Posted on 3 Comments

Lost Book of Abraham? (Part 8 of 9)

The papyrus fragments believed to contain the Book of Abraham were lost for decades in the Great Chicago Fire.  What happened to them?  Are some still lost?  Historian Dan Vogel will answer these questions.

GT: So I guess in a nutshell, the Hugh Nibley line of reasoning is we’ve got these Kirtland Egyptian papers. They don’t match. The translation is incorrect from what we have. We lost it in the Great Chicago Fire. But there was something that was lost, which I guess, could we assume that that’s the book of Joseph that was lost in Chicago?

Dan:  No, we have the book of Joseph, which is the Ta-Sherit-Min papyrus, which is part of the ones that are chopped up onto the thick paper that we have.

GT  Those are the Joseph scrolls?

Dan   That was identified as Joseph.  In December of 1835, Oliver Cowdery, in the Messenger and Advocate described that papyrus including the Pillar of Enoch; also, the three in one God. There’s a little drawing of three figures.

So we lost the part that was intact, the two feet.  We have one foot of the beginning part, facsimile one, and the next one, and then another fragment. Then there was two more feet, probably, that were missing, that included facsimile three. And the reason why we know that is because when Emma sold the papyri to Combs, and then Combs sold part of it to the St. Louis Museum, there was an Egyptologist there. I’m not remembering his name right off. But he gave a description of the papyri for the museum’s catalog. And in there he mentioned facsimile three.

GT:   So, have we lost anything, then?

Dan:  The name Osiris was on it, because the name Osiris is on this.

GT:  So that’s the only piece that we lost?

Dan:  Or that we know of; that we can exactly say. We don’t know.

GT:  But, we have essentially, what Joseph said was the entire Book of Abraham, the entire Book of Joseph. We have those that we can still look at today. But those are really the Hor scroll and the Book of Breathing scroll. Is that correct?

Dan:  Right. So, we don’t have the Amenhotep fragments. They could have been there. Facsimile two, the hypoocephalus, the round one was already pretty damaged, because they made a drawing of it and there’s parts missing, and Joseph Smith had Headlock fill in the missing part to make it look nice and neat. I don’t think he’s being tricky. I just think they’re just too fussy about it looking good. But, so those could have been among the ones that were burned, or they could have just totally fragmented and that’s why they had them copy parts into these books.

Check out our conversation….

What was lost in the Great Chicago Fire? Dan Vogel tells us.

Don’t miss out other conversations with Dan!

293: How We Got Book of Abraham

292: First Vision Conflicts

291: 1835 Account of First Vision

290: Making a Case for Melchizedek Priesthood in 1831?

289: Methodist Visions

288: Why “Pious Fraud” Ticks off Everyone

287: Dan Vogel Was a McConkie Mormon!

3 thoughts on “Lost Book of Abraham? (Part 8 of 9)

  1. Hi GT, I’m super busy right now, but wanted to thank you for your comments on DNA. Looking through and noticed you interviewed Dan. I’ve noticed that Dan, Ritner, etc. seem to be wrong about several key BofA issues. One relevant to this interview is that the primary source described by eyewitnesses is missing. Also, relevant, the “Ta-Sherit-Min” vignettes were no more the book of “Joseph” than the judgement scene or etc. The vignettes were known to have been created by Egyptians, (who only more or less understood deity) not Abraham or Joseph. If you’re willing to listen, I’m willing to share more, and would love to discuss with you, or Dan, etc. : )

  2. I’m more partial to the Robin Jensen/Brian Hauglid group than the John Gee/Kerry Muhlstein interpretation.

  3. Thanks, I agree with both groups when they seem to agree with the evidence, but disagree when they don’t. The church essay, in my opinion, reflects the best scholarship on the BofA. I believe all four of those were involved in creating the essay, Ritner wasn’t, likely for good reason (since he seems to have followed along with the less informed Dehlin/RFM group, as far as church history goes, sadly)…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.