Sensen or Book of Breathings: What Manner of Document?

In Hugh Nibley's book entitled Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri: An Egyptian Endowment, he presents a translation of one of the papyri that Joseph Smith had in his possession.  This papyrus has the original for Facsimile #1 from the Book of Abraham on it.  It is apparent from the evidence, Facsimile #3 of the Book of Abraham was also originally found on this document.  However, rather than being the source of the text for the Book of Abraham, this document contains text from an ancient ritual from Egypt, in fact an ancient Egyptian version of what the LDS people know as the Temple Endowment.  Both LDS and Non-LDS Egyptologists agree that this document does not translate to the text of the Book of Abraham, backing up Nibley's conclusions.  The Sensen document is a papyrus that was owned by an ancient priest by the name of Hor (Horus).  This document comes from the Greco-Roman period of Egypt, and was not written by Abraham.  The author of this blog is agreed with Nibley that the Sensen Document does not contain the text from the Book of Abraham.  However, the round picture known as Facsimile #2, which contains text and smaller pictures is known as a Hypocephalus.  It is not from the Sensen Document like the other two.  It was owned by an ancient Egyptian named Sheshonq.  And so, it is from a separate source.

Almost all LDS Egyptologists who believe in the historicity of the Book of Abraham are agreed that the Facsimiles from the Sensen Document that appear in the Book of Abraham were not originally written by Abraham, and were not originally intended to go with the Book of Abraham.

Many LDS Egyptologists and scholars believe that these the Facsimiles were repurposed to go along with the Book of Abraham by ancient scribes.  Ancient traditions and evidences presented by Hugh Nibley and many other scholars, however, do support the idea that pictures like these were originally associated with Abraham.  As an example, in an ancient document called the Apocalypse of Abraham contains a description of the round picture called a hypocephalus:
And the angel said to me, "Abraham!" And I said, "Here am I." And he said, "Slaughter all these animals, and divide them into halves, the one against the other, but do not sever the birds. And give these to the men whom I will show you, standing by you, for these are the altar upon the Mountain, to offer a sacrifice to the Eternal but the turtle dove and the pigeon give to me, for I will ascend upon the wings of the bird, so that you may be able to see in heaven, and upon earth, and in the sea, and in the abyss, and in the under-world, and in the Garden of Eden, and in its rivers, and in the fullness of the whole world and its circle - you shall gaze into them all."(
How does this relate to what we had described previously about word-games, letter-games and puzzles, and so forth?

There are two types of things done with these principles.  Firstly, people use principles like these for games like crossword puzzles and scrabble.  Secondly, they are used in literature and compositions like poems.

Remember that with the principle of aleatoricism, even though randomness was one principle associated with it, repurposing and adaptation of already existing material was another.  With these facsimiles, randomness doesn't really apply, but rather, it is a deliberate thing that the ancients were doing.  Here, we see the repurposing of ancient material in the context of Abraham.  This is like the idea of a cut-up or a collage of words and pictures.

Like a collage or "cut-up," the Book of Abraham in English as it is presented in the LDS scriptures is a mix of ancient material, from the LDS point of view.  Firstly, it is made up of repurposed pictures in the Facsimiles from these separate sources.  Secondly, it is the text of the Book of Abraham that is NOT translated from the Endowment text on the Sensen Papyrus.  So, it is clear that the Sensen Papyrus is a source for material that was used to create derivative creations.  The point of the use of the Sensen Papyrus was not to use it as the Sensen Papyrus, but rather, to create new creations from it.

Like aleatoric compositions, or like collages, the Book of Abraham in English is a derived composition of a number of different things, and it is put together employing all of these random bits of material to create a new creation.  The mixed and matched nature of the LDS Book of Abraham is something that is very clear to all scholars, LDS and Non-LDS alike.  The only disagreement among these scholars is who is responsible for all this mixing and matching.

Among some scholars who do not believe the Book of Abraham to be ancient and authentic, Joseph Smith randomly and unpurposefully threw things together making a creation of his own.  They believe it is essentially a collage invented by Joseph Smith.

Among faithful and believing LDS scholars, it is recognized that these Egyptian pictures are not from Abraham.  And so, to the LDS, ancient people assembled these elements together and repurposed them.  They were put together with the ancient text of the Book of Abraham, written originally by Abraham, that existed back then in some ancient language like either Hebrew or Egyptian.  Joseph Smith ended up restoring and assembling things after the pattern of the Ancients.  In other words, for the faithful LDS, Joseph Smith was not responsible for inventing this type of collage.  He was merely assembling things the way the Ancients did it.  The Ancients were the ones that put it together this way.  The only thing Joseph Smith was responsible for in this is transferring the original text of the Book of Abraham into the English language, but the content is the same as the Ancient version.  Was Abraham the one to assemble his book in this manner?  No.  It was other Ancient people, most likely Egyptians that did it, in the era of Hor, the owner of the Sensen Papyrus.

It seems likely that most LDS scholars would agree with these conclusions.  The Sensen Papyrus is a source for material that was taken for derivative compositions, but the text for the Book of Abraham is not in it.  The English Book of Abraham, even though the text was written by Abraham, is a derivative or hybrid composition, because it includes Facsimiles that other ancient people employed and arranged with it.  The Sensen Papyrus is not the source of the text of the Book of Abraham.  Abraham is the source of the text of the book.

Interestingly enough, most people assume that the Book of Breathings (Sensen) comes from older material.  As Hugh Nibley observed:
For the Book of Breathings is before all else, as Bonnet observes, a composite, made up of "compilations and excerpts from older funerary sources and mortuary formulas." [H. Bonnet, Reallexikon der Egyptischen Religionsgeschichte (Berlin, 1952), p. 59.] From the Second Book of Breathings, hardly distinguishable from it, it blends off into such earlier writings as "The Book of Passing through the Eternities", the "Amduat", and the "Book of Gates", in which we recognize most of the ideas and even phrases of the "Sensen" Papyrus.(