A few years later people I respected began to refer to The Message. And then I heard Bishop Sally Dyck not only refer to it, she used it for her text (the reading of the Bible) in a worship service…and it was effective…powerful…
After that I found and read Eugene Peterson’s memoir. First I discovered the Rev. Peterson is a very respected linguist… he was the guy who taught Hebrew and Greek, the languages in which the Bible was written. The Message is not a paraphrase; it is a translation, which means that it took something of a language expert to do what Peterson did. And then I discovered he had spent most of his life as a local parish pastor. He began his translation of the Bible because someone in his church asked him to explain a Psalm to her. And then to top it off I discovered he is from Montana and has a home on Flathead Lake…Eugene Peterson was not some ivory tower conservative intellectual….he was a real person who had unique ability with and deep passion for scripture.
I was bouncing around Facebook one day when I saw a post from my friend Steve. Steve plays several roles in my life. He helps me understand conservative theological thinking. He is a great biking buddy. And he is my U2 (yes, that rock band) mentor. Steve posted this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-l40S5e90KY&feature=share. I really, really want to encourage you to watch this short film.
In this video Eugene Peterson is talking with Bono (yes, that Bono) about the Psalms! That sold me, if Eugene Peterson is all right with Bono, he’s all right with me. In case you don’t have time to watch it, in this video Peterson comments about first reading the Psalms and coming to the realization that, Imagination is a way to get inside the truth.
Peterson’s modern day metaphors have made scripture so very real to many of us. I agree, as did Peterson, that The Message is not meant to replace all other translations. There are some times and places where something is missing in even Peterson’s translation.
In the preface to the edition of The Message we give to every confirmation student, Peterson says, My intent here is simply to get people reading the Bible who don’t know that the Bible is read-able at all, at least by them, and to get people who long ago lost interest in the Bible to read it again.
Eugene Peterson helped me to read the Bible again…to read the Bible in a fresh, exciting and relevant new way. Today I thank God for his life.
Keep the Faith,
10/24/18 08:33Renee Ribarenee.firstname.lastname@example.org/24/18 08:33Renee Ribarenee.email@example.com