without being tasked to imaginary duties, which reject what he has allowed. But nothing justifies an intemperate or improper use of things; and nothing will be good to us, unless we seek by prayer for the Lord’s blessing upon it. ~ MHCC

    1Jn 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

    Christians who are well acquainted with the Scriptures, may, in humble dependence on Divine teaching, discern those who set forth doctrines according to the apostles, and those who contradict them. The sum of revealed religion is in the doctrine concerning Christ, his person and office. The false teachers spake of the world according to its maxims and tastes, so as not to offend carnal men. The world approved them, they made rapid progress, and had many followers such as themselves; the world will love its own, and its own will love it. The true doctrine as to the Saviour’s person, as leading men from the world to God, is a mark of the spirit of truth in opposition to the spirit of error. The more pure and holy any doctrine is, the more likely to be of God; nor can we by any other rules try the spirits whether they are of God or not. And what wonder is it, that people of a worldly spirit should cleave to those who are like themselves, and suit their schemes and discourses to their corrupt taste? ~ MHCC

    This was from a sermon i recently listened by John MacArthur and what he says make so much sense !!!

    I think we silence men who must be silenced and that is we silence their speaking by means of holy living…by means of holy living. Divine truth, the truth of God produces holy living. Peter, 1 Peter 2:15 says, “You silence the foolishness of ignorant men by your holy conduct.” You see, if you look closely at a false teacher, you’re going to find the lack of virtue there. You’re going to find that no matter what he says about knowing God and all of that kind of thing, when you get behind the surface that his life is in disarray and filled with sin because error doesn’t produce virtue. And if those who teach truth live holy lives, then they silence false teachers.”

    …………………..So, you don’t put false teachers on a platform. You don’t give them a class in college or seminary. You don’t give them a Sunday-school class. You don’t give them a Bible study. You don’t put them on radio, television or publish their books. You silence them……………………
    LINK TO THIS SERMON : Men Who Must Be Silenced, Part 1 – http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/56-10


    • You chose to support a heretical book and your comments was placed out of your own free will, here by you. Have you even read the article in full ? An email address has absolutely nothing to do with ones salvation. But to read something like The Message surely can affect ones salvific beliefs and indeed lead you after doctrines of demons.

      Mat 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.


    • Ken

      It is my prayer for you that you will be like the good Berean’s and test absolutely everything. Once again thank you for your comments. You are more than welcome to email us should you have any questions.

      God bless & peace



  2. As someone who was ‘reared’ under the teaching and ministry from the old KIng James version of the Bible, I now find it helpful to read from NIV – referring of the KJV and other translations when studying.
    I have been a Christian for almost 50 years and have spoken at many ladies meetings, events, girls youth weekends and at a Conference last year. By the way I am STILL learning!
    Whilst I would never dream of studying using Eugene Petersen’s translation in The Message, there ARE some passages which he makes simple and relevant. One example for living a Godly life – Romans 12 v 1 & 2
    Is it not better that our students and young people are reading SOME version of Scripture? As they read and hopefully find the message of the fact that all have sinned, God has provided a remedy for sin by sending His Only Son Jesus into the world, that Jesus died sacrificially and willingly for us on the cross at Calvary, they will study more. They will discover that by coming to God in repentance, confessing their sin, asking Him to take control of their lives, trusting in His finished work for salvation, they will appreciate the resurrection of Christ, the fact that He is now at the Fathers right hand and is coming back to take us to be with Him one day.
    It is up to those more mature Christians to disciple these young people and point them in the direction of studying from other versions of Scripture and they will grow to discern what is correct.
    They will learn what is means to trust Christ, whatever their circumstances in life may be. They will learn that is they fear God, they need fear nothing else.

    I would of course have BIG concerns about ‘adding to or taking from’ the truth of the Inspired Word of God – God warns us of the consequences of this.

    I am extremely concerned about all the false teachers and teaching arising at the moment but I don’t think this was the intention from Eugene P. when he wrote The Message – not having any other information to the contrary, my understanding is that he wrote this to try to simplify the Bible for those who have no knowledge of Scripture or of Christianity. Do you have any statistics of people who may have come to know The Lord through reading the Message? it may be interesting.
    For all of us, the day is here when we MUST stand up for the truths and standards of God’s inspired Word but if we are going to be paranoid about the various versions then perhaps we need to go back to the original writings which, sorry to say, the majority of us could not read.
    We need to work together – displaying to those around us by our speech and lives that we belong to Christ. WE may be the only Bible they will read. Do they see Christ in us? Maybe this is more important than whether or not they are exposed to The Message!!


