and the Book of Abraham

by alex71ut Mar 2012

At its written "Joseph Smith never claimed that the papyri were autographic (written by Abraham himself), nor that they dated from the time of Abraham." At
in the Preface to Book of Abraham before Chapter 1 says "The writings of Abraham while he was in Egypt, called the Book of Abraham, written by his own hand, upon papyrus."

Back at we're reminded how Mormons discern truth vs. error. "The greatest evidence of the truthfulness of the book of Abraham is not found in an analysis of physical evidence nor historical background, but in prayerful consideration of its content and power."

In the Jan 1994 Ensign Daniel C. Peterson at makes a claim about the 4 canopic jars under the altar (i.e. lion couch) of Facsimile 1 that 'they also verify the names of four idols (detail) and confirm the terminology for the “pillars of heaven” (bottom of facsimile).'

Okay DCP let's remind ourselves what Facsimile 1 at about those 4 canopic jars numbered 5, 6, 7 and 8.

5.The idolatrous god of Elkenah.
6.The idolatrous god of Libnah.
7.The idolatrous god of Mahmackrah.
8.The idolatrous god of Korash.

Anyone doing a search on the canopic jars for the Book of the Dead (i.e. can find out what these canopic jars really represent. See for one example of many on the details. "The liver, lungs, stomach and intestines were stored in their appropriate canopic jars decorated with depictions of the four sons of Horus.

The liver was protected by the man-headed Imsety
The lungs were protected by the baboon-headed Hapi
The stomach was protected by the jackal-headed Duamutef
The intestines were protected by the falcon-headed Qebehsenuef"

Dear DCP [Mormon apologist], you should be embarrassed by this explanation.

In summary I think pretty much has proven itself to be an anti-Mormon website on the "Book of Abraham".

Re: and the Book of Abraham

and the hits just keep on rolling...

Re: and the Book of Abraham
'In summary I think pretty much has proven itself to be an anti-Mormon website on the "Book of Abraham."'
Excellent thought of the day! Isn't it interesting how the doctrine changes as science disproves it? When the next edition of the PoGP is printed I'll bet they take the Preface to Book of Abraham before Chapter 1 where it says, "The writings of Abraham while he was in Egypt, called the Book of Abraham, written by his own hand, upon papyrus."

Great detective work!

"...its content and power"?
The book of Abraham has this totally farcical bull about Egypt, and by extension all of Africa, being repopulated after the flood by the descendents of Cain through a woman named "Egyptus", a granddaughter of Ham I think. She found Egypt "still underwater" and I guess waited for it to dry out then moved in.
Her people are described as physically blessed but "cursed as to the priesthood". Hmmm...isn't "physically blessed" kind of a black sterotype (wink wink).
Bottom line is...the Book of Abraham is none other than...THE SOURCE OF THE PRIESTHOOD BAN!
The church expects you to be a very shallow consumer of its products.

Re: and the Book of Abraham
It's too bad we read and study way more than any Mormon I know.

Part of the problem with moism is that most members only take in the lesson manual, and the scriptures assigned to their lessons. They leave it up to teachers and people giving talks to tell them what it all means. It never occurs to them to look at it from any point of view other than the one they've been indoctrinated into.

Q&A on the Book of Abraham
Q: What is the Book of Abraham?
A: According to the Mormon church it is a canonized book of holy scriptures. Thus it as much as part of the doctrine and teachings as the Book of Matthew and Mark in the New Testament are for all the major Christian denominations.

Q: What does the Book of Abraham say about how it was written?
A: In its preface (or introductory part of this book of holy scriptures) it says it was written by Abraham himself upon papyrus.

Q: What was the papyrus for the Book of Abraham?
A: In 1835 an antiquities deal named Michael Chandler sold 4 mummies which included this papyrus to Joseph Smith.

Q: Where is the papyrus today?
A: It's believed that 2 of the mummies that contained the papyrus were destroyed in the 1871 Chicago fire. 11 fragments of papyri with the other 2 mummies are in possession of the LDS church.

Q: Are any of the 11 papyrus fragments for sure part of the Book of Abraham?
A: Definitely yes. For example, look at Facsimile 1 of the Book of Abraham.

