The Message

THE MESSAGE

1. Introduction

The current usage of the Message Bible has many applications. Many people buy the Message for their friends or relatives as a means of introducing the unchurched to Christianityorfor those that may find the more literal versions, in particular the King James Version difficult to understand. It is also quoted extensively for evangelistic purposes in an attempt to bridge the gap of an ancient text to a post modern audience. Sometimes it is used for Bible studies, often to clarify and shed light on a difficult passage. Some churches on occasions use it as their text to preach from. In addition, it is not uncommon to hear it read at wedding services and ironically it has even been used for apologetics seminars.

Eugene Peterson, the former Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology at Regent College, Vancouver and Pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Maryland is the author of over thirty books. He also endorsed ‘The Shack’ likening William Young’s book to a modern day Pilgrims Progress. The Shack has proved highly controversial in its unorthodox representation of the Trinity and debate has arisen over whether it is Universalist. The Message is by far his most renowned work though. Regarding his academic credentials, Peterson earned his B.A. in Philosophy from Seattle Pacific University, his S.T.B. (Bachelor of Sacred Theology, the first of the three ecclesiastical degrees within Catholic theology) and his M.A in Semitic Languages from John Hopkins University. No doubt this enabled Peterson to paraphrase from the Hebrew directly into his version.

In the introductory section of The Message, Eugene Peterson heartily recommends the ancient practise of Lectio Divina sometimes referred to as ‘spiritual reading’ for Bible study. Lectio Divina incorporates four disciplines, reading, thinking, praying and living. Lectio Divina is closely linked with Richard Foster’s ‘Renovare’ philosophy, which is ecumenical and involves practices and traditions centering on spiritual formation. The Contemplative Prayer Movement uses meditative techniques sometimes more akin to eastern meditation than what the Bible encourages. The origins of Lectio Divina are often traced back to St. Ignatius of Loyola, St Teresa of Avila and St Francis de Sales. Monks and Nuns have utilised similar practises for around 1800 years, hence the term ‘Ignatian Mediation’ was named after St Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits.

 ‘Ignatian meditation’ makes creative use of our imagination through ‘visualization’. The practitioner is encouraged to imagine him or herself in a given situation – ‘as if you are there’…You can use your imagination by holding a conversation with a character in the story you meditate upon thus allowing the story to directly speak to the person in fresh ways, often addressing situation of stress in daily life. Traditionally the stories used would be from the Christian Bible but today, in the courses run by Lectio Divina poetry and paintings are also used.’ (www.lectiodivina.co.uk)

Opinions are divided. Some consider The Message to be beneficial in simplifying Biblical truths, making the Bible easier to comprehend. Others are convinced it is a poor version with New Age undertones. The next section will compare numerous texts from the New King James version alongside The Message to evaluate and consider both views.

2. Bible Verses

i.) In the Beginning…

The Message translation translates verses by groups of verses to encourage free translation so I shall quote the corresponding lines that apply. Let’s begin with Genesis:

‘So God created man in His own image; in the image of God he created him; male and female He created them. (Gen 1:27 NKJV)

‘God created human beings; he created them godlike, reflecting God’s nature. He created them male and female.’ (Gen 1:27 The Message)

A common misconception about the nature of mankind is that humans are basically good because they were created in God’s image. However God stated that the thoughts and intentions of man’s heart are evil from his youth (Gen 6:5, 8:21) and that the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. (Jer 17:9). Human beings are not basically good because of the fall of mankind and sinful nature is inherited (Psa 51:5). The Message translation is not helpful here by describing human beings as godlike. Adam and Eve could relate to God and were made in the likeness of God (Gen 5:1), but they were not godlike since their attributes and capabilities were limited. God is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipotent. If human beings were made godlike then they may be adequately described as little gods. Psalm 82 and Ezekiel 28:1-10 condemn human leaders who acted irresponsibly as though they were gods and Isaiah 14:13 mentions that Lucifer desired to exalt his throne above the stars of God.

There are basic errors in ‘Dominion Theology’ or extreme teaching within the Word of Faith movement. One specifically supports the view that before Adam and Eve sinned they were exactly like Jesus (not just sinless but godlike), now following Christ’s death one can regain the dominion Adam once held, having the ability to create miracles by speaking and commanding things into existence. In The Message, in each instance in Genesis 2 and 3 the words ‘man’ and ‘woman’ are capitalised. In the NKJV where God is the subject He is always capitalised. However in The Message following Genesis 3, when the terms ‘man’ or ‘woman’ are used they are not capitalised. Basically after the fall ‘man’ and ‘woman’ are not capitalised, except however in 1 Corinthians 15:45-49 where the subject is a comparison of the first man Adam and the second Man, the Lord from Heaven. The suggestion given is that Adam and Eve were godlike or possibly divine before the fall.

