Versions of the Bible. Something Not Quite Right.
I took a look at the Messenger version of the Bible which is available at Bible Gateway. I use Bible Gateway all the time, and flip from the NIV to the NKJV translations, and I do also use the KJV as well. I really never found huge differences in the translations that were disturbing, although many have created a tremendous awareness campaign of the inaccuracies of different Bible translations.
The Messenger version of the Bible is written in colloquial English. I personally did not like it at all. There was something disturbing about it. Although Christ spoke to the masses in simple words, He also had great power and wealth in His sermons and lessons. He also spoke in rich parables that were understood by all, by those who were able to glean only the superficial meaning as well as those who were able to dig in and analyze His metaphors.
Christ’s lessons were incredibly powerful, although they were simple and not superfluous and wordy. There was never any needless verbage or tons of unnecessary prose in Christ’s words. They were simply constructed phrases, his lessons were very brief, yet they spoke for and answered all our questions about everything that we could possibly be seeking from Him today, 2000 years later, through His word.
I took a look at the Beatitudes in the Message version of the Bible. They didn’t have a drop of the beauty and depth of the Beatitudes of the classical versions of the Bible. As I was reading the Beatitudes of The Message, I was appalled at their baseness, they seemed to have a “vulgar” sound to them. They were written to sound like a locker room pep talk from a coach.
3 “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
4 “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
5 “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
6 “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
7 “You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
8 “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
9 “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
11-12 “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble. (Matthew 5) MSG
Take a look at the first beatitude : You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
At the end of your rope? “With less of you there is more of God and his rule”. What is that supposed to mean? Does it bear any resemblance to the first beatitude in KJV, NKJV or NIV?
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. Poor in spirit is not being at the end of your rope. That is quite base. And where is there any mention of the Kingdom of Heaven in the Message version of the Beatitude? Their inheritance of the Kingdom of Heaven is the whole point. How is the Message translation relevant at all to this beatitude?
I decided to take a look at how the Message has translated the Lord’s Prayer. Take a look:
Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best—
as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.
“Reveal who you are”? Is that a colloquial translation for “hallowed be thy name”? “Set the world right; Do what’s best”? How does that pertain to “Thy Kingdom Come” and “Thy Will be done”?
Now what really got to me was “as above, so below”. That is hardly appropriate for translating “on earth as it is in heaven”. At a glance it may make sense to someone. However, I do beg to differ on the choice of expression. The expression “as above, so below” is very commonly used in New Age texts. It originates from the writings of Hermes Trismegistus. It implies that as God is the divinity in the transcendent universe “above”, so man is the God in the world “below”. It is the origin of this “all men are gods” idea that are rampant in the deceitful new age theories that abound today.
At this point I was shocked. So I gave the Message the final “translation” test. I went to the Book of Revelation. And this is where I became totally convinced that there is a pagan/new age aura surrounding the choice of words in the Message.
7 “Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches. I’m about to call each conqueror to dinner. I’m spreading a banquet of Tree-of-Life fruit, a supper plucked from God’s orchard.” (Revelation 2:7) MSG
Wind words? Really? Wind words alludes to words whispered in the wind, or carried by the wind – a clear reference to the pagan gods of wind as well as the new age elemental worship that includes the angel of air, and the angel of wind that are taught in the controversial Nag Hammadi Gospel of Peace.
I looked up the other versions of the verse.
Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. NIV
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’ NKJV
I could go through a whole list of versions, but the premise remains that the angel which dictated the Word of God to John, testified by Yeshua, said that whoever has ears, they should hear what the Holy Spirit is saying – in regard to each particular church that is being addressed in Revelation.
The Holy Spirit was speaking. Those are the words of the Holy Spirit. That can hardly be connected to “wind words”. Is the Holy Spirit “wind”? That is vulgar, and it is counterfeit.
I looked at the introduction/explanation regarding the origins of the Message. It is said to have been written as a direct and simplified translation from the Greek Bible, from the κοινη.
Well, I speak Greek and looked up these Revelation passages in the original Greek ( in the 3 different versions). All use the word πνευμα which means spirit. The angel said that these words were spoken by the Spirit for those who have ears to hear what the Spirit has to say to each Church.
It is blasphemy, in my opinion, to call the words of the Holy Spirit “wind words”.
Maybe others may disagree with my view-point. I feel that versions like the Message are counterfeit Christian works that have slithered into the Church to corrupt those who are not aware of its wiles and deceit.
I am sure that this is not the only work out there that twists the Word of God.
This is surely a sign of the wolf in sheep’s clothing.