In a book which aims at a readership that is not familiar with much academic discussion of these issues (this is demonstrated, for example, by the in-text definitions and introductory explanations of the historical Jesus criteria), there are areas where Le Donne should have anticipated some hesitation or resistance to his arguments. To be fair, he does do this in a number of places, as in his replacement of the term “memory distortion” with “memory refraction” and the corresponding explanation (108).
It is hard for me to imagine a lay person reading this and not wondering how, for instance, memory refraction can be reconciled with the inspiration of Scripture. I have no doubt that Le Donne has considered this, but the absence of an explicit discussion of such issues might be troubling to the average reader.
So here is my question, must (or should) a historical Jesus scholar write every book about Jesus in service to the church? I ask because, in the book in question, I did not have the “average” church person in mind; I decided to write much more broadly. Even so, did I miss an opportunity to say something about inspiration in this book? And should I have, as she suggests, have said something on this topic to assuage the fears of biblicists?