Recently I have enjoyed reading The Message bible version. So much that I have purchased it for ‘easy’ reading. This translation is not a word for word, but basically a paraphrase. I find that when trying to reach a young audience the paraphrased versions do best.
I remember when the NIV came out, and all he commotion it caused for not being a ‘word for word’ translation. I too started to reject it along with the bandwagon. Till I started doing online studies where the NIV came up along with the other version. And I noticed I started to use it more, when I wanted a more communicable reading. It read like someone was talking to you, not like you were ‘reading the bible’. And it helped me read more of the bible, numerous times.
So, lately I have started to read the bible to my 9 year old daughter. I just picked up a bible I had on hand, an ESV. A word for word translation. I don’t know what happened to my NIV’s, they must have been given away. I no longer have a paraphrase version. And so, I as I have been doing some online studies I have been running into ‘The Message’ version. And find that I am liking the way it reads, as a paraphrase. So much so, that I purchased it to continue reading it to my daughter.
There are seasons and reasons in life for choosing a word for word and/or a paraphrase translation of the bible. Even the author of The Message understands that his version is ill equipped for exegetical treatment of the original text. He admits to creating it because as he read and taught Galatians to his congregation, all they did was stir their coffee. Till he started re translating the original greek into today’s common english. Then he says they came alive and attentive, grasping the Truths of the text.
This IS the function of a paraphrase translation, and the hopes I have for my daughters as I read it to them.
Here is a sample verse, and one I hold dear too.
"When you awake in the morning, learn something to inspire you and mediate upon it, then plunge forward full of light with which to illuminate the darkness." -Rabbi Tzvi Freeman
Jewish adventures in the diaspora.
Scripture, ethics and spiritual formation