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What's new: BYU scholar shares latest research on book of Abraham

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  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Oct. 17, 2013 7:26 p.m.

    @ Brahmabull - sandy, ut - "The Caravan Moves On - I happen to KNOW it isn't true. Yes, know. Also, the catholics know, the muslims know, and many aethists know. Pretty reliable method to use, since everybody KNOWS they are right."

    Claims aside, everyody does not "know".

    I do not mean to be argumentative, but, in fact, you do not "know" it isn't true. I realize it may sound like circular logic to say this, however, when one DOES know 'truth' within a particular/given sphere or realm of information, then anything outside that realm is not, and literally cannot, be 'true'.

    A simple example: 2 + 2 = 4.

    That is indeed a 'truth', and no matter how hard I argue otherwise, the fact still remains that 2 + 2 does indeed = 4. The pricklish thing is that I don't have to know OTHER things outside the realm of 2+2+4 to 'know' that it is true. In terms of 2+2=4, we know what we know and anything outside of that truth is simply false.

    The question to answer, then, is...have we been 100% honest in our understanding of the 'truth'. Did we, in actuality, call a spade a spade?

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 12:56 p.m.

    Bramabull

    I notice you've had 4 posts already and might not be able to answer my last question, so lets just just talk about it later when the right article presents itself, as I do find it an interesting conversation.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 12:36 p.m.

    Mormons sharing their message is called missionary work. And if Mormons are commenting in a negative way about other churches, which by the way I have not seen, then I think it is wrong. Debating faith is like debating what is the best color. And for the record I don't see any potential problems with the Church. And if I did, I certainly would not bother to listen to the opinion of an outsider any more than you would want some outsider interfering with your family decisions. But my point still stands. Why would a non member or athiest even care about the scriptures of the LDS Church?

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Oct. 17, 2013 12:17 p.m.

    happy2bhere

    For the same reasons mormons feel they need to share their message to everybody else who isn't mormon. Mormons comment about other churches on other articles - I read them all of the time. just because one doesn't believe in it doesn't mean that they don't have an interest in the subject matter. If you don't want to engage and have a conversation about potential problems of the church then don't. But don't complain that people that aren't mormon comment on mormon articles, that is just silly.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 10:56 a.m.

    What I find facinating about many posts here are the folks who are obviously ex Mormons, non Mormons, or athiests. Why would you bother to even care about something you don't believe in? This is not like political opinion which is debatable. This is about faith in God, and in Jesus Christ, and in the scriptures. Do you expect some Mormon to read your opinion and suddenly say something like "Wow, I never realized that, maybe I should now run out and find the nearest evangelical church? Or "Wow, now I don't believe in God anymore?" We get where you are coming from. However I doubt many LDS troll the Catholic websites and argue over priesthood, or the evangelical websites and argue over the restoration. And if they do, they are wasting their time. I think the right thing to do is respect others faith and don't try to tear down something that has uplifted and served people in a positive way. If people like our message, they are welcome, if not, God Bless.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Oct. 17, 2013 8:42 a.m.

    The Caravan Moves On

    I happen to KNOW it isn't true. Yes, know. Also, the catholics know, the muslims know, and many aethists know. Pretty reliable method to use, since everybody KNOWS they are right.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Oct. 16, 2013 10:17 p.m.

    RE: The Caravan Moves On, Pretty tough to be an angel who "abandoned their own home" if they didn't exist "before".

    (Ecc 12:7)… the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

    In(2Tim 1:9 & Titus 1:2)God existed before time, implying he created time.

    Romans 4:17 NIV). … God who gives life to the dead and Calls into Being things that were not.

    For in him we live and move and have our Being...(Acts 17:28)Creation is dependent on God for it’s very existence.

    C.S. Lewis,” creation, I take it to mean ‘to cause to be’, without pre-existing material (=to cause both the form and matter) of something pre-conceived in the Causer’s though which, after creation, is other than the cause.

    @To those of us who have faith, no amount of physical 'proof' is needed.

    Faith is only as good as the object of that faith.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Oct. 16, 2013 6:53 p.m.

    To those of us who have faith, no amount of physical 'proof' is needed.

    For those who doubt, no amount of physical 'proof' will ever be enough.

    I'm glad I know. Yes, "know".

