Abraham is Osiris: A Historical Meditation on Facsimile 3

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_Kishkumen
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Abraham is Osiris: A Historical Meditation on Facsimile 3

Post by _Kishkumen »

If only Mopologetics could be bold! I say that wistfully, knowing that the costs of being truly bold would be dire. Who among the average members of the LDS Church, e.g., the many folks who joined in the '80s and '90s looking for a "good Christian church with a strong sense of community," would be able to handle the kind of apologetics that works best and addresses the harshest criticisms of wily old Joe Smith?

Because Joe was wily. He was a kind of trickster figure on the New York frontier. He was a bastard and an exploiter, but I'll be damned if he did not pull off some amazing whoppers worthy of Twain's fiction! Things so crazy and astounding that they merit defenses equally audacious and creative. Would that I were the person to forward such audacious apologetics!

But I feel that a humble Jaredite scholar such as myself can, at the very least, point out possibilities that greater talents can run with in the future. Here is one such "apologetic."

ABRAHAM IS OSIRIS

So, Facsimile 3 of the Book of Abraham is by now very famous on MDB because of the persistent cry of our own Shulem about Shulem. Joseph Smith completely misidentifies the figures in the facsimile with unintentionally humorous results. Joseph Smith's king is the goddess Hathor/Isis. From an Egyptological view, these mistakes are obvious and make Smith's efforts look absurd.

And, on one level, surely they are. Smith did not know Egyptian from any other exotic looking language. He knew as much about ancient Egypt as could be found within the pages of the King James Bible and Josephus.

At the same time, Mopologists have a point when they say that the Book of Abraham is not really about Egypt so much as it is a variation of the story of Jews in Egypt. And, much of that story is fiction. Now, granted, John Gee may go to an SBL meeting and argue for the historical accuracy of Genesis, but he will also turn around and argue that the Book of Abraham is a Hellenistic document, written many centuries after Abraham supposedly visited Egypt.

My own perspective on this is that the Book of Abraham is really just another instance of Joseph Smith's preoccupation with the patriarch Joseph. In other words, the Book of Abraham is an excerpt of Joseph Smith's Book of Joseph. In order to understand this, you need to look at Hauglid's catalog of testimonies regarding the contents of the papyri. From this list it emerges that the papyri were probably believed to be a patriarchal record put together by Joseph much in the same way that Mormon and Moroni constructed the Book of Mormon. Joseph took the record of Abraham from Abraham's own record--as Joseph Smith imagined these things--and he wrote them in his own words. Evidence of this can be found in the Book of Abraham, which contains clear allusions to Joseph that could only have been written with Joseph's authorship in mind.

According to Joseph Smith (i.e., as one can infer from various bits of evidence), Moses recovered the patriarchal record of Joseph when he pulled Joseph's remains from their sarcophagus which he found sunk under the waters of the Nile (a Talmudic legend, extrapolated from material in Genesis, that had made its way into Masonic legend). Moses' record is thus his version of Joseph's book, with his own record of post-Joseph history tacked onto the end. When Joseph Smith saw Chandler's mummies, he believed he was looking at a tradition handed down by a family of noble embalmers who had embalmed Joseph and also made copies of his patriarchal record.

Now, most likely by complete coincidence, Joseph Smith's mistake in Facsimile 3 is where the Talmudic/Masonic lore intersects with real antiquity in the playground of Joseph Smith's fictional scenario. You see, the special Osiris of Alexandria, Osiris-Apis, or Serapis, was identified with Joseph at the latest in the second century AD. The Talmudic legend of recovering the remains of Joseph from the Nile makes this perfectly clear, since Osiris' remains were recovered from the Nile in Egyptian mythology. As Robert M. Price speculates, inadequately but intriguingly I would say, the story of Joseph in Genesis has suggestive parallels with the myth of Osiris, and points to the possibility that Joseph is Osiris, and that Joseph's cult at Shechem was an Egyptian cult on Palestinian soil.

