The Relative Dating of the Eden Narrative Gen *2-3

in Vetus Testamentum
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The present study investigates the methodological presuppositions inherent in a relative dating of Old Testament texts. Using Gen 1-3 as a test case, this study examines one of the most crucial texts in classical Pentateuchal scholarship. Recently, European scholars have tended to assume a late dating for the non-Priestly Eden narrative, an evaluation yielded through comparison with Priestly, Deuteronomic-Deuteronomistic, and late wisdom texts. However, given the lack of distinct textual reference to Priestly texts, the investigation argues that Gen 2-3 constitutes a pre-Priestly composition. In addition, no conclusive evidence indicates either Deuteronomic-Deuteronomistic or late wisdom texts influenced Gen 2-3; in fact, the lexical comparisons commonly adduced are not as conclusive as often believed.

The Relative Dating of the Eden Narrative Gen *2-3

in Vetus Testamentum




Cf. in more detail BührerAnfang pp. 21-163.165-273.


Otto“Paradieserzählung” p. 181.


Cf. Blum“Gottesunmittelbarkeit” p. 15 who calls this “an atomization of lexemes”.


Otto“Paradieserzählung” p. 178 (translation mine).


Cf. in more detail BührerAnfang pp. 290-313.


Cf. Otto“Paradieserzählung” pp. 183-184.


Versus Otto“Paradieserzählung” pp. 189-191. Only the canonical shape of the text can be read in this way.


Cf. CarrFractures pp. 74-75; J.C. Gertz “The Formation of the Primeval History” in C.A. Evans et al. (ed.) The Book of Genesis. Composition Reception and Interpretation (vts 152; Leiden/Boston 2012) pp. 107-135 pp. 114-118; Bührer Anfang pp. 142-152.


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