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SCEPTIC.INFO Free your mind - question!
FRAUDULENT TRANSLATION OF THE BOOK OF ABRAHAM
Joseph Smith the Mormon prophet spent a fortune on Egyptian texts that he thought contained the writings of the Prophet Abraham. The papyri was missing many characters and he supplied the missing bits through getting the information from God. Except he didn't. What he came up with made no sense. This is far more important than any alleged translation. Worse it means that the fake characters were translated too! The original handwritten scripts were written with the character in the margin and the translation beside it. Yet Mormons dismiss the characters as decoration or say that somebody that didn't know what they were doing added them in. The evidence is that the characters were put in first and the translation put in beside them next and that the translation was dictated by Smith as shown where he had to correct his two scribes at times over hearing mistakes. Here we have a page that clearly shows the characters were put down first. The scribe had to take a curve for the characters were in the way.
Despite liars who say that Smith did not claim to have Abraham's actual writing he said,
I commenced the translation of some of the characters or hieroglyphics, and much to our joy found that one of the rolls contained the writings of Abraham, . . Joseph Smith, History of the Church, vol. 2, (Deseret Book, 1976), p. 236.
The case against the Book of Abraham:
There is no proof at all that Joseph Smith could translate Egyptian to produce the Book of Abraham. The Mormon Church simply answers that there is no proof that he could not translate it either. It says we have to take the testimony of holy people that he could.
The Church has documents that show the characters from the papyrus upon which Abraham supposedly wrote and used to produce the Book of Abraham are totally mistranslated. The answer the Church gives is that Smith's scribes may have taken it on themselves to put the characters in. But what if Smith did it himself? There is no evidence that scribes did it and if they did then why? Surely they would have been conferring with Smith?
The Book of Abraham speaks of many gods creating Heaven and Earth. There is no evidence that Christ established a polytheistic religion and that he was anything other than a hardcore believer in one God.
The Book of Abraham 1:12 presents Abraham as wanting you to look at the picture that was put with the scripts. As much of the picture was missing Smith simply tried to draw in the missing parts and it is proven beyond doubt that his restoration is rubbish and has nothing to do with Abraham. The Church lies that you can hold that the picture has nothing to do with religion or scripture. But you cannot believe in the Book of Abraham or Smith's ability as a prophet without it.
The order of creation in the book of Abraham contradicts science and is presented as literally true. The cop out used by modern Christianity that the order of creation in Genesis is poetic and not scientific or meant to be taken as serious history is not available to the Mormon.
The Mormon Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was founded in 1830 by a man called Joseph Smith who claimed to be a prophet of God. Was this man really a prophet of God? We will soon see that he wasn’t.
Joseph Smith bought some Egyptian papyri from the idolatrous Book of Breathings from an Egyptian mummy and claimed that it was the Book of Abraham and even that it had Abraham’s signature. He produced a translation of it. This translation is now regarded as infallible scripture by the Mormon Church and it is in a volume called The Pearl of Great Price. The scripture says that God told Abraham to lie about his wife meaning that we should not trust God or Mormonism and certainly not the Book of Abraham. An almighty God has no need to tell anybody to lie for he has the power to pull strings to get what he wants. No Egyptologist believes Smith had the slightest notion of how to translate Egyptian. The translation was bogus.
The papyri have been found to have been ordinary Egyptian funerary papyri and to have nothing to do with Abraham. They contain prayers and spells offered to pagan Gods. The Mormons are strictly told to avoid pagan emblems. God commanded this avoidance through Smith and yet the Church thinks these writings are God’s word! When Smith first saw the papyri he said that some of the characters were very familiar to him. He did not say why. The only answer is, is that he was saying that they looked like the characters on the golden plates. Thus he denied that the Book of Mormon was written in totally different Egyptian from that in Egypt which is an admission that he never saw the plates!
