Monday, August 04, 2014

"Fifty bob Dodd"

While doing some reading today on John's Gospel, I came across an enjoyable tidbit about the great New Testament scholar C. H. Dodd (1884-1973):

"[He] had gained notoriety among scholars as “fifty bob Dodd” for his first tome on John."

This is from G. L. Borchert, John 1–11 (The New American Commentary  Vol 25A; Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996): 40.  The reference is to Dodd's The Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1958).

Borchert explains in a footnote that "When Dodd’s work was first published, scarcely any commentary at the time had cost fifty shillings, and for scholars to purchase the work was a reflection of the high regard they had for his significant work."

Having read this, I then googled "fifty bob Dodd" and it turned out that it was a googlewhack. Not for long, I'd guess, as this blogpost is now likely to come up.  I wonder how long that will take?


Bob Derrenbacker said...

Mark - how much is a shilling?

Mr Regnier said...

Bob - a shilling was 12 old pennies in pre-decimal currency, and there were 20 shillings to a pound. Today, a shilling is equivalent to five pence (£0.05)

Jens Knudsen (Sili) said...

"While doing some reading today on John's Gospel"

Just ordinary interest or working on a take-down of the claims of independence?

Mark Goodacre said...

Here's a little more from Michael Strickland (on Fb) on "fifty bob":

"At this time, a shilling was worth about 14 American cents. (20 shillings to a pound, exchange rate was about $2.80 per £ in the late 1950s). So this book was around $7.00 in 1958. In today's money, that is a little over $50. So, if my back of the envelope calculating is correct, he is now "50 buck Dodd." This is semi-serious. Sources:, "

Mark Goodacre said...

Thanks, Jens. Well, that would be telling! But yes, I'm seriously thinking about it.

Jens Knudsen (Sili) said...

Ooooh. I'd love to see a more structured approach to Brodie's work. It sounds right, but it's too scattershot for my taste. Much like Adam Winn great improved his Elijah-Elisha work.

BGU said...

Interesting -- I have heard the same tag for Vincent Taylor's tome on Mark --hence the 50 bob tailor -- you might get a suit out of it as well!