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Question

 

Dear Gramps,

There is a website out now that teaches that the Book of Abraham is false and that they have recovered some of the writings in a Museum and now they can interpret what it says and it’s not at all what the prophet translated it to be. So, I was wondering if the Book of Abraham was a DIRECT translation of the papyrus or not and what your thoughts are about the critics viewpoints of the Book of Abraham.

Jason

 

Answer

 

Dear Jason,

From the statement “they have recovered some of the writings in a museum ”, I assume that “they” are referring to the fact that some papyri were recovered from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New Your City in 1966 that were determined to have been in the possession of Joseph Smith, since the fragments were pasted on a piece of paper that had been a letter written and signed by Emma Smith. After the Prophet’s death Emma sold several pieces of papyrus to various individuals. That those fragments that were sold had been part of the Book of Abraham is extremely doubtful. The Book of Abraham was only one of several papyri that were recovered from the mummies, and that Emma even had in her possession the papyri from which the Book of Abraham was translated is extremely doubtful, and that she would have sold that precious manuscript is unthinkable. Those fragments that were found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art were turned over to the Mormon Church, and they were carefully examined by Hugh Nibley and others acquainted with Egyptian writing, and were determined by them not to correspond to the Book of Abraham.

So some unscrupulous souls, coming across those fragments, somehow come to the conclusion that they are the records from which Joseph Smith translated the Book of Abraham, and that, of course, the translation does not correspond to Joseph’s translation. This is really a sophomoric attempt to throw some dirt at the Mormon Church, and has no credence whatsoever.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

 

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