Q: Does the Mormon church put the papyrus on display at any museum?
A: No

John Taylor
Re: Q&A on the Book of Abraham

Q: Did Joseph Smith make an "alphabet and grammar" to aid the Mormon people in translating Egyptian?
A: According to Joseph Smith, yes. He said he had it nearly finished just prior to his death.

Q: If it were truly a guide to translating Egyptian wouldn't this prove that Joseph Smith was somehow inspired? Wouldn't it be a world-renowned phenomenon worthy of a place in the Smithsonian? Wouldn't it deserve a building of its own on Temple Square?
A: Yes

Q: If it was made public that Joseph's "alphabet and grammar" was in reality a childish, pathetic attempt to hoodwink mormon believers wouldn't it destroy any claims of inspiration or translation ability?
A: Yes, it would.

Q: Where is Joseph's "alphabet and grammar" now?
A: Locked away in the LDS church vault, of course.

Re: and the Book of Abraham
The claim that Joseph Smith never said that the papyri were in the actual handwriting of Abraham is totally bogus. There is recorded testimony from people who actually heard him make the statement. The following is a portion of an article that I wrote on the subject of the Book of Abraham, dealing with the specific issue in relation to Charlotte Haven's visit to Lucy Mack Smith during which she was duped and did not talk to Joseph Smith, and the desire of Mormon apologists to accept her testimony as valid while at the same time denying the testimonies of Josiah Quincy and Charles Adams who are much more reliable witnesses because they spoke directly to Joseph Smith.

""In an article, an example is noted regarding an account by Charlotte Haven of a visit to the Smith home in 1843:
". . .in 1843, a non-Mormon named Charlotte Haven visited Joseph Smith's mother, Lucy Mack Smith, and wrote a letter to her own mother about it.

Haven writes: 'Then she [Mother Smith] turned to a long table, set her candlestick down, and opened a long roll of manuscript (yes it was not a modern document - they didn't come in long rolls! Furthermore old papyrus scrolls can be remarkably well preserved and ""rollable"" —comment inserted by an editor), saying it was ""the writing of Abraham and Isaac, written in Hebrew and Sanscrit [sic],"" and she read several minutes from it as if it were English. It sounded very much like passages from the Old Testament-and it might have been for anything we knew-but she said she read it through the inspiration of her son Joseph, in whom she seemed to have perfect confidence. Then in the same way she interpreted to us hieroglyphics from another roll. One was Mother Eve being tempted by the srpen[sic], wh-the serpent, I mean-was standing on the tip of his tail, which with his two legs formed a tripod, and had his head in Eve's ear." source cited —Gee, Tragedy, 107f.
As quoted by: titled "JSCOM Appendix V, Criticisms of Joseph Smith and the Book of Abraham"

The source cited as a confirmation that there were additional manuscripts is a woman who knew nothing about manuscripts, could not verify that the manuscripts were indeed genuine and did not even know if what was being read by Mother Smith was from the Bible. In addition she identified the language as Sanskrit (an Indic language and not Egyptian) and Hebrew, something Joseph Smith never mentioned. In addition, Mother Smith is stated to have translated the writings by inspiration through her son, who was not even present. So, not only is Joseph Smith a translator, but his mother as well, a fact not found in any other place.

The difficulty with Charlotte Haven is, she was the perfect person to have been the subject of a hoax which she was unable to detect. Supporters of her testimony, would then reject the testimony of Josiah Quincy in relation to the statements he recorded regarding an actual conversation with Joseph Smith in which Joseph Smith made a claim about the papyri, stating:
"That is the handwriting of Abraham, the Father of the Faithful," said the prophet. "This is the autograph of Moses, and these lines were written by his brother Aaron. Here we have the earliest account of the Creation, from which Moses composed the First Book of Genesis."

Attempting to discredit Josiah Quincy by making a statement against his veracity and character, supporters of Charlotte Haven say,
"However it is clear that Quincy was exaggerating for effect,"
— "JSCOM Appendix V, Criticisms of Joseph Smith and the Book of Abraham"

The attempt to discredit Josiah Quincy in that manner is without foundation and unworthy of consideration. Josiah Quincy's testimony is very damaging to the Mormon position, because he says that Joseph Smith specifically identified the writing on the papyri as being the handwriting of Abraham and other writing as the autograph (meaning written with one's own hand) of Moses and other lines written by Aaron. Since none of the papyri can possibly date from the time of Abraham or Moses, then the writings cannot be the actual hand written records created by Abraham or Moses.

