Copyright © Darren Hewer 2006
Please do not copy this article without permission. Please link to this page.

Origins of the Papyrus
What Sort of "Translation"?
Are These the Papyrus?
Kirtland Egyptian Papers
Modern Analysis of the Book of Abraham Facsimile Drawings
The LDS Reply: Dr John Gee
The LDS Reply: Questioning Larson's Thoroughness
The LDS Reply: How Many Scrolls?
The LDS Reply: Discrediting the Kirtland Egyptian Papers
Final Thoughts


This article is the result of my own investigation into the Latter Day Saints' Book of Abraham. Originally it was prepared as my final project for my World Religions class as part of my Master's program. I apologize for the sometimes awkward formatting; this is due to the fact that this article was converted from a Microsoft Word document to HTML. If you have comments or questions regarding this article, please contact me. Thank you!

Origins of the Papyrus

In July 1835, a traveling exhibitor named Michael Chandler arrived in Kirtland Ohio.1 For a price, onlookers were able to view ancient Egyptian artifacts in Chandler's exhibit. At that time, Kirtland was the center of Joseph Smith's newly formed church that would eventually become known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormonism). Smith is thought by Mormon faithful including the current president to be "truly a seer … a revelator … a prophet of the living God who has spoken to his own and all future generations."2 Smith not only founded the LDS (Mormon) church, but he was also the first prophet and "seer" of the church, and thus claimed the power to translate ancient documents (Book of Mormon, Mosiah 8:12-16).

Mormon church members brought Smith scrolls of papyrus containing Egyptian hieroglyphics from the exhibit, and Smith claimed to be able, as seer, to have the ability to translate the hieroglyphics. Soon Smith began his translation, and revealed to the faithful that the scrolls contained the writings of Abraham and Joseph3. The Book of Abraham (BoA) was accepted into the LDS canon as Scripture in 18524 as part of the "Pearl of Great Price"5, and reconfirmed as scripture in 19026.

The purpose of this article is to investigate based on the evidence available whether or not the translation of the Book of Abraham is accurate as it appears in the Mormon book of scripture "The Pearl of Great Price". (Read the Book of Abraham here.) A portion of the original papyri that the church purchased were discovered in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1966 and announced in 19677. A reasonable evaluation will be attempted of the accuracy of the Book of Abraham by examining the content of these papyrus scrolls along with the English text of the Book of Abraham and other historical Mormon documents.

The main texts used will be Charles M. Larson's By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus and Dr John Gee's article A Tragedy of Errors8 written for FARMS9, which is a critical commentary on Larson's book. Gee's critique was chosen for two reasons. First, Gee is currently the foremost LDS expert on issues regarding the BoA. He has a PhD in Egyptology from Yale University10 and has written previously on this topic11. Gee is referenced by Beckwith et al in their recent book The New Mormon Challenge as an "LDS perspective" on this issue.12 Second, his article was written relatively recently (compared to Hugh Nibley's writings on the subject) and comments directly upon Larson's work.

What Sort of "Translation"?

Before discussing whether or not Joseph Smith's translation of the papyri is accurate, we must first define what is meant by "translation". Many theories have emerged since the rediscovery of the papyri that suggest that Smith was not really translating in the usual sense. Rather it is suggested that Smith did not need the scrolls at all and received the text entirely from divine revelation13, or that he essentially ignored the literal meaning and somehow derived a secret meaning hidden within the characters14, or that he treated the hieroglyphics as a "mnemonic device"15. I do not agree with these modern ideas for several reasons.

Most importantly, the plain meaning of what it means to "translate" something when referring to languages would be to render a text written in one language (such as hieroglyphics) literally into another language (such as English). If a person says they have translated a written work from French into English, but the resulting English text's meaning bore no resemblance to the French meaning, that would not be a translation. Surely when the early Mormon church paid $2,400US16 ($50,000 in today's US$17) and were told that Smith would translate these documents, the church members expected that the Egyptian hieroglyphics would be literally translated into English text.

