Reviewed by: Sarah Pederson
God’s Bible Timeline: The Big Book of Biblical History, by Linda Finlayson. Christian Focus, 2020. Hardcover, 96 pages, $17.14 (Amazon). Reviewed by OP member Sarah Pederson.
Have you ever marveled at the fact that, though your life’s circumstances seem so large and significant, you are just one of billions of people who have inhabited this earth across countries and years? Of the many throngs of men, women, and children that have walked the globe, the stories of a select few are recorded in Scripture, as these individuals’ stories intersect with the greatest story ever told—the coming of Christ and God’s plan of salvation.
Linda Finlayson, who has written several biographies and church history books for children, has now given us a comprehensive biblical timeline that weaves together the order, events, characters, and dates of the Bible alongside other historical events. God’s Bible Timeline is divided into six color-coded sections: Part 1: Creation to the Promised Land; Part 2: Living in the Promised Land; Part 3: From One Kingdom to Two; Part 4: Exile and Return; Part 5: The Messiah; and Part 6: The Early Church. Each section begins with helpful introductory material, after which colorful, comprehensive timelines are interspersed with explanations about characters, locations, and occasions, replete with graphics and maps. Each of the eighteen timelines contained in this book is structured in such a way as to give readers the most important details of the events without burdening them with too much information. This book is addressed to young readers and is especially appealing to parents teaching their children at home. A beautiful pull-out timeline poster includes an overview of biblical history as well as heroes and villains. A bibliography in the back of the book contains helpful books and articles for those who wish to pursue further research.
Readers may wish to know that while dates of events are included when possible, they are often left out, especially for the earlier timeline events. Events such as creation and other early events are listed by Bible chapter rather than by date. Also, when a date is approximated based on comparing the event with other events happening around the same time, the word “circa”—approximately—is added. There are also no pictures of Jesus in this book, which is a welcome consideration for this reader.
This book is a delightful library addition for anyone who wants to get an overview of history in a simple, colorful timeline that is useful and instructive for young and old alike. It would be an excellent book to study as a family to obtain basic biblical history, and it can also be used as a springboard to further historical studies. A useful companion volume to this book is Finlayson’s God’s Timeline: The Big Book of Church History. I look forward to using these books with my family.
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