“The Message” (the Bible in contemporary language)

I truly love the Bible, but for reasons different than one might think. While it is the narrative foundation for my convictions and beliefs, I love the Bible as an amazing work of literature, poetry, symbolism and world view. I continually find myself amazed by this compilation of 66 books written by at least 39 authors over a period of approximately 1,500 years. I know there are so many arguments about the missing books, potential contradictions, edits made by those in authority, credibility of authors, manipulated translations, et cetera. None of these discussions take away from my love for this work. A few reasons include:

  • Some of the earliest King James translations are absolutely beautiful, much like reading Shakespeare.
  • The principles shared within this work will add value to your life whether you believe in God or not.
  • There are so very few books that feel fresh at each reading. This is one of them. Each passage seems to speak very differently to me at different times.
  • Christianity, as shared in the Bible, is either true or is the most amazing farce imaginable. I am amazed at how so many authors from different periods of time accomplished such a feat. It’s the equivalent of 40 composers being isolated in separate rooms and being asked to create separate scores of an yet unwritten opera that would flow seamlessly; and doing it perfectly.

I have never been an advocate of reading the Bible from front to end. It wasn’t written that way. I have always enjoyed topical studies, viewing different passages covering the same period of time or simply taking my time to meditate on any given set of verses. However, about a decade ago, the thought crossed my mind that there just might be some chapter(s) of the Bible that had never crossed my eyes; so, I decided to read it in full. I didn’t want this effort to take away from my joy of regular study and decided not to set a deadline. I bought a leather-bound copy of The Message and began reading, leaving a ribbon where I left off. Now, 10 years later, I am done. Along the way, I have discovered many prior unseen things. I have also had many joyous reminders. I have further found much support for convictions already held. But the greatest feeling of all is the sense that this entire collection of words has power. Power not intended to be tamed, but honored, loved and appreciated. As with all power, we have often seen it abused – even in the realms of “Christianity”. Nonetheless, I am awestruck by the beauty of the perfect power I believe this book gives hints of. I both fear and anxiously await the opportunity to observe this power in full.