Mormon apologists attempt to circumvent the problem in two ways:
1. They state that Joseph Smith never claimed that the writings on the papyrus were in the actual handwriting of Abraham, but said they were "purporting to be the writings of Abraham. . ," Joseph Smith, Times and Seasons, March 1, 1842. However the difficulty created by holding this position is obvious. If Joseph Smith did not know if the writings were the actual handwriting of Abraham, then what kind of a prophet does that make him out to be? To hold that position is to assume that Joseph Smith was not truly a prophet, and was willing to translate and claim those documents to be scripture when he did not actually know that to be the case. To hold the position is ludicrous, because Joseph Smith published the "translation" with the full intent that people should believe that they were the writings of Abraham, and that was the position adopted by all the future presidents, prophets, seers and revelators of the Mormon church, which resulted in the Book of Abraham being canonized as Mormon scripture.

Another difficulty in the matter is that the papyri cannot even be copies of the writings of Abraham, since they were the products of a later religious system of belief that did not even come into existence until just prior to the birth of Jesus Christ. The Egyptian religious system represented in the papyri could not have been known by Abraham in his day, and as a consequence they could not be representative of his writings.

2. They state a new definition of the phrase "written by his own hand," as noted in the preface of the Book of Abraham, redefining it to mean that:
"They were copies from the land of copyists."
— "JSCOM Appendix V, Criticisms of Joseph Smith and the Book of Abraham."

Mormon apologists state that Josiah Quincy's statement about Joseph Smith claiming the writing on the papyri was the "handwriting of Abraham" and the "autograph of Moses" was not confirmed by another person who was at the same meeting. However, this is not the case, as the record of Charles Adams, who was the person also present stated,
"'This,' said he, 'was written by the hand of Abraham and means so and so. If anyone denies it, let him prove the contrary.'"
—Diary of Charles Adams, May 15, 1844, in proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society vol. LXVII, 1952 p. 285
As quoted in: "JSCOM Appendix V, Criticisms of Joseph Smith and the Book of Abraham"

Charles Adams can only be said to say something different from Josiah Quincy if the phrase "written by the hand of Abraham" is defined to mean something different than the "handwriting of Abraham" or the "autograph of Moses." This is precisely what the Mormon apologists attempt to do, and claim that Josiah Quincy said something different than what was actually the case and Charles Adams stated what was the reality, as conforming to the definition provided by the Mormon apologists.""

Jesus Smith
Re: and the Book of Abraham
The LDS manual refers to the term autographic by stating, " It is common to refer to an author’s works as “his” writings, whether he penned them himself, dictated them to others, or others copied his writings later."

To me, they are trying to say: These are the actual events of abraham, but he may not have personally touched the pen to parchment.

Ok. What does it really matter whether or not the LDS believe Abraham wrote it with his own pen to parchment? We do know that they believe it is the actual story of Abraham. This is enough to hang them on.

That manual goes on to say: " The scholars of the 1800s had scarcely begun to explore the field of Egyptology, and yet, with no formal training in ancient languages and no knowledge of ancient Egypt (except his work with the Book of Mormon), Joseph Smith began his translation of the ancient manuscripts. "

Yes, this is the salient point. Joe was trying to bamboozle people because he figured no one else had the knowledge to decipher the papryi. Their own phrase "no formal training...except his work with the Book of Mormon" is very important.

The LDS claim rests on the BoM. If Joseph Smith couldn't translate regular Egyptian (in the BOA) why should anyone trust he translated "Reformed Egyptian" (BoM)?

Re: and the Book of Abraham
I look at the BoA sorta like I look at Penthouse Forum: I don't concentrate on the actual historicity, "...but in prayerful consideration of its content and power."

Re: and the Book of Abraham
Book of Abraham Translation Manuscript No. 1 was dictated by Joseph Smith to his scribes. The first sentence, in the handwriting of William W. Phelps is:

"Translation of the Book of Abraham written by his own hand upon papyrus and found in the Catacombs of Egypt"

I believe that it is unlikely that this would be removed from future editions of the Pearl of Great Price. How could the Mormon Church rationalize the removal of text dictated by Joseph Smith?

Re: and the Book of Abraham
Good stuff! I saved that.

"Recovery from Mormonism -"