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Rommelator

Shinehah In Abraham 3:13

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So, it could be either-or. On the one hand, this is not as likely since Joseph Smith would have known that Hebrew had a word for Sun. What is the likelihood he would have used a nonsense word instead, knowing that? On the other hand, both older and later Egyptian dialects did have some Semitic words in the vocabulary, so I guess some might say we are back to square one

But what is square one? If we were talking about any other fringe item such as Nostradamus or alien abductions or something you would be quick to agree that square one is the square where there is not much to move us to the fringe position. We have found plausible explanations for the few things that are presented as positive evidence while the overall picture remains very negative.

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No. He is likely doing a combination of things--his endeavers were opportunistic. But he is not doing what he claimed to be doing (translating the words of Abraham from the Egyptian on the papyri).

Does this inculde being and idoit as well as brilliant?

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Does this inculde being and idoit as well as brilliant?

*sigh*

No. But it is getting idiotic to keep this strawman going. Would you guys please stop it?

JS was intelligent but started out uneducated. He had a good imagination and let his imagination go wild. He was not a critical thinker--quite the opposite. He was inot the fantastic.

Later he became interested in all sorts of occult things and in languages (esp. Hebrew). He studied and read and gave himself a selective and rather occult education. He had access to lots of books and I imagine he was plugged into the occult subculture where strange ideas abounded that we have now all but forgotten about (it was the begining of the spiritualist movement and many ideas were circulating). He was occasionally clever but no Einstein.

PS:

Was L. Ron Hubbard an idiot or was he brilliant. I could mention some facts that might make you think both.

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Chris Smith:

Chapter 3 of the Book of Abraham was not translated until 1842.

This is an assertion made by critics that has little or no evidence to back it up -- other than the fact that the original installment in the Times and Seasons only included Abr. 1:1 - 2:18.

In fact, there is considerable evidence to support the argument that all of Chapter 3 (and perhaps more) was translated in 1835. The use of Shinehah as a code word in August 1835 is only one piece of data that supports an 1835 translation time frame. There is also evidence that the theological and astronomical concepts contained in chapter 3 make their first appearance in several places in late 1835 and early 1836.

So, caveat emptor! Not everything the critics like to claim as established FACTS is, in fact, established.

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*sigh*

No. But it is getting idiotic to keep this strawman going. Would you guys please stop it?

JS was intelligent but started out uneducated. He had a good imagination and let his imagination go wild. He was not a critical thinker--quite the opposite. He was inot the fantastic.

Later he became interested in all sorts of occult things and in languages (esp. Hebrew). He studied and read and gave himself a selective and rather occult education. He had access to lots of books and I imagine he was plugged into the occult subculture where strange ideas abounded that we have now all but forgotten about (it was the begining of the spiritualist movement and many ideas were circulating). He was occasionally clever but no Einstein.

PS:

Was L. Ron Hubbard an idiot or was he brilliant. I could mention some facts that might make you think both.

Well at least you have some sort of humor. And for all intents and purposes, why dont you start a new thread about L Ron.

So in other words, JS was a walking Library of rare and undiscovered books. This gets better and better.

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But what is square one? If we were talking about any other fringe item such as Nostradamus or alien abductions or something you would be quick to agree that square one is the square where there is not much to move us to the fringe position. We have found plausible explanations for the few things that are presented as positive evidence while the overall picture remains very negative.

Ummm...No. I said "square one or two." You omitted the final part of that remark from your quotation of my final comment. For another thing, you do not know my position on either Nostradamus or alien obductions.

Here is my position on Nostradamus. His words were a series of coded messages to specific individuals known to him rather than a series of prophecies. For example, he talks about a person by the name of Hisler. People later interpreted that as referring to Hitler because of the way the Quatrains were written. However, Nostradamus actually knew and was in contact with a woman by the name of Lee Ann Hisler.

My position on alien obductions is "not proven" but there are things I know and people I know and knew who know certain things--some of it still classified, by the way--that make it so that I cannot maintain objectivity and move to an "absolutely not" stance on this matter in all cases. I will say no more on this matter as it is a subject neither I nor my wife enjoy discussing. However, that said, I do acknowledge that a lot of people who make these claims are indeed certifiable crackpots.

Now, as to what I meant, it could go either way from the perspective of the "evidence" on both sides of the fence as well as that given off by those sitting the fence. I do know by the Spirit of God that the precepts of the Book of Abraham itself, however, are true. That is good enough for me in the long run.

