Facsimile No. 1

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Statements made by Richard A. Parker, Wilbour Professor of Egyptology and Chairman of the Department of Egyptology at Brown University in the Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Vol. 3, no. 2, Summer 1968, p. 86. :

    "This is a well-known scene from the Osiris mysteries, with Anubis, the jackal-headed god, on the left ministering to the dead Osiris on the bier. THe penicilled(?) restoration is incorrect. Anubis should be jackal-headed. The left arm of Osiris is in reality lying at his side under him. THe apparent upper hand is part of the wing of a second bird which is hovering over the erect phallus of Osiris (now broken away). The second bird is Isis and she is magically impregnated by the dead Osiris and then later gives birth to Horus who avenges his father and takes over his inheritance. The complete bird represents Nephthys, sister to Osiris and Isis. Beneath the bier are the four canopic jars with heads representive of the four sons of Horus, human-headed Imseti, baboon-headed Hapy, jackal-headed Duamutef and falcon-headed Kebehsenuf. The hieroglyphs refer to burial, etc. ...."

Statements made by Klaus Baer, Associate Professor of Egyptology at the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute in the Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Autumn 1968, pp. 118-119 :

    "The vignette on P. JS I is unusual, but parallels exist on the walls of the Ptolemaic temple of Egypt, the closest being the scenes in the Osiris chapels on the roof of the Temple of Dendera. The vignette shows the resurrection of Osiris (who is also the deceased owner of the papyrus) and the conception of Horus. Osiris (2) is represented as a man on a lion-couch (4) attended by Anubis (3), the jackal-headed god who embalmed the dead and thereby assured their resurrection and existence in the hereafter. Below the couch are the canopic jars for the embalmed internal organs. The lids are the four sons of Horus, from the left to right Imset (8), Hapi (7), Qebeh-senuwef (6), and Duwa-mutef (5), who protect the liver, lungs, intestines, and stomach, respectively. At the head of the couch is a small offering stand (10) with a jug and some flowers on it and two larger vases on the ground beside it. The ba of Osiris (1) is hovering above his head.

    The versions of Osiris myth differ in telling how Seth disposed of Osiris after murdering him, but he was commonly believed to have cut Osiris into small peices, which he scattered into the Nile, leaving Isis the task of fishing out and assembling the parts of her brother and husband so that he could be resurrected and beget Horus. In this she was helped by Horus in the shap of a crocodile, who is represented in the water (the zigzags) below the vignette (9). Below that is a decorative pattern derived from the niched facade of a protohistoric Egyptian palace.

    There are some problems about restoring the missing parts of the body of Osiris. He was almost certainly represented as ithuphallic, ready to beget Horus, as in many of the other scenes at Dendera. I know of no representations of Osiris on a couch with both hands in front of his face. One would expect only one hand in front of his face, while the other was either shown below the body (impossible in P. JS I) or grasping the phallus. It the latter case it would be hard to avoid the suggestion of Professor Richard A. Parker that what looks like the upper hand of Osiris is actually the wingtip of a representation of Isis as a falcon hovering in the act of copulation."

Facsimile No. 2

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Facsimile No. 2 is by far one of the most interesting of all of the facsimiles in my opinion. The facsimile no. 2 is a copy of a hypocephalus, an Egyptian funerary amulet that is placed under the head of the deceased. Its purpose was to keep the head warm. See examples of hypocephali here.

Sir Wallis Budge, a world renowned Egyptologist, remarked that Joseph Smith's translation of the hypocephalus had "... no archeological value." (The Mummy, A Handbook of Egyptian Funerary Archeology, by E.A. Wallis Budge, 1989, [first published in 1893], by Dover Publications, Inc., New York, pg. 477.

Facsimile No. 2 has obviously been altered from the original. Missing portions of the facsimile were copied from other pieces of the papyri Joseph Smith had purchased in 1835. The central figure labeled (1) by Joseph Smith appears to have been copied from figure 2 of the same facsimile. Normally the a four headed Amen-Re appears in this location. Furthermore, figure 3 is an almost exact copy from the Joseph Smith Papyri IV. Also, portions of the outer circle of the facsimile appear to have been copied from the Sensen text of the Joseph Smith papyri XI. The Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar clearly shows these missing portions. Also, the Sensen (Book of Breathings) text lines up with the border of facsimile no. 2 .