    • Elizabeth

      Just a few thoughts based on your comment.

      If you do not regard The Message as sufficiently representative of God’s inspired Word to study from, how is it possible that it can make some passages more relevant than all the good translations? The only way that it could seem to make certain passages more relevant than they appear to be in correct translations, would be to have adapted them to the likes and the times of men. In a few instances, The Message says what men want the Bible to say, not what God intends His Word to say. If a translation is false for one purpose, it is also false for it’s final purpose, which is to bring us the complete Word of God. Absolute Truth. The canon of Scripture is closed and complete, it cannot be added to or removed from, which is what The Message has subtly done. Gal 5:9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

      It is by no means “better” that our students and young people are reading a false version of God’s Word. The Gospel cannot be adapted into various forms. If these young people read falsehoods and accept them as the Truth, they will believe a false gospel and will not know the Truth. They will believe Eugene Peterson’s version of the Truth, not God’s version.

      Those who are called to salvation in Christ will automatically have a yearning to learn God’s Truth in His Word. No translation of the Bible can bring about that yearning, it can only be effected by the Holy Spirit in the heart of the spiritually regenerate, those who are called to salvation according to the Will of God.

      The Gospel cannot bring true faith in a simplified version. It must say what it is intended to say. Those who have no knowledge of Scripture or Christianity cannot glean that knowledge from a Bible version. To come to know Christ is utterly reliant upon His calling that person, and His enabling of that person, not upon what that person first reads. Not a single person could ever have come to know the Lord through The Message Bible, or any other version for that matter. Coming to know the Lord is completely by His grace, and cannot be based on something a person has read.

      The true believer will never be paranoid about these things, but will be deeply concerned by all things which are false. True believers are called to stand firmly for the truth and to work constantly to expose falsehoods, especially for those who may be mislead by false doctrines, teachings and even books which pose as the Truth. The Book of Jude makes these things very clear. We are to speak out distinctly against all things which present a threat to the Truth: Jud 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

      If we choose a solid and proper translation of the Bible, we will have no need to consult the original scripts, as that has been done in producing a correct translation. You are absolutely correct in stating that we should live our Christian lives as an example of the Word. However, we should be very concerned about the incorrect scriptures as presented by books like The Message. What if we are not around to point out the errors of these weak translations, which pose as the Word of God, and The Message remains the only Bible those around will ever read, rather than us ourselves?

      Nevertheless, as in the times before there were any Bibles, there were those who were saved by the grace of God. All praise to our Almighty Saviour and Creator God, who saves all whom He has chosen to save by His Grace alone, through Faith alone in our Lord Jesus Christ alone. If we wish to uphold the Truth in Scripture, we need to uphold the reformed tenet of Sola Scriptura (in Scripture alone). If that Scripture which we wish to uphold is inaccurate, as it is portrayed in The Message, we cannot uphold His Word. There can only one truth for all Christians, as there is only One Saviour.


    • Elizabeth,
      Eugene Peterson has had ample time to correct the errors in his book. These errors have been clearly pointed out to him , yet he still has not updated The Message to address those concerns. There is an excellent article by Dr Terry Watkins on the errors of The Message. It really is worth examining what Dr Watkins has to point out. http://www.av1611.org/kjv/mess_bible.html
      Please ask yourself, who is the ‘God of green hope’ that Eugene Peterson talks about in Romans 15 verse 13?
      I also am from Northern Ireland and was raised in the Brethren Assemblies.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Just as Mags asked; “What is the god of green hope”? The true word say’s; “Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust. Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Romans 15:12,13. The “root of Jesse” is King David and his descendant down to Mary, Jesus mother, and nothing to do with green plant vegetation! The only tree mentioned is the one Jesus was crucified on (1 Peter 2:24) and shows how Jesus took on the “curse”, as cursed is anyone who is hung on a tree (Galatians 3:13). Nothing to do with; “growing tree tall,Tall enough for everyone everywhere to see and take hope!”, as per the “message bible”. No, as in the Jews mind, any King who was hung on a tree was cursed, and that is why they asked the Romans to crucify him! It is ironic that Pontius Pilate had a sign made, to be put above Christ head; “King of the Jews”. Fitting for what this King of Kings did, “bearing our sin’s”, again 1 Peter 2:24.


