3 Stars Out Of 5
Really hard to download
February 12, 2012
I have this book (the Pause version of the Message, the books of the bible all jumbled up so you can read the book from beginning to end) as a paperback and I love it.
I wanted to buy this, the digital version to get an ePub as well, to complement when I don't have my heavy backpack with me but only a small book reading device.
But it was really hard to download this! You have to have a Windows PC with Flash and Adobe Digital Reader and things like that.
In the end I made a friend do it for me.
What a hassle!
The file itself is not DRM and works great, once you've got it, with many epub readers and is good quality. It has all the little icons and things that the paper book has, but not typeset the same way (of course, since epub allows the reading device to reformat the book however it likes).
Oddly enough, it has some typos and errors that are not in the paper version (for example, it says 030 where the it should say 003 early on).
My heart sank when I clicked the download link and just this "missing plugin" puzzle box came up. Not what I was expecting at all. I cannot recommend buying digital books this way. It took us the better part of the morning.
About the book:
This book has 365 chapters. Every seventh chapter is just a short reflection text (by Mark Tabb), but the others have a text from the Hebrew scriptures followed by a text from the Greek scriptures.
For example, chapter 001 starts with the first two chapters of Genesis and the first 18 verses of John's first chapter.
Then chapter 002 continues Genesis and John.
So you're only alternating between two books of the bible at a time. The books themselves are in a specific order. It's not all four gospels in a row, for example. The order is designed so that the two readings somewhat complement each other in that chapter. I haven't read the whole thing yet (I am at chapter 059) so I don't know how well they will continue to match up throughout the whole 365 chapters, but so far it has been great. Obviously that makes it hard to locate a specific text and read just that. There is a table of contents so you can find where a certain book of the bible starts, but not specific chapters.
So if you want to read just the sermon on the mount, for example, you can't easily find it. You can see where Matthew starts and turn to that page (it's interleaved with the Psalms, which started a few chapters earlierâ€”yes, the books overlap, the Greek and Hebrew scriptures don't sync up like starting and ending at the same timeâ€”but the specific reading per chapter references the other text. It's syncopated in a way I like, creates a rhythm that makes the book hard to put down) but then you have to go forward bit by bit through Matthew, Psalms, Matthew, Psalms and so on till you see what you're looking for.
So this book was designed for one thing and one thing onlyâ€”reading it from start to finish.
So much for chapters. As for verses, this book doesn't bother with them, which is one of the reasons why I selected it. My suggestion is to look things up on your computer if you want to find a specific verse.
Each book of the bible starts with Peterson's introduction from the regular Message (so you're not missing anything, this is the complete Message, just jumbled up) and each reading has some questions written by Mark Tabb. They're fairly socratic, just things to think about. I like them.