Review by Nisha Ward -- The Biblical Clock

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Nisha Ward
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Review by Nisha Ward -- The Biblical Clock

Post by Nisha Ward »

[Following is a volunteer review of "The Biblical Clock" by Daniel Friedmann and Dania Sheldon.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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I would like to preface this by saying I’m not Jewish. I’m an agnostic Roman Catholic with a mild interest in religious theory from all religious perspectives. I also believe in both Creationism and evolution.

With that in mind, I came into Daniel Friedmann and Dania Sheldon’s The Biblical Clock with certain expectations that were not met. Rather, the book was markedly different from what I thought it would be in many interesting ways.

Is this good? Is it bad? Is it simply a book that exists?

I’m not sure, but it did warrant 3 out of 4 stars, so perhaps there’s more to it than meets the eye (much like a Transformer). Shall we, dear reader?

The Biblical Clock is a work of religious non-fiction that delves into the theoretical. The authorial voice is Friedmann’s and, within the book, he contemplates the nature of Creation and how it can be tied into the scientific Theory of Evolution.

I would note here that Friedmann looks not at the Theory of Evolution as Darwin proposes it, but, rather, the theory as tested and refined over years of research. Going forward, it’s important to keep this in mind as he not only approaches the topic from his own religious standpoint as a Jewish man, but also as a scientist with experience in engineering and the space industry.

This is key to understanding his approach, as the core of The Biblical Clock is based on combining currently accepted science with various interlocking rabbinic interpretations of Scripture. Friedmann does this in two ways.

First, each chapter, except for chapter 10, begins with an imagining of how the Rabbi, sage or historic figure approaches his own interpretation of the genesis of the earth and man. These are, of course, passages of creative non-fiction that focus on the journey to the discovery and/or passing on of information as much as they focus on the conclusions reached by each figure on the subject. Once that section is concluded, however, the reader is then shown how Friedmann incorporates the key information presented into his own findings.

It’s a rather interesting bit of work, his proposal being one that’s based on the idea that the initial six days in which the earth was created did not last for 24 hours as we know it today. Rather, it was several thousand years of our current understanding of time, with each day spanning millennia.

While it was disappointing that Friedmann did not cite an evolving orbit around the sun and only briefly mentions the expanding universe, he does present a new way of thinking about it. He first uses Kabbalistic writings and math to explain his viewpoint before proceeding to test his theory against the timeline of important events in Jewish history outlined in the Torah.

However, I often found the book to be a bit dry. While the insight into the history of Jewish knowledge and interpretation of Creation was the book’s hook, the theoretical portion tended to leave me a bit impatient to get past it due to sheer boredom. Furthermore, Friedmann tends to use quite a lot of Jewish terms without explaining them or providing context when not related to what he’s talking about.

This could be mitigated by proper citation and contextual clues, but, in the case of the kindle and .mobi files, he relies on the hyperlink function and a limited number of endnote notation, which was often an annoyance and a distraction. Furthermore, chapter 10, which contains Friedmann’s own predictions for the End of Days, comes at a point in the book where it diminishes the impact it would have had at the end.

With that being said, I still somewhat enjoyed the book and found it somewhat entertaining, hence my rating above. There were a couple of errors as well, but nothing too egregious, and I think it’s worth looking at. If you have an interest in the theories and interpretations of Creation and how it could be correlated by science, or if you’re looking for a different theological perspective, I highly recommend this book. Even if you don’t agree with Friedmann, it’s still a good read.

******
The Biblical Clock
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Post by Prisallen »

I think it would be interesting to see his take on Creation and how it is correlated to science. It's too bad about the boring parts of the book, though. Thanks for a wonderful review!

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Post by Nisha Ward »

Prisallen wrote:
13 Nov 2019, 08:52
I think it would be interesting to see his take on Creation and how it is correlated to science. It's too bad about the boring parts of the book, though. Thanks for a wonderful review!
It's actually pretty interesting, though the math kind of lost me for a bit.
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Post by Meg98 »

Religious books aren't generally my thing so I'm going to pass for now, but thank you for the great review!
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Post by DonnaKay »

I'm not into religious books but the issue of creation is capturing. I would love to read this book.

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Post by Nisha Ward »

Meg98 wrote:
17 Nov 2019, 16:51
Religious books aren't generally my thing so I'm going to pass for now, but thank you for the great review!
Thanks for reading. :tiphat:
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Post by LinaMueller »

I might give this one a try. I don't know why specifically, but your review made me want to read the book. Good job as always.
Heart! We will forget him!
You an I, tonight!
You may forget the warmth he gave,
I will forget the light.

When you have done, pray tell me
That I my thoughts may dim;
Haste! lest while you're lagging.
I may remember him!

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Nisha Ward
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Post by Nisha Ward »

LinaMueller wrote:
21 Nov 2019, 14:07
I might give this one a try. I don't know why specifically, but your review made me want to read the book. Good job as always.
Oh my, thank you so much.
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Post by Nisha Ward »

DonnaKay wrote:
18 Nov 2019, 10:18
I'm not into religious books but the issue of creation is capturing. I would love to read this book.
It is. Thanks for reading.
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Post by kdstrack »

I do not agree with the author's premise. Books like this are good to read to be able to understand other people's positions. I enjoyed your refreshing honesty about the author's writing style. Great review!

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Post by Nisha Ward »

kdstrack wrote:
21 Nov 2019, 20:10
I do not agree with the author's premise. Books like this are good to read to be able to understand other people's positions. I enjoyed your refreshing honesty about the author's writing style. Great review!
That is quite true. Also, thank you!
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Post by Everydayadventure15 »

I’ve considered reading this one because the theory is interesting, but your notes on it being a dry read have convinced me that I may have a hard time getting through this book. I appreciate your honesty. Thanks for the helpful review!

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Post by Nisha Ward »

Everydayadventure15 wrote:
25 Nov 2019, 09:22
I’ve considered reading this one because the theory is interesting, but your notes on it being a dry read have convinced me that I may have a hard time getting through this book. I appreciate your honesty. Thanks for the helpful review!
Yeah. It's kind of just really hard to get through at times. Thanks!
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Post by spencermack »

I also reviewed this book and I feel under this is simply another book. It's not life-changing and there are major holes in the religious arguments. Great review I can tell you were torn on the decision.
Spencer Mack

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Nisha Ward
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Post by Nisha Ward »

spencermack wrote:
25 Nov 2019, 11:29
I also reviewed this book and I feel under this is simply another book. It's not life-changing and there are major holes in the religious arguments. Great review I can tell you were torn on the decision.
Fair enough, and yeah. It's hard to make that kind of decision.
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