“Why and in what respect does the biblical witness have authority? Because and in the fact that it claims no authority for himself, that his witness allows the other itself to be its own authority. We thus do the Bible poor and unwelcome honour if we equate it directly with this other, with Revelation itself.” (112)
This weeks section of the Dogmatics begins Barth’s explanation of his doctrine of scripture. If you went to an evangelical seminary, you may have heard that Barth’s understanding of the Bible authority was not high enough. In the quote above Barth contests this charge. For Barth, the Bible becomes the Word of God through mediation of the Holy Spirit. Barth understands God’s revelation as an event. God’s self-disclosure cannot be contained and saved for later…because later God’s self disclosure become a recollection of God’s revelation.
I will post some thoughts later this weekend but, I pose this question for now. If Barth is wrong, how is it that the Bible is equated with revelation? The Bible is an ancient text- it is both ancient and a text. Because the Bible is an ancient text there is always some form of mediation that needs to take place for the Bible’s character as command and promise for the church to be actualized. Barth contests that an encounter with the Holy Spirit is needed for the Bible to become Revelation. If Barth is wrong, how do we receive the Bible as divine revelation: plain reading, exegesis, historical-criticism, proof texting?