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Kevin Graham

Book of Abraham

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Now, what about those other photos? You're not hiding anything are you?

:P

Why don't you ask the church the same question? <_<

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Now, what about those other photos?  You're not hiding anything are you?

:P

Why don't you ask the church the same question? <_<

Because Brent is the self-proclaimed bastion of intellectual honesty. I know we can count on him.

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Hi Provis,

Your running innuendo that I'm less than intellectually honest is pitiful

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Hi Provis,

A final note: I had already corrected "Parrish" to "Phelps" at 01:02 PM before you posted either your response at 01:04 PM or your edit at 01:18 PM.

Both Phelps and Parrish transcribed BoAbr ms. 2. The serial list with the semicolons is in Phelps' handwriting.

Ciao,

Brent

http://mormonscripturestudies.com

(

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Hi Provis,

Your running innuendo that I'm less than intellectually honest is pitiful

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Provis,

From a transcription/translation point of view, such does not proceed by sentences, but by thoughts; this is how the human brain naturally sees things, be there a comma, semi-colon, or period.

In reading the past statement (I just wrote), it is obvious that there was a break in thought at the semi-colon I included. There was not, however, a break in thought after each comma, irrelevant as to whether I had used a semi-colon, comma, or asterik for that matter. Listings are typically read at one time because together they illustrate the thought (regardless of punctuation). As such, there exists a distinct difference in your example, and that cited by Brent.

I believe your point is significant, but only if one assumption I am making is correct...was the semi-colon you cite part of a listing? If so, I'm afraid Brent has a point. If not, your point is very significant. The semi-colon was not included as part of the original transcription process because it would have taken a knowledge of what followed, and such would be contrary to how transcription is done...a process that takes one thought at a time.

PacMan

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Hi Provis,

You've severely confused the manuscript evidence.

Actually, there was NO innuendo that you are not intellectually honest. In fact, I'm counting on it! Post the corresponding first pages of the Parrish and Williams texts and let's compare them to Phelps'. That's all I'm asking. I can't believe you're going to ignore the request completely. Again, what are you afraid of? If there is nothing to my suggestion, then we'll all see so soon enough. Although the mere presence of sophisticated punctuation in Phelps' copy alone is compellingly persuasive evidence that he was copying rather than taking dictation.

??

Neither Williams' BoAbr ms. 1a nor Parrish's ms. 1b includes the lines transcribed in Phelps' portion of ms. 2!

I didn't fulfill your request because I can't

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Provis,

From a transcription/translation point of view, such does not proceed by sentences, but by thoughts; this is how the human brain naturally sees things, be there a comma, semi-colon, or period.

In reading the past statement (I just wrote), it is obvious that there was a break in thought at the semi-colon I included. There was not, however, a break in thought after each comma, irrelevant as to whether I had used a semi-colon, comma, or asterik for that matter. Listings are typically read at one time because together they illustrate the thought (regardless of punctuation). As such, there exists a distinct difference in your example, and that cited by Brent.

I believe your point is significant, but only if one assumption I am making is correct...was the semi-colon you cite part of a listing? If so, I'm afraid Brent has a point. If not, your point is very significant. The semi-colon was not included as part of the original transcription process because it would have taken a knowledge of what followed, and such would be contrary to how transcription is done...a process that takes one thought at a time.

PacMan

Pull the Ms.#2 photo down to an editor and crop out the portion at the bottom of the dark ink that corresponds to Abraham 1:2. There are commas between the sections now, but in the Phelps manuscript, he had included semi-colons in a manner strictly correct (if somewhat archaically so). And it's not just the punctuation, it's the smooth, flowing style of the writing, which belies someone transcribing from a text, not from the halting spoken word of someone dictating text for three different people.

In any event, as I noted previously, a semi-colon is an item of punctuation which, in essence, means "and". As such, it is dependent on "what follows" in order to know whether or not to use one. Typically, from an editing standpoint, they are put it after a text has been written in first draft, and will often replace a comma. Phelps is using both, and as he ought to.

