Barth (1919–1922) and the Power of the Gospel (Romans 1:16–17)

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The verses(Romans 1:16–17) which speak of the power of the gospel are arguably programmatic in Paul’s letter and for his theology as a whole, and even more so for Barth’s Römer brief commentary, in its essentially two very different editions. Something of the road from the 1919 to the1922 editions needs to and will be said, but perhaps focusing in detail on Barth’s exegesis of the set woverses will allow one to see how a theological shift in a doctrine of revelation towards a ‘negative’ theology was preceded by establishing that the Gospel is about power rather than words (cf. Corinthians 4:20, correspondingly about the Kingdom). Reading the two editions synoptically or ‘binoptically’ might allow for a less abstract view of the gospel and one rooted in the Incarnation itself than if Romans II were allowed simply to supersede Romans I, even if the remaining appeal to ‘experience’ in the earlier version is understandablytocomeundersuspicionandrequireacertain‘distancing’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Epistle to the Romans
EditorsChristophe Chalamet, Andreas Dettwiler , Sarah Stewart-Kroeker
Place of PublicationBerlin
Publisherde Gruyter
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic) 9783110752908
ISBN (Print) 9783110750522
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2023


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