Old Testament studies often presuppose, as a rule, a paradigm of "literary growth" with two nonproven assumptions: First, the "editors" of the books of the Hebrew Bible did not shorten or change the wording of their predecessors’ writings but solely added to them. Second, these additions left recognisible traces. Within the present work, the validity of these axioms has been examined on the basis of a representative catalogue of cases with empirical evidence of redaction. These cases cover a wide range from the Gilgamesh Epic and the Book of the Dead through Chronicles, the different versions of Jeremiah, Esther and Daniel, "rewritten Bible" compositions like Jubilees and the Temple scroll, the Rule of the Community and other Qumran writings until the synoptic gospels. It turned out that none of these cases was consistent with the axioms of the growth paradigm. The scientific value of studies working implicitly or explicitly with these assumptions is therefore to be questioned.