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jerryp48

Your View On The Book Of Abraham, Jsp, Kep, Etc.

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Can you further clarify yourself here? Are you saying the "revelatory bits of information" might have been "pegged" accidentally to the wrong vignette? Sorry if I'm slow.

To be clear here I'm not justifying my view, I have not formed one yet. I want your view. I have leanings but I'm trying to remain pliable.

Not so much the wrong vignette, but pegged by association to what looked as logically connected symbols/drawings/words/etc. Without going into it, there is certainly part of the facsimile that isn't covered in the translation, which any endowed member could figure out if the look hard enough. It's pretty cool. But JS could have looked and though...'Well, I bet I know what that means.' If he was simply piecing together parts of the puzzle, I'd be surprised if he DIDN'T get it wrong.

But at the same time, mabe JS was right on this stuff. I don't know. From what I understand, the existant hypocephulus (I'm too lazing to look how it's spelled) is common in many respects, but none are identical. Given that, I find it hard how critics can with certainty degrade Joseph's without really having a copy in hand.

Nibley does a pretty good job of drawing a number of parallels. His summary is that there's no way it was made-up. Too many connections exist, even if some others flop. That's why I'm compelled to believe that the revelatoin was divine, but the piecing was not. Something needs to account for the correctness, and something else for the incorrectness. I think my "theory" and understanding juxtapsses that discrepency better than others (and is certailny better than the critical insinuation that he apparently had the Library of Congress at his fingertips).

PAcMan

PacMan

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My views have changed, and I'm sure they'll change further over time. Right now, they are these

* The BoA is God-sanctioned scripture.

* Our current Book of Abraham was not written by Abraham himself. I tend to like the Jewish redactor theory. In fact, I personally lean more to the idea that Joseph translated some kind of pseudepigraphical work. I base this on clues many various sources.

* The facsimile interpretations themselves are also scripture. I'm not quite sure how the translation works though. Some things quite clearly suggest that the translation is explaining how the author(s) of the facsimiles used common Egyptian symbols and metaphors to express a point. While others seem to be straight translations (for example, Fac 2 fig 6 is absolutely dead on, which I find just jaw dropping.).

* I have no clue whether the actual BoA text existed on a missing roll. It seems that Joseph Smith at least thought it was on a roll. I also don't know to what extent the KEP was used as well.

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Since I am not proficient in the Egyptian language, I don't let Book of Abraham issues bother me. Critics might say this or that but since I don't have a grasp on all the ins and outs of the Eygptian language (I don't believe anyone really does. I think if Eygptian scholars could time travel and tell an Eygptian 3000 years ago their understanding of the Egyptian language, they would laugh at their stupidity.) I look at issues I am able to better understand and judge from that.

If the BOM is right in X, Y, and Z and and Joseph Smith was right speaking of issues A, B,C that where not known in his day but where known thousands of years ago, then I give Joseph a benefit of a doubt regarding BOA issues. So my position is the LDS Church is true, it is true setting aside BOA issues and if its false and JOseph Smith was a fraud, it can be established from non-BOA issues. Same with the MMM. If the LDS church is true, it was true before the MMM occurred and is still true after. If it is false, it was false before MMM and false after. The MMM is just a smokescreen to sensationalize an issue that in the grand scheme of things is not really important.

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My two cents....

The BoA is the word of God.

How did we get it?

2 possibilities:

1)Missing papyrus: In this case Papa Abe wrote the BoA it was handed down, copied and attached to some funerary texts. The Prophet translated those, but they are lost

2)Catalyst: Papa Abe wrote the BoA, it was lost and the Prophet recieved it ala divine revelation. The Prophet thought he was making an egyptological translation of the papyri, but he was instead actually recieving a revaltion from God, in the same way Isaac mistakenly gave the blessing to Jacob, even though he though he was blessing Esau.

Facsimilies?

1)An uninspired and ancient redaction of egyptian papyri.

2)A divinley inspired and modern redaction of egyptian papyri.

The wierd vocab?

1) Egyptian esoterica. The 162nd(?) chapter of the BoD, related to the hypocephalus, contains words that are not translatable in english.

2)Adamic

Either way the BoA is in good company when it comes to the redaction of egyptian motifs to make scripture and psuedopigripha; the Testament of Abraham(BoD 125), Psalms and Proverbs come to mind.

