The Message: A Few Comparison Verses with the KJV


A good friend of mine plays “Guess The Bible Verse” with her kids.  They take turns reading a familiar verse from The Message and then ask if the others can guess which verse it’s suppose to be.  They’ve found it to be a constant source of amusement as they discover just how silly and outlandish many of the paraphrased verses are in The Message.

Honestly, after reading the New Testament in The Message a couple of years ago, I’d just sort of written The Message off as being sort of stupid and irrelevant.  And I never gave it much thought again.

But while I was online looking for something else, I stumbled across these scripture verses …  The Message version compared with the King James Version.  (And just so you know, I’m not a “King James Only” sort of Christian, so don’t get your panties in a bunch if you use the NASB or NIV or RSV or whatever.)

Romans 12:1 

  • THE MESSAGE:  ‘Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.’
  • KING JAMES VERSION:  “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

Ephesians 1:4 

  • MSG:  ‘Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love.’
  • KJV:  “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.”

Ephesians 5:8-10

  • MSG:  ‘Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it.’
  • KJV:  “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth) proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.”

Genesis 6:8

  • MSG:  ‘Noah was a pleasure to the Lord.’
  • KJV:  “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”

Side Note:  Rick Warren says that we’re alive today because Noah was a pleasure to God (Warren refers to The Message to make his point in PDL) … but actually, we’re alive today because of God’s grace.

Exodus 34:14

  • MSG:  ‘He is a God who is passionate about his relationship with you.’
  • KJV:  “For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a-whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice.”


And again I say, “Wow!”

It’s like Eugene Peterson, the guy who paraphrased The Message, took scissors to the Bible and cut out references to holiness, living righteously, and serving the One True God.

That’s sort of scary.

~ by thegreatapostasy on June 1, 2008.

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