Book of Abraham Facsimiles

248 Primary Sources

238 BC - 153 BC

Original lion couch vignette on P. Joseph Smith I (Facsimile 1) from the fragment of Book of Breathing for Horos.

Mar 25, 1835

Anonymous source published in the Cleveland Whig describes papyri before Joseph acquired them.

Mar 27, 1835

PT reports on mummies being exhibited in Ohio.

Jul 1835 - Mar 1842

Hand drawn copy of hypocephalus produced between 1835–1842.

Jul 1835 - Nov 1835

Transcript of BOA Manuscript–C [Abraham 1:1–2:18], dated circa July–November 1835.

Jul 1835 - Nov 1835

BOA Manuscript–B, circa July–November 1835.

Jul 1835

Joseph translates an alphabet and arranges a grammar to the BOA.

Jul 1835 - Nov 1835

BOA Manuscript–A, circa July–November 1835.

Jul 3, 1835

Joseph first examines papyri, offers translation.

Jul 6, 1835

Michael Chandler certificate that Joseph translated papyri correctly.

Jul 6, 1835

Joseph translates papyri in early July 1835.

Jul 20, 1835

W.W. Phelps says Joseph has translated "rolls"; will make "good witness" for the BOM.

Aug 1835 - Mar 1838

John Whitmer says Joseph Smith as seer could translate papyri by "the revelation of Jesus Christ."

Aug 5, 1835

JS translates papyrus with "spectacles."

Aug 21, 1835

Joseph Bradley mentions Joseph translating the papyri in the Evangelical Magazine and Gospel Advocate.

Sep 1835

Oliver Cowdery uses language from BOA to describe his and JS's priesthood ordination.

Sep 11, 1835

W.W. Phelps says work of translating BOA has stalled in letter to Sally Phelps.

Oct 1, 1835

Joseph, Oliver Cowdery, and W.W. Phelps are recorded as laboring on the on "Egyptian alphabet."

Oct 3, 1835

JS gives "explanation" of papyri to members of Q12.

Oct 7, 1835

Frederick G. Williams records that Joseph "recommences" translating the papyri.

Nov 1, 1835

Albert Brown says Joseph can translate papyri "without wisdom of this world."

Nov 14, 1835

Joseph gives revelation saying Warren Parrish will be scribe, assist in translating "ancient records."

Nov 19, 1835

Warren Parrish records that Joseph spent day translating Egyptian records.

Nov 20, 1835

JS spends day translating BOA.

Nov 24, 1835

Joseph records that he translated Egyptian records in his journal.

Nov 25, 1835

Joseph's journal for November 25, 1835, records that he spent the day translating BOA.

Nov 26, 1835

JS spends day "transcribing" Egyptian characters.

Dec 16, 1835

JS "explained" Egyptian Records to apostles; describes formation of planetary system.

Dec 22, 1835

Oliver Cowdery interprets the vignettes on the papyri.

Jan 9, 1836

Anonymous critic is skeptical that Joseph can translate papyri.

Feb 11, 1836

JS spends day reading and showing papyri to guests.

Aug 25, 1836

Truman Coe says Joseph "deciphered" papyri, this was seen as proof of "divine inspiration."

Sep 24, 1836

JS translating papyri; language same as BOM.

Nov 25, 1836

Wilford Woodruff describes the "figures" of the papyri.


William West says Joseph can translate missing portions of papyri.

Feb 5, 1838

Warren Parrish says he sat by Joseph's side as he translated by revelation.

Feb 5, 1838

Warren Parrish says he sat by Joseph's side as he translated by revelation.

May 6, 1838

JS gives sermon instructing Saints on themes from BOA.

Jul 26, 1838

William Swartzell says JS "intends" to translate papyri in 1838.


JC mentions JST Bible project and BOA translation project together.

Jun 26, 1839 - Aug 4, 1839

JS preaches sermon; draws from language of BOA.

Feb 5, 1840

Joseph, while preaching a sermon, draws from concepts from the Book of Abraham.

