Book of Abraham Hoax

An early Egyptologist who found Joe Smith's explanations of the Facsimiles in the Book of Abraham false was M. Theodule Deveria. In 1856, M. Deveria was working for the Louvre in Paris when he saw a copy of the Pearl of Great Price. Respected as a pioneer in Egyptology, he was asked to comment on Smith's translation of Egyptian hieroglyphics. His comments were published in Jules Remy's and Julius Brenchley's two-volume book Voyage au Pays des Mormons (Paris, 1860). The following year an English translation of Remy's and Brenchley's book was titled Journey to Great Salt Lake City (London: W. Jeffs, 1861).

Egyptologist M. Theodule Deveria found that Joe Smith had not only made a false translation of the Facsimiles, but also had altered some of them from the original source. Together with later Egyptologists, M. Deveria found Joe Smith's Facsimiles to be funerary documents that were taken from the Osiris mysteries and the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Modern Egyptologists would corroborate most of Deveria's explanations and would also find Smith's explanations completely false. In the table below, are Joe Smith's incorrect guesses to the left of M. Theodule Deveria's explanations. Even in the 1850s, God had provided a way for people to see Smith's fraud.

Facsimile No. 1
The Resurrection of Osiris from the Book of the Dead


Joe Smith's Explanation
M. Theodule Deveria's Explanation
Fig. 1 The angel of the Lord. The soul of Osiris, under the form of a hawk (which should have a human head).
Fig. 2 Abraham fastened upon an alter. Osiris coming to life on his funeral couch, which is in the shape of a lion.
Fig. 3 The idolatrous priest of Elkenah attempting to offer up Abraham as a sacrifice. The god Anubis (who should have a jackal's head) effecting the resurrection of Osiris.
Fig. 4 The altar for sacrifice by the idolatrous priest standing before the gods Elkenah, Libnah, Mahmackrah, Korash, and Pharaoh. The funeral-bed of Osiris, under which are placed the four sepulchral vessels called canopes, each of them surmounted by the head of the four genii.
Fig. 5 The idolatrous god of Elkenah. Kebh-son-iw, with a hawk's head.
Fig. 6 The idolatrous god of Libnah. Tioumautew, with a jackal's head.
Fig. 7 The idolatrous god of Mahmackrah. Hapi, with a dog's head.
Fig. 8 The idolatrous god of Korash. Amset, with a human head.
Fig. 9 The idolatrous god of Pharaoh. The sacred crocodile, symbolic of the god Sebet.
Fig. 10 Abraham in Egypt. Altar laden with offerings.
Fig. 11 Design to represent the pillars of heaven as understood by the Egyptians. An ornament peculiar to Egyptian art.
Fig. 12 Raukeeyang, signifying expanse, or the firmament over our heads; but in this case, in relation to this subject, the Egyptians meant it to signify Shaumau, to be high, or the heavens, answering to the Hebrew Shaumahyeem. Customary representation of ground in Egyptian paintings. (The word Shauman is not Egyptian, and the Hebrew word is badly copied).


