Kerry Muhlestein, professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University, PhD in Egyptology at UCLA in 2003.
As we learn here from Dr. Muhlestein, so often what is presented against the Book of Abraham amounts to nothing more than internet snippets of very complex issues. Even the longer videos that go into a lot of detail are very agenda driven while pretending to be unbiased. They claim they are the ones being completely open and honest, presenting all the available evidence. A closer look, however, shows their arguments to be over simplified and often quite shallow.
Critics tend to assume that since we understand how to read Egyptian, we can always understand exactly what they meant when they wrote it. Too many of us forget that what we know about ancient cultures is very little compared to what is yet to be discovered.
Language is a tricky thing. We colonials scratch our heads when we first hear some of the terms that Brits use and vise versa. Even within the same culture we experience changes in word usage and meaning during the same generation. Entire sentences, let alone just words, can take on completely different meaning in different contexts, even in trying to understand each other of the same language in the same generation. Yet we expect to be able to understand completely what is happening and being communicated in ancient Egypt with some small, very disconnected snippets of expressions of that culture.
But it is even more complicated than that. Have you ever read some of the English text on the packaging of products made in Asia and imported to America? It is really quite hilarious. They use the English language and try to communicate to our culture without understanding the colloquialisms we use. How accurate would a future archaeologist a thousand years from now be with his interpretation if he found packaging with English descriptions written by Asians and assumed that because it was in English and found in the US that it was an accurate picture of US culture?
So what should we expect when we find writings of an ancient culture, of which we know very little compared to those living then, using a language other than their own to express ideas from the perspective of their own culture? When we find ancient writings, how do we know in what cultural context it was written? Often the obvious assumption is way off the mark.