Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Lord's Prayer: "The Message" Version


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.
You're in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You're ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.


This version comes from The Message (2002), a modern American translation of the Bible by Eugene H. Peterson. The Message is not a word-by-word translation of the original Greek, says its publisher, but is instead an "intelligent paraphrase" designed "to communicate the style and flavour of the original." The publisher boasts that its reading level is Grade 4-5.

Understandably, this translation has come in for a lot of criticism, especially the complaint that its paraphrased style is "too New Age-y." While phrases like "three square meals" and "keep us forgiven with you" certainly do put my teeth on edge, I must admit that I like the ecstatic affirmation of the last two lines, "You're ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes."

Well, all the alternative versions of The Lord's Prayer that I've collected over the years have now been posted. But I'm sure that some other versions will cross my path eventually and I'll resume the series then.

8 comments:

stephy said...

I love this, truly. I don't know why it would be criticized. Thanks for posting it.

kim said...

I just got a copy of The Message and I am able to relate to it in my "New Thought" journey.

JewelieDee said...

Here's one example of why you should run from The Message unless you are into The Occult. In that case, it's the Bible for you.

Search these 4 words in Google: As above so below. Yep, that is the occult slogan of The New Age.

Now read The Lord's Prayer in The Message (Matthew 6). See anything?

Matthew Baugh said...

I tend to like The Message a lot, especially when you get into the long and convoluted sentences of Paul. Peterson is a talented Greek scholar and is good at catching even the subtle shadings of the original text. He is as his weakest, though, when he rephrases something that is easy to understand and very familiar, like the Lord's Prayer or the 23rd Psalm.

Thanks for posting this. Reading alternative versions always helps me return to the traditionsl wording with fresh appreciation and insights.

As for JewelieDee's comment, I have to disagree. While New Agers and others do indeed use the words "as above, so below" that's no reason to run away from this wonderful paraphrase version of the Bible. Think of what the words are saying. The prayer says that God's will is already perfectly followed in Heaven (as above) and longs for the day when it will be followed so perfectly on earch (so below).

I don't know how anyone could object to that, unless they have an issue with following god's will. :-)

Julie J said...

No, Matthew, Jewel is spot on. This translation wrong on so many levels. AND that is NOT what "As Above, So Below" means and I think you know it.

At least Kim is honest in saying what she is on..."a new thought journey."

Let blessings be known as blessingsand curses as curses. Don't try to convince others that wrong is right. You WILL be held accountable for those you lead astray.

Anthony Donovan said...

Julie, if you take that part of the phrase from the ESV and paraphrase it I think you get something close to the message.

"Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven."
-ESV version

It sounds like Jesus is telling us to pray for the earth to become more conformed to the will of God like heaven is. Or, in less words, "As above [heaven], so below [earth]." Just as heaven is, so the earth should be.

I think you're casting some really heavy judgement on something that you wouldn't if you were thinking logically about the interpretation and the grammar.

Pres Bergin said...

thy will be done in earth. To me that is complete right thru earth God rules.

Darryl Logan said...

To create a bible that is not even a translation should not be taught from as holy written, futher more the further you try to simplify the original writers words you lose the intensity and high priority of what was meant to be understood 1 cor 6:9-10 uses very specific words that have been removed from the message bible by making the verse more palatable it also diminishes accountability to the statement scripture is teaching.