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Epistle to the Philippians Paperback – Deluxe Edition, August 30, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press; Anniversary edition (August 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0664224202
  • ISBN-13: 978-0664224202
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #363,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Karl Barth (1886-1968) was Professor of Theology at the University of Basel, Switzerland. One of the greatest theologians and preachers of the twentieth century, he is best known for his monumental systematic theology, Church Dogmatics.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Not just a commentary on Philippians, Barth is showing us how to interpret the Bible generally, how to believe, and how to live the Christian life. We are to look past what Paul says "to his contemporaries about certain matters of common concern--in order to lay bare its [Epistle to the Philippians] true, ETERNAL CONTENT, which is the kingdom of God as the permanent crisis and hope of humankind. The interpreter must 'see through and beyond the historical into the spirit of the Bible, which is the eternal Spirit' ... What Paul said conceals what Paul SAYS." (Watson, p. xxix). This theme and process is what Barth applies, as an example for interpreting all scriptures, and to Philippians specifically. The effect is profound, and life changing--especially given the subject of the epistle: Kenosis (Christ's humbling, emptying of himself of his God nature to become human, i.e., Christology).

The following titled sections indicate Barth's focus:
Copartners in Grace!
Christ Will be Magnified ("Christ is preached!")
Children of God among a Perverse Generation (self versus humility/grace)
Rejoice in the Lord!
Righteousness from God (not from self righteousness)
The God of Peace
The Offering Well Pleasing to God

"God's Equal forgoes asserting himself as such, enters into the obscurity of human, nature, seeks not to be called good (Mark 10:18) but like all other men to live by grace ... not because of the moral achievement of this Man" (pp. 64,65).

"According to the good pleasure of God, in his freedom, that Jesus is the Lord, that we are Christians--in a word, that grace is REALITY ... therefore ...
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stephen W. Hiemstra on September 19, 2009
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One of my rules of thumb in choosing a commentary over the years has been to the check first to see if Karl Barth has written a review. I generally trust Barth to provide a solid interpretation. Again, Barth has not disappointed.

This printing of Barth's commentary, Epistle to the Philippians, starts with two very helpful interpretations of Barth's work: The significance of Karl Barth's Theological Exegesis of Philippians by Bruce L. McCormack and Barth's Philippians as Theological Exegesis by Francis B. Watson. Both provide deep insight into Barth and the context of his commentary. McCormack, for example, alerts the reader to Karl's interpretation of Paul through the lens of 1 Corinthians 15--Paul's longest statement of the meaning of the resurrection. By contrast, Watson observes that Barth sees the commentator's role as to "assist the text to explain itself". If anything, Barth is subtle so I appreciated the helping hand provided by these two authors.

Why should someone return to Barth for a commentary after 40 years? I suppose the same question could be posed of Calvin, Luther, and Augustine's commentaries: Barth stands in their league. I still try to read Calvin not only for historical interest, but because I believe that the postmodern era presents its own problems in interpretation. New is not always improved. Barth provides a window into somewhat earlier time than our own and helped usher in the current era of biblical interpretation. He reads Calvin in the Latin and Luther in the German. He is familiar with the German school of NT interpretation--not just what has been translated.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rob on May 4, 2013
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I purchased this commentary because I have seen so many other commentaries on Philippians reference Barth. I enjoy reading his insight but have discovered I do not agree with him on some of the technical issues with in the book. But it is enjoyable.
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