Most egyptoplogist disagree with Kerry, but at least he is trying.
A balanced approach to this article would require discussion of the fact that
only an extremely small minority of scholars consider the Book of Abraham to be
an authentic historical document. It's illogical to ignore the available
data just because it isn't in agreement with your opinion. This is largely
a local perspective and our host here, to some degree at least, has a global
audience. What I saw in this article was not necessarily a bad thing in its
proper context. However, since this is a newspaper and we're not in the
opinion section I struggle to justify calling it journalism.
For the true story of the BOA see below:Now, for the first time, the
surviving papyri have been translated into English in their entirety. In
analyzing and translating the ancient texts, Robert K. Ritner, foremost American
scholar of Egyptology, has determined that they were prepared for deceased men
and women in Thebes during the Greco-Roman period. They have nothing to do with
Abraham, Joseph, or a planet called Kolob, as Joseph Smith had claimed.“Except for those willfully blind,” writes Professor Ritner of the
University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute, “the case is
closed.” His new book is titled, "The Joseph Smith Egyptian Papyri: A
Complete Edition."Dr. Ritner concluded that the papyri are
ordinary Egyptian funeral texts, with possibly a few interesting side notes. For
example, one of the Smith papyri is the “Document of Breathing Made by
Isis” and is the oldest known datable copy (pre-150 BCE). Otherwise,
Ritner states, anyone investigating claims of ancient evidence for Joseph
Smith’s translation should not “waste his time,” although he
does admit “that the study of the Mormon period of Egyptomania is
interesting by itself.”
Though I recognize the issues here, I love the Pearl of Great Price including
the Book of Abraham.
For heaven's sake, this is an article about the release of a set of CDs for
which many in DNs readership will have interest. It's not an article about
the merits of the Book of Abraham, so you trolls can go back to sleep under the
bridge.I'd be interested in a downloadable release because
I'd only rip them and put them on my player device anyhow.
@MichiganderWhat about the papyri that didn't survive?So-called experts can translated something into what ever they want it to
mean, that doesn't make it them right.And where is it written
that the Book of Abraham came from the surviving the papyri?So-called "learned men" have been proven wrong time and again.Those so-called translation are at best educated guesses.
RE: Twin Lights,Though I recognize the issues here, I love the Pearl of Great
Price including the Book of Abraham. I agree,The first 6 chapters of
Genesis(JST)contains 311 verses, the Septuagint and Masoretic texts contain
184 verses. JST creates 27 verses. And there over 120 N.T. quotes ,which
support the Septuagint and Masoretic texts. Not the Book of Moses.RE: the truth, Those so-called translation are at best educated guesses.
True, a poor KJV tranlstion ie..,(Jude 1:6 KJV) the angels which
kept not their first estate= *achre, Grk 746 but left their own
habitation,… See Abraham 3:26. *first place, principality, rule,
authority, of Angels, Demons.A modern translation(Jude 1:6 NIV) And
the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own
home… Fallen angels(devils) Nothing to with Ante-mortal being.
In many instances, Joseph Smith used the word "translate" to mean
bringing forth revelation of lost writings of prophets in ancient times. He may
have been "translating" the Bible, for instance, but the lost writings
may never have been in those documents. It would be an assumption that the
revealed accounts were once in the ancient scriptures, but they didn't have
to be for the revelation to be true. Joseph Smith received the Book
of Abraham while inspecting Egyptian Papyri. It was an assumption that the
papyri directly related to the revelation, but that is irrelevant. Those with a
testimony of this revelation are not concerned whether the papyri in the
Church's possession was physically related to Abraham or not.
