Author of The Message Bible, Pastor Eugene Peterson Placed on Hospice Care
Eugene Peterson, the pastor who authored The Message translation, was recently placed on hospice care after suffering from heat failure and dementia.
In an email sent by his son Eric last Friday (Oct. 12), he revealed that his father, “was hospitalized on Tuesday when he took a sudden and dramatic turn in his health caused by an infection. He is now being treated for pneumonia and is responding well to the IV antibiotics. He is eating again, and went for a very short walk this afternoon. He is much improved as of today.
Peterson is not only a pastor, but a scholar, poet and author of more than thirty books including As Kingfishers Catch Fire, and Run with the Horse. He founded Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Md., where he served as senior pastor for thirty years.
The impact of his ministry not only touched the lives of congregants, but encouraged pastors as well. Robert Creech, a professor at Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary and who shared Eric’s email to his facebook followers, commented on Peterson’s influence.
“Eugene Peterson has encouraged, formed, and often literally saved the ministry of more than one pastor over the years through his writing and thinking,” Creech wrote. “He has refreshed Scripture for many through his thoughtful paraphrase of the Bible published as The Message.”
In a video interview with NavPress, Peterson explained that his aspiration to write The Message arose from his desire to put the Bible into contemporary language. “I wanted to get the language of scriptures into an equivalent,” he stated.
The Message Bible has become a popular translation making the scripture accessible to many, but Peterson admits that in the moment he did not sense the magnitude of his work.
“I didn’t think I was doing something that extraordinary,” Peterson stated, “but I knew I was doing something from my congregation that was extraordinary.”
Doctors have given Peterson only months, which he has already come to peace with. When his son Eric asked him how he felt about his prognosis, “after some thought, he said, ‘I feel good about that.’ ”
Peterson is expected to return home soon where he will receive primarily palliative care.
(image via screengrab)