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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]

<O>unto the fathers, have I Kept even unto  this day.
HAnd I shall endeavour to write some  of these things upon this record, for the  benefit of my posterity that shall  come after me,
HNow the Lord God caused the fam ine to wax sore in the land of Ur, in somuch that Haran my brother died,  but Terah my father yet lived, in the  land of Ur of the Chaldeas, and it  came to pass that I Abram took Sarai  to wife and Nahor, my brother, took Mil cah to wife.
HWho was the daughter of Haran,
H
[p. 6]
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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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