A well-known fact is that Rudolf Bultmann is one of the greatest influences on and a significant contributor to biblical studies. Yet, as much as Bultmann has effected the study of biblical literature, biblical studies has gone downhill. After critical investigation via Google, here is where the evidence leads: (1) Bultmann was obviously a man continually full of angst—just look at the picture, (2) and therefore, not only did Bultmann’s greatness find its way into biblical studies, but so did his misery. That is what happens when one tries to mythicize Christ.

On the other hand, Karl Barth, an equally great and significant figure in the realm of biblical studies, leaves us with this face (see picture left). Whereas a Google image search for Bultmann will reveal nothing but a face of unhappiness and frowns, Barth, with only a couple of exceptions that are nowhere like those of Bultmann, is a face of continuous joy. Thus, when one takes seriously the connection between Bultmann and the current state of biblical studies, then if biblical studies is move in a new and fresh direction for 2011 and the years to come, we need more people who are just like Barth: “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”