C.H. Dodd, in his inaugural lecture as the newly-installed Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity in June 1936, called for New Testament study to be undertaken in five stages:

  1. text criticism, to establish the original autograph form of the texts
  2. so-called higher criticism, to address questions of Einleitung and historical setting
  3. detailed linguistic exegesis
  4. comparative study of ancient Jewish, Hellenistic, and early patristic religious beliefs
  5. biblical theology, to serve as the culmination and capstone of the whole edifice