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Book of Abraham Links

"Abraham and Isaac", by Rembrandt

These are links to online documents which discuss the Book of Abraham as an ancient text from an LDS perspective.


Introductory Material

Book of Abraham Articles - from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism. Several short articles about various aspects of the Book of Abraham and issues surrounding it, put online by "All About Mormons".

A Joseph Smith Commentary on the Book of Abraham - by W.V. Smith. Download a copy of this excellent book from the Book of Abraham Project (BOAP). All aspects of modern Book of Abraham studies are discussed. (Note: the text is in WP 6.1 format, so make sure your word processor can read it.)

Prolegomena to any Study of the Book of Abraham - by Hugh Nibley. An early article by Nibley where he oulined what must be done for scholars to adequately study Joseph Smith's Book of Abraham.


The Book of Abraham as a Translation of Egyptian Papyri

LDS FAQ: Book of Abraham Part 1 - by Jeff Lindsay. An extensive review of the controversy surrounding the Book of Abraham and the Joseph Smith Papyri. Click here for Part 2.

A Tragedy of Errors - by John Gee. Review of C.M. Larsen's By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus in the FARMS Review of Books.

Review of Charles Larson "By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus" Part 1 - by Kerry Shirts. Part 1 deals with Larson's idea that holy scripture such as the Book of Abraham is suposed to be could not in any way be connected with pagan documents such as the Joseph Smith Papyri.

Abracadabra, Isaac and Jacob - by John Gee. Review of Edward H. Ashment's "The Use of Egyptian Magical Papyri to Authenticate the Book of Abraham: A Critical Review" in the FARMS Review of Books.

Criticism of Joseph Smith and the Book of Abraham - from the BOAP. Responses to various criticisms.

Review of "Egyptology and the Book of Abraham" Part 1 - by Kerry Shirts. Review of the Dialogue article by LDS egyptologist Stephen Thompson. Part 1 deals with the "Sons of Horus" in facsimiles 1 and 2. Part 2 deals with the ship representing the heavens in facsimile 2. Part 3 deals with the Hathor Cow Goddess figure in facsimile 2.

The Three Facsimiles from the Book of Abraham - by Hugh Nibley. Discusses Joseph Smith's interpretation of the three facsimiles in light of modern egyptology.

"Shinehah" as the Sun in Abraham 3:13 - by Kerry Shirts. An interesting example of an Egyptian word Joseph Smith nailed.

The "Star-Apes" of Facsimile 2: Egyptian Correlations - by Kerry Shirts. Can apes represent stars? Joseph Smith thought so, and he was right!

The Ship in Facsimile 2 as the Throne of God - by Kerry Shirts. There's too much here to be explained away as a "coincidence".

Abraham,Father of the Faithful, or the Pagan God Osiris? - by Kerry Shirts. Could Abraham actually have been connected with the Joseph Smith Papyri, including the Lion Couch scene in Facsimile 1? Kerry answers in the affirmative.

Notes on the Book of Abraham - Taken from Introduction to the Pearl of Great Price and Its Teachings, Copyright The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Church Schools. Whoever wrote these notes takes the view that Joseph Smith DID use the JS Papyri to "translate" the Book of Abraham in a very unusual fashion.

Mnemonic Device of Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar and Joseph Smith Translation of the Book of Abraham - by John Tvedtnes and Richley Crapo. Examines the hypothesis that the sen-sen text was a mnemonic device for the Book of Abraham.

Fragment Found in Salt Lake City - by Hugh Nibley. Short preliminary article by Nibley where he talked about some of the difficulties faced in approaching the Joseph Smith papyri.

What is "The Book of Breathings"? - by Hugh Nibley. Discusses the Egyptian religious significance of some of the Joseph Smith Papyri, i.e. the sen-sen text.

Did Joseph Smith Know Egyptian? - short article from the FARMS newsletter, Insights: An Ancient Window.

The Crocodile God of Pharaoh in Mesopotamia - short article from FARMS' Insights (based on research by John Gee). Note: John Gee informs me that in every place in the article (including the title) where the word "Mesopotamia" (but not "Mesopotamian") occurs, the word should read "Syria."


The Book of Abraham as a Jewish Document

Neglected Evidence on the Book of Abraham - by Hugh Nibley. This article, originally appearing in the Improvement Era, discusses the Book of Abraham in light of Jewish apocryphal stories about Abraham.

A Critical Analysis of the Book of Abraham in Light of Extra-Canonical Jewish Writings - by Rabbi Nissim Wernick. Rabbi Wernick was the leader of the Synagogue in Salt Lake City, and he went to BYU to get a doctorate in Religious Education. While there he became interested in the Book of Abraham, and decided to compare the extra-biblical details in the BofA to similar ideas found in extra-canonical Jewish writings for his dissertation. I don't know that Rabbi Wernick ever became LDS, but this dissertation is still striking confirmation of the Jewishness of the Book of Abraham - straight from a Jewish Rabbi. NOTE: This file is pretty huge.

The Book of Jasher and the Book of Abraham - by Kerry Shirts. Some critics have charged that Joseph Smith lifted the Book of Abraham from the Book of Jasher, a Jewish apocryphal document he could have known about. While it is not surprising to LDS that the Book of Abraham would have some parallels to such a document, Kerry shows why the contents of Jasher can actually account for very little of Abraham.

Human Sacrifice in the Book of Abraham - by Kerry Shirts. The Book of Abraham describes in some detail the Egyptian practice of human sacrifice. Those same details can also be found in Jewish sources other than the Bible.

Abraham's Vision of the Pre-Existent Host - by Barry Bickmore. The Book of Abraham account of this vision is briefly compared with that of the Apocalypse of Abraham, an apocryphal Jewish document unknown in Joseph Smith's day.

The "Angel of God's Presence" in Abraham 1:15-16 - by Barry Bickmore. The "angel of his presence" was actually Jehovah Himself? The Book of Abraham says so, and so did the earliest Israelite and Christian traditions!

The "Council of the Gods" in Ancient Literature and the Book of Abraham - by Kerry Shirts. The Book of Abraham presents a rather strange picture of a "council of the gods" as part of the premortal existence. What have scholars learned since the publication of the Book of Abraham concerning this gathering? Find out here!


More Information

Kerry A. Shirts' Mormonism Researched Page- This page has all of Kerry's articles that are housed at this site (I've edited the ones here, though) as well as several more. Covers both the Egyptian and Jewish backgrounds for the Book of Abraham.

 Return to "Barry's Early Christianity and Mormonism Page"


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