I was recently contacted by the people at NavPress/ Tyndale House publishing about reviewing their new version of the Message called The Message 100 the Story of God in Sequence. Even though I was skeptical, they sent me a free copy anyways. The more I read, the more my hesitation dissipated. This is a great resource for those who need help seeing the big picture of redemptive history. The Message 100 breaks the entire Bible down into 100 sequential readings with the purpose of helping individuals see a clearer picture of the redemptive plan of God. My skepticism was borne out of a concern for the use of a paraphrase translation method of the biblical language verses the actual, literal translation of the Bible. As I pastor, I'm keenly aware that words matter, especially the words of Scripture. What I found in The Message 100 was a very readable and well organized look at God and His plan that didn’t diminish the meaning of the text.
I'm so used to, and find enjoyment in, the study of God's Word, that sometimes I lose the bigger picture. I find myself often getting lost (in a good way) in the nuances of the words and phrases in almost any given biblical text. This book helped me follow the story better.
I will be recommending this book to people who want/need to see God's big plan unfold before them in smaller chunks. This is a great, readable version of God's story. This is a story to be read, not a text to be studied in depth. I won’t be using this translations for in depth study or teaching, but I can also see it being used devotionally as people seek to see God's plan unfold.