You must do the things you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

TOS Review Amazing Bible Timeline

As part of the TOS Crew we received the Amazing Bible Timeline to review. It arrived in a sturdy box which also contained information on how to download a free interactive map of the Holy Land and a snazzy looking genealogy of Jesus.

This time line is different because it is circular, not linear like most timelines. While the circular patterns allows the authors to list more information, I think it is difficult to read. That, coupled with the small print and very bright colors, makes it visually unappealing to me.

It is quite large, 36" x 48" and on sturdy paper with a 'scuff coat varnish.'

I put the timeline on our schoolroom wall to see if it would grow on me and went about my merry way. Recently, I (and many other Crew members) received an email from the authors, Bill and Margaret, addressing some concerns raised by Crew Members who had already posted their reviews.

I was previously ignorant of any controversy so I was a little surprised when I read this*. And then I read the review of another Crew member who has nicely laid out the findings of her research.

*As of today, 10/28/09, the link that was sent to the TOS Crew is not available from the author's website which means your average Joan looking for a timeline for her homeschool isn't going to see this. It answers questions about the product so it seems the authors would make it available to all potential customers.

So what's the big deal, you ask. There are a handful of references to the Book of Mormon on the timeline. These were apparently overlooked when the authors needed to re-create their non-LDS version of the timeline after their original film was accidentally destroyed. That seems reasonable... except that happened in 2000- yes, nine years ago. Kind of a long time for such errors to exist.

I was also a little surprised to read this (Please note that what is below is the original text that was sent to the TOS Crew members in the email I reference above; it has since been edited on their site to omit what I have put in bold lettering.):

The Native American belief in a White God who would one day return. This is historical fact. You can find it in the Complete Idiot's Guide to Native American History - a condensed version of history. If it makes that book you know it's standard historical fact. (emphasis mine)

I have nothing against Native American history or historians of Native American history, however, my family chooses to use other sources for our historical studies. Their apparent confidence in the inerrancy of that book gives me cause to question the academic integrity of the product.

They also state:

The Amazing Bible Timeline places important Bible figures in the context of world history and events. The reality of their day to day lives become real to you. And so do the principles taught by their stories. The deeper your understanding the better able you are to apply these principles in your own life. Bible figures become real and you connect on a spiritual level with these ancient people.

My husband and I aren't interested in teaching our children to 'connect on a spiritual level' with ancient people, and it becomes clear that the authors and the Machens do not hold the same values or beliefs.

Perhaps much of the controversy could be alleviated if they removed the word "Bible" from the title of the product. I realize one can be a Bible scholar and not be a Christian (I am NOT saying the authors are not Christians). But when you insert the word "Bible" into a product title, assumptions -foolishly or not - are made. I foolishly made this assumption, and I am grateful for the detective work of other Crew members.

For these reasons I cannot recommend this product.

If, however, you feel this product will meet your family's needs, you can purchase it here for only $29.97.

Click here to read what other TOS Crew members have to say about this products.

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