Insights: The Newsletter of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship



Book of Abraham, ancient text, lectures, publication


In 1998 FARMS’s longtime interest in advancing research supportive of the Book of Abraham as an ancient text found new emphasis and direction as a formalized FARMS project, an impetus made possible by a farsighted donor: the Robert Gay family. Soon a working group of scholars was convened to exchange research and ideas on the text. The resulting exchange of information led to FARMS-sponsored public lectures and a scholarly conference in 1999. The next year saw publication of John Gee’s Guide to the Joseph Smith Papyri and, fortuitously, an enlarged edition of Hugh Nibley’s Abraham in Egypt (a project years in the making). Following in short order were the first two volumes in the Studies in the Book of Abraham series—Traditions about the Early Life of Abraham (2001) and The Hor Book of Breathings (2002)—and a “World of Abraham” symposium and scholarly conference in 2002.