If Joseph is Osiris, and Smith's Joseph reworked the story of Abraham as a foreshadowing of his own narrative, then we would expect Abraham to be cast as Osiris as Joseph would later be. It therefore makes perfect sense that Abraham would be Osiris in Facsimile 3.
Last edited by Guest on Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Petition wasn’t meant to start a witch hunt as I’ve said 6000 times." ~ Hanna Seariac, LDS apologist
_honorentheos
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Re: Abraham is Osiris: A Historical Meditation on Facsimile

Post by _honorentheos »

Hi Kishkumen,

Do you know and can share more about the traditions behind the idea of dispensational patriarchs? I may be misreading what your very interesting opening post gets at, and maybe I'm looking at it in the wrong way. But it seems that you touch on in the opening post where Smith saw heads of dispensations, and saw or at least placed himself in the position of a great restorationist at the head of the dispensation of the fullness of times.

Did Smith build on a Talmudic tradition in doing so? Or some other origin?
The world is always full of the sound of waves..but who knows the heart of the sea, a hundred feet down? Who knows it's depth?
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_Fence Sitter
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Re: Abraham is Osiris: A Historical Meditation on Facsimile

Post by _Fence Sitter »

Very interesting post Reverend.


Can you tell me where I might be able to find Hauglid's catalog of testimonies regarding the contents of the papyri?
"Any over-ritualized religion since the dawn of time can make its priests say yes, we know, it is rotten, and hard luck, but just do as we say, keep at the ritual, stick it out, give us your money and you'll end up with the angels in heaven for evermore."
_Kishkumen
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Re: Abraham is Osiris: A Historical Meditation on Facsimile

Post by _Kishkumen »

Fence Sitter wrote:Very interesting post Reverend.


Can you tell me where I might be able to find Hauglid's catalog of testimonies regarding the contents of the papyri?


http://www.worldcat.org/title/textual-history-of-the-book-of-abraham-manuscripts-and-editions/oclc/656847578&referer=brief_results
"Petition wasn’t meant to start a witch hunt as I’ve said 6000 times." ~ Hanna Seariac, LDS apologist
_Shulem
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Re: Abraham is Osiris: A Historical Meditation on Facsimile

Post by _Shulem »

Kishkumen wrote:If only Mopologetics could be bold! I say that wistfully, knowing that the costs of being truly bold would be dire.


I did my best. I was the apologist who took it to a whole new level.

Image

Lord Osiris balances the Crook & Flail in his hands

The Joseph Smith explanation of Fig. 1, says, "Abraham sitting upon Pharaoh’s throne, by the politeness of the king... with the scepter of justice and judgment in his hand."

The image of Osiris is hereby made to represent Abraham through the principle of representationalism (Revelation 5:6). This was the vision given to the mind of Joseph Smith as he restored the Book of Abraham.

With regard to the sacred symbols held in the hands of the god Osiris which were likewise held by the pharaohs who sought to imitate the patriarchal order of Adam (Abraham 1:26), I am happy to give my interpretation of symbolic representationalism. The symbols are all powerful and in themselves infinite, seeing that I love to touch upon things that are eternal, for it catches my mind's eye and I love to ponder these things.

The Egyptian god of the resurrection is Osiris (as called in the Greek) but Ausar in the Egyptian. Osiris in Egyptian mythology is the first man to have been resurrected. All Egypt looked to him to receive resurrection in his likeness and glory. I look to Osiris to be the resurrection and the life because he symbolically is really Jesus Christ (John 11:25). The two sacred symbols which I mentioned earlier are held in the hands of Osiris (Christ) and are a representation of the atonement and the very power of the universe. Now I shall begin to explain these concepts.

First, the shepherd's crook, used to gather the sheep (Isaiah 40:11). This royal scepter is usually held in one hand at a 45 degree angle across the front of the body. This symbolizes the mercy of God.

Second, the flail, the instrument or whip (Proverbs 26:3) used by the herdsman to drive the cattle away. This royal scepter is held in the other hand at a 45 degree angle (running perpendicular with the crook) across the front of the body. This symbolizes the justice of God.

