27. Barth

  1. Stephen Westerholm
  1. Richard E. Burnett

Published Online: 20 APR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444395778.ch27

The Blackwell Companion to Paul

The Blackwell Companion to Paul

How to Cite

Burnett, R. E. (2011) Barth, in The Blackwell Companion to Paul (ed S. Westerholm), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444395778.ch27

Editor Information

  1. McMaster University, Canada

Author Information

  1. Erskine Theological Seminary, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 APR 2011
  2. Published Print: 29 APR 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405188449

Online ISBN: 9781444395778



  • Karl Barth's break with liberalism, 1915 - as one of the most important events in Protestant theology;
  • Barth's commentary on The Epistle to the Romans - first published in German in 1919, Karl Adam described as “a bombshell”;
  • theological bankruptcy of Protestant liberalism in Germany - crisis closer to home, Barth's own preaching;
  • Barth's encounter with Paul - and Barth's much-celebrated discovery of “The Strange New World within the Bible”;
  • Barth, and his encounter with Paul - a great turning point of his life, yet it was not Paul himself, Paul the man, or Paul as such;
  • Barth's conflict with the Guild over Paul - knowing his Römerbrief, not being well received by members of “the dominant science of biblical exegesis”;
  • Barth, not happy with most of the two dozen or so reviews of Rom I - neither was he discouraged;
  • nuances of Barth's understanding - of a “relationship of faithfulness” (Treueverhältnis);
  • Barth's thought, being decisively shaped - by Paul beyond his Römerbrief period;
  • Barth's “interest” in biblical exegesis - Barth saying, it had to do with the central subject matter, content and theme of the Bible, namely, God


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Background to Barth's Encounter with Paul

  • Barth's Encounter with Paul

  • Barth's Conflict with the Guild over Paul

  • Conclusion

  • References