C. H. Dodd

Charles Harold Dodd (April 7, 1884 - September 25, 1973) was a New Testament scholar. He was known for promoting realized eschatology, the belief that Jesus' references to the kingdom of God meant a present rather than future reality. "In 1930 he became Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis in Manchester where he remained until 1935. He was elected to the Norris Hulse Chair of Divinity at Cambridge becoming the first non-Anglican Professor of Divinity at both Universities. In 1936 he was elected a fellow of Jesus College and became honorary fellow on his retirement from the chair in 1949." [1]

On the atonement

Was Christ's work a propitiation or merely an expiation? The case for translating hilasterion as "expiation" instead of "propitiation" (e.g. in Romans 3:25) was put forward by C. H. Dodd in 1935 and at first gained wide support. As a result, hilasterion has been translated as "expiation" in the RSV and other modern versions. Dodd argued that in pagan Greek the translation of hilasterion was indeed to propitiate, but that in the Septuagint (the oldest Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament) that kapporeth (Hebrew for "atone") is often translated with words that mean "to cleanse or remove." [2] This view was challenged by Leon Morris who argued that because of the focus in the book of Romans on God's wrath, that the concept of hilasterion needed to include the appeasement of God's wrath. [3]

Some, like Mark Dever, see Dodd's work here as a conscious rejection of the idea of penal-substitution in line with the Abelard and Socinian critics of old. [4]

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  • The Meaning of Paul for Today (1920)
  • The Authority of the Bible (1928)
  • The Leader (1930) booklet
  • Epistle of Paul to the Romans (1932) Moffatt Commentary
  • The Framework of the Gospel Narrative (1932)
  • The Mind of Paul: A Psychological Approach (1933)
  • The Bible and its Background (1935)
  • The Bible and the Greeks (1935)
  • The Parables of the Kingdom (1935)
  • The Apostolic Preaching and its Developments: Three Lectures with an Eschatology and History (1936)
  • The First Epistle of John and the Fourth Gospel (1937)
  • History and the Gospel (1938)
  • The Bible Today (1946)
  • The Johannine Epistles (1946) Moffatt Commentary
  • About the Gospels (1950)
  • The Coming of Christ: Four Broadcast Addresses for the Season of Advent (1951)
  • Gospel and Law: The Relation of Faith and Ethics in Early Christianity (1951) Bampton Lectures at Columbia University
  • According to the Scriptures: The Substructure of New Testament Theology (1952)
  • Christianity and the Reconciliation of the Nations (1952)
  • Man In God's Design According to the New Testament (1953) with Panagiotis Bratsiotis, Rudolf Bultmann, and Henri Clavier
  • The Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel (1953)
  • New Testament Studies (1953)
  • The Dialogue Form in the Gospels (1954/55)
  • Benefits of His Passion (1956)
  • How to Read the Gospels (1956)
  • Triptych (1958)
  • Historical Tradition in the Fourth Gospel (1963)
  • More New Testament Studies (1968)
  • The Founder of Christianity (1970)


  2. C.H. Dodd The Bible and the Greeks, 93.
  3. Leon Morris Apostolic Preaching of the Cross, 155.
  4. Nothing But the Blood in Christianity Today, March 2006

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