convictions to be supplanted, so to speak, by those of the prophets and apostles, or that we have to speak the language of Canaan instead of our own tongue. In that case we should not have subordinated ourselves to them, but at most adorned ourselves with their feathers. In that case nothing would have been done in the interpretation of their words, for we should merely have repeated them parrot-like. Subordination, if it is to be sincere, must concern the purpose and meaning indicated in the ideas, thoughts, and convictions of the prophets and apostles, that is, the testimony which . . . they wish to bear. To this testimony of their words we must subordinate ourselves— and this is the essential form of scriptural exegesis (Barth 1956: 718)
I like this view of exegesis. It might save us from a dangerous fundamentalism (in the newer sense of the word 'fundamental', negative connotations remaining. It encourages an intelligent grappling and struggle with scripture, a humility in contrast to an over-sure knowing. Thank you Barth.