The lds church admits on their website that the book of abraham is not a translation of the papyri joseph claimed it was a translation of. Mormon and nonmormon egyptologists agree that the characters on the fragments do not match the translation given in the book of abraham, though there is not. The recent web posting on the book of abraham by the church of jesus christ of latterday saints hereafter the lds church represents new reflection on a document whose authenticity as verifiable history is now officially acknowledged to be in serious dispute. This some people includes the mormon church, which under the direction of apostle n. A translation of some ancient records, that have fallen into our hands from the catacombs of egypt. Scripture of the church of jesus christ of latterday saints, the doctrine and covenants and the book of abraham in the pearl of great price has provided additional light on this story of faith. For purposes of this exercise, i want to admit everything the church says about the translation process of the book of mormoni. Mormon handbook the book of abraham the church purchased the papyri and joseph claimed to identify its origins.
Purporting to be the writings of abraham while he was in egypt, called the book of abraham, written by his own hand, upon papyrus. The heading to the book of abraham states that the papyrus was actually written on by abraham himself. How the book of abraham exposes the false nature of. Bruce porter on the book of abraham rockies to cumorah. Fact of the matter is you cant reason your way to convince anybody out of their particular faith even if there is damning evidence to discredit their most sacred prophet. This is a remarkable statement in view of the fact that non mormon egyptologists who have commented on joseph smiths interpretation of the facsimiles uniformly agree. The book of abraham skinny frequently, when reading a discussion on the lds problem of the book of abraham, the apologists and critics beat around the bushconfusing the reader. The problems encountered here are devastating to the credibility of mormonism.
The lds church has admitted in its official essay the book of abraham translation has nothing to do with what is on the papyri. According to smith, the book was a translation of some ancient records. Pointed out by widtsoe, the unfair fairness of rev. Debunking fairmormon letter to a ces director book of. Translation published as book of abraham 1844 papyri sold after josephs death 1858 english translation of rosetta stone complete 1860 egyptologists identify book of abraham facsimiles as common funerary documents. There are passages in the text of the book of abraham which are attributed to abraham and which refer to facsimile 1 abr. The following essay is the official lds released essay entitled translation and historicity of the book of abraham. Part 3, ancient records offer new support for the book of abraham, looks at some. F or many mormons, an examination of the book of abraham and its true history becomes the most significant stumbling block to joseph smiths claim as a prophetic translator of ancient languages. Lds essay a careful study of the book of abraham provides a better measure of the books merits than any hypothesis that treats the text as a conventional translation. For instance, on a webpage previously housed at byu, a farms author avoids the most obvious question that any lds person would have regarding facsimile 2. The book of abraham is a work produced between 1835 and 1842 by the latter day saints lds movement founder joseph smith that he said was based on egyptian papyri purchased from a traveling mummy exhibition. Manuscripts and editions serves as a source book for interested researchers and scholars. The book of abraham is a book of lds scripture that joseph smith translated from a collection of ancient egyptian papyri the church purchased.
Abraham refers to a picture in the text of the book of abraham abr. This is a historical document which defends the authenticity of the controversial book of abraham, part of the canonical pearl of great price. Diary of wilford woodruff, entry of february 19, 1842, lds archives. The book of abraham is the second book in the pearl of great price. It includes a brief introduction to the book of abraham and a detailed record of textual variants from the time it first appeared in the. This was rendered necessary by the fact that the book is made accessible. This suggests that a main source of the text is the kjv. V smith 265 tmcb brigham young university provo, ut 84602. I cannot stress enough the significance of the issues involving the translation of the book of abraham and what joseph smith claims versus what the papyri and facsimiles. Hugh nibley, the book of mormon as a mirror of the east, ie 51. The book of abraham, mormons believe, is abrahams own account of part of his life. The book of hebrews contains many examples of people who lived by faith. In time more and more men would become familiar with the egyptian language.
