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Updated new translation of "The Egyptian Book of the Dead"
on 13 December 2008
This book, more accurately called "The Book of Going Forth By Day" was the ancient Egyptian bible and everyone who could afford one was buried with one. This is a new version, and has English translations on each page with color images.
It is a guidebook for the deceased person to follow to find his way to the afterlife to live on forever. A sort of "how to" manual. Many persons would have memorized the formulae, just in case, because the risk of getting it wrong was horrendous.
The Egyptians were not obsessed with DEATH as European/American sterotypes imply, but with obtaining the perfect afterlife. In the afterlife they lived forever in a place of plenty and beauty. The ancient Egyptians studied this book, tried to memorize it, and took it with them into their sarcophagus if they could afford to, in order to have access to it when they awoke and needed to start their journey to the West (afterlife). It held all they needed to knowto bypass pitfalls and to get there safely.
This version, I understand, is the best new one and has the most accurate translation. The "Book of the Dead" most commonly seen is the one translated by Wallis Budge in the 19th Century. This new book is a newer translation, and the pictures line up with the words, as the papyrus roll used to translate from was more complete than the one Budge used, as I understand from the book's forward.
Fascinating just to go through, and the art is wonderful.