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Book of Abraham
Introduction

1 2 3 4 5


Absurdities
Science and History
Intolerance
Injustice
Interpretation
Cruelty and Violence

Wikipedia
-The Pearl of Great Price
-Book of Abraham

The Lost Book of Abraham (full video)
(Institute for Religious Reseach)
BookofAbraham.info

Egyptology and the Book of Abraham
Stephen E. Thompson,
Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Spring, 1995

By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus: A New Look at the Joseph Smith Papyri
Charles Larson, IRR, 1992

About the facsimiles
-Facsimile #1
-Facsimile #2
-Facsimile #3
-Examining Facsimile One from the Book of Abraham (MRM.org)

The Book of Abraham Project (BOAP)
-The Book of Abraham


The Book of Abraham


Chapter 1

(1:1, 8, 13, 14, 20, 23, 29, 30)
"In the land of the Chaldeans"
The word "Chaldeans" is an anachronism1. The Chaldeans first appeared in the 9th century BCE, 1000 years before Abraham supposedly lived.

(1:1)"I, Abraham"
Although Joseph Smith said that the Book of Abraham was written by Abraham "in his own hand, upon papyrus," there is no mention of Abraham's name anywhere in the papyri or the facsimiles that Joseph Smith claimed to interpret.2

(1:2) "And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge.... ... ..."
How did Abraham manage to get all this useless, redundant, and completely unnecessary babbling on the little scrap of papyrus that Joseph Smith translated?

(1:3) "It came down from the fathers, from the beginning of time, yea, even from the beginning, or before the foundation of the earth, down to the present time, even the right of the firstborn, or the first man, who is Adam."
Abraham became a priest because he was a descendent of Adam. (Isn't everyone supposedly a descendent of Adam?)

(1:3) "The first man, who is Adam."
I guess this means that Mormons can't believe in human evolution. (Who would have thought that Abraham would have known about Adam?)

(1:4) Abraham was a priest "concerning the seed." (Whatever the hell that means.)

(1:5) "My fathers having turned from ... the holy commandments which the Lord their God had given unto them."
God gave the commandments to Abraham's ancestors? And all those silly Christians thought it was Moses! (Exodus 20, Deuteronomy 5)

(1:6) "For their hearts were set to do evil, and were wholly turned to" other gods.

(1:6-10, 13, 17, 20, 25-27)
"Pharaoh" is an anachronism (a term that would not have been used at the time of Abraham).3

(1:7) "Offering up their children unto these dumb idols"
So those nasty Egyptians sacrificed their own children to God. But why would that bother Abraham? He was willing to sacrifice Isaac. (Genesis 22:10)

(1:8)
"The offering unto these strange gods, men, women, and children"
There is no evidence for human sacrifice among the Egyptians of 2000 BCE.

(1:9,12) And it came to pass

(1:9)
"Now the god of Shagreel was the sun."
No, Ra was the Egyptian sun god.

(1:10, 20)
Anachronism: Potiphar's Hill4

(1:11) "From the loins of Ham"

(1:12) "I will refer you to the representation at the commencement of this record."
The facsimile that Joseph Smith (er, Abraham -- excuse me!) refers to does not show a man (supposedly Abraham) being sacrificed, but rather an Egyptian priest being embalmed. Since facsimile 1 dates from approximately 100 BCE5, Abraham could not have referenced it in this verse.

(1:12) "Because they have turned their hearts away from me, to worship [other gods]"
God destroys those who worship other gods.

(1:14) "That you may have an understanding of these gods, I have given you the fashion of them in the figures at the beginning."
Gosh! Thanks, Abraham! (Of course, the figures are not gods as Joseph Smith says, but jars that contained the deceased guts.)

(1:15) "And as they lifted up their hands upon me"
Just at the last second, God and an angel saved Abraham from being killed by those nasty Egyptians!

(1:16-19)
"And his voice was unto me: Abraham, Abraham, ..."
And then Jehovah makes a little speech.

(1:20) "The Lord ... smote the priest that he died."