Includes color photos of the surviving joseph smith papyri, articles by mormon and nonmormon egyptologists, and free download of a 240page book that surveys the history of the book of abraham controversy. Explores the joseph smith papyrus and demonstrates that joseph smiths claim that he had translated the book of abraham from it was a fabrication. Studies of the books of moses and abraham byu studies. Debunking fairmormon letter to a ces director book of abraham. Jun 26, 2007 the lost book of abraham is an awardwinning documentary that investigates the remarkable claim that mormon founder joseph smith translated a lost book of scripture from an egyptian papyrus scroll. Translation and historicity of the book of abraham. This is the third book feiler wrote regarding the holy land, his travels there, the geography and the people then and today. Js collection which appear to be related to the book of abraham and held by the lds church can be inventoried as. The use of biblical figures in egyptian religion, a survey, in achievements and problems of. Apr 15, 1985 the book of abraham opens on the backdrop of a burning jerusalem in 70 ad as abraham the temple scribe flees the destruction of his home. A portion of the papyri used by joseph smith as the source of the book of abraham. Bruce porter exposes what you need to know about the book of abraham.
Next, gee provides a brief survey of the contents of the book of abraham pp. Thousands of years ago, the prophet nephi learned that one purpose of the book of mormon was to establish the truth of the. The lost book of abraham is an awardwinning documentary that investigates the remarkable claim that mormon founder joseph smith translated a lost book of scripture from an egyptian papyrus scroll. Phelps and oliver cowdery as scribes, i commenced the translation of some of. Other presentations included topics like the book of mormon, race issues. Abraham did pass the test, and a providentially provided ram caught in the thicket was substituted for isaac at the last moment. Of all the issues with mormonism and joseph smiths claim to be a prophet, the book of abraham is one of the biggest and most verifiable issues facing the lds church today. The book of abraham is a work produced between 1835 and 1842 by joseph smith based, he said, on egyptian papyri purchased from a traveling mummy exhibition.
In 1880 the mormon church canonized the book of abraham and it became part of the pearl of great price. The book of mormon if the book of abraham was a fraud, is. The book of abraham was purportedly translated from an egyptian manuscript purchased by the mormons from a. Death blow to mormonism the book of abraham is a fake. The book of abraham is the possibly the best known of these books and certainly the most controversial. See kerry muhlestein, the religious and cultural background of joseph smith papyrus i, journal of the book of mormon and other restoration scripture, vol. The book of abraham translated from the papyrus, by joseph smith.
Standing side by side with the bible, book of mormon and doctrine and covenants, this was included as part of mormonisms standard works. So where did the text for the book of abraham actually come from, then. In this episode, pastor wallace interviews charles larson, author of by his own hand upon papyrus, discussing the authenticity of joseph smiths translation of the book of abraham. In the entry on the facsimiles from the book of abraham in the encyclopedia of mormonism we are told that the prophets explanations of each of the facsimiles accord with present understanding of egyptian religious practice. Evidence for the antiquity of josephs book of abraham a compilation of key information, courtesy of. Includes color photos of the surviving joseph smith papyri, articles by mormon and non mormon egyptologists, and free download of a 240page book that surveys the history of the book of abraham controversy. Critical appraisal of the book of abraham wikipedia. Claimed by joseph smith to be written by abraham s own hand upon papyri dates back only to the 1st century ad it contains nothing that is. However, it was actually the book of abraham published in 1878 that omitted the words.
Eldon tanner, sent out for the translation, expecting it to prove smiths true translation abilities. In this chapter we will examine another book of the mormon scriptures called the book of abraham. Ancient egyptian documents from thebes show that the name abraham can be plausibly connected with hypocephali inasmuch as abraham is called the pupil of the wedjateye in one. As such, it is accepted by the church as the word of god, giving his divine instruction to man. Two thousand years and a hundred generations later, another abraham perishes, immolated in the fires of the warsaw ghetto. In the last chapter, we saw some of the problems mormonism faces with the book of mormon and archaeology.
