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Book of Abraham Definition

Book of Abraham.

A book found in the Pearl of Great Price that Joseph Smith supposedly translated from a papyrus he purchased in Ohio from a traveling salesman. Although the original papyri were thought to have been lost, they were rediscovered in 1967 and are now in the possession of the LDS Church. Abraham 1:26 is the only verse in the Standard Works that could be used as support for Mormonism’s teaching until 1978 that those with black skin could not hold the priesthood. “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 2:235, 236, 348-35” (Introduction to Abraham 1). According to a church manual, “The book of Abraham is an evidence of the inspired calling of the Prophet Joseph Smith. It came forth at a time when the study of the ancient Egyptian language and culture was just beginning. The scholars of the 1800s had scarcely begun to explore the field of Egyptology, and yet, with no formal training in ancient languages and no knowledge of ancient Egypt (except his work with the Book of Mormon), Joseph Smith began his translation of the ancient manuscripts. His knowledge and ability came through the power and gift of God, together with his own determination and faith.” (Pearl of Great Price Student Manual Religion 327, 2000, p. 29). While the papyrii was thought to have been lost to the great Chicago Fire in the 19th century, it reappeared in 1967. Egyptologists who have examined it say that Joseph Smith did not know how to translate ancient Egytians hyroglyphics.

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