Mormons say that the papyri used by Smith was lost – a piece of wishful thinking thoroughly refuted in chapter 5, Are the Mormon Scriptures Reliable? Not surprisingly they do not bring your attention to the fact that Smith put the characters from the papyri in the margin of his manuscript so we would know what he was translating. The characters match the existing papyri, which refutes the Mormon claim. Also when the papyri was found again in the 1960s it was discovered that items drawn by Smith were included in the find. The papyri was glued to pieces of paper to help prevent them disintegrating further than they had. The drawings had many missing bits and the missing parts were filled in by very unEgyptian pictures as if somebody had been guessing what the missing parts were. The patched up drawings looked the same as the drawings associated with the Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price. Some papyri was attached to a drawing of the Kirtland Temple built under Joseph Smith. There is general agreement today among Mormon and non-Mormon scholars that these are the papyri that Smith declared were the writings of Abraham. Mormons ignore the fact that the translation was a fake and pretend that there must be some other explanation. They imagine that they see parallels with ancient religious documents that Smith didn't have. They pretend that there is evidence that the Book of Abraham really dated from the time of Abraham. This is a clear case of ignoring the knife in the killers hand to argue that he was such a good person that he couldn't have committed the murder.
Smith translated a paragraph of several words from a character resembling three waves on the sea and did the same with all the other characters. You cannot get that many words from a single character. This has led some Mormons to lamely say that strictly speaking there was no strict translation but the figure was a symbol for the paragraph just like (A) might represent a paragraph. There were drawings with missing parts with the papyri and Smith reconstructed them. This reconstruction was certainly wrong and Smith’s translation of the writing on them is totally imaginary.
Smith thought he could see religious history in the pictures and mistook a picture of the god Osiris for Abraham in what he called Facsimile 3! Smith and his Book of Abraham (1:12) claim that Abraham’s drawing of an attempt to kill him was included. Smith’s interpretations of the drawings are wrong so the Book of Abraham was not inspired for the drawings were not done by Abraham but by an Egyptian idol worshipper for the texts honour Egyptian gods. His restoration of the missing fragments of the drawings has been refuted definitively. Despite the many documents and publications of the early Mormon Church in which Smith stated that the papyri were the actual physical work of Abraham itself, modern Mormon scholars prefer to pretend that he did not say that. Smith even claimed that a worthless grammar and alphabet he created in 1835 from the Book of Abraham was a correct guide to ancient Egyptian (History of the Church, Vol 2, page 238). This grammar, Mormons allege, was just Joseph trying to figure out how to translate the natural way. They don’t want you to realise that Smith claimed that God gave him the temporary supernatural knowledge to translate the book and that the grammar was simply writing down what he was told. If the grammar is full of error and no scholar can fail to have a good laugh at it, then Smith was not inspired by God. It is obvious that Smith could not have produced a grammar for Egyptian unless he claimed divine inspiration for nobody knew how to translate it in those days and Smith knew he was not, humanly speaking, the best person to try unless God did the work for him.
Mormons like Jeff Lindsay try to make out that the papyrus Smith used is missing and use descriptions of it from Smith’s time to prove that. But since Smith copied the characters in the margins of his manuscript to show what he was translating we can show that this is wishful thinking (page 81, Are the Mormon Scriptures Reliable?). Even if the Mormons are right that the original is missing it still does nothing to help them.
Some Mormons pretend that the original handwritten manuscript by Smith (a picture of a page of it appears on page 82, Are the Mormon Scriptures Reliable?) was just Smith preparing for the proper translation by the gift and power of God. That way they can deny that the manuscript is divinely inspired. But then how come the text of the present Book of Abraham is in it? They cannot present any incontestable proof that the manuscript is not the final product and if you are going to tolerate speculation like that you will never see the truth in anything. In the manuscript, Smith had not the foggiest notion about how to translate Egyptian
Early sources insist that Smith used the Urim and Thummim which he used in the production of the Book of Mormon to produce the Book of Abraham. When they failed him with the Book of Abraham why should we trust the translation of the Book of Mormon?
The Mormons ignore the evidence against the Book of Abraham and they say it is true because it has the marks of chiasmus – a style of Hebrew poetry. This style is not hard to replicate and it even appears in the writings of Solomon Spaulding who some believe was the author of what became the Book of Mormon. So weak evidence is preferred to what the stronger body of evidence says.
Joseph Smith was a false prophet.
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