How accurate is the MSG translation?

The MSG;
Psalm 23:5- “You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies. You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing.
v.6- “Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I’m back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.”

And of course most of us know Psalm 23 by heart, or are at least familiar with “As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death...”

You can compare any other translation to the MSG, and none of them say anything like the MSG. I’ve read so many comparisons side-by-side with that translation and I am very bothered with this so-called bible. Words are added to and taken away from verses all the time, and replaced with new, almost made up words. 

I read an article about the MSG- it was an interview with the author of it, Eugene Peterson, the man behind that translation. Mr. Peterson said that the MSG is dumbed-down. In other words, he said, when it was being written/translated (I cringe to even say that it was translated) they dumbed it down so that younger people can better understand the Bible. I was in shock. 

So I guess my question is also, what are your thoughts on this “translation”? Is it sinful that they add and take away so many words? And is it sinful that Mr. Peterson chose to create a bible translation tailored to young people, to make it easy for them to read?

Thank you taking the time to read this long winded message. 

Psalms 23:1 - 6

ESV - 1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.

Clarify Share Report Asked August 20 2018 E8e3bc17 3591 4546 a9b5 f62f35951754 Amy Koch

For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.

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I happen to like the MSG version but I can only take it in small doses. My pastor tends to go over scripture with the congregation in various versions. He was first to introduce me to the MSG version. I find that it gives me a different perspective of the Word and it really drives the point home. What I don't really like about it is that to me, it makes Jesus seem a bit harsh and I don't imagine Him to have been like that.

My favorite scripture is Romans 8:31-39. I encouraged you to read it in the MSG version. My favorite version is the New Living Translation (NLT) but Romans 8:31-39 is more powerful to me in the MSG version. I do however agree that God did say not to "add or take away from" His Word. So I physically carry the KJV with me but there are a lot of words in there that I don't understand so when I run across that I go to NKJV for clarification then to my NLT.

August 21 2018 Report

67d51b84 1459 40a0 a759 296f8b2ccd88 Mark Deduke

Well for one thing those words that he uses to describe Psalm 23, definitely fall under the category of adding and subtracting words from God’s word. In this psalm, no where does God imply the type of meal that he describes here, or that pouring oil is reviving a droopy head.

This is in fact adding descriptions to God’s word that are not written in the bible, no matter the translation.

August 21 2018 Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht

I love The Message Bible! I often quote it to others. I first discovered it as one among "those who had read the Bible all their lives but now found it 'old hat,' so familiar that they were no longer startled by the truth of its message."

April 27 2019 Report

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