The Elephantine Papyri
From the book: Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidences Supporting the Prophet Joseph Smith
by Michael R. Ash
One of the first things which Nephi was commanded to do when he arrived in the New World was to build a temple “after the manner of Solomon”. Just as the critics ridiculed Nephi’s tale of travel through the Arabian Desert, so likewise they ridiculed the idea that the Nephites would build a temple in the New World.
At the turn of the century some papyri was found at Aswain, Egypt and has become known as the Elephantine Papyri. The translation of the documents tells of a group of Jewish soldiers who left Jerusalem to protect the Persian interests in South Egypt. As the records unfold, we find that the Jewish soldiers are interested in building a temple soon after they arrived at their destination, just as their contemporaries Nephi and his family were.
Michael R. Ash is the author of: Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidences Supporting The Prophet Joseph Smith. He is the owner and operator of MormonFortress.com and is on the management team for FairMormon. He has been published in Sunstone, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, the Maxwell Institute’s FARMS Review, and is the author of Shaken Faith Syndrome: Strengthening One’s Testimony in the Face of Criticism and Doubt. He and his wife live in Ogden, Utah, and have three daughters.
Julianne Dehlin Hatton is a broadcast journalist living in Louisville, Kentucky. She has worked as a News Director at an NPR affiliate, Radio and Television Host, and Airborne Traffic Reporter. She graduated with an MSSc from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 2008. Julianne and her husband Thomas are the parents of four children.
Music for Faith and Reason is provided by Arthur Hatton.