The Book of Abraham: The fraudulent text that shatters the credibility of Mormonism

The Book of Abraham is a text of Mormonism contained within the “Pearl of Great Price” scriptures, which alongside the Bible, the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine & Covenants, forms the scriptural canon of the LDS church. The church claims that the Book of Abraham was the translation of an ancient Egyptian record by Joseph Smith that revealed an “expansion” of the old testament documenting Abraham’s journey in Egypt.

The book teaches a number of doctrines controversial or outside of mainstream Christianity, claiming that there are multiple gods, that the universe already existed before god, that the father lives on a planet called “Kolob” and that man can attain exaltation to become like god. With Egypt’s history having been revealed to the western world for the first time following the French conquest of it, Joseph Smith created the Book of Abraham in 1835 by purchasing Ancient Egyptian mummies, scrolls and texts (this was a sad but widespread practice at the time) and then providing his own inspired “translation” of the texts.

At the time, it was not yet possible for scholars to translate the Ancient Egyptian language of Hieroglyphics, allowing Smith to claim he had an exclusive knowledge reserved only to himself. However, the discovery and translation of the Rosetta Stone allowed scholars to properly translate Egyptian and therefore understand these texts for what they really meant. In a nutshell, as the internet spread scholarship and information, people soon discovered that what Joseph Smith claimed to have translated had nothing to do with the actual texts themselves, and he had made the whole thing up. There is not a single Ancient Egypt scholar which takes the Book of Abraham seriously.

The actual texts that Joseph Smith used to create the Book are derived from Ancient Egyptian funeral books known as “The Book of Breathings” and “The Book of the Dead” which are ritualistic and prayer books, and are not a record of the biblical patriarch Abraham. These texts were of course used in all Ancient Egyptian funeral rituals and are not even unique but very common. The image at the top, which has been partially doctored and misleadingly reconstructed by Joseph Smith (as there were parts missing), shows the preparation of an Egyptian Mummy by a priest. Smith claimed that the image represented Abraham being offered as a human sacrifice to a god with a name he made up, and that the eagle was the “angel of the lord.”

Instead, the proper image with the missing parts included looks like this. As we can see, the priest wears the mask of the Egyptian god Anubis who was god of the dead. Smith did not understand or know anything about Ancient Egypt and had no inspiration in either filling in the gaps or creating the text as a whole. It was all his own imagination and improvisation.

The revelation and thus proof that the Book of Abraham was in fact a fabrication by Joseph Smith has stood as the most damning indictment that he was not a prophet called by god, and that the LDS (Mormon) church is therefore not the restored church on the earth. This has been most instrumental in spearheading the quitting of members throughout the world as it has alerted them that the church is essentially telling lies. It is a faith breaker and one the church, despite attempting to rig the google algorithm to place their explanations at the top of results, has no answer for.

Ultimately, if there was no inspired record of Abraham brought forth by revelation, there was probably no Golden Plates or a translation of the Book of Mormon either. The Book of Abraham is essentially a “fan fiction” of the Old Testament that proposes a doctrine that man can become gods and makes it a weird sci-fi fantasy talking about god living on another planet. There is in addition to this, another Pearl of Great Price text known as “The Book of Moses” which similarly, seeks to add to Exodus as an “expanded” version of Moses’s conversation with god in the Burning Bush. Smith however, did not claim to translate any documents to make this one.

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