Eugene H. Peterson

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Eugene H. Peterson
Eugene Peterson.jpg
Eugene Peterson speaking in Seattle, 2009.
Born (1932-11-06) November 6, 1932 (age 84)
East Stanwood, Washington
Education B.A. Seattle Pacific University
S.T.B. New York Theological Seminary
M.A. Johns Hopkins University
Notable work The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language

Eugene H. Peterson (born November 6, 1932) is an American-born clergyman, scholar, author, and poet. He has written over thirty books, including Gold Medallion Book Award winner The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language[1] (Navpress Publishing Group, 2002), a paraphrase of the Bible.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Peterson was born in East Stanwood, Washington and grew up in Kalispell, Montana. He earned his B.A. in philosophy from Seattle Pacific University, his S.T.B. from New York Theological Seminary, and his M.A. in Semitic languages from Johns Hopkins University.[3] He also holds several honorary doctoral degrees.[4] In 1962, Peterson was a founding pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) in Bel Air, Maryland, where he served for 29 years before retiring in 1991. He was Professor of Spiritual Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia until retiring in 2006. He now lives in Montana.

The Message[edit]

Peterson is probably best known for The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language. Although The Message has received criticism from some bible scholars, many people read Peterson's paraphrased Bible because they find it accessible. The stated goal of The Message was to make the original meaning more understandable and accessible to the modern reader. Peterson explains:

Selected works[edit]

  • A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society (1980)
  • Run With the Horses: The Quest for Life at its Best (InterVarsity Press, November 1983)
  • Traveling Light: Modern Meditations on St. Paul's Letter of Freedom (Helmers & Howard Publishing, 1988)
  • Reversed Thunder: The Revelation of John and the Praying Imagination (HarperCollins Publishers, 1988)
  • Answering God: The Psalms as Tools for Prayer (Harper San Francisco, 1991 reprint)
  • Where Your Treasure Is: Psalms that Summon You from Self to Community (Wm. B. Eerdman Publishing Company, 1993)
  • Like Dew Your Youth: Growing Up with Your Teenager (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1994)
  • Subversive Spirituality (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publish Publishing Group, 1994, reprinted in 1997 and 2006)
  • Take and Read: Spiritual Reading, An Annotated List (Eerdmans-Regent College Publishing, 1996)
  • Leap Over a Wall: Earthy Spirituality for Everyday Christians (HarperCollins Canada / Religious, 1997)
  • 1 and 2 Samuel - Westminster Bible Companion (Westminster John Knox Press, 1999)
  • The Wisdom of Each Other: A Conversation Between Spiritual Friends (Zondervan, 2001)
  • The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language (Navpress Publishing Group, 2002)
  • The Christmas Troll (Navpress Publishing Group, 2005)
  • Living the Resurrection: The Risen Christ in an Everyday Life (Navpress Publishing Group, 2006)
  • The Pastor: A Memoir (HarperOne, 2011)
  • As Kingfishers Catch Fire: A Conversation on the Ways of God Formed by the Words of God (WaterBrook, May 2017)

Pastoral Theology series

  • Five Smooth Stones for Pastoral Work (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1980)
  • The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1980)
  • Working The Angles: The Shape Of Pastoral Integrity (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, May 1987)
  • Under the Unpredictable Plant: An Exploration in Vocational Holiness (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1992)
  • The Unnecessary Pastor: Rediscovering the Call (co-authored with Marva Dawn) (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2000)

Praying with the Bible Series

Spiritual Theology series

  • Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places: A Conversation in Spiritual Theology (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Group, 2005)
  • Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, January 2006)
  • The Jesus Way: A Conversation on the Ways That Jesus Is the Way (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Group, 2007)
  • Tell It Slant: A Conversation on the Language of Jesus in His Stories and Prayers (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Group, 2008)
  • Practice Resurrection: A Conversation on Growing Up in Christ (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Group, 2010)


  1. ^ 2006 Gold Medallion Book Awards Winners - Bibles category
  2. ^ "Introduction to the New Testament, from The Message". Retrieved 2008-06-03.
  3. ^ FAQs from Navpress
  4. ^ Regent College faculty page
  5. ^ Clint Kelly. "Eugene Peterson: The Story Behind The Message". Lifeway. Retrieved 2008-03-28. 

External links[edit]