Karl Barth and the Fifth Gospel: Barth's Theological Exegesis of Isaiah, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Karl Barth and the Fifth Gospel

Barth's Theological Exegesis of Isaiah, 1st Edition

By Mark S. Gignilliat


182 pages

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Today’s biblical scholars and dogmaticians are giving a significant amount of attention to the topic of theological exegesis. A resource turned to for guidance and insight in this discussion is the history of interpretation, and Karl Barth’s voice registers loudly as a helpful model for engaging Scripture and its subject matter. Most readers of Barth’s theological exegesis encounter him on the level of his New Testament exegesis. This is understandable from several different vantage points. Unfortunately, Barth’s theological exegesis of the Old Testament has not received the attention it deserves. This book seeks to fill this lacuna as it encounters Barth’s theological exegesis of Isaiah in the Church Dogmatics. From the Church’s inception, Isaiah has been understood as Christian Scripture. In the Church Dogmatics we find Barth reading Isaiah in multi-functional and multi-layered ways as he seeks to hear Isaiah as a living witness to God’s triune revelation of himself in Jesus Christ.


’With this volume Gignilliat has preformed a fine service to both the biblical studies and theological guilds by expositing Barth’s use of the text of Isaiah in his Church Dogmatics. Particularly helpful are Gignilliat’s sensitivities to the history of Old Testament scholarship and especially his own expertise as an exegete of Isaiah… biblical scholars and theologians alike ought to be grateful.’ Journal of Hebrew Scriptures ’Chief among its merits is Gignilliat’s strategy for establishing Barth’s nuanced hermeneutical instincts by putting him in dialogue with Baumgartner and Vischer. This approach is creative, well-executed and very illuminating. Furthermore, Gignilliat’s project is at its best when it demonstrates how Barth’s explicitly theological approach can be more appropriate to a text than atomizing historical-critical methods because it respects the final form’s own historical ambiguities rather than interpreting against the backdrop of a hypothetical historical setting of little concern to the text itself.’ Center for Barth Studies

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Barth and the renaissance of Old Testament theology in the early 20th century; Die Zeit der Erwartung; Barth's theological exegesis of Isaiah 1-39; Bart's theological exegesis of Isaiah 40-66; Theological exegetical implications of Barth's Isaianic exegesis; Bibliography; Indexes.

About the Author

Mark S. Gignilliat, Assistant Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, USA.

About the Series

Barth Studies

The work of Barth is central to the history of modern western theology and remains a major voice in contemporary constructive theology. His writings have been the subject of intensive scrutiny and re-evaluation over the past two decades, notably on the part of English-language Barth scholars who have often been at the forefront of fresh interpretation and creative appropriation of his theology. Study of Barth, both by graduate students and by established scholars, is a significant enterprise; literature on him and conferences devoted to his work abound; the Karl Barth Archive in Switzerland and the Center for Barth Studies at Princeton give institutional profile to these interests. Barth's work is also considered by many to be a significant resource for the intellectual life of the churches.

Drawing from the wide pool of Barth scholarship, and including translations of Barth's works, this series aims to function as a means by which writing on Barth, of the highest scholarly calibre, can find publication. The series builds upon and furthers the interest in Barth's work in the theological academy and the church.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General