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The Bible Today by C. H. Dodd

C.H. Dodd is recognized as one of the great New Testament scholars of the twentieth century. Dr. Dodd was for many years Professor of New Testament at Cambridge University. Published by the Syndics of the University Press, Cambridge, 1956. This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted & Winnie Brock.


Chapter 1: The Bible: What It Is
The Bible is a unity of diverse writings which together are set forth by the Church as a revelation of God in history.

Chapter 2: The Approach to the Bible
The critical method finds its way between the horns of a dilemma: It rejects restraint from without upon liberty of interpretation, and at the same time excludes an arbitrary or capricious use of liberty by accepting the intrinsic control of the historical movement within the Bible itself.

Chapter 3: The Old Testament
A chronology of early Old Testament writings with emphasis on the prophets and their interpretation of history; also: the call of Abraham; the post-exilic period; "Wisdom literature;" Apocalypses; the inconclusiveness of the Old Testament.

Chapter 4: The New Testament
Like many new movements, Christianity exhibits in its earliest history three successive stages: expansion, conflict, consolidation. The writings of the New Testament connect themselves naturally with these three stages, which may serve to provide a rough chronological scheme.

Chapter 5: History as Revelation
We meet God in history, but God speaks to us beyond history. God provides the initiative and enters history as judgement and as power of renewal. God calls for the response of obedience.

Chapter 6: Bible and the Historical Problem of Our Time
The place where history is made is the place of encounter between God and man, where the Word of God is heard and man responds in obedience. History is alive in the Church, which was brought into being by it, and continually witnesses to it. In our time history is being made in the Church.

Chapter 7: History and the Individual
In the biblical history we are to find a revelation of God that can be understood as to give meaning to history in our own time. Those who hear, in the setting of the Church’s corporate worship, are summoned to place themselves within the history which is God’s revelation, at the point where it culminates in Jesus Christ, and to lay themselves open to the Word of judgement and of renewal which is spoken there to every human being.

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