Taking both of these factors into account, it is clear (at least to me) that Phelps is working from a previously-prepared text, rather than responding to any dictation. In my estimation, it simply would not have been possible for him to provide the sophisticated punctuation if he was simply writing as Joseph dictated from the Urim and Thummim. As we have seen, Oliver Cowdery (an otherwise extremely articulate and literate fellow) included NO punctuation whatsoever in the manuscript of the Book of Mormon. I submit that a dictation dictates that approach (forgive the pun). You would go in afterwards and provide the punctuation.

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Hi Provis,

You've severely confused the manuscript evidence.

Actually, there was NO innuendo that you are not intellectually honest. In fact, I'm counting on it! Post the corresponding first pages of the Parrish and Williams texts and let's compare them to Phelps'. That's all I'm asking. I can't believe you're going to ignore the request completely. Again, what are you afraid of? If there is nothing to my suggestion, then we'll all see so soon enough. Although the mere presence of sophisticated punctuation in Phelps' copy alone is compellingly persuasive evidence that he was copying rather than taking dictation.

??

Neither Williams' BoAbr ms. 1a nor Parrish's ms. 1b includes the lines transcribed in Phelps' portion of ms. 2!

I didn't fulfill your request because I can't

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As one of the more interesting threads on FAIR in a while I hope we can continue the discussion of the KEP without getting too juvenile. Specifically Greg, Kevin, Paul, and Brent have been quite generous in providing their insight. Many of us have spent far less time on the subject that you have. Thank you boys.

Phaedrus

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Yes - I nominate this as "Best Thread of the Year".

I'm trying to understand Provis and Brent - Were there 3 scribes that were simultaneously doing the scribing? Or did the 3 scribes do different parts? I'm just not totally following.

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Hi Provis,

Good grief, I've already posted

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Yes - I nominate this as "Best Thread of the Year".

I'm trying to understand Provis and Brent - Were there 3 scribes that were simultaneously doing the scribing?  Or did the 3 scribes do different parts?  I'm just not totally following.

I confess that I am also uncertain on this point. I've read conflicting accounts. I inquired earlier in this thread, but Kevin hasn't replied back to me. However, be it as it may, it is not germane to the point I am making. At the very least, W. W. Phelps is providing what appears to be remarkably sophisticated punctuation in what is alleged to be (by the critics and others) a transcription of the spoken word. Indeed, the text is altogether too perfect to be the result of a scribe writing words while a speaker haltingly "interprets" ancient symbols. That is my point. I have yet to hear a persuasive rebuttal. At this point, I would say Brent is obfuscating and stalling because he hasn't yet developed his "counter-apologetic" to the argument. But I'm sure he'll be back in a while with some stunningly abstruse explanation.

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For a little background on what Brent is arguing against, see Nibley's 1971 analysis of the KEP here. You can find Gee's argument in his "Guide" to the JSP. Brent argues that Nibley's and Gee's arguments are faulty because they are in large part based on the two ink theory, though he has other bones to pick with them as well. FWIW.

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Exegete,

Ok.. but what about the two-tone on the Photo 2 Slash. not the s's or the m's. I'm talking the egyptian.

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Provis,

I see what you mean.

Abr 1:2

...I sought for the blessing of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same:

One thing I would note, is that after "the same," there does appear to be a ":" as opposed to a ";" or a ".". I think this is even more significanct, in that the delineation of knowing what follows must be even more certain. With the preceeding text, a thought is concluded at the colon; however, the colon gives no conclusion to the sentence and (grammatically) demands something more. Moreover, it certainly appears that the dots were given in the same quick motion with the same slant (in case it is argued that someone came after and simply added another one).

All the same, that a semi-colon is an editing tool is well-taken.

Nicely done,

PacMan

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For a little background on what Brent is arguing against, see Nibley's 1971 analysis of the KEP here. You can find Gee's argument in his "Guide" to the JSP. Brent argues that Nibley's and Gee's arguments are faulty because they are in large part based on the two ink theory, though he has other bones to pick with them as well. FWIW.

