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“We May Not Understand Our Words”: The Book of Abraham and the Concept of Translation in The Pearl of Greatest Price
Title“We May Not Understand Our Words”: The Book of Abraham and the Concept of Translation in The Pearl of Greatest Price
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsThompson, John S.
JournalInterpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship
Volume41
Pagination1-48
KeywordsBook of Abraham; Early Church History; Joseph Smith; Pearl of Great Price; Translation
Abstract

In recent years there has been an effort among some scholars to make sense of the historical sources surrounding Joseph Smith’s claims to be a translator of ancient records. Terryl Givens, with some assistance from Brian Hauglid, has explored the evidence surrounding the Book of Abraham and suggests that, in this case, Joseph Smith may not have translated an ancient record of Abraham’s writings into English as typically believed in the Latter-day Saint community. Consequently, Givens provides four alternative ways the work of “translating” may have been understood or practiced by the Prophet and his scribes. This essay highlights some evidence that was overlooked, misunderstood, and glossed by Givens, calling into question his fourfold attempt at redefining what it meant for Joseph Smith to translate this ancient record.

URLhttps://journal.interpreterfoundation.org/we-may-not-understand-our-words-the-book-of-abraham-and-the-concept-of-translation-in-the-pearl-of-greatest-price/

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