Book of Abraham/Astronomy/Revolution Time/Further Reading

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Further reading

Further reading

FAIR Wiki

Mormonism and science

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Mormonism and the determination of truth

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Latter-day Saint approaches to science

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The Mormon view of the creation of the earth

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Doctrine & Covenants 77:6 refers to "this earth during the seven thousand years of its continuance"

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Mormon perspectives on the concept of death on the entire earth before the Fall of Adam

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Belief in a literal Adam and Eve

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Fall of Adam and Eve

Summary: If it was God's plan for Eve to eat the fruit, then why did God forbid it? Why did God not simply create Adam and Eve as mortals?

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Mormonism and the reconciliation of the Flood of Noah with scripture and Church teachings

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The Mormon view of "Creatio ex nihilo"

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Mormonism and the theory of evolution

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Astronomy and the Book of Abraham

Summary: The Book of Abraham makes several references to astronomy which draw criticism. These articles address specific issues related to Book of Abraham astronomical concepts.

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Kolob and the Book of Abraham

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Archaeology and the Book of Mormon

Summary: It is a common claim by critics that there is "absolutely no archaeological evidence" to support the Book of Mormon. When they say "directly" support, they typically mean that they are looking for a direct corroboration, such as the presence of the name "Nephi" or "Zarahemla" in association with ancient American archaeological data. There is plenty of supporting evidence that anthropologically ties the Book of Mormon to ancient America.

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The Book of Mormon and DNA evidence

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Latter-day Saint attitudes toward science

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Joseph Fielding Smith's statements that men would never walk on the moon

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Brigham Young's beliefs related to science and education

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Mormonism and education: Modern perspectives

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Utah statistical claims and charges

Summary: This page indexes attacks and criticism of the Church based upon statistical analysis.

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Book of Abraham

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The Book of Abraham. An inspired translation of the writings of Abraham. Joseph Smith began the translation in 1835 after obtaining some Egyptian papyri. The translation was published serially in the Times and Seasons beginning March 1, 1842, at Nauvoo, Illinois.
—Introduction, Pearl of Great Price (2013 edition). off-site

Origin of the Book of Abraham

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The method by which Joseph Smith produced the Book of Abraham

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The Book of Abraham written by Abraham's "own hand upon papyrus"

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Timeline of events related to the Book of Abraham and Kirtland Egyptian Papers

Summary: A timeline of events related to the Book of Abraham and Kirtland Egyptian Papers

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Why is the Book of Abraham text not on the papyri?

Summary: We do not claim to know why the text of the Book of Abraham (or the missing Book of Joseph) is not in evidence on the fragments of papyrus that were recovered. Critics, of course, simply assume this to be conclusive evidence that Joseph was a fraud. From a believer's perspective, however, there are several possible theories to account for this: 1) The text was revealed much in the same manner as that of the Book of Mormon, without the need for the actual papyri, 2) The text was present on portions of the papyri that are missing, and 3) The Book of Abraham manuscript was attached to the Book of Breathings manuscript and was lost. 4) Perhaps there was a way of understanding the Egyptian ideograms anciently that is unknown to Egyptology in our day, yet to be discovered, deciphered or acknowledged, that could yield an interpretation of a text that is different than the standard Egyptological reading.

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The Joseph Smith Papyri

Summary: Joseph Smith had in his possession three or four long scrolls, plus a hypocephalus (Facsimile 2). Of these original materials, only a handful of fragments were recovered at the Metropolitan Museum. The majority of the papyri remains lost, and has likely been destroyed. There are a number of criticisms related to the recovered fragments of the Joseph Smith papyri. These criticisms are addressed below. [1]

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An example of what I am talking about is the recent discovery of the papyrus scrolls from which Joseph Smith was presumed to have translated the book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price. Modern scholars, looking at the scrolls, found nothing they considered to be similar to that book. I remarked at the time that such a finding didn't bother me in the least. God doesn't need a crib sheet in the form of a papyrus scroll to reveal Abraham's thoughts and words to Joseph Smith, with any degree of precision He considers necessary for His purposes. If the only function of the scrolls was to awaken the Prophet to the idea of receiving such inspiration, they would have fulfilled their purpose.

—Henry Eyring, Reflections of a Scientist, p. 46
∗       ∗       ∗

Online source documents


The Kirtland Egyptian Papers

Summary: Among the early Book-of-Abraham-related-manuscripts that have survived from the days of Joseph Smith are a number of papers collectively referred to as the "Kirtland Egyptian Papers" (KEP). 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. They are in the same handwriting of several of Joseph's scribes.

