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The Message With Its Translator

Eugene Peterson is an author, scholar, poet and ordained minister. He has written more than 20 books including A Long Obedience in the Same Direction and Leap Over A Wall; but he is most known for modern language translation of the Bible, The Message. His latest work is The Message With Its Translator: Conversations, an annotated Bible with commentary, teaching and related texts by Peterson. Conversations is releasing September 2007 from NavPress. Peterson lives with his wife in Montana and has three children and six grandchildren.

Eugene Peterson is an author, scholar, poet, ordained minister, and professor emeritus of Spiritual Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, BC, Canada. He received his formal education from Seattle Pacific College, New York Theological Seminary and Johns Hopkins University.

He has written more than 20 books including A Long Obedience in the Same Direction and Leap Over A Wall; but he is most known for modern language translation of the Bible, The Message. Since 1991, The Message has sold more than 11 million copies in all formats. Peterson created this unique translation to make the Bible more accessible to today's society.

After graduate study at Johns Hopkins, Peterson returned to New York Theological Seminary where he taught biblical languages and English Bible. Concurrently, he was associate pastor at a Presbyterian church in White Plains, New York. Although he planned to be in academia, it was during this time he discovered his passion for pastoral ministry.

In 1962, Peterson left New York for Bel Air, Maryland, outside of Baltimore. He was the organizing pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air where he served for 29 years. It was his effort to make the book of Galatians relevant to his congregation that was the catalyst for the first translation of The Message.

Peterson says his work as a pastor has had significant impact on this translation: "The largest influence on the work of The Message, after the Greek and Hebrew text itself, was 35 years working as a pastor, listening, listening, listening to people, trying to get these original texts in their idiom, their imaginations, the way they talked. I always felt I was on the border of two countries where they spoke different languages-the bible language and the American language. I kept asking myself, if Isaiah or John were writing what they wrote for these people I am living with, how would they say it?"

In 1991, Peterson felt God was calling him to devote more time to writing and teaching. He spent one year at Pittsburgh Seminary as writer-in-residence, teaching and working on The Message. In January 1993, Peterson became professor of spiritual theology at Regent College. He currently serves as Professor Emeritus at Regent, spending the majority of his time writing and speaking full-time. It took more than 12 years for Peterson to finish his seminal work of translating the entire Bible for The Message.

The Message with Its Translator: Conversations grew out of his own ministry of conversation-with God, with his parishioners, with the hundreds of students he has taught. He sees reading the Bible as a part of the essence of living. Writes Peterson: "My task is to bring into awareness that the biblical text, in the course of revealing God, pulls us into the revelation and welcomes us as participants in it. What I want to call to attention to is that the Bible, all of it, is livable. It is, in fact, the text for living our lives."

Peterson now lives in the Big Sky Country of rural Montana, with his wife, Jan. He has three grown children and six grandchildren.