We do not claim to know why the text of the Book of Abraham (or the missing Book of Joseph) is not in evidence on the fragments of papyrus that were recovered. Critics, of course, simply assume this to be conclusive evidence that Joseph was a fraud. From a believer’s perspective, however, there are several possible theories to account for this:
- The text was revealed much in the same manner as that of the Book of Mormon, without the need for the actual papyri.
- The text was present on portions of the papyri that are missing.
- The Book of Abraham manuscript was attached to the Book of Breathings manuscript and was lost.
- Perhaps there was a way of understanding the Egyptian ideograms anciently that is unknown to Egyptology in our day, yet to be discovered, deciphered or acknowledged, that could yield an interpretation of a text that is different than the standard Egyptological reading.
The following are some possible theories as to how we received this text and how it relates to the papryi: