Read The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language--Numbered Edition by Eugene H. Peterson Online


With added verse-numbered paragraphs and new intros, this book will help a new generation read, think, pray, and live God's Word....

Title : The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language--Numbered Edition
Author :
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ISBN : 12109867
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 1728 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language--Numbered Edition Reviews

  • Jenn
    2018-12-02 00:10

    There is a lot of (unfortunate) debate about the validity of this translation of the Bible. Some refuse to call it any more than a paraphrase. Living in a foreign, non-Western culture (and having worked on some translation myself) helped me better understand the importance of context, the influence of culture, and the shortcomings of literal translations in writing. As I read Peterson's translation of the Bible, I am mindful that it is not a literal translation but am more than satisfied with the heart of the message he seems to capture so well. I really love reading it! It's like a new romance with an old friend. So over the next year I am attempting to read the whole thing! We'll see how this goes...FYI...I'm reading the free version of this on, and will be using the ESV Reading Plan on the same site (even though I'm not reading the ESV version). Bottom line, I'll be jumping around each day between different parts instead of reading cover-to-cover. I'm currently on day 18 of the plan.

  • Steve Miyamoto
    2018-12-13 00:23

    Have to love a Bible translation that says stuff like:God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn't deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. (Romans 8:3a)

  • Alan
    2018-11-17 01:01

    I admit that I didn't read this cover to cover. But I have read significant sections of this Bible and wanted to leave a review.First, The Message Bible needs to be viewed in perspective. As Mr. Peterson notes, this is not a study Bible. It is not meant to be used to get deep down into doctrine. Instead, this is a reading Bible. Mr. Peterson's goal in his translation was to bring the same feelings to the modern reader that that were experienced by the original audiences to the Bible's message.The result is wonderful. It is a Bible I want to read. It is engaging. The stories I've heard since I was a kid are now more than skeletal words on a page. They are alive, bold-faced, and breathing. I also appreciate Mr. Peterson's mini essays that give context and modern-day application to each book.So if you want to get back into the Bible but can't quite find the gumption to pick up the normal translation, give this a try. You'll be pleasantly surprised. And you can always give it a try for free at websites such as

  • Mark
    2018-11-19 04:06

    Have you ever longed to read the Bible but were put off by your memories of its language? This is your solution: an absolutely faithful translation in modern language. It almost makes Chronicles readable.

  • Jonathan
    2018-11-15 01:04

    Absolutely fantastic. The Word of God in contemporary language without losing the true import or meaning.

  • Tori
    2018-12-14 02:09

    I did it!!!!! My goal was to read the Bible in a year, so I followed a schedule and just finished this translation of the Bible today! Whew! I had chosen The Message because it was in contemporary language. Previously, I had read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in here, and had been impressed with the images Peterson chose. Well - I am glad I read the whole Bible now, because over all, I felt cheated. Part of this, I'm sure, is because I am so used to reading the King James version. Yes, some of the language is kind of archaic, but The Message does not even come close to the beauty of the King James version. Some of the translated passages in The Message felt stilted and almost "yesterday", whereas the King James evokes more feelings. I also felt as if Peterson put more "religion" in his version. I don't believe Jesus and Christ are synonymous. I believe Jesus was a human who came here to show us our sonship, and that he is gone now. but Christ is always here - and always was here - as his divine nature. Peterson put more of the traditional belief into his translation, where Jesus the man is coming back. I'm glad I read this, though. and now I plan on reading God's Secretaries and The Legacy of the King James Bible during this year!

