“On Barth, the Bible and Newspapers”


Barth is regularly quoted as saying that pastors and theologians need to read the Bible on one knee and the newspaper on the other. I’ve often wondered about the source of that quotation. While not the final word on the matter, it is worth a quick visit over to the Princeton Barth Center pages where this very issue is dealt with. The short answer is, No, Barth probably never said this is so few words (did he ever say anything in so few words?), though the spirit of the saying is close to something Barth would say. You can read about it here.


2 thoughts on ““On Barth, the Bible and Newspapers”

  1. Brad Penner

    I saw this too last week while fishing around PTSem’s webpage. I also heard that the “famous” saying of Barth’s, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the bible tells me so,” is actually apocryphal just like his bible/newspaper saying. Have you had any official confirmation on whether he did (or did not) say this saying?


  2. I’ve never been able to confirm a source. I thought maybe the 1962 Time magazine article on Barth, but not there either. But I did love a quotation cited in this article. “Once, when someone questioned the unorthodox way in which he was commenting on Calvin, Barth retorted, ‘Calvin is in heaven and has had time to ponder where he went wrong in his teachings. Doubtless he is pleased that I am setting him right.'”

    “Witness to an Ancient Truth.” Time, 20 April 1962, 33-7.

    Available online here: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,873557,00.html

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