Objections to
"A Message of Ancient Days"


Houghton Mifflin's biased version of Jesus and Judaism for the 6th grade  


 In the Islam section, our children are asked to assume they are Muslim soldiers, being on a Mecca pilgrimage (act of worship), to research and build Mosques. Many California schools have asked children to get on their hands and knees and repeat words of prayer to Allah. I was anxious to see what the Jewish and Christian sections told children to imagine. 

In the Jewish section, the ONLY imagination practice I could find was to imagine they are with the Jews when they were conquered and forced to live away from their homeland. (pg 314)

In the Christian section, the ONLY imagination practice was to imagine being in the buried catacombs of the dead Christians.  (pg 469) 

What religion would rejoice if these imagination exercises came true?  Jews conquered and forced from their homeland and Christians in tombs of dead Christians?  The symbolism of that, putting Christians, the body of Christ, back in the tomb…   I’m speechless.   


 Jesus as Savior compared to Muhammad as Prophet:

 To accept Islam, one must say, “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his Prophet.”  To receive Jesus Christ, one must “Confess with your mouth and believe in your heart Jesus is Lord.”  Compared below please find the number of words in the textbook that support respective claims:

   Words supporting claims                          Disclaimers  
Jesus Christ as Lord:        116                    10  (i.e. Christians believe)
Muhammad as Prophet:   998                      9  (i.e. Muslims believe)

 That is not a typo.  And I challenge Houghton Mifflin to go over it with me.  This includes all words about Jesus in both the Christian and Judaism sections.  The imbalance is obvious and there are more “qualifiers” or “disclaimers” about Jesus than in over 8 times the text supporting Muhammad! 

At no time does the textbook state, "Christians believe Jesus is Lord" but anything I could find which even hinted Jesus as more than a teacher, I counted.

Let’s look at it another way to be sure.  I counted every time Jesus and Muhammad’s name appeared in their units.  I broke it down to how each name was used.

Name used:

Jesus Christ


To name as Lord or Prophet



As “Prophet” only



As a mere “teacher”



To show as rejected



Generally discussed



To identify followers



To mark time



As He healed others



To find more books on



As art focal-point only



Muhammad is continuously supported as a Prophet of Allah with few and far between “disclaimers” such as “Muslims believe,” whereas Jesus is often referred to as a “popular teacher with ideas” and every sentence that hints a breath of deity is surrounded by disclaimers. Over and over again Christianity is reduced to “ideas” whereas Islam is referred to as “More than a Way of Life.”  Then it hit me, our children appear to be deceptively taught:


The textbook consistently gives Christian beliefs only to the extent that Islam agrees!

    What Islam believes about Christ:   

  1. Jesus is a “teacher”.                                     Textbook includes 

  2. Jesus performed miracles.                            Textbook includes

  3. Mary was his mother.                                   Textbook includes

  4. Angel told Mary to "name Him Jesus"           Textbook includes

  5. *Salvation earned by works.      Textbook includes  *(NOT a Christian belief!)

  6. Lord's Supper                                              Textbook includes

 What Christians believe but Islam denies about Christ is omitted by textbook

     Christians believe:                                                     (contradicted in Quran)

  1. Jesus died for our sins.             Textbook omits.              (4:171)

  2. Jesus is the Son of God.*         Textbook omits               (4:171)

  3. The Trinity                               Textbook omits               (4:171)

  4. Jesus' birth in a stable               Textbook omits    (19:22, 3:49, 100:110)

  5. Specifics of miracles                 Textbook omits               (5:110)

Houghton Mifflin's biased version of Jesus and Judaism for the 6th grade


The Christian Unit states that Jesus’ tomb was discovered empty.  His disciples believed he rose from the dead.  It convinced his followers that Jesus was the (m)essiah. (pg 318)  Sort of by default it seems.  Why would an empty tomb alone convince his followers that He was the Messiah? If I was a child I might laugh that Christians have based everything on just an empty tomb. No mention of Jesus’ return, miraculous appearances, spending 40 days with them, and his ascension to heaven as seen by hundreds, or the documented hundreds of Christians who chose martyredom rather than deny what they saw...which was not merely an empty tomb. Why did the textbook purposefully omit Jesus' ascension? Muhammad’s “ascension” is told in two separate accounts in the Islam section.  The Dome of the Rock rates a picture with the caption,

“The rock is believed to be the place from which
 Muhammad ascended into heaven.” 

