Thursday, October 22, 2009

Review: Amazing Bible Timeline

I had a typical public school education.  Every subject was conveniently broken down into 50 minute segments.  Music was never combined with history and  nothing from school was every tied back to what I had learned Sunday morning.  So it's no surprise to me that I had no clue that  Mozart was composing at the time of the American Revolution or that the first Olympic games took place around the time that Jonah was swallowed by a big fish.  I guess that's why I wanted to make sure to use a timeline in Fritz's education--so that he could get an overall picture of the course of history.

When I received a free copy of the Amazing Bible Timeline to study and use for this review, I cleared off the dining room table (it's that big ), found the magnifying glass and spent an hour or so delving into the mysteries of history.  The circular chart is broken down into century wedges--everything within a wedge occurring around the same time.  The beginning of the world occurs at the 12 o'clock position and the life of Christ, separating B.C. from A.D. can be found at the 6 o'clock position.   The color coding designates a variety of things:  purple for events of the Catholic Church, light pink for the Reformation, and yellow, blue and deep pink for descendants of Noah's sons--Shem, Ham and Japheth, respectively.   I'm not sure why the people who lived before Noah's sons are colored in at all because they clearly aren't descendants.

  In the bottom corners is a table designed to help you locate specific people or events  once you understand  how to navigate the chart.  If you look up Jonah you will find the reference "8-9 B.C."  This doesn't mean Jonah can be found at the year 8 or 9 B.C.  In the center of the chart, the lines forming the century are numbered with zero at the life of Christ and increasing by one for each wedge line going forward or backward in time.  So Jonah can be located in the wedge formed by lines 8 and 9 on the B.C. side of the chart.

The timeline explains that where very ancient history is concerned some of the dates are really just best guesses--we have to accept that with any timeline.  I was more concerned by what appeared to be several "agendas" the timeline was attempting to push without overt comment.   The most blatant being that the  American Indians are actually Semitic if not an outright lost tribe of Israel.  All along the outer rim is a yellow (Semitic) band labled The American Indian.  In each wedge is another "proof"  like "Spaniards found Hebrew characters on many ancient tombstones..." or a directive to read an outside source "Read  'Indian Legends'  J.W. Leseuer."

As a Bible believing Christian, I accept the fact that Native Americans descend from one of Noah's sons--we all have to.   It's a big stretch for me to think that one group of Shem's family would move such a great distance when all the others stayed in the Middle East, or that Japheth's line traveled to the Far East and then stepped aside for someone else to cross the land bridge to North America.  In no case could these people be a lost tribe of Israel because the covenant with Abraham didn't even occur until centuries later!!    I leave it to others to determine why establishing the Native Americans in the Semitic line is so important to the timeline's creator.

A second area of concern is using Biblical prophecy to interpret events since the birth of Christ.   Text  near the outer rim states;  "That man of sin"  reigned 1260 years Rev. 13: 1-18  II Thes. 2:1-18 .  Just above it is the statement "From the fall of paganism to Napoleon abolishing the civil power of the Pope 1290 years Rev. 13:1-18, 17:1-18, Dan. 7:14-25.   At the same time, closer to the center the divisions of west Rome are given the title "The Ten Kingdoms."  I can only infer from this that the timeline is taking prophecy from Revelations and calling the Pope the antichrist. 

I prefer timelines to display facts rather than conjecture.  I also like the freedom to add events and individuals as we study them.  We will therefore continue to use our homemade timeline in the hallway rather than the Amazing Bible timeline in our homeschooling.  If you choose, you may order the Amazing Bible Timeline from this website for $29.97.  You will also receive a downloadable version, an interactive map,  the genealogy of Jesus Christ, and other free downloads from time to time.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...