Jun 2, 1840

Anonymous source published in Sentinel of Freedom says Joseph identified hand writing of Abraham on papyri.

Jul 11, 1840

Anonymous source sees papyri, says JS identified the "signature" of Abraham, wanted to hang up translation in temple.


Tyler Parsons debates a Mormon who uses Book of Abraham in his argument.

Jan 5, 1841

JS gives sermon, draws on concepts from BOA.

Mar 9, 1841

JS gives sermon, draws on concepts from the BOA.

Mar 28, 1841

JS gives sermon, draws on concepts from the BOA.

May 1841

Joseph gives sermon where he draws from "Abraham's record"; teaches about the Godhead.

May 5, 1841

William I. Appleby describes Facsimile 1 in 1841.

Sep 10, 1841

William Appleby describes seeing papyri and mummies; editor mocks Joseph.

Oct 7, 1841

Anonymous source reports Mormon missionary using Book of Abraham as evidence for Joseph being a prophet; says Book of Abraham will be published soon.

Dec 25, 1841

"C. H. A. D." says JS claims to read papyrus by gift of interpretation of tongues.


Henry Caswall describes seeing the vignettes of the papyri before publication of BOA.


Daniel P. Kidder criticizes and mocks Facsimile 1.


Daniel P. Kidder recounts recovery of papyri and mummies; speaks of JS having four mummies and a "roll" of papyrus.

Feb 1842

Manuscript version of explanations to Facsimile 1.

Feb 19, 1842

Wilford Woodruff assists in printing the Book of Abraham; records Joseph translating "hyeroglyphics" via Urim & Thummim.

Feb 21, 1842 - Feb 26, 1842

Wilford Woodruff prepares the type for the BOA to be printed.

Feb 21, 1842

BY admonishes LDS to assist JS in financial matters so that he can devote himself to spiritual concerns, including translation of BOA.

Feb 23, 1842

Joseph prepares facsimiles for publication.

Feb 23, 1842

Joseph instructs Reuben Hedlock on how to prepare Facsimile 1.

Feb 23, 1842 - Mar 2, 1842

Engraved Plate of Facsimile 1.

Mar 1, 1842

T&S 1842 Facsimile 1.

Mar 1842

Manuscript version of explanations to Facsimile 2.

Mar 1, 1842

Joseph notifies readers of T&S that he is the new editor of the paper.

Mar 1, 1842

Joseph prepares Facsimile 1 for publication.

Mar 1, 1842

First published text of Book of Abraham (Abraham 1:1–2:18), "purporting" to be a translation of the writings of Abraham.

Mar 1, 1842

Joseph says the Book of Abraham was "penned by hand of Father Abraham"; will translate more when possible.

Mar 2, 1842

JS proofs the Facsimile 1 to be published in T&S.

Mar 2, 1842

Joseph proofreads the first installment of Book of Abraham.

Mar 4, 1842 - Mar 19, 1842

Engraved Plate of Facsimile 2.

Mar 4, 1842

JS prepares Facsimile 2 for publication with RH.

Mar 8, 1842

Joseph translates Book of Abraham text for the next issue of the Times and Seasons.

Mar 9, 1842

Joseph translates more Book of Abraham material.

Mar 15, 1842

T&S 1842 publication of Facsimile 2.

Mar 15, 1842 - Apr 1, 1842

Reprint of original 1842 printing of Facsimile 2.

Mar 15, 1842

Second installment of first published text of BOA (Abraham 2:19–5:21).

Mar 19, 1842

Wilford Woodruff discusses the facsimiles (Kolob, Oliblish, God's throne, planets, etc.)

Apr 2, 1842

Contemporary non-LDS newspaper announces publication of BOA.

Apr 5, 1842

Boston Daily Mail, a Non-LDS newspaper describes Facsimile 1 as published in the Times and Seasons.

Apr 26, 1842

The Telegraph reports that Joseph has published Book of Abraham, calls it a "revelation."

May 2, 1842

Joseph reprints James Gordon Bennett's editorial on Book of Abraham; calls Book of Abraham a "revelation."

