Society Magazine

The Book of Abraham Controversy Finally Laid To Rest

By Rockwaterman

The Book of Abraham Controversy Finally Laid To RestPreviously: What a Great Time to Be Alive!
For the past couple of years or so there have been a handful of (what purported to be) scholarly dissertations on the Book of Abraham that strongly suggested that document was a fraud.  According to the conclusions presented, given what we now know about Egyptology, Joseph's translation from the papyrus could not possibly have been accurate.  According to the findings of these papers, Joseph Smith most certainly made it all up.
I believe I've read most of these arguments and even watched the documentary that has been floating around, and I must say those arguments have been compelling.  But when I would actually read the Book of Abraham, the contents of that book rang true to me. Although the naysayers seemed -at least on the surface- to have an almost airtight case against Joseph's work, I remained skeptical. I decided there must be something missing; some element of the story that I wasn't aware of.  Turns out I was right. 
Two weeks ago some 600 people pitched their tents at Aravada Springs, Nevada for a gathering put on by some of the local members of the loosely defined "Remnant" movement.  Denver Snuffer was invited to speak at this informal conference, and his topic centered around the true provenance of the Book of Abraham. That talk lasted almost four hours, with a break halfway through for dinner.   Trust me when I say the information presented was very eye-opening.  
I'm not going to try to summarize what Denver had to say; instead I'll simply post the video below.  If  you have ever had questions about the validity of the Book of Abraham, the answer to those questions is simple. But the explanation takes some time to lay out, so it's best if you sit back and allow Denver to walk you through it.  Denver has also provided a complete transcript which contains copious footnotes and citations.  I'm posting a link to document below as well.  
In actual fact, if there is anything fraudulent about the Book of Abraham as contained in the LDS edition of the scriptures, it's that the scriptures include that introduction at the beginning of the book. That introduction was written not by Joseph Smith, but by Brigham Young's cousin, Willard Richards, who didn't know what the hell he was talking about.  (I've included a scan of that introduction in the upper left-hand corner of this page.) Willard implies something about the translation not found anywhere in the text of the Book of Abraham itself, as you'll see when you listen to or read Denver's presentation. That introduction, which most people accept as scripture, has been responsible for sending anti-Mormon scholars (as well as Mormon apologists) off in the wrong direction every time. Watch the video and you'll see.
 You can download the transcript (in Word format) by clicking HERE
Extra Bonus MaterialIf four hours on the Book of Abraham is not enough for you, also presented at that conference was a gripping presentation by Vaughn Hughes on The Electric Book of Abraham and Book of Mormon. That one lasts over two hours.  Although I have not yet watched this presentation (I'm still going over Denver's footnotes), I am very familiar with the subject, and I know Vaughn Hughes very well.  He is a brilliant teacher. Find the time to watch this one. It will give you a whole new way of looking at the universe.
The Electric Book of Abraham and Book of Mormon

In closing, don't forget to buy my T-shirts!
(Just kidding. I don't sell T-shirts.)

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