Sunday, May 06, 2007

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From Wikipedia:
Book of Abraham

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, the text is a partial translation of the words of Abraham, in his own hand, written on a set of Egyptian papyri purchased by the religion in 1835 from a traveling mummy show, although subsequent examination of those papyri has called that claim into question.

The work was originally published in the Latter Day Saint movement newspaper Times and Seasons together with facsimiles of vignettes from the papyrus, with Smith's interpretations. Later, it was republished as part of the Pearl of Great Price, which has been canonized by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as one of its four scriptural works.

According to Smith, the papyri recounts the story of Abraham's early life as well as a vision he received concerning the creation of the world. The book is a source of some distinctive and controversial Latter-day Saint doctrines such as the exaltation of humanity, the plurality of gods, priesthood, and pre-mortal existence.

For many years the original papyri were considered lost. In 1966 at least some of the papyrus scrolls were found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Based on this rediscovered source material of the Book of Abraham, non-Latter Day Saint Egyptologists say that the illustrations and the original text of the Book of Abraham are funerary texts, dating to about the first century BC, that describe events in the afterlife of deceased Egyptians.


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