    I "know" the goodness of the seed I prayed about, and I thank God for it. I know it's goodness (Alma chapter 32) with a literal, perfect knowledge. However, I wait in "faith" every day to see the fulness, or the completeness, of the seed I prayed about (the Book of Mormon) but in terms of it's "goodness", I know.

    I'd like to buy the CDs and get smarter on the Book of Abraham. Praise to the man!

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Oct. 16, 2013 6:45 p.m.

    A Sharrona - Layton, UT - "A modern translation(Jude 1:6 NIV) And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home… Fallen angels(devils) Nothing to with Ante-mortal being."

    Sharrona -

    Pretty tough to be an angel who "abandoned their own home" if they didn't exist "before".

    I mean, if angels existed before the physical beginnings of 'man', then why could not regular people like you and I have existed before the physical beginnings of mankind?

  • Breathe Deep Eagle Rock, ID
    Oct. 16, 2013 4:45 p.m.

    Critics of the Bool of Abraham generally focus on the Egyptian vignettes in the book and the papyri but neglect the much richer Abrahamic traditions found in the Ancient Near East.

    This is really where Joseph Smith shines. Recent studies into ancient Abrahamic lore and Jewish traditions preserved in ancient texts, show some surprising parallels to what we find in the text of the Book of Abraham. Some of these parallels are very convincing and imply that Joseph who could not have had access to many of these traditions actually restored authentic ancient Abrahamic lore.

    Some of these parallels include early Jewish traditions about Abraham’s life–details not found in the Bible.

    Two such ancient documents that show some surprising parallels to our Book of Abraham are the Apocalypse of Abraham and the Testament of Abraham (the Apocalypse of Abraham dates to about the same time as the Book of Abraham papyri).Other interesting parallels include ancient names.

    These names are accurately represented in the Book of Abraham both phonetically as well as in meaning.

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    Oct. 16, 2013 4:01 p.m.

    People who have actual academic credentials and are qualified to research these subjects are always more reliable and give better, more reasonable conclusions than the dogmatic Evangelicals, secularists and apostates with nothing more than an axe to grind.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Oct. 16, 2013 9:56 a.m.

    I guess you could say the same about the book of mormon. Joseph Smith went to all of the trouble - even putting his life on the line - to get the golden plates. Yet, he didn't even use those same plates to translate the Book of Mormon. He used a rock in a hat to get the words to appear and then dictate it to his scribe. Any reasonable person would say that is not translating. Why would the plates be needed if they werene't used in translation. Why would he need the scrolls of papyri if he wasn't actually translating them, but using them only to 'trigger' his revelation of a book that has nothing to do with them? It makes no sense - not even close.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Oct. 16, 2013 9:49 a.m.

    the truth

    Maybe you are right and the part of the papyri that is gone is the real translation that can never be inspected. Maybe they were also taken up to heaven with angel moroni so they could never bee analyzed...

    But a more plausible explanation is that Joseph tried to translate them, but he was blatantly wrong. If the small part of the papyri that does exist has been found by any credible student of egyptian to be a false translation by Smith, what would lead you to believe that the rest is correct? Wouldn't you assume if he couldn't even get that small portiion correct that the rest that is missing is wrong too??

    Yes, maybe Joseph did get the papyri and the translation wasn't really a translation but a revelation - if so he wouldn't have needed the papyri in the first place. This explanation isn't only a stretch, it is an excuse for those who have nowhere else to go. Yes it was a translation, but it came through the spirit of revelation, not from the papyri. Right.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Oct. 15, 2013 4:37 a.m.

    "Whether the Pearl of Great Price is correct about the included facsimiles of the papyri or these so called "educated" men will only wrongly accept their secular interpretation as correct is immaterial to the truthfulness of the Book of Abraham."

    I think when many Mormons use the word "truthfulness" they really mean "truthiness".

    The BOA certainly has a touch of "truthiness" to it.

  • JonathanPDX Portland, Oregon
    Oct. 14, 2013 4:18 p.m.

    It's so entertaining when men argue over things that will only truly be revealed through revelation. Man pretends to know so much yet actually knows so very little.

    Patience and faith will always win out over impatience and doubt.

    When the Lord is ready for us to know the truth, he will show it to us.
    Then nothing will keep it hidden.

  • Michigander Westland, MI
    Oct. 14, 2013 2:54 p.m.