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Background and provenance of the Kirtland Egyptian Papers

Summary: The Kirtland Egyptian Papers (KEP) are a collection of documents written by various individuals, mostly dating to the Kirtland period of Church history (early- to mid-1830s), constituting some sort of study documents relating to the Joseph Smith Egyptian Papyri.

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Purpose of the Kirtland Egyptian Papers

Summary: For many years, the KEP were not well studied. A variety of possible explanations have been offered by LDS researchers over the years. One of the more recent approaches postulates that the KEP represent an attempt by Joseph and his associates to create a way to encode revelations and other sensitive data in a form approximating "pure language." Research into this theory is ongoing.

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Book of Abraham plagiarism accusations

Summary: It is claimed that contemporary sources were used by Joseph Smith as sources for the Book of Abraham.

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Did Joseph Smith plagiarize Thomas Dick's book The Philosophy of a Future State?

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Why is the Book of Abraham text not on the papyri?

Summary: We do not claim to know why the text of the Book of Abraham (or the missing Book of Joseph) is not in evidence on the fragments of papyrus that were recovered. Critics, of course, simply assume this to be conclusive evidence that Joseph was a fraud. From a believer's perspective, however, there are several possible theories to account for this: 1) The text was revealed much in the same manner as that of the Book of Mormon, without the need for the actual papyri, 2) The text was present on portions of the papyri that are missing, and 3) The Book of Abraham manuscript was attached to the Book of Breathings manuscript and was lost. 4) Perhaps there was a way of understanding the Egyptian ideograms anciently that is unknown to Egyptology in our day, yet to be discovered, deciphered or acknowledged, that could yield an interpretation of a text that is different than the standard Egyptological reading.

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The facsimiles in the Book of Abraham

Summary: In the Book of Abraham, Joseph included three facsimiles of illustrations from the papyri, along with commentary about what the images and their individual parts represented. Some of Joseph's interpretations are similar to those of trained Egyptologists, but most are not. A number of criticisms relate to the three facsimiles associated with the Book of Abraham. It is noted that Joseph Smith's translation of the facsimiles does not agree with that provided by Egyptologists, and that some missing portions of the facsimiles were incorrectly restored before they were published.

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Astronomy and the Book of Abraham

Summary: The Book of Abraham makes several references to astronomy which draw criticism. These articles address specific issues related to Book of Abraham astronomical concepts.

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Kolob and the Book of Abraham

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Doctrinal issues related to the Book of Abraham

Why would Abraham lie?

Summary: Some ask, "Why God would encourage Abraham & Sarah to lie in Abraham 2:24? Isn't lying a sin according to the 10 commandments? Why did God tell Abraham and Sarah to lie when 2 Nephi condemns liars to hell?"

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Evidences that support the Book of Abraham

Evidence for antiquity

Summary: What did the Book of Abraham get right that Joseph couldn't have known?

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Question: Why does the age when Abraham left Haran in the Book of Abraham differ from the Bible?


Alleged anachronisms in the Book of Abraham

Ur of the Chaldees

Summary: What did the Book of Abraham get right that Joseph couldn't have known?

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Issues related to the content of the Book of Abraham

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FAIR Wiki

Mormonism and science FairMormon articles on-line

Video


The Children of Lehi: DNA and the Book of Mormon, D. Jeffrey Meldrum and Trent D. Stephens, 2003 FAIR Conference
The Fallacy of Fundamentalist Assumptions, Blake Ostler, 2005 FAIR Conference

On-line articles

Mormonism and science on-line articles

Print works

Mormonism and science printed works
  • Henry Eyring, Reflections of a Scientist (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1983), 1–.
  1. Criticisms regarding the Book of Abraham and Joseph Smith papyri are raised in the following publications: “Universalism in Ohio,” Evangelical Magazine and Gospel Advocate (Utica, New York) (12 September 1835): 291. off-site; Edward H. Ashment, The Use of Egyptian Magical Papyri to Authenticate the Book of Abraham: A Critical Review (Salt Lake City: Resource Communications, 1993), 1–.; Charles M. Larson, By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus: A New Look at the Joseph Smith Papyri, 2nd ed., (Grand Rapids, MI: Institute for Religious Research, 1992), 1–.; Jerald and Sandra Tanner, "Solving the Mystery of the Joseph Smith Papyri," Salt Lake City Messenger 82 (September 1992): 1–12.; Jerald and Sandra Tanner, The Changing World of Mormonism (Moody Press, 1979), Chapter 11.( Index of claims ); Watchman Fellowship, The Watchman Expositor (Page 3)