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Book of Abraham
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Book of Abraham is a scriptural text for some denominations of the Latter Day Saint movement. According to Joseph Smith, Jr., the movement's founder, it is "a translation of some ancient records....purporting to be the writings of Abraham, while he was in Egypt, called the Book of Abraham, written by his own hand, upon papyrus".
The work was originally published in 1842 in the Latter Day Saint movement newspaper Times and Seasons together with facsimiles of vignettes from the papyrus and Smith's explanations of them. In 1851, it was republished in England as part of the Pearl of Great Price, which has been included in the canon of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 1880.
For many years the original papyri were thought to have been lost. In 1966 eleven fragments of the papyri were found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and are now designated the Joseph Smith Papyri. Both Mormon and non-Mormon Egyptologists examined the fragments and concluded that they are portions of common funerary texts, dating to about the first century BC, and contain no reference to Abraham, bearing little resemblance of Smith's interpretation. As such, their discovery amplified the long standing dispute concerning the authenticity of the Book of Abraham.