My first doubts - the facsimiles in the Book of Abraham
The New York Times debunked the Book of Abraham in 1912:
My First Doubts
I started doubting my beliefs around 1999 that’s when I started to research everything I could find about the LDS church. Believe it or not my doubts really started after watching the movie “The Mummy” with Brendan Fraser. While watching the movie they featured the Egyptian canopic jars quite prominently. Why did these things seem so familiar?
Then I remembered from years past when I was bored, in LDS sacrament meetings where the only thing I had to entertain me was the facsimiles in the Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price. I studied those facsimiles for hours. Imagine my surprise when I searched the internet and found many other examples of very similar facsimiles and learned what they really were.
The more and more I researched the more my eyes were opened. I found the original images of the papyrus that Joseph Smith “translated”. The scrolls Joseph Smith "translated" into the Book of Abraham have been identified by Egyptologists — including LDS scholars — as common, pagan Egyptian burial documents, that do not mention Abraham and have no connection to the contents of the Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price. The scrolls actually date to about 1500 years after Abraham was alive so it is impossible that it was written in “Abraham’s own hand” as Joseph Smith claimed in the Pearl of Great Price.
Comparing the source papyrus to the published facsimile
Joseph Smith filled in the areas where the papyrus was damaged (sketching's are seen on the source papyrus below). Egyptologists agree these restorations are inaccurate.
Below are common Egyptian funerary scenes. Note: the top left image is an artist's depiction of Facsimile 1 restored properly.
Here's a larger depiction of what Facsimile 1 should have looked like:
The following is just funny because Joseph Smith claims this "Represents God sitting upon his throne" apparently "God" is very happy to see you! Please note that the erection was edited out of pre 1981 depictions.
The consequences are eternal: if Joseph Smith's translation of the papyri is accurate, it would confirm his claim that he possessed a supernatural gift. However, if his translation is inaccurate, then he is exposed as a false prophet who perpetrated a fraud. In that event it would cast doubt on his other "translation": the Book of Mormon.
Check out this highly informative video detailing more about The Book of Abraham and the Papyri http:⁄⁄youtu.be⁄f5FAFVVv_os
The “Joseph Smith Papers” project has uploaded all of the known images of the egyptian papyri as well as the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar book!
Introduction to Egyptian Material:
View all the papyri fragments on the Joseph Smith Papers website:
View the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar book: