What is your opinion on The Message version of the Bible? Would you recommend it as the primary tool for instructing preteens and teens? --Roger Hoelzel (Grand Rapids, Michigan)

It is a fun version. Not very accurate, but fun for sure! I think reading from it occasionally, to stimulate others' thinking, is fine. But for a primary tool, you will want to use a more accurate version: New Living Translation, New International Version, or (better) New English Translation, or (best, in my current opinion) the Holman Christian Standard Bible. The Message often paraphrases. Paraphrastic versions tend to reflect the bias of the translator(s) far more than literal or dynamic equivalence translations.

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