i have been reading the bible for forty-seven years. at 20 my first bible was king james then twenty years later it was the new king james. now it is the new king james and the message. the message has no wiggle room. you rarely have to ask "what does that mean" if you have struggled and thought you needed a teacher...this bible is for you...it is not a paraphrased edition as some say. it was translated from the original texts. in fact all scripture is paraphrased in that you have to translate. the word paraphrase dictionary meaning....a restatement of a text or passage in another form or other words, often to clarify meaning...which is what a translation is. you will be thrilled...read it with your other bible...i've been reading this translation as it came out in separate books, as the translation progressed...i give it a 10. i only wish the large cheapest one came in a soft cover...as you cannot send a hard cover into prisons or jails.
The message is not a Bible........ it is one man's suspect commentary on it, sure it's easy to read but the content is what we need to focus on. The message is a very poor paraphrase at best; some have called it heretical and I am inclined to agree. It is marketed to young people and new Christians who are the most impressionable in the faith . When you compare the message to other versions you see the dangerous omissions and insertions. such as Romans 8:35, 1 Timothy 1:10 or Romans 1:26-27. When you compare KJV, NIV and the message side by side you see the problem. I am not questioning the author's sincerity or making any attack on him personally but when you choose to take on the task of paraphrasing God's word you must handle with extreme care. John 10:30 "I and the Father are one". The message states "I and the Father are one in heart and mind". This brings a different meaning and context to it. Matthew 5:5 "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth" The message says "You are truly blessed when you are content with just who you are no more, no less". This is a totally un-Biblical statement and has nothing to do with the wider context of what Jesus was saying. This could be read be happy with who you are there is no need to seek to change. This was definitely not the premise of the beatitudes. My advice stay away from the message. Instead invest in the range of tools available to interpret the word of God such as a good Bible dictionary and Bible commentary and a good Bible.... The message is not it.