But did Joseph Smith claim to be translating the papyri? The beginning of the current version of The Book of Abraham proclaims that it was "TRANSLATED FROM THE PAPYRUS, BY JOSEPH SMITH".18 The nature of this translation is revealed in comments Smith made, as recorded in the History of the Church: "… I commenced translation of some of the characters or hieroglyphics and … found that one of the rolls contained the writings of Abraham".19 The original publication was headed "A Translation … purporting to be the writings of Abraham … by his own hand upon papyrus" although this was later changed by Apostle Orson Pratt to edit out the words "purporting to be", indicating that there was no question in the mind of the later church officials (who are also thought to have been divinely inspired just as Smith claimed to be) that Abraham himself had written the papyrus.20

Several other writings by Joseph Smith give no indication that he was doing anything other than translating in the usual sense (albeit with divine knowledge given to make such a translation possible) such as where Smith "spent the day translating the Egyptian records"21 and "was continually engaged in translating an alphabet to the Book of Abraham, and arranging a grammar of the Egyptian language"22. Therefore Smith considered the BoA text to be nothing less than a direct, literal translation23.

Are These the Papyrus?

The next question is whether the papyrus scrolls discovered are the ones that Joseph Smith used to conduct his translation of the Book of Abraham. The papyri discovered represent approximately one third of the entire collection.24 All agree that one of the papyrus, Joseph Smith Papyrus I (JS I), is the original from which Facsimile No.1 was copied.25 (Three "Facsilimies" are included with the Book of Abraham along with the text. These are pictures that were copied from the Egyptian scrolls, and Joseph Smith commented on their supposed meaning as they related to the BoA story.) The BoA tells us that this drawing was included "at the commencement of this record" (BoA 1:12) and again that "I [Abraham] have given you the fashion of [the figures] at the beginning" (BoA 1:14).26 So the Facsimile No.1 drawing should appear at the beginning of the scroll. (In this case the beginning would be the right side, not the left, since hieroglyphics are read right-to-left.) By comparing JS I to the other fragments, University of Chicago Egyptologist Klaus Baer identified that JS XI (a smaller piece containing hieroglyphic text and no pictures) had originally been connected to JS I.27 The right edge of JS XI where the papyrus had been cut to be mounted matches the left edge of JS I.

Additionally, there is a pattern of dips and gouges at the top of both JS I and JS XI that match perfectly; the pattern indicates these sections were originally rolled up on top of each other on the scroll.28 Finally, the name of the owner is identical on both papyri.29 So even without any additional evidence, we have very good reasons to conclude that JS XI was connected to JS I (which is known to be the source for Facsimile No.1) which means that JS XI is the initial part of the text used to translate the Book of Abraham.30 The conclusion of this is that we can be certain that we possess the original papyrus from which the beginning of the Book of Abraham was supposedly translated.

Kirtland Egyptian Papers

But there is also the evidence of the "Kirtland Egyptian Papers" to confirm this is the same papyrus Smith used for his translation. Rediscovered in 193531, the documents include the "Alphabet and Grammar" and several original handwritten BoA manuscripts. The hieroglyphics on the JS XI papyrus "match – in order – those found on the BoA translation manuscripts. In other words, the original source (or at least a part of it) from which Joseph Smith translated the Book of Abraham had been identified".32 The manuscripts (recorded by Smith's scribes as he dictated) show the text of the Book of Abraham, with hieroglyphics drawn in the margins beside each of the paragraphs. This shows that JS XI was identified as being the source for the Book of Abraham text. The three oldest of the four existing original manuscripts contain the same hieroglyphics copied from JS XI in the margin. Also, the "Alphabet and Grammar" portion also contain hieroglyphics from JS XI.

There is no doubt that Smith stated he was working on an alphabet and grammar.33 Two of the pages even have Joseph Smith's handwriting on them.34 What cannot be verified with absolute certainty is whether or not the hieroglyphics in the margins of the BoA manuscripts were written simultaneously with the English text, or whether they were added later. However, while not entirely provable, it seems quite probable, with no clear evidence that they were added later, and given the fact that all three manuscripts have the same hieroglyphics, that the hieroglyphics in the margins were written at the same time as the English text. (For further discussion of this point, see my reply to Gee's arguments re the Kirtland Egyptian Papers later in this article.)

Regardless, the case for identifying JS XI as the text used to produce the Book of Abraham does not depend entirely upon the A&G. The connection between JS I and JS XI is substantiated without it by the physical evidence linking it to JS I, and bolstered by this additional confirmation from the Kirtland Egyptian Papers. See this page for photographs of the Kirkland Egyptian Papers.