Look at that sentence closely.  What’s qualified here?  Where he ascended from, or if he ascended at all? I think that on the rare occasion we do see a qualifier regarding Muhammad as Prophet, they are duplistic. (Islam Unit page 59)

Did Muslims ever face death if they claimed they saw Muhammad ascend? I doubt it, but they would probably face death if they said he didn't.


 Tacitus shared the Roman view that Christians should be convicted (death) for their “hatred against mankind.” (Christian Unit pg 464)  No examples of hate are given, our children are just left hanging with that thought.  The textbook also states, “The Jews and Gentiles did not always get along.  In fact, at times violent hatred led to open conflict between them.”  (Christian unit, pg 460)  True, but why are we told NINE separate times in the Islam section that everyone benefited from the tolerance of the Muslims?  How do you conquer everyone with tolerance?  (caution: the following is grisly)  The Crusades began because in Jerusalem, Muslims were cutting out the guts of Christians, tying one end of their entrails to a stake.  They were then chased and flogged until they died.  Did you know you could live a while with your guts hanging out? It must be done tolerantly.

 The textbook states:

The Jews and Christians’ holy book the Bible is considered by Muslims to be based on God’s revelations.  But Muslims considered these other religions to be less correct.  That is because the Quran teaches that the Bible has suffered loss and change with time.” 

(Then the very next paragraph reaffirms how tolerant Muslims are.) 

 “Christians and Jews are respected as “people of the book” by Muslims, and all their prophets are revered.”  (Islam Unit pg 62)

  The textbook continually claims that as long as unbelievers “pay the tax” they’ll do fine.  The verse in the Quran states these conditions a little more specifically:  “if they repent and keep up prayer [become believers] and pay the poor-rate, (tax) leave their way free to them (9:5)  Christians will not “repent and keep up prayer” (convert to Allah).  So everything is not just fine.  This coincides with the verse from the Hadith “holy book”, “I have been ordered to fight with the people til they say, ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.’ (H 4:52:196)


 The textbook puts Christianity at the top of the list for reasons of “The Cause of the Fall” (Christian Unit pg 480)  “Christians were more devoted to their faith and to the church than to the Roman state.” 

 Did it matter as they fed us to the lions if we were devoted to Christ or Rome?  On pg 466 it quotes Pliny as saying not to hunt us down, but to kill us if we’re Christian. Then it says,

“As the above exchange shows, Romans did not generally seek out Christians for punishment.  In fact, Christian settlements existed in North Africa for 100 years before the first Christian was executed.” 

WHAT does North Africa have to do with it, it’s clear across the sea!  The textbook just gave all kinds of hideous ways they torturously killed Christians. The textbook actually appears to excuse the abuse, because it states,

 “Some Christians were even put into an arena to fight lions as entertainment for Romans.  Later Christian writers attached great importance to these events.  They used the events to reinforce the suffering endured by Christians who remained faithful to their beliefs.  However, historians do not believe that many Christians were actually sent to the lions.  Overall, most Christians lived in peace until the AD 200s.” 

 How many Christians fed to the lions does it take before other Christians feel terrorized?  So, Christians should just stop their whining? They just gave us grisly details of Nero’s killing of us, then it says,

 “Nevertheless, Nero’s treatment of the Christians was unusually harsh.  For the most part, the Roman state ignored the early Christians.  Before AD 64, most of the persecution suffered by the Christians
 came at the hands of other Jews.”

 They must have meant Paul of Damascus who converted to Christianity.  I never heard that Paul tortured us as the Romans did.  And now we’re blamed for the Fall of Rome???  We didn’t do anything, we were just not devoted?  And the TEXTBOOK states, “Why did the empire fall?  Historians do not have one answer.  Still, these factors played an important part.”  Christianity is then listed first out of six.  Then it whines about how hard it is to be a historian.  Yet we should keep quiet about being tortured?  

 The title of the whole Christian Lesson is: “Christianity and the Fall of Rome.”  I did not realize at first that the title was meant to place blame. 

This is what the textbook publishers say is “our turn” when complaints were made about the indoctrination of Islam?  Turn for what?


