Karl Barth on the Origin of Christianity

“In a secondary sense we can, of course, explain the necessity of the rise of Christianity in the light of Judaistic development and the political, spiritual and moral circumstances of the Mediterranean world in the Imperial period.  But in its reality we can never explain or deduce it from that source.  Historically, we cannot seriously explain and deduce it except from the history of the covenant made with Israel.  And we cannot do that with any strictness or discernment except when we explain and deduce it from the fulfillment of that covenant in the name of Jesus Christ, from the revelation as it is actually made and acknowledged and believed, and therefore on the presupposition of that name.  That it pleased God at that time and place and in that way to reveal Himself in the name of Jesus Christ, is something which had its necessity in itself, and not in circumstances and conditions prior to that name.” – Karl Barth

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