Collins on Systematizing the Material in the Pentateuch

Have been re-reading through John Collins’ Introduction to the Hebrew Bible off and on lately.  Here is a passage I read last night I thought worthy of citation:

The Biblical text that resulted from this process (the final editing together of diverse material) is not a consistent systematic treatise.  Rather, it is a collection of traditional materials that places different viewpoints in dialogue with one another and offers the readers a range of points of view.  It is not a text that lends itself to imposing orthodoxy, or even orthopraxy, despite (perhaps because of) the proliferation of laws.  Rather, it should stimulate reflection and debate by the unreconciled diversity of its content.

I would give the page number with the citation, but I read it on my Kindle 2.  That’s one of things that would definitely make these difficult to use in an academic context … No page numbers.  The citation is from Chapter 2, “The Nature of the Pentateuchal Narrative” from the section entitled “Criticism of the Documentary Hypothesis.”