(Please forgive my presumption to speak for the Jews, I am not a Jewish scholar, but I did receive help from a Rabbi.  I would appreciate any feedback or corrections from Jews).


 When Jeremiah wades in, the textbook states,

“The prophets were not  fortune tellers
 who predicted the future. 
Instead they preached a message about
 how the people should act in the present.” 

 Jeremiah, Danial, Isaiah, etc., gave EXACT prophesies about the future.  False prophets were stoned to death if they prophesied wrongly just one time. It was that important that the people not be misled by false prophets.

 Muhammad is the only prophet that could not relay the future.  It seems we must redefine “prophet” because Muhammad did not rightly prophesy. 

 The textbook states: 

“However, by accepting the prophets’ explanation
 for the disaster,
the Jews could keep their faith in God and survive exile.” (pg 311)

 The Jews had faith because they knew God!  Not because any prophet attempted to explain away their circumstances. Unbelievably, Houghton Mifflin is giving alternative atheist reasons for Jewish faith!

 “Then in 540 BC, the Persian ruler Cyrus the Great
 took control of Babylon.”  (pg 311)

 Did the textbook "historian" know that Isaiah prophesied more than 140 years earlier, that Cyrus, a Persian ruler would overthrow them?  (Isaiah 44:28)  Isaiah named Cyrus by name.  And yet the textbook claims prophets could not predict the future, taking the opportunity to invalidate Judaism to impressionable children.


 “Many people lived together in Canaan….Gradually they came together as a people and were called Hebrews.”

 The first named “Hebrew” was Abraham in Genesis 14:13.  God mandated the Israelites stay clear of other nations. But the foundation of Hebrews was Abraham.  This was so important that the Jews painstakingly kept lineage records for centuries.  Hebrews did not “come together as a people” and name themselves.  Even when Esau, son of Isaac, intermarried, his offspring were named “Edom.”  Genealogies were so carefully kept that Jesus can be traced all the way back through Israel and Judah.

So why would the textbook want to deny the authenticity of the Hebrews? Is it because Islam did not carefully preserve their genealogies? Is it a coincidence that Muhammad claims Allah makes no distinction of peoples?  That doesn’t fit well with God’s “chosen people.”  And the textbook has just dismissed the roots of the chosen that were so carefully recorded. It is all rewritten to fit Islam's beliefs!


Word Used

Judaism Unit

Christian Unit

Islam Unit









Message (by god)












































Ideas (not faith)




In addition, the following descriptives are used in the Islam unit compellingly about Islam's beliefs, but nothing close to comparable in the Christian or Judaism Units: 

“Compassionate, merciful, purity, calm and faith, inspired leader, reverence, spiritual leader, inspired leader, join Allah in heaven, feel Allah’s invisible presence, divinely guided successor, strong sense of spiritual authority, great cultural flowering, talented military leaders, closer to deity, something extraordinary occurred, something more far reaching happened, trembling, overcome with joy, pressed by an angel, bowing, kneeling, shimmer in light, called to, guiding rules, reverence, good dreams, unique customs, authentic sources.” 

Criteria differs with Judaism, so I compared all words that involved  interaction with God or Allah.  I left out some rituals, i.e. much about Mecca and pilgrimage is omitted.           

Words of interaction
                      with God or Allah           Disclaimers        
Judaism:                   655                    18  (i.e. Jews believe) 
Islam:                    1, 670                    16  (i.e. Muslims believe)

Something is really rotten here.  And look at these qualifiers.  Just as with the Christian comparison, there are LESS qualifiers with much more text. 

Houghton Mifflin's biased version of  Judaism
for the 6th grade


One or two mistakes or omissions would be understandable, but Houghton Mifflin consistently rewrites "Biblical history" to explain how Israel survived as though God did not exist.

1.  The textbook states:

“When the Jews rededicated the temple after defeating the Syrians,
 they only had enough oil to light their holy lamps for one day.
  Yet according to tradition, the lamps burned for eight days.”

 Jews believe this to be a monumental miracle of God, and the only honor it is given is “according to tradition.”  Compare this to the eloquent and extremely lengthy renditions of Muhammad and Islamic beliefs stated as fact!

