Sayce, arthur Mace, flinders Petrie, and James. Breasted) dismissing the book's validity in 1912. With the rediscovery of the papyri at the metropolitan Museum in New York in 1967, analysis by john Wilson, richard Parker and Klaus baer (all 1968 and even the lds apologist Hugh Nibley (in 1975) disproved any possibility that the book of Abraham could. My own works on the papyri (in 2002, 2003, 20)showed the same result, as did the lds-sponsored translations by michael Rhodes (2002) and the 2005 revision of Nibley's volume. Thus has arisen a host of alternative defenses for the book of Abraham, questioning the meaning of the word "translation the length of the original papyri, the possibility of a now-lost section with the Abraham text, etc. 18 Many of these defensive positions are referenced in the new lds church posting. However, clear links between the papyri and the published woodcut illustrations of the book of Abraham are unmistakable, and the woodcuts contain explicit "explanations" by joseph Smith, 19 as even the new lds position paper acknowledges: "Facsimile 1 contains a crocodile deity swimming in what.
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He has normally been equated with one of many persian kings named Shapur." 16 The identification with Shapur (II) is even clearer when one knows that the coptic word gee translates repeatedly as "Pharaoh" simply means "king" of any country, even though the word. 17 The coptic encomium is an adapted tale from Sasanian Persia, not korean a native "Egyptian view and certainly not an ancient Egyptian view. Nor is the Abraham summary in question the patriarch, though the story does conflate differing Mesopotamian/Persian traditions for an attempted martyrdom by fire in Mesopotamia — not by knife in Egypt. Gee's article is not honest in its title, its suppression of prior important scholarship, and its presentation of the principal actors. Gee never acknowledges that the Abraham of the text is not —or even that he might not be— the patriarch Abraham. The 1908 publication remains the only reliable edition of this Coptic text. Finally, whether or not "the idolatrous god Elkenah" (of Abraham 1: 17 and Facsimile 1) can be conflated with the known Canaanite god El (see the lds posting,. 39 it is absolutely impossible to identify that god with the Egyptian canopic jar deity qebehsenuef as Smith did in his explanation of Facsimile 1, fig. Far too often, the lds approach has been to find individual minor identifications or remote possibilities that cannot in sum either explain or justify the book of Abraham. The new lds citations of sources that are of minor relevance, misleading or false does not advance the cause of the church and its disputed scripture. The lengthy controversy Scholarly rejection of the authenticity of the book of Abraham is not new and has continued unabated since the study by jules Remy and Théodule devéria in 1861, with multiple scholars (including.
13 The Christian tale recounts the attempted martyrdom of a saint, but not necessarily the patriarch, abraham, who is cast into a fiery furnace. As Winstedt discusses over two pages —in careful analysis that gee intentionally fails to note— if this Abraham were the patriarch, then the story presented is based on a legend recognized to be of Persian origin: "the tradition that Abraham was cast into a fiery. Crum, however, showed that the more likely identification is with the persian-era martyr Abraham, bishop of Arbela (modern Irbil in Iraq who was beheaded for his Christian faith. 348 under the sasanian Persian ruler Shapur. This identification is proved by the coptic text itself: "And when they cast Abraham into the fire, and the angel of the lord came straightway to him statement and he saved him from the fire, it did not touch him at all. And his fame went forth in the whole land of Mesopotamia, because his God saved him from the fire of Sabor the king." 15 The coptic text is not an original Egyptian story but based on Greek and written after the Arabic conquest. Greek transcribes "sh" as simple "s" and, under Arabic influence, later Egyptian Coptic substitutes "b" for "p" (as in modern Bebsi for Pepsi so that when the coptic translation was written the name "Shapur" would easily become "Sabor" as has been widely recognized. The fact that the martyr's fame spread "in the whole land of Mesopotamia" specifically excludes a possible martyrdom in Egypt, and gee concedes "it is not clear that the Pharaoh in the text was king over Egypt.