  • Jenna Leigh
    2018-11-22 02:03

    I, like many others, had always avoided reading the Message Bible because of its supposed "heretical" leanings. However, recently I've been experimenting with some different translations. I have always read the NIV Bible, but the language style has become so familiar to me that I found that I was having trouble focusing while I was reading. I've got a Bible app on my iPhone, so every once and a while I would cross-reference verses from other translations with the NIV just to get a different perspective. Sometimes, when I tried out the Message, it helped clarify the meaning of certain difficult passages. So, when I came across a cheap, pocket version at our local Christian bookstore, I bought it. There are definite pros and cons associated with this translation, or paraphrase, rather. Pros:- The ease of reading is very high.- There is almost no semblance to popular translations of the Bible, so you aren't so stuck in the familiarity of the language being used that you can't pick up on the meaning any more.- It can help (and "help" is the operative word, here) clarify difficult or confusing passages.- Overall, it's just very refreshing to read.Cons:- Because of the updated, contemporary language, it can come across as silly (Hebrews 6:1, "Stop the preschool fingerpainting exercises on Christ and get on with the grand work of art") or even irreverent (Acts 8:20, "Peter said, 'To hell with your money! And you along with it. Why, that's unthinkable—trying to buy God's gift!'"). I didn't have a huge problem with this, but some people may not like it.- Sometimes sentences are added that are a bit superfluous and probably reflect the opinions of the editors/translators more than the actual meaning of the text.- Sometimes the meaning of passages is cloudy for the same reasons I just mentioned, and there's been more than once that I've had to actually refer back to my NIV to figure it out. The Message should not be your only Bible translation. It's good as a cross-referencing tool, or possibly as a Bible for a new believer, but it's a paraphrase. It doesn't always reflect the original meaning of the text, and it's based on someone's personal opinions on how the passages should be interpreted. Even Eugene H. Peterson himself, in the preface, says: "The Message is a reading Bible. It is not intended to replace the excellent study Bibles that are available. My intent here (as it was earlier in my congregation and community) is simply to get people reading it who don't know that the Bible is read-able at all, at least by them, and to get people who long ago lost interest in the Bible to read it again. But I haven't tried to make it easy—there is much in the Bible that is hard to understand. So at some point along the way, soon or late, it will be important to get a standard study Bible to facilitate further study." In the end, it's definitely not this horrible thing that so many Christians have painted it as and it has many strong points; I mean, I've personally found it to be a breath of fresh air in my daily devotions. But make sure you read it with caution and discernment.

  • Elizabeth Dyck
    2018-12-07 01:58

    I like the way this Bible is set up for the most part. I would have liked to have all the verses separated from each other instead of having them in paragraphs.More of a reading Bible instead of a study Bible, it flows from verse to verse in story like format. I kind of like that and I kind of don’t since it doesn’t give you the impression of having separate verses.All in all though I think I will find myself using it again and again. It’s the perfect size to carry in a purse/bag or if you don’t want to carry a regular sized Bible around.Below are some verse differences between The Message//Remix and The King James VersionThe Message//RemixThis is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting voice.-John 3:16First this: God created the Heavens and the Earth—all you see, all you don’t see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss-Genesis 1:1-2King James VersionFor God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in should not perish, but have ever lasting life.-John 3:16In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.-Genesis 1:1-2

  • Beth
    2018-12-01 06:09

    I looked through this translation of the Bible a few years ago and initially disliked it. But recently I've been reading Praise Habit, by David Crowder, and he uses this version on his rumination of the psalms and I really liked the language. There's a sense of urgency and a poignancy that resonates with me now that didn't when I initially tried out this translation. So I'm reading this version in my goal to read through the Bible in one year. So far so good, however I don't think it's going to supplant the ESV as my favorite translation.

