Thursday, 31 March 2011

book of abraham couldnt possibly come from the papyri joseph smith said he translated it from

this is taken from "The Book of Abraham" by Robert M. Bowman Jr., Director of Research, Institute for Religious Research ( march 2011 e-newsletter)
The surviving pieces from the Hor papyrus total about three feet long. According to University of Chicago Egyptology professors Klaus Baer and Robert Ritner, the original papyrus was probably about five feet long (so that roughly two feet are missing). LDS scholars such as John Gee often suggest that the text for the Book of Abraham was on the missing papyrus. Gee’s original suggestion was that the papyrus was about ten feet long, a claim that Ritner (Gee’s former professor) said has “no justification.” In 2008, Gee went further and argued that a complex mathematical formula based on the winding of the papyrus shows that over forty feet of papyrus are missing from the original roll. In 2010 Andrew Cook and Christopher Smith applied the same method in a more sophisticated analysis and concluded that about two feet of papyrus are missing, agreeing with Baer and Ritner’s estimates. Cook and Smith also estimated that the existing text of the Book of Abraham, if written in the same Egyptian script on the same roll, would take up about 17 feet. Given these estimates, it is simply not possible for the text Joseph Smith claimed was the Book of Abraham to have fit on the Hor papyrus. In fact, even Gee’s supposed missing forty feet would not be enough, since as Gee himself admits, the present Book of Abraham represents only a small fraction of the total writings of Abraham that Joseph Smith claimed were on the roll.

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