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Book review of The Book of Jotham


The Book of Jotham by author Arthur Powers was sitting in a desk for twenty-three years before finally seeing the light of day.  Powers, a convert to Roman Catholicism, wrote this book with a Christian plot concerning the life and times of a Middle Eastern man called Jotham. Jotham lived in the occupied land known today as Israel, which, during the time the story is set, was a province of the Roman Empire.


As Christ travels around from place to place performing miracles, shocking the Jewish authorities with his parables and stories, he is closely followed by his apostles. We know the names of the writers of the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and of course Mary and Martha and the other apostles - but these characters are on the periphery of events that led up to Christ's trial, execution and ascension in this tale. Jotham is one of these apostles, though Jesus keeps him close and values his company while being looked after by the other apostles.


Jotham is loved by the other apostles but some of them wonder why Jesus would keep such a man as Jotham around; he is a man with the mentality of a child, but Jesus has a special place in his heart for him. Jesus in his ministry illustrates his love and care for the poor, the ill, those whom society leaves behind. This is where Jotham comes in to show that God loves all.


We see Jesus through Jotham's eyes, a man judged by the society of his day to be of no consequence, yet his simplicity is the very basis of Christ's mission. The reader is led into a world very different from our own and yet nothing has changed in two-thousand years in our perception of our fellow human beings, and of our thoughts on divinity and the plight of the disabled.


Review by Nick Bishop

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