Eugene Peterson's...

"The Message" Exposed!

       All ready for some more New Age Bible version mumbo-jumbo? Here's the latest--The Message, "transliterated" by Eugene Peterson. The following is a dig aimed at the authorized King James Bible. It is found at the NavPress site, publishers of "The Message":

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 The idiom of the playground and marketplace not the formal, lofty language of government decrees and historical documents...

This insult indeed judges them. In it, we see that they don't consider God or His commandments lofty or formal. Yet doesn't the Bible say that God is the Most High? Isn't He the High and Lofty One? Isn't the Jesus Lord of lords and King of kings? Isn't He majestic? Then why in the world would we use the worst of the English language to describe Him? Why would we use "playground language"? Why wouldn't God's book be written in lofty language? Lofty language is more consistent with God. Why wouldn't we use the best for Him? We use the best in our textbooks, government documents, thesis papers--why wouldn't we use the best for God Almighty?

Additionally, if The Message is so good, why try to put down the Authorized King James? why not put down the NIV, NASV, GNMN, LB? Because the Authorized Kings James is a superior translation. The Message publishers attempt to pull down the best in order to exalt their own poor transliteration.

There is so much wrong with this translation that it speaks for itself. Below, on the left side, read the faithful, accurate Authorized King James Bible, on the right side, read the irreverent, inaccurate "The Message". Note their use of New Age mumbo-jumbo like "energies" and "your inside world".

AKJV = Authorized King James Version  |  TM = The Message


1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:

2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,


3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.


5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.


6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.


7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.


1 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside... This is what he said:

2 "You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

3 "You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

4 "You're blessed when you're content with just who you are no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.

5 "You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.

6 "You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find yourselves cared for.

7 "You're blessed when you get your inside world your mind and heart put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

8 ? (where is it? verses 1 and 2 combined?)

Which one is clearer? Which one has less words and less clouded meaning? How can people using these two radically different Bibles have a Bible study without confusion? Which of these AKJV words don't you understand? In the next examples, The Message verses are all jumbled up into paragraphs so it is not as easy to compare verse by verse, yet you will be able to follow insofar as you can understand the mumbo-jumbo:

MATTHEW 5:13-16-- AKJV

13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

MATTHEW 5:13-16--TM

Jesus said, "Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You've lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.

"Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven." (148 words)--[NOTE:I did not write this "148 words. I don't know what it means.")

MATTHEW 5:43-48-- AKJV

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

MATTHEW 5:43-48--TM

Jesus said, "You're familiar with the old written law, 'Love your friend,' and its unwritten companion, 'Hate your enemy.' I'm challenging that. I'm telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best -- the sun to warm and the rain to nourish -- to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.

"In a word, what I'm saying is, Grow up. You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you."

MATTHEW 6:1-4, 6-- AKJV

1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

MATTHEW 6:1-4, 6--TM

Jesus said, "Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don't make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won't be applauding.

"When you do something for someone else, don't call attention to yourself. You've seen them in action, I'm sure 'playactors' I call them treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that's all they get. When you help someone out, don't think about how it looks. Just do it quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out. . . .

"Here's what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won't be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace."


5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

ROMANS 5:7-10--TM

We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.

Now that we are set right with God by means of this sacrificial death, the consummate blood sacrifice, there is no longer a question of being at odds with God in any way. If, when we were at our worst, we were put on friendly terms with God by the sacrificial death of his Son, now that we're at our best, just think of how our lives will expand and deepen by means of his resurrection life!

ROMANS 5:20-21, 6:6-9 AKJV

5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

ROMANS 5:20-21--TM

Sin didn't, and doesn't, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it's sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death, and that's the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life-a life that goes on and on and on, world without end. . . .

Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the Cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life no longer at sin's every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ's sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word.


2:1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,

2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:


If you've gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don't push your way to the front; don't sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all.


2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

2:14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.


Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God's energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure.

Do everything readily and cheerfully no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night so I'll have good cause to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns. You'll be living proof that I didn't go to all this work for nothing.


4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.


Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you're on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!

Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life

Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.

I don't know how anybody can say this is right. Nevertheless, even after reading this comparison, some people will still defend each Bible version as being true and right. They can't all be right because they contradict each other. I feel that these people don't want to face the facts--they are proud and are so determined to be "right" even in the face of facts. A wise man will consider his ways, but the fool won't.  He'll keep going on in his folly--and paying the price.

Ye Must Be Born Again!

The King James Bible Defended!