May 7, 1842

Contemporary non-LDS newspaper NYO gives sarcastic report of publication of BOA.

May 9, 1842

James Gordon Bennett republishes Facsimile 1; comments on BOA in the Weekly Herald.

May 16, 1842

Engraved Plate of Facsimile 3.

May 16, 1842

T&S 1842 printing of Facsimile 3.

May 28, 1842

Baton-Rouge Gazette announces publication of Book of Abraham, is skeptical of its claims.

Jun 1842

Parley P. Pratt announces that Book of Abraham will soon be published; says it is older than the Bible.

Jul 1842

PPP reprints Facsimile 1 in the MS.

Jul 1842

Parley P. Pratt gives overview of discovery and translation of the BOA.

Jul 1842

Parley P. Pratt reprints text of Abraham 1:1–2:18 in The Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star.

Jul 15, 1842

Joseph cites the BOA in his teachings on how God reveals things to the world.

Aug 1842

PPP reflects on the publication of the BOA, says it is three or four thousand years old.

Aug 1842

Parley P. Pratt reprints Abraham 2:19–5:21.

Sep 1, 1842

JS cites BoA in discussion on persecution of prophets, calls it a "revelation," compares it with apocryphal book of Jasher.

Feb 1, 1843

John Taylor says Joseph promised to translate more of the Book of Abraham.

Mar 1843

Dublin University Magazine criticizes the contents of the BOA.

Mar 5, 1843

Charlotte Haven says a "long roll of manuscript" was the "writings of Abraham."

Aug 30, 1843

H. A. Graves reports on Adiel Sherwood visit to Nauvoo, says Lucy Mack Smith explained contents of papyri.

Nov 13, 1843

W.W. Phelps (Joseph's ghostwriter) quotes Facsimile 2 explanations, Grammar and Alphabet language.

Nov 15, 1843

Joseph suggests preparing an Egyptian grammar.

Dec 1843

Anonymous visitor to Nauvoo sees mummies and papyri, remarks on "curious representations."

Dec 1843

W.W. Phelps (Joseph's ghostwriter) quotes the "Grammar and Alphabet of the Egyptian Language" amongst other languages.

Jan 20, 1844

Anonymous non-LDS visitor describes seeing mummies, papyri.

May 15, 1844

According to CFA, JS says papyri were written by the hand of Abraham.

May 16, 1844

Josiah Quincy writes to wife about visiting Joseph, mentions that Joseph translated hieroglyphs.

Jun 1, 1844

Richard Savary says JS translated Book of Abraham papyri in under an hour within getting papyri.

Jun 16, 1844

JS uses BOA in a discourse on plurality of gods.

Dec 25, 1844

WWP says eternity is 2.55 billion years, got this information from "records . . . of Egypt".


Henry Halkett's summary of John Quincy visiting Joseph, seeing mummies. Joseph explains meaning of vignettes on papyri.

Jul 11, 1846

JHC reports that Brigham Young and others gave "sheets of hieroglyphics" to Indian chief.


Reuban Miller uses Facsimile 2 in argument against JJS on priesthood.

Oct 3, 1846

Lucy Mack Smith shows papyri; says JS used hat to translate papyrus.

1848 - 1892

Jonathan Crosby records seeing the papyri, has them explained to him, says language is same as the Book of Mormon.

Jun 1848

Lucy Mack Smith "explains" papyri to "F. J."


Reprint of BOA and Facsimiles in the 1851 first edition of the POGP.


Caroline Barnes Crosby has papyri explained to her by Emma Smith, who got the information from Joseph.


Reprint of BOA and Facsimiles in the 1851 first edition of the POGP.

Jul 15, 1851

Franklin D. Richards announces the Pearl of Great Price will soon to be published, will contain Book of Abraham and Facsimiles.

Aug 29, 1852

OP uses BOA in his teachings on pre-existence, how some spirits are called and chosen, etc.

Aug 29, 1852

OP cites BOA in sermon on plural marriage regarding pre-mortal spirits coming to earth.