These two instruments held in the hands of the herdsman are used to either drive or attract the animals. The crook gathers the sheep and the flail drives the cattle to go wheresoever they are compelled to go. Thus we see that there is opposition in all things (2 Nephi 2:10,11). We know that the crook symbolizes mercy for it brings the lambs lovingly to the shepherd for protection and care (Psalms 23:1,4). We also know the herdsman will drive the cattle where they must go for he is lord of the herd (John 2:15). Therefore, the symbol of mercy in one hand and the symbol of justice in the other. This is the reason why Osiris held these scepters in his hands and so also did the kings who were appointed to rule in righteousness for they sought to imitate the order of God. It is a great calling to be the one who must settle mercy and justice among all the people. We know that king Solomon was great in wisdom and justice.

More importantly, Christ holds them in his hands for it was he who worked out the atonement. It was Jesus who balanced mercy and justice in his arms by the power of the atonement. It may be likened to scales or a balance whereon justice hangs on one side and mercy on the other. When both are equal or satisfied the scales become balanced. This is another example of opposition in all things. The scales are balanced upon a "nail in a sure place" (Isa 22:23) for the two arms which hold the scales are balanced by the pivoting action of the arms that hang on the nail. It is in the power of the nail by which the scales are balanced. Likewise it is by Christ who is the "nail in the holy place" (Ezra 9:8) whose mercy is able to save mankind from the judgment.

Let us consider what Christ did for us with his atonement seeing that it was he who balanced the scales of justice and mercy by the nail in the sure place upon the scale. The word atonement when broken down signifies at-one-ment, which being interpreted means that man may become one with Christ as he is with the Father. This is partially correct but does not carry the full weight of the meaning. I again refer to the scales or the crook and flail held in the hands of Christ by the power of the nail. What did Christ do to the scales? He balanced them. How did he do this? He satisfied the demands of justice (Mosiah 15:9). Why did justice make it's claim? Man sinned and became fallen and justice therefore demands that man pay the price. What is the price for breaking the laws of he who is eternal and Endless is his name? The penalty is everlasting punishment for the principle of justice is an everlasting principle.

We see now that in order to satisfy the demands of eternal justice it becomes expedient that mercy be meted out in eternal weight (Alma 34:14). This was the suffering and sacrifice of the Lamb of God. This is fundamental to our religion for it is the saving power which is able to bring mankind back into the presence of God.

It was the Lamb that balanced the scales through his infinite sacrifice for it must needs be an infinite sacrifice in order to satisfy everlasting justice. Therefore we see that infinite mercy was paid by Jesus Christ. What man could comprehend such things? Only God can comprehend the eternal weight of these things and not man. It was the power and mercy of Jesus Christ that caused the scales to tip into a balanced position. Thereby we may know that the atonement was caused by the balancing of the scales as Jesus satisfied the required weight of mercy making it equal to the weight of justice.

At this point I endeavor to transcend another level regarding the imagery and principles I have discussed. First, let us remember that there is indeed opposition in all things, the very laws of the universe teach us this basic principle. We see light and darkness, sweet and bitter, pleasure and pain, truth and error, good and evil, etc.

There is also opposition in the very physical powers that drive the universe. We know that Abraham reasoned with the Egyptians concerning astronomy and the powers by which the worlds are governed. We have the Book of Abraham and the mysterious interpretations of the Facsimiles given by Joseph Smith which few people seriously study, let alone comprehend. Again I bring to mind the crook and flail which symbolize two eternal principles which I have discussed. How do they apply to the powers of astronomy? Abraham sat upon the throne of pharaoh in Facsimile No. 3 figure 1 and reasoned about the principles of astronomy in the kings court while he was balancing the crook and flail in his hands. He taught the Egyptians about the creation of stars and planets and the forces that drive the universe as detailed in the Explanation of Facsimile No. 2.

Let us first consider the crook. What does the crook have to do with astronomy? First we learned that it represents the mercy of Christ, the power to bring in, the power of attraction, thus to bring man back into the presence of God. This may be likened to the very physical power of gravity which causes the planets to orbit in their set revolutions and the stars to move in their destined courses. Thus we see as the Creator Jesus Christ (via the image of Osiris) holds the crook across his body, it is a representation of his power to govern the planets and stars by the power of gravity.

