Archive for the ‘Book of Abraham’ Category

I was thinking of writing a post about how ridiculous the Book of Abraham is and what an embarrassment it should be to members and Church leaders.  But rather than trying to rehash what has already been covered in great detail elsewhere, I suggest you go here or follow the link in the blogroll to a site that gives a great overview of the glaring issues with the BoA.

The BoA is a huge liability for the Church.  Unlike the vast majority of the Church’s sordid early years, which has been carefully sanitized and downplayed ever since, the BoA cannot be swept under the rug.  Joseph “translated” it, the Church canonized it, and professional Egyptologists have since examined and discredited it.

Here are a few of my favorite things about the BoA:

  • An Irish guy was traveling with mummies in Ohio in 1835 (you know, whatevs).  He had some papyri with hieroglyphics.
  • Joseph was delighted to discover that these were totally written by Abraham himself (“by his own hand upon papyrus”).
  • The source documents have since been examined by trained Egyptologists.  Here’s a sampling of their thoughts:

o   Dr. James H. Breasted, University of Chicago: “Joseph Smith’s interpretations of [the documents] as part of a unique revelation through Abraham, therefore, very clearly demonstrates that he was totally unacquainted with the significance of these documents and absolutely ignorant of the simplest facts of Egyptian writing and civilization.”

o   Dr. W.M. Flinders Petrie, London University: “It may be safely said that there is not one single word that is true in these explanations.”

o   Dr. A.H. Sayce, Oxford University: “It is difficult to deal seriously with Joseph Smith’s impudent fraud…. Smith has turned the goddess [Isis in Facsimile No. 3] into a king and Osiris into Abraham.”

  • Mopologist explanations of the BoA, notably from John Gee and Hugh Nibley, demonstrate the types of mental gymnastics that a critically-thinking member must perform to maintain sanity.
  • The BoA encapsulates the stunning arrogance of Joseph (just in case his telling unsuspecting women that God wanted them to marry him weren’t enough).

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