Tuesday, October 27, 2009

TOS Crew Review -- Amazing Bible Timeline

Timelines offer an amazing learning tool. They work for every kind of learning style because they require interaction, hands-on involvement, and a great visual. Being a bit of a timeline fan (we have two going -- one that stretches 15 feet long and another "Century Book" that has a page for each 50-100 years), I was excited about reviewing this product from Bible Charts and Maps.

Bible Timeline

Product: Amazing Bible Timeline
Details:6000 years of history in one 37" by 45" chart. Also comes with free downloads and interactive maps
Price: $29.97 and two for $49.97

What we liked . . .
  • Concise format
  • Durable construction (heavy card stock material)
  • Easy for everyone to gather around and take in a bit of history
  • Being able to put together events from various countries in one time period
  • An index with key names and events and their dates so you could then look them up on the timeline more easily
  • Young earth theology

Challenges we faced . . .
  • As with any pre-packaged time line, you are stuck with what the author sees as the most important people and events since they could never possibly include EVERY event and person from history. And, unforunately, of the explorers we are currently studying, only Christopher Columbus made the cut.
  • In an attempt to fit everything onto one compact chart, some parts are rather small print and require close examination to gather the information. The early history (Adam, Seth, etc.) have lots of room, but the 1900's are congested with lots of small print.
  • The most current event is from 1991. So, while it may have a good chunk of ancient history, this is not a record of current events.
  • The biggest challenge, and the reason that I cannot promote this product, is their various sources of information. Some (the Bible) are quite sound and trustworthy. However, some of the other sources (like the Book of Mormon and the Apocrypha) I don't think deserve a place on a reputable time line.

They offer some explanation of these references (you can read their full explanation about their religious background if you are interested):

We began working with the Amazing Bible Timeline in 1975, forty-four years after its first printing in 1931. 1975 was a time when Christians were committed to building greater unity or cooperation among Christian faiths . . .

To answer the question, we were asked to provide an LDS version. We did it and we still provide it today. None of the original Timeline dates were changed. No LDS dates were added to the original Amazing Bible Timeline. A separate version was made. The two timelines have separate copyrights and ISBNs.

When the North and South American history dates were added (Olmecs through Mayans and more) they were taken from archaelogists working in those areas. After that was done, not before, Book of Mormon dates were added to the LDS version.

Unfortunately after the printing in 2000, Fedex destroyed our original film. We recreated it using the LDS version by removing all of the dates we had added. Unfortunately we either missed one or on the last reprinting (2009) the opaquing film fell off that one date. We apologize and are working with the printer to remove it. Anyway thanks for calling it to our attention.

Does the Timeline have an LDS slant? We don't know how it could. We work to make sure it has no slant. The original Timeline on which ours is based does not have an LDS background. We added dates from 1931 to 2000 so unless there's an LDS slant to dates associated with WWII or the first astronauts on the moon there isn't one.

Bill and Margaret both come from varied religious background. . .

Our commitment is to keep doctrine off of the Timeline and out of our website.

While I think this product makes a great attempt at putting history in a compact format, I don't think it was easy enough for us to use, and it included information that I didn't necessarily want my children dwelling on. I'm sure it is a great resource for some families and each one will need to make that decision independently.

For more TOS Crew reviews on this product, check out the TOS Crew blog.

Disclaimer: This timeline was provided to me free of charge from Bible Charts and Maps as part of my participation in The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. I received no additional compensation and the opinions expressed here come from my personal experiences and sincere thoughts.

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