When the Book of Abraham was first published to the world in 1842, it was published as “a translation of some ancient records that have fallen into [Joseph Smith’s] hands from the catacombs of Egypt, purporting to be the writings of Abraham while he was in Egypt, called ‘The Book of Abraham, Written by his Own Hand, upon Papyrus.’” The resultant record was thus connected with the papyri once owned by Joseph Smith, though which papyrus of the four or five in his possession was never specified. Those papyri would likely interest only a few specialists except that they are bound up in a religious controversy. This controversy covers a number of interrelated issues, and an even greater number of theories have been put forward about these issues. Given the amount of information available, the various theories, and the variety of fields of study the subject requires, misunderstandings and misinformation often prevail. Introduction to the Book of Abraham makes reliable information accessible to the general reader.
About the Author
John Gee graduated from BYU in 1988. He received his MA in Near Eastern studies from the University of California-Berkeley and his PhD in Egyptology from Yale University. Gee is the William Bill Gay Research Professor of Egyptology at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship at BYU. In this role, he is an editor for the Studies in the Book of Abraham series and a member of the editorial board of the Eastern Christian Texts series. He is editor of the Journal of the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities and has served on the board of directors for the Aziz S. Atiya Fund for Coptic Studies at the University of Utah. He is the author of A Guide to the Joseph Smith Papyri.
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