I don't recall that Nibley ever said anything about two inks. I could be mistaken, but I think that stillborn argument was the exclusive province of Gee.

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A secondary argument (and one which we haven't yet touched upon) is how Joseph Smith, W. W. Phelps, F. G. Williams, and Warren Parrish (at least) managed to persuade themselves that you could derive an entire paragraph of English words from a single hieratic symbol. It was not a secret in the 1830s that Egyptian had been shown to be a phonetic language, with many similarities to Hebrew. These men certainly knew this, so how did they convince themselves that one flimsy character could "translate" into dozens of words?

This is an demanding question, and one that I don't think has been adequately answered by anyone. The critics seize upon it to show that Joseph didn't know squat about Egyptian, but I think that argument is a weak one, for even if he didn't know how to translate the language, he and the men with him were certainly conversant enough with the nature of the language that they would never have suggested that a single symbol could be translated into dozens and dozens of English words.

In fact, the point is somewhat proven by Phelps' apparent attempt to translate the little portion about some "Katumin" (I believe I'm recalling the name correctly.) In that attempt, he has a reasonable proportion of Egyptian symbols for the corresponding English words. So, what is going on with the single symbol supposedly being "translated" into relatively huge amounts of English?

I think it's been posted how JS derived long paragraphs out of one character.

Why did the scribes believe him? Well, why did they believe him about God appearing to him? He was the prophet! Besides, as noted, JS provided an explanation of it.

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Exegete,

Ok.. but what about the two-tone on the Photo 2 Slash. not the s's or the m's. I'm talking the egyptian.

Zak,

Where can you go with the two ink argument anyway? It's an position guaranteed to end in failure. We should just bury it and move on to something with a prayer of success.

I really think this punctuation issue is something worth exploring -- at least until someone can provide a rebuttal to it that I find even remotely persuasive. So far, Brent has been ignoring it -- presumably while he develops an apologetic to address it.

I'll be interested to hear Kevin's reaction to this as well. He strikes me as just a tad more capable of objectivity in this matter than does our esteemed foe, the erstwhile Brother Metcalfe.

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Who Knows:

I think it's been posted how JS derived long paragraphs out of one character.

Why did the scribes believe him? Well, why did they believe him about God appearing to him? He was the prophet! Besides, as noted, JS provided an explanation of it.

I'm unfamiliar with the explanations for it. Any links would be appreciated.

I still find it difficult to believe that any of these men, Phelps and Parrish in particular, would have accepted the notion of one character = 100 words. And why did they just stop before hardly even getting started? It would have only taken a few minutes to have transcribed the portion that we have in the KEP. What was the obstacle to continuing? The more you examine the KEP, the more questions arise. In my estimation, the Kirtland Egyptian Papers create far more questions than they answer.

And, in my estimation, they do not present a convincing picture of scribes writing while another man speaks. Something else is going on there. Exactly what, I cannot say.

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For a little background on what Brent is arguing against, see Nibley's 1971 analysis of the KEP here.  You can find Gee's argument in his "Guide" to the JSP.  Brent argues that Nibley's and Gee's arguments are faulty because they are in large part based on the two ink theory, though he has other bones to pick with them as well.  FWIW.

I don't recall that Nibley ever said anything about two inks. I could be mistaken, but I think that stillborn argument was the exclusive province of Gee.

It's been at least three years since I read Nibley's piece, so I could be mistaken as well.

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I'm unfamiliar with the explanations for it. Any links would be appreciated.

Provis - It's been posted in this thread. I think Paul, Cinepro, and Brent all posted something about it.

In my estimation, the Kirtland Egyptian Papers create far more questions than they answer.

Perhaps because you're looking for problems since the explanations don't jive with your view of the BOA.

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Hi Provis,

Edit: And yes, I suspect you are a little flustered. Because you never abandon the debate and start slinging ad hominems in this fashion. You're avoiding my request to post photos of the Parrish and Williams texts for some reason. What are you hiding?

??

Again, I've already posted

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