[I'm reposting this since the online Vygus dictionary has been updated. I've adapted it to use the updated version--baura]
There has been a lot of talk about whether or not Joseph Smith thought he was translating the "sen-sen" papyrus. The evidence is, I think, air-tight that he did, but apologists have gone to great lengths to claim he didn't. Countering their claims takes a lot of time and effort and goes deep into the documentary record.
Similarly with facsimile No. 1. Here it has to to do totally with Joseph Smith's interpretation of images in the picture. Egyptologists give it one interpretation and Joseph Smith another.
However, in facsimile No. 3, there is a simple, air-tight case against Joseph Smith. It avoids any discussion of "missing scrolls," or "scribes" trying (on their own) to reverse engineer a translation, or interpretations of pictures. It has to do entirely with translation of hieroglyphic Egyptian texts THAT ARE RIGHT THERE IN THE PUBLISHED BOOK OF ABRAHAM.
Although Facsimile No. 1 has no actual Egyptian writing on it, Facsimile 3 is full of copied hieroglyphs. The copying is not that great since it was done by someone who was totally unfamiliar with the script and from a 1900-year-old document. Many of the glyphs are unreadable but enough are legible that it presents problems for the supporters of Joseph Smith.
figure 5 in Facsimile No. 3 is described by Joseph Smith as
"5. Shulem, one of the king’s principal waiters, as represented by the characters above his hand."
Now this is interesting for two reasons. First Joseph Smith tells us this person's name and title. But more important is that, second, he says this is what the "characters above his hand" represents. The characters above his hand are Egyptian hieroglyphs which are 100% legible to Egyptologists today.
This is not some papyrus that must be LINKED to Joseph Smith, this is Joseph Smith's finished translation with the original hieroglyphic text identified by Joseph Smith, himself.
Here is what the "characters above his hand" actually say:
"Osiris Hor, justified for eternity."
Nothing about "Shulem" or "principle waiter" or any "king."
But, you don't have to take my word for it. You can find the separate hieroglyphs and their translation in any good Egyptian-English dictionary. Just for fun let's use Mark Vygus's 2500-page Egyptian dictionary that is available free online in pdf form:http://www.pyramidtextsonline.com/documents/VygusDictionaryApril2015.pdf
Since you've probably never used a hieroglyphic dictionary I'll walk you through the translation. It's very basic.
The two columns of characters above the hand of fig. 5 begin at the top of the left-most column. There is a horizontal glyph of an eye and two vertical glyphs under it. This is the name "Osiris." You can find it in the Vygus dictionary on page 63, where it is the 11th item on the page. It shows an eye, a chair, and a "pennant." The eye and chair form the name "Osiris," and the "pennant" is the symbol for "god" (pronounced "netcher" more or less.)
Next is a glyph that is a profile of a hawk. This is the name "Hor" ("Horus" in the Greek version we are more familiar with). It can be found in the Vygus dictionary on page 565, as the thirteenth item on the page.
This finished out the left-most column. The top of the next column has two vertical glyphs that spell out "true of voice" or "justified." One was "justified" in the Egyptian afterlife if one was declared "true of voice." It uses two glyphs, a feather and an oar. The feather stands for "true" or "truth" (maa) in ancient Egyptian. notice that figure 4, in front of fig. 5, has this same feather glyph on her (it's a her, not a him) head. This is the goddess of truth Maat ("truth is a bad translation of the Egyptian concept of Maat, but for now it will have to do). The second glyph is an oar, and gives the word "voice" (khru). Together they form the standard epitaph in Egyptian: "true of voice." This word/phrase can be found in the Vygus dictionary on page 773. It is the 4th item on the page.
Next is a horizontal glyph which represents a mouth. It is the preposition "r" which in Egyptian means "for" or "in respect to." You can find it in the Vygus dictionary on page 70. It is the 15th item on the page.
Finally is the word "djet" which means "eternity." It is formed from a cobra and a semi-circle which represents a loaf of bread. It is found in the Vygus dictionary on page 821 as either the bottom item on the page or the 6th from bottom item.
There you have it. You have now read part of the canonized Mormon scripture that 99.99 percent of Mormons haven't read. Feel free to share your new-found scriptural knowledge with your Mormon friends and acquaintances.
Oh, and if anyone doubts that Joseph Smith's translation of the glyphs over Fig. 5's hand doesn't jibe with modern Egyptology, you can refer them to F.A.I.R., the Mormon apologetic site where it says:
"Joseph Smith provides the following identifications for three of the figures in the facsimile:
"Fig. 2. King Pharaoh, whose name is given in the characters above his head.
"Fig. 4. Prince of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, as written above the hand.
"Fig. 5. Shulem, one of the king’s principal waiters, as represented by the characters above his hand.
"What is notable in these particular identifications is that Joseph isn't simply assigning an identify to each figure, but is indicating that characters located near each figure confirm the assignments. Egyptologists note that the characters have an entirely different meaning."http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Abraham/Joseph_Smith_Papyri/Facsimiles/Facsimile_3
Notice that F.A.I.R. admits that (1) Joseph Smith is indicating the actual "characters near each figure that confirm the assignments" and that (2) "Egyptologists note that the characters have an entirely different meaning."
Now you know one of those "entirely different meanings."