Modern Analysis of the Book of Abraham

From the evidence above, we can conclude:

a) Smith believed he was doing a literal translation of the documents.
b) We have in our possession the first section of the documents he used to do his translation of the BoA.

When we compare the English BoA text to a modern translation of the hieroglyphics on JS XI, the difference is obvious: JS XI contains nothing about Abraham at all but instead is part of a common Egyptian funeral document, The Book of Breathings, in this case for an Egyptian priest named Hor. Regardless of who was doing the translation of the papyri, the results are never anything close to the Mormon Book of Abraham. The original suspicions that M. Theodule Deveria (one of the pioneers of Egyptology) expressed in 1856 that Smith's translation was "rambling nonsense"35 has been confirmed repeatedly, such as in 1912 by eight separate Egyptologists 36 and more recently by Richard A. Parker37. Hugh Nibley also agreed that the translation produced by Dee Jay Nelson (regardless of Nelson's dubious credentials) was essentially accurate, yet claimed the reason Nelson's results were not published is because "it is doubtful whether any translation could do as much good as harm."38

Evidence also exists to identify the papyrus that Smith claimed was the Book of Joseph, which was never translated by Smith.39 Oliver Cowdery, one of Smith's scribes for the BoA, described the supposed Book of Joseph scroll in a letter written in December 1835. The descriptions in his letter match the drawings on JS Papyrus II, IV, V, VI, VII and VIII.40 The text of these papyri also has nothing to do with Joseph or any other Biblical character. The papyri (which at one time were one connected scroll, before being cut apart to be mounted) is in fact the "Book of the Dead for the lady Ta-shert-Min, daughter of Nes-Khensu"41. Again, it has no relation whatsoever to what Joseph Smith claimed it contains.

Facsimile Drawings

Three "Facsimile" drawings are included along with the BoA text. Each Facsimile is an Egyptian drawing taken from the papyri with additional commentary added by Joseph Smith. The scene in Facsimile No.1 actually depicts (unlike Smith's interpretation) a common scene which is part of the Egyptian Book of Breathings, Chapter 125. The drawing included in the BoA was long noted by Egyptologists to be generally correct with several puzzling discrepancies that did not match other copies of the same scene found on other Book of Breathings scrolls. It turns out that the pictures on the original scrolls were damaged, so Smith drew in the missing areas himself to complete the scenes for when they were published as part of the BoA. When comparing the original papyrus of Facsimile No.1 (which shows the damaged/missing areas) "the errors in Facsimile No.1 correspond to the missing portions of the original".42 The only sections that are not considered accurate are the parts Smith added in himself. Smith's explanations of the scene is also totally inaccurate.43 Since Smith personally provided the drawings and writing, and also even "gave instruction" regarding the woodcuts44, he is responsible for their inaccurate content.

Left: Joseph Smith's reconstruction
Right: Original papyrus
Image courtesy of

We do not have the part of the papyri that includes the original of Facsimile No.2, but we do have a drawing of the original Facsimile No.2 (in reality a "common funerary amulet termed a hypocephalus"45) that is part of the Egyptian Grammar & Alphabet in the Kirtland Egyptian Papers. This drawing is a copy of the original, before the missing portions were added, so it shows the areas that were damaged or missing and that were drawn incorrectly by Joseph Smith. For example, Figure 3 (as numbered by Smith, a part that was missing from the original papyrus) was completed by copying a drawing from one of the other papyrus scrolls. The drawing in Figure 3 matches exactly a drawing on JS IV, whereas according to other known hypocephalus drawings, there should be two boats in this area.46 The fact that the drawing is identical to the one in JS IV suggests that it was copied verbatim (incorrectly) from that piece of papyrus.

In summary, from all of the evidence available, it seems apparent that we have conclusive proof that Joseph Smith faked his "translation" of the Egyptian documents and that his purported translations bear no resemblance to the actual hieroglyphic text. This would indicate that he was not a prophet as he and his followers claimed and calls the validity of the religion that he founded into serious question. Below, we will consider a potential rebuttal to this claim from Dr John Gee, the foremost Mormon expert on the Book of Abraham.

