“Translating the Book of Abraham: The Answer Under Our Heads” by Tim Barker

My favorite presentation from the 2020 FAIR Conference.

Tim Barker, an accountant in WA state, undermines (what in my opinion is) the most frequent criticism against our faith and the restoration: Book of Abraham translation.

This answer has been available for decades, Tim argues. In fact, he cleverly shows that the answer has been hiding under our heads (hypocephalus). Facsimile 2 in the Pearl of Great Price is called a hypocephalus, which means below the head.

We’re not scholars, so we wouldn’t have known. But now, thanks to Tim Barker and others, we can know.

Below is the hypocephalus of facsmile 2. The type of drawing depicted in facsimile 2 is known among scholars as a “hypocephalus,” which means “under or beneath the head.”

“A hypocephalus is a small disk-shaped object made of papyrus, stuccoed linen, bronze, gold, wood, or clay, which the Egyptians placed under the head of their dead.

Book of Abraham: Facsimile 2 by Wes Trexler - Mormon Bandwagon

Book of Abraham: greatly weakening critics’ claims

These two videos undermine several of the most tightly held views by critics of our faith. In my opinion, the Book of Abraham won’t long remain among the top 3 — for many it’s the #1 — criticisms against our faith. The data simply don’t support our critics’ major claims on this topic.

This presentation by John Gee is from the 2010 FAIR Conference. It was recorded as it was being streamed, at a time when a camera was not used for the streaming. It consists of the Powerpoint slides and audio.

At the 2020 FAIR conference Tim Barker goes into even more depth to dispel misunderstandings on this topic:


BH Porter shares additional understanding on this book.

Interesting fact: the area missing in Joseph Smith’s hypocephalus (Facsimile 2, area in 1-4 o’clock area) was present in another hypocephalus that Bro. Porter saw when he researched Abraham at Oxford years ago.