  • Lee Harmon
    2018-11-19 04:04

    I love this contemporary Bible! It’s not the most accurate translation—it’s really not fair to even call it a translation, but rather a paraphrase betraying Peterson’s religious convictions—but I just find it enjoyable to read. It’s poetic and beautiful. Do not use it as a study Bible, but as an inspiring read.I chose the book of John to highlight some of the translations, so you can get a feel for the wording. These aren’t my favorite passages, but they do highlight what I mean by a “paraphrasing.”KJV: John 1:12-13, But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.Message: But whoever did want him, who believed he was who he claimed and would do what he said, He made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selves. These are the God-begotten, not blood-begotten, not flesh-begotten, not sex-begotten.KJV: John 1:31, And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.Message: I knew nothing about who he was—only this: that my task has been to get Israel ready to recognize him as the God-Revealer. That is why I came here baptizing with water, giving you a good bath and scrubbing sins from your life so you can get a fresh start with God.KJV: John 3:29-30, He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.Message: The one who gets the bride is, by definition, the bridegroom. And the bridegroom’s friend, his ‘best man’—that’s me—in place at his side where he can hear every word, is genuinely happy. How could he be jealous when he knows that the wedding is finished and the marriage is off to a good start? That’s why my cup is running over. This is the assigned moment for him to move into the center, while I slip off to the sidelines.KJV: John 6:43-44, Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to me, except he Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.Message: Jesus said, “Don’t bicker among yourselves over me. You’re not in charge here. The Father who sent me is in charge. He draws people to me—that’s the only way you’ll ever come. Only then do I do my work, putting people together, setting them on their feet, ready for the End.

  • Leah
    2018-12-04 06:03

    Eugene Peterson's "The Message" with its probing, dynamic interpretations of scripture often brings my own understanding of the possibilities and trajectories of the biblical texts to a new level. I bought this New Testament / Psalms for a friend whose first language is not English, although she speaks fluently and quite idiomatically.This book is a delight! It's fairly thick and heavy because it's not printed on ultra-fine India paper and because (happily) they set it in an easily readable size of type. The margins are wide enough to make a gracious visual presentation and to write some of your own notes, too!I heard someone describe Peterson's "tremendous devotion – tremendous scholarship," and that's for sure. I was disappointed to learn from another Amazon reviewer that some of his earlier versions of the texts contained even more to contemplate and consider, but someone decided they needed some pre-publication taming. As it turned out, this still was an excellent choice for my non-native speaker friend, and I'll give it an ultra high recommendation for almost any reader!

  • Chris Suleske
    2018-12-10 04:17

    When Peterson's original Message transliteration was published, I eschewed it, taking my direction from critics who cherry-picked passages with which they took issue. By the time this version had been released, I'd mellowed in my take on such things. More than that, I'd come to appreciate Peterson's style of writing. It is easy to take passages with which we are accustomed and contrast them with the Message, producing instant dissonance. Psalm 23 is Psalm 23, in the KJV translation. Best to hear it as such, if it works for you. I find I like to turn to the Message for the long streams of the Bible with which I've had less exposure, particularly the minor prophets. Peterson rocks some serious Nahum. I'd probably give this work 4 stars if it were not so grand an undertaking. But because of the colossal endeavor that is a completely new interpretation and telling of the Word of God, I have to reward the effort with a fifth star. C'mon, this is a serious gift to humanity.I should add that my 82 year old friend, who came to Christ just about the time I was born, is the one who had me reevaluate my take on the Message.

  • Legsoffury
    2018-11-13 03:27

    I would only consider it appropriate for somebody well-acquainted with a respectable translation of the Bible to read this. What do I mean by respectable; well I mean a translation that has stood the test of time and that is respected by a large majority of Bible scholars and Greek/Hebrew linguists. This is NOT a translation, but an interpretation. There is a big difference. This to me is more of a supplemental curiosity rather then a Bible I could actually make reference to.As it is, there were some parts I found insightful and other parts that were more obviously slanted towards the the "interpreters" view.If you are new to the bible, read a real translation and formulate your own thoughts before reading the entire thing through another person's interpretation.

  • Christopher
    2018-12-05 03:15

    I prefer to treat this as a contemporary commentary on the Bible rather than as a legitimate translation of the Bible, and I take it that is what Eugene Peterson intended it for since he says in his introduction to The Message that it was not intended to replace standard study Bibles, but unfortunately it is not marketed that way at all. It is helpful at times and obscures with goofiness or inappropriate light-heartedness at other times.