Apr 1853

OP cites BOA in discussion on pre-mortal existence, calls it an "ancient revelation."

Apr 1, 1853

SMH reprints article in SFH summarizing OP speech using the BOA to say JS was a descendant of Abraham.

May 1853

Orson Pratt cites Facsimile 2 and discusses Kolob in discussion of LDS cosmology, pre-existence.

Jan 28, 1854

Josiah Quincy recounts visit to Nauvoo in 1844, visiting Joseph, seeing mummies and papyri, says Joseph explained vignettes on papyri.


Samuel Birch comments on Facsimile 2; compares it with another hypocephalus, says characters are badly copied, JS's interpretation "throw no light upon it."

Oct 17, 1855

CHO documents possession of BOA facsimile printing plates in 1855.

Dec 1856

Orson Pratt say JS translated the Book Of Abraham by the same power as the BOM (i.e., revelation).

Dec 20, 1856

William I. Appleby includes the contents of the Book of Abraham as part of the list of "restored" truths via "the aid of the Urim and Thummim."


FDR writes of "rolls of Egyptian papyrus" being acquired by JS.

Sep 4, 1857

GS describes Facsimile 3 as containing an invocation to Osiris, mentions the name of owner, Horus, is in the scene.


GS disputes JS's interpretation of papyri; correctly identifies owner of papyrus as Hor (Horus); describes Facsimile 3.

Jul 10, 1859

OP says he witnessed JS translating the BOA.


JR discusses BOA; cites TD on the facsimiles; TD interprets facsimiles differently than JS.


WWP discusses Kolob and the contribution of the BOA.


English translation/reprint of JR's Voyage au pays des Mormons; JR discusses BOA; cites TD on BOA facsimiles; TD interprets them differently than JS.


Louis Alphonse Bertrand gives an LDS response to early criticism of the facsimiles.

Dec 29, 1872

Orson Pratt cites BOA in discourse on Creation, meaning of "day" and "year", etc.


TBHS republished criticisms of JS's interpretation of the facsimiles by TD.


T. B. H. Stenhouse says he heard W. W. Phelps say that Joseph Smith first learned about polygamy translating the BOA papyri.

Feb 7, 1873

SLDT reprints portion of TBH Stenhouse book critical of JS interpretation of BOA facsimiles.

Nov 22, 1873

Orson Pratt cites BOA on issue of "time" vs. "day" in Creation.

Apr 19, 1875

SSL describes vignettes on papyri; had them "explained" to her.

Aug 25, 1878

Orson Pratt recounts translation of Book Of Abraham; associates it with Urim & Thummim.

Feb 1879

Anson Call recalls handling papyri, reading from BOA translation for two hours.

Mar 4, 1879

BDT summarizes content of Facsimile 2.

Aug 1880

Frederic G. Mather says JS could read missing portions of papyri by "special revelation."

Oct 12, 1880

POGP, including BOA and Facsimiles, is canonized as a standard work at GC.

Dec 29, 1880

Anonymous author in Deseret News argues that Pearl Of Great Price accounts of creation corroborate the Bible, are also confirmed by science.


Franklin D. Richards notes "rolls of papyrus" containing writings of Abraham obtained by JS.


JQ saws JS translated BOA "by direct inspiration."


Samuel Birch remarks on Facsimile 2.

Jul 1884

Joseph provided a translation of papyri for Michael Chandler upon first examining papyri; is said to have matched Charles Anthon's own translation.

Nov 16, 1884

Charles W. Penrose briefly mentions BOA cosmology in sermon.


J. H. Kennedy mentions that Joseph's explanations to facsimiles do not match European scholar.


George Q. Cannon mentions Kolob, discusses other vignettes from JS Papyri.


BHR recounts discovery and translation of the BOA.

Aug 19, 1888

Orson F. Whitney uses BoA in discussion on "day" vs. "time" in Creation.

Aug 2, 1889

Howard Coray witnessed JS translate with "the Seer's stone."

Jan 16, 1891

AJ discusses discovery and translation of BOA; talks about its astronomy.

