Ignoring the Pope?

On some level I was not surprised to read in the comments to my last post that the Pope's book should just be ignored, that in some sense it doesn't deserve to be responded to. This book is not some fad. It is not pop literature. It is written by the Pope, a person that many people in this world consider to represent God's opinion. It doesn't matter that he said that he wrote it not as the Pope. He is the Pope and he published the book while Pope.

It is extremely important that the book be responded to by the scholarly community. I could not put it any better than Jim West who posted this comment on my entry:
"I don't think we can - with the wave of a hand - dismiss the Pope. Whether what he says is academically or exegetically correct, he is listened to by a LOT of people. It's the job of scholars to debunk inaccuracy, even if it flows from the pontifical pen. The ostrich approach (pretend it's not there and it will go away) just won't work."
Again, kudos to Gerd, and I hope that other scholars studying the historical Jesus will step up and respond in kind.