‘And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those that are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.’ (1 Cor 15:45-49 NKJV)

‘We follow this sequence in Scripture: The First Adam received life, the Last Adam is a life giving Spirit. Physical life comes first, then spiritual-a firm base shaped from the earth, a final completion coming out of heaven. The First Man was made out of earth, and people since then are earthy; the Second Man was made out of heaven, and people now are heavenly. In the same way that we’ve worked our earthy origins, let’s embrace our heavenly ends.’ (1 Cor 15:45-49 The Message)

Although it could be argued that the words man and woman were included in upper case to represent mankind, as the Amplified Version and New American Standard translations do in Genesis 2:23, and the New American Standard does in 1 Corinthians 15:45. These instances are the exception for the above reason and are not the norm. It is ironic that the serpent tempted Eve with the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil trying to persuade her that she would be like God if she ate from it. (Gen 3:5) God made man in his own image, but that does not make him godlike or a little god.

ii.) How you have fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!

It is true that some liberal commentators argue that the subject of Isaiah 14:12-21 is Babylon, not Lucifer. However, The Message takes liberties by changing the word Lucifer to Babylon. Firstly, although those commentators are entitled to their views, the idea of Babylon falling from heaven is obviously contradictory and makes no sense in the first place. In this case though, substituting Lucifer with Babylon is imposing a view not supported by Scripture and gives a very different meaning, when there is no justification for removing one word and underwriting one’s personal interpretation. Surely that should be reserved for commentaries; the text itself should not be compromised.

‘How you have fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning’ (Isaiah 14:12a NKJV)

‘What a comedown this, O Babylon! Daystar! Son of the dawn!’ (Isaiah 14:12a The Message)

iii) The Micah 5:2 Prophecy.

According to Matthew Henry:

‘This is, perhaps, the most important single prophecy in the Old Testament: it respects the personal character of the Messiah, and the discoveries of himself to the world. It distinguishes his human birth from his existing from eternity;’ (Henry 646)

Interestingly though, in Matthew 2:6, the chief priests and scribes deliberately misquote Micah 5:2, omitting the last line, which is critical and testifies of Christ’s eternal existence ‘whose goings forth are from of old from everlasting.’ They couldn’t be bothered to walk the five miles from Jerusalem to Bethlehem Ephrathah to worship Jesus the King, though they were able to quote the prophecy in part. In Peterson’s version, the same applies as there is no mention of His everlasting origin. Let’s compare Micah 5:2 with the scribes and priests misquote in Matthew 2:6 and Peterson’s version of Micah 5:2-4.

‘But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me, the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.’ (Micah 5:2 NKJV)

‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you shall come forth a Ruler, who will shepherd My people Israel.’ (Matthew 2:6 Chief Priests and scribes misquote Micah)

‘But you, Bethlehem, David’s country, the runt of the litter-from you will come the leader who will shepherd rule Israel. He’ll be no upstart, no pretender. His family tree is ancient and distinguished.’ (Micah 5:2 The Message)

Clearly the phrases ‘whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting’ and ‘His family tree is ancient and distinguished’ do not convey the same meaning. It is quite possible for an individual to have an ancient and distinguished family tree but a completely different and unreasonable claim to assume origins that are so old that they are everlasting, except of course when Jesus the Messiah is the subject.

iv) Is this the Lord’s Prayer?

The Message translation of the Lord’s Prayer, both in Matthew 6 and Luke 11 are of serious concern. However the passage in Matthew 6 is particularly worrying and is probably the most disturbing mistranslation in the whole text, given the omissions and change of meaning that are presented.

‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’ (Matthew 6: 9-13 NKJV)

‘Our Father in heaven, reveal who you are. Set the world right; Do what’s best-as above, so below. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You’re in charge! You can do anything you want! You’re ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes.’ (Matthew 6: 9-13 The Message)

Even a cursory comparison demonstrates that there are vast discrepancies between the two versions. God’s name being hallowed does not equal, ‘reveal who you are.’ Neither does ‘set the world right’ equate to the coming of God’s kingdom. Both statements are vague and inadequate in describing God’s name being glorified and the arrival of His kingdom. Also the phrase as above so below is a peculiar translation of ‘on earth as it is in heaven’. While Scripture does refer to that which is above in several places, (John 3:31, Col 3:1, James 1:17 to mention just a few) the term ‘as above so below’ is not biblical. Warren Smith left the New Age Movement in 1984 and became a committed Christian. His comments on the Lord’s Prayer and the use of the term ‘as above so below’ are a sobering revelation.

‘It wasn’t Peterson’s use of the phrase “got started” instead of “created,” or even the word “purpose” that jumped out at me, as much as his use of the phrase “above and below” instead of “heaven and earth.” When I was in the New Age, it was well understood that the words “above and below” had metaphysical/conations and were routinely substituted for “heaven and earth.” In fact the term “as above, so below” was a commonly accepted New Age phrase.’ (Smith, 30)

Smith also observed that a similar expression was used in Colossians 1:16 that pointed to the same meaning. The subject in this passage is the pre-eminence of Christ and again a New Age term is inserted regarding His creation.

‘In Colossians 1:16, Peterson again chose to use the terms “above” and “below” instead of the commonly accepted “heaven and earth” found in most Bible versions. The “above” and “below” in Colossians 1:16 is an obvious derivative form of the “as above so below” he had used previously in his paraphrase of the Lord’s Prayer. This derivative form of the more complete phrase “as above so below” is also common to the New Age.’ (Smith, 31)

Smith adds that a Google search on “as above so below” uncovers multiple references to Mystical Christianity and the New Age Movement.

v) Finding your true self?

The concept of finding your true self is not found anywhere in Scripture, but it is included in The Message. To take a leaf out of Warren Smith’s book, if finding your true self is entered into a Google search engine, a variety of humanistic and eastern religious ideas are presented. Alternatively though,  if ‘whoever loses his life for my sake will find it’ is searched in exactly the same manner, there are plentiful contributions by various people who have commented on what it means to take up one’s cross and follow Jesus. Once again, let’s compare the NKJV alongside The Message.

“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:25 NKJV)

“Self-help is no help at all. Self sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose your self? What could you ever trade your soul for?” (Matthew 16:25 The Message)

The Bible teaches that:

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:’ (John 1:12 NKJV)

According to The Message though,

‘But whoever did want him, who believed he was to be claimed and would do what he said, he made to be their true selves, their child of God selves.’ (John 1:12 The Message)

The contrast is subtle yet striking. The Message advocates self sacrifice in an effort to find oneself, but the Bible confirms that those who lose their life for Christ’s sake will find it. The Message is encouraging an introspective appraisal of oneself for those who want him and do what he says, whereas the Bible promises that the person that believes in His name has the right to be called a child of God.

vi) What Proof?

When Luke presented his account to Theophilis, at the beginning of his letter he mentioned that Jesus had…

‘also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.’ (Acts 1:3 NKJV)

The Message though omits the underlined words and does not attempt to include them either:

‘After his death, he presented himself alive to them in many different settings over a period of forty days. In face-to face meetings, he talked to them about things concerning the kingdom of God.’ (Acts 1:3 The Message)

Interestingly in the Bible, Saul was able to prove to the Jews in Damascus that Jesus is the Messiah, however in The Message Saul tried to show them that Jesus was the Messiah.

‘But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ.’ (Acts 9:22 NKJV)

‘But their suspicions didn’t slow Saul down even for a minute. His momentum was up now and He plowed straight into the opposition, disarming the Damascus Jews and trying to show them that this Jesus was the Messiah.’ (Acts 9:22 The Message)

Evidently both the Lord Jesus and Paul were more effective in proving that Jesus was in fact the Messiah in the NKJV Bible than in The Message paraphrase.

Vii) What are the works of the flesh and the fruits of the Spirit?

For some reason, The Message seems to avoid naming particular sins, not in every instance, though noticeably on several occasions. Sometimes only vague references are offered, leaving the reader to choose their interpretation from the ambivalent list. Naming a few of the sins mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6 vs. 9-11 including adultery, fornication, theft and drunkenness; The Message doesn’t provide an explanation of what Paul is imploring the church in Corinth to avoid. So, if the message was purely a book to make old fashioned words readable, then it would simply update the original words! The Message does not even come close to doing so.

