★ Book of Joseph (Latter Day Saints)
The Book of Joseph is an untranslated text identified by Joseph Smith after analyzing Egyptian papyri that came into his possession in 1835. Joseph Smith taught that the text contains the writings of the ancient biblical patriarch Joseph. From the same papyri collection, Smith produced the first part of the Book of Abraham, but was killed before any known part of the Book of Joseph was translated.
Scroll associated with the book of Joseph was translated by Egyptologists to be a "book of the Dead", a common funerary document, and has nothing to do with the biblical Patriarch Joseph.
1. Background. (Фон)
Eleven mummies and several papyri were found in the area of the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes by Antonio Lebolo between 1818 and 1822. After Lebolos death in 1830, mummies and various items were sent to new York with instructions that they should be sold to benefit the heirs of Lebolo. Michael H. Chandler served as agent for the investment group in Philadelphia, touring with the mummies and artifacts. Over the next two years Chandler toured the Eastern United States, displaying and selling some of the mummies as he traveled.
On 30 June 1835, Chandler exhibited his collection in Kirtland, Ohio. Promotional flyer created by the States Chandler that the mummies may have lived in the time of Jacob, Moses or David." At the time Kirtland was the home of latter-day Saints led by Joseph Smith. Smith – who said he translated the Book of Mormon from gold plates that were inscribed with "reformed Egyptian" text – took immediate interest in the papyri and was soon offered Chandler a preliminary translation of the scrolls. Smith took a direct interest in the papyri and purchased the four mummies and at least five papyrus documents. According to Smith, the scrolls contained the writings of Abraham and Joseph, and the history of the Egyptian Princess by the name of "Katumin".
Oliver Cowdery wrote,
". in connection with these two bodies, was something rolled up with the same kind of linen, saturated with the same bitumen, which, upon examination, proved to be two rolls of papyrus, previously mentioned. I might add that there were two or three small pieces of papyrus, with astronomical calculations, epitaphs, etc. found with the other mummies".
According to Cowdery, the two scrolls contained ".The writings of Abraham and Joseph." John Whitmer wrote in his history of the papyri:
"Joseph the seer saw these records and by the revelation of Jesus Christ could translate these records which gave an account of our ancestors, most of which was written by Joseph of Egypt who was sold by his brethren which when all translated will a nice story and a great value for the saints."
In September 1843 a record in the history of Joseph Smith has the following:
contained the writings of Abraham, another the writings of Joseph of Egypt, etc. – a more full account of which will appear in its place, how do I start studying or straighten them.
2. Book of Joseph Scroll. (Книга Джозефа свиток)
There were two scrolls which came into the possession of Joseph Smiths in 1835. The scroll, which is often defined as a book Joseph belonged to an Egyptian woman by the name of TA-Sherit-Minalso Tshemmin, Semminis
Joseph Smith papyri II, V–IX and most of IV were identified by Egyptologists as the "book of the Dead belonging to the lady of TA-Sherit-Min also Tshemmin, Semminis. Book of the dead was used from about 1550 BC to 50 BC. the Ancient Egyptians believed that the book of the Dead helped the deceased to navigate the afterlife. The future deceased to choose which spells are sometimes called chapters they wanted in his book to help them in the afterlife. Thus, there is a large scatter between the different versions using its long history of use. While modern scholars have catalogued the spells, and gave them the numbers, these numbers are artificial and have no meaning for the ancient Egyptians.
The location of the spell and the text options are very similar to other early Ptolemaic papyrus of the era, including the Ryerson papyrus. The surviving part of the Book for the Dead of TA-Sherit-min includes all or parts of the spell 1-7, 10-14, 16, 53-54, 57, 59?, 63, 65, 67, 70, 72, 74-77, 83, 86-89, 91, 100-101, 103-106, 110 125. Part of the text is known only because the characters were copied down.
2.1. Book of Joseph Scroll. Relationship with Book of the Dead for Nefer-ir-nebu. (Отношения с Книга Мертвых для Нефер-ИК-небу)
Also, Joseph Smith collection of papyri is a fragment of a book of the dead scroll for a woman by the name of Nefer-IR sky. The fragment contains a vignette, which matches the description given Oliver Cowdery the final scene of the court said that it came from the book of Joseph.
The inner end of one roll, Josephs record is a representation of the solution: at one view you behold the Savior seated on a throne, crowned, and holding the scepters of righteousness and power, before whom also gathered the twelve tribes of Israel, the tribes and languages of the Earth, the kingdoms of the world over which Satan is represented as reigning. Michael the Archangel, holding the key of the bottomless pit, and at the same time as the devil was chained and locked in the bottomless pit."
As it came from different scroll TaSheritMin, various explanations have been put:
- Oliver Cowdery believed the Nefer-ir-nebu vignette was part of the TaSheritMin scroll. Cowdery did not know Egyptian, and would not have been able to read the owners names on the scrolls, so it is not unreasonable to think he could have conflated the two scrolls.
- There was a similar vignette in the TaSheritMin scroll that is no longer extant. A judgement scene vignette is very common to Books of the Dead, and it is not unlikely that one was included in the TaSheritMin scroll.
3. Content. (Содержание)
Although the text was untranslated, the book is Joseph hinted at by Joseph Smith. In 1842 a sermon, Smith taught:
"learning of the Egyptians, and their knowledge of astronomy was no doubt taught them, Abraham and Joseph, as their records testify, who received it from the Lord."
Other witnesses left to figure out what was on papyrus scrolls. William W. Phelps, Joseph Smiths scribe, wrote that the book of Joseph was written in the court of the pharaohs. In July 1835 letter to his wife, he said:
"Yesterday evening we received your first letter after an absence of twelve months and twelve hours. Brother Joseph, apparently, was the best scribe. There are also representations of people, animals, birds, idols and oxen attached to a kind of plough, a female guiding it. Also a snake when he tempted eve. He appears with two legs, erect in the shape and appearance of a person. But his head is in the shape representing the snake, with its forked tongue extended."
The book of Mormon refers to the writings of Joseph:
"And now I, Nephi, speak concerning the prophecies of which my father said concerning Joseph, who was carried into Egypt. For behold, he truly prophesied concerning all his seed. And the prophecies which he wrote, not much more. And he prophesied concerning us and our future generations, and they are written upon the plates of brass".
Last day Saint theology is not connected the connection between the book of Joseph and the text mentioned in the Book of Mormon.
3.1. Content. Relationship with the Temple Ceremony. (Отношения с церемонии храме)
Some believe that the endowment ceremony may come in part from the book of Joseph. Brigham young University Professor H. Donl Peterson wrote "Oliver Cowderys an explanation of the contents of the book Joseph seems to be relate to the ceremony of the temple. The writings of Abraham and Joseph was acquired by the Church in July 1835 and a partial endowment was presented to the brothers of the Prophet Joseph Smith in January 1836. Its just a coincidence?"
Bruce R. McConkie wrote in the opinion for the ceremony the temple, "they were given in our time the prophet Joseph Smith by revelation, many things connected with them being translated Prophet from the papyrus on which the book of Abraham was recorded."
3.2. Content. Length of the text. (Длина текста)
It is unknown how long the text will be, but Oliver Cowdery was instructed in 1835 that it can be quite large:
"When the translation of these valuable documents will be completed, I cant say I cant I gave you a probable idea how large volumes they will make, but judging by their size and completeness of language, one could reasonably expect to see enough to develop a lot of mighty ancient people of God."
William West, a visitor to Kirtland saw the mummy, and noted that "they say that the mummies were Epyptian, but the records are those of Abraham and Joseph.and a larger volume than the Bible will be required to contain them."
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