  • Phileo Truth
    2018-11-25 22:12

    This translation of the Bible renders the text unrecognizable to any word-for-word and most thought-for-thought translations. In its efforts to be conversational, the language is bastardized. It is a sad commentary on the state of the church that so many in Christendom teach from this Bible in the general assembly. This translation should have been shelved.

  • Linda
    2018-11-14 04:23

    Will read in 2013. This is one of my go to versions of the Bible in my bible studies

  • Heather's Mum
    2018-12-01 02:07

    Maybe not the most acurate, word for word translation, but oh so easy to just sit and read for inspiration and spirtual nurture. NOT a "study" Bible, but a "reading" text.

  • Robin
    2018-12-02 05:13

    I love this version of the Bible. Written for his grandson, Eugene Peterson writes this paraphrase in such an easy to understand manner.

  • Jerry
    2018-12-01 06:08

    Synopsis: Called a "Bible in contemporary language," The Message is a paraphrase that updates the antiquated, archaic language found in most translations, whether the 1611 KJV or the 2010 NIV.  This audio version features narration from experienced voice actor Kelly Ryan Dolan, as well as popular contemporary Christian music artists ranging from Steve Green to Janna Long (Avalon) to TobyMac reading selected passages, it's God's Word as you likely have never heard it before!Production Values: 3.5/5I bought this expecting a multi-cast narration, a la The Word of Promise or The Bible Experience.  Instead, what I got was one guy (Dolan) reading most of the Bible, with others reading passages that usually amount to a few chapters, if even that.  Though Mr. Dolan puts more expression into his voice that Alexander Scourby ever did, the lack of variance in his voice is a bit bothersome.  When God has the same voice as Rachel, who has the same voice as Jonathan, who has the same voice as the serpent, it's just...well, not good.  The other narrators--who are musicians, not actors--don't change their voices either, but some of their readings are better than others.  Rebecca St. James, who reads Ephesians, and Steve Green, who reads the account of Abraham, both do pretty well, but Tricia Brock's reading of Jude and Steven Curtis Chapman's performance of the epistle of James are a bit hard to sit through.Compatibility: 3.5/5The edition I bought of The Message // Remix is the MP3 CD edition, as pictured above.  Some reviewers on CBD said that they had trouble getting the files onto their computer/MP3 player, but they were all Windows users; I figured my flat-screen iMac would copy them just fine...but I was wrong.  Though it mostly copied correctly, most of the book of Isaiah was unable to copy.  That wouldn't be that bad...if it weren't for the fact that Isaiah is one of those books where a paraphrase would really help.  So, whether you use Mac or Windows, beware.Content Concerns: N/AThe Bible is God's Word, and is not subject to the same analyses that I would give a Disney Channel movie or a Saturday morning cartoon.  Therefore, I am not going to analyze its content.  All I will say is that some people might have a problem with the nature of the translation, but, as long as The Message has been around, pretty much everyone has already made up their mind about it.Conclusion: For a while, I have had a bit of a penchant for audio Bibles.  I own both the original and Next Generation editions of The Word of Promise, as well as two audio NIVs and The Bible Experience.  They are a great study tool, especially when I read and listen at the same time.  Though The Message // Remix is moderately well-done, I've heard much better.  Maybe someday Mr. Peterson's paraphrase will get the Word of Promise treatment and actually sound really good; the nature of the translation seems to be perfect for that.Score: 3.5/5

  • Nancy Snyder
    2018-11-14 02:15

    This paraphrase of the Bible is arranged to pair a reading from the New Testament w/a section from the Old Testament. Each section is followed by some reflective questions. At times the sections go together, at other times they don't. The chapters do no necessarily follow the sequential order of the "regular" Message by Peterson or the regular order of the books of the Bible.I have been able to finally read the Bible through this translation, to think about what I am reading, and to relate what I am reading to my life and to current society. In addition, the pairings of Old and New Testament enable me, as a modern-day Christian who has often been impressed by people who throw out quotes from the Bible, to see where those quotes are taken out of context or where laws (such as those related to food restrictions) were later rescinded by Jesus. This version is set up so a reader following the plan can finish the Bible in a year, two years, or four years. I began in late January. It is now mid-July and I have read from day 1 through day 298. I anticipate completing the Bible within the next month. The modern language and the paraphrase made it possible.I have missed some of the well known verses (and the verse markings), but I have my standard Bibles for that.

