Book of Abraham/Papyri/Long article/Further Reading

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Further reading

Further reading

FairMormon Answers articles

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
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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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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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FairMormon web site

FAIR Book of Abraham materials
  • Michael Ash & Kevin Barney, "The ABCs of the Book of Abraham" (2004 FAIR Conference presentation) FairMormon link
  • Michael Ash, "Book of Abraham 201: Papyri, Revelation, and Modern Egyptology" (2006 FAIR Conference presentation) FairMormon link YouTube link
  • John Gee, "Some Puzzles from the Joseph Smith Papyri," 2007 FAIR Apologetics Conference (Sandy, Utah) [ FairMormon link
  • Brian Hauglid, "Investigating the Kirtland Egyptian Papers: Myths and Realities" (2006 FAIR Conference presentation) FairMormon link

External links

Book of Abraham on-line materials

FARMS Studies in the Book of Abraham series

Individual authors

  • Kevin L. Barney, "The Facsimiles and Semitic Adaptation of Existing Sources," Astronomy, Papyrus, and Covenant (Studies in the Book of Abraham, No. 3), John Gee and Brian M. Hauglid, eds., (Provo: FARMS, 2006): 107–30. off-site
  • E. Douglas Clark, "A Powerful New Resource for Studying the Book of Abraham (Review of Traditions about the Early Life of Abraham)," FARMS Review 15/1 (2003): 91–95. off-site
Gee
  • John Gee, "Abracadabra, Isaac and Jacob (Review of The Use of Egyptian Magical Papyri to Authenticate the Book of Abraham: A Critical Review by Edward H. Ashment)," FARMS Review of Books 7/1 (1995): 19–84. off-site
  • John Gee, "'Bird Island' Revisited, or the Book of Mormon through Pyramidal Kabbalistic Glasses: Review of Written by the Finger of God: A Testimony of Joseph Smith's Translations by Joe Sampson," FARMS Review of Books 7/1 (1995): 219–228. [ off-site]
  • John Gee, "Eyewitness, Hearsay, and Physical Evidence of the Joseph Smith Papyri," The Disciple As Witness: Essays on Latter-day Saint History and Doctrine in Honor of Richard Lloyd Anderson, eds., Stephen D. Ricks, Donald W. Parry, and Andrew H. Hedges (Provo: FARMS, 2000).
  • John Gee, A Guide to the Joseph Smith Papyri (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 2000).
  • John Gee, "A Method for Studying the Facsimiles; Review of: A Study Guide to the Facsimiles of the Book of Abraham," FARMS Review 19/1 (2007): 347–353. off-site wiki
  • John Gee, "New Light on the Joseph Smith Papyri," FARMS Review 19/2 (2007): 245–260. off-site wiki
  • John Gee, "One Side of a Nonexistent Conversation (Review of: The Papyri of Abraham: Facsimiles of the Everlasting Covenant)," FARMS Review 15/1 (2003): 81–85. off-site
  • John Gee, "Research and Perspectives: Abraham in Ancient Egyptian Texts," Ensign (July 1992), 60–?.
  • John Gee, "Some Puzzles from the Joseph Smith Papyri," FARMS Review 20/1 (2008): 113–138. off-site wiki
  • John Gee, "Telling the Story of the Joseph Smith Papyri (Review of The Facsimiles of the Book of Abraham: A Study of the Joseph Smith Egyptian Papyri by James R. Harris)," FARMS Review of Books 8/2 (1996): 46–59. off-site
  • John Gee, "A Tragedy of Errors (Review of By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus: A New Look at the Joseph Smith Papyri by Charles M. Larson," FARMS Review of Books 4/1 (1992): 93–119. off-site
Hauglid
  • Brian M. Hauglid, "Nibley's Abraham in Egypt: Laying the Foundation for Abraham Research," FARMS Review 15/1 (2003): 97–90. off-site
  • Brian M. Hauglid, “Thoughts on the Book of Abraham,” in No Weapon Shall Prosper: New Light on Sensitive Issues, ed. Robert L. Millet (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2011), 245–258.
  • Larry E. Morris, "The Book of Abraham: Ask the Right Questions and Keep On Looking (Review of: “The ‘Breathing Permit of Hor’ Thirty-four Years Later.” Dialogue 33/4 (2000): 97–119)," FARMS Review 16/2 (2004): 355–380. off-site
Muhlestein
  • Kerry Muhlestein, “Egyptian Papyri and the Book of Abraham: A Faithful, Egyptological Point of View,” in No Weapon Shall Prosper: New Light on Sensitive Issues, ed. Robert L. Millet (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2011), 217–243.
Nibley
  • Hugh W. Nibley, Abraham in Egypt, 2nd edition, (Vol. 14 of the Collected Works of Hugh Nibley), edited by Gary P. Gillum, Illustrated by Michael P. Lyon, (Salt Lake City, Utah : Deseret Book Company ; Provo, Utah : Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 2000). ISBN 157345527X.
  • Hugh Nibley, An Approach to the Book of Abraham, edited by John Gee, Vol. 18 in the Collected Works of Hugh Nibley (Salt Lake City and Provo, Utah: Deseret Book / FARMS, 2009). ISBN 1606410547.
  • Hugh Nibley, "The Facsimiles of the Book of Abraham," Sunstone 4:5-6 no. (Issue #17.18) (December 1979), 49–51. off-site
  • Hugh W. Nibley, The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri: An Egyptian Endowment, 2nd edition, (Vol. 16 of the Collected Works of Hugh Nibley), edited by John Gee and Michael D. Rhodes, (Salt Lake City, Utah : Deseret Book Company ; Provo, Utah : Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 2005), 1. ISBN 159038539X. 1st edition GL direct link
  • Hugh Nibley, One Eternal Round, edited by Michael D. Rhodes, Vol. 19 in the Collected Works of Hugh Nibley (Salt Lake City and Provo, Utah: Deseret Book / FARMS, 2009). ISBN 9781606412374 .
  • Hugh W. Nibley, "Phase One," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 3 no. 2 (Summer 1968), 101.
  • Hugh W. Nibley, "Approach to John Gee, Guide to the Joseph Smith Papyri (Review of: A Guide to the Joseph Smith Papyri)," FARMS Review of Books 13/2 (2001): 63–64. off-site
  • Hugh W. Nibley, "The Meaning of the Kirtland Egyptian Papers," Brigham Young University Studies 11 no. 1 (Summer 1971), 350–399. off-site
Rhodes
Tvedtnes
  • John A. Tvedtnes, "The Use of Mnemonic Devices in Oral Traditions, as Exemplified by the Book of Abraham and the Hor Sensen Papyrus," Newsletter and Proceedings of the SEHA 120 (April 1970): 2–10.
  • Benjamin Urrutia, "The Joseph Smith Papyri," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 4 no. 2 (Summer 1969), 129–134.

Printed material

Book of Abraham print materials
  • Richley Crapo and John A. Tvedtnes, "A Study of the Hor Sensen Papyrus." Newsletter and Proceedings of the SEHA 109 (25 October 1968): 1–6.
  • Richley Crapo and John A. Tvedtnes. "The Hor Sensen Papyrus as a Mnemonic Device: A Further Study." Newsletter and Proceedings of the SEHA 114 (2 June 1969): 6–13.
  • John Gee, A Guide to the Joseph Smith Papyri (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 2000).
  • H. Donl Peterson, The Story of the Book of Abraham: Mummies, Manuscripts, and Mormonism (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 1995); ISBN 0875798462, ISBN 978-0875798462.

off-site

Notes

  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)