Mormon and non mormon egyptologists agree that the characters on the fragments do not match the translation given in the book of abraham. In the end, he concludes it is in abraham we find hope for reconciliation and resolution. The papyri which joseph smith said he translated the book of abraham from have been exposed to be nothing more than funeral texts from ancient egypt at least eight egyptologists and semitists have studied the papyri and. The greatest evidence of the truthfulness of the book of abraham is not found in an. It reflects and seems to complement the biblical narrative, while adding in some of josephs theology, introducing some of the ideas that would help form the nauvoo endowment. Abraham left ur for the land of haran see abraham 2. Translation and historicity of the book of abraham response. Studies of the books of moses and abraham author various authors compiler this compilation of fascinating articles on the books of moses and abraham from the pearl of great price is selected from over fifty years of lds scholarship published by byu studies. Abraham and his family left the land of haran for the land of canaan see abraham 2. According to smith, the book comprised ancient records. Mar 19, 2011 the theological implications are great, if you cant trust the book of abraham then plurality of gods, premortal existence, and more, have zero validity in the lds faith. Fairmormon faithful answers to criticisms of the lds church. Book of abraham translation the church of jesus christ of latterday saints embraces the book of abraham as scripture. Disproves lds claims that joseph smith received the book of abraham through revelation and proves that joseph smiths source for his translation was a pagan egyptian text, the book of breathings.
Joseph smith and the lds church for over 170 years have claimed that the book of abraham is a translation of a portion of the papyri scrolls purchased by the church in 1835 kirtland, ohio, and that this portion contains the writings of abraham written by abraham s own hand. The other six are book of abraham manuscript documents, presenting the. An approach to the book of abraham byu scholarsarchive. The book of abraham is the stakeintheheart of the lds organizations claims regarding joseph smith as a prophet. The most cynical analysis concludes that the book of abraham s authorship was a fully deliberate fraud, where all three men knowingly conspired to contrive a biblestyle book to add to their doctrine, claiming the papyri as the source when they well knew that it probably had nothing to do with the story they invented. It includes a brief introduction to the book of abraham and a detailed record of textual variants from the time it first appeared in the times and seasons until its latest edition 1981. Among the early book of abraham relatedmanuscripts that have survived from the days of joseph smith are a number of papers collectively referred to as the kirtland egyptian papers kep.
Both members of the church of jesus christ of latterday saints and those of other faiths have often assumed that the statement, the writings of abraham while he was in egypt, called the book of abraham, written by his own hand, upon papyrus, book of abraham, heading means that abraham himself copied the writings onto the papyrus. Labeled as facsimiles 1 through 3, smith claimed they too were part of the book of abraham. Joseph smith and the lds church for over 170 years have claimed that the book of abraham is a translation of a portion of the papyri scrolls purchased by the church in 1835 kirtland, ohio, and that this portion contains the writings of abraham written by abrahams own hand. This video discusses many items that are in the book of abraham that joesph smith could not have known when he published the record. But in all my years as a member of the lds church, i was never taught that joseph smiths translation had been checked by scholars, who. I believe that joseph smith created the book of abraham. Todd, the saga of the book of abraham salt lake city. The recent web posting on the book of abraham by the church of jesus christ of latter day saints hereafter the lds church represents new reflection on a document whose authenticity as verifiable history is now officially acknowledged to be in serious dispute.
The book of abraham is an 1835 work produced by latter day saints lds movement founder joseph smith that he claimed were translated from egyptian papyri purchased from a traveling mummy exhibition. Finally, he examines each of the facsimiles and discusses what egyptology says about the kinds of things found in the joseph smith papyri and in the book of abraham. Todd, the saga of the book of abraham salt lake city, utah. This talk set combines the latest research with faithful scholarship for those seeking to better understand the book of abraham. In 2011, fair produced a video that provides evidences for and answers to critical questions about the book of abraham.
However, in 1966 several fragments of the papyri were found in the archives of the metropolitan museum of art in new york and in the lds church archives. The book of abrahamthe pearl of great price student manual. Jan 16, 2016 the book of abraham has been analyzed by many egyptologists. The book of abraham papyri were thought to have been lost in the 1871 great chicago fire. This book, a record of the prophet and patriarch abraham, largely follows the biblical narrative but adds important information regarding abraham s life and teachings. The church of jesus christ of latterday saints 728,012 views. In 1835, joseph smith, founder of the original mormon church the church of christ purchased several egyptian papyrus scrolls and fragments from the owner of a traveling road show which exhibited egyptian mummies and documents.
