This book builds on the recent turn toward hermeneutics in biblical studies, that is the systems we bring to studying the Bible. By comparing the rhetorical methods of literary criticism in the Mediterranean basic of late Antiquity, the author argues that early Christian biblical criticism (Latin, Greek and Syriac) came out of a shared Roman imperial context with similar rules of rhetorical engagement with texts and audiences. The distance modern readers tend to feel with allegory, numerology and other devices come into focus as reading strategies within a larger appreciation of the Bible as litterature that does not demean its validity but seeks to read each book of the Bible according to its rules of litterary construction. This insightful study also reveals the varying levels of appreciation for historical distance or problems with authorial intention on the part of late Antique theologicans. As such, it demonstrates the diversity of early Christian biblical criticism and serves as a necessary corrective to those who would generalize mainstream opinions into a couple of easily rules for reading. It ably shows how Christian culture shaped biblical thinkers who continued to grow in their complexity of biblical criticism as a necessary means of salvation.