Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Authority of the Smallest, Strangest, Simplest, or Obscurest Biblical Witness

The position of theology . . . can in no wise be exalted above that of the biblical witnesses. The post-Biblical theologian may, no doubt, possess a better astronomy, geography, zoology, psychology, physiology, and so on than these biblical witnesses possessed; but as for the Word of God, he is not justified in comporting himself in relation to those witnesses as though he knew more about the Word than they . . . He cannot grant or refuse them a hearing as though they were colleagues on the faculty. Still less is he a high-school teacher authorized to look over their shoulder benevolently or crossly, to correct their notebooks, or to give them good, average, or bad marks.

Even the smallest, strangest, simplest, or obscurest among the biblical witnesses has an incomparable advantage over even the most pious, scholarly, and sagacious latter-day theologian.
–Karl Barth, Evangelical Theology: An Introduction, 31-32.

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2006-17

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