But, I do find it of interest that there are points of contact in the meanings of the figures that have some degree of plausibility, some of which have been discussed, and some of which have not. Whether this one holds is irrelevant to me as I also know the current state of affairs in Egyptology. We do not have all of their texts, those which we do have are relatively late, and there still are words in Egyptian texts which have not as of yet been translated because we lack the capability at this time.

Recently, some were found to be Semitic texts embedded in the Egyptian texts and written in Egyptian characters. Some of these have now been translated but there still is much in the realm of the unknown. Only the ignorant are willing to say we know all that needs to be known and, therefore, know that Joseph Smith was wrong on x. Sorry, but I am not willing to be that ignorant. :P

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Chris Smith:

This is an assertion made by critics that has little or no evidence to back it up -- other than the fact that the original installment in the Times and Seasons only included Abr. 1:1 - 2:18.

You are incorrect, as your readers will discover when Don and I publish our paper.

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Well at least you have some sort of humor. And for all intents and purposes, why dont you start a new thread about L Ron.

So in other words, JS was a walking Library of rare and undiscovered books. This gets better and better.

What??

In other words, you don't know the meaning of "in other words". No one ever said we was a walking library of rare and undiscovered books. Are you hallucinating?

1. He had books.

2. He had books on languages.

3. He almost certainly had books on occult topics.

4. He had almost certainly had books and access to some books that you don't know about (as would be the case with just about any historical figure of his level of fame).

Nothing magic. Nothing savant, nothing amazing. Just a carismatic occultist with some books, some maps, a few friends with books, and a few fantastic ideas.

Oh, and he couldn't translate Egyptian.

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What??

In other words, you don't know the meaning of "in other words". No one ever said we was a walking library of rare and undiscovered books. Are you hallucinating?

1. He had books.

2. He had books on languages.

3. He almost certainly had books on occult topics.

4. He had almost certainly had books and access to some books that you don't know about (as would be the case with just about any historical figure of his level of fame).

Nothing magic. Nothing savant, nothing amazing. Just a carismatic occultist with some books, some maps, a few friends with books, and a few fantastic ideas.

Oh, and he couldn't translate Egyptian.

Lol

Gees Tarski, Dont take it so serious. Ok the critics (in all of thier many forms) have claimed that JS had access to all sorts of rare books and books in general. I know this isnt the frist time you have heard this.

I admit I added to your words, I (I know it is shameful) that it is easy to get a reaction out of you. sorry. Ill try to be more civil.

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You are incorrect, as your readers will discover when Don and I publish our paper.

You can be quite certain that we all look forward to the paper. I trust that you and Don have been spending considerable time in the Church Archives -- since that's the only place you'll be able to find some of the documents relevant to this question. :P

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It should be noted that Joseph Smith gives the meaning of Shinehah in a verse that also mentions Kokob and Kokaubeam, both of which are correctly translated Hebrew words. Joshua Seixas' Hebrew Grammar, in both its first and second editions (both of which the prophet owned a copy of), included the word Sh-N-H, which was translated as "a year." Neither edition of Seixas' grammar, however, included the Hebrew word for "sun" (at least that I can find). If Joseph didn't know the Hebrew word for "sun", using the word for "year" might have seemed a natural alternative, especially since he in his 1835 Alphabet and Grammar had made several references to "The moon, the earth and the sun in their annual revolutions." Ideas of revolution, time, and motion seem to be inherent in all the A&G's terms for celestial bodies, in fact. It should be noted that the first (known) use of Shinehah is as a D&C codename. JS's use of the term in the BoA may have provided a convenient opportunity to invest one of his nonsense words with a legitimate Egypto-Hebrew meaning.

Leaving aside for the moment the possibility of cognate nouns/concepts, it rather begs the question, the very considerable question, to make the bolded reference above, since the two sides are incapable at present of finding common ground on the meaning of the EAG, let alone the author(s).

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That's not how I read the passage cited. There's a boat under which are two spread wings. The wings, not the boat, represent the sky, which again Thompson has already said is a standard interpretation.

What is the problem, then? We have a figure in Fac. 2 of a mummified bird with outstretched wings in conjunction with a boat that Joseph Smith identified as being the heavenly firmament and the ship of 1000. Kerry has shown Egyptological evidence that there is another figure of a bird with outstretched wings in conjunction with a boat that is also representative of the heavenly firmament. The only difference is the mummified hawk in Fac. 2. It seems that Thompson is quibbling over semantics because of the mummified hawk. Otherwise, what is the big deal? Further, there is Egyptological evidence posited by Rhodes that indeed the "Heavenly bark" is associated with 1000, as Joseph Smith identifies.

