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The most readable of all translations, the paraphrase is also the least accurate and is generally unable, and often unwilling, to hide the bias of the translator. Some popular paraphrases of today are The Living Bible, The Phillips Bible and The Message. Where literal and dynamic equivalence translations are usually done by a group of scholars commissioned for the task, paraphrases are typically the work of a single translator working to put the text of the Bible into "common speech" and therefore they are less likely to be a balanced treatment of the word of God. While for general reading they may be of some value as they make the Bible text seem more alive to the modern reader, they should be avoided for Bible study since quite often the translation does not accurately reflect the thoughts of the writers of the Bible. I would not recommend a paraphrases in general and believe that they convey the thoughts of God mingled with the thoughts of the translator. That being said if the only Bible you have is a paraphrase then by all means use it and do not think that it is of no value for study and for gaining some awareness of God as long as you realize that there are more accurate resources available and that you will not gain the best understanding of the Bible if all that you use is a paraphrase. The paraphrased Bible that you study diligently will be of far greater benefit to you than the literal or dynamic equivalence Bible that you ignore.