Sharrona,Alternate translations do not indicate that time was not
part of the issue.From the Wiki folks:"In rabbinic
literature, the souls of all humanity are described as being created during the
six days of creation (Book of Genesis). When each person is born, a preexisting
soul is placed within the body."Also"A concept
of pre-existence was advanced by Origen, a Church Father who lived in the second
and third century AD. Origen believed that each human soul was created by God at
some time prior to conception. Church Fathers Tertullian and Jerome held to
traducianism and creationism, respectively, and pre-existence was condemned as
heresy in the Second Council of Constantinople in AD 553."You
have quoted Origen previously as being definitive of some concepts, so I assume
his thoughts (though later condemned) have at least some relevance to you.But either way you have to acknowledge that the pre-existence was a well
known concept in early Christianity.
RE “Rabbinic literature” VS the Bible…the spirit shall
return unto God who gave it(Ecc 12:7) God existed before time, implying he
created time In (2Tim 1:9 & Titus 1:2) God who gives life to the dead and
Calls into Being things that were not.(Romans 4:17 NIV).@Twin
Lights,”pre-existence was a well known concept in early
Christianity”. Tertulllian wrote against the Platonic doctrine the
Pre-existence of the soul and the Pythagorean(occult) doctrine of
transmigration, re-incarnation. (200 A.D. On Souls).Greek philosophy
is the origin of this type of philosophy, not the Bible. The Bible teaches in
1Cor. 15:46-47: “However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural;
then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second is man
is from heaven.”For in him we live and move and have our
Being...(Acts 17:28)Creation is dependent on God for it’s very existence
The papyri that Joseph translated the BOA from didn't survive the Chicago
Fire. What is being discussed is something less than 3% of the total papyrus
that Joseph had and a part that Joseph never translated. This has no bearing on
the Book of Abraham or Joseph's calling as a Prophet, Seer and Revelator.
BigCougarYou keep telling yourself that.Real
Egyptologists know better.
@The ScientistWhen you say “Real Egyptologists know
better,” are you saying that they “know” the contents of the
missing papyri? And if so, what scientific method did they use to
“know” the unknowable? Or are you saying that they
“know” these things in a similar way LDS testimony bearers
“know” things—a statement of faith based on strong belief,
experience, observation?I’m sure you cry foul when Mormons say
they “know” something to be true, yet somehow, you accept that
Egyptologists “know” what was in the missing papyri.
@The ScientistIf you were a true scientist you would have provided
evidence, or scientific research or proofs, and real contribution to the
dialogue and not snarky statements which are of no value to anyone.There are no "Real Egyptologists" just imperfect men who study what
other imperfect men believed and added their "educated" opinion and
research.The "Real Egyptologists" died thousands of years
ago.Whether the Pearl of Great Price is correct about the included
facsimiles of the papyri or these so called "educated" men will only
wrongly accept their secular interpretation as correct is immaterial to the
truthfulness of the Book of Abraham.
I would love to read or listen to this book. The Book of Abraham to me is a
fascination and faith promoting book. I also think in not good science for any
Egyptologist to make a claim of complete understanding of ancient Egyptian
religion and cultural practices. A lot of things happen within cultures that
many of the participants in latter generations do not understand and do not know
the why's and what's about their original cultural practices.A prime example of this in our modern day would be the Jewish tradition. As
guardians of the so called "Old Testament" of the bible, they certainly
do not read it through the lens and with the same understanding of either
Christians or Muslims. So while stories of one generation may carry specific
meanings, It is also highly probable and most likely that Egyptians suffer from
similar generational changes in the meanings of these ancient stories.
" Those with a testimony of this revelation are not concerned whether the
papyri in the Church's possession was physically related to Abraham or
not." But for those us with doubts, we are left with little to base an
opinion on. For example the BOM, it turns out that for the most part it was not
translated from the plates. It was an inspiration. We are left scratching our
heads. So it all comes down to the willingness to believe, or suspend
disbelief. If so, why all of the fuss about papyri and plates?Many
of us are left believing and doubting at the same time.
