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Additional info for Double Narratives in the Old Testament: The Foundations of Method in Biblical Criticism
12 (where he lies about his wife) and the J story in ch. 16 (where he callously acquiesces in Sarah's ruthless expulsion of her maid Hagar)" (1965:6). The third doublet, the treaty of Abraham and Abimelech in Beersheba Winnett, in turn, sees as a supplement by E, forming "a response to a demand from Beersheba" that it too be recognized as the "scene of some of the patriarch's activity" (1965:7). 48 Van Seters, in turn, in his treatment of the Paradise narrative of Genesis 2:4b-3, rejects the conventional concept that the duplications in the story49 point either to a conflation of literary sources or a pre-literary tradition history, which has combined different creation and paradise narratives to "produce the present unified story" (1992:107-8, 117).
Date and Interdependence of Sources Finally, the questions of the date of the documents and their interrelationship has also been of much interest since the conception of the documentary theory. The age of the documents has taken major swings since Wellhausen, from early to late, and back to somewhat earlier - and later again. For the purposes of our present study the actual date of the documents is not as important as their relative order, which for most source critics has stood as JEDP (or equivalent), and the change of which would have to result in an almost total rethink of the use of variants in establishing documentary criteria.
For, Nyberg goes on to claim, "auf primitiven Kulturstufen ist die Schrift noch kein geeignetes Mittel, der Nachwelt Erzählungen und Gedichte zu vermitteln: das primitive Gedächtnis ist viel zuverlässiger"101 (1935:9). But this did not mean that the transmission process had been one of mechanical repetition. Rather, it had been "a living transformation (lebendigefrj Umformung), where the material was shaped by the "circles of traditionists (Traditionskreisen)" that preserved it and passed it on (1935:8).