The Book of Abraham is a volume of holy scripture translated by Joseph Smith. The text is unique because we possess some of the Egyptian papyri the Prophet may have used during his translation. However, the text on extant fragments doesn’t align with what’s found in the book—and that’s led to many debates. Ultimately, the Church says that the book’s power lies in study, prayer, and personal revelation. This article walks you through some of the latest research findings, including exclusive From the Desk interviews.
Category: Pearl of Great Price
The Book of Abraham comprises only 15 pages of printed scripture, but there are hundreds of books, periodicals, and other articles detailing its history and theology. This Book of Abraham bibliography compiled by Stephen Smoot, John Gee, Kerry Muhlestein, and John Thompson organizes some of the most important sources on topics such as the Joseph Smith papyri, the ancient world of the Egyptians, and the facsimiles found in the Pearl of Great Price.
The Book of Abraham has a fascinating history. For example, Joseph Smith charged visitors to see four mummies he purchased with the scrolls of Abraham. The topic also raises a number of questions, such as whether the Egyptian manuscripts catalyzed Joseph’s Smith’s revelatory process.
Let’s Talk About the Book of Abraham is an easy-to-read summary of the important gospel topic. In this interview, Egyptologist Kerry Muhlestein looks at the history of Abraham’s book, discusses the facsimiles, and weighs the limitations of current theories—including his own.
Jeffrey M. Bradshaw breaks down some of today’s most important questions from the Pearl of Great Price and introduces the 2020 Interpreter Foundation conference, “Tracing Ancient Threads in the Book of Moses.” He is also the author of Freemasonry and the Origins of Latter-day Saint Temple Ordinances and the lead editor of Hugh Nibley Observed.
Scholar Matthew Grey shares his latest research on Joseph Smith’s usage of Hebrew in the Book of Abraham. Grey published a chapter on the topic in Producing Ancient Scripture: Joseph Smith’s Translation Projects in the Development of Mormon Christianity (University of Utah Press, 2020).
The fourth volume of the Joseph Smith Papers “Revelations and Translations” series is a research gold mine for scholars working on issues related to Joseph Smith and the Book of Abraham. Robin Jensen, the volume’s co-editor, answers questions about the latest Joseph Smith Papers Volume and explains why it is a landmark publication.