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Kevin Graham

Book of Abraham

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== It still seems (with due respect to him) that the credibility of the photos owned by Mr. Metcalfe, and he himself are still in question. There's a couple things. From what I recall, Metcalfe's official association with the church ended right around 1996. Long before that, he worked with church security...but why do you think he left? I would like to place a timeline of when he left security employment and came in contact with the KEP. The reason this is a necessary piece, is because it questions the credibility of Metcalfe.

This is not an issue of Metcalfe's credibility since the KEP photos exist outside of that question, and must be dealt with nonetheless.

== If indeed he was let go, he'd have the perfect reason for vendetta against the church.

Oh give us a break with this.

== I'm not suggesting that he adjusted photos, but it is a possible motive. Particularly as one closely associated with Hoffman, it is unfathomable to me that people don't take this without a grain of salt.

The KEP are beyond dispute. The KEP were not "discovered" by Mark Hoffman. Trying to fnd some useful connection here is pointless.

== Not only that, but let us assume the Metcalfe is 100% truthful. How do we know that everything is as it appears, considering the number of hands these things have passed through over the years?

How many hands has it passed through? The Church won't even let the pblic see them in color, but you think they've been "passed around" a lot? You're on a fishing expedition.

== What apologists are being accused of (taking Gee's word) is the same problem with the critical side...taking Metcalfe's word without confirmation of the facts.

I confirmed it with my own eyes, and there is no reason to believe Metcalfe bought negatives of photos taken by someone commisioned by the Church to take them, just so he could go run it through a Photoshop session all the while hoping nobody in the Church will expose his deception. It would be absolutely STUPID for Brent to manipulate copies, knowing fully well that the Church owns the originals.

It really is annoying how so many LDS leap to the assumption that someone is being deceptive, just because they are a critic. I broke through that conditioning long ago.

== The point that 'critics' happen to have access to copies of these papers is HUGE! Not to mention, Brent Metcalfe has NO training in handwriting analysis.

Nor would he need to be so trained in order to refute Gee's argument about INK.

== Also, is there a difference between different ink, and a different pen?

Of course, bu there is no indication that each scribe had is own botle of ink from which he dipped his quill. That seems highly unlikely.

== Would be nice to have a professional examine it. I'm not saying he's not right, but before jumping on the bandwagon, serious relevancy quesitons need to be answered.

These are just silly questions I think.

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For people who don't know anything about this topic, can some kind, objective soul please devise a short paragraph or two summing up the positions of both sides of this issue? (Or, if there's a fairly objective paper that's been written, that will do.) It's difficult to find anything that isn't strongly tilted in one way or the other.

Where's Dr. Daniel Jackson when we need him?

daniel.jpg

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John Gee claim's to be that professional. He has claimed to see the same stuff Brent has, and came to different conclusions. All he has to do, or FAIR does is to go over all of Brent's arguments, and state why they disagreee with them. With Bible verses the Book of Mormon Brant Gardner did a 30 page review. If Brent's aguments are weak as some think put out a fifteen page essay defending the missing papyrus idea, John Gee's points, answering Brent ect.

I do not see any basis to believe Brent Metcalfe doctored photos or that Hoffman doctored any of the photo's in question.

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I think I'll print this thread and go take a hot bath. It should be interesting, indeed.

:P

Paul O

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Kevin,

You were associating that we should trust someone because of their affiliation as a church security guard.

I seriously doubt he would have been able to keep a job working security for the Church, if he was some notorious Jack Mormon.

I am simply trying to paint a timeline of facts. Moreover I am unwilling to accept a single man's story, particularly when there's credibility issues.

According to gtaggart:

Anyway, Metcalfe disputed Schmidt's recollection and said that he had done nothing wrong to get the photos. On this point, I have my doubts. At the very least, it seems odd to me that three of the most famous and prolific critics of the church have color photos of the KEP and the papyri.

Yes, that still doesn't explain the papyri, but gtaggart also says...

