December 13, 2008

Karl Barth, Epistle to the Philippians

This interesting little commentary is one of the few examples of Barth's theological exegesis as it is applied to an entire book systematically. It doesn't rival other more traditional commentaries as far as exegetical insight, but it contains a number of gems, and reflects a deep and sustained engagement with the text. Barth illumines a number of theological themes in the letter in his own distinctive way, and, as is reflected by citations of this book in many modern commentaries, certainly makes a contribution to the understanding of Philippians. I most thoroughly enjoyed his discussion of Phil 3:8-9 and the subject of faith and righteousness. This brief discussion alone is worth the price of the book. While I won't be consulting this little commentary first or most frequently in future studies of Philippians, I certainly won't neglect it either, especially when looking at those more theologically dense passages.

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