The Joseph Smith Papers Project and the Book of Abraham

The Joseph Smith Papers Project and the Book of Abraham November 8, 2018


SLC's Church History Library
The Church History Library in Salt Lake City     (Wikimedia Commons public domain)


The real question is not whether Joseph Smith knew Egyptian—no one has claimed that he did; or whether the book of Abraham is translated from the Book of Breathings—that, by universal admission, is impossible; or whether Joseph Smith was interested in producing an Egyptian grammar—he emphatically says that he was; or that the Alphabet and Grammar came to nothing—the men of Kirtland found it useless almost immediately and forgot it; or who is an Egyptologist and who is not—no one challenges their translations; but the true significance of the old texts and pictures remains a mystery to the expert and layman alike. . . . It is not Joseph Smith but the book of Abraham that is on trial.  (Hugh Nibley, “Judging and Prejudging the Book of Abraham,” 244)




Stephen Smoot interviews Robin Scott Jensen, associate managing historian and project archivist for the Joseph Smith Papers Project, regarding the Project’s newly released Revelations and Translations, Volume 4: Book of Abraham and Related Manuscripts:


The Book of Abraham with Robin Scott Jensen


You might also enjoy this thirteen-minute video, on the “Joseph Smith Papers” Facebook page, with Robin Scott Jensen:


We’ve been debating on whether showing this video now, or saving it for later, but it’s just too good to hold back!Historian Robin Scott Jensen gives an exclusive, hands-on tour of rarely seen artifacts found in “Joseph Smith Papers, Revelations and Translations Volume 4: Book of Abraham and Related Manuscripts.”

Posted by The Joseph Smith Papers on Wednesday, November 7, 2018




While on the subject of the Book of Abraham, I think that I’ll mention three pieces with which I myself was connected:


“News from Antiquity: Evidence supporting the book of Abraham continues to turn up in a wide variety of sources.”


“And I Saw the Stars – The Book of Abraham and Ancient Geocentric Astronomy”


“Introducing ‘An Introduction to the Book of Abraham'”


And here are several articles on the Book of Abraham and on Abraham himself that have been published in Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture:


“Pressing Forward with the Book of Abraham”


“Scriptures with Pictures: Methodology, Unexamined Assumptions, and the Study of the Book of Abraham”


“Assessing the Joseph Smith Papyri: An Introduction to the Historiography of their Acquisitions, Translations, and Interpretations”


“Shulem, One of the King’s Principal Waiters”


“One Day to a Cubit”


“A Note on Chiasmus in Abraham 3:22-23”


“The Scale of Creation in Space and Time”


“Isaiah 56, Abraham, and the Temple”


“Hagar in LDS Scripture and Thought”




Don’t forget!


“This Saturday: ‘The Temple on Mount Zion'”




More very good news for the Saints in Africa:


“Elder Andersen Presides at the Groundbreaking of Abidjan Cȏte d’Ivoire Temple: Sunny day of gladness”




Some may imagine that apostles and members of the First Presidency aren’t subject to the same sorrows and adversities to which the rest of us are exposed.  A moment’s thought should show that this isn’t true.  But, if that’s not enough, there’s this bittersweet story:


“President Eyring paints to capture memories of his wife, who is in failing health”



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