I have three different color reproductions of the JSP: those in Gee's "Guide," those in Larsen's book, and those in Michael Rhodes' translation of the Book of Breathings. They are markedly different from one another

If what gtaggart says is true, there must be reasoning behind it. One is collaboration and fallsification among the critics which I throw out there ONLY because it's the easiest thing to grab in the wind (and I was not suggesting Hoffman found it). I'm sure there's a better explanation, but I'm asking what it is.

I wasn't fishing either...I misunderstood. I didn't realize the copies went straight to Metcalfe from Ashment. And no, I haven't assumed foul play...I'm saying that's the easiest argument, and asking for another to explain gtaggart's quote that the three reproductions are so different.

And you think it's highly unlikely that a bunch of grown men had their own ink and quill? That's a stretch.

Don't get defensive here...I'm picking your brain. You've done more research than I admittedly have on the subject.

PacMan

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According to gtaggart:
Anyway, Metcalfe disputed Schmidt's recollection and said that he had done nothing wrong to get the photos. On this point, I have my doubts. At the very least, it seems odd to me that three of the most famous and prolific critics of the church have color photos of the KEP and the papyri.

Yes, that still doesn't explain the papyri, but gtaggart also says...

I have three different color reproductions of the JSP: those in Gee's "Guide," those in Larsen's book, and those in Michael Rhodes' translation of the Book of Breathings. They are markedly different from one another

If what gtaggart says is true, there must be reasoning behind it. One is collaboration and fallsification among the critics which I throw out there ONLY because it's the easiest thing to grab in the wind (and I was not suggesting Hoffman found it). I'm sure there's a better explanation, but I'm asking what it is.

To be clear(er), when I gave the example of the differences between the various reproductions I have of the JSP (not the KEP), my point is not that deception is involved in any way. It's that different photos of the KEP taken at different times, under different conditions, using different cameras, different film, and different lighting will probably produce different results. Thus both Gee and Metcalfe could be reporting acurately what they see because they are looking at different photographic reproductions. Or not.

Furthermore, I'm not trying to impugn Brent Mecalfe's integrity. He may very well feel that he acquired the photos properly and be correct. The Schmidt fellow may feel otherwise, but be mistaken. In any case, I repeat, that it's odd that Metcalfe et. al., certainly no friends of the church at this time, have copies and friends of the church--Graham, for one--doesn't.

Edited to add the word "well" to the first sentence, last paragraph.

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One thing I noticed from the KEP scan on page 3 (and maybe you were pointing to this kevin) is that when the text changes in contrast 1/2 way down the page, the symbols also change contrast - indicating they were written at the same time.

Question - who's handwriting is on the KEP's?

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To concede the existence of both means certain death to BoA apologetics. Paul Osborne acceps the source but rejects current scholarship and the claim that the Rosetta Stone can tell scholars what the Sensen Papyrus says in English.

This is NOT my position at all. I haven't a clue how you came to this conclusion. I believe that Egyptologists have deciphered the language and I'm a big fan of modern Egyptology.

See here: Hypocephalus Translations

Also, let's realize that if John Gee had a case he would have already produced the goods a long time ago. The problem for Gee is that he doesn't have the evidence to support his conclusion. I don't believe him. He is inaccurate at best. To John Gee I say, "prove it".

Several years ago I too had some conversations with John Gee. It wasn't to my credit. I don't like academia very much. I think it's the pride of the world. Doesn't the BofM say something about that? Nahhh, we Latter-day Saints in the last days are exempt from such things. Our scholars would never lead us astray. :P

Paul O

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The Egyptian Kirtland Papers includes a small notebook that bears remarkable information about Egyptian history. This historic document is signed by Joseph Smith himself. The title page reads:

"Valuable Discovery of

hidden records that have

been obtained from the ancient

burial place of the Egyptians,

Joseph Smith Jr."