 2.  The textbook states regarding Exodus:

  “The Israelites took a round about route to reach their homeland.
  The Torah states that the trek lasted 40 years…”

Why can’t the textbook disclose things such as God led them miraculously, with a pillar of light by night and a cloud by day?  In the Islam section, great emphasis is given to the relationship between Allah and Muslims.  Could it be because the Quran states they were told to travel by night and in darkness?  That would conflict with what Jews believe, so the Jewish details are left out to the extent the Quran agrees. 

3.  The textbook states:

“In 1020 BC, the Israelites chose
 a man named Saul as their first king.”  (pg 309)

The Bible states:  “And when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said unto him, Behold the man whom I spake to you of!  This same shall reign over my people.”  (1 Samuel 9:17)   

God chose Saul, not the people as the textbook states. 

The title of this lesson is “Early Biblical History” and should give Biblical History!

4.  The textbook states:

  “David went to a nearby brook, gathered five smooth stones, and put them in his leather bag.  Then he went out to face Goliath, according to the Bible.” (pg 308)

 Twice David said in the Bible, “Who is this that should defy the armies of the living God?…  The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.”  (1 Sam 17)  

 What a dramatic interesting passage for children!  Instead, the textbook chooses to focus on David’s going to the brook to pick out stones, which is in the Bible. But notice how obscure facts are repeatedly chosen if they line up with Islam.  In the Quran, the only mention about Goliath has to do with a stream!

 "Allah will test you at the stream…
By Allah's will they routed them;
 and David slew Goliath”  (2:249-2:251)

The textbook continues: 

“This young boy grew up to become the king of the Israelites.” 

The textbook fails to mention that Samuel the Prophet had already prophesied God chose David to be king and anointed him with oil.  David did not actually become king until after a long string of miraculous events, long after the prophet died.  The Bible is rich with quotes from God which are omitted: 

Finally the Lord said to Samuel,
 '…for I have selected one of his sons to be My new king
  (1 Sam 16) 

Yet Houghton Mifflin presents the Jewish belief as though David just grew up to be king and claims prophets did not tell the future.

What’s the prime agenda, to keep God completely out or to match it up with the Quran?  Why, in the Islam section, are events described so beautifully and compelling toward Allah, but in the Jewish section, everything is rewritten to omit God while events occur in happenstance?

 5.  The textbook states,

“Solomon showed his skill as a diplomat by making treaties with the pharaoh of Egypt and other rulers.  These treaties assured Israel’s safety.” (pg 309)

This is a HUGE Bible story about the wisdom and relationship between God and Solomon. Instead, the textbook chooses to credit Solomon independent of God.

 6.  The textbook states:

           “The prophets taught that God had power over all peoples, not just the Jews.  As a result, the Jews came to believe that their god alone controlled all nations and directed the course of history.”
(pg 311)

This statement discredits the object of Jewish belief, (God) and again credits Jewish belief to the prophets alone, who apparently needed time to convince the Jews for they had to "come to believe."  God showed Himself over and over again to the Jews throughout the ages, but not according to Houghton Mifflin, unless the god discussed is Allah and the beliefs of Islam.

This sounds like a disclaimer of validity of the Bible.  Because the next paragraph says,

“Although many people believe that the scriptures are a factual record of biblical times, most historians combine them with other kinds of evidence.” 

Is this a self-authenticating license to change what the Bible says?  The lesson is titled “EARLY BIBLICAL HISTORY,” not the Bible as rewritten by historians. 

 7.  The textbook states:

 “To remind themselves to obey the law of the Torah,
some Jews wear phylacteries.”  (pg 312)

 They wore phylacteries because God told them to!  "And you shall place these words upon your hearts and upon your souls and you shall bind them as a sign upon your hands and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes." (Deut. 11:18)   How can Houghton Mifflin write so many pages about a religion and avoid God so much?  Why didn’t they present Allah and Mohammad this way in the Islam section?

 8.  The textbook states,

“Religious Jews did not object to Syrian rule…” (pg 313)

 Oh my gosh, this is almost as ridiculous as saying everyone benefited from Muslim tolerance. 

The textbook states:

“The ancestors of the Israelites
worshipped many gods, including Baal…
however the Israelites came to believe
 that there was only one true god.”

