Written around 100ce familiar with earlier christian writings (matthew s gospel), but no church hierarchy yet (this came later in the second century). First time we see an early christian manual, handbook of community morals, rituals, and discipline: community rule . Rules as reflective of local reality: glimpse into earliest details of liturgy, functioning of leadership. Composite document: contains elements from different backgrounds (jewish, judeo-christian) and stages of development. Status of text debated among early christian writers, but was a well-known and well-used text into the fifth century ce. Evolved literature product of a developing process, various layers of composition that have been compiled by author-editor product of community (rather than the product of a single author). Distancing from jewish practice fasting, prayer-setting boundaries of identity. Organization of community protection from illegitimate teachers, scene of wandering missionaries. Main point - early attempt to create and maintain sense of. Not fasting or praying ( like the hypocrites do jews).