(Ibid p. 315)

Front Cover of Manuscript No. 6, signed by Joseph Smith Jr.

manuscript6c.JPG

Katumin, Princess, daughter of On-i-tos Pharaoh- King

of Egypt, who began to reign in the year of the

World 2962

Katumin was born in the 30th year of the reign of her

father, and died when she was 28 years old, which was

the year 3020."

Page 3

manuscript6b.JPG

Also, see:

Look into Manuscript No. 7

Paul O

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Pacman

== You were associating that we should trust someone because of their affiliation as a church security guard.

I am sorry but I can't make any sense of this statement. Did you mean to say "suggesting" instead of "associating"? If so, I "suggested" no such thing. I simply said that as his former employment as a Church security guard undermines any assertion that he was a "famous" critic of the Church at that time. His former employment is also what sparked theories about how he must have gained access to sensitive Church material. These people are just looking to shoot the messenger, whether the line of bad taste gets in the way or not.

== I am simply trying to paint a timeline of facts.

Knock yourself out. In the meantime there is an elephant begging for attention.

== Moreover I am unwilling to accept a single man's story, particularly when there's credibility issues.

You have not demonstrated that there is a credibilty issue. Being a critic of the Church does not demonstrate a credibility issue. Again, I have demonstrated that between Gee and Metcalfe, it is the latter who has less to worry about in the credibility dept. Mormons have even said Gee was misleading, and those who refuse to say he was being dishonest, at least reject his once popular theory. That in and of itself speaks volumes about credibility.

== If what gtaggart says is true, there must be reasoning behind it.

Whatever color "descrepancies" one might find in three different publication, with two entirely different documents, is hardly a reason to deny the color photos of the originals. Again, this is just a fishing expedition to throw a shadow on Brent's photos. A bunch of hypotheticals and "what if "scenarios being entertained ... for what?

== One is collaboration and fallsification among the critics which I throw out there ONLY because it's the easiest thing to grab in the wind (and I was not suggesting Hoffman found it). I'm sure there's a better explanation, but I'm asking what it is.

I have provided the most sensible explanation, but I cannot expect you to accept it just because I present it.

== I didn't realize the copies went straight to Metcalfe from Ashment.

Ashment's involvement has what to do with this, exactly?

== And no, I haven't assumed foul play...I'm saying that's the easiest argument, and asking for another to explain gtaggart's quote that the three reproductions are so different.

I have no idea what he is talkng about. Until he provides scanned copies of this concern, I cannot comment. Not that I think it matters anyway. Color photos of an original document are not to be dismissed or downplayed or second guessed, just because other authors published an entirely different document in three different shades. And in any event, professional color photos of any original document will trump whatever "photo copies" have been published in print.

== And you think it's highly unlikely that a bunch of grown men had their own ink and quill? That's a stretch.

Gee's variant ink argument was to serve one purpose alone and that was to imply that the characters to the left were added long after the English text was provided. So even if we grant a scenario where three different men used three different pens, it still doesn't help Gee's argument. Why? Because the inks to the left are still identical with the inks to the right, and Gee's apologetic still fails.

gtaggart

== To be clear(er), when I gave the example of the differences between the various reproductions I have of the JSP (not the KEP),

A crucial point.

== It's that different photos of the KEP taken at different times, under different conditions, using different cameras, different film, and different lighting will probably produce different results.

But that is not the case here. Gee had personal access to the KEP and Brent has high quality, professional photos of what Gee analyzed. I do not have Gee's book on hand, but if I am not mistaken, he provides no color photos of the KEP at all. If he had, and the color photos differed substantially from those provided by Metcalfe, then I could see a cause for concern. Until then, we are just wildly speculating.

== Thus both Gee and Metcalfe could be reporting acurately what they see because they are looking at different photographic reproductions. Or not.

In theory, yes. But there is no reason to believe two different sets of KEP photos exist, or that if they did, they would show substantial differences when in print.

== I repeat, that it's odd that Metcalfe et. al., certainly no friends of the church at this time, have copies and friends of the church--Graham, for one--doesn't.

