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The Message is very different from other Bibles. Please see The Message – Verse Comparisons for a look at how it compares to the KJV, NASB, and ESV. Differences exist because it was written using a different approach and with different goals in mind. The Message grew out of the author’s (Eugene Peterson) desire to make the Bible more approachable for new readers of the Bible and to rekindle the passion of veteran readers.

This quote from Mr. Peterson’s speaks to what his goals were:

“I knew that the early readers of the New Testament were captured and engaged by these writings and I wanted my congregation to be impacted in the same way. I hoped to bring the New Testament to life for two different types of people: those who hadn’t read the Bible because it seemed too distant and irrelevant and those who had read the Bible so much that it had become ‘old hat.” (Source)

God’s word has power. And that power is in His hands. I trust Him to reach the hearts and minds of Bible readers without creative translating. As might be suspected, Mr. Person’s approach produced a version with major problems. There are numerous times when the words and phrases in The Message are so different from the originals that the true meaning is obscured. I do not think it should be used from the pulpit or by anyone that has a sincere desire to give God’s word the hearing it deserves. This translation is far from the careful work that was done by translators of earlier Bible versions that we looked at on this journey.

Further Reading
A Creative But Inaccurate Message, Chapter 3 Ministries
Analysis Of The Message Bible: Justification and Sanctification, Chapter 3 Ministries
The Message Bible: Verse Comparisons, Chapter 3 Ministries
The Message, Bible Research
Bible translations: Comparison charts, Chapter 3 Ministries

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Congratulations!
You have reached the end!

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What did you think of the journey? Please share below.

Thank you for taking this Interactive Journey Through the History of the English Bible. I hope you found it illuminating and that it will serve as a springboard to further investigation into this and other topics of church history. Remember the sacrifices that were made and the work that was done to bring the precious gift of God’s word to English speaking people. Cherish and read the Great Book often. It is too precious and too important to leave on the table or shelf… or in an unopened app. I thank God that through His word we can hear the gospel and come to the knowledge of Him in Christ Jesus! To God be the glory! Amen!

Information about the Free Bible Software E-sword

E-Sword
As promised, here is the information about free Bible software. It is called e-sword. The e-sword software offers a lot of free resources and has some excellent features. The software can be found at e-sword.net. Once you download and install the program you’ll have access to a download area that will allow you to add on Bibles and references. It comes with the 1769 King James Version. Additional free Bibles include the 1611 King James Version, the Bishops’ Bible, the Geneva Bible, and the English Standard Version. There are also free commentaries and dictionaries and other study tools. Additional resources are available for purchase. The program is not difficult to use and offers a useful interface for Bible study. I have used it for many years.

Additional Relevant Sites
Bibles-online.net
Website that allows you to “digitally turn the actual pages from books and Bibles”.* The Bibles are old and amazing to look at.
Internet Bible Catalog
“The Internet Bible Catalog is a web-based catalog of printed editions of the Bible.”*
*From the home page.

From Chapter 3 Ministries
Study Resources

Sharon Lareau

  1. This was an excellent presentation of how we got our English Bibles! It was readable without being too complicated and enough information given to give the amazing history behind the Bibles we have to read today. I am thankful for the courage these men had to risk their lives to give us Scripture in our own language!

    1. Hi Linda, Thank you for doing the study and the feedback. Your comments are much appreciated. I am with you in thanksgiving for the men who risked so much!

  2. Thank you for sharing this information. I truly enjoyed doing the study. Looking back through the history of how our Bible came be translated is amazing. I see the love of God for His people, we have His word and we have so great a salvation. Time well spent Sharon.

    1. Hi Beth, You’re welcome. Thank you for doing the study and for commenting. I’m happy that you enjoyed the study. This history is pretty amazing. We are so blessed to have God’s word and salvation in His Son.

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