The BOA (in reality the pseudo-BOA) crumbles to the dustbin of historical
veracity based upon its internal evidence - the false doctrine of plurality of
It's so entertaining when men argue over things that will only truly be
revealed through revelation. Man pretends to know so much yet actually knows so
very little.Patience and faith will always win out over impatience
and doubt.When the Lord is ready for us to know the truth, he will
show it to us.Then nothing will keep it hidden.
"Whether the Pearl of Great Price is correct about the included facsimiles
of the papyri or these so called "educated" men will only wrongly accept
their secular interpretation as correct is immaterial to the truthfulness of the
Book of Abraham."I think when many Mormons use the word
"truthfulness" they really mean "truthiness".The BOA
certainly has a touch of "truthiness" to it.
the truthMaybe you are right and the part of the papyri that is gone
is the real translation that can never be inspected. Maybe they were also taken
up to heaven with angel moroni so they could never bee analyzed...But a more plausible explanation is that Joseph tried to translate them, but
he was blatantly wrong. If the small part of the papyri that does exist has been
found by any credible student of egyptian to be a false translation by Smith,
what would lead you to believe that the rest is correct? Wouldn't you
assume if he couldn't even get that small portiion correct that the rest
that is missing is wrong too??Yes, maybe Joseph did get the papyri
and the translation wasn't really a translation but a revelation - if so he
wouldn't have needed the papyri in the first place. This explanation
isn't only a stretch, it is an excuse for those who have nowhere else to
go. Yes it was a translation, but it came through the spirit of revelation, not
from the papyri. Right.
I guess you could say the same about the book of mormon. Joseph Smith went to
all of the trouble - even putting his life on the line - to get the golden
plates. Yet, he didn't even use those same plates to translate the Book of
Mormon. He used a rock in a hat to get the words to appear and then dictate it
to his scribe. Any reasonable person would say that is not translating. Why
would the plates be needed if they werene't used in translation. Why would
he need the scrolls of papyri if he wasn't actually translating them, but
using them only to 'trigger' his revelation of a book that has nothing
to do with them? It makes no sense - not even close.
People who have actual academic credentials and are qualified to research these
subjects are always more reliable and give better, more reasonable conclusions
than the dogmatic Evangelicals, secularists and apostates with nothing more than
an axe to grind.
Critics of the Bool of Abraham generally focus on the Egyptian vignettes in the
book and the papyri but neglect the much richer Abrahamic traditions found in
the Ancient Near East. This is really where Joseph Smith shines.
Recent studies into ancient Abrahamic lore and Jewish traditions preserved in
ancient texts, show some surprising parallels to what we find in the text of the
Book of Abraham. Some of these parallels are very convincing and imply that
Joseph who could not have had access to many of these traditions actually
restored authentic ancient Abrahamic lore. Some of these parallels
include early Jewish traditions about Abraham’s life–details not
found in the Bible. Two such ancient documents that show some
surprising parallels to our Book of Abraham are the Apocalypse of Abraham and
the Testament of Abraham (the Apocalypse of Abraham dates to about the same time
as the Book of Abraham papyri).Other interesting parallels include ancient
names. These names are accurately represented in the Book of Abraham
both phonetically as well as in meaning.
A Sharrona - Layton, UT - "A modern translation(Jude 1:6 NIV) And the angels
who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own
home… Fallen angels(devils) Nothing to with Ante-mortal being."Sharrona - Pretty tough to be an angel who "abandoned
their own home" if they didn't exist "before".I
mean, if angels existed before the physical beginnings of 'man', then
why could not regular people like you and I have existed before the physical
beginnings of mankind?
To those of us who have faith, no amount of physical 'proof' is
needed.For those who doubt, no amount of physical 'proof'
will ever be enough.I'm glad I know. Yes, "know".I "know" the goodness of the seed I prayed about, and I thank
God for it. I know it's goodness (Alma chapter 32) with a literal, perfect
knowledge. However, I wait in "faith" every day to see the fulness, or
the completeness, of the seed I prayed about (the Book of Mormon) but in terms
of it's "goodness", I know.I'd like to buy the CDs
and get smarter on the Book of Abraham. Praise to the man!
