Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Rte 66 - Rest Stop 3

I have undertaken a pilgrimage this year to travel from the beginning of Rte 66 to its end. First to last. Alpha to Omega. This trek is a central part of my daily devotional time and amounts to a complete read-through of The Message version of the Bible. When I last pulled over to the side of the road for a breather (see Rte 66 - Rest Stop 2), I had just completed reading the Old Testament (39th book of the Bible out of 66). Today I am marking the completion of reading the first half of the New Testament, from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, to the nascent rise of Christianity in the book of Acts, to what I believe amounts to the main ideology and tenets of the faith in the book of Romans.

The main reason why I chose to read through Eugene Peterson's modern translation of the Bible, was because I have frequently turned to this version in my various studies of the New Testament when text in my NIV translation just could not find purchase in my mind. I frequently found The Message version to speak to me in language and imagery that I could much more easily grasp and appreciate in depth. My personal feeling is that Peterson's version of the Old Testament is not all that different from other translations. However, the New Testament is its clear strength. It just sings that sweet music to me. The book of Romans is particularly noteworthy for its crispness, its clarity, and its balance. The Message is God's word just told in a more approachable way, but I believe it to be fully true to its original source.

So, now I am on the home stretch on my journey. As I stand at the threshold of 1 Corinthians and look out toward Revelation, I will not rush or hurry. I plan to take it bit by bit and extract all that I can from each verse.