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Karl Barth and the Bible's Divine Inspiration

Karl Barth taught that the Bible is not in itself the word of God but becomes it when we read it. It is a witness to the word of God but it is not the word of God. It is like somebody other than God writing a book and God inserting thoughts in you when you read it. Christianity however teaches that the book is the word of God and what God puts into you as you read it is also his word. Barth's theory really denies that the Bible should get any special treatment. God can use any book at all or even a CD or movie to teach us. In fact, some modern medium would be better than the Bible.

If God is good then he inspires us as often as he can. It follows that he does this nearly all the time. This means that every spiritually edifying conversation and book must be on the level of the Bible. It would be nonsense to emphasise the Bible. Any spiritual book would be better for it would be clearer. Yet Barth declared the Bible to be the most important book in the world and to be the centre of Christian worship. This was bigoted hypocrisy.
 
The Bible claims to be the word of God and Barth is saying it is wrong so how could it be used by God to teach us?
 
The Bible would need to be infallible to give the word of God to you or to be a tool for teaching you the word of God. Barth's theory is contradictory. Barth really should have said that nothing becomes the word of God to anybody - it is the impulses you get when you sense that the book is right and revealing God that are the word of God. So his theory makes us all infallible popes.
 
Barth’s theory is not a theory of Bible inspiration. So it has nothing to do with the three things we looked at with regard to the extent of inspiration.
 
The theory that the Bible is inspired the same way poetry is, the natural theory of inspiration, is really just an antiseptic way of saying the Bible is just a normal book.
 
SUMMARY
 
Karl Barth claimed that the Bible is not God's word but when you read it God inspires you to learn from it. This teaching contradicts the Bible assertion that it is the word of God. And it would follow that what you feel like believing is to be taken as the word of God! What a recipe for chaos in the psychiatric unit!
 
BOOKS CONSULTED
 
A Summary of Christian Doctrine, Louis Berkhof, The Banner of Truth Trust, London, 1971
Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible, John W Haley, Whitaker House, Pennsylvania, Undated
Answers to Tough Questions, Josh McDowell and Don Stewart, Scripture Press Bucks, 1988
Attack on the Bible, John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, 1965
Biblical Exegesis and Church Doctrine, Raymond E Brown, Paulist Press, New York, 1985
But the Bible Does Not Say So, Rev Roberto Nisbet, Church Book Room Press, London, 1966
Catholicism and Christianity, Cecil John Cadoux, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1928
Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Karl Keating, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1988
Creation and Evolution, Dr Alan Hayward, Triangle, London, 1994
Does the Bible Contradict Itself? Radio Bible Class, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1986
Encyclopaedia of Bible Difficulties, Gleason W Archer, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1982
Essentials, David L Edwards and John Stott, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1990
Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Vol 1, Josh McDowell, Alpha, Scripture Press Foundation, Bucks, 1995
Free Inquiry, Fall 1998, Vol 18, No 4, Council for Secular Humanism, Amherst, New York
God and the Human Condition, F J Sheed, Sheed & Ward, London, 1967
God Cannot Lie, David Alsobrook, Diasozo Trust, Kent, 1989
God, Science and Evolution, Prof E H Andrews, Evangelical Press, Herts, 1985
God’s Word, Final Infallible and Forever, Floyd C McElveen, Gospel Truth Ministries, Grand Rapids, 1985
How and Why Catholic and Protestant Bibles Differ, Carolyn Osiek, RSCJ and Donald Senior, CP, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1983
How to Interpret the Bible, Fergus Cleary SJ, Ligouri Publications, Missouri, 1981
In Defence of the Faith, Dave Hunt, Harvest House, Eugene Oregon, 1996
Inspiration in the Bible, Fr Karl Rahner, Herder and Herder, New York, 1966
Jesus and Early Christianity in the Gospels, Daniel J Grolin, George Ronald, Oxford, 2002
Jehovah of the Watch-tower, Walter Martin and Norman Klann, Bethany House Publishers, Minnesota, 1974
Know What You Believe, Paul E Little, Scripture Union, London, 1973
Know Why You Believe, Paul E Little, Scripture Union, London, 1971
New Evangelicalism An Enemy of Fundamentalism, Curtis Hutson, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, 1984
None of These Diseases, SI McMillen MD, Lakeland, London 1966
Our Perfect Book the Bible, John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, 1958
Proof the Bible is True, Rev JMA Willans BD, Dip.Theol. Vermont Press, Larne, 1982
Radio Replies Vol 3, Radio Replies Press, Minnesota, 1942
Reason and Belief, Bland Blanschard, London, George Allen and Unwin Ltd, 1974
Return to Sodom and Gomorrah, Charles Pellegrino, The Softback Preview, New York, 1995
Science and the Bible, Henry Morris, Moody Press, Bucks, 1988
Science Held Hostage What’s Wrong With Creation Science and Evolutionism, Howard J Van Till/Davis A.Young/Clarence Menninga, IVP, Downer’s Grove, Illinois, 1988
Science Speaks, Peter W Stoner and Robert C Newman, Moody Press, Chicago, 1976
Set My Exiles Free, John Power, Logos Books, MH Gill & Son Ltd, Dublin, 1967
Testament, The Bible and History, John Romer, Henry Holt and Company, New York, 1988
The Authority of the Bible, Ambassador College, Pasadena, California, 1980
The Bible is the Word of God, Jimmy Thomas, Guardian of Truth, Kentucky
The Bible, Questions People Ask, A Redemptorist Pastoral Publication, Liguori Publications, Missouri, 1980
The Canon of Scripture, FF Bruce, Chapter House, Glasgow, 1988
The Church of Rome and the Word of God, Rev Eric C Last, Protestant Truth Society, London, Undated
The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, Edited by Raymond E Brown, Joseph A Fitzmyer, Roland E Murphy, Geoffrey Chapman, New York 1990
The Theology of Inspiration, John Scullion SJ, Mercier, Cork, 1970
The Unauthorised Version, Robin Lane Fox, Penguin, Middlesex, 1992
Verbal Inspiration of the Bible, John R Rice Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, 1943
What is the Bible? Henri Daniel-Rops, Angelus Books, Guild Press, New York, 1958
Why Does God..? Domenico Grasso SJ, St Pauls , Bucks, 1970