Let us secondly consider the flail. We learned that it represents the justice of God, the power to force out, the power to compel, thus to drive man away from the presence of God. This is the opposite of attraction, even as the earth has two opposing magnetic poles, one which attracts and another which repels. This physical force is operative throughout the universe as the planets and stars move in their courses being repulsed by invisible forces. We know that the forces of attraction and repulsion are present on planet earth and are likewise the governing forces that move the universe where God desires. Further, the Lord holds the flail across his body because he has in his hand the power to move the elements (Matthew 24:29) .

Great and marvelous are the mysteries of God and his ways are past finding out until we are exalted at his right hand. Only then, in a state of exaltation can we fully comprehend the glorious nature of eternal life. The glory be to God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ who sit upon the blazing throne in the celestial kingdom and have made everlasting life possible for us. We may live forever with them in everlasting burnings which are as circling flames of fire like wheels that roll forth in glorious majesty, high and lifted up, wheels within wheels (Ezekiel 10:10) turning for eternity. I greatly appreciate the prophet Joseph Smith. I have read his teachings carefully with enormous interest. I find his revelations and teachings indispensable in formulating my own understanding of eternal things. Joseph knew something of the language of the Egyptians, seeing he was especially knowledgeable of reformed hieroglyphs and learned them by seeing into Urim, for Joseph was truly a seer (one who sees), a visionary, a foreteller of future events, and a prophet of this dispensation.

I try to learn from the seers and formulate my understanding on what they reveal. The scriptures are the standard truth, but must be interpreted correctly. I know that Gordon B. Hinkley is a seer, a successor of Joseph Smith who was the first seer. I believe that the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are prophets, seers, and revelators.
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_Kishkumen
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Re: Abraham is Osiris: A Historical Meditation on Facsimile

Post by _Kishkumen »

honorentheos wrote:Hi Kishkumen,

Do you know and can share more about the traditions behind the idea of dispensational patriarchs? I may be misreading what your very interesting opening post gets at, and maybe I'm looking at it in the wrong way. But it seems that you touch on in the opening post where Smith saw heads of dispensations, and saw or at least placed himself in the position of a great restorationist at the head of the dispensation of the fullness of times.

Did Smith build on a Talmudic tradition in doing so? Or some other origin?


Those are very interesting thoughts, honorentheos. I confess that I did not have patriarchal dispensationalism in mind, but I am continually drawn to the connection between Joseph Smith and the patriarch Joseph.

I think his source was a Masonic author.
"Petition wasn’t meant to start a witch hunt as I’ve said 6000 times." ~ Hanna Seariac, LDS apologist
_Kishkumen
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Re: Abraham is Osiris: A Historical Meditation on Facsimile

Post by _Kishkumen »

Shulem, you were one of my favorite Book of Abraham apologists. Your stuff is great!
"Petition wasn’t meant to start a witch hunt as I’ve said 6000 times." ~ Hanna Seariac, LDS apologist
_Shulem
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Re: Abraham is Osiris: A Historical Meditation on Facsimile

Post by _Shulem »

Kishkumen wrote:Shulem, you were one of my favorite Book of Abraham apologists. Your stuff is great!


Thank you.

:razz:
_Shulem
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Re: Abraham is Osiris: A Historical Meditation on Facsimile

Post by _Shulem »

Kishkumen wrote:
If Joseph is Osiris, and Smith's Joseph reworked the story of Abraham as a foreshadowing of his own narrative, then we would expect Abraham to be cast as Osiris as Joseph would later be. It therefore makes perfect sense that Abraham would be Osiris in Facsimile 3.


But the buck stops with Anubis. You can't turn an Egyptian god into a slave and publish that on sacred papyri in any Egyptian dynasty. This is why Joseph Smith's Explanation of Anubis being a slave by the fictitious name of Olimlah turns everything on its head. Some things can simply never be. Hence, Joseph Smith's blasphemy can't create new history.
_Philo Sofee
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Re: Abraham is Osiris: A Historical Meditation on Facsimile

Post by _Philo Sofee »

Fence Sitter wrote:Very interesting post Reverend.


Can you tell me where I might be able to find Hauglid's catalog of testimonies regarding the contents of the papyri?


In conjunction with that is the paper I wrote last year that extensively deals with this precise issue and what Joseph Smith really thought the papyri were. See here
http://drpepaw.wixsite.com/backyardprof ... e-Evidence
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