Friday, January 22, 2010

The Message in 2010

I've started reading The Daily Message ... it's a through-the-Bible-in-a-year-book in the Message translation. The Message is a very modern translation, written by a pastor (Eugene Peterson) who not only has a passion for the Word of God but a passion for words and writing as well.

It translates from the Greek thought-for-thought, more so than word for word.

You can learn more about this translation and it's author here.

When I first came to Christ, I read the New King James Version. I still have lots of verses committed to memory in the NKJ. Then after several years, I moved to the New International Version, and memorized many in NIV as well. After years in that, I moved to the New Living Translation, which I've loved for the last several years. And this year, I'm diving into The Message.

I realize some people take issue with newer translations, feeling that they can get too far away from the original language. I respect their passion for purity. But I've found it really helps me to hear things I've read for years said in a different way. I notice more, or notice it afresh. And that invigorates my walk with God, which is a main reason I'm reading the Bible.

So if you'd like to read through The Message too, click on the photo above to buy the book and just jump in at whatever day it is when it arrives. Don't worry that you didn't start on January 1. You know how the book starts (there's creation, and a garden called Eden, and a guy named Adam ...).

Don't even worry if it's already summer, or fall, when you find this invitation -- dive in and start now. You can finish up at the beginning in January 2011 if you want and complete the journey. The important thing is to just start reading the Bible regularly - yes?

So sit down your inner-perfectionist-gotta-start-January-1st-or-it's-ruined self, and tape her mouth shut. Contrary to her beliefs, she isn't always right! Then jump in at today's date and enjoy the journey. The readings take maybe 15 minutes a day, and end with 2 thought provoking questions by Peterson.

What? You have trouble silencing your inner perfectionist, you say? Well, I've been reading the hardback book version, but I think I'm going to order the audio version as well so I can listen to it on my treadmill. If your inner perfectionist insists, through the tape, that you start at the beginning, get the audio version too and listen to it while cooking, folding laundry or running errands and you should get caught up fairly quick.

I'll be posting here periodically (not daily, but regularly) on things that strike me as I read this Bible this year. So feel free to chime in, even if you're not reading thru The Message this year.

Thankful for the freedom to read the Bible.


  1. Hi Rachel...I enjoy your blog and am seriously thinking about joining you in reading The Message this year. I have a question for you...on your list of books beside your bed you always have Bible Study Magazine. Could you tell me more about that? Debby

  2. Hey Debby ... come on and join me! The book isn't very expensive for a Bible, and the language in it is lovely.

    Bible Study magazine launched about a year ago. It comes about 6 times a year and you can subscribe for about $15 at their website. Check out this link to learn more about the magazine:

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. We HEART the Message and have for years. I hate to say it, but, we were Message before Message was cool. AND, I think it's awesome that you are doing it in a year. YAY for you. I did that in 2004-2005 (before babe #1 arrived) with a BS called Disciple and Jason did it in 2008-2009 and we both loved it! That Bible- I tell ya'. :)
    And we have even started using a hipper, waaaay cooler Bible called the Books of the Bible from the International Bible Society. It's like a novel... gone Biblical and all. It's an edgy Message... you know.. for us "cools". ha =)

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  6. Hi Rachel, I agree with you about just getting more of the Word. Because you've had exposure to the other versions, the Message is a great transition or next step. You know what the original text is all about. I'm not sure I would recommend it to a new believer although it might be easier for them to grasp? Bottom line is that we open our hearts to what the Holy Spirit wants to show us and grow closer to Jesus. My bible study group looked at Galations 5 this past week about keeping 'in step' with the Holy Spirit. I think He can guide us and lead us as we spend time in the Word, regardless of the version. I hope it is a blessing to you and others...looking forward to hearing what the Holy Spirit shows you. Diana

  7. Hi Rachel!

    Thanks for providing insight on The was very informative. I may have to check it out as well.


  8. Hi Rachel,
    I love God's words, no matter the translation. Since the Bible is the only book I can sit with the actual author everyday it is worth looking at different translations and having HIM help me dig out the truths He wants me to discover that day.
    One of my favorite verses in the Message is Psalm 94:19 "When I am upset and beside myself, You Lord calm me down and cheer me up!"
    What beautiful words to hold onto!

    Please pray for my husband on Feb. 9th. His packet will go before the Army Chaplain Selection Board. Pray God will grant him favor as they will only accept the top 60% of the applicants to become Army Chaplains.

  9. Love your devotionals and thoughts! I'm all for different versions of the bible, but we all need to be mindful of the fact that a new translation may change the entire meaning of the text all together. Having "I never knew that verse meant that" moments should prompt us to return to the orginal text and see if it lines up. Sometimes it will, but many times you may find that it doesn't. I understand about putting it plainly, but when it changes the meaning of the scripture, take it with a grain of salt. I agree with a prvious comment that maybe newer believers should hold off on The Message until a firm grasp of scripture is had - having a biblically sound mentor wouldn't be a bad idea either. But, then again, doesn't the word tell us to do that anyway :) Keep posting what the spirit tells you!


Chime in.