In the English language, we have been blessed with an abundance of translations and therefore an abundance of discussion on different English translations. One of the more radically disputed translations is The Message written by Eugene Peterson. This commemorative edition of one of his first books “A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society” is well worth reading even if his translation is troubling to you. It is immediately clear that this book is the work of a pastor not a theologian (in tone not content), as Eugene writes wonderfully and clearly. Whilst it does use his translation in discussing the psalms of ascent and how they inform the various realms of discipleship, it is not necessary to understanding the meaning of his work. Notably the book is broken down into good chapter and section breaks that leads itself well to reading with disciples, and introduces the chapter with the psalm as well as a contemporary quote. The epilogue written years after the main body notably poses necessary advice for the disciples in wrestling with an ancient book in our culture. Each chapter in the book lines up with a psalm of ascent, but this is introduced so the day old disciple as well as the elder are able to pick up this book without prior knowledge. This book begs further reading and so I look forward to rereading this in future both myself and with others. Whilst the chapters don’t include discussion questions or the like, the individual reader doesn’t miss them and in community the popular and warm tone would lead to discussion easily.
I was provided a digital copy of the book through NetGalley, but all thoughts included are my own.