Book of abraham translation church of jesus christ. A range of articles and resources to assist the investigation of joseph smiths controversial claim that he discovered and translated a lost record of the biblical patriarch abraham. Inventory of book of abraham and egyptian manuscripts in the possession of the church of jesus christ of latterday saints. The book of abraham the church of jesus christ of latterday saints.
Since it is canonized, it must adhere to the strictest definition of what scripture is and one would expect its origins to be beyond reproach. He included copies of 3 vignettes found among the papyri and his interpretations of them. The book of abraham quote cited in the criticism above has inspired both kinds of nonsense, including the interpretation found on the web site where this criticism appeared. The false translation of the book of abraham, therefore, casts serious doubt on the book of mormon as well, forever debilitating josephs claim he was a true, inspired prophet of god. Well put together, with a host of objective scholars, it lays out the case against the mormon claim that this work is of abraham. They are now referred to as the joseph smith papyri. Translation and historicity of the book of abraham a.
A translation of some ancient records that have fallen into our hands from the catacombs of egypt. We wouldnt try to fill in the holes in a publication of the facsimiles today, but its unfair to judge what hedlock did in his engravings by our modern. Jul 24, 2015 the lds church accepts the book of abraham, contained in the pearl of great price, as canonized scripture. These pages were written while the saints lived in kirtland, ohio, and were recorded in the general time frame that joseph was translating the book of abraham. This was the second edition of the pearl of great price published before canonization by the lds church in 1880. It was released by the church to help explain how it can be possible that joseph smiths translation of the book of abraham does not match what we now know egyptian to mean, and how it can still be the word of god when even the church itself admits in this essay that the. The book of abraham cosmology is so ambiguous that not even lds people, let alone critics of the church, can claim to know what it is actually trying to say the biggest issue at hand is that the authors of the web page where the above criticism of the book of abraham was found have pretended to know the meaning of these scriptures to be able to. Maintaining the divine authority of the book of abraham is every bit as vital to the doctrines and theology of the church of jesus christ of latterday saints today as it was in the days of. First, the association of facsimile 1 with the book of abraham cannot derive from abraham, since facsimile 1 dates to approximately 100 b.
Soon after this, some of the saints at kirtland purchased the mummies and papyrus, a description of which will appear hereafter, and with w. The book of abraham is part of the pearl of great price, which mormons consider scripture. Official response of the mormon church to the book of abraham. Part 2 deals with the content of the book and joseph smiths comments on three egyptian drawings that have been attached to the published book of abraham. Book of abraham, free pdf, ebook, epub global grey. He talks about the idolatry of the egyptianlike society he lived in, and about barely escaping sacrifice to the egyptian gods by a priest. The explanatory notes, in this case, given in the commentary on the text, are rather longer and fuller than usual. The wording of joseph smiths explanation of figure 5 in facsimile 2 of the book of abraham is, in fact, very difficult to interpret.
Thousands of mormons left the church as the result of this discovery, while thousands more are completely unaware of this important piece of evidence. That you dont like or agree with or understand my responses does not mean that i am not talking to you about it. Fairmormon is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing welldocumented answers to criticisms of the doctrine, practice, and history of the church of jesus christ of latterday saints. Through the years, whenever the book of abraham was printed there were included with the printed text three drawings, each designated as a facsimile from this alleged book of abraham. The veracity and value of the book of abraham cannot be settled by scholarly debate concerning the books translation and historicity. The book of abraham narrative clearly demonstrates the manner in which the lds church works diligently to massage or reinterpret inconvenient facts to continue to defend its most extraordinary truth. A study of the book of abraham byu scholarsarchive. From a believers perspective, however, there are several possible theories to account for this.1591 55 998 1655 1221 823 1676 239 832 692 1481 1049 358 897 1023 1661 11 822 66 994 1106 1304 1148 165 1338 763 243 541 48 791 602 1440 1176 964 190 1025 1163