  3. Grant – I do not know your age or how long you have known The Lord. I do NOT , having been under SOUND teaching from the Word of God, for 60 years living in Northern Ireland and originally from a Brethren background (although no longer there but thanking God for the faithful teaching/ preaching of the Word and having it embedded in my heart and life) need a ‘lecture’ like this.
    I was brought up in a Christian home with a very Godly father who was known for his tolerance of other Christians and their viewpoint.
    That is why many came to him to discuss Scripture and the problems they encountered. None of us know it all!!
    I had the unspeakable privilege of leading both of my children to Christ at a very young age. Both of them went on to become a mighty young man and woman for God.
    GOD CHOSE to take our son to be with Him at 25 years of age after a sudden, unforgettable illness. I watched my son live his entire life for Christ, leaving an unblemished testimony and legacy of his impact for God on others as he had a passion to extend God’s Kingdom. Since his homecall, due to how believed his life and everyone knew he did not fear death, some have trusted Christ and other lives have been transformed. I personally have learned much about his life since then and his example has had an impact on how I have come to KNOW God more and more as I trust Him – WHATEVER.
    Perhaps we need to spend more time proclaiming God’s Word, living our lives for Him before those who do not know Him yet, than bickering about hat version is right or wrong.
    Of course I wish to uphold the truths from God’s Word but we should not become so preoccupied with bashing others who I am sure had nothing but good intention when they tried to simplify Scripture for the unlearned.
    Ours is not to judge their motives – that is God’s perogative and God hates nothing more than a proud self-righteous attitude.
    I do not intend to spend any more of my valuable time on this forum so I wish you God’s blessing, wish you well and look forward to the day we meet in Heaven when GOD will reveal all.
    We need to warn others of untruths – but do it in a loving gracious way and not as the Pharisees did.


    • Dear Elizabeth

      Thank you for your response. It was by no means my intention to “bash” anyone, neither you, nor Peterson. I do not write in an attempt to lecture people, I am not in the people bashing business. If you knew me, you would also know that the truth matters to me and that I have a great passion for those who are being misled by the false teachings of men. I am regularly moved to tears by the condition of those who remain in darkness due to not having heard the true Gospel.

      It was, and remains my intention, to “bash” false messages, false teachings and false translations, because they keep people in bondage to sin or to the law. I cannot remain silent when confronted by error which could harm the faith of others, simply for the sake of portraying a tolerant attitude. Neither would that be a loving thing to do, nor would it bring Glory to our Saviour, Jesus Christ. If The Message had been a mere simplification of Scripture for the sake of the unlearned, and did not by its nature alter the whole truth of God’s Word, it would have been quite acceptable to all true Christians.

      Whether Eugene Peterson’s intentions were good or bad, has no bearing on the error and effect of his publication. By pointing out the error held in The Message, I am not judging his motives, but I am contending for the truth. That is not being proud or self-righteous, that is obeying His Word. Standing up for the truth does not make of one a Pharisee, they never stood for the truth.

      If you took what I wrote as having been done in an unloving manner, I apologize unreservedly for choosing words which placed you under that impression. It is true that none of us will ever know it all in this life, irrespective of our age in years, our childhood and upbringing or our experiences along the way. Our salvation is of the Lord and we live our lives according to His Sovereign will, saved only by His Grace.

      I rejoice in your faith and that of your children. Be blessed.


      • Thank you so much for your excellent, informative words of protection, and of warning, Grant. May our dear Jesus continue to use your humility and brilliant mind to be a watchman, and to keep and guard you and all of your dear loved ones and bring each of you to the places he has prepared for you in this life and for all eternity.


  4. My concern is the proliferation of supposed “Word of God”. I, too, grew up using KJV and had studied other versions, but always found myself going back to what I knew, my foundation. I believe wholeheartedly, the enemy knowing “the” Bible would be what we should use it for, a “foundation” would need to tamper with it, leaving many of us to “think” we had something when in fact, we did not! Since the Bible is its own best interpreter and guide, I always used Rev. 11. When those two witnesses (OT & NT) were being destroyed in France (Sodom & Egypt) what version was being printed and causing so much trouble during the end of the Reformation? The KJV. Wasn’t the NIV or the RV or even The Message! So, yes, I’ll stick to what has been tried and true and truly given as our foundation. If there is something to be made clearer, that’s the Holy Spirit’s job, not another version!