Jan 16, 1891

AJ recounts discovery and translation of BOA; discusses its astronomy.

Aug 12, 1894

Orson F. Whitney delivers discourse, cites BOA on pre-existence.

Nov 10, 1894

CDE discusses Abraham's vision in the BOA; says the U&T was an "instrument" like a telescope.


BHR recounts translation of BOA; discusses the cosmology of the text; argues it is evidence that JS was a prophet.

Apr 7, 1895

George Q. Cannon disusses BOA teaching on the gradation of spirits and stars.

Jul 31, 1897

Foster W. Jones says Henry Tressler saw "rolls of papyrus" that BOA was translated from.

Aug 19, 1901

DEN summarizes lecture given by MT, who uses BoA to show JS was a true prophet.

Oct 15, 1903

Millennial Star reports on missionaries in Vienna seeing hypocephali in museum; official guide of the museum compares them with Facsimile 2 of Book of Abraham.

Oct 17, 1903

DEN reprints a report by FMA about visiting Nauvoo, seeing BOA manuscript with hieroglyphic characters in the margins.

Apr 1904

BHR discusses loss of BOA papyrus, relates to the BOM plates being given back to Moroni.


JHE gives overview of coming forth of BOA, says text was "reveal[ed] to the world" by JS.

Jul 28, 1910

C. C. A. Christensen recounts discovery and translation of Book of Abraham for Danish LDS periodical.

Dec 1910

Levi Edgar Young recounts history of BOA, says it was translated by inspiration.

Jan 1911

Isaac Ball recounts translation of the Book of Abraham for young women LDS.


Spalding collects statements from Egyptologists condemning JS's interpretation of the facsimiles.


OFW cites BOA in discussion of time difference and fall of Adam.

Jan 1922

Jerusha Walker Blanchard says "roll of papyrus" was source of BOA.

Dec 8, 1924

DN paraphrases lecture by Jean Capart on the BoA; says facsimiles are authentic, two out of three can be easily read.

Feb 1929

Janne M. Sjodahl recounts translation of BOA for LDS youth.

May 1929

JEH recounts BOA translation; defends BOA's inspiration.


N. B. Lundwall reprints unsourced claim that Jonathan Crosby said books of Moses, Enoch also found with mummies.


Alan Gardiner explains phrase "in the hand of" in ancient Egyptian.

Jan 29, 1959

Nibley reproduces communication by Hughes to Petersen on the interpretation of the figures in Facsimile 1.


Klaus Baer discusses the facsimiles in the Hor Book of Breathings among the Joseph Smith Papyri.

Mar 1968

Hugh W. Nibley cites sources saying JS put mental study into translation of BOA.


Hugh W. Nibley explains significance of "by his own hand" in BOA header.

Mar 1976

Nibley offers an approach to interpreting the facsimiles; emphasizes ancient elements in Joseph's explanations.


CMH connects Kolob and cites BOA with astronomical symbolism on the Salt Lake Temple.

Jul 1988

MDR answers questions about the JS Papyri and Book of Abraham in the Ensign.

Jul 1992

Gee argues for authentic ancient elements in Joseph Smith's explanations to the BOA facsimiles.

Jan 1994

Peterson argues for historicity of BOA and authenticity of JS's explanations of the facsimiles.


Gee discusses how Figure 3 of Facsimile 1 could be a priest even with a jackal head.


Rhodes gives translation and commentary of Facsimile 2.


James Hoch explains meaning of Egyptian idiom "by the hand of."


James R. Harris recounts anecdote of Preston Nibley that he heard Joseph F. Smith remember seeing the papyri, describes a long roll.


John Gee reviews the facsimiles of the BOA and discusses the interpretation of specific figures.


Gee highlights the changes made to Fac 2 in the various editions of the Pearl of Great Price.


Rhodes translates figures in Facsimile 3 of the BOA.


MD Rhodes translates hieroglyphs accompanying vignette in JS Papyri.


Rhodes discusses two vignettes on the Hor Book of Breathings (Facs. 1 and 3).


