Historical Tradition in the Fourth Gospel

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Cambridge University Press, Sep 23, 1976 - Religion - 453 pages
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To distinguish between history and interpretation is difficult in all the gospels, and perhaps most difficult in the Fourth Gospel. In his sequel to The Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel, Dr Dodd attempts, with the historical question in mind, to discover the particular strain of common tradition on which the unknown author worked. This detailed study of St John's Gospel is in two parts. In the first Dr Dodd examines the narrative material - the Passion narrative, the Ministry and the chapters on John the Baptist and the first disciples - and in the second he makes a detailed examination of the Sayings. As against theories which assert the dependence of the Fourth Gospel on one or more of the Synoptic Gospels, Dr Dodd marshals a mass of evidence to show that behind it there lies an ancient tradition independent of the Synoptic Gospels, deserving serious consideration as a contribution to our knowledge of the historical facts concerning Christ. This critical and historical investigation of the most significant and original of books completes Dr Dodd's study of the Fourth Gospel. It is persuasive in the coherence of its results, as well as of absorbing interest in its working. It has been welcomed by all students of Christian origins as an important addition to our understanding of the earliest traditions about Jesus, and of the character of this Gospel.
 

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Contents

THE PASSION NARRATIVE
21
Testimonies
31
The Leavetaking
50
The Arrest
65
The Trial
82
The Execution
121
The Reunion
137
THE MINISTRY
152
The Testimony of John
251
John at AenonbySalim
279
The Baptist in the Fourth Gospel and in the Synoptics
288
The First Disciples
302
Discourse and Dialogue in the Fourth Gospel
315
Sayings common to John and the Synoptics
335
Parabolic Forms
366
Sequences of Sayings
388

Stories of Healing
174
The Feeding of the Multitude and contiguous matter
196
The Miracle of the Wine and the Raising of Lazarus
223
Transitional passages and topographical notices
233
JOHN THE BAPTIST AND THE FIRST DISCIPLES
248
Predictions
406
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
423
Index Locorum
433
Index Nominum
453
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About the author (1976)

Charles Harold Dodd, a leading British New Testament scholar, was born in Wrexham, North Wales. Awarded a B.A. degree in classics at University College, Oxford, in 1906, Dodd engaged in further studies at the University of Berlin, where he pursued a research program in ancient history and archaeology, and at Mansfield College, Oxford, where he prepared himself in theology. After serving as minister of the Independent (Congregational) Church at Warwick (1912-15, 1918-19), he returned to Mansfield College as Yates Lecturer in New Testament. In 1930 he moved to Manchester University to become professor of biblical criticism and exegesis. Five years later he assumed the Norris-Hulse professorship at Cambridge University, where he taught until his retirement in 1949. In the following year, he embarked on a 15-year directorship of the New English Bible translation project. In recognition of his achievements, Dodd received from Queen Elizabeth the Companionship of Honour in 1963. In his slender but weighty study, The Apostolic Preaching and Its Developments (1936), Dodd discerns within the diverse strata of the New Testament a common unifying core, namely, the kerygma (preaching) of the primitive church. This core consisted of a sequence of events---the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth---in which God's glory was declared to have been disclosed. Thus, emerging Christianity embraced this as the decisive deed of God for humanity's salvation. For Dodd this kerygma theology is the theology of the New Testament. Dodd also advanced the study of biblical eschatology by uncovering in the parables of Jesus not an apocalyptic but a realized eschatology. Here he challenged Albert Schweitzer's claim that Jesus made no room for either apocalyptic or traditional eschatological ideas in his teaching. According to Dodd's reading of the New Testament, no future cataclysmic event would inaugurate the long-awaited kingdom of God.

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