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Tower of Babel Paperback – December 1, 1996
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After I got the book, however, and read through it myself, I decided not to give it to my kids. I found it confused the major issues, which to me are: the pride, the languages, the dispersion. The main focus of the book was, indeed, Nimrod. It was as if you were reading his interpretation of the story's events, which filled in all the missing pieces of information. It should have focused more on the original great commission and the people of God and their rebellious hearts.
All kinds of extraneous information was put into the story--Eber's righteousness, Nimrod's priests, the influence of Satan hovering over the tower, a lightning storm right before the languages were confused... on and on. I was very surprised God's thoughts, however, were left out since they are in the biblical account! The whole thing reminded me very much of the Jewish tradition of midrash, where Jewish authors take Bible stories and spin them, or interpret them, or add things to the story to make a bigger Scriptural point. Eric Kimmel does a lot of this, and Miriam Chaikin, so if you like them, you might like this. But in my opinion, it came across like a bad fairy tale.
The constellations thing was also a much bigger portion than I thought it would be. I thought it would be a handwaving sentence, it was actually two pages worth. I have heard this kind of doctrine taught before in some conspiracy-young-earth-type creation circles (i.e. those who believe in the Nephilim skulls, etc). It is probably going to raise questions from a little kid that don't need to be raised. So might the ending of the story which attempts to explain how racial characteristics just appeared in each tribe after they were dispersed. Probably best to keep that out if it can't be explained well.
I gave it two stars because it has nice pictures, it is a good length, and it has the gospel message on the last page in the back. But if you care anything at all about faithfulness to the original text, this is not the account of Babel to share with your kids. Jon Taylor's pop up "Tower of Babel" is definitely better.
While I also took issue with her statement on p. 21 "God has given us a free will to love and obey Him or to sin and disobey.." (Oh really? Try telling that to Baalam who wanted to curse the Jews for money but was not permitted to by the Lord.) the last straw was the text of page 13 which states that "before people had the bible, God used the stars to tell the story of Jesus." I understand that some well respected evangelical leaders promote this idea, but it's a fable. Hebrews 1:1 states "God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in times past to the fathers by the PHROPHETS,(not the stars?) has in these last days spoken to us by His Son.....(or the stars if you are part of a people without the bible in your own language?)"
For a better analysis on the shortcomings of this fable, check out this site (...)
So! I don't have another recommendation ,except to perhaps read the account from a children's bible. But definitly pass on this one.
For example, when I went back and read the account in Genesis about the tower being built, I found no reference to Nimrod actually starting the whole idea. I found no reference to Nimrod wanting to build it as a temple to turn people away from God. And I certainly have never seen a reference in the Bible that indicates that "before people had the Bible, God used the stars to tell the story of Jesus." Or that each of the 12 constellations told a part of God's story. Especially since other places in the Bible tell us NOT to look to the stars for answers!
I take issue with adding to or taking away from the Bible, although I'll be the first to admit that I don't know if there are more references to this story elsewhere in the Bible that actually state these things that I've got a problem with. But in all my years of studying, I've never come across these things.
And I take even more issue with throwing in a "free will" agenda into a children's book that has been recommended to me to use in our homeschooling class to teach my child more about how languages came to be.
As a Reformed household that stands firmly on what the Bible actually says, my husband and I have a real problem, well, better make that problemS with this book.
Again, decent read, but depending on your view of the Bible, you may want to think twice before sitting down with your kids on this one.
Still unsure if I will keep it. There's just too much to have to skip over at such a young age as my children are. When they are older and more grounded in their faith and understanding of what the Bible ACTUALLY says, then sure, no problem. Good book when that time comes.