The Egyptian papyri acquired by Joseph Smith in 1835 can be confidently dated to many centuries after Abraham’s lifetime. Based on a number of different criteria, it can be determined that the papyri were written in a period when Egypt was ruled by a dynasty of Greek rulers who reigned
Pearl of Great Price Central
The book that concerns us was purposely called “The Pearl of Great Price,” that term being . . . the designation of a treasure that is both hidden and inexhaustible. Being hidden, it must be searched out and dug up—brought out of the depths by the strenuous and determined efforts of whoever would possess it. Being inexhaustibly vast, it can never cease to be a source of new wonders to the inquiring mind. . . . The Pearl of Great Price is unique among scriptures in that its message is available only to that extent to which God’s children choose to make it so, but at the same time it is capable of conveying knowledge of undreamed of scope and significance.
– Hugh Nibley, “A New Look at the Pearl of Great Price,” Improvement Era, May 1970, 94.
The first chapter of the Book of Abraham contains a short detail about the ancestry of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. “Now this king of Egypt was a descendant from the loins of Ham, and was a partaker of the blood of the Canaanites by birth. From this descent sprang
Figure 5 in Facsimile 3 of the Book of Abraham is identified as “Shulem, one of the king’s principal waiters.” We don’t know anything more about the man Shulem beyond this brief description as he does not appear in the text of the Book of Abraham. Presumably, if we had
The Book of Abraham contains the following account of the discovery of Egypt by the descendants of Ham: “The land of Egypt [was] first discovered by a woman, who was the daughter of Ham, and the daughter of Egyptus” (Abraham 1:23). This woman “discovered the land [when] it was under
The opening chapter of the Book of Abraham identifies “the god of Pharaoh” as being one of the idolatrous gods worshipped by Abraham’s kinsmen (Abraham 1:6, 9, 13, 17). In Figure 9 of Facsimile 1 of the Book of Abraham, this god is depicted as a crocodile. Is there any
The Book of Abraham tells how Abraham’s kinsmen worshipped idols. One of these was the god of Elkenah (Abraham 1:6). When Abraham preached against the worship of this god, he said that his kinsmen “hearkened not unto [his] voice, but endeavored to take away [his] life by the hand of
Before he journeyed into Egypt, Abraham was instructed by God: “Behold, Sarai [or Sarah], thy wife, is a very fair woman to look upon; Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see her, they will say—She is his wife; and they will kill you, but they will