Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Product Review: Amazing Bible Timeline

When I pulled the brightly-colored, well-organized, 37 x 45" Amazing Bible Timeline from its mailing carton, I thought writing this review would be a breeze. I could not have been more wrong. I do not recommend this product. If you would like to know why, please keep reading.

I liked what I saw at first glance. The charting of history begins at Creation in 4004 B.C. (approximately) Young earth. Creationism. B.C., not B.C.E. They had my attention.

A genealogy of Adam through Noah follows. Very interesting. After Noah, the timeline splits into three sections, one for each of his sons.

From there on, Shem's line is color-coded yellow, Ham's line is blue, and Japheth's is pink. This made it really easy to see which nations descended from which of the sons of Noah, something I found very interesting. Also, the spiral design allowed me to see what events were occurring simultaneously. For instance, according to the timeline, Samuel was the judge of Israel at the same time that Rameses III ruled Egypt while the Greeks and Trojans were waging war. A resource like this could be so helpful, except….

Before I had a chance to put the timeline to use or give it a really thorough inspection, I received an email from Bible Charts and Maps. The subject line said, "Wow! Let's Clear This Up Right Now". This email was sent to every Crew member assigned to review their Amazing Bible Timeline. It seems that a few of my crewmates noticed a few things on the timeline that I had not noticed at first glance, and the publishers wanted a chance to respond. That's only fair, so I read their email and was shocked by some of the accusations made against them and just as equally shocked by their response.

First, there appear to be references to the Book of Mormon within the body of the timeline. No LDS (Mormon) publications are listed in the timeline's bibliography, printed prominently in the top, center; however, Mormon 6:6, 10, and 11 (referring to the Book of Mormon) are printed as what appears to be footnotes within one square of the body of the timeline. Other crew members noted that the pre-Columbian America portion of the timeline seems to have an LDS-slant and pointed out references to the books of Daniel and Revelation that seem to indicate fulfilled prophecies, ones that I had never heard of before.

I also take issue with the listing of future events that are printed at the end of the timeline. Their inclusion of the millennial reign of Christ as a future event and the sequence of "last days" events as they present them does not mesh with my personal convictions. The sequencing and wording of this section caused more unrest in me and made me wonder whose interpretation was being represented.

Their original email has since been revised, and I no longer have access to it. It explained that the Book of Mormon references were left on the timeline unintentionally because the original films were destroyed in a shipping accident in 2000. They used the LDS version of the timeline to recreate the version I received and did not realize that the Book of Mormon footnotes were still there.

We are all human, and certainly, mistakes can be made. However, nine years seems like a very long time for such a significant error to remain unnoticed or uncorrected.

Many of the statements in the original response and the revised one only made me more skeptical. For instance, their response to "Why is there an LDS version of the timeline?" was the following:

This statement causes me to wonder how they define "Christian faiths" and what type of unity they are trying to promote. Because I am not a member of an LDS church and strongly disagree with many of its fundamental beliefs, I do not want to do business with a curriculum provider that would make that statement.

The bottom line is that I do hold to a particular faith and want to pass along a particular set of beliefs to my children. I do not feel confident, even after carefully considering the company's statements and spending hours researching, that the Amazing Bible Timeline shares my convictions. Therefore, I cannot in good conscience recommend this product.

The Amazing Bible Timeline sells for $29.97. Free timeline and map downloads come with each purchase and are available at their website.

I received one copy of the Amazing Bible Timeline for free to use for this review. All opinions expressed in the review are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. I have received no other compensation for this review and have offered my honest, unbiased opinion. To read more about this product, please, click the icon below to be redirected to the TOS Homeschool Crew blog.


argsmommy said...

Dawn, I admire you for standing up for what you believe -- I'm sure it wasn't easy. I find the company's statement very troubling.

Heather said...

good review! I want to know the truth.

Annie Kate said...

Yes, this was a tough one to review, but it's over now. :) Phew!

I'm glad the My Access review was helpful to you. I also posted about a deal with the Homeschool Buyer's Coop--50% off My Access, but only until the 31st.

Here's the link to my post with links to the relevant page on the Co-op site, just in case you're planning to buy the program.



Annie Kate

Annie Kate said...

By the way, I didn't get the letter from them about the timeline; in fact, I didn't get the timeline itself until way later. That was funny.

Who knows why some people got the letter and others didn't. It was a difficult situation all around, but I like how you dealt with it in your review.

Annie Kate

Molly said...

Great review, Dawn. The fact that you post negative reviews as well as positive ones increases your credibility. Your reviews are fair and balanced, and I appreciate that.