4 out of 4 stars
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Modern science puts the beginning of the universe at a little under fourteen billion years ago. Judeo-Christian tradition places the beginning at more or less five thousand years ago.
You will surely agree that they can't both be right.
Daniel Friedmann will argue that, on the contrary, they can.
Friedmann, who, with the assistance of Dania Sheldon, authored The Biblical Clock, was raised in the Jewish faith, but has a degree in science. He also enjoyed a long career as the head of a global technology firm. For much of his adult life, he has pondered the apparent contradiction between the biblical and scientific views of when the universe began, as well as where it is headed. Can two such radically different views be reconciled?
For Friedmann, the answer is yes.
"After an in-depth exploration of science and biblical texts, I have determined that such a reconciliation is possible," he states.
The Biblical Clock invites the reader to travel with Friedmann along the path he followed to reach that conclusion. A basic part of his reasoning is the assumption that biblical and modern time spans have different definitions. The Old Testament states that the world was created in six days. Friedmann argues that the biblical day is something very different from our contemporary day of twenty-four hours. He describes what, in his view, that difference is. He takes readers on a tour of historical events. He introduces them to other thinkers who have puzzled over this issue in the past. He explores the Kabbalah, a mystical medieval interpretation of the Bible, and lets readers meet the people who created and modified it. He produces tablets correlating events described in scripture with dates in the modern calendar. He writes about the biblical concept of the End of Days, and what that might look like.
The Biblical Clock is generally well written and cleanly edited. There are no typographical errors. There are no problems with grammar or usage. Friedmann's reasoning is clear. His logic is understandable, whether one agrees with it or not. He makes an effort to distinguish historical fact from guesses and assumptions.
This is a book that will appeal to people interested in history, and to those who are open to having their ideas and beliefs challenged. Some of those readers will find Friedmann convincing. Some readers will find him unconvincing. All of them will find that he has given them something to think about.
Overall, this well-written book, with its challenging ideas, rates a grade of 4 out of 4.
The Biblical Clock
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