In pgm v, line 481, the magician invokes zeus by declaring: "for i spondylolisthesis am Silthachoouch, lailam etc., mixing into the middle of the list a snippet of the jewish blessing "Barouch Adonai, eloi abraam" Blessed be jawhe, god of Abraham. 7 In pgm vii, line 315, the "famous name Abraam" begins a string of protective names combining Bes, iabaoth, and "the son of the female falcon." 8 Most commonly, abraam is invoked together with Isaac and Jacob as in the long list of magical names. 9 The latter papyrus also protects against the evil eye by declaring (among a string of magical names "I have received the power of Abraam, Isak and iakob, and of the great god, daimon iao." 10 Another love compulsion spell invokes the biblical account. Gee's second proposed evidence of "An Egyptian view of Abraham" is even less defensible. 12 The text that gee presents is a sahidic Coptic panegyric praising a christian saint, copied in the twelfth century or somewhat earlier. The text is found in three copies (Clarendon Press fragment 65, British Museum. 3581b, and zoega borgia fragment ccxxii and a combined scholarly edition was published.
It is not fully accurate to claim that the third-century demotic papyrus cited by gee "connects Abraham with an illustration similar to facsimile 1 in the book of Abraham." The text in question, a leiden magical papyrus in Demotic Egyptian and Greek (P. I 384 verso pgm xii does include a picture of a mummy attended by Anubis —mentioned by name— on a lion funerary couch (not an "altar but the text is a love compulsion spell intended to force a woman to submit to a male's sexual. As accompanying magical words of power the speaker recites: ".aydyo oryx thambyto abraam o epy planoyegxybyoth" etc. The string of abracadabra words does include "abraam and this spelling has been corrected to "Abraham" in a recent edition. 6 However, the name is just one of a string of magical names and no more relevant to the image than "oryx thambyto" or "planoyegxybyoth." Moreover, there is no intent here to represent a sacrifice, just Osiris tended by Anubis, who are both invoked. The body on the lion bed is certainly that of the deceased Osiris (as it is Hôr's vignette not a threatened Abraham. In combination with other borrowed Old Testament names, Abraham (in varying spellings) occurs as a name of power throughout the magical papyri, but there is no special connection with the lion bed.
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The lds reaction to these issues is confined to a few citations in the section on "The book of Abraham and the Ancient World." A brief response to some of these is in order. The posting cites the work of Kerry muhlestein (in. 36) 5 in an attempt to prove that the religion-based human sacrifice at the order of Pharaoh "as described in Abraham 1:11-12, is an example of punishment now known to have been meted out during the Abrahamic era." Whether or not Muhlestein expected to find. Muhlestein also rightly notes the complexity in distinguishing the civil terms "execution" or "capital punishment" from the more overtly religious term "human sacrifice" (pp. 5-8 pdf particularly in a society where political and religious issues are not sharply distinguished.
That ambiguity could be argued for the modern United States as well, since civil execution for murder is often linked to condemnation for killing in the ten Commandments, a distinctly religious text. More to the point, however, while muhlestein notes capital punishment for political rebellion and crimes against individuals and the state, including theft of temple property or resources, there is no parallel to the book of Abraham's intended "martyrdom" for refusing to worship the images. That would happen under Roman prosecution of Christians, but personal worship (or its refusal) was not a basic concern of the ancient Egyptian state. The lds citation of Muhlestein's work does not support the narrative of the book of Abraham. The web posting notes also two writings by john gee (notes 44 and 45 purporting to prove a memory of the sacrifice of Abraham by Pharaoh in later Egypt.
All of Smith's published "explanations" are incorrect, including the lone example defended by the new web posting: the water in which a crocodile is swimming (Fig. 12 of Fascimile 1 supposedly a representation of "the firmament over our heads but in this case, in relation to this subject, the Egyptians meant it to be to signify Shaumau, to be high, or the heavens." Although Egyptians might place heavenly boats in the. The selective defense of these explanations by the church is telling, and all other explanations are simply indefensible except by distorting Egyptian evidence. In Facsimile 3, Smith confuses human and animal heads and males with females. No amount of special pleading can change the female "Isis the great, the god's mother" (Facsimile 3, fig. 2) into the male "King Pharaoh, whose name is given in the characters above his hand as even the lds author Michael.
3, here Smith also misunderstands "Pharaoh" as a personal name rather than a title meaning "king so he reads "king king" for a goddess's name that he claims to have understood on the papyrus! The problems are by no means limited to the facsimiles, since the text itself includes anachronistic and impossible expressions (including a "Potiphar's Hill" located in Ur of the Chaldees, Abraham 1:10) and situations (supposed Egyptian rites of human sacrifice in Ur conducted by a priest. Wherever one locates Ur of the Chaldees, human sacrifice dictated there by "priests of Pharaoh" is unbelievable to credible scholars of the Ancient near East. 4, nor was there any "Pharaoh, the eldest son of Egyptus, the daughter of Ham" (Abraham 1:25). As previously noted, "Pharaoh" is a title, not a name. Neither is "Egyptus" Egypt an ancient Egyptian personal name, but the name for the primary temple in Memphis that became generalized outside of Egypt as a designation for the country. Accurate translation or revelation would not produce such basic errors.
