For most people, the idea of translating is fairly straightforward. Conventionally, when someone translates, he reads a document in one language he understands and renders it into another language he understands. The difficulty in assessing the Book of Abraham is that while Joseph Smith says he translated the Book of Abraham from papyrus, he never uses that word in the conventional way. It will be helpful to first look at the other ways Joseph Smith used the word “translate.”

Further reading: