Review by Ekta Kumari -- The Biblical Clock

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Ekta Kumari
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Review by Ekta Kumari -- The Biblical Clock

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[Following is a volunteer review of "The Biblical Clock" by Daniel Friedmann and Dania Sheldon.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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The topic of origination of the universe and the evolution of mankind is often infused with an equal amount of intrigue and skepticism. Should we favor the theory of God's Creation or the scientific evolution theory? Undeniably, this is the question that leaves many of us burning with curiosity. The Biblical Clock answers this age-old question for you. It is authored by Daniel Friedmann and Dania Sheldon. Bridging the gap between religious texts and scientific literature, this book makes a very successful attempt at illustrating how ancient scriptures and scientific facts are reconcilable as to the beginning of the universe and emergence of life on Earth. After establishing parity between both of these conflicting point of views, the book further shows what can we expect for the future of mankind.

The book is divided into three sections. In the first part, readers witness the explorations by many sages and scientists from 800 years ago to the present day. Delving deep into ancient scriptures, readers follow Daniel Friedmann's discoveries and interpretations about the timeline of Creation events and its alignment with the scientifically estimated age of the universe. The second part deals with the comparison between our actual historical timeline after the Big Bang and the timeline that is outlined in the scriptures. It shows how a connection between these two can be used to predict a possible scenario for the End of Days. Consequently, the third part stresses on how science and scripture are not very different about the origin of mankind and the universe. It states that relevancy can also be established between the biblical timeline of Creation events and occurrences of the End of Days. Finally, the book is drawn to its conclusion with a short recapitulation, and readers get to reflect on everything they know by the end of the book.

The narration goes back and forth between research-based storytelling and communication of significant ideas and discoveries to readers. I like that it's not just about raw historical facts, but authors also imbue their own thoughts and notions into their writing. Readers get to experience the authors' mind, which makes the read more enjoyable. The vivid portrayal of scenarios involving ancient sages, prophets, and scientists is fascinating. I particularly enjoyed the part about Sir Isaac Newton. Also, some segments are depicted in a very engaging fashion that takes the form of a conversation between Daniel Friedmann and his nephew, Seb. Every chapter except chapter 10, which describes a fictional scenario for the End of Days, is non-fiction. While this book is quite lengthy, the reading guide provided at the beginning eases the reading process. This reading guide has short summaries of all the chapters. So even if this book is not read in one sitting, readers would not get confused, and they could always go back to the reading guide to find their way through it.

I appreciate that the opinions expressed throughout the book never seem to be forced upon the readers. Instead, it acts as an outlet for them to take their own understanding even further. I specifically love the layout of this book. Though each successive chapter does not state the events in chronological order, I genuinely don't think there could have been a better way to present everything and maintain the cohesiveness at the same time. The text is supported by an extensive glossary and some footnotes. There is also a list of sources provided at the end, so readers can always refer to it for their own research.

After reading this, I can most certainly say that a commendable effort has been made to research for this piece of work, and it is compiled in a very engaging style, too. Every complex set of information is explained and presented in the form of tables and figures. Some parts of the book are also supplemented with images to enhance readers' understanding. Reading through such huge amount of research and findings may seem boring at times, but I think, overall, it's in a very digestible format making it easy to grasp everything without reaching the heights of boredom. While reading it, I was amazed by the simplicity of the writing. Being a book of an intricate nature, I didn't expect it to be so comprehensible, but authors have left out all the big and ambiguous words.

The book does not fail its readers; it delivers exactly what it promises, i.e., presenting an informative and unbiased approach towards reconciling science and scripture. In pursuit of this, it takes into account not only ancient scriptures and prophecies but also significant advancements of science through the years in making precise measurements about the age of the universe, including the development of the Hubble Constant (given by Edwin Hubble) and the Hubble Space Telescope, which is mentioned about in great detail.

This work provides food for thought; you may not agree with its concept, but the impartial and extensive research done by the authors has obvious potential to keep you thinking for a long time. For me, it didn't feel like I was going through some chapters; it was much more like I was making my way to a revelation. For a book of this nature, it's quite an achievement.

The sole focus on Judaism and Jewish philosophy is a central theme. But it should be noted that the author, Daniel Friedmann, never claimed that it would be otherwise; he made it sufficiently clear at the beginning of the book that, as his religious education is in Judaism, he will be relying on Jewish sources for his Genesis Creation narrative. I believe chapter 10, which describes a fictional scenario for the End of Days, can be objectionable for some people. But, of course, it is just a fictional account, and I don't think that it is claimed to be an exact projection of future events. Readers should acknowledge that, in essence, the authors' intention is to reconcile two contradictory bodies of knowledge, rather than discrediting any other religion or belief system.

The flawless editing of this book is one of its strong points. I consider it to be professionally edited. Also, the faultless use of commas and quotations in very long sentences is exemplary; the credit for that, I think, goes to Dania Sheldon, who is a professional editor and writer and holds a doctorate in English language and literature. There is nothing notable to dislike about this book. Even if I'm not in full agreement with all the views expressed within it, this work should be recognized for its fact-based research and objective representation. As this book achieves its purpose, I believe it deserves a rating of 4 out of 4 stars.

Read this if you are a skeptic who has not yet formed any final opinion and is still open to different point of views in relation to the mysteries of the universe and life on Earth. If you have more of a one-sided perception between science and scripture, then read it if you can consider going through this book with an open mind. Lastly, I think it has some very elaborate information about ancient Jewish scriptures, so it would be a perfect fit for someone who is interested in this branch of knowledge.

The Biblical Clock
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