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What Have They Done with Jesus?: Beyond Strange Theories and Bad History--Why We Can Trust the Bible Paperback – October 16, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
Ben reveals that there is no historical foundation for identifying Mary Magdalene as the wife of Jesus, and that the material about her in the Gospel of Philip and in the gospel bearing her name are inconclusive and appear to tell us more about 2nd and 3rd century gnosticism than they do about Mary Magdalene or anything in the life of the historical Jesus.
The chapter about the mother of Jesus shows quite clearly that she didn't really put all of the pieces together about who her son really was until the end of His life, and that she is found in the upper room with the other disciples in Acts 1:14.
The chapter on Peter shows that the Gospel accounts are painfully honest about his triumphs and his failures as an agent of Christ. The material in 1 Peter and in 2 Peter 1:12-2:3 where Peter reflects on what he has learned as one who knew the Lord rings true. Peter very clearly sees Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
There are a few surprises along the way. Ben makes a powerful and convincing case that the beloved disciple who penned the fourth gospel is none other than Lazarus.Read more ›
Whether you are liberal or conservative in your theology, you can easily understand Witherington's thinking process and exegesis. He is thorough, researched, full of references, and well organized.
This book was hard to put down and left me wanting more which is unique for me when reading nonfiction. I would not be surprised if this book becomes a sort of primer for the historicity of Jesus.
I recommend this book because of its content, exegetic process, and presentation. I received it for Christmas and am proud to display it in my library.
Thus we need once again to determine just who Jesus really was, and what in fact was his message. And the best way to do that, argues New Testament scholar Ben Witherington, it to get back to the inner circle of Jesus. Those who were closest to him or knew him best are our most reliable guides to what he believed and what the early faith was all about. This book provides a close look at this so-called inner circle. It carefully examines those from Jesus' own physical family: Mary, James and Jude; as well as Peter, the Beloved Disciple, Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Paul.
Taken together, their testimonies help us understand who Jesus was, and what his core message was. A close examination of these individuals reveals that they all agree to a common understanding of the man and his mission.
Witherington argues that no wide wedge can be driven between these close associates and their take on Jesus, and that of Jesus himself. Consider James, the brother of Jesus, and the first leader of the post-Easter Jesus movement. The contents of the epistle that bears his name are remarkably similar to that of the most basic teachings of Jesus.
For example, one can find over two dozen close similarities between what is found in his epistle and what is recorded in the Sermon on the Mount.Read more ›
Yet in this one, he's talking about the New Testament and taking a shot at the bad history that is often presented. I knew I was in for a treat when the very first chapter was titled "The Origins of the Specious." This is more of a classical humor that we often see from Witherington. Witherington says we live in a culture that is Biblically illiterate and yet Jesus-haunted. Jesus is seen all around us, and most of us have not done any real study on Jesus and that consists of more than just going to church every Sunday. The way that our culture buys into ideas on Jesus immediately has had Witherington tempted to write a book called "Gullible's Travels."
He gives an example of this when he talks about being interviewed by a major network and being asked if it could be possible that Mary was a temple prostitute who was raped and Jesus was the result. That would be why he said in Luke that he had to be in his father's house. Yes. That was an actual question that was asked and the tragedy is that was his first question asked by this network as was said and not presented apparently as some crank theory to get his take on.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really enjoyed this. Well written. I learned a lot. Not exactly a page turner though. If you are at all interested in New Testament background read it.Published 11 months ago by David Hardin
Very well written but not for the casual reader. I stopped reading because I found myself overwhelmed with the references to so many idiologies that I could not keep straight. Read morePublished 16 months ago by rfortney
I just read this book. This is the first book by Ben Witherington III I've read. I've heard of him, but have never read anything by him before. Read morePublished on July 21, 2013 by James Watrous
I really do like the book, but I am a bit conflicted.
On the one hand it does totally demolish the non-historical `historical Jesus', pro-Gnostic extra-biblical books that are... Read more
Ben Witherington masterfully overcomes the flood of weird add-ons tacked to the life of Jesus of Nazareth by so many of the uninformed. Read morePublished on October 21, 2010 by Grace Disciple
Ben Witherington is a professor of New Testament studies. He has written many books and in this one he deals with the "rumor, conjecture, salacious gossip, conspiratorial plots,... Read morePublished on August 1, 2010 by rowley32256
This book is a good resource for all Christians to read and gain a better understanding of what is to be said of new documents being discovered and their validity. Mr. Read morePublished on September 30, 2009 by W. Williams
If the Bible can be relied upon for knowing the "True Jesus," there arise large problems:
(1) 38,000 PROTEST-ant sects each vying and subdividing and reforming and... Read more