The LDS Reply: Dr John Gee

Dr. John Gee's reply to Charles M. Larson's book does not claim to be exhaustive; Gee seeks only to comment upon the major issues.47 Also, Gee does make some valid criticisms of Larson's book. Most notably, Gee rightly comments that Larson does not always cite his sources for the material present.48 The most glaring example of this is the "professional reconstruction" of Facsimile No.1 that Larson provides on page 65. Who completed this reconstruction? No author is given, and a source should have been cited. Also on page 98 Larson does not cite his source for certain information on J. E. Homans. Even though this book is intended for lay audiences Larson should have cited all his sources.

Gee begins his article by stating that Larson's book "is a rehash of Jerald and Sandra Tanner's arguments" and giving the impression that these same arguments stretch back all the way to Deveria in 1856.49 This is not accurate since at that time the original papyri were not available, and many new discoveries have been made since that time.

Although Gee stated he would focus only on "egregious errors" he almost immediately seizes on a minor detail presented by Larson. Gee

Moreover … "the LDS population in Kirtland multiplied from about 100 in 1832 to over 1,500 in 1836." … In Kirtland alone, the Church was nearly doubling annually at this time. This is stagnation? Larson provides no documentation for any of his claims here; his approach is pure, unsubstantiated speculation.50

Larson was commenting only on membership growth in 1835, not 1832 or 1836. Larson also notes that although there were new members coming to the church at that time, many were leaving, so the church could have been "stagnating" at that time. Even if Larson is inaccurate here, this is hardly an egregious error that Gee has chosen to comment on. It has no bearing on the larger case against the BoA.

The LDS Reply: Questioning Larson's Thoroughness

Next Gee is eager to show that Joseph Smith had no motive to make up new scripture. Gee argues that because Smith was a prophet, and therefore could receive revelation directly from God, he had no need to invent "scripture" to back him.51 True, but this is entirely the point of the argument that Larson is advancing; namely that Smith's authority as a prophet was at that time being questioned, and newly "discovered" ancient scripture (supposedly translated by divine gift) would lend credibility to his status as prophet.52

Gee makes a valid point that Hugh Nibley's credentials were understated in Larson's work. According to an oral interview (given to Gee?) Nibley began some sort of Egyptian study in 1927 and used this study as part of his dissertation and articles in 1945.53 We are not told the extent of his study during this time, and it may have been quite minor at that time. Regardless, there's no doubt that Nibley's knowledge of Egyptian was not extensive enough to enable him to translate the papyri properly, since he decided to elicit the help of Dee Jay Nelson rather than translating it on his own.54

Gee claims that it "is not really true" that Facsimile No.3 is a typical funeral text from chapter 125 of the Book of the Dead as Larson claims.55 Gee quotes Klaus Baer to bolster his case, where Baer comments that "exact parallels may be hard to find". However a brief search turned up an example of a drawing from chapter 125 which looks quite similar to Facsimile No.3.56 This is perhaps not an "exact parallel" but still very similar. Later Gee complains that the explanation given for the professionally reconstructed Facsimile No.1 "makes no sense".57 However that explanation is based closely on the work of Klaus Baer, a scholar whom Gee himself makes repeated reference to as an Egyptian authority.

Gee also spends considerable space contesting Larson's claim that God would not use an Egyptian funeral text as a means to transmit a message of His truth through pagan mythologies.58 Gee shows some valid examples of how God may use anyone, pagans included, to get His message across, and certainly there have been times when people (ex. Paul in Acts 17:28) quoted pagan sources in order to get their message across. However it is still a huge leap to claim that God would somehow allow His holy writ, a secret message of Abraham, to be encoded in an unrelated and common pagan Egyptian text. There is no precedent for such a secret encoding anywhere in the Bible.

Regarding identifying JS XI with the BoA, Gee repeats that JS XI was "wrongly identified", and gives a citation of a 1977 article to back up his claim.59 Without any details, we do not know what arguments are given that refute the physical evidence linking JS I and JS XI together. Also, it was Klaus Baer who originally identified the papyrus as being linked, who Gee cites as a reliable source.

The LDS Reply: How Many Scrolls?

