From the Heart of a Pastor came The Message Bible

“If there is anything distinctive about The Message, perhaps it is because the text is shaped by the hand of a working pastor. For most of my adult life I have been given a primary responsibility for getting the message of the Bible into the lives of the men and women with whom I worked. I did it from the pulpit and lectern, in home Bible studies and at mountain retreats, through conversations in hospitals and nursing homes, over coffee in kitchens, and while strolling on an ocean beach. The Message grew from the soil of forty years of pastoral work.”


Eugene Peterson

The Message is a reading Bible translated from the original Greek and Hebrew Scriptures by scholar, pastor, author, and poet Eugene Peterson. Peterson spent ten years working on The Message after teaching in seminary and preaching in churches for more than thirty years. Thoroughly reviewed and approved by twenty biblical scholars, The Message combines the authority of God’s Word with the cadence and energy of conversational English.


Peterson's work has been thoroughly reviewed by a team of recognized Old and New Testament scholars to ensure that it is accurate and faithful to the original languages.


  • Robert L. Hubbard, Jr., North Park Theological Seminary (chair)
  • Richard E. Averbeck, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
  • Bryan E. Beyer, Columbia International University
  • Lamar E. Cooper, Sr., Criswell College
  • Peter E. Enns, Eastern University
  • Duane A. Garrett, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Donald R. Glenn, Dallas Theological Seminary
  • Paul R. House, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University
  • V. Philips Long, Regent College
  • Tremper Longman III, Westmont College
  • John N. Oswalt, Asbury Theological Seminary
  • Richard L. Pratt, Jr., Reformed Theological Seminary
  • John H. Walton, Wheaton College
  • Prescott H. Williams, Jr., Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
  • Marvin R. Wilson, Gordon College


  • William W. Klein, Denver Seminary (chair)
  • Darrell L. Bock, Dallas Theological Seminary
  • Donald A. Hagner, Fuller Theological Seminary
  • Moises Silva, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
  • Rodney A. Whitacre, Trinity School of Ministry


The Message began with one pastor who was looking for a way to get the Bible into the hearts and lives of the people in his church. Eugene Peterson recalls:

“While I was teaching a [Sunday school] class on Galatians, I began to realize that the adults in my class weren’t feeling the vitality and directness that I sensed as I read and studied the New Testament in its original Greek. Writing straight from the original text, I began to attempt to bring into English the rhythms and idioms of the original language. I knew that the early readers of the New Testament were captured and engaged by these writings and I wanted my congregation to be impacted in the same way

Peterson could tell from the way they stirred their cups of coffee that his parishioners simply weren’t connecting with the real meaning of Galatians. So he began to translate into English the rhythms and idioms directly from the original ancient Greek, without looking at other English Bibles. As he shared his translation with them, Peterson’s congregation quit stirring their coffee and felt stirred themselves. Paul’s own passion and excitement began to emerge from the text into the lives of Peterson’s own Sunday School class. They began to listen with new interest as Paul guided young Christians in the ways of Jesus Christ.

An editor at NavPress was so impacted by his work that he reached out and encouraged Eugene to continue translating. What started with Galatians continued to Matthew, the entire New Testament, and eventually, the entire Bible.