    The BOA (in reality the pseudo-BOA) crumbles to the dustbin of historical veracity based upon its internal evidence - the false doctrine of plurality of Gods.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 14, 2013 1:49 p.m.

    " Those with a testimony of this revelation are not concerned whether the papyri in the Church's possession was physically related to Abraham or not." But for those us with doubts, we are left with little to base an opinion on. For example the BOM, it turns out that for the most part it was not translated from the plates. It was an inspiration. We are left scratching our heads. So it all comes down to the willingness to believe, or suspend disbelief. If so, why all of the fuss about papyri and plates?

    Many of us are left believing and doubting at the same time.

  • Daniel L. Murray, UT
    Oct. 14, 2013 11:41 a.m.

    I would love to read or listen to this book. The Book of Abraham to me is a fascination and faith promoting book. I also think in not good science for any Egyptologist to make a claim of complete understanding of ancient Egyptian religion and cultural practices. A lot of things happen within cultures that many of the participants in latter generations do not understand and do not know the why's and what's about their original cultural practices.

    A prime example of this in our modern day would be the Jewish tradition. As guardians of the so called "Old Testament" of the bible, they certainly do not read it through the lens and with the same understanding of either Christians or Muslims. So while stories of one generation may carry specific meanings, It is also highly probable and most likely that Egyptians suffer from similar generational changes in the meanings of these ancient stories.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Oct. 14, 2013 9:46 a.m.

    @The Scientist

    If you were a true scientist you would have provided evidence, or scientific research or proofs, and real contribution to the dialogue and not snarky statements which are of no value to anyone.

    There are no "Real Egyptologists" just imperfect men who study what other imperfect men believed and added their "educated" opinion and research.

    The "Real Egyptologists" died thousands of years ago.

    Whether the Pearl of Great Price is correct about the included facsimiles of the papyri or these so called "educated" men will only wrongly accept their secular interpretation as correct is immaterial to the truthfulness of the Book of Abraham.

  • teeoh Anytown, KY
    Oct. 14, 2013 9:36 a.m.

    @The Scientist

    When you say “Real Egyptologists know better,” are you saying that they “know” the contents of the missing papyri? And if so, what scientific method did they use to “know” the unknowable? Or are you saying that they “know” these things in a similar way LDS testimony bearers “know” things—a statement of faith based on strong belief, experience, observation?

    I’m sure you cry foul when Mormons say they “know” something to be true, yet somehow, you accept that Egyptologists “know” what was in the missing papyri.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Oct. 14, 2013 7:41 a.m.

    BigCougar

    You keep telling yourself that.

    Real Egyptologists know better.

  • BigCougar Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 14, 2013 12:13 a.m.

    The papyri that Joseph translated the BOA from didn't survive the Chicago Fire. What is being discussed is something less than 3% of the total papyrus that Joseph had and a part that Joseph never translated. This has no bearing on the Book of Abraham or Joseph's calling as a Prophet, Seer and Revelator.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Oct. 13, 2013 8:49 p.m.

    RE “Rabbinic literature” VS the Bible
    …the spirit shall return unto God who gave it(Ecc 12:7) God existed before time, implying he created time In (2Tim 1:9 & Titus 1:2) God who gives life to the dead and Calls into Being things that were not.(Romans 4:17 NIV).

    @Twin Lights,”pre-existence was a well known concept in early Christianity”.
    Tertulllian wrote against the Platonic doctrine the Pre-existence of the soul and the Pythagorean(occult) doctrine of transmigration, re-incarnation. (200 A.D. On Souls).

    Greek philosophy is the origin of this type of philosophy, not the Bible. The Bible teaches in 1Cor. 15:46-47: “However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second is man is from heaven.”

    For in him we live and move and have our Being...(Acts 17:28)Creation is dependent on God for it’s very existence

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Oct. 13, 2013 8:16 p.m.

    Sharrona,

    Alternate translations do not indicate that time was not part of the issue.

    From the Wiki folks:

    "In rabbinic literature, the souls of all humanity are described as being created during the six days of creation (Book of Genesis). When each person is born, a preexisting soul is placed within the body."

    Also

    "A concept of pre-existence was advanced by Origen, a Church Father who lived in the second and third century AD. Origen believed that each human soul was created by God at some time prior to conception. Church Fathers Tertullian and Jerome held to traducianism and creationism, respectively, and pre-existence was condemned as heresy in the Second Council of Constantinople in AD 553."

