Charles Harold Dodd

1884-1973. British Congregational minister and NT scholar. Educated at Oxford, he taught NT at Mansfield College (1915-30) and lectured also in the university (1927-31). In 1930 he succeeded A.S. Peake as Rylands professor of biblical criticism and exegesis at Manchester, and from there went to Cambridge as Norris-Hulse professor of divinity-the first non-Anglican to hold a chair of divinity there since 1660.

Dodd was the most influential figure in British NT scholarship during the middle decades of the twentieth century. His emphasis on “realized eschatology” in the teaching of Jesus (The Parables of the Kingdom, 1934) and his isolation of an outline of early Christian preaching (kerygma) common to all apostolic writings (The Apostolic Preaching and Its Development, 1935) have proved to be important in the development of contemporary NT theology. In According to the Scriptures (1952) Dodd stressed the unity of approach in the use of the OT in the New, and suggested that the key was Jesus' interpretation of the Old. In his commentary on Romans (1932) and elsewhere he argued that the biblical concept of God's wrath should be understood as an impersonal process of retribution in human history rather than as the divine reaction to the sin of man; similarly, he argued against the concept of “propitiation” as a biblical idea.

After retirement from formal academic teaching in 1940 Dodd wrote more than a dozen books, including two important works on John (1953, 1963), served as the general director of the New English Bible translation, and lectured extensively in various parts of the world.

See F.F. Bruce, in Creative Minds in Contemporary Theology (ed. P.E. Hughes, 1966), pp. 239-66 (with bibliography).