I am not sure that "odd" is the right word. Unfortunate or unexpected, maybe. Given Metcalfe's reationship to Christensen, who was commisioned to take the photos, don't think it entirely odd that he ended up with them.

Who Knows

== One thing I noticed from the KEP scan on page 3 (and maybe you were pointing to this kevin) is that when the text changes in contrast 1/2 way down the page, the symbols also change contrast - indicating they were written at the same time

Exactly. I noted this as well. The color photos undermine Gee's proposal in more ways than one. Remember, Gee's apologetic is that the English text was already there when someone decided to come along and add Egyptian characters off to the left. It was a nice apologetic move because if true, it would essentially remove accountability from those whose handwriting was present; namely Joseph Smith and his scribes. Unfortunately, the color photos demonstrate how untenable this argment really is.

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They must make sure the argument matches up with the color photos, or the argument does not work.

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Has anyone else noticed this formatting feature of the Kirtland Book of Abraham manuscript that, while quite familiar to us all, is overwhelmingly absent from Joseph Smith's other revelatory texts: paragraphing?

When on earth do Joseph's revelatory texts use paragraphing? Not in...the Book of Mormon, the Book of Moses, the revelations.... And yet here each scribe adds paragraph breaks. Why? Notice how the paragraphing here is coupled with another unique phenomenon in Joseph Smith's revelatory products: the addition of characters in the margin - one per paragraph. Could the paragraphing of the manuscript here be due to the desire to pair a unit of text with the character to its left? Is there any better explanation? And, if not, doesn't this bolster the already substantial evidence that the character was written first, and then next to it was written the text that was supposed to have been translated from it?

Don Bradley

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Has anyone else noticed this formatting feature of the Kirtland Book of Abraham manuscript that, while quite familiar to us all, is overwhelmingly absent from Joseph Smith's other revelatory texts: paragraphing?

When on earth do Joseph's revelatory texts use paragraphing? Not in...the Book of Mormon, the Book of Moses, the revelations.... And yet here each scribe adds paragraph breaks. Why? Notice how the paragraphing here is coupled with another unique phenomenon in Joseph Smith's revelatory products: the addition of characters in the margin - one per paragraph. Could the paragraphing of the manuscript here be due to the desire to pair a unit of text with the character to its left? Is there any better explanation? And, if not, doesn't this bolster the already substantial evidence that the character was written first, and then next to it was written the text that was supposed to have been translated from it?

Don Bradley

Nice observation

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Hi Don,

Good to hear from you, my friend.

Not only are there traditional paragraph breaks, but there are also instances where a new "paragraph" is formed mid-sentence to accommodate a new (real or invented) Egyptian character.

Best wishes,

Brent

http://mormonscripturestudies.com

(

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Not only are there traditional paragraph breaks, but there are also instances where a new "paragraph" is formed mid-sentence to accommodate a new (real or invented) Egyptian character.

I find the best example to show the order of operations is in the Grammar & Alphabet of the Egyptian Language. Clearly it shows the steps by which translation occurred in a methodical manner. Realizing of course, this is not the same document discussed in this thread, it does however present tangible evidence to show how the brethren viewed the language from their perspective. This work was preserved and carried safely to Utah in the luggage of the First Presidency. That

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Another interesting thing about BoAbr ms. 2, p. 1 posted above is that it begins with a heading:

"Translation of the Book of Abraham written by his own hand upon papyrus and found in the catacombs of Egypt."

After this title of sorts it commences with the Egyptian characters to the left and corresponding English text to the right. Now if it is true, as so many apologists presume, that this "project" did not represent a working translation, then why on earth would they identify it as such?

And if it represented a failed attempt at some language learning project or whatever, what purpose would this heading serve?

Too much evidence is unaccounted for in the usual aplogetic expanations.

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Kevin:

Now if it is true, as so many apologists presume, that this "project" did not represent a working translation, then why on earth would they identify it as such?

