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Whose Story? NLT & the Hebrew Text of Genesis 44.1-13
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Introduction: Whether the story be oral or written, the story-teller largely controls and determines the story that he or she tells. Other factors may well intrude into the details of the story, such as the audience's expectations, and (at least according to some contemporary authors) the feeling that the characters are "taking over" the story, but by and large, authors shape their story so that it says just what they intend.
Readers therefore expect a careful author to tell the story in a way that suggests how they should read or understand it. This is true whether or not those "clues" are intentional. Since no linguistic choices are unmotivated (Longacre) every aspect of a story is significant, and none can be changed without changing the story, however slightly.
When a footnote says that "names and details have been changed to protect the innocent", readers know better than to expect a verbatim account of events or accurate descriptions of persons. They still expect, nonetheless, that the author has told the story as accurately as possible-that is, as proximate to the truth-yet in a way that would make it difficult for them to reconstruct precisely what happened, or at least who said or did what to whom.