Homeschool Creations

Monday, October 26, 2009

Amazing Bible Timeline ~ Review

Disclaimer: Before I start this review, I'm going to say upfront that I do NOT recommend this product. I will share a few reasons why in the body of this review but am truthfully just hitting on the tip of the iceberg in my concerns.

Overview of the Product

The Amazing Bible Timeline is a large {37" x 45"} poster that shows 6,000 years of world and Biblical history in a color-coded circular format. It begins with Adam and shows the breakdown of nations throughout history, color-coding the different families and nations.

Photobucket

Once the Flood occurs it shows how many of the different nations came through the sons of Noah {Ham, Shem, & Japeth}. You can see what was happening in different nations at specific points in history. The timeline is broken up into 100 year segments so you can quickly find a time in history when looking for events.

My Thoughts

Before I go any further, I will say this: As a homeschooling mom {or a mom in general}, my responsibility is teaching my children our beliefs and I will do all that I can to ensure the my children are given materials that support our beliefs. I do not feel that is wrongly rejecting a faith that doesn't match our beliefs ~ it's doing what God has called ME to do and fulfilling the responsibility I have to my family. I am also responsible for the materials that I put in front of them and being aware of what that product contains.

Initially I was excited about the timeline, but we received an email from the company addressing several questions that other Crew members had raised about the timeline. That response raised a few red flags for me and I began to dig a little deeper into the company itself and really examining the timeline.

I rolled out our timeline and found a few things. In two different locations on the timeline their were references to Mormon theology/beliefs. One was a direct reference to the book of Mormon {A.D. 400} and another a reference to Joseph Smith and his travels {A.D. 1800} ~ neither something that our family would consider accurate Biblical history.





To give you a little deeper history on the company, they produce both a LDS {Latter Day Saints} version of the timeline and also a non-LDS version {the one I was sent to review}. In 2000, the original 'blueprints' for the standard version were accidentally destroyed and the company had to backtrack and recreate the timeline based off the LDS version. They admit there may be mistakes or things that they 'missed' in removing because there are over a thousand references on the timeline overall.

My Concerns

Here's the basic sum-up of my issues/concerns:
  • The two errors we found on our timeline were obvious errors ~ ones that specifically mentioned LDS names or references. If they missed these two obvious references, what other errors might still remain that are not as obvious?

  • It has been NINE years since the original was destroyed and it seems ludicrous to me that in that length of time these obvious mistakes were missed. Personally, if I had purchased one of these and paid nearly $40 after S/H, I would be calling the company and demanding a refund.

  • Quick math would tell you that you could easily review the timeline THREE times in one year if you only studied/examined ten references a day. Yet somehow, they've had numerous proof readers {non-LDS} who missed the obvious references for nine years now.

  • I understand that mistakes are mistakes, but I personally struggle with a product that contains errors that tie into the basic integrity of the product and the fact that a profit is being made off of careless mistakes. You would be upset if a spelling program taught you how to spell inaccurately, or if a science book taught you incorrect formulas. A spelling error on the timeline would a mistake ~ referencing the book of Mormon on a product geared toward evangelical Christians/non-LDS is more than a little mistake.
There are other issues I have in my dealings with the company that have left me with even more questions. However, I'm at the point where I don't want to give the company any more 'screen time'.

Do I recommend the product? Absolutely not. Would it be a good fit for your family? ~ that depends on your beliefs and your personal convictions. Only you can make a decision for your own family.

The Amazing Bible Timeline can be purchased for $29.95 {plus $6.00 S/H} and also comes with a digital version of the timeline as well as interactive maps of the Holy Land.


Click on the Homeschool Crew banner to read other reviews about this product.

Thank the FTC...I was given this product for review purposes,
and I do not have to return the product to the vendor. I was not paid for this post.
All opinions expressed in this post are mine.



Photobucket

Labels: ,

12 Comments:

  • Jolanthe,

    Thank you for an honest review. So often we will lean towards or present something to our children and feel safe w/o reviewing just because it has the stamp of Christian-based, mentions the word Bible several times, etc. (It used to be the same w/Disney movies; not anymore) and don't question the product or source. I’ve already pulled a few school books, this year, because as I read further into the lessons, I realized they weren’t promoting the same message we wanted our children to learn.

