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What Have They Done With Jesus? Beyond Strange Theories and Bad History

Monarch Books
RRP $24.95

Reviewed by Linda Hamill, Candidate in training for Ministry of Word at The Gap Uniting Church

What Have They Done With Jesus? is a book for anyone who has been confused by or is interested in all the theories of Jesus’ life and relationships.
Author Ben Witherington sifts through many theories, rumors, historical documents and the Bible to determine what they reveal about Jesus.
I found this book not only easy to read but delightfully insightful and compelling.
Mr Witherington does not adopt a view that extra-Biblical material should be rejected outright but reads the documents in their historical context to extract what they contribute to our understanding of who Jesus was.
He not only discusses issues around Jesus’ identity but also delves into his relationships.
Mr Witherington is clear about where each idea comes from.
He presents each idea from its own context and allows the reader to make up his own mind.
He is also clear about when he is offering his interpretation and assumptions.
The introduction of the book has a description of American culture in relation to his reason for writing the book.
I found for the most part that his explanation sits with the Australian culture but it still leaves the reader to make his own determination which is probably a good thing.
What Have They Done With Jesus? however quickly sets aside our culture and looks to answer the question, “What have they done with Jesus?”