REASONS THE MISSING SCROLL THEORY DOES NOT WORK:
– We know because of Abraham 1:12 and 1:14 itself points to Facsimile 1 and the very text in the papyri following it as the source text of the book of Abraham
– We know from the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar document that if we choose to be rational and logical the most reasonable interpretation of that document is that it represents Joseph Smith’s translation of The Book of Abraham.
– An early Egyptologist named Gustavus Seyffarth viewed the missing papyrus in 1856 and described only the Hor text and Facsimile 3. He gave no indication of another text on the scroll, and in fact explicitly denied that the scroll contained a record of Abraham.
– Klaus Baer predicted that the missing portion of the Hor text would be around sixty centimeters. Others who have attempted the estimate of the missing length agreed almost exactly with Baer’s estimate.
In the end a Missing Scroll theory is simply a Red Herring. Why we know that a missing scroll does not matter? We know where Joseph was translating and it was on the existing papyri. There is a set of documents that the church has always had in its possession commonly referred to as the “Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar” by Joseph Smith. Most of us remember hearing a little bit about it growing up in the church but not really knowing what it was. It was only briefly and rarely mentioned in church. With the discovery of the missing papyri in 1966, critics claim that these documents show a definite link between the papyri and the actual text of the Book of Abraham. The manuscript is in the handwriting of William W. Phelps and Warren Parrish, scribes to Joseph Smith, Jr. It is a bound book with handwriting on 34 pages with about 184 blank pages remaining throughout the book. There are characters in a left hand column with English explanations to the right. Original in LDS archives. There are 4 pages in Joseph Smith’s handwriting.
REASONS THE CATALYST THEORY DOES NOT WORK:
– The Times and Seasons with Joseph Smith as Editor along with Mormonism’s heading to the Pearl of Great Price in the past claimed the papyri was the writings of Abraham.
– The Times and Seasons with Joseph Smith as Editor along with Mormonism’s heading to the Pearl of Great Price in the past claimed it was written by Abraham’s own hand. If the Catalyst Theory is correct, then God must be responsible for misleading Smith about the identity of the author of the papyri characters.
– Joseph and his scribes wrote down the very symbols from the papyri we have along with a proposed meaning of those hieroglyphics and symbols in a document named Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar indicating strongly a literal translation.
– Joseph Smith‘s translation and restoration of the facsimiles was incorrect. If the Catalyst Theory is correct, then God must be responsible for instructing Smith to incorrectly translate and restore the facsimiles.
– The text of the Book of Abraham itself (1:12 and 1:14) declares that the source of the Book of Abraham has the Facsimile 1 fragment at its commencement, which is the Breathing Permit of Hor. If the Catalyst Theory is correct, then God must be responsible for instructing Smith to record verses in the Book of Abraham that incorrectly refer to the Facsimile 1 fragment.
– The Small Sensen (Breathing Permit of Hor) characters are copied in order into the manuscripts where they are translated into the Book of Abraham. Therefore, Smith‘s own manuscripts indicate that the source of the Book of Abraham is the Small Sensen. If the Catalyst Theory is correct, then God must be responsible for misleading Smith to believe that the source of the Book of Abraham was the Small Sensen.
– The Egyptian Alphabets end with two characters which appear in the manuscripts as the beginning of the Small Sensen and which translate into Abraham 1:1. Therefore, the Egyptian Alphabets indicate that the source of the Book of Abraham is the Small Sensen. If the Catalyst Theory is correct, then God must be responsible for misleading Smith to believe that the source of the Book of Abraham was the Small Sensen. Conclusion:
I see no solution that deals with these items without requiring far more allowances and leeway than fraud. I would welcome a working theory that deals with the points above namely Abraham 1:12, 14
It should also be noted that the geography of the BOA also is deeply problematic Ur and Chaldees versus where the egyptians had influence and land and authority is deeply problematic without adding a second Ur which has been attempted but has essentially little to no evidence.
So anyone have a rational working theory that deals with this data and also doesn't require a ton of allowances that make it irrational?