(1:21-24) "From Ham, sprang that race which preserved the curse in the land"
All Egyptians were (are?) cursed by God because Ham saw Noah when he was drunk and naked. (Genesis 9:20-25)

(1:23) "Egyptus, which in the Chaldean signifies Egypt, which signifies that which is forbidden"
"Egyptus" is a Greek, not a Chaldean word, and it doesn't mean "forbidden" in any language. It wasn't used at until 1375 BCE, well after the time that Abraham was supposed to have lived.6

(1:26-27)
"Pharaoh being of that lineage by which he could not have the right of Priesthood"
The Pharaoh was black (according to this verse, anyway), and because of that he was banned from the priesthood. (Poor Pharaoh couldn't be a Mormon priest, since all black men were denied the Mormon priesthood until the 1978 revelation.)

(1:31) "God preserved ... a knowledge of the beginning of the creation, and also of the planets, and of the stars"
Oh boy! Abraham is going to tell us about astronomy. I can hardly wait.

1:1 In the land of the Chaldeans, at the residence of my fathers, I, Abraham, saw that it was needful for me to obtain another place of residence;
1:2 And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace, and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers.
1:3 It was conferred upon me from the fathers; it came down from the fathers, from the beginning of time, yea, even from the beginning, or before the foundation of the earth, down to the present time, even the right of the firstborn, or the first man, who is Adam, or first father, through the fathers unto me.
1:4 I sought for mine appointment unto the Priesthood according to the appointment of God unto the fathers concerning the seed.
1:5 My fathers having turned from their righteousness, and from the holy commandments which the Lord their God had given unto them, unto the worshiping of the gods of the heathen, utterly refused to hearken to my voice;
1:6 For their hearts were set to do evil, and were wholly turned to the god of Elkenah, and the god of Libnah, and the god of Mahmackrah, and the god of Korash, and the god of Pharaoh, king of Egypt;
1:7 Therefore they turned their hearts to the sacrifice of the heathen in offering up their children unto these dumb idols, and hearkened not unto my voice, but endeavored to take away my life by the hand of the priest of Elkenah. The priest of Elkenah was also the priest of Pharaoh.
1:8 Now, at this time it was the custom of the priest of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, to offer up upon the altar which was built in the land of Chaldea, for the offering unto these strange gods, men, women, and children.
1:9 And it came to pass that the priest made an offering unto the god of Pharaoh, and also unto the god of Shagreel, even after the manner of the Egyptians. Now the god of Shagreel was the sun.
1:10 Even the thank-offering of a child did the priest of Pharaoh offer upon the altar which stood by the hill called Potiphar's Hill, at the head of the plain of Olishem.
1:11 Now, this priest had offered upon this altar three virgins at one time, who were the daughters of Onitah, one of the royal descent directly from the loins of Ham. These virgins were offered up because of their virtue; they would not bow down to worship gods of wood or of stone, therefore they were killed upon this altar, and it was done after the manner of the Egyptians.
1:12 And it came to pass that the priests laid violence upon me, that they might slay me also, as they did those virgins upon this altar; and that you may have a knowledge of this altar, I will refer you to the representation at the commencement of this record.
1:13 It was made after the form of a bedstead, such as was had among the Chaldeans, and it stood before the gods of Elkenah, Libnah, Mahmackrah, Korash, and also a god like unto that of Pharaoh, king of Egypt.
1:14 That you may have an understanding of these gods, I have given you the fashion of them in the figures at the beginning, which manner of figures is called by the Chaldeans Rahleenos, which signifies hieroglyphics.
1:15 And as they lifted up their hands upon me, that they might offer me up and take away my life, behold, I lifted up my voice unto the Lord my God, and the Lord hearkened and heard, and he filled me with the vision of the Almighty, and the angel of his presence stood by me, and immediately unloosed my bands;
