Eminent LDS scholar Hugh W. Nibley has long been a student and defender of the Book of Abraham. Now released in an enlarged and expanded second edition, Nibley's Abraham in Egypt (originally published by Deseret Book in 1981) focuses on the authenticity of the Book of Abraham. The edition includes four new chapters and several new sections within existing chapters. Additionally, more than 100 helpful illustrations enhance the text, and meticulous source checking and a new documentation format make the references easier for the reader to navigate.
Originally part of a series that appeared in the Improvement Era between 1968 and 1970, the new chapters treat the topics "Joseph Smith and the Critics," "Setting the Stage-the World of Abraham," "The Sacrifice of Isaac," and "The Sacrifice of Sarah." The book also includes new material on the apocalypse of Abraham and Reverend Franklin Spencer Spalding's attack on Mormonism.
In addition to addressing the authenticity of the Book of Abraham and the validity of its teachings, Nibley discusses the character of Abraham. As he points out, "Abraham was in the world, a wicked world very much like our own. From childhood to the grave, he was a stranger in his society because he insisted on living by the principles of the gospel and preaching them to others wherever he went, even it if meant getting into trouble. . . . His object? Not to conquer or impress, but to bless all with whom he comes into contact, ultimately shedding the blessing that God gave to him on the whole human race."
Nibley also comments on the relevance of the Book of Abraham today. Abraham in Egypt counters criticisms leveled against the Book of Abraham and shows how the gap between Egyptian religion and early Christianity is narrowing. As Nibley concludes, "The argument against the Book of Abraham on which eminent Egyptologists were most insistent was that the Egyptians were pagan, worlds removed from the religion of the Hebrews. But for some time now, every year has seen the narrowing of the gap as a steady and growing flow of discoveries and studies brings Egypt, Israel, and early Christianity ever closer and closer together. Even so, what is the religious message? What has the Book of Abraham to teach the modern world in general, and the Church in particular? That is, of course, the message of Abraham, for we are commanded to do the works of Abraham, and told that there is no other way for us to go."
Made of polished black granite, this surviving pyramid capstone from Egypt's Middle Kingdom belonged to Pharaoh Khendjer (c. 1750 B.C.). Drawing by Michael Lyon from new edition of Abraham in Egypt.
Abraham in Eqypt can be ordered through the FARMS Web site by clicking here.