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Warren Parrish Copy of Abraham Manuscript, Fall 1835 [Abraham 1:4–2:2]

Warren Parrish Copy of Abraham Manuscript, Fall 1835 [Abraham 1:4–2:2]

<R>
of Chaldea for the offering unto these  strang gods both men women and  children and it came to pass, that the  priest, mad[e] an offering unto the god  of Pharaoh and also unto the god of  <Shagreel>, even after the manner of  the Egyptians.
(Now the god of Shagreel was the  son sun) even a thank offering of a  child did the preist of Pharaoh offer  upon the altar which stood by the  hill called Potiphers hill, at the head  of the plain of Olishem
Hnow this priest had offered upon this  altar three virgins at one time who  were the daughters of Onitah, one  of the regular royal descent directly  from the loins of Ham, these Virgins  were offered up because of their virtue  they would not bow down to worsh ip gods of wood or of stone, therefore  they <were> Killed upon this altar
Hand it was done after the manner of the  Egyptians and it came to pass that the  priests, laid violence upon me, that  they might slay me also, as they  did those Virgins, upon this altar,  and that you might have a know ledge of this altar, I will refer you to the  representation, that is lying before you  at the commencement of this record.
[p. 2]
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As discussed in the general introduction to the Book of Abraham manuscripts on this website, JS and his scribes Oliver Cowdery, William W. Phelps, Frederick G. Williams, and Warren Parrish spent considerable time in the second half of 1835 engaged in two separate yet related endeavors: the translation of the Book of Abraham, which yielded several Abraham manuscripts; and a language-study effort that produced a number of Egyptian alphabet and grammar manuscripts. Both types of manuscripts exhibit connections to the papyri in JS’s possession and, according to the historical record, both projects occurred roughly concurrently. However, there is presently not enough information to definitively ascertain how these two projects are related to each other or to the revelatory process. The particular text featured here, containing a draft of the current Abraham 1:4−2:2, is in the handwriting of Warren Parrish, who served as JS’s scribe in Kirtland, Ohio, from 29 October 1835 until spring 1836.
Parrish likely produced this document between 29 October and 25 November 1835, the period of time during which JS and his scribes were most actively engaged in studying the Egyptian materials in their possession. He may have copied it from an earlier Frederick G. Williams draft, or from another intermediate source. The manuscript is both paragraphed and punctuated, suggesting that it was produced after an initial dictation phase in the development of the Book of Abraham text. Nineteen Egyptian hieratic characters appear in the left margin.
Later, Parrish apparently recopied this transcript, prefacing it with an earlier twenty-one-line William W. Phelps manuscript containing a draft of passages now designated Abraham 1:1−1:3, thereby creating a document which combined the two manuscripts into one running consecutively through today’s Abraham 1:1–2:18.
Parrish’s document was likely part of the “Egyptian Grammar” that was listed on a manifest compiled by Willard Richards and Thomas Bullock as they prepared to transport church documents westward in 1846 (“Schedule of Church Records. Nauvoo 1846,” [1]; “Historian’s Office Catalogue 1858,” 1, Historian’s Office, Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904, CHL). For more information on this document, see Hauglid, Textual History of the Book of Abraham, 22, 84–85.
Note: When an Egyptian hieratic character appears on the manuscript, it is represented by a stylized “H” in the transcript. The transcript of the Book of Abraham manuscript presented here is used with permission of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. It was published earlier, with some differences in style, in Brian M. Hauglid, A Textual History of the Book of Abraham: Manuscripts and Editions (Provo, UT: Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, Brigham Young University, 2010), 86–107.

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