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The primary thrust of the book is to display the bearing that the social sciences have on our understanding of the texts and contexts of the New Testament, with due attention being given to theories and models. While the main interest of the volume is the social-scientific, there is also some comparison of this with social history. It has points of contact with other studies that deal with historical and rhetorical issues.
This book gives a clearly written, authoritative introduction to social-scientific criticism of the New Testament, including the rise of this method, its practitioners and the focal points of their work, how the method is applied to the interpretation of the biblical text, and the presuppositions and procedures of the method. Four appendices; glossary; two bibliographies.