The time I have to dedicate to this discussion will be sparse, if not non-existent again today, but I think I would like you to elaborate on what you mean by a "working" translation, and what you see in the text that would seem to indicate to you that this is a work in progress, insofar as the final product is concerned.

I'll try to check back later today to see your response ...

P.S. (Edit) I want to preempt any possible reply that centers on the argument that the text was written first, and then the characters added later. I do NOT believe that and do not wish to engage in debate over that point.

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I am referring to an active attempt to translate the Egyptian text, by Smith and his scribes. This seems to be likely given the thesis statement at the beginning.

As far as it being a work in progress, this seems to be evident by the fact that the manuscripts stop in the fourth chapter leaving a lone Egyptian character off to the left with no corresponding English text to the right of it.

ms1bp6_web-sm.jpg

For whatever reason the project came to a stand still and whatever manuscript was used in the final product never surfaced.

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Question - do the symbols in the KEP follow in order the symbols on the papyrus?

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== It's that different photos of the KEP taken at different times, under different conditions, using different cameras, different film, and different lighting will probably produce different results.

But that is not the case here. Gee had personal access to the KEP and Brent has high quality, professional photos of what Gee analyzed. I do not have Gee's book on hand, but if I am not mistaken, he provides no color photos of the KEP at all. If he had, and the color photos differed substantially from those provided by Metcalfe, then I could see a cause for concern. Until then, we are just wildly speculating.

Of course it's the case, you just stated it: Metcalfe was working from photos (high quality according to you) and Gee was no doubt working from something else (photos? Originals? We don't know. Please refresh my memory--did you say before that Gee told you that he had access to the original KEP?).

There is a margin for error there, and we don't know how large that margin is. For example, let's suppose that Metcalfe was working from back-lit photos (which his appear to be) and Gee is working from something that is not back-lit. Would the ink and ink strokes appear differently to the viewer? I think they would, to what degree I don't know. For that matter, assuming the Gee was looking at the real deal and Metcalfe was looking at his high quality photos, would the ink on the hieroglyphics appear identical to the doulbe stroke on the "s"? Probably, but I've seen a lot of stuff in photos that didn't look at all like the real deal.

I agree that we're just wildly speculating--even as to Gee's honesty, which I don't doubt, and you apparently do.

== Thus both Gee and Metcalfe could be reporting acurately what they see because they are looking at different photographic reproductions. Or not.

In theory, yes. But there is no reason to believe two different sets of KEP photos exist, or that if they did, they would show substantial differences when in print.

I disagree, and at the very least, it ought to give us pause in our assessment of Gee's work.

By the way, did you get my e-mail?

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Case in point, courtesy of Brent himself: Look at his Photo 2, then compare it with the photo of the same thing that Kevin posted on page 1 of this thread. Notice the difference? Now, I'll grant that in both photos the ink on the hieroglyphics looks very much like the double ink stroke on the "s," but the appearance of the manuscript looks very different in the photos side-by-side.

One minor point, given what Brent just posted, it appears that the photos weren't back lit. Is that correct Brent?

I'll now leave this horse to expire on his own.

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LDS generally know nothing about this issue. They are unfamiliar with the fundamental points of the anti-Mormon argument because most prefer to stick with whatever some LDS apologetic website says, whether it be a hyperlink to some dismissive Nibley interview or some amateur apologists website with a bunch of hyperlinks to FARMS or Jeff Lindsay....

Well, John Gee had access to the color photos and then developed an apologetic that worked off of our ignorance....

However, once the color photos were released by Brent Metcalfe (he purchased them from Christenson many years ago) it was clear Gee was talking out of his butt.  Even worse, it raised questions as to how anyone could get it wrong as he did, implying disingenuousness at best.

It's too bad that such a promising thread had to be poisoned so early with such an obnoxious post.

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gtaggart,

boabr-ms-2-p1-l.jpg

ms2p1_web-sm.jpg

Is this what you are refering too? There is quite a big difference.

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