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This study establishes a concept of culture and then combines it with Geertz' anthropological concept of "thick description". Subsequently, the relation of texts to society and culture is discussed. In this manner, multiple methods of interpretation are used in an organized and programmatic way, allowing the reader insights into the development of early Christianity. In this study, Vernon Robbins expounds and develops his system of socio-rhetorical criticism, bringing together social-scientific and literary-critical approaches to explore early Christanity. This book investigates Christianity as a cultural phenomenon, and treats its canonical texts as ideological constructs.