Thursday, April 28, 2011

Karl Barth on the Resurrection

"The New Testament is speaking about an event in time and space. It must not be overlooked that in this event we have to do on the one hand with the telos, the culminating point of the previously recorded concrete history of the life and suffering and death of Jesus Christ which attained its end in his resurrection, and on the other with the beginning of the equally concrete history of faith in him . . . Since the presupposition and the consequence of the Easter message of the New Testament are of this nature, it would be senseless to deny that this message, does at least treat of an event in time and space. It would be senseless to suppose that it is really trying to speak of the non-spatial and timeless being of certain general truths, orders, and relationships, clothing what it really wanted to say in the poetical form of narrative. . . We therefore presuppose agreements that a sound exegesis cannot idealise, symbolize or allegorise, but has to reckon with the fact that the New Testament was here speaking of an event that really happened, as it did when it spoke earlier of the life and death of Jesus Christ which proceeded it and later of the formation of the community that followed it."
(Church Dogmatics IV, 1, 336-339. The Verdict of the Father)

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