Someone Finally Finds a Good Use for “The Message”

Stopping a bullet:

Rickey Wagoner told police in Dayton, Ohio, that he was repairing an electrical fault in his bus early yesterday morning when unknown attackers approached him and shot him three times.

One bullet struck the 49-year-old’s right leg and the other two hit him in chest, reports the Dayton Daily News.

Sgt. Michael Pauley said the two bullets fired into Wagoner’s chest were “stopped” by a modern translation of the Bible called The Message carried in his front pocket.

“There was obviously some kind of intervention involved in this incident, because he probably should not be here,” Sgt. Pauley said.

“God’s on Rick’s side,” added Lillie Brown, a long-time friend of Wagoner’s.

The Message is a colloquial translation of the Bible created by Eugene H. Peterson because reading is hard.

Here’s the way it translates the beginning of John:

1 The Word was first,
the Word present to God,
God present to the Word.
The Word was God,
in readiness for God from day one.

3–5  Everything was created through him;
nothing—not one thing!—
came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
the darkness couldn’t put it out.

And Matthew 6:7-13:

“The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:

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.

Why yes, it is both brain-scramblingly bad and fitfully heretical, but at least it saved Rickey Wagoner’s life, and for that we should give thanks.


About Thomas L. McDonald

Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.

  • Kelly Reineke

    The message has the best translation of proverbs 27:15, hands down.

    15-16 A nagging spouse is like
    the drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet;
    You can’t turn it off,
    and you can’t get away from it.

  • UAWildcatx2

    My favorite is Matthew 5:13: ““Let me tell you why you are here. You’re
    here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth.
    If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve
    lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage”

  • victor

    Their translation of the Song of Solomon is pretty good too:

    “THING THING What is that thing?
    THING SING That thing can sing!
    SONG LONG A long, long song.
    Good-by, Thing. You sing too long.”

  • Thomas L. McDonald

    Makes me want butter and popcorn to go with that salt.

  • UAWildcatx2

    This is a pic of the translation of Song of Solomon to the Message’s format.

  • Sherry

    It may be unfair to pile on such a target rich product, but I am still laughing.

  • Rebecca Fuentes

    Are you sure The Onion didn’t do the translation and someone accidentally took it seriously?

  • Thomas L. McDonald

    It’s a bestseller.

  • Tom

    I said a hip, hop, the hippie-the hippie to the hip hop….wait, no, that’s Rapper’s Delight.

  • Rebecca Fuentes

    I weep for our present generation. My ignorance of this truly was bliss.