Last night, I was perusing Ephesians 1-3, and came upon this verse: I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. (v. 17)
Needless to say, I have read Ephesians many times before, but I love it when God "quickens" a verse to my heart. Knowing the Lord, as opposed to simply knowing about Him, has been my passion since I was about 12. God is faithful, and I can truly say I have a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ, but I often get discouraged and have doubts about His closeness. Apparently, Paul foresaw that and prayed for the Ephesian Christians to know Him better...and by extension, that we would, as well.
Well, since I now have that new shiny laptop (see post of a couple weeks ago), I can now take my time, reading several versions on Biblegateway.com in the warmth of the first floor. I sometimes like to check out passages in different translations, just for fun. It makes life all the more interesting. Sometimes, the Amplified Bible will offer an insight; the King James will clarify if "you" was singular or plural; and the Bulgarian will come in handy for a future witnessing opportunity.
And then there's a relatively new addition: Eugene Patterson's translation, The Message. This one is supposedly in easy-to-understand vernacular, for those mornings when you haven't had your coffee yet and you feel really lazy. I confess I've never read it before. (I usually have had my coffee by 6:00 am).
Well, I checked out my New Favorite Passage in The Message. My eyes scanned it quickly....and then, dear readers, I nearly choked to death on my Raisin Bran. Here are verses 15-17:
That's why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus, I couldn't stop thanking God for you—every time I prayed, I'd think of you and give thanks. But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength! (emphasis mine).
The "Master Jesus"??? 'What is He', (I immediately thought), 'a Hindu avatar???'
Just as I was clicking away from the page, I caught the rendering of the final clause of verse 17 - 'endless energy'. Energy? Where does that appear in any of the other translations? It certainly isn't in the Greek. I immediately thought of the New Age concept of 'Christ consciousness' and cosmic energy. Either one of the two terms might have gotten past me, but taken together, my discernment flags went off. (Knowing how often Beth Moore quotes Eugene Peterson, I should have been suspicious from the get-go). I Googled "Christ energy", and returned 14,900,000 results. No, I didn't check all of them; just the first two pages. Without exception, they were New Age and occultic healing pages. Here's a gem from the first site I checked: "This Master Teacher was known as Jesus the Christ. The man Jesus was a perfect child of the Goddess and God energy - just as we all are perfect children of the God-Force!
"Master Teacher." Catch that? Not Lord and Saviour.
"What really made Jesus so special was that he was able to be enLightened in a time when the inner channel to Christ Consciousness that all humans possess was blocked by planetary conditions."
Peeps, I couldn't make this stuff up.
It gets better. Check out how The Message butchers 1 Peter 1:18: "Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God." (Sounds more like something Deepak Chopra would say than the Apostle Peter). Now let's check out the NASB (I use the NIV myself, but they say the NASB is a word-for-word translation): "For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers,"
I knew full well I couldn't be the first one to catch teh occultic overtones in The Message (and this was just TWO PASSAGES!!) I don't have time to do real research. Thankfully, Lighthouse Trails has done it for me. I Googled "Eugene Peterson The Message" and bingo:
The King James Bible refers to Jesus as "Lord Jesus" about 115 times. The New King James Bible uses this term about the same amount of times and the New American Standard about 100 times. How many times does Eugene Peterson's The Message use the phrase "Lord Jesus"? None! Not once. Never! (Check it out at (www.biblegateway.com)
What The Message does refer to Jesus 77 times is the title "Master Jesus." This is a New Age term.
Read full entry here. The Message is chock-full of New Age terms. Stay away from "The Message". Buy a real Bible instead. If you don't have one, leave me a message in the combox and I'll send you one - free.
6 years ago