Facsimile No. 2


Joe Smith's Explanation
M. Theodule Deveria's Explanation
Fig. 1 Kolob, signifying the first creation, nearest to the celestial, or the residence of God. First in government, the last pertaining to the measurement of time. The measurement according to the celestial time signifies one day to a cubit. One day in Kolob is equal to a thousand years, according to the measurement of this earth, which is called by the Egyptians Jah-oh-eh. The spirit of four elements (according to Champollion), or rather of the four winds, or the four cardinal points; the soul of the terrestrial world. This god is always represented with four ram's heads, and his image has certainly been altered here. - They have also evidently made a very clumsy attempt at copying the double human head of the god figured below, fig. 2, instead of the four ram's heads. The word Jah-oh-eh has nothing Egyptian in it ; it resembles a Hebrew word badly transcribed.
Fig. 2 Stands next to Kolob, called by the Egyptians Oliblish, which is the next grand governing creation near to the celestial, or the place where God resides; holding the key of power, also, pertaining to other planets; as revealed from God to Abraham, as he offered sacrifice upon an altar which he had built unto the Lord. Ammon-Ra, with two human heads, meant probably to represent both the invisible or mysterious principle of Ammon, and the visible or luminous principle of Ra, the sun; or else the double and simultaneous principle of father and son; which characterizes divinity in the religion of ancient Egypt. - The word Oliblish is no more Egyptian than those already met with, nor than those which are to be found in the Mormon explanation.
Fig. 3 Is made to represent God, sitting upon his throne, clothed with power and authority: with a crown of eternal light upon his head: representing, also, the grand key-words of the Holy Priesthood, as revealed to Adam in the Garden of Eden, as also to Seth, Noah, Melchizedek, Abraham, and all to whom the Priesthood was revealed. The god Ra, the sun, with a hawks head, seated in his boat. In the field the two symbolical figuring, according to M. de Rouge, the fixed points of an astronomical period.
Fig. 4 Answers to the Hebrew word Raukeeyang, signifying expanse, or the firmament of the heavens; also a numerical figure, in Egyptian, signifying one thousand; answering to the measuring of the time of Oliblish, which is equal with Kolob in its revolution, and in its measuring of time. The Hebrew word Roki'a, expansuna, solidum, ecalum, firmamentum, besides being badly described, has no relation whatever to this figure, which represents a mummified hawk, called in Egyptian Ah'em. It is the symbol of the divine repose of death; its extended wings have reference to the resurrection.
Fig. 5 Is called in Egyptian Enish-go-on-dosh; that is, one of the governing planets also; and is said by the Egyptians to be the sun, and to borrow its light from Kolob through the medium of Kae-e-vanrash, which is the grand Key, or in other words, the governing power, which governs fifteen other fixed planets or stars, as also Floeese, or the moon, the earth, and the sun, in their annual revolutions. This planet receives its power through the medium of Kli-flos-is-es, or Hah-ko-kau-beam, the stars represented by numbers 22 and 23, receiving light from the revolutions of Kolob. The mystic cow, the great cow, symbolizing the inferior hemisphere of the heavens. It is called the virgin cow at ch. 162 of the funerary ritual, which, particularly enjoins that its image be painted on the hypocephalus, and another image of it in gold on the throat of the defunct. It is the form of Hathor, who figures on several monuments under the name of noub, gold. Behind the cow is a goddess, whose head, represented by a mystic eye in a disk, is incorrectly copied.
Fig. 6 Represents the earth in its four quarters. The four funerary genii, the sons of Osiris, Amset, Hapi, Tioumautow, and Kebhsoniw.
Fig. 7 Represents God sitting upon his throne, revealing through the heavens the grand Key-Words of the Priesthood; as, also, the sign of the Holy Ghost unto Abraham in the form of a dove. The form of Ammon, with a bird's tail, or Horammon (?). An ithyphallic serpant, with human legs, offers him a symbolical eye. This last figure has certainly been altered in the hypocephalus of the Mormons.
Fig. 8 Contains writing that cannot be revealed unto the world; but is to be had in the Holy Temple of God. Four lines of the linear hieroglyphic text, which are numbered from bottom to top, instead of from top to bottom. The meaning is: O great God in Sekhem; 0 great God, Lord of heaven, earth, and hell. . . . Osiris S'es'enq. These last words inform us that the personage in whose mummy this hypocephalus was found was called S'es'enq or S'esonchis, a name written Sesak in the Bible, and of which there is no known example anterior to the twenty-second dynasty; that is, to the ninth century before our era, but which may be much posterior to it.
Fig. 9 Ought not to be revealed at the present time. Also.
Fig. 10 Also. Also.
Fig. 11 Also - If the world can find out the numbers, so let it be. Amen. Also.
Fig. 12 - 15 Will be given in the own due time of the Lord. The above translation is given as far as we have any right to give, at the present time. Four lines of writing similar to the former, of which they are the pendant. They appear to be numbered upside down, and are illegibly copied.
Fig. 16 - 17 Also. Two more lines which cannot be deciphered in the copy. it begins above the god with two human heads, fig.2; and there is in it twice mention made of a sacred dwelling-place in Heliopolis.
Fig. 18 - 21 Also. These columns of writing, illegible in the copy. It is evident to me that several of the figures to be found in these various MSS. have been intentionally altered.

Facsimile No. 3


Joe Smith's Explanation
M. Theodule Deveria's Explanation
Fig. 1 Abraham sitting upon Pharaoh's throne by the politeness of the king, with a crown upon his head, representing the Priesthood, as emblematical of the grand Presidency in Heaven; with the septre of justice and judgement in his hand. Osiris on his seat.
Fig. 2 King Pharaoh, the first person on the left of our engraving, whose name is given in the characters above his head. The goddess Isis. The star she carries in her right hand is the sign of life.
Fig. 3 Signifies Abraham in Egypt; as before in the interpretation of No.1, Fig.10. Alter, with the offering of the deceased, surrounded with lotus flowers, signifying the offering of the defunct.
Fig. 4 Prince of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, as written above the hand. The goddess Ma.
Fig. 5 Shulem, one of the king's principal waiters, as represented by the characters above his hand. The deceased led by Ma into the presence of Osiris. His name is Horus, as may be seen in the prayer which is at the bottom of the picture, and which is address to the divinities of the four cardinal points.
Fig. 6 Olimlah, a slave belonging to the prince. Abraham is reasoning upon the principles of astronomy in the king's court. An unknown divinity, probably Anubis; but his head, which ought to be that of a jackal, has been changed.

Mark Hines 2005