    You have quoted Origen previously as being definitive of some concepts, so I assume his thoughts (though later condemned) have at least some relevance to you.

    But either way you have to acknowledge that the pre-existence was a well known concept in early Christianity.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Oct. 13, 2013 7:42 p.m.

    In many instances, Joseph Smith used the word "translate" to mean bringing forth revelation of lost writings of prophets in ancient times. He may have been "translating" the Bible, for instance, but the lost writings may never have been in those documents. It would be an assumption that the revealed accounts were once in the ancient scriptures, but they didn't have to be for the revelation to be true.

    Joseph Smith received the Book of Abraham while inspecting Egyptian Papyri. It was an assumption that the papyri directly related to the revelation, but that is irrelevant. Those with a testimony of this revelation are not concerned whether the papyri in the Church's possession was physically related to Abraham or not.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Oct. 13, 2013 7:12 p.m.

    RE: Twin Lights,Though I recognize the issues here, I love the Pearl of Great Price including the Book of Abraham. I agree,
    The first 6 chapters of Genesis(JST)contains 311 verses, the Septuagint and Masoretic texts contain 184 verses. JST creates 27 verses. And there over 120 N.T. quotes ,which support the Septuagint and Masoretic texts. Not the Book of Moses.

    RE: the truth, Those so-called translation are at best educated guesses. True, a poor KJV tranlstion ie..,

    (Jude 1:6 KJV) the angels which kept not their first estate= *achre, Grk 746 but left their own habitation,… See Abraham 3:26. *first place, principality, rule, authority, of Angels, Demons.

    A modern translation(Jude 1:6 NIV) And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home… Fallen angels(devils) Nothing to with Ante-mortal being.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Oct. 13, 2013 5:26 p.m.

    @Michigander

    What about the papyri that didn't survive?

    So-called experts can translated something into what ever they want it to mean, that doesn't make it them right.

    And where is it written that the Book of Abraham came from the surviving the papyri?

    So-called "learned men" have been proven wrong time and again.

    Those so-called translation are at best educated guesses.

  • New Yorker Pleasant Grove, UT
    Oct. 13, 2013 3:22 p.m.

    For heaven's sake, this is an article about the release of a set of CDs for which many in DNs readership will have interest. It's not an article about the merits of the Book of Abraham, so you trolls can go back to sleep under the bridge.

    I'd be interested in a downloadable release because I'd only rip them and put them on my player device anyhow.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Oct. 13, 2013 2:33 p.m.

    Though I recognize the issues here, I love the Pearl of Great Price including the Book of Abraham.

  • Michigander Westland, MI
    Oct. 13, 2013 1:35 p.m.

    For the true story of the BOA see below:

    Now, for the first time, the surviving papyri have been translated into English in their entirety. In analyzing and translating the ancient texts, Robert K. Ritner, foremost American scholar of Egyptology, has determined that they were prepared for deceased men and women in Thebes during the Greco-Roman period. They have nothing to do with Abraham, Joseph, or a planet called Kolob, as Joseph Smith had claimed.

    “Except for those willfully blind,” writes Professor Ritner of the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute, “the case is closed.” His new book is titled, "The Joseph Smith Egyptian Papyri: A Complete Edition."

    Dr. Ritner concluded that the papyri are ordinary Egyptian funeral texts, with possibly a few interesting side notes. For example, one of the Smith papyri is the “Document of Breathing Made by Isis” and is the oldest known datable copy (pre-150 BCE). Otherwise, Ritner states, anyone investigating claims of ancient evidence for Joseph Smith’s translation should not “waste his time,” although he does admit “that the study of the Mormon period of Egyptomania is interesting by itself.”

  • Fortress Salt Lake, UT
    Oct. 13, 2013 1:19 p.m.

    A balanced approach to this article would require discussion of the fact that only an extremely small minority of scholars consider the Book of Abraham to be an authentic historical document. It's illogical to ignore the available data just because it isn't in agreement with your opinion. This is largely a local perspective and our host here, to some degree at least, has a global audience. What I saw in this article was not necessarily a bad thing in its proper context. However, since this is a newspaper and we're not in the opinion section I struggle to justify calling it journalism.

  • J.D. Aurora, CO
    Oct. 13, 2013 12:43 p.m.

    Most egyptoplogist disagree with Kerry, but at least he is trying.