The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints God’s charge to test prophets • “When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:22) • Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1) Joseph Smith & “The Book of Abraham” An investigation of the claims of Mormonism Introductory Claim “The Book of Abraham, Translated from the Papyrus, by Joseph Smith” “A translation of some ancient records, that have fallen into our hands from the catacombs of Egypt.—The writings of Abraham while he was in Egypt, called the book of Abraham, written by his own hand, upon papyrus.” • "Soon after this, some of the Saints at Kirtland purchased the mummies and papyrus... I commenced the translation of some of the characters or hieroglyphics, and much to our joy found that one of the rolls contained the writings of Abraham, another the writings of Joseph of Egypt.." (History of the Church, vol.2, page 236) • "The remainder of this month, I was continually engaged in translating an alphabet to the Book of Abraham, and arranging a grammar of the Egyptian language as practiced by the Ancients." (History of the Church, vol. 2, p. 238) Facsimile 1 Smith explains this drawing as the attempt of a priest of the Egyptian god Elkenah to slay Abraham on an Egyptian altar in Chaldea! Fig. 1. The Angel of the Lord. Fig. 2. Abraham fastened upon an altar. Fig. 3. The idolatrous priest of Elkenah. Fig. 4. The altar for sacrifice. Fig. 5. The idolatrous god of Elkenah. Fig. 6. The idolatrous god of Libnah. Fig. 7. The idolatrous god of Mahmackrah. Fig. 8. The idolatrous god of Korash. Fig. 9. The idolatrous god of Pharaoh. Fig. 10. Abraham in Egypt. Fig. 11. Represents the pillars of heaven Fig. 12. Firmament over our heads The translation reflects Smith’s understanding of the drawing! • "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." (Abraham 1:12) Facsimile 2 Smith attempted to give various interpretations of the various symbols in this disk. Facsimil e #2 Smith affirmed that this scene pictures Abraham reasoning on the principles of astronomy in the kings court. Facsimile 3 Fig. 1. Abraham sitting upon Pharaoh’s throne, Fig. 2. King Pharaoh Fig. 3. Signifies Abraham in Egypt Fig. 4. Prince of Pharaoh, King of Egypt Fig. 5. Shulem, one of the king’s principal waiters Fig. 6. Olimlah, a slave belonging to the prince. Discovery of the Rosetta Stone was a significant event in understanding Egyptian writing. Egyptologists challenged Smith’s claims • Egyptologist M. Theodule Deveria not only accused Joseph Smith of making a false translation, but also of altering the scenes shown in the facsimiles. • F.S. Spalding in a work entitled Joseph Smith, Jr., As A Translator, reproduced a letter from Dr. A. H. Sayce of Oxford, England, which said: "It is difficult to deal seriously with Joseph Smith's impudent fraud. . . . Smith has turned the Goddess into a king and Osiris into Abraham.“ • James H. Breasted, Ph.D., Haskell Oriental Museum, University of Chicago, stated: ". . . these three facsimiles of Egyptian documents in the 'Pearl of Great Price' depict the most common objects in the mortuary religion of Egypt. Joseph Smith's interpretations of them as part of a unique revelation through Abraham, therefore, very clearly demonstrates that he was totally unacquainted with the significance of these documents and absolutely ignorant of the simplest facts of Egyptian writing and civilization" (pp.26-27). Discovery of the Smith papyri in the Metropolitan Museum! "NEW YORK--A collection of pa[p]yrus manuscripts, long believed to have been destroyed in the Chicago fire of 1871, was presented to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints here Monday by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.... Included in the papyri is a manuscript identified as the original document from which Joseph Smith had copied the drawing which he called 'Facsimile No. 1' and published with the Book of Abraham." Photo of the Egyptian Scroll Smith Claimed to Translate Facsimile #1 indicates that this is the manuscript Smith possessed Text from which Smith translated the book of Abraham Little “Sensen” Text Smith’s hand-written translation text matches the characters perfectly! What is this Egyptian text about? This manuscript is an extended prayer on behalf of a deceased Egyptian priest named Hor. It begins with an invocation to the god of mummification (Anubis) to ensure the continued existence of the priest in the next world. It is followed by a series of statements praying that the deified Hor will function as he did in life among the gods. (Egyptologist Robert Ritner, associate professor of Egyptology at the University of Chicago) Egyptologist translation of the text 1. [. . . . .] this great pool of Khonsu 2. [Osiris Hor, justified], born of Taykhebyt, a man likewise. 3. After (his) two arms are [fast]ened to his breast, one wraps the Book of Breathings, which is 4. with writing both inside and outside of it, with royal linen, it being placed (at) his left arm 5. near his heart, this having been done at his 6. wrapping and outside it. If this book be recited for him, then 7. he will breath like the soul[s of the gods] for ever and 8. ever (Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Summer 1968, p.98). Errors Smith made in translation • It is about a dead Egyptian man named Hor; nothing is said about Abraham! • Smith took a single Egyptian symbol meaning “pool” or “lake” and translated it into 135 English words! • The text of Abraham 1:16-19 containing 177 words was translated from a single Egyptian word “khons”, the name of the Egyptian moon-god. • Smith invented four characters that did not exist in the manuscript because of a tear to translate from them Abraham 1:20-28 which serve as the basis for the Mormon view that black skin was the curse of God and excluded black people from the priesthood. Smith’s Drawing vs. Original Egyptian god of mummification, Anubis, attending the dead on a lion couch Smith’s Drawing vs. Original Canopic jars for soft tissues Smith’s Drawing vs. Original “Ka” (soul of deceased) hovering over mummy awaiting resurrection Facsimile 2 This disk is a hypocephalus placed under the head of the deceased at burial. Nothing to do with astronomy! In this scene Hor, now resurrected is presented before Osiris, god of the underworld. The judgment and presentation before Osiris--A section from the “Book of the Dead” from the 19th Dynasty (1310 BC) Smith’s misidentification of characters Smith mistook Osiris (#1) for Abraham! Smith’s misidentification of characters Smith mistook Isis (#2) for “King Pharoah”! Smith’s misidentification of characters Smith mistook Ma’at (#4) for Prince of Pharoah! Smith’s misidentification of characters Smith mistook Anubis (#6) for a slave! Smith’s misidentification of characters Smith mistook Hor (#5) for “Shulem” (a waiter)! The book of Abraham is a hoax! • The text from which Smith translated the book of Abraham does not mention his name once! • It mentions numerous gods of Egypt, but not the God of the Bible a single time! • Egyptologists for over almost 150 years have been pointing out the obvious truth, viz. that Joseph Smith could not read or translate the ancient Egyptian language!