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The Joseph Smith Papyri and the Writings of Joseph of Egypt
TitleThe Joseph Smith Papyri and the Writings of Joseph of Egypt
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsBarney, Quinten
JournalJournal of Mormon History
Volume42
Issue2
Pagination95-109
Date PublishedApril 2016
KeywordsEarly Church History; Joseph (of Egypt); Joseph Smith; Joseph Smith Papyri; Translation
Abstract

Much has been said, written, and discussed concerning the Joseph Smith Papyri and the Book of Abraham. Indeed, it is somewhat difficult to separate these two topics in any religious or academic discussion. Less often discussed yet similarly relevant are the writings of Joseph of Egypt that were also said to have been on the papyri acquired by the Church of the Latter Day Saints in 1835. To my knowledge, these writings have never been published or preserved, leaving many questions unanswered about the writings of Joseph of Egypt from the papyri. This article explores two of those questions: “What were these writings said to have contained?” and, “Did Joseph Smith ever translate these writings?” My approach in this paper is to collect, evaluate, and compare what eyewitnesses contemporary with the Prophet Joseph Smith have said about the writings of Joseph of Egypt from the papyri. In doing so, I hope to provide a general understanding concerning what early Latter-day Saints understood concerning Joseph’s writings on the Egyptian papyri.

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