1:16 And his voice was unto me: Abraham, Abraham, behold, my name is Jehovah, and I have heard thee, and have come down to deliver thee, and to take thee away from thy father's house, and from all thy kinsfolk, into a strange land which thou knowest not of;
1:17 And this because they have turned their hearts away from me, to worship the god of Elkenah, and the god of Libnah, and the god of Mahmackrah, and the god of Korash, and the god of Pharaoh, king of Egypt; therefore I have come down to visit them, and to destroy him who hath lifted up his hand against thee, Abraham, my son, to take away thy life.
1:18 Behold, I will lead thee by my hand, and I will take thee, to put upon thee my name, even the Priesthood of thy father, and my power shall be over thee.
1:19 As it was with Noah so shall it be with thee; but through thy ministry my name shall be known in the earth forever, for I am thy God.
1:20 Behold, Potiphar's Hill was in the land of Ur, of Chaldea. And the Lord broke down the altar of Elkenah, and of the gods of the land, and utterly destroyed them, and smote the priest that he died; and there was great mourning in Chaldea, and also in the court of Pharaoh; which Pharaoh signifies king by royal blood.
1:21 Now this king of Egypt was a descendant from the loins of Ham, and was a partaker of the blood of the Canaanites by birth.
1:22 From this descent sprang all the Egyptians, and thus the blood of the Canaanites was preserved in the land.
1:23 The land of Egypt being first discovered by a woman, who was the daughter of Ham, and the daughter of Egyptus which in the Chaldean signifies Egypt, which signifies that which is forbidden;
1:24 When this woman discovered the land it was under water, who afterward settled her sons in it; and thus, from Ham, sprang that race which preserved the curse in the land.
1:25 Now the first government of Egypt was established by Pharaoh, the eldest son of Egyptus, the daughter of Ham, and it was after the manner of the government of Ham, which was patriarchal.
1:26 Pharaoh, being a righteous man, established his kingdom and judged his people wisely and justly all his days, seeking earnestly to imitate that order established by the fathers in the first generations, in the days of the first patriarchal reign, even in the reign of Adam, and also of Noah, his father, who blessed him with the blessings of the earth, and with the blessings of wisdom, but cursed him as pertaining to the Priesthood.
1:27 Now, Pharaoh being of that lineage by which he could not have the right of Priesthood, notwithstanding the Pharaohs would fain claim it from Noah, through Ham, therefore my father was led away by their idolatry;
1:28 But I shall endeavor, hereafter, to delineate the chronology running back from myself to the beginning of the creation, for the records have come into my hands, which I hold unto this present time.
1:29 Now, after the priest of Elkenah was smitten that he died, there came a fulfilment of those things which were said unto me concerning the land of Chaldea, that there should be a famine in the land.
1:30 Accordingly a famine prevailed throughout all the land of Chaldea, and my father was sorely tormented because of the famine, and he repented of the evil which he had determined against me, to take away my life.
1:31 But the records of the fathers, even the patriarchs, concerning the right of Priesthood, the Lord my God preserved in mine own hands; therefore a knowledge of the beginning of the creation, and also of the planets, and of the stars, as they were made known unto the fathers, have I kept even unto this day, and I shall endeavor to write some of these things upon this record, for the benefit of my posterity that shall come after me.

Next Chapter


Wikipedia
The curse of Ham in Mormonism
Blacks and the LDS Church

Notes
1. Thompson 1995, p. 154.

2. Ashment 2000, p.126.

3. Thompson 1995, pp. 154-155. The first use of the term "Pharaoh" dates from 1504 BCE during the reign of Thutmosis III.

4. Thompson 1995, p. 155 Potiphar is a Hebrew form of an Egyptian word, first used in the 11th century.

5. Thompson 1995, p. 154. BCE.

6. Thompson 1995, p. 155.


References
Ashment, Edward H (Winter 2000), "Joseph Smith's Identification of "Abraham" in Papyrus JS1, the "Breathing Permit of Hor"", Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 33 (4): 121-126

Thompson, Stephen E (Spring 1995), "Egyptology and the Book of Abraham", (Spring 1995), Stephen E. Thompson, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. 28 (1): (143-160)