In one of Gee's more interesting sections, he attempts to give evidence that originally there were more than two scrolls of papyrus60 (Larson claims there were only two scrolls, with a few other smaller pieces61). The argument is that the papyri that we have were cut and mounted on the paper backing in 1842. Then a year later in 1843, a personal letter published in The Overland Monthly describes how Joseph Smith's mother Lucy Mack Smith showed the author of the letter two rolls of papyrus containing "the writing of Abraham". Therefore since the papyri that we now possess could not have been part of those scrolls since they were already mounted, and since these scrolls contained "the writing of Abraham", the mounted papers were not part of the Book of Abraham after all. Or so the theory goes.

However there are many major problems with this argument. First, the only source given for this theory is a personal letter from a nonmember of the church. The second problem is that this one personal letter must be weighed against all of the evidence that this is the papyrus Smith used, including the citations given by Larson that there were indeed only two scrolls and some other smaller pieces.

Thirdly, there is a reasonable explanation that Gee does not consider (or withholds from his readers). The scrolls held by Smith's mother could have been the scrolls containing the writings of Abraham, but without the pieces that were cut off and mounted! JS I and JS XI come from the beginning of the scroll. These pieces could have been cut off and mounted, and the remaining text (which would still contain "Abraham's writing") could have been passed to Lucy Mack Smith. Thus, there is no reason why the fragments we currently possess and the scrolls held by Joseph Smith's mother could not both have contained the material Smith used to translate the Book of Abraham. Baer's observation that JS I, JS XI and the other connected extant papyri make up a little more than half of that scroll62 confirm that there would be enough left over to constitute a sizable portion for Smith's mother to keep. Therefore Gee's attempt to cast doubt on whether these are the scrolls used to translate the BoA fails.

The LDS Reply: Discrediting the Kirtland Egyptian Papers

Next Gee challenges the Kirtland Egyptian Papers. Gee claims Larson's "entire case rests"63 on these documents, which is entirely untrue due to the physical evidence linking JS I and JS XI. Gee goes on a tangent regarding the fact that we do not have all of the original documents that Smith had64, however this sort of "argument from ignorance" should not cloud judgment on the documents we do possess. (Larson openly admits that we have do not have all of the original documents. We posses approximately 1/3 of the original documents.65)

Gee then claims that the hieroglyphics were added to the BoA manuscripts later, ie not when the BoA manuscripts were originally dictated. This is important to Gee because if the hieroglyphics were recorded at the same time, Smith would have approved them. Gee reasons that the characters must have been added later because the "hieratic characters do not line up the way the English text does"66. From the pictures given in Larson's book, it does not appear that there is any such variation. Regardless, Gee's argument that the English was written first and the hieratic added later is pure speculation. In fact, there are good reasons to suggest that the hieroglyphics weren't added later. When the handwriting changed from W. W. Phelps’s to Warren Parrish’s in BoA Manuscript #1, the hieratic characters also changed from Phelps’ dark tint to Parrish’s lighter tint.67 This can be seen in the photograph Larson provides.68 The most likely explanation is that the two different authors penned the hieroglyphics as they were writing the text.

Also, if the symbols were added later as some sort of attempt at learning by the scribes, its hard to fathom why they would have added the hieroglyphics to all three of he manuscripts identically if they weren't entirely certain of their legitimacy, and that legitimacy could only have come from Joseph Smith himself!69 Even if the characters were added later, their addition still would have reflected the understanding of the scribes who worked most closely with Smith and were trusted to "see much of [the] ancient records, and … know of hidden things, and shall be endowed with a knowledge of hidden languages"70. Finally, the suggestion that scribes added in the characters later in an attempt to somehow "study it out in their own minds" as suggested by Nibley71 fails to explain "how placing symbols arbitrarily next to the English text could possibly help the scribes study the translation process … it seems utterly incomprehensible … that the scribes would do this if Joseph Smith hadn't specified which symbols, or … which specific papyrus section, that he was using"72.