Jews did not just "come to believe," God called them out from His people.  Evidence proves that before Ba'al as well as other polytheistic religions, people believed in monotheism (one God).  Which is exactly what God tells us in the Bible, as He called Abraham out from his people, why?  Because the people had gotten corrupt with idol worship.  This is supposed to be a unit about what Judaism believes, not an opportunity to tear it apart unanswered.  The Israelites didn’t just “come to believe” in God. God specifically blessed the nation of Abraham.        


In this unit, surgical clips of Moses, Abraham, David and Solomon are given, but only to the exact extent that Islam agrees with the story. In fact, all that is given concerning Abraham are two quotes from the Bible around his name, which are also cited in the Quran. (see Addendum B for specifics) 

This is interesting because when Muhammad tried to convince Christians and Jews that he was a Prophet, he said his ministry should be judged by the Bible as true.  Muhammad was here 600 years after Jesus and the Bible was already established.  The Quran claims it is an extension of the Bible and it cannot contradict it.  (2:136)  When it is found to be so completely different from the Bible, the claim is made that the Bible is corrupt, which is supported by the textbook in both the Islam and Judaism section. (see Ezra below) The only backup of what Muhammad claims is the angels told him. It is the Bible that is complete with dates, events, and historical backup. 

Biblical Stories contradicted by the Quran/omitted by the  Textbook
Creation                                     (41:9-10,12)
Adam and Eve                         
Tower of Babel                         (27:4-6, 28:38, 29:39)
Noah and the ark.                     (11:32-48; 11:44)
Isaac offered on the altar.       (37:100-112)
Abraham                                    (6:47, 14:37, 21:68-69, 9:69)
Joseph                                       (12:21)
Golden Calf                               (20:87-95)
Miriam, Moses sister              (19:28)
Many details of Moses:         (28:8-9, 7:136, 7:59)
Gideon                                       (2:249-250)

                      There are too many to list

(see Addendum B for DETAILED contradictions)


 Rather than cover the above Bible greats, the textbook focuses on the lesser-known EZRA (Uzair). The textbook states:

 “The laws of the Jews were contained in the writings that made up what are now the first five books of the Bible.  However, at that time there were many different versions of these holy writings.  No one version was accepted as law by Jews in all parts of the ancient world. Then in the 400 BC, a priest and scribe named Ezra returned from exile in Babylon.  He brought with him a collection of the many versions of holy writings that had been put together by Jewish scribes in Babylon.”  (Pg 312) (excerpt of topic)

 Possible reasons for the emphasis on Ezra:

 1.   Muhammad mistakenly thought the Jews revered Ezra (Uzair) as Christians revere Jesus.  The Quran says,  “The Jews call Ůzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Jesus the son of Allah…Allah's curse be on them! (9:30)

 2.   Another possible reason to note Ezra is because the textbook account supports the claim of Islam that the Bible is corrupt.  Ezra came with “many different versions” implying contradictions, and “no one version was accepted as law by Jews” worldwide.  The textbook states, “The Torah brought back by Ezra became the accepted version of Judaism’s holiest writings.  With the backing of the Persian authorities, Ezra demanded that the Jews obey the Torah and separate themselves from people who did not.”  This paints a picture of a forced acceptance.

 I am not a Jew, but I studied Ezra in the Old Testament.  It looks to me like Ezra simply verified the authenticity of different copies and organized them with the help of 120 men.  Persia did send Ezra back to Jerusalem to administer the affairs, as he was so impressed with Ezra’s religious knowledge.  When Ezra got there and found the wicked practices of people, he threw himself down in front of the temple, wept and prayed to God for forgiveness.  One by one people started to join in weeping and a national revival began. That’s a far more beautiful and true picture than a dictator back from Babylon.

 Why didn’t the textbook find it worthy to mention all the amazing facts showing the Bible as accurate?  Dead sea scrolls, the incredible care the Jews took to copy it over and over precisely?  When the Islam section discussed the Quran, it talks of how the Hadith was “passed down in oral form through several generations, and compiled into authoritative collections.  Together, the Quran and collections of Hadith, make up the authentic sources of Islamic beliefs and practices.”  (pg 61) 

 Recap:  the Jews copied the scriptures painstakingly for centuries, gathered them back together, compared, verified and organized the Torah.  Yet their version is “corrupt.”  Islam on the other hand, memorized it for generations, got all the dates and people differently, pulled it all together and our textbook gives it the phrase “authentic source of Islamic beliefs and practices.” 