  5. If the Message bible was written with the purpose of simplifying the Word for unlearned or the young than it’s an EPIC FAIL. It’s not easy to understand at all, the language is a mix of poetry and slang mixed with modern English words, it’s weird and incomprehensible at times.
    If it was written as a legit “new, modern” version of the Word to be used for study it’s an EPIC FAIL. You can’t alter the point that the God Almighty is getting across in a verse and have that be OK.
    This version was written by a man who clearly does not believe that the Bible is Holy scriptures written by the inspiration of the Spirit of God, infalliable , having supreme authority in Heaven and on Earth for all eternity. Written for the benefit of men, so that through the same Spirit who wrote it we would believe, know, and Love Jesus and the Father, in whom and through whom all knowledge, understanding, wisdom derives. In the scriptures he has set clear guidelines, principles, statutes, testimonies, laws by which we get to know the heart and mind of God, His character, His personality, the essence of His being. In this same Word we learn what we as men are, sinners, depraved, carnal, separated from God, we discover our enemy the devil and his wickedness…..the final outcome of this mess known as the “world” and the people who pursue it’s pleasures. I mean I can go on and on about the Holiness and greatness of the HOLY Word of God Almighty.
    This guy and whatever demon is leading him really blew it, God has given us some authority to Judge, I can’t say we should just give him over to Satan he is already demon led if not possessed…..


  6. thank you very much for this review. I now know, as a Unitarian, that the message is the right intro to Christianity for my personal views. Have a blessed day.


    • GiVi
      As a member of the Unitarian cult, you also know that your religion has nothing in common with Christianity, God or truth. Relativism, universalism, rejection of hell and unconditional tolerance, by their nature, cannot be truth. Truth can only be true, if it is absolute and singular. Based on the fact that “The Message” also has very little in common with Christianity, I can understand that a Unitarian could find it of some use. However, I fail to understand why a Unitarian would be interested in Christ and God, when the heretical religious system of Unitarianism outright rejects both in favour of man’s ability and goodness. The useless and damnable false god of Unitarianism is no God at all, and our personal views are of no value whatsoever in the matters of God.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. The Message is very dangerous. It is because of Bibles such as The Message (which really isn’t a Bible at all) that many souls are deceived into believing lies about who God is and what He expects of man.

    Looking at Jesus’ rebuke to the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23:23, every translation I have read states that what they were tithing was mint, cummin and anise; i.e, garden produce.

    Peterson takes liberties with that verse and changes what was tithed to “every nickel and dime”. Excuse me???? Nickels and Dimes were not even known in the first Century A.D..

    Many argue that the Pharisees were ridiculous with their tithing, being so meticulous about tithing that they tithed of things that God didn’t even require to be tithed. Well, if God did not require the tithing of mint, cummin and anise, why did Jesus say they ought to have done it?

    Back to the Message. As I said, it is very dangerous. It turns the truth into a lie and gives license to sin. Best to avoid it if you are not strong enough in your walk with the Lord to discern truth from error.


  8. I believe Eugene Peterson clearly had an agenda when writing this, and it wasn’t simply to paraphrase the Word Of God. Depending on the verse reviewed, he adds to or subtracts from the Word. He uses New Age terminology, inserting Master to replace Lord and “as above, so below”, a clearly New Age term. What is so sad is that many Pastors quote from the Message, which to me is a lack of discernment. One drop of arsenic poisons the whole glass of water.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “Reveal who you are”? Jesus did that in John 14 when Philip asked Jesus to show the disciples the father. Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” Eugene Peterson may have been sincere when writing The Message but he’s sincerely wrong. The Apostle Paul was the same way before he came to know Christ. He was sincere about murdering Christians but he was sicerely wrong.


  10. Because of a lack of time I did not read all the comments here. However did someone mention that the bible was not written in English? I noticed no comparison of Greek or Hebrew to the translations. It like comparing copies of copies and arguing over quality.


  11. Oh dear…..I feel very concerned/confused as a newly awoken Christian……I had struggled for years and years and have really finally found God just in the past five months more then anytime in my 41 yrs and I have found The Message so helpful to me. I have always had such a very difficult time understanding the Bible and feel that this has really helped me with certain verses and stories that I would normally NOT understand at all!!! I am definately going to use my KJV and try to get more into that but will still use this……..any suggestions…….just really want to be right with our Lord God and so many people have said this book is such a deceiver……I really don’t want that and don’t want anything to get in the way of my relationship with God……….


  12. Very happy to find your blog, website and facebook page!
    So relieved to read your doctrinal statement!!!

    Its a relief to not find mixed bible beliefs. Lately I have heard things from trusted Christians such as Noah may not have been a real man. Eternity might be a season. The flood may have not been global, the bible is not the only divinely inspired book…. it concerns me greatly, grieved me.

