Oct 30, 2010

Joseph Smith lied about the Book of Abraham +2

Reasons to agree: 7
  1. One of the worst things is people who are confident, but are wrong. Joseph smith confidently proclaimed the translation of the facsimiles in the Pearl of Great Price. He was completely wrong. Not even close. When someone gets things this wrong, you must assume, what other things did he just make up? 
  2. Joseph lied when he described his process as a translation. 
  3. Joseph Smith described his work as translating from the papyrus that he found. Modern scholars have proven that Smiths translation does not match the original papyrus. Perhaps Joseph Smith was really inspired. Perhaps the information is really from God. However, you should not lie to exaggerate or misrepresent what really happened. It is wrong to lie. It is wrong to say you translated, if you are just getting thoughts and ideas that are unrelated to what is on a papyrus. Henry B. Eyring said that God did not need something written down on papyrus in order to get his message to us. Of course he is right, but Joseph shouldn't have acted like he was translating. In order to still believe the Church is true, you have to believe that Joseph was sort of a charlatan, but that God used a boastful, exaggerating, man to bring forth the truth. This is probably not the case. 
  4. In the Times and Seasons Joseph presented, and other Church leaders continued to present drawings with interpretations that have been proven to be wrong.
  5. Modern scholars, including Mormon scholars, date the papyri to a few hundred not thousands of years before Christ, but Joseph Smith said that Abraham wrote on the scrolls with his own hand. 
  6. It seems that Joseph invented hieroglyphic characters to fill in for missing characters lost by the lacuna 
  7. According to Smith, the book was "a translation of some ancient records ... purporting to be the writings of Abraham, while he was in Egypt, called the Book of Abraham, written by his own hand, upon papyrus". However they are actually commonly used funderal texts, and were not written by the Prophet Abraham.
Reasons to disagree: 3
  1. John Laurence Gee (born 1964) is an American Latter-day Saint and Egyptologist at Brigham Young University (BYU) who is known for his writings in support of the Book of Abraham.
  2. The phrase "by his own hand" can simply mean that Abraham is the author of the book. Similarly, we could hold a modern printed Bible in our hands, point to 1 Corinthians, and say, "This was written by the Apostle Paul." 
  3. Joseph was translating the writings of Abraham, so it is quite possible that he believed that the actual scroll in his possession was written by Abraham himself. There is no evidence, however, that this belief was based on revelation.

# of reasons to agree: +7
# of reasons to disagree: -3
# of reasons to agree with reasons to agree: +0
# of reasons to disagree with reasons to agree: -0
Total Idea Score: +4

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FigureJoseph Smith Explanation[40]Explanation by non-Mormon and Mormon Egyptologists (quotes are from Deveria 1860)[25][41][42][43][44][45]
1The Angel of the Lord."The soul of Osiris (which should have a human head)"
2Abraham fastened upon an altar."Osiris coming to life on his couch, which is in the shape of a lion"
3The idolatrous priest of Elkenah attempting to offer up Abraham as a sacrifice."The God Anubis (who should have a jackal's head) effecting the resurrection of Osiris"
4The altar for sacrifice by the idolatrous priests, standing before the gods of Elkenah [sic], Libnah, Mahmackrah, Korash, and Pharaoh."The funeral bed of Osiris"
5The idolatrous god of Elkenah.Canopic jar portraying Qebehsenuf with a falcon's head - one of thefour sons of Horus
6The idolatrous god of Libnah.Canopic jar portraying Duamutef with a jackal's head - one of the four sons of Horus
7The idolatrous god of Mahmackrah.Canopic jar portraying Hapy with an ape's head - one of the four sons of Horus
8The idolatrous god of Korash.Canopic jar portraying Imsety with a human head - one of the four sons of Horus
9The idolatrous god of Pharaoh."The sacred crocodile, symbolic of the god Sedet"
10Abraham in Egypt."Altar laden with offerings"
11Designed to represent the pillars of heaven, as understood by the Egyptians."An ornament peculiar to Egyptian art"
12Raukeeyang, signifying expanse, or the firmament over our heads; but in this case, in relation to this subject, the Egyptians meant it to signify Shaumau, to be high, or the heavens, answering to the Hebrew word, Shaumahyeem."Customary representation of ground in Egyptian paintings (The word Shauman is not Egyptian, and the Hebrew word is badly copied)"