I will try to present enough information in this post that you will able to start researching the topic on your own. By all means, let this be the start and not the end of your research. You should conduct your own research to either verify or disprove my arguments. I am looking forward to the discussion. Please send me a copy of your post via e-mail if you want me to respond.
This post will discuss the alteration of the Book of Abraham facsimiles no. 1 (lion couch scene) and facsimile no. 2 (hypocephalus).
I think it will be relatively easy to convince you that the facsimiles are not good reproductions of the original papyri and hypocephalus. I will introduce a new element to the debate with this post -- actual copies of the papyri and hypocephalus. They are listed at my web page, some even in color:
Now Mormons and non-Mormons alike will have a better idea of what the deal is about the Joseph Smith Papyri. And, anyone can independently come to their own conclusions regarding the religious implications. Right now I would like to narrow the debate to the question, "Were the Book of Abraham facsimiles altered?"
For starters, you should take a look at the facsimile no. 1 in your Book of Abraham (you can also find this at my web site). Notice above the facsimile it clearly states "A FACSIMILE FROM THE BOOK OF ABRAHAM" keep that in mind. Now take a look at a copy of the facsimile Joseph Smith used to reproduce the facsimile no. 1 at :
(my main page)
(or large image)
If you have taken a look at the actual papyri you will notice that the arms of the man standing over the lion couch are missing. There is no knife, and the man is without a head. The figure on the couch is also missing his midsection. Mormons can obtain a book for free from http://www.irr.org/mit/ that has color photos of the papyri ($2 shipping and handling). This web site also has color photographs of the papryi.
Now look again at the Facsimile no. 1 in the Book of Abraham. Notice the missing portions of the actual papyri are filled in when. There are also hierogylphics shown in the original but are missing in the facsimile. To me, this shows that Joseph Smith clearly altered the reproduction of the facsimile.
Facsimile no. 2 is even more interesting. Take a look at the Book of Abraham facsimile no. 2. Facsimile no. 2 is clearly identified as an Egyptian hypocephalus which is supposed to keep the body of the deceased warm (many examples are included at my web site):
Now take a look at the Joseph Smith Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar which has a copy of the facsimile before it was reproduced in the Book of Abraham. You can see this at:
After looking at the reproduction of the hypocephalus in the Joseph Smith Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar you will clearly notice that there are many missing portions. Portions of the center are missing, along with text on the outer section (from around 1 o'clock to 5 o'clock). Now these missing portions are filled in when you look at the Book of Abraham facsimile no. 2. What I find most interesting is what Joseph Smith used to fill in the missing portions, which he supposedly translated.
The outer circle, from around 1 o'clock to 5 o'clock are filled in with parts from the Sensen Text found in the JS Papyri XI. You can see the characters lined up with the facsimile no. 2 at my web site at:
These characters from the Sensen text were even added in upside down, which indicates that Joseph Smith did not know how to translate Egyptian. They are also different Egyptian characters than what would be appropriate for a hypocephalus.
Furthermore, notice the figure in the center (Figure 1). The head of the figure is off-centered from the seated Amen-Re which is being adorned by the baboons. The head appears to be copied from Figure 2 of the same facsimile. Take a look at examples of hypocephali which I have at my web site and you will clearly see what I mean, the head of the god should be on the shoulders of the seated figure, not floating in space as shown in facsimile no. 2:
Lastly examine figure 3, the god seated in a boat, in the Book of Abraham facsimile no. 2. Compare this figure with the figure shown in JS Papyri IV by looking at my web site at:
Notice that the figures are almost exact duplicates of each other.
I think I have clearly shown that Joseph Smith altered the facsimiles from the originals. What are your thoughts regarding these alterations?
For "A Close Look at Mormonism" visit my web site at: