Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham
Exodus 6:7; “And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.”
In July 2014 the LDS Church published an essay on the translation process of the Book of Abraham. You can read our response to this here.
This post is in response to an e-mail I recently received asking me to pray Moroni 10:4-6 and ask God about the Book of Abraham.
My first concern/question is why. Why did Joseph Smith want Mormons to become burdened with another Egyptian enslavement? Why did he lead them back to what God had already redeemed the Israelites from?
Secondly, I can honestly say I’m not going to pray to receive a positive outcome for something I already know isn’t true. What I can, and have done here is respond and let this dear Mormon know why I can’t trust the Book of Abraham.
I’ve used the Church’s essay to point out concerns and ask questions. Their quotes are in black, my response is in red.
“…the book of Abraham supports, expands, and clarifies the biblical account of Abraham’s life…
- How does it support biblical accounts of his life when his name isn’t mentioned in the documents?
The book of Abraham was the last of Joseph Smith’s translation efforts. In these inspired translations, Joseph Smith did not claim to know the ancient languages of the records he was translating.
- Has the Lord required any other biblical author to translate an unknown language into their native tongue, and then use it as an inspired message from God to His people?
Joseph’s translations took a variety of forms. Some of his translations, like that of the Book of Mormon, utilized ancient documents in his possession. Other times, his translations were not based on any known physical records.
And therein lies the problem. Let’s look at this statement closely because it’s actually very wrong, and it’s a very big lie.
- It’s a lie because:
- There’s evidence repudiating the claim Smith had physical custody of the plates. His own testimony damns him. See Joseph Confesses to Tricking Family.
- It’s wrong because:
- Smith was utilizing his seer stones inside of his hat to make up the Book of Mormon narrative. The Church knows this and published yet another essay about the magical seer stones Smith used during his so-called prophetic ministry.
“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 thecharacters on the fragments do not match the translation given in the book of Abraham…” [emp. mine]
If you’re LDS, does this sound reasonable to you?
Why is this official canon if it’s not about Abraham, and doesn’t even mention Abraham?
If a child of mine was trying to feed me this story I’d ask them why they lied to me!
Please, if you’re LDS be analytical about this! It’s not a sin to be intellectually honest with yourself, and especially the Lord!
Know that we’re praying for you T. and hope to hear from you soon.
With Love in Christ;
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