Evaluation of Joseph Smith's Translation of Facsmile No. 2 Text

This information was reproduced from Charles M. Larson's book, "By His Own Papyrus, A New Look at the Joseph Smith Papyri", 1992. Larson's book references Michael Dennis Rhodes for the Egyptian translation of hieroglyphics , Brigham Young University Studies, Spring, 1977, p. 265; and Richard A. Parker, for the hieratic, Dialogue, Summer 1968, p. 98.:

Translation of Facsimile no. 2

Joseph Smith Fig. 8
"Contains writing that cannot be revealed unto the world; but is to be had in the Holy Temple of God."
Egyptian Translation Fig. 8
"grant that the soul of Osiris Shechonk may live."
Joseph Smith Fig. 9
"Ought not to be revealed at the present time."
Egyptian Translation Fig. 9
"the netherworld (below the earth) and his great waters"
Joseph Smith Fig. 10
"Also" [see above]
Egyptian Translation Fig. 10
"O mighty god, lord of heaven and earth"
Joseph Smith Fig. 11
"Also. [See above] If the world can find out these numbers, so let it be. Amen."
Egyptian Translation Fig. 11
"O god of the sleeping ones from the time of creation" (Note the above phrases make up a single message in the following order- 11, 10, 9, 8.)
Note: A trace of the original hieroglyphic writing from this hypocephalus is visible on the left edge of Fig. 12, 13, 14, and 15, but only the phrase "his words" can be made out at the end of the line in Fig. 15. The remainder of these lines are filled with hieratic writing taken from lines 4 and 5 of Papyrus Joseph Smith XI.
Joseph Smith Fig. 12
"will be given in the own due time of the Lord."
Egyptian Translation Fig. 12
(upside down) "near" and "wrap"
Joseph Smith Fig. 13
"will be given in the own due time of the Lord."
Egyptian Translation Fig. 13
(upside down) "which made by"
Joseph Smith Fig. 14
"will be given in the own due time of the Lord."
Egyptian Translation Fig. 14
(upside down) "breathings"
Joseph Smith Fig. 15
"will be given in the own due time of the Lord."
Egyptian Translation Fig. 15
(upside down) "this book"
Joseph Smith Fig. 16
"will be given in the own due time of the Lord."
Egyptian Translation Fig. 16
"and may this soul and its possessor never be desecrated in the netherworld"
Joseph Smith Fig. 17
"will be given in the own due time of the Lord."
Egyptian Translation Fig. 17
"May this tomb never be desecrated"
Joseph Smith Fig. 18
"will be given in the own due time of the Lord."
Egyptian Translation Fig. 18
Note: Three-fourths of the original hieroglyphics inscription appears to have survived, and counterclockwise reads: "I am Djabty in the house of Benben in Heliopolis, so exalted and glorious. [I am] copulating bull without equal. [I am] that mighty god in the house of Benben of Heliopolis... that might god..."
Joseph Smith Figs. 19,20, and 21
"will be given in the own due time of the Lord."
Egyptian Translation Figs. 19, 20, and 21
"You shall be as that god, the Busirian."

Facsimile No. 3

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Facsimile No. 3 is a depiction of a common funerary scene.

Egyptologist Klaus Baer provides this information about facsimile No. 3 in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Autumn 1968, pp. 126-127:

    Fascimile No. 3 shows a man (5) his hand raised in adoration and a cone of perfumed grease and a lotus flower on his head (ancient Egyptian festival attire), being introduced by Maat (4), the goddess of justice, and Anubis (6), the guide of the dead, into the presence of Osiris (1), enthroned as king of the Netherworld. Behind Osiris stands Isis (2), and in front of him is an offering-stand (3) with a jug and some flowers on it. Over the whole scene is a canopy with stars painted on it to represent the sky.

    The scene comes from a mortuary papyrus and is similar to, but not identical with the scenes showing judgement of the deceased before Osiris such as P. JS III. It is a summary in one illustration of what the Breathing Permit promised: The deceased, after successfully undergoing judgement is welcomed into the presence of Osiris.

    The texts, poorly copied as they are, carry us one step further. As far as it can be made out, the line of hieroglyphics below the scene reads.

      'O Gods of ..., gods of Caverns, gods of the south, north, west, and east, grant well-being to Osiris Hor, justified, ...'

    The characters above and to the left of the man are probably to be read: 'Osiris Hor, justified forever.' Even though Hor is a relatively common name in Greco-Roman Egypt, this does suggest 'Fascimile No. 3' reproduces part of the same manuscript that 'Facsimile No. 2' does. Hor's copy of the Breathing Permit would then have had two vignettes, one at the beginning and another ('Facsimile No. 3) at the end, an arrangement that is found in other copies of the same text."

What Some Egyptologists Say
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