    It concerns me that people are taking their beliefs from the bible from interpretations of people who more and more often these days into ‘sacred questioning’ and various philosophies that detract from what the words says there in black and white and more into their possible meanings…

    I am not a doomsayer however deceit is upon us!

    Thank you!!!


  13. Like you l was concerned about the missing verses. However it appears to be evident that the missing verses were added later having been transcribed from adds to the margin. I am open however, to being directed towards other evidence available. The verses in question are important to the text. The NIV appears to redress this.The Message paraphrase however, should never be classed as a Bible and in fact distorts Scripture intentionally. It is my understanding that Eugene Peterson has been made aware of his errors and has to date failed to make any corrections to this effect.


  14. The message bible is easy to read for a young Christian but they do not know it is wrong. The more I read it the more I see it. I have a Bible with the NIV on one side of the page and the message on the other side. Judges 16 v 5 NIV. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels of silver. The message. Each man’s company will give you a hundred shekels of silver. That is a big difference.


  15. An acquaintance on Facebook often quotes it, as do her children, and it grieves me. I had a friend who is a pastor who quoted/used it, and to him I voiced my concerns. I could not believe his reply. I have always known him to be a gentle sort of man, but the arrogance displayed when I dared to question him stunned me. He reminded me how he studied scripture, etc etc. We have not “been friends” since. That right there shows me how deeply divisive this so called bible is.


    • Good illustration, thanks Lauren. I think it worth considering two points in your comment:
      Firstly, while this false version is certainly divisive of men and their powerless opinions, it cannot divide God’s people away from His church, as it is God who brings His church together and not even the gates of hell can divide it. Even though men may feel or seem that they have the ability to cause such calamity through their actions or words, division brought about by men cannot overturn God’s decisions. That is a great comfort and truth.
      Secondly, one wonders whether a pastor, called by God that is, and not one who has been appointed by a council, denomination, seminary or even by himself to the church, would actually use a book which is so obviously twisted. I have never met or heard of one who would dare oppose the Word so publicly.


  16. Thank you for writing this and showing so clearly why this “version” shouldn’t be relied on for anything. False teachings already abound. We don’t need to add more to that by misleading paraphrases that avoid the real truth of God’s word.


  17. the bible said “know the truth and it shall set you free” there was a reason why christ Jesus did not say “say the truth”. because if the the truth is not said out of love then it is no truth at all… what you are doing by rubbishing the message bible is simply destroying the faith of others that have found it useful… apostel paul once said that if christ is been preached out of anger or selfishness but as long as christ is preached then it is ok… the message bible refers to christ Jesus as the son of God and if you ask me that is enough… and for your part where it ommits the word homosexual with “without love but lust” if the love of God is in a man, then sin is not in him. how is that hard to understand??? please do not render the faith of those who have found the faith using this scripture weak, its not worth it. remove the log in your eye before you remove the speck in another. its not worth it. have a blessed day.


    • pastor michael

      You say….”what you are doing by rubbishing the message bible is simply destroying the faith of others that have found it useful”

      Not me or you can destroy the faith of a true born again believer. It is God who keeps a believer in the faith. Sadly it seems you are just as deluded as the Message Book. And you are a “pastor”? Glad you are not my pastor for sure. I hope God gives you the truth other wise I am afraid you are leading your congregation and your self to hell. The Message Book is not a Bible it is a misleading book written by a deluded man, who twisted the truth. Thank God for good faithful pastors like mine, whom God keeps and teach to teach the flock. You have a good day.


      • For the pastor….The Message is not a Bible and should not be used in place of one.
        Of course God can use anything to speak to people, but who is the god of green hope in Romans 15 and why does the The Message not give Jesus His title of Lord Jesus or Lord Jesus Christ?

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Pingback: ‘The Message – MSG’ Bible Translation – Is it God’s Word? | Exposing Error @ Moonee Ponds Baptist Church

  19. It is not only the words that are the problem, but also the spirit. For the spirit contained within the words are lost. The bible is a spiritual book, written by chosen men of GOD(that wrote the original scrolls) to document his LOGOS. Therefore, they were moved by the MOST HOLY SPIRIT when they wrote it. Thus, the more the bible is translated, the more we spirit that is lost in the words.

    This book, “the message”, contains no spirit in the words. It should be burned.


  20. Pingback: The Attraction of Experience: The Subtle and Disturbing Trend of American Christianity – Sola Scriptura

  21. Pingback: The Message Bible – Critical Reviews – Reasoned Cases For Christ

  22. Pingback: THE HOLY BIBLE IS THE ONLY MESSAGE OF GOD’S WAY - JesusLiftedup.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s