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Title: The edifice of exegesis : the structure of C.H. Dodd's Biblical theology
Author: Barnes, O. G.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1990
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The purpose of this thesis is two-fold. First, it seeks to examine the structure of C.H. Dodd's Biblical theology as he formulated it in his edifice of exegesis. Dodd often compared Ihc discipline of biblical criticism to that of constructing a building; thus this thesis investigates the way that Dodd went about doing biblical criticism. Second, it seeks to describe und analyze the unpublished writings of C.H. Dodd as they are utilized within this cxegctical edifice. Their use in this thesis has proved to be invaluable in highlighting certain descriptions of Dodd and in uncovering emphases in his thought not easily disccrnablc in his published writings. Chapter one serves as an introduction to the thesis. It is demonstrated that Dodd's thought did not formulate in a vacuum but was the product of the climate of home and church, the discipline of his study of the Greek and Latin classics, and of his commitment to Congregationalism. Chapter two is a study of Dodd's views on the authority of the Bible. It is pointed out that Dodd's thoughts on this doctrine changed with time; a chronological approach, therefore, is utilized, and his views are described during his teaching days at Oxford University, Manchester University, Cambridge University, and during the years of his retirement from active teaching. Dodd progressed from a liberal stance on Biblical fallibility to a more moderate stance. A Biblical critic, like an architect, must meet certain qualifications: humility, responsibility, and an ability to "live oneself into" the Biblical history. In addition, he justifies his use of the critical method because that method is the one used by the church since the first century. In using this method, Dodd was affirming, not denying, the authority of the Bible. Chapter three is an investigation of Dodd's philosophy of the Bible. Whereas chapter two is theological, this chapter is philosophical. Dodd maintains that the Bible has its own philosophy and that the Biblical critic must recognise this fact. Basically, this philosophy is stated as a view of history as fact plus interpretation. Dodd's unique contributions to historical investigation are described and critiqued. Arising out of this view of history is Dodd's understanding of the apostolic Kerygma and of the testimonies. The kergma, as Dodd summarizes it in various writings, is described and critiqued. It is shown that Dodd's view of history serves as the foundation for his interpretation of realized cschatology, as well as for the Kerygma. Chapter four is a look at Dodd's blueprint of exegesis. His thoughts on textual criticism arc examined, and some of his principles of textual criticism arc listed with examples. Once the text of a passage has been reasonably established, the critic must translate that passage. Dodd believes that translation is interpretation, and that interpretation is translation. His problems with the various translations arc noted, and ten rules of biblical translation, culled from the Doddian corpus, arc enumerated wilh illustrations. The use of higher criticism is Ihc ncxl stage in Dodd's edifice. His application of source criticism is examined. It is concluded that he used this tool primarily to give credence to his theory of realized eschstology by excising all Synoptic sayings not found in the Marcan-Q group. Next, Dodd's use of, and contributions to, form criticism arc looked at. It is concluded that he, following the British tradition, did not fall into the sceptical excesses of the German radical critics, but used this method of criticism to accentuate the historical Irustworthincss of the Gospels. The final section of the chapter examines Dodd's approach to the background and the environment of the New Testament. Dodd believes that once the critic has some understanding of the general background of a Biblical author and his readers, he can best do the task of interpretation. It is concluded that, although Dodd spent enormous amounts of energy investigating the Jewish and Hellenistic backgrounds, his approach suffers from lack of precision and of consistency. Chapter five is a study of Dodd's interpretation of the theology of Paul and the theology of the Fourth Gospel. This Biblical theology is the edifice of exegesis that Dodd constructed. Chapter six is a summary of the thesis and offers some conclusions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available