What Does the LDS Church Now Admit About the Book of Abraham?

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ALL LDS CHURCH QUOTES BELOW ARE FROM: Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham – July 8, 2014 – https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-topics-essays/translation-and-historicity-of-the-book-of-abraham?lang=eng

  1. Does the LDS Church admit that Abraham had nothing to do with the Book of Abraham papyrus?

“Scholars have identified the papyrus fragments as parts of standard funerary texts that were deposited with mummified bodies. These fragments date to between the third century B.C.E. and the first century C.E., long after Abraham lived.”

  1. Does the LDS Church admit Joseph Smith’s “translation” of the Book of Abraham papyrus is completely wrong?

 None of the characters on the papyrus fragments mentioned Abraham’s name or any of the events recorded in the book of Abraham. Mormon and non-Mormon Egyptologists agree that the characters on the fragments do not match the translation given in the book of Abraham.”

  1. Does the LDS Church blame Jesus for Joseph Smith’s FAKE translation of the Book of Abraham?

“Speaking of the translation of the Book of Mormon, the Lord said, ‘You cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me.’ The same principle can be applied to the book of Abraham. The Lord did not require Joseph Smith to have knowledge of Egyptian. By the gift and power of God, Joseph received knowledge about the life and teachings of Abraham.”

Joseph Smith’s attempts at “Restoration”: • He drew a human head on Anubis • He drew a knife in the hand of Anubis • He mistook Isis’s wing for hand • He didn’t recognize Hor’s spirit • He missed Hor’s phallus altogether

  1. Did Jesus not know that this image in Facsimile 1 was a resurrection scene, not a sacrifice?  Did Jesus not know that Hor was the dead person lying on the Lion table, not Abraham?  Did Jesus not know that Anabus had a dog head, not a human head? Did Jesus not know that you don’t need a knife to do a resurrection?  Did Jesus forget to have Joseph Smith draw Hor’s spirit over his body?  If Joseph Smith’s Jesus inspired him to restore this image incorrectly and to write his fake “Explanation” published in the Book of Abraham, then Joseph Smith’s Jesus is NOT the Jesus of the Bible!


  1. Does the LDS Church admit a “translation” assumes “expert knowledge” of the language being translated?

“We do know some things about the translation process. The word translation typically assumes an expert knowledge of multiple languages. Joseph Smith claimed no expertise in any language.”


  1. If it is true that Joseph Smith “claimed no expertise in any language,” why did he create a “grammar of the Egyptian language”?

“Some evidence suggests that Joseph studied the characters on the Egyptian papyri and attempted to learn the Egyptian language. His history reports that, in July 1835, he was ‘continually engaged in translating an alphabet to the Book of Abraham, and arranging a grammar of the Egyptian language as practiced by the ancients.’ This ‘grammar,’ as it was called, consisted of columns of hieroglyphic characters followed by English translations recorded in a large notebook by Joseph’s scribe, William W. Phelps. Another manuscript, written by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, has Egyptian characters followed by explanations.”


  1. Did Joseph Smith use his fake “grammar” to fool his followers into believing he was truly knowledgeable enough in the Egyptian language to translate the papyrus?

Neither the rules nor the translations in the grammar book correspond to those recognized by Egyptologists today. Whatever the role of the grammar book, it appears that Joseph Smith began translating portions of the book of Abraham almost immediately after the purchase of the papyri. Phelps apparently viewed Joseph Smith as uniquely capable of understanding the Egyptian characters: ‘As no one could translate these writings,’ he told his wife, ‘they were presented to President Smith. He soon knew what they were.’ ”


  1. Since Joseph Smith lied about his “translation” abilities with the Book of Abraham and his Egyptian “Grammar,” how do you know he wasn’t lying about his translation of the Book of Mormon?

“A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish.” (Proverbs 19:9)

All liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

  1. If the Book of Abraham is a fraud, doesn’t that mean that all of these unique Mormon beliefs that are derived primarily from this book are wrong too?

“The book of Abraham clarifies several teachings that are obscure in the Bible. Life did not begin at birth, as is commonly believed. Prior to coming to earth, individuals existed as spirits. In a vision, Abraham saw that one of the spirits was ‘like unto God.’ This divine being, Jesus Christ, led other spirits in organizing the earth out of ‘materials’ or preexisting matter, not ex nihilo or out of nothing … Nowhere in the Bible is the purpose and potential of earth life stated so clearly as in the book of Abraham.”


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