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Moses 1 and the Apocalypse of Abraham: Twin Sons of Different Mothers?

TitleMoses 1 and the Apocalypse of Abraham: Twin Sons of Different Mothers?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsBradshaw, Jeffrey M., David Larsen, and Stephen T. Whitlock
JournalInterpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship
KeywordsApocalypse of Abraham; Book of Moses; Pearl of Great Price; Temple Worship

This article highlights the striking resemblances between Moses 1 and a corresponding account from the Apocalypse of Abraham (ApAb), one of the earliest and most important Jewish texts describing heavenly ascent. Careful comparative analysis demonstrates a sustained sequence of detailed affinities in narrative structure that go beyond what Joseph Smith could have created out of whole cloth from his environment and his imagination. The article also highlights important implications for the study of the Book of Moses as a temple text. Previous studies have suggested that the story of Enoch found in the Pearl of Great Price might be understood as the culminating episode of a temple text woven throughout chapters 2–8 of the Book of Moses. The current article is a conceptual bookend to these earlier studies, demonstrating that the account of heavenly ascent in Moses 1 provides a compelling prelude to a narrative outlining laws and liturgy akin to what could have been used anciently as part of ritual ascent within earthly temples.