           Why is Esther, then, in the Judaism section?  I can think of two reasons, First, because Esther is the only story in the whole Bible that is completely devoid of God’s name. 

            Second, because Esther is the perfect example of how a Jewish wife should behave in Islam.  A Persian king fell instantly in love with Esther, a beautiful virgin no doubt, who kept her faith and nationality in total secrecy.  Islam approves of mixed faith marriages, as long as the husband is Muslim, the wife is not.  The Muslim husband has total authority over his wife, and has the Quran’s instruction to beat and slap her if she misbehaves.  Esther found herself in a precarious situation of little choice.  Her nation conquered, she was in a foreign land, she had to completely submit or die.  She won her husband’s favors (saving the Jews) by pampering him in total submission at the risk of her own life.  I wonder how many Muslim’s with Jewish or Christian wives direct them to Esther of our own Bible.


 “Who will go for Me?”  Any Christian in a position of power, I am begging that you pick up this cause.  I am a simple working mom.  I have no resources to organize a campaign.  This has been my part, now God calls you and all saints to rise up and say NO to what public school is doing.  Are you His?  Are you in the Promised Land hiding from the giants or will you fight like Joshua?  This is not MY fight alone, I’m at the gate sounding the alarm.  Wolves are RAVAGING our children!  World Net Daily, recently did a poll asking “What do you think of public schools, and nationwide, with over 4,500 responses, the overwhelming answer is “They are corrupting our children.”  But we need to act.  Don’t tell me to homeschool, I represent thousands who can’t and I speak on behalf of the millions of lost children who don’t know Jesus.  FIGHT FOR THEM!  Our government is paying to teach our children about false gods, homosexuality, evolution, atheism, sorcery.  GOD IS ANGRY.  To deny that is to deny the whole Old Testament, of which the Bible says was given to us as an example.  The ONLY reason our nation still stands is because God said, “I will bless those who bless Israel, and curse those who curse Israel.”  But I tell you the truth, we are pushing the envelope.  God shows us that when children are sacrificed, nations are DONE.  Our children are dying spiritually.  Do not think God does not see!!!!

 Saints, it’s getting dark.  I did an AOL search for “Gospel” and the FIRST matching site was UNDERSTANDING ISLAM presented by AOL.  PBS’s very whitewashed version included.  There were some Gospel music sites (Islam’s Gospel: doing good for Allah)

Islam is gaining control of this nation from the inside even now, after 911.  How many more Daniel Pearls, homicide bombings, attacks like 911 before we stop spoonfeeding our children a white-washed version of Islam?

  I urge all Christians to contribute to the various Christian Legal Organizations who have been fighting to protect our rights and our children.  Ask your pastor if he’s aware of what’s happening.  If he isn’t, give him a chance to understand the depth of the crisis, the wolves are ravaging our children.  Ask him to lead in some way to fight this.  If your pastor refuses, he is an Ezekiel 34 shepherd, LEAVE HIM.  Ask your church to donate Christian books to the school library.  We must start fighting for the traditional values of our nation.

 Please, God, send laborers.  Saints, don’t think this will take care of itself, or God will do all the fighting for us.  What if Bible greats never responded to His call?  DEFEND OUR KIDS!  I can’t fight this alone, I’ve done what I can and I need to get back to washing feet.  WHO WILL GO FOR GOD?

 -JenT  (Jennifer Shroder)            

Also available at BlessedCause.org: 

Review of 6th Grade textbook which disparages Christ and gives Islam's beliefs of Christ as the Christian's beliefs...unbelievable


Response to Houghton Mifflins denials and half truths over this document (they even cut and paste sentences paragraphs apart in order to make it APPEAR to be a balanced textbook)


Review of the high school textbook...not quite so offensive however there are some BOLD statements of atheism beliefs taught to children as fact.  This book has not been carefully examined however.


NUMEROUS media articles and other reviews by professionals like Daniel Pipes, PhD


Updates on the battle over the textbooks and the current situation of Houghton Mifflin


Various outrages about public education, which only scratch the surface

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