‘Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.’ (1 Cor 6:9-11 NKJV)

‘Don’t you realize that this is not the way to live? Unjust people will not be joining in his kingdom. Those who use and abuse each other, use and abuse sex, use and abuse the earth and everything in it, don’t qualify as citizens in God’s kingdom. A number of you know from experience what I’m talking about, for not so long ago you were on that list. Since then, you’ve been cleaned up and given a fresh start by Jesus, our Master, our Messiah, and by our God present in us, the Spirit.’ (1 Cor 6:9-11)

As you can see, the list in The Message is so generic, most of us do not know what he is talking about (see the underlined reference above) or more importantly, what the list actually includes! This presents a major problem since whoever reads this passage is at a loss concerning what Paul is trying to communicate. Since The Message is often given to those who are interested in becoming Christians, this passage would provide a poor indication of what unrighteous constitutes.

Galatians 5:19-23 describes the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit. Appearing to translate Scripture into layman’s terms, The Message once more clouds the issues in question rather than clarifying their meaning. This passage is not complicated though. There is a list of the works of the flesh, followed by a list of the fruit of the Spirit. When the reader looks at these verses they can see what is of the flesh and doesn’t please God, and what the fruit of the Spirit is, that does please Him.

‘Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practise such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.’ (Galatians 5:19-23 NKJV)

‘It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time; repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs of happiness; trinket gods; magic show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all consuming yet-never-satisfying wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parades of community. I could go on. This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom. But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard-things like affection for others, exuberance about life; serenity. We develop willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.’ (Galatians 5:19-23 The Message)

The fruit of the Spirit according to The Message sounds more akin to a self help manual than what Paul actually wrote to the Galatians. A conviction that ‘a basic holiness permeates things and people’ sadly contradicts Scripture instead of agreeing with it. The Bible teaches that ‘All we like sheep have turned astray’ (Isa 53:6) and “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jer 17:9) and also ‘And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.’ (Eph 2:1-2)

viii) Who is Master Jesus?

In The Message, the words ‘Lord’ or ‘Christ’ are frequently removed in conjunction with ‘Jesus’ so instead of mentioning the ‘Lord Jesus’ or the ‘Lord Jesus Christ’ the term ‘Master Jesus’ is regularly employed. Though Jesus was referred to as ‘Master’ on several occasions by his disciples (Luke 8:24, 9:33, and 9:49 to list just a few examples) the term ‘Master Jesus’ is foreign to scripture and is in fact used regularly in the Theosophical Movement and the New Age. Terms such as ‘Master God’ and ‘God the Master’ etc. are not helpful either.

Prime examples include a section of the passage in Romans 10:4-10, 2 Corinthians 4:5, 14 and Revelation 22:20-21.

‘It’s the word of faith that welcomes God to go to work and sets things right for us. This is the core of our preaching. Say the welcoming word to God-“Jesus is my Master” embracing, body and soul.’ (Romans 10:4-10 The Message)

‘Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we’re proclaiming Jesus Christ the Master.’ (2 Cor 4:5 The Message)

‘And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive’ (2 Cor 4:14 The Message)

‘Yes! Come, Master Jesus! The grace of the Master Jesus be with all of you. Oh, yes!’ (Rev 22:20-21 The Message)

Admittedly Wikipedia is not the most informative source and other sources will be quoted to illustrate the above point conclusively concerning the link between Master Jesus and the Theosophical Movement. However the introduction of the article confirms the following.

 ‘The Master Jesus, within the metaphysical system of Theosophy, refers to the theosophical concept of Jesus as opposed to the Jesus Christ of the Christian religion.’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_Jesus)

Again, I investigated an online Theosophical University Press edition of ‘the Story of Jesus’ and uncovered this quote:

Within a short time after the alleged crucifixion of the Master Jesus — at any rate from the time when the Christian Scriptures began to have circulation in the Mediterranean world — and all through the Middle Ages and till nearly our own days, men quarrelled and fought about the documents composing the Christian New Testament, not only with regard to just what these documents had to say, but about mere words and phrases, and also as regards their age and who wrote them. Even today nobody knows anything positive, real, and certain about them, although many clever and learned theories have been emitted and have been accepted as true because of utter lack of positive proof. (emphasis added) http://www.theosophy-.org/theosnw/world/christ/xt-jesus.htm)

Another ‘Inner Potential Healing’ site sheds some light on a cosmic blessing given by the Master Jesus:

The Twelve Blessings is a Cosmic Concept for a New Age given to the world by the Master Jesus—but in 1958. Just as the Sermon on the Mount introduced an uplifting concept for an old age, now, with these blessings He has introduced a concept that reaches out from the restrictions of Earth into the vastness of the Galaxy and even beyond.