RE: The Caravan Moves On, Pretty tough to be an angel who "abandoned their
own home" if they didn't exist "before".(Ecc
12:7)… the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. In(2Tim
1:9 & Titus 1:2)God existed before time, implying he created time.Romans 4:17 NIV). … God who gives life to the dead and Calls into Being
things that were not.For in him we live and move and have our
Being...(Acts 17:28)Creation is dependent on God for it’s very
existence. C.S. Lewis,” creation, I take it to mean ‘to
cause to be’, without pre-existing material (=to cause both the form and
matter) of something pre-conceived in the Causer’s though which, after
creation, is other than the cause.@To those of us who have faith, no
amount of physical 'proof' is needed. Faith is only as
good as the object of that faith.
The Caravan Moves OnI happen to KNOW it isn't true. Yes, know.
Also, the catholics know, the muslims know, and many aethists know. Pretty
reliable method to use, since everybody KNOWS they are right.
What I find facinating about many posts here are the folks who are obviously ex
Mormons, non Mormons, or athiests. Why would you bother to even care about
something you don't believe in? This is not like political opinion which
is debatable. This is about faith in God, and in Jesus Christ, and in the
scriptures. Do you expect some Mormon to read your opinion and suddenly say
something like "Wow, I never realized that, maybe I should now run out and
find the nearest evangelical church? Or "Wow, now I don't believe in
God anymore?" We get where you are coming from. However I doubt many LDS
troll the Catholic websites and argue over priesthood, or the evangelical
websites and argue over the restoration. And if they do, they are wasting their
time. I think the right thing to do is respect others faith and don't try
to tear down something that has uplifted and served people in a positive way.
If people like our message, they are welcome, if not, God Bless.
happy2bhereFor the same reasons mormons feel they need to share
their message to everybody else who isn't mormon. Mormons comment about
other churches on other articles - I read them all of the time. just because one
doesn't believe in it doesn't mean that they don't have an
interest in the subject matter. If you don't want to engage and have a
conversation about potential problems of the church then don't. But
don't complain that people that aren't mormon comment on mormon
articles, that is just silly.
Mormons sharing their message is called missionary work. And if Mormons are
commenting in a negative way about other churches, which by the way I have not
seen, then I think it is wrong. Debating faith is like debating what is the
best color. And for the record I don't see any potential problems with the
Church. And if I did, I certainly would not bother to listen to the opinion of
an outsider any more than you would want some outsider interfering with your
family decisions. But my point still stands. Why would a non member or athiest
even care about the scriptures of the LDS Church?
BramabullI notice you've had 4 posts already and might not be
able to answer my last question, so lets just just talk about it later when the
right article presents itself, as I do find it an interesting conversation.
@ Brahmabull - sandy, ut - "The Caravan Moves On - I happen to KNOW it
isn't true. Yes, know. Also, the catholics know, the muslims know, and many
aethists know. Pretty reliable method to use, since everybody KNOWS they are
right."Claims aside, everyody does not "know".I do not mean to be argumentative, but, in fact, you do not "know" it
isn't true. I realize it may sound like circular logic to say this,
however, when one DOES know 'truth' within a particular/given sphere
or realm of information, then anything outside that realm is not, and literally
cannot, be 'true'.A simple example: 2 + 2 = 4.That is indeed a 'truth', and no matter how hard I argue otherwise,
the fact still remains that 2 + 2 does indeed = 4. The pricklish thing is that
I don't have to know OTHER things outside the realm of 2+2+4 to
'know' that it is true. In terms of 2+2=4, we know what we know and
anything outside of that truth is simply false.The question to
answer, then, is...have we been 100% honest in our understanding of the
'truth'. Did we, in actuality, call a spade a spade?