Check out my topics on these issues. Im no egyptologist and Im sure Ritner could chew my head of with one lobe of his brain tied behind his back, but I do try to site non-LDS sources(like it makes a difference).

For now, Im a catalyst man.

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Its just my opinion but I think that the BoA issue eclipes any other apologetic issue we face. It doesn't make it any easier that the brethren were displaying and being photographed with the papyri and then in suddenly tucked them away into the archives.

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One more thing:

Fig. 11. Also. If the world can find out these numbers, so let it be. Amen.

Figures 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21 will be given in the own due time of the Lord.

The above translation is given as far as we have any right to give at the present time.

For me this seems like an open invitation for all of us to study, and even translate the hiroglyphics.

For me, it isnt a questian of having to choose between Joseph or Budge. They are simply two sides of the same coin. I think, the explanations provided by the Prophet are best appreciated and understood when studying what the egyptians themselves said about these things.

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For me, it isnt a questian of having to choose between Joseph or Budge.

Budge?

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Joseph Smith's interpretations of the facimilies wern't conventional. Why would his interpretation of missing papyrus be? To me it's extremely doubtful that an untranslated text relating to Abraham was upon the papyrus. I think the catalyst revelation idea works better for me than believing Joseph Smith was lucky enough to find a lost Book of Abraham. Of many papyrus roll's he could have found he was supposed to have been lucky enough to find lost Abrahamic material. I am skeptical of a lost Book of Abraham on now missing papyrus.

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I think the catalyst revelation idea works better for me than believing Joseph Smith was lucky enough to find a lost Book of Abraham.

Does that mean you believe the BoA is scripture or are you just observing which argument makes most sense?

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I haven't studied Book of Abraham source theories, so I can't speak to them.

My belief/ position is that the Book of Abraham is God-given; has a source external to Joseph Smith's imagination; and that the information provided therein should be canonized and is as important as the Bible and Book of Mormon and D&C (it all should work together).

In reading the content of the Book of Abraham, I find a few things compelling:

1. The voice. The voice of the Book of Abraham is not Joseph Smith's customary voice (cf his narrative of the First Vision also in PGP and D&C 128).

2. The voice. The voice is an interesting mix of a) "Gilgamesh"-esque sensibility of the age and of the age's literature; and cool.gif regular dude that is just talking about his life.

3. The evidence of the "Egyptian" so-called religion/ science/ culture that held the world together at that time -- no such thing as isolationism at that period (at any period of the earth's history, IMO, but completely different subject);

4. Lack of 1800s sensiblity (big blinders!) of who and what Mesopotamia and Egypt (i.e. Pharoah's lineage) ought to have been; a complete lack of modern sensibility of the same

I'm going to try to think of more stuff -- but gotta run to get to my temple session :P .

newbie: TBM is? KEP is? thanks!

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I believe the Book of Abraham can be judged on the merit of its contents. Those who wish to debate how it came to pass may do so, but the more I read of the Book of Mormon and other Joseph Smith productions, the more I'm convinced it has to be of God. As for it being wrritten by the hand of Abraham, I agree with the view that this phrase was simply copied on down through several generations.

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Of many papyrus roll's he could have found he was supposed to have been lucky enough to find lost Abrahamic material.

The faith-promoting answer is that it wasn't luck - Joseph and the papyrus were both put onto a trajectory by the Lord through which they eventually came into contact with each other, because the Lord wanted this story to be told.

Of course, if that were so, then didn't the Lord just guide the copy that Abraham really did write, by his own hand?

If that is so, why didn't the Lord just guide the copy that actually just said what Abraham wanted to say, and not some mysterious catalyst document where Egyptian priests are writing stuff down that is meant to stimulate one to think of and discover the Book of Abraham content?

Why would the Lord guide some bizarre, mysterious copy that requires all these hand-waving exercises, if he was going to guide Joseph and the papyrus toward each other at some point by divine will? Why would the Lord have guided to us what actually just looks like Egyptian funerary documents? Is it another one of things like the Great Flood of Noah, where God gives us the version that looks like it's wrong, so that we'll have to ignore the evidence and "have faith" to believe it's really the Abrahamic scripture?

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The faith-promoting answer is that it wasn't luck....

Knock knock....

"Hello, I'm Elder Jensen and this is Elder Young -- if you have a few moments we have a message

we would like to share with you -- an important message for your whole family."

