Marcus Dods (theologian born 1834)
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He studied at Edinburgh Academy and Edinburgh University, graduating in 1854. Having studied theology for five years he was licensed in 1858, and in 1864 became minister of Renfield Free Church, Glasgow, where he worked for twenty-five years. In 1889 he was appointed professor of New Testament Exegesis in the New College, Edinburgh, of which he became principal on the death of Robert Rainy in 1907.
He became part of the United Free Church of Scotland on its formation in 1900, and in 1901 was elected Moderator of its General Assembly for the following year in succession to Rainy. He declined the position, stating that "he cannot see his way to undertake the duties". It was assumed he felt that being a neutral moderator, he would not be able to express his opinions on certain doctrinal points due to be discussed.
Throughout his life, both ministerial and professorial, he devoted much time to the publication of theological books. Several of his writings, especially a sermon on Inspiration delivered in 1878, incurred the charge of unorthodoxy, and shortly before his election to the Edinburgh professorship he was summoned before the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland, but the charge was dropped by a large majority, and in 1891 he received the honorary degree of DD from Edinburgh University.
He edited Johann Peter Lange's Life of Christ in English (Edinburgh, 1864, 6 vols.), Augustine's works (1872–1876), and, with Alexander Whyte, Clark's Handbooks for Bible Classes series. In the Expositors Bible series he edited Genesis and 1 Corinthians, and he was also a contributor to the 9th edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica and Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible.
Among other important works are:
- The Epistle to the Seven Churches (1865)
- Israel's Iron Age (1874)
- Mohammed, Buddha and Christ (1877)
- Handbook on Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi (1879)
- The Gospel according to St John and Hebrews (1897), in the Expositors Greek Testament
- How to Become Like Christ (1897), Available from Gutenberg
- The Bible, its Origin and Nature (1904)
- the Bross Lectures, in which he gave an able sketch of the use of Old Testament criticism, and finally set forth his Theory of Inspiration.
Apart from his services to Biblical scholarship he takes high rank among those who have sought to bring the results of technical criticism within the reach of the ordinary reader.
- "Moderatorship of the United Free Church of Scotland" The Times (London). Friday, 29 November 1901. (36625), p. 6.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press