    That is very disappointing that they realize there are “mistakes” (or are they) and are not making better efforts to correct them.

    By Blogger Milk and Honey Mommy, At October 26, 2009 at 9:20 AM  

  • Thank you for your review, and honesty in it. So many times it is easy to fall trap to that "Christian" material, only to find out later it isn't what we thought it was. I agree it is our responsibility to teach our children about our faith and what we believe in, but Yes, we truly need to read the fine print before using any materials these days. I suppose that is why I just teach form the Bible. While my curriculum comes from a Christian company, it truly teaches my way, from the Bible. Thank you again for your review and your honesty!

    By Blogger whisperingwhispers, At October 26, 2009 at 10:36 AM  

  • Thank you, thank you for this great review. I've actually looked at this timeline online before and filed it in my "down the road it'd be nice to have..." mental list. I really appreciate your integrity in reviewing it as well as letting us know about this serious flaw.

    By Anonymous Kristi_runwatch, At October 26, 2009 at 11:52 AM  

  • Thanks for the honest review.

    By Blogger Jenny, At October 26, 2009 at 12:16 PM  

  • I have another version of this timeline (published by the same company) and I was very disappointed with it, too. The first thing that bothered me was the ridiculous inaccuracy - i.e., that they had Egypt color-coded as a descendant of Ham yet Egyptian history was older than Ham himself. The same thing occurred with Japheth and China.

    And the second thing was that in the version I had, up in the top left corner they had a chart entitled "Geological Ages and the Development of Life", describing the evolutionary process from big bang to ape man!

    They marketed it as "seeing biblical history alongside world history" but ridiculous contradictions like that caused me to believe that they really didn't believe any of the biblical side at all, just another "evolutionary creationist" who was desperately trying to "fit" the Bible into evolution and the contemporarily-accepted ancient history timeline and failing miserably.

    Thanks for your review though, it's good to save other people who were expecting something totally different from wasting their money!

    By Blogger Elizabeth, At October 26, 2009 at 3:01 PM  

  • Ouch! This publisher will rue the day he asked TOS to review these timelines. What a terrible product.

    By Blogger Jimmie, At October 27, 2009 at 9:24 AM  

  • WOW. you are really honest. now..i really admire you. Other bloggers will just not post their review or will give vague review. Im quite surprise to read negative review.

    By Anonymous jenb, At October 27, 2009 at 10:08 AM  

  • Jolanthe, I am a regular reader of your blog- and typically really, really enjoy it. However, I feel your review of the timeline was a bit harsh. I am an LDS homeschooling mom (Mormon), so as you can imagine my interest was a bit piqued by this post. I do not own the timeline, so I cannot really speak to the relevance of the historical event that was referenced in the Book of Mormon. I can, however, say that it would be unwise to discount information that perhaps may be biblically historical, but does not match your particular religious persuasion. Should we question the historical accuracy or validity of the writings of say...Mohammad and pretend they didn't happen just because this individual did not share our every religious affection? Mohammad did, indeed live, and his life had historical-even biblical significance. Some of his writings can be used to back up the validity of your own beliefs (Adam, Noah, Moses, Abraham and even Christ are mentioned in the Qu'ran). Even if you do not subscribe to the tenets of the Muslim faith, you can see why some historical information on Mohammad could be included on a Christian biblical timeline. The same could be said of the inclusion of LDS scriptural history.
    I almost found it humorous that you picked out their inclusion of Brigham Young leading the pioneers to Utah in 1847 to your list of "inaccuracies." This fact would be taught in any American History textbook. The Mormons were a significant portion of the pioneer movement across America to settle the West. It is a part of American History. In particular, it is a part of America's religious and geographic history (an entire state was settled by this migration!), and should rightly be included on the timeline. Why didn't you decry the mention of the Mexican War of 1845 (on the line directly below)? What does that have to do with Bible Study? It seems a bit short-sided and almost discriminatory to discount the validity of the entire product due to these two inclusions. You strike me as an intelligent and capable individual who is competent enough to catch those "not so obvious" references you seem fearful of- if they do exist.
    I would also like to point out that the Book of Mormon is never referred to as a "Mormon Bible" as you stated. We believe the King James version of the Bible is scripture, and read regularly from it. The Book of Mormon is considered "Another Testament of Jesus Christ"-- it is a record of his followers who lived in the Americas before,during and after his lifetime. It is supplemental to our study of the Bible. Should I discount the validity of every review you have posted on your entire blog because of this inaccuracy? I don't think so.
    I am sorry this is my first post, and that it is a negative one- but I felt I should speak up. I truly have enjoyed your blog for the last year now, and love your Christ-centered approach to learning. My purpose for writing this was not to offend, but rather to offer a perspective that I hope can help you see things from a different perspective.