"Ummm -- OK -- come on in. Can I get you boys a cup of coffee?"

"Well, er, no -- but we would like to show you this book. It was more or less written by the hand

of Abraham himself. I mean, the message was in code within an Egyptian funeral text that had

nothing to do with Abraham, but....."

"Sorry, Elder, you just lost me."

"Yeah, that happens a lot with these new discussions. But let's make it simpler. We have with us

this other, earlier book, which is a second witness for Jesus Christ. And....."

Uncle "I'm beginning to see the problem here" Dale

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As for it being wrritten by the hand of Abraham, I agree with the view that this phrase was simply copied on down through several generations.

Who wrote these words? "The salutation by the hand of me Paul." (Colossians 4:18)

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Because the core of the church is still guided by divine inspiration -- the same inspiration that revealed the Book of Abraham (and the Book of Moses, for that matter) to the Prophet Joseph Smith.

And I guess that provides my answer to the original question of this thread, as well.

I can identify with your statement of faith on the matter. However, I was hoping you or some other TBM might offer more insight to explain the seeming contradictions with regards to the KEP, extant papyri, etc.

I have chosen to believe in spite of apparent evidence to the contrary. If I had to base all my beliefs on facts I guess there would be no cause for belief. To quote my wife: "Even if all this is untrue I've only been deceived into a better way of life and becoming a disciple of Christ."

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Hello jerry,

I am a non-LDS critic, so I do not believe in the Book of Abraham. My view is essentially that Joseph made it up, though I couldn't say for sure whether this was a conscious or unconscious fraud. I think he borrowed some of the details of the book from Josephus' Antiquities and from Thomas ****'s Philosophy of a Future State, both of which he and/or Cowdery owned and were reading at the time.

Paul Osborne and Kevin Graham don't post here, so I guess I'll speak for them as well. Paul believes in the catalyst theory, but since the catalyst theory throws out the Alphabet and Grammar he is not content to stop there. It is difficult to encounter the Alphabet and Grammar without getting the impression that it was produced by means of inspiration. Since he is convinced that the Alphabet and Grammar is an inspired production, Paul explains that it is an Alphabet and Grammar of the pure Adamic language and that Joseph Smith was mistaken in thinking he was translating Egyptian. As for Kevin Graham, he agrees with me that the Book of Abraham is a fraud. He thinks it should never have been canonized by the Church. Both he and Paul are highly critical of the apologetic establishment, which they believe is dishonest. I am not Paul or Kevin, of course, so if you want their views it's best to get it from the horse's mouth. They don't post here, but you can reach them at the BoA Forum.

I-CK

This is interesting info but I would like to see specific passages about what they used from those books because everything that was supposedly so incriminatory about Sibly, Swedenborg and Ethan Smith, since reading about it, is absolute straw. I know don't know how you can prove in any way that Joseph stole ideas from either of these men since he basically contradicts Ethan on many points which would have been a very stupid thing to do as he was an authority on the idea/subject at that time, and so far as Sibly goes, only in the slightest did the three degrees of glory even resemble what Sibly had to say about 7 degrees of glory for angels only. Swedenborg only talked about 3 heavens, which can be found in the Bible. I can see how these things would have made Joseph think, but it's not as simple as it looks, you can't say he "made it up" when at least for these two things there is more off than right. Plus the fact that some of the things that are similar are just plain common sense, so I completely disagree with Joseph making these things up or plaigerizing. I would like to know what exactly is in those books, and I plan to do a little investigating on my own.

I just want to know what you hope to accomplish by tearing down people's faith? Do you have anything better to offer? You know what else makes me wonder: when people get upset at our big expensive Temples. I feel like asking them, ok, how many millions is your piddly little church, (or non-existence or faith or a church), feeding? how many millions are you involved in bringing into a better understanding about the need for the Law of Chasity? The need for humanitarian efforts? The need for stronger families? The need for welfare at home? How many millions are you involved in helping to find hope for a better life? How many millions have you been able to help with education, (perpetual education fund), or how many millions have you led to love others, forsake sin, and love themselves?

Honestly, if you antis put half the effort into actually DOING something for humanity other than sitting squabbling about this little point or that little bit of trivia, I can't even imagine what you could do. And for the guy who goes to church because his wife makes him or whatever that was, it's a shame that you are causing such a rift in your marriage over something you can't possibly be sure about. Or isn't there a rift? And if you can't see it now, believe me, unless she caves with you, there will be.

