Do other Egyptologists Question your Support of the Book of Abraham? Some.


Kerry Muhlestein, professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University, PhD in Egyptology at UCLA in 2003.

Here’s some further information provided by Kerry Muhlestein when asked for information about peer review and other non-LDS Egyptolgists.

I do not know of anyone who has really investigated the way Abraham was received or used by the Egyptians besides us. The translation of the text with Abraham on the couch was done by someone else, and can be found at PDM XII, 140; as H.D. Betz (ed.), The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation, Including the Demotic Spells (2nd edition, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992), 171. An article I have written that discusses this and which was peer reviewed by non-lds Egyptologists is Kerry Muhlestein, “Abraham, Isaac, and Osiris-Michael: The Use of Biblical Figures in Egyptian Religion,” in the proceedings ofAchievements and Problems of Modern Egyptology, Galina, A. Belova, ed. (Moscow: Russian Academy of Sciences, 2012), 246-259.
As far as human sacrifice, not many others have written about it since I did my work on it. One place you can find something is at Robert Ritner, The Mechanics of Ancient Egyptian MagicalPractice (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1993): 163-7. As for articles I have written about this that have been peer reviewed by non-lds Egyptologists they are Kerry Muhlestein, Violence in the Service of Order: the Religious Framework for Sanctioned Killing in Ancient Egypt.  British Archaeological Reports International Series 2299 (Oxford: Archaeopress, 2011). And Kerry Muhlestein, “Royal Executions: Evidence Bearing on the Subject of Sanctioned Killing in the Middle Kingdom,” in The Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, 51/2 (2008): 181-208. And Kerry Muhlestein, “Execration Ritual” in Willeke Wendrich, Jacco Dieleman (eds.), UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology (Los Angeles:, 2008). And Kerry Muhlestein, “Human Sacrifice in Ancient Egypt.” In World History Encyclopedia, Era 2: Early Civilizations, 4000-1000 BCE. Edited by Kevin Murray McGeough. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2011, 281.
Most of these can be found on my profile page on if people are interested in reading them.

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  1. kenny young Reply

    The spam filters wouldn’t let me send you an email on the BYU site.

    Hey Kerry I have a couple questions for you. I know that wikipedia isn’t the best source but I was wondering if the following was true.

    “Serpents are represented as potent guardians of temples and other sacred spaces. This connection may be grounded in the observation that when threatened, some snakes (such as rattlesnakes or cobras) frequently hold and defend their ground, first resorting to threatening display and then fighting, rather than retreat. Thus, they are natural guardians of treasures or sacred sites which cannot easily be moved out of harm’s way.”

    If this is true I was wondering if there was any relation to the symbolism of the serpent and Christ being tied to the fact that he alone is the gatekeeper. It brings to my mind 2 Nephi 9:41. “O then, my beloved brethren, come unto the Lord, the Holy One. Remember that his paths are righteous. Behold, the way for man is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate; for he cannot be deceived, for the Lord God is his name.”

    I tried looking for something a bit more academic but I could find nothing and I know very little of things Egyptian. I know that the cobra was associated with the priesthood of pharaoh and if my memory serves me correctly this was somewhat associated with the wedjat eye in Egyptian thought. My question is this. Is there a relationship between the guarding of sacred space, and the symbolism of the snake in any culture? Does this also have anything to do with the Wedjat eye that Nibley has written about.

    Thanks for any input that you can give.

  2. John Reply

    Dr. Muhlestein,

    In the Mormon Challenges video:

    the opening frame shows: “Aren’t there Egyptologist opposed to you and the Book of Abraham?”

    Perhaps that should read “… Egyptologists … ”

    And, may I suggest the less contentious, “Aren’t there Egyptologists who disagree with your theory of the Book of Abraham?”


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