Eugene Peterson may not be a name familiar to many of us, but he has almost certainly impacted your understanding of the Gospel, even if indirectly. He has written more than a dozen books and has influenced countless pastors, preachers, and theologians.

But the book he might be most famous for is “The Message,” a paraphrase of the Bible. It was never meant to be a study Bible or to be a reliable way to dissect the Greek and Hebrew verbs, but it has strengthened and increased the faith of so many people. Peterson discussed his reasoning behind writing “The Message” with NavPress not long ago.

Eugene Peterson died October 22, 2018 after living a life full of grace, mercy and wisdom. Here are some of our favorite paraphrases from “The Message”:

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God’s love is meteoric, his loyalty astronomic, His purpose titanic, his verdicts oceanic. Yet in his largeness nothing gets lost; Not a man, not a mouse, slips through the cracks.

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If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.

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We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.

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Smart people know how to hold their tongue; their grandeur is to forgive and forget.

 

Some of our favorite things he wrote or said apart from his paraphrase:

Which passages from “The Message” have encouraged you the most? Or shed new light on the meaning of confusing verses?

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