Think about it. Where else is there a young women's program so incredibly organized? Primary? Young Men's? Priesthood?

It just seems to me to be a very poor trade when people leave to church, even just spiritually if not physically, when there is so little out there that compares at all with what the Church offers.

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jerryp48:

I can identify with your statement of faith on the matter. However, I was hoping you or some other TBM might offer more insight to explain the seeming contradictions with regards to the KEP, extant papyri, etc.

I honestly donâ??t believe anyone will ever be able to explain exactly what the KEP represent. However, there are some things that are apparent:

1. The producers of the KEPA documents (the pages with BoA text on them) apparently believed there was a connection between the Egyptian text of the Breathing Permit of Hor and the English text of the Book of Abraham. We can probably assume that Joseph Smith also believed this â?? although there is no way to definitively prove that he did.

2. The grammar and alphabet pages are a curious specimen of something â?? but what? And how could they possibly have been used as an aid in â??translatingâ? the Book of Abraham? Nibley looked for a connection and could not find one. Many others (including myself) have looked for a connection and could not find one. So what were they? In lieu of some more persuasive explanation, I think Nibleyâ??s proposition is the most plausible: that they were some kind of â??study papersâ? wherein the people involved attempted to establish a link between an already-received English text of the Book of Abraham and the Egyptian text from which they believed it derived.

3. Joseph Smith did not â??translateâ? the facsimiles nor the hypocephalus in a manner consistent with modern Egyptological understanding -- at least for the most part. Strangely, he does get a few things right.

4. The critics argue that the KEPA documents are the transcripts of an oral dictation â?? that Joseph Smith took the Breathing Permit text in hand, specified a character, then provided a â??translationâ? of that character. The latest studies of the documents by Professors Hauglid and Gee (and Skousen to a small degree) dispute that conclusion. They will ultimately argue, in print, that the documents show greater evidence of being visual copies of some earlier document than they do of being â??originalsâ? from oral dictation. Without going into the hairy details, suffice it to say that this premise is strongly connected to their (the critics') argument that Joseph Smith was pretending to â??translateâ? the BoA from the Breathing Permit of Hor â?? a â??translationâ? that is bogus according to Egyptologists.

5. The critics argue that the â??translationâ? of the Book of Abraham did not progress past Abr. 2:18 during the Kirtland period. Without going into the hairy details, suffice it to say that this premise is also strongly connected to their argument that Joseph Smith was pretending to â??translateâ? the BoA from the Breathing Permit of Hor â?? a â??translationâ? that is bogus according to Egyptologists. However, the most recent detailed studies of the histories and diaries from the Kirtland period seem to indicate that much more of the BoA was translated in the Kirtland period. Without going into the hairy details (again) this premise is strongly connected to the apologetic argument that Joseph Smith received the BoA via revelation rather than via a conventional method of â??translation.â? And this premise is connected to the apologetic argument that Joseph Smith wasnâ??t necessarily even cognizant of what Egyptian text was the source for his â??translationâ? â?? hence he might have mistakenly believed it was the Breathing Permit, when in reality, it derived from some other text on the scrolls, or even had no relationship whatsoever to the scrolls.

In short, the apologists are not claiming, at this time, to be able to say exactly what the KEP represent â?? rather, they are mostly uncovering evidence that contradicts what the critics say the KEP represent. When all is said and done, we may never (until the principals in the project augment our knowledge) know what the Kirtland Egyptian Papers really mean.

I have chosen to believe in spite of apparent evidence to the contrary.

I have also chosen to believe, but at the same time I remain skeptical of what may only appear to be negative evidence regarding the production of the Book of Abraham. There is confusion; there are contradictions; there are mysteries â?? but I am not convinced yet that there is proof that Joseph Smith didnâ??t know what he was doing. For all we know, Paul Osborne might have the answer that most closely approximates the truth. In the meantime, Iâ??m willing to be patient enough and believing enough to wait out the storm.

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I'm glad to see that Will essentially acknowledges the nails in the coffin of the "missing scroll" theory, that is, the evidence that Joseph and those around him believed the BoA came from the BoB scroll, and the obvious question of why they would believe this if the BoA had come from a different, now-missing scroll.