  • Benjamin Vineyard
    2018-11-25 02:27

    The Message Reader's Edition (Book Reaction)I enjoy reading *The Message* in longer reading sessions. The story flows more smoothly and I feel like I can grasp that arching story more securely when I can read for those longer sessions. And that's just it -- *The Message* comes off more like you are reading a story. Or, as I sometimes imagine while I'm reading it, like you're sitting around a campfire and your grandfather is telling you something of the faith, something he memorized of Scripture, but memorized in a paraphrased form, not word for word.As he recites this to you in the dim of night, the story of Scripture somehow comes alive to you in a way like no other. There's a tangible realness to it -- like this method of storytelling is the best way this story is passed down. Yes, I think it really is the best way. A note on this version of *The Message*: It's a copy that doesn't have verse numbers and the font is a little larger. It was a pleasure to read in that way. I'd find myself disappearing into the story with rapt attention in a way I hadn't experienced recently. I'm thankful for that.

  • Keri
    2018-12-13 06:20

    I've been so blessed by reading through this paraphrase of the Bible. I am thrilled to have finally completed a lifelong goal of reading through the Bible. But more importantly than that, I've felt joy in reading and it has not simply become a task I "had" to do...instead something I looked forward to. As the Psalms say I "thrill to God's Word, you chew on Scripture day and night." (Ps. 1:2)This is not the best for deep study but it is so readable and reminds us that the Bible is a story - the greatest story - of God's all-consuming love for His people and His continued pursuit of them. God loves you and has a plan for your life...simply accept that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and rose from the grave to live eternally with God. "This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trust in him is acquitted;" (John 3:16-17)

  • Becca Moss
    2018-11-29 00:01

    Deuteronomy 15:1010-11 Give freely and spontaneously. Don’t have a stingy heart. The way you handle matters like this triggers God, your God’s, blessing in everything you do, all your work and ventures. There are always going to be poor and needy people among you. So I command you: Always be generous, open purse and hands, give to your neighbors in trouble, your poor and hurting neighbors.Hebrews 11:1Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it give us assurance about things we cannot see.John 13:7Jesus answered, "you don't know what I am doing now, but later you will understand."John 13:34-3534 A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciplines if you love one another. Isaiah 7:9If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all. Proverbs 15:13A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face; a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day. Proverbs 16:20It pays to take life seriously; things work out when you trust in God.

  • Sarah
    2018-11-27 23:17

    The Youth at our church challenged everyone to read the entire New Testament by Lent. I am way behind on the "schedule" suggested, but working away nonetheless. I think I read the Gospels through as part of my confirmation back in high school, but otherwise I am really not sure that I have ever read the Bible through as a book (i.e., not just a smattering of verses here and there at a time). Needless to say, it gives you a different picture this way! So far the translation is a little choppy to me... will have to see what I think at the end.*********Update: I still haven't finished the New Testament, but I figured I'd move this out of my "currently reading list!" I'm not rating this book because I think it's kind of weird to "rate" the Bible! I like this translation and I am finding it to be more accessible than others. I will caution that it does sometimes seem like they translated each word rather than an entire sentence, so it gets a little choppy and some of the "slang" is a little dated. I am glad I have a copy around, especially to use with the kids as they get older.

