Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Not-So-Silly Bible

I've never really been a HUGE fan of "The Message" Bible translation. Sometimes I think that what it says is downright silly. But today, as I was doing my Bible study, it said to read Colossians 3:1-17 three times and try to read it in three different translations. My small Bible I keep at work is ESV, then I looked up the passage online and read it in the New Living Translation and then from The Message. It still is a little funny to me, because of the way it's worded. It's like, I really don't see Paul sittin' in the jail cell saying "It's your basic, all-purpose garment," but ya know what? For the purpose of truly understanding what he was telling the people at that time, I think The Message does a pretty good job. It's like if Alex was explaining the passage to me in a way that we would normally talk, or like a contemporary sermon. I really GET it.
Anyway, here are the verses as they read from The Message. (Feel free to follow along in your own Bible to notice the differences.)

Colossians 3:1-17

1-2, So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that's where the action is. See things from his perspective.
3-4, Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you'll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.
5-8, And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That's a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God. It's because of this kind of thing that God is about to explode in anger. It wasn't long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it's all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk.
9-11, Don't lie to one another. You're done with that old life. It's like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you've stripped off and put in the fire. Now you're dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ.
12-14, So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It's your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
15-17, Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.

1 comment:

  1. i'm with you on the message. a lot of people love it because of it's relevance, but i just look at it as a man's modern day way of talking scripture out like you or i would...given, just like eugene peterson, there's no way we could claim to get the whole scripture right in modern day language. and he doesn't claim that either.
    i like the message because it is fascinating to experience an "educated modern attempt" at speaking the Bible out. but it's not THE BIBLE, and as long as our youth and others who read it know that, it's a safe listen-to when you're looking for a modern take, not a "true translation."
    there's my rant.

    i will blog soon, i promise.


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