Saturday 19 May 2007

Jesus Christ, electing God

There is a beautiful passage in Karl Barth’s volume on election: “Jesus Christus ist der erwählende Gott. Wir haben nach keinem anderen als nach ihm zu fragen. Wir werden in keiner Tiefe der Gottheit einem anderen als ihm begegnen. Es gibt keine Gottheit an sich. Sie ist die Gottheit des Vaters, des Sohnes und des Heiligen Geistes. Der Vater ist aber der Vater Jesu Christi und der Heilige Geist ist der Geist dieses Vaters und der Geist Jesu Christi.” (KD II/2, pp. 123-24; CD II/2, p. 115)

Instead of a prose translation, I thought I’d turn it into a short poem:

Jesus Christ, electing God!
None but him,
None else to ask about,
No depth in God where we could ever
Meet another.
No Godness to be found, except in him:
Father of this Son, Spirit of this Son and of his Father;
Father, Spirit, Son –
The depths of God are in his face,
The face of Jesus Christ.


Anonymous said...

That's the sort of Barth inspired poetry you should write!


Anonymous said...

Nice work, Ben. Maybe you should start working on a new verse edition of the Church Dogmatics!

Derek said...

nice translation. but I don't see the part about "The depths of God are in his face / The face of Jesus Christ." in the German. Did it maybe get left out?

Ben Myers said...

Hi Derek -- Yeah, those lines were just my own embellishment (faithful to the spirit, but not the letter, of Barth's text).

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