Gee closes his article with six points trying to further cast doubt on Larson's book. I cannot comment on some points (due to not having access to Gee's sources), however those that I am able to comment on deserve mention. Gee claims that "There is no evidence to place Ur of the Chaldees in southern Mesopotamia"73, which would be news to most Biblical scholars74 and also to Columbia University who in 2006 published the The Columbia Encyclopedia stating Ur was in southern Mesopotamia and giving several further references.75

Perhaps most surprising is Gee's claim that "Most of Joseph Smith’s interpretations of the facsimiles have been shown to be in the right general ballpark"76 (emphasis mine). Firstly, we must question any prophet who is only able to give us "general ballpark" prophecies "most" of the time. But more importantly, Smith was not even close on many of his interpretations of the facsimiles. For example, compare the names Smith gives to the "sons of Horus" depicted on the four canopic jars under the lion-couch to the correct names: (names of jars read left to right in the diagram)

Smith77: Korash, Mahmackrah, Libnah, Elkenah
Larson/Baer78: Amset, Hapi, Duamutef, Qebehsenuef
Budge79: Mesta, Hapi, Tuamutef, Qebhsennuf
Parker80: Imseti, Hapy, Duamutef, Kebehsenuf

Obviously Smith's names are nowhere near what other scholars virtually agree upon (disregarding spelling variations). Finally, Gee's reference to the fact that other papyrus scrolls have been found similar to Facsimile No.1 that make mention of Abraham's name seems to have been argued against rather persuasively elsewhere.81

Overall, Gee fails to make a persuasive case against the available manuscript evidence. (See also the article "Is There Any Possible Defense for the Book of Abraham?".)

The most reasonable conclusions remain that:

a) Smith was attempting to produce a literal translation

b) We have a portion of the papyrus scrolls Smith used to produce his translation of the BoA

c) The content of these scrolls have no relation whatsoever to the text of the BoA Smith produced.

Final Thoughts

Even if we were to accept the argument that these are, somehow, not the papyri that Smith used to translate the BoA, we are left with a seemingly implausible situation. Namely that among the traditional Egyptian funeral documents such as the Book of Breathings that were buried with mummies were also tucked in the only remaining copies of documents containing the secret writings of Abraham and Joseph. Not only that, but we would also have to believe that the early Mormon church managed to carefully preserve only those portions of the papyri that were NOT part of the Book of Abraham or Joseph; that is, they preserved only part of the pagan burial texts and none used to for the actual translations! That does not seem at all plausible.

Dr John Gee's critique of Larson's book ignores much of the evidence (such as the physical connection between JS I and JS XI) and contains numerous problems. The valid critiques of Larson's work that Gee provides do not invalidate Larson's conclusion that "the Book of Abraham cannot possibly be what it is represented to be; and if it is not authentic, neither are the doctrines it teaches, nor the system to which it belongs."82

Inference to the best explanation based on the available data leads us to the conclusion that Joseph Smith was not a prophet as he claimed to be. He either believed he was translating the scrolls accurately (and was deluded) or he knew he was translating them inaccurately (and was a fraud), but either way the evidence of the Book of Abraham indicates that his supposed scriptural writings were based not on divine revelation but instead are fictitious. Therefore both the man, his writing, and the religion he founded should not be trusted as being divinely inspired.

Further resources online:
(See also the resources listed in the footnotes below)
The Lost Book of Abraham video (an hour long documentary on the BoA)
Can We Trust the Book of Abraham? (includes many images of the relevant texts)
The Facts on the Book of Abraham (uses primarily (only?) LDS sources)

