Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Book of Abraham?

Supposedly the LDS Book of Abraham was translated by Joseph Smith, directly from the original papyrus which he purchased.  Of course it was proven many, many, many decades ago that the papyrus was nothing less than a funeral document which had nothing to do with what Smith claimed it said. 

For those interested in an in-depth look at the BOA, I highly recommend Charles M. Larson’s book, “ his own hand upon papyrus.

The Utah Lighthouse Ministry has demonstrated how the LDS are covering their tracks in the 2013 edition of the BOA.  One must first look at older editions to see the problem.

I have a 1968 printing of the Pearl of Great Price, which is where the BOA is published.
Just under the title, “The Book of Abraham,” is the statement, “Translated from the papyrus, by Joseph Smith.”  

In italics is the following statement before Chapter one begins:  “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.  See History of the Church, vol. 2, pp. 235, 236, 348-351.”  This is then followed by the text of the book.

In this 1968 version, there is no introduction to the Pearl of Great Price.  However, the 1981 version says this about the BOA:  “The Book of Abraham.  A translation from some Egyptian papyri that came into the hands of Joseph Smith in 1835, containing the writings of the patriarch Abraham.

Now, the 2013 edition has the following in the introduction of the POGP:  “The Book of Abraham.  An inspired translation of the writings of Abraham.  Joseph Smith began the translation in 1835 after obtaining some Egyptian papyri.”  [bold emphasis mine].

About this, Utah Lighthouse Ministry, in the May 2013 issue of their “Salt Lake City Messenger,” has this to say:  “Notice the subtle shift from a direct translation to ‘inspired’ in an effort to distance Smith’s text from the papyri.  This seems to be a concession that the Book of Abraham text is not a translation of the papyri, thus alleviating the need to defend Smith’s interpretation.”  I think they hit the nail right square on the head.  The LDS has historically changed their publications and statements so as to distance themselves from a lot of original LDS doctrines because they are embarrassing to the LDS.

At the actual heading of the BOA, the 2013 edition removes the statement, “Translated from the papyrus, by Joseph Smith.”  Interesting, however, is that they left the original statement in place before the beginning of chapter one.

So, there you have it - more deception from the LDS so they can denounce their detractors.  This cult never ceases to amaze me.

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