  • ElizabethHolter
    2018-12-06 23:25

    December 2010: Every year I read at least one classic book, and this year decided on the oldest book continuously in print. I picked this version because it is in contemporary language,from a translator who knows Greek and Hebrew. Halfway through, now, I find myself perversely comforted by the fact that, while human nature has not changed a bit over the last few millenia, there is a gradual upward movement in the way men view the world and their gods. It's enough to keep me going. July 18, 2011: finished. Overall, the modern language made the book an easier read, but in the New Testament, it was artificial and distracting - I think because the New testament seems, as C.S. Lewis describes it, "straight-up reporting." The reporting in this case is from a time that does not match the language used. Nevertheless, the New Testament is a fascinating look at a remarkable turning point in human history.Of all the books, Job gets 5 stars - a literary masterpiece. Genesis and Ecclesiastes were close seconds.

  • Sage
    2018-11-30 06:06

    Okay... I don't even know how to begin a review of a Bible. By the way I was given this book for Confirmation so I only read what was necessary to write a decent blurb.Let's start with the name. "Remix"? Really? This is a modernization of the Bible not a Britney Spears song featuring Ke$ha and Nicki Minaj. I'm probably really biased about this because in general I feel like something is lost in modernizations or abridged versions of anything. Reading Les Mis and seeing "is it ok with u bro" instead of "Do you permit it?" (I'm sorry that's the 1st example I thought of) is not a very fun experience. Another problem I have with the "in modern language"/paraphrasing thing is that it leads to a lot of repetitive language. I'm not saying that you need to use 520242 different words instead of said. Anyways I'd overall say it was ok. It wasn't good or terrible. This rating is mostly about the language and actual content.

  • Adam Johns
    2018-11-21 03:27

    Pastor Peterson gets it right more often than he gets it wrong, and anyone who has read his translation of the Holy Scriptures from the original language into contemporary English knows this very well. There's a lot of controversy around this translation. Most people hold to the notion that it is a paraphrase. The thing about translations is that they are either word for word or thought for thought, and one is better for studying and one is better for reading and we need both. This is a thought for thought translation by an author, professor and pastor with half a century of experience dealing with Greek and Hebrew. Anyone who wants to throw stones at the Message needs to wait until they have put in the time this man has. My prayer is that true students of the Word will be blessed by reading this, and that we would avoid foolish disputes because they profit nothing.

  • Kim
    2018-12-10 22:17

    I wanted a fresh perspective on The Bible and that is exactly what I got. The Message is written as more of a story Bible that uses very common, modern language to help the reader better understand the ancient text. The entire scriptures are there, but multiple verses are oftentimes linked together to create the story format. I am really appreciating the format of The Message and have gained new incites into the meaning of various scripture, but I still use other versions of The Bible as my primary reference. Update: As I've read through almost a third of the scriptures, I've become increasingly dissatisfied with the translation. When comparing the text to the NIV or NKJV, I have found that the Message changes the wording so much that the actual context and meaning of the scripture is changed, and I'm not comfortable with that.

  • Dean Wood
    2018-11-26 01:06

    This is the first time I've ever used The Message for my through-the-bible reading. A lot has been said about its weaknesses and what people don't like about The Message. Here are a few things I liked:- I found it helpful for reading the longer historical portions of the Old Testament.- I loved it for reading Job.- I can't tell how many times in the Psalms I thought to myself, "Oh, that's where that song came from!" A lot of songwriters, from U2 to songs on Christian radio, must read the Psalms from The Message.- I found myself carving out time to read entire books of the bible in one sitting. The Message is great for that.- I found some portions especially powerful. The last half of Galatians was particularly moving. The Gospels were great.

  • Seth
    2018-11-30 01:03

    I was recently given the recommendation to read the introductions to each of the books of the Bible that Peterson writes for The Message. I was reluctant to do so because every time that I read his contemporary translations of Scripture, I find myself feeling like I am not able to see the Scripture as I ought. I did, however, take the advice. Peterson has written some powerful summaries of each f the books of the Bible. His ability as a good writer is at its best here. I find sentences hanging around in my mind for days.So, I cannot rate The Message high, but I can rate the book summaries high. I guess that the rating falls somewhere in the middle.