1 Charles M. Larson, By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus: A New Look at the Joseph Smith Papyri (Grand Rapids: Institute for Religious Research, 1992), 12.
2 Gordon B. Hinckley, "The Great Things Which God Has Revealed" n.p. Cited 8 April 2006. Online:,5232,23-1-520-27,00.html
3 Larson, 14-15.
4 Larson, 27.
5 A smaller group formed out of the turmoil surrounding Joseph Smith's death, the "Community of Christ" (aka RLDS) based in Independence, Missouri. It does not recognize the Pearl of Great Price as scripture. Thus this appraisal is of critical importance only to the larger Salt Lake City based LDS church.
6 Larson, 27.
7 Larson, 31, 86.
8 John Gee, "A Tragedy of Errors",Review of Books on the Book of Mormon 4 (1992): 93-119. Also available online and PDF on the official FARMS website:
9 Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, and official publication of Brigham Young University.
10 "FARMS: Authors: John Gee" n.p Cited 6 April 2006. Online:
11 John Gee, A Guide to the Joseph Smith Papyri (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 2000.)
12 Francis J. Beckwith, Carl Mosser and Paul Owen, The New Mormon Challenge (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002), 410.
13 Larson,134-136.
14 Larson, 115-116.
15 Larson, 117.
16 Larson, 14.
17 "What Is Its Relative Value in US Dollars?" n.p. Cited 2 April 2006. Online:
18 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. "Book of Abraham" n.p. Cited 6 April 2006 Online:
19 History of the Church, Vol 2, p. 236, quoted in Larson, 14.
20 Larson, 26-27.
21 Diary of Joseph Smith, November 19, 1935, quoted in Larson, 174.
22 History of the Church, Vol 2, p. 238, quoted in Larson, 174.
23 Larson, 95.
24 Larson, 36-37.
25 The three Facsimiles are "inspired pictures" adapted from the papyri and included as part of the Book of Abraham scriptures, thus they are considered as inspired and holy as the BoA text.
26 Larson, 52.
27 Larson, 51.
28 Larson, 69.
29 Klas Baer, "A Translation of the Apparent Source of the Book of Abraham [The Breathing Permit of Hor]," Dialogue: A Journal of Modern Thought, Autumn 1968, 112. (Within footnote #11) Online:
30 Images of the papyri scrolls are available in full color in Larson's book, or black & white in Baer's article in Dialogue, above, 113-115, or JS I and JS XI are available in color along with sections of the A&G in Kevin Mathie, "Examining the Book of Abraham Chapter 5: Do Papyri Fragments=Book of Abraham?," n.p. Cited 9 April 2006. Online:
31 Larson, 42.
32 Larson, 44.
33 Larson, 124-126.
34 Gee, 109.
35 Larson, 25.
36 Larson, 27-28.
37 Richard A. Parker, "The Joseph Smith Papyri – A Preliminary Report," Dialogue: A Journal of Modern Thought, Summer 1968, 98.
38 Hugh Nibley, Brigham Young University Studies, Spring 1968, 251, quoted in Larson, 57.
39 Larson, 81-87.
40 Larson, 86.
41 Ibid.
42 Larson, 64.
43 Larson, 101.
44 History of the Church, Vol. 4, 518, quoted in Larson, 63.
45 Larson, 104.
46 Larson, 105.
47 Gee, 97.
48 Gee, 102.
49 Gee, 94.
50 Gee, 96.
51 Gee, 96.
52 Larson, 12.
53 Gee, 97.
54 Larson, 54-57. (Includes communications from Nibley to Nelson regarding his involvement in the translation.)
55 Larson, 100.
56 E. A. Wallis Budge, The Egyptian Book of the Dead. n.p. Chapter 10. Cited 2 April 2006. Online: (Picture is identified as "Horus, Son of Isis, introducing the Scribe Ani to Osiris." from "Papyrus of Ani. Brit. Mus., Pap., No. 10470.")
57 Gee, 101.
58 Gee, 104-105.
59 Gee, 107.
60 Gee, 107-109.
61 Larson, 129-134.
62 Baer, "A Translation …", 112.
63 Gee, 110.
64 Gee, 111-112.
65 Larson, 36-37.
66 Gee, 113.
67 SeymourBloom quoting Edward Ashment, "The "Scribes Did It" Theory," n.p. Cited 9 April 2006. Online:
68 Larson, 45.
69 Seymour Bloom, "More Book of Abraham Problems," n.p. Cited 9 April 2006. Online:
70 Dean C. Jessee, ed., The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1984), 83, quoted in Gee, 112.
71 Larson, 122.
72 Mathie, "Examining the Book of Abraham," n.p.
73 Gee, 116.
74 "Ur" in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Cited 4 April 2006. Online:
75 "Ur" in The Columbia Encyclopedia (6th edition, 2006) Cited 4 April 2006. Online:
76 Gee, 116.
77 Larson, 101. (Smith's explanation of Facsimile No.1, Fig 5, 6, 7, 8 )
78 Larson, 102, adapted from Klaus Baer, Dialogue: A Journal of Modern Thought, Autumn 1968, 118
79 Budge, "The Egyptian Book of the Dead," n.p. Chapter 8. Online:
80 Parker, "The Joseph Smith Papyri …", 86.
81 Edward H. Ashment, "The Use of Egyptian Magical Papyri to Authenticate the Book of Abraham," n.p. Cited 7 April 2006. Online:
82 Larson, 175.

Copyright © Darren Hewer 2006
Please do not copy this article without permission. Please link to this page.