Criticism of Mormonism/Online documents/For my Wife and Children (Letter to my Wife)/Chapter 22

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Response to "For my Wife and Children" ("Letter to my Wife"): Chapter 22 - Expert Views (Book of Abraham)

A FairMormon Analysis of: For my Wife and Children (Letter to my Wife), a work by author: Anonymous
Chart LTMW expert views Book of Abraham.png

Response to claims made in "For my Wife and Children" ("Letter to my Wife"): Chapter 22 - Expert Views (Book of Abraham)

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Response to claim: "Collected below are the views from experts in the fields of Egyptology regarding the general claims of the Book of Abraham"

The author(s) of "For my Wife and Children" ("Letter to my Wife") make(s) the following claim:

Collected below are the views from experts in the fields of Egyptology regarding the general claims of the Book of Abraham. (The author then quotes a number of experts in Egyptian, who universally agree that Joseph Smith did not translate the text of the Book of Abraham from the papyi fragments that have been recovered.)

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event

It is no surprise that both Mormon and non-Mormon Egyptologists agree that the Joseph Smith papyri fragments do not contain the text of the Book of Abraham. Even the Church acknowledged this back in 1968.

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Improvement Era (January 1968): "Often the funerary texts contained passages from the 'Book of the Dead,' a book that was to assist in the safe passage of the dead person into the spirit world"

Jay M. Todd, ,"Egyptian Papyri Rediscovered," The Improvement Era (January 1968):

Perhaps no discovery in recent memory is expected to arouse as much widespread interest in the restored gospel as is the recent discovery of some Egyptian papyri, one of which is known to have been used by the prophet Joseph Smith in producing the Book of Abraham.

The papyri, long thought to have been burned in the Chicago fire of 1871, were presented to the Church on November 27, 1967, in New York City by the metropolitan Museum of Art, more than a year after Dr. Aziz S. Atiya, former director of the University of Utah's Middle East Center, had made his startling discovery while browsing through the New York museum's papyri collection.

Included in the collection of 11 manuscripts is one identified as the original document from which Joseph Smith obtained Facsimile 1, which prefaces the Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price. Accompanying the manuscripts was a letter dated May 26, 1856, signed by both Emma Smith Bidamon, widow of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and their son, Joseph Smith, attesting that the papyri had been the property of the Prophet.

Some of the pieces of papyrus apparently include conventional hieroglyphics (sacred inscriptions, resembling picture-drawing) and hieratic (a cursive shorthand version of hieroglyphics) Egyptian funerary texts, which were commonly buried with Egyptian mummies. Often the funerary texts contained passages from the "Book of the Dead," a book that was to assist in the safe passage of the dead person into the spirit world. It is not known at this time whether the ten other pieces of papyri have a direct connection with the Book of Abraham.[1]


Notes

  1. ↑ Jay M. Todd, ,"Egyptian Papyri Rediscovered," The Improvement Era (January 1968)