Gee’s Official Position on the BOA

Gee’s views on the BOA have been misrepresented in some of the comments on my blog.  Although I’m phasing my blog out, I think Gee’s real position should be clarified.

To find Gee’s “Official Position” on the Book of Abraham, please consult the following:

http://fornspollfira.blogspot.com/2013/08/on-book-of-abraham-as-pseudepigrapha-i.html

http://fornspollfira.blogspot.com/2013/08/on-book-of-abraham-as-pseudepigrapha-ii.html

 

One thought on “Gee’s Official Position on the BOA

  1. On his blog (http://fornspollfira.blogspot.com/2013/08/on-book-of-abraham-as-pseudepigrapha-i.html ), John Gee outlined four possible positions on the Book of Abraham, of which the first two were as follows:

    1. The Book of Abraham as Abrahamic: Under this way of looking at things, the Book of Abraham is a work written by Abraham. It was translated by Joseph Smith under the inspiration of God.

    2. The Book of Abraham as pseudepigrapha: In this view, the Book of Abraham is ancient but not actually written by Abraham. It was written by someone else centuries or millennia later. It was translated by Joseph Smith under the inspiration of God.

    I should have thought that there is a position midway between these two options, namely an option which sees an original Abrahamic account of some sort which has been transmitted (including translations) and edited in such a way that it parallels similar transmission of archaic biblical documents which are now available in canonical forms which their originators might not see as fully representative of the original.

    Abraham and Moses, for example, did not speak or write Classical Hebrew, even though that is the form in which their accounts have reached those who can read that language – for others, they are only known in English or other modern translation. Even in late antiquity, many Jews knew such biblical accounts only in Aramaic targums or in the Septuagint Greek (LXX). And that without even considering the several pseudepigraphic accounts in the Genesis Apocryphon, Jubilees, or the like. Moreover, it is not clear that all pseudepigraphic and aggadic materials are fictional in origin, but that is beside the point.

    Thus, position 1a. might read as “The Book of Abraham was written by Abraham anciently, and has been translated and transmitted over time within the Israelite community, the final redaction of it taking place in Ptolemaic times within the Jewish community in Egypt.”

    As with the many closely related ancient Near Eastern texts, we can directly study their development “over time” and explore “the processes of text formation,” as Gee himself points out (http://fornspollfira.blogspot.com/2013/08/on-book-of-abraham-as-pseudepigrapha-ii.html ). So why would we not want to suggest the same analogous process for the Bible and Book of Abraham?

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