"I commenced the translation
of some of the characters or hieroglyphics,
and much to our joy found that one of the rolls
contained the writings of Abraham."
-- Joseph Smith (as quoted in HC 2:236)

Book of Abraham

The Book of Abraham skinny

Did Joseph Smith make an accurate translation of [the Book of Abraham], and if not, why? Numerous articles have appeared in the Ensign over the years regarding the Book of Abraham. From reading them alone, most members of the church aren't even aware of the fact that there are some serious problems regarding the translation Joseph Smith claimed to make of the Book of Abraham.

The page you are looking at will give the individual seeking the quick and dirty problems a brief list of questions that need to be answered.


Hebrew, the King James Version of the Bible, and the Book of Abraham
These evidences... show that the Book of Abraham is not the composition of Abraham, not historical, and, in fact, the product of Joseph Smith's creative--inspired, if you will--exegesis. This auctorial conclusion can be made with confidence. It is far from a wild speculation. In contrast it must be noted that much of the scholarship that has been written defending the antiquity of the book (and Abrahamic authorship or its historicity), most of it by Hugh Nibley, is weak and speculative if not essentially flawed by lack of precision in reading texts and by methodological looseness.

...On the religious side of things, what should the church (or churches) do with the Book of Abraham? Should the book be demoted from the canon? If not, is there a need for revising the understanding of what scripture and even revelation is?


Egyptology and the Book of Abraham
Egyptologist, and LDS member, Stephen Thompson takes a look at the erroneous view of the Book of Abraham as currently held inside the church.

The Lost Book of Abraham (video)
A documentary film that investigates one of the books in the canon of Mormon scripture called the Book of Abraham. Includes commentary from those who are experts in Egyptology.

Comments by Seymour Bloom on "A Guide to the Joseph Smith Papyri"
This publication is of value to anyone that wants a quick overview of the Joseph Smith Papyri and is curious as to how a FARMS scholar counters some of the "anti-Mormon" criticisms of The Book of Abraham. However, the reader should be warned that information, which does not agree with the LDS viewpoint, is often omitted or glossed over.

...by His Own Hand Upon Papyrus
If you are unfamiliar with the Book of Abraham problems [and would like more detail than this website offers], you must get this book.

Fired teacher blames bias
Larson feels he was dismissed because he is not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and because he wrote [the above] book [that] Hudnall did not like.

Words found in Joseph Smith's Book of Abraham
There is a far better source for these strange Book of Abraham words. Yes, they do come from an ancient language. Unfortunately for the LDS case, it is not Egyptian, but Hebrew...

Joseph Smith was studying Hebrew at the time he pretended to translated the Book of Abraham.


More Book of Abraham problems
A problem with the Joseph Smith/Hedlock Facsimile 1 restoration is that the figure holding the knife is facing the wrong way.

Is Mormonism compatible with science?
In the early 1800's a young Mormon prophet pretended to receive from god a description of astronomy that included an explanation for solar radiation... According to Joseph Smith [in the Book of Abraham], the sun gets its light from god's home planet, a world Joseph called Kolob. No evidence supporting this hypothesis exists. None.

There is no significant, measurable influx of mass or energy pouring into the sun from any source outside our solar system. Accordingly, the absence of evidence supporting Joseph Smith's hypothesis is compelling evidence against his claim to divine revelation. Presumably, god knows how the sun shines, and Joseph Smith did not. It seems a simple conclusion to say, therefore, that Joseph Smith was not inspired by god when he wrote the Book of Abraham.


Thomas Stuart Ferguson comes to disbelieve in the Book of Abraham
The most serious blow to Ferguson's faith, however, came just after Joseph Smith's Egyptian Papyri were rediscovered in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This collection, which had been lost for many years, contained the very papyrus from which Joseph Smith "translated" the Book of Abraham. The Book of Abraham is published in the Pearl of Great Price, one of the four standard works of the Mormon Church.

After Mr. Ferguson obtained photographs of the papyrus fragments, he consulted Professors Lutz and Lesko of the University of California. Both these Egyptologists agreed that the papyrus Joseph Smith claimed was the Book of Abraham was in reality the Book of Breathings, an Egyptian funerary text made for a man by the name of Hor (Horus). Ferguson learned that this papyrus had nothing at all to do with the patriarch Abraham or his religion.


Quest for the Gold Plates: Thomas Stuart Ferguson's Archaeological Search for the Book of Mormon
His faith was sorely tested, for the evidence was not forthcoming [for the Book of Mormon's claims]. Also, Ferguson was deeply disturbed by the discovery and translation of the Joseph Smith Egyptian papyri, since these ancient documents were shown to have nothing to do with either the Book of Abraham or the little-known Book of Joseph. Ferguson became what is known as a closet doubter, but his letters during this period illustrate how he resolved the difficulties to his personal satisfaction.

The Word of God
For those interested in the Book of Abraham issue, the book is well worth the price for Ed Ashment's ["Dealing with Dissonance: The Book of Abraham as a Case Study"] essay alone.

What do you think?
Take the Book of Abraham poll.


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