This daily feature is an introduction to a full book review by Adam Oliver Stokes. To read the full text of this review, follow the link below.
John Gee's long-awaited work on the book of Abraham provides the reader with a plethora of information regarding an important and sacred work within the Mormon scriptural canon. From the offset, Gee emphasizes that his purpose is to "make reliable information about the book of Abraham accessible to the general reader" (ix), and he is largely successful in doing this. My treatment of Gee's work here consists of three parts. First, I will provide an overview and evaluation of the content of An Introduction to the Book of Abraham. In the second part, I will offer some suggestions for improvement. Finally, I will mention the implications of Gee's work for the reception of the book of Abraham in other Latter-day Saint traditions, with particular focus on my own denomination: the Community of Christ—formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS).
As someone who has always viewed the book of Abraham with fondness, I am very grateful to Gee for this work. It was truly a spiritual experience to absorb the information and insights provided by Gee while at the same time reading the book of Abraham in my now old LDS triple combination. Gee has certainly succeeded in his goal of making the material in Abraham available and comprehensible to readers. His work is a great contribution not only to the field of LDS studies, but also to biblical and Near Eastern studies more generally. He is to be deeply commended for his efforts here.