Words of liberation from a prisoner of conscience. A new paraphrase of Philippians by Eugene Peterson.

Words can become “tired and stale,” writes novelist Frederick Buechner. After thousands of years, even the words of Scripture “have become almost too familiar to hear anymore.” That is why we should thank the Lord for the ministry Eugene Peterson has performed in The Message (NavPress).

The pastor-professor, who recently arrived at Vancouver’s Regent College, helps us overcome our overfamiliarity by dressing the New Testament in earthy, contemporary language (which is how the original was clothed, he would add). In the tradition of Ken Taylor’s The Living Bible and J. B. Phillips’s The New Testament in Modern English, Peterson has given the church an opportunity to read the Bible afresh.

Below is the entire text of Paul’s letter to the Philippians. We suspected CT readers would rather taste Peterson’s paraphrase than read a review of it. In addition, associate editor Timothy Jones flew to Peterson’s Montana summer home to ask him how he approached this momentous task. See “Getting God’s Words to Market.”

Paul and timothy, both of us committed servants of Christ Jesus, write this letter to all the Christians in Philippi, pastors and ministers included. We greet you with the grace and peace that comes from God our Father and our Master, Jesus Christ.

Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God’s Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God ...

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