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The facsimiles are all based on writing ancient Egyptian documents, and the feasibility Egyptian texts of all three can now be deciphered. In addition, the representations on all three conform to well-known Egyptian models. Facsimiles 1 and 3 represent sections of one papyrus: the "Breathing Permit of Hôr" (P. Js 1 part of the group of Egyptian texts purchased by Smith in 1835 and long thought lost in the Chicago fire of 1871. These papyri were rediscovered in the collections of the metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1967 and quickly transferred to the lds church, which published the first photographs of the texts the next year in the church magazine. Comparison of the surviving initial vignette of the hôr papyrus with Facsimile 1 proves beyond doubt, as the lds web post agrees, that it was "the vignette that became facsimile." However, neither Facsimile 1 nor 2 is a true copy, and both contain added. 3 on Facsimile 1) as can be seen in the crude pencil additions to the original papyrus sheet as mounted and "improved" for publication by the lds church in 1842. 2, facsimile 2 derives from a separate burial, for an individual named Sheshonq. Large portions of this published "facsimile" were improperly inserted from unrelated papyri.
1, thus the position paper concludes with a concession by noting (unnamed) modern scholarly opposition to the book of Abraham, followed by a defense against reasoning any such scholarly debate: "The veracity and value of the book of Abraham cannot be settled by scholarly debate concerning. Such a declaration may seem reasonable to those already predisposed to accept it, but on closer reading, the lds church posting suggests discomfort with its own conclusions and reasoning. Not a single opposing scholar is mentioned by name, nor are their reasons for rejecting the book of Abraham. Yet the lds paper attempts to engage in scholarly debate from a one-sided position, repeatedly citing in the footnotes the same limited set of apologists who are primarily church employees at byu in Provo. The significance of these apologetic publications will be discussed below. If scholarly dispute over translation and historicity is ultimately irrelevant, why bother to devote extended paragraphs to rebuttals of unmentioned objections on "Translation and the book of Abraham "The papyri and "The book of Abraham and the Ancient World"? The Problems, the published text of the book of Abraham is accompanied by three woodcut "Facsimiles" with explanations authored by joseph Smith himself.
titled. Translation and Historicity of the book of Abraham. Ritner's essay was originally posted as a pdf on the Institute's website. We have reprinted it here with. Ritner's permission for readers who are interested in ongoing discussions surrounding the book of Abraham. The recent web posting on the book of Abraham by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day saints (hereafter the lds church) represents new reflection on a document whose authenticity as verifiable history is now officially acknowledged to be in serious dispute.
For a century now, professors and lds students from this leading institute of Egyptian studies have analyzed and debated the papyri and its relationship to joseph slogan Smith's translation. The translation was called "The book of Abraham" and incorporated into the. Pearl of Great Price which became the fourth foundational scripture of the lds church. Considered one of the country's foremost Egyptian scholars,. Robert Ritner is the latest University of Chicago Egyptologist to turn his attention to the papyri. His book, the joseph Smith Egyptian Papyri: a complete Edition, includes the first ever complete translation of the papyri. Summary of book here, the joseph Smith Egyptian Papyri: a complete Edition, by robert Ritner, professor Ritner (lds egyptologist John gee's former professor) has given his response to the lds church essay on the book of Abraham. We print the response below in its entirety below from. Signature books, note: There are a few hieratic symbols that will not display properly on most browsers.
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Create with your Pro tools, lay out your book with your favorite tools. Get easy print setup with our plugin for Adobe InDesign and the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom built-in book module. Or, design with any app and use our pdf uploader. Introduction, an essay concerning the book of Abraham was added on in the topical guide of the lds. The essay mostly tries to explain how it is possible for Joseph Smith to have called the process for bringing forth the book of Abraham a "translation" when it is obvious that it was not a translation of the Egyptian papyri in his possession, into. The essay on lds. Org brief is found here: Translation and Historicity of the book of Abraham. Response by Egyptologist Robert Ritner, the relationship between the book of Abraham and the joseph Smith Egyptian papyri continues to receive scholarly attention from the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.