Astronomy, Papyrus, and Covenant

This volume’s twelve articles analyze the Book of Abraham, contributing significantly to needed research on this scripture. Most of the articles were presented at a FARMS conference in 1999 and are published now for the first time. Here serious scholarly study of the Book of Abraham is made accessible to nonspecialists. Topics covered include the historicity of the Book of Abraham, meanings and symbols in covenants, and literary aspects of the text.

The first two articles deal with astronomy in the Book of Abraham. John Gee, William Hamblin, and Daniel Peterson combine to argue skillfully, on six grounds, that the view of stars and of the heavens found in the Book of Abraham is completely at home in the geocentric cosmic view that held sway from the time of the Egyptians down to the time of Copernicus, before the worldview became dominated by a heliocentric cosmology. J. Ward Moody, professor of physics and astronomy, and Michael Rhodes, professor of ancient scripture, successfully bring their two worlds together in “Astronomy and the Creation.” This very interesting article offers a satisfying understanding of the processes and duration of the creation that fits both modern science and the scriptural accounts, including comments on evolution and the seven creative periods in Abraham 4.

Published in BYU Studies Quarterly 46:3
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