    By Blogger Theresa, At October 27, 2009 at 11:40 PM  

  • Jolanthe, I need to agree with Theresa here. As you know I also enjoy your blog and your Christian values. Did you know those who belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints believe in Christ too? It says so right in the name of our church. Mormon is just a nickname someone gave us a long time ago. Yes, we believe in additional scripture, called the Book of Mormon. We study from the Bible in our home every single day and love it just as much as you do. If you go to lds.org you will see a picture of Christ on the homepage. Please take no offense at my comment, I am just interested in clearing up a myth. Yes, we are Christians too.

    By Blogger Denice, At October 28, 2009 at 1:16 AM  

  • I'm with Theresa and Denice as well.

    I also find it really hard to believe that these mistakes were anything more than that (as you imply). There are several references to popes, would you be as critical if the maker were Catholic?

    I feel like you were unnecessarily harsh because the makers were LDS.

    I hope you brought these mistakes to the attention of the creator (in a respectful way) rather than just mentioning it on your blog. That way they can correct the issue.

    The review over at raisingolives.com and homesweethomeschool.wordpress.com mentioned the same things that you did without being nearly so hostile.

    I am however, glad that you did review it, because it was brought to my attention. I will be purchasing it.

    On another note, I do LOVE your site and all of your ideas. Keep up the good work.

    By Blogger Courtney, At October 28, 2009 at 10:04 AM  

  • Jolanthe, I am also LDS and agree with Courtney, Denice and Theresa 100%

    I am disappointed in your harshness in this post.

    I try to be tolerant of all religions and points of view and feel that even though you did not ought right bash the LDS religion this post was harsh due to this fact.

    By Blogger Susana, At October 28, 2009 at 10:38 AM  

  • Ladies - Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to my post. While I completely respect your personal beliefs, I do feel it important to stand firm with what we believe.

    I am aware that those who belong to the LDS church do believe in Christ. In fact there are several LDS moms on the Crew that also were not fond of the timeline for various reasons. My primary issue with the timeline were the mistakes that were found, making me question what other things had been missed that do not line up with what our family personally believes. Direct references to the book of Mormon on a timeline that is being pushed toward non-LDS is an issue for me. I have visited the LDS website and in fact have friends who are LDS. I was unaware that I referred to the book of Mormon as the Mormon Bible at one point {the two other times I mentioned it, I did refer to it as the book of Mormon}. I did change that ~ thanks for pointing it out to me. Please know that I did contact the company regarding the mistakes and there have been multiple emails back and forth which only caused more concern for me.

    I am not saying that the events of Brigham Young are not historically accurate. While I understand that Brigham Young was a part of American history, I find it interesting that fact was important enough to include on the timeline, yet there is practically no history on the Chinese, the history of Africa, or other events that hold much bigger historical importance overall. And if explorations of Brigham Young were so important, I'm also thinking Lewis and Clark should have been on the timeline too.

    I understand that you believe in additional scripture {Book of Mormon}, but I do not ~ so references to that on the timeline do bother me personally. I'm sorry if you were offended. I'm not trying to get into a theological debate on stuff, but really felt it important to point out the issues that I found with the timeline for those who are not LDS. This review was one of the most difficult for me to write, but I also felt it important to stand behind our personal family beliefs and that is something I would measure any product I reviewed by, especially as the product was intended as Biblical history. I would have been equally as honest if I found mistakes or errors in another product, LDS or not.

    Thank you again for taking the time to comment. It is my hope that we can stay connected, despite our differing faith beliefs.

    By Blogger Jolanthe, At October 28, 2009 at 3:25 PM  

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]



Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home