Translation Problems in Book of Abraham
The papyri in question are a part of the collection of Egyptian mummies and papyri that the Prophet Joseph Smith bought from Michael Chandler in 1835. After the Prophet’s death, the papyri were lost to the Church. But in 1966, Dr. Aziz S. Atiya, a professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Utah, discovered some twenty-two separate papyri fragments in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, which were clearly part of Joseph Smith’s original collection.
…from paleographic and historical considerations, the Book of Breathings papyrus can reliably be dated to around A.D. 60-much too late for Abraham to have written it. Of course, it could be a copy-or a copy of a copy-of the original written by Abraham. However, a second problem arises when one compares the text of the book of Abraham with a translation of the Book of Breathings; they clearly are not the same…”
Exodus 20:3; “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
The gods of Egypt that are depicted in the Book of Abraham are false gods and giving heed to them is nothing short of idolatry.
It’s quite remarkable Joseph Smith would introduce the same gods as something acceptable to a small group of people in nineteenth century America when the Israelites fled from them and its culture some 3,200 years prior.
Of course there’s going to be translation problems with the book of Abraham! Joseph Smith didn’t know how to speak Egyptian, nor did he know how to crack the code of Egyptian hieroglyphics. That monumental feat wouldn’t take place for several decades after he made up the story about “Reformed Egyptian”.
Unfortunately for those living in Joseph’s day the era of understanding Ancient Egypt was just giving birthing pains and not nearly established enough to refute his claims until it was too late.