Question: Could Joseph Smith translate Egyptian?

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Question: Could Joseph Smith translate Egyptian?

At that time, nobody could translate Egyptian - the only way Joseph could translate would be through revelation

Joseph couldn't translate Egyptian. At that time, nobody could translate Egyptian. Joseph was able to receive the text of the Book of Abraham in the same manner that he did for the Book of Mormon, by revelation.

It is crucial to note that besides just apologetic work defending the Book of Abraham from criticisms, LDS scholars have actually mustered considerable evidence for the antiquity of the text. This evidence ranges from authentic ancient cultural, linguistic, and geographical details in the text, [1] to authentic ancient cosmological concepts, [2] to ancient stories about Abraham not found in the Bible that share common themes and details with the Book of Abraham. [3]

This isn't to say that this evidence proves the Book of Abraham is true, but rather that before critics merely dismiss it, they should first consider the evidence in favor of the Book of Abraham.

Detailed responses:

Link to:

http://josephsmithpapers.org/intro/introduction-to-egyptian-material

http://josephsmithpapers.org/intro/revelations-and-translations-series-introduction

http://josephsmithpapers.org/intro/introduction-to-book-of-abraham-manuscripts

http://www.fairblog.org/2013/08/08/new-research-on-the-book-of-abraham/

http://www.fairblog.org/2013/06/27/the-book-of-abraham/

http://www.fairblog.org/2013/03/06/reverend-spalding-strikes-again-a-response-to-internet-criticism-of-kerry-muhlesteins-book-of-abraham-videos/

http://www.fairblog.org/2012/08/21/the-book-of-abraham-and-continuing-scholarship-ask-the-right-questions-and-keep-looking/

http://www.fairblog.org/2011/10/07/a-most-remarkable-book-supplementary-reading/

http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Abraham

Notes

  1. Hugh Nibley, Abraham in Egypt (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 2000; An Approach to the Book of Abraham, 375–468; Paul Y. Hoskisson, “Where Was Ur of the Chaldees?” in The Pearl of Great Price: Revelations from God, ed. H. Donl Peterson and Charles D. Tate, Jr. (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center at Brigham Young University, 1989), 119–136; John Gee and Stephen D. Ricks, “Historical Plausibility: The Historicity of the Book of Abraham as a Case Study,” in Historicity and the Latter-day Saint Scriptures, ed. Paul Y. Hoskisson (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center at Brigham Young University, 2001), 63–98; John Gee and Kerry Muhlestein, “An Egyptian Context for the Sacrifice of Abraham,” Journal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture 20, no. 2 (2011): 70–77; John Gee, "Abraham and Idrimi," Journal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture 22, no. 1 (2013): 34–39; Kevin L. Barney, "On Elkenah as Canaanite El," Journal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture 19, no. 1 (2010): 22–35.
  2. John Gee, William J. Hamblin, and Daniel C. Peterson, “‘And I Saw the Stars’: The Book of Abraham and Ancient Geocentric Astronomy,” in Astronomy, Papyrus, and Covenant, ed. John Gee and Brian M. Hauglid (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 2005), 1–16; Kerry M. Muhlestein, “Encircling Astronomy and the Egyptians: An Approach to Abraham 3,” The Religious Educator 10, no. 1 (2009): 33–50. Further research showing the convergence between the Book of Abraham and ancient Egyptian, Canaanite, and Babylonian cosmology is forthcoming.
  3. John A. Tvedtnes, Brian M. Hauglid, and John Gee, eds., Traditions About the Early Life of Abraham (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 2001); John Gee, “An Egyptian View of Abraham,” in Bountiful Harvest: Essays in Honor of S. Kent Brown, ed. Andrew C. Skinner, D. Morgan Davis, and Carl Griffin (Provo, Utah: Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, 2011), 137–156; Hugh Nibley, Abraham in Egypt, passim.