The Twelve Blessings, then, is a work which is much more than a study: it is a practice which is performed regularly by people around the world. It can be practiced individually or in groups, and in any suitable location, whether indoors or outdoors. The Blessings range from they who work for peace, or those who heal, through to the Absolute—in other words God—via beings such as the Mother Earth and the Mighty Sun. Each blessing is a powerful, and quite lengthy, mystic statement about this great Being, followed, in most cases, by a prayer for upliftment on our world. (http://pages.innerpotential.org/sam-12bl)

ix) And finally…

There are so many examples of Scripture being misrepresented throughout The Message that a comprehensive work of all the issues of concern would require a book to be written. However, two final examples are provided below that should be sufficient in demonstrating unnecessarily bizarre and esoteric representations of Bible verses. Please for a moment consider how a New Ager or someone from a mystic Eastern religious background would understand these verses which have been altered to include spiritual energy:

‘Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.’ (Romans 15:13 NKJV)

‘Oh! May the God of green hope fill you with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!’ (Romans 15:13 The Message)

‘for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.’ (Phil 2:13 NKJV)

‘That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure.’ (Phil 2:13 The Message)

3. Common objections used to defend The Message

i) Surely The Message is helpful because it is easier to understand than the literal versions?

-While The Message does use contemporary language, the terminology used in many cases is not biblical and neither it is accurate. As New Age terms such as ‘as above so below’, ‘Master God’ and ‘Master Jesus’ are used, confusion arises over what is actually being explained. The passages in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and Galatians 5:19-23 were simplified to such an extent that the list of sinful practices to avoid was over-generalised, rendering them meaningless.

ii) Why not use The Message alongside other Bibles for comparison?

-Following on from the last point, because The Message is inaccurate and is not biblical, it is not reliable to use as a tool to contribute to a wider more rounded view of what a passage is communicating. The Message is more likely to distort instead of being a helpful aid to confirm what a passage actually means. After praying to God and reading Scripture a good commentary would be of far more benefit than The Message.

iii) Surely if people that read The Message are being saved then it must be a good thing?

-While there may well be many people who have read The Message and in some respects that has helped them understand certain things about God, a mixed message is being presented. Few Christians would advocate the use of the New World Translation, since it points to the Holy Spirit being a force rather than a person and denies the equality of the Lord Jesus Christ with the Father. When a small amount of cyanide is inserted in a glass of pure water the result would be fatal! The same is true of both the New World Translation and The Message.

iv) The Message is not really a study Bible or even a translation. It’s just a paraphrase so you can’t really compare it with the Bible?

-On the front cover of THE MESSAGE//REMIX, the subtitle is ‘THE BIBLE IN CONTEMPORARY LANGUAGE’. The Message is being preached from in church during sermons and regularly used in Bible studies. Within many Christian circles, it is widely received and used as an acceptable translation of the Holy Bible. Even if it were just a book used as a tool to help people understand the Bible, it is politically correct and soft on sin, with various New Age phrases inserted.

4) Conclusion

This article is merely a comparison of The Message with the New King James Version. Regretfully there is nothing positive that can be said about The Message. As demonstrated, The Message has replaced age-old scripture texts with phrases commonly used in Theosophy and the New Age Movement on numerous occasions. The Message should be avoided by all Bible-believing Christians and anyone exploring or studying Christianity. It is by no means faithful to the original Greek and Hebrew and does not have the scriptural accuracy to claim to be a latter-day near-equal to the Christian’s beloved Canonised Scripture.

References

Henry, M. Matthew Henry Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible (Moody Press: Chicago, 1986)

http://pages.innerpotential.org/sam-12bl

www.lectiodivina.co.uk

Peterson, E.  The Message// Remix The Bible in Contemporary Language (Navypress: Colorado Springs, 2003)

Smith, W. Deceived on Purpose The New Age Implications of the Purpose-Driven Church (Mountain Stream Press: United States, 2005)

The New King James Bible (Thomas Nelson: Nashville, 1988)

http://www.theosophy-.org/theosnw/world/christ/xt-jesus.htm)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_Jesus

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