As to California's question about why someone would want to leave a church with as much to offer as the LDS church does, I must just remind him that all the things he mentioned are man-made things, all done or offered up on the initiative of well-intending people. The LDS church isn't alone in having people like that. This is just his particular choice of service provider, amongst many possibilities. My biggest beef, if you will, with the LDS church is simply that it is not true, ie: God did not set up, Joseph Smith and his early supporters did, and well-intending believers have maintained it and grown it up to this very day. Some may have the attitude of "well who cares if I'm deceived, if I'm deceived into something that actually improves me in some way", but I don't. I don't want to be deceived, even by a benevolent deceiver, and now that I recognize the LDS church for the manmade institution that it is, I cannot support it, and "play along" with the program, appearing to all and sundry to still believe it comes from God when I'm pretty darn sure it's not.

As for the rift in the family, yeah there's been a rift, and it hasn't been easy, and I certainly don't need you telling me that, for I've been there firsthand. But you can't unring a bell, can you? This is a matter of conviction and belief, and I cannot play along and pretend to believe in God, and Joseph Smith, and Jesus Christ, and the Book of Abraham and the Book of Mormon and all of that, so that my wife thinks I still do so she won't be mad at me. I can't believe something just by wishing to. I don't know if you can, but I can't.

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I'm glad to see that Will essentially acknowledges the nails in the coffin of the "missing scroll" theory,.

I'll let Will speak for himself, but I think you are putting words in his mouth that he did not say.

T-Shirt

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Sethbag:

I'm glad to see that Will essentially acknowledges the nails in the coffin of the "missing scroll" theory â?¦

No I didnâ??t. You misinterpreted my meaning. I said:

We can probably assume that Joseph Smith also believed this â?? although there is no way to definitively prove that he did.

And:

â?¦ this premise is connected to the apologetic argument that Joseph Smith wasnâ??t necessarily even cognizant of what Egyptian text was the source for his â??translationâ? â?? hence he might have mistakenly believed it was the Breathing Permit, when in reality, it derived from some other text on the scrolls, or even had no relationship whatsoever to the scrolls.

In other words, I consider it possible that there was another text on the scroll â?? perhaps after the Breathing Permit â?? that was the actual source of the Book of Abraham translation.

There are three reasons for my continued belief in this possibility:

1. We know the extant fragments of papyri represent only a fraction of the original quantity of scroll material. We donâ??t know exactly how much is missing, but the evidence is clear that there was considerably more than what has survived. Perhaps the missing portion had nothing to do with Abraham â?? but we have no way of knowing.

2. There was obvious confusion in the KEPA manuscripts at Abr. 1:12 -- the verse that refers to the illustration â??at the commencement of this record.â?) It is apparent that they were not sure how to indicate the relationship of the illustration to the text. In one manuscript, the verse is added later as an interlinear emendation. In the other, the scribe initially wrote â??that is lying before youâ? and then changed it to â??at the commencement of this record.â? Therefore the classic critical argument that the text itself argues for a Book of Breathings source suffers from questionable evidence.

3. There is compelling evidence to contradict the criticsâ?? claim that the two relevant KEPA manuscripts are transcripts of an oral dictation, which potentially argues against the belief that Joseph Smith himself believed the Breathing Permit to be the source of the Book of Abraham.

Now, having said all that, I am not personally inclined towards a missing papyri explanation. I only dispute the claim that it has been disproven.

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My three cents:

1. The Book of Abraham is what it purports to be.

2. The KEP evidence is a mixed and very ambiguous bag of evidence and will be even after Hauglid and Metcalfe publish their findings.

3. If you're relying on the Egyptological evidence, for most of us, that comes down to choosing our favorite Egyptologist. Mine happen to be Rhodes and Gee.

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Some may have the attitude of "well who cares if I'm deceived, if I'm deceived into something that actually improves me in some way", but I don't. I don't want to be deceived, even by a benevolent deceiver, and now that I recognize the LDS church for the manmade institution that it is, I cannot support it, and "play along" with the program, appearing to all and sundry to still believe it comes from God when I'm pretty darn sure it's not.

I hope I didn't give you the impression that I am willing to be deceived. Perhaps you've had no confirmation beyond physical with respect to the truthfulness of this work but I have. So I would loose far more integrity denying this work as you think I am losing by remaining faithful to it.

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