Michael D. Rhodes translation of the Hor Book of Breathings among the JS Papyri.


Rhodes publishes on BoA Facsimiles; lays out method for approaching them.


CES manual discusses BOA translation.


Barney outlines a theory for "Jewish Redactor" of the BOA Facsimiles.


Gee discusses Facsimile 3 of BOA, disputes idea that it is a judgement scene.


J Gee discusses methods for studying facsimiles, cautions about taking underlying assumptions for granted.


Gee reviews miscellaneous advances in BOA scholarship up to 2008.


Nibley and Rhodes explain significance of Figure 7 of Fac 2 from ancient Egyptian perspective.


Nibley and Rhodes give exhaustive commentary on Facsimile 2.


Translation of JS Papyri by RKR.


Kerry Muhlestein discusses the significance of the BOA Header.


Muhlestein explains background of JS Papyri and discusses ways JS's interpretation of Facsimile 1 make sense from an Egyptological perspective.


Bible chronology chart in 2013 LDS edition of the Bible.


1981/2013 current edition of the canonical Book of Abraham with facsimiles.


Barney argues for the plausibility of Joseph's interpretation of Figure 9 in Facsimile 1.


2013 official text of the BOA.


Introduction to the 2013 official edition of the POGP.

Nov 14, 2013

Smoot interviews Muhlestein on issues related to the Book of Abraham and the facsimiles.

Jul 2014

Gospel Topics essay on the BOA.

Oct 23, 2015

Church Newsroom lists original dates of publication of Gospel Topics essays; BOA essay published on July 8, 2014.


Muhlestein discusses implications of Abraham 1:12, 14 for the relationship of text with facsimiles.


Kerry Muhlestein discusses models for evaluating the BOA and Joseph's interpretation of the facsimiles.


Ann Macy Roth explains that there are ancient Egyptian divinities connected with fertility.


Kerry Muhlestein and Megan Hansen give proposed reconstruction of translation timeline of the Book of Abraham.


Gee discusses textual history of Abraham 1:12, 14.


Gee discusses BOA Facsimiles and shows authentic elements in JS explanations.


Institute Manual for POGP explaining Church's position on the BOA Facsimiles.


John Gee discusses the signifcance of Abraham 1:12, 14 as insertions.


John Gee proposes reconstruction of the timeline of the translation of the Book of Abraham.


JG gives overview of the Book of Breathings text.


Michael D. Rhodes gives overview of Book of the Dead for LDS readers.


JSP editors discuss marginal characters in BOA manuscript margins.


Gee overviews the BOA Facsimiles in LDS reference work.


JSP volume on BoA manuscripts notes the likelihood that Abraham 1:12, 14 are insertions.


Barney writes MA thesis on Facsimile 3.


Givens reviews BOA history and reception, argues for expansive understanding of Joseph Smith as translator.


John Gee examines literary titles in ancient Egypt; shows that "by/of the hand" was an idiom used in literary titles in ancient Egyptian texts to denote authorship.


Mekis gives exhaustive Egyptological discussion of the hypocephalus.


POGP Central article on Figure 7 of Facsimile 2 exploring issues surrounding its identification.


POPG Central article on Figure 3 of Facsimile 1 exploring issues surrounding its identification.


Brown argues that Joseph Smith took a metaphysical approach to interpreting hieroglyphs, facsimiles.


Mekis translates and transliterates Egyptian characters from Facsimile 2.

Jan 17, 2020

POGP Central highlights evidence for Joseph's interpretation of Facsimile 2, Figure 6.


Smoot discusses textual history of Abraham 1:12, 14.


Stephen O. Smoot argues that Abraham 1:12, 14 are interlinear insertions, not original to the BOA text.


The Joseph Smith Papers editors reconstruct a timeline of the translation of the Book of Abraham.


JSP notes marginal characters in BOA manuscripts, says they come from papyri and other unknown sources.


JSP notes the marginal characters in BOA manuscripts, note that some of them come from the Grammar and Alphabet documents.