Open letter to the Bible Gateway

I would like to encourage you to reconsider your description of Eugene Peterson’s “The Message” at http://bible.gospelcom.net/languages/index.php?language=english&version=MSG . Far from capturing the “subtle connotations of meaning that are often lost in English translations,” The Message often exchanges these connotations for something totally different. Theological concepts are omitted, sin is downplayed – particularly by omitting reference to certain sins – and important themes are replaced with interpretations often covering far less ground.

Your review says, “The original books of the Bible were not written in formal language.” Certainly, many portions of Scripture were written in everyday speech, but others – particularly the epistles – used extremely specific and often slightly obscure language. The reason was simple: words were needed to convey complex ideas efficiently. Peterson fails utterly to convey the theological depth of the Bible by omitting “difficult” or “inaccessible” words.

Please reconsider this review. While your site is generally excellent, I feel that your favorable view of The Message risks gravely misleading many of God’s children.

Sincerely,
Ed Cottrell

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