So the two symbols merely being on the same sarcophagus make them connected? Hmmm.

Seems so. Further, it is not just the fact that they were on the same sarcophagus but that they have astronomical similarities, as I demonstrated.

Tarski:

Oh, and he couldn't translate Egyptian.

Really? Okay, answer me this.

Joseph Smith in his restoration of Fac. 2 included some lines of hieratic script (not found in any of the Joseph Smith Papyri) accompanying figures 1 and 3.

This text accompanies Figure 1:

chnum1.jpg

Note that it was absent because of the lacuna:

chnum3.jpg

Now, what do these lines translate as?

Kerry has more to offer us:

Notice in this close up of Fig. 1 in the supposed original hypo which Joseph Smith had access to, the hieroglyph is entirely missing. So, lets take a closer look at this object which critics have ignored through the years. This hieroglyph is not on any other of the Joseph Smith Papyri that the Prophet had in his possession. Nor is it on any other hypocephalus found since then either! Yet, it is a very meaningful hieroglyph and in fact, one that the ancient Egyptians have used before. This is the sign of the primeval ocean, "Nu." The three horizontal lines (Fig. A above) are the hieratic form of n n, transliterated as "Nun" or "Nu." The next part of the hieroglyph, part "B" is the determinative for q.r.t., representing half the sky, which, in Egyptian mythology is just below the "Nun", The final part of this hieroglyph (labeled "C") is the water emerging from the side of the half sky sign (following Harris)1 How would Joseph Smith have known in the 1830's, years before the Rosetta Stone was even translated, that this hieroglyph was just the exact one associated with this figure of Chnum-Re? And what's more, notice that there is only one snake by the feet of the babboon on the left, while in the JS Hypo the Prophet included another snake on the other side, thus showing two snakes. Why snakes? I'll tell you why snakes. They are also symbols of creation, as we know from Joseph Smith's explanation. The primeval serpent "Iru-to" was a creator of the earth. In the Pyramid Texts 1146 we see Iru-to saying "I am the scribe of the Divine Book which says what has been and effect what is yet to be." In other words, "Creation" is the theme as the explanation of the Prophet explains. "The Primeval serpent depicts the general systems concept of irreversible, nonequilibrium process." i.e. "The First Creation" to quote Joseph Smith. The Snake is sometimes called Amun, The Hidden One, and the central figure in the hypocephalus is also Amun-Re, as well as Chnum!

http://www2.ida.net/graphics/shirtail/amunre.htm

In other words, Tarski, Joseph Smith correctly restored the correct hieratic characters and associated them with the correct figure of Khnum-Ra. How on earth did he do that?

Now, lets look at Figure 3. This is the boat of the Gods, otherwise known as the "heavenly bark". It functioned as a solar ship, so to speak, in transporting the Gods through the heavens. Now, there was also a lacuna here in the original hypocephalus, as you can see:

eagg.jpg

Now, Joseph Smith not only correctly filled that upper right corner of the hypocephalus with this "divine bark" (see here and here) but also restored some hieratic characters along side it:

shipofgod.jpg

Now, these hieratic characters do not come from any of the Joseph Smith Papyri, so Joseph could not have been haphazardly copying them. But what do these hieratic signs read? Michael Rhodes says:

"Divine ship."

E. A. W. Budge calls them:

"the boat of the god"

DeHorrack renders these lines as:

"the bark of Osiris defunct"

Samuel Birch explains that they read:

"god Ra in the (soul) boat."

Need I go on? Joseph Smith was able to properly restore these figures and supply us with the proper hieratic labels accompanying them.

Now how on earth did Joseph Smith get that with only "...books, some maps, a few friends with books, and a few fantastic ideas"?

Did Michael Chandler supply him with such? Did Solomon Spaulding? Did Ethan Smith? Did Charles Anton? Who, Tarski, who?

Or maybe Champolleon helped out Joseph Smith with this, huh?

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I have re-read James R. Harris's chapter on the facsimiles and think the following is appropriate to explain.

1. Harris notes that DeHorrock has identified a similar mummified hawk in Hypocephalus B.M. 8445, so there is Egyptological precedent for such in the Joseph Smith hypocephalus. Thompson is wrong to believe that this is the only mummified hawk.

2. Harris notes that Samuel Birch has found a similar mummified hawk in Sochares, so there are two examples.

3. Harris notes that Clark has clearly identified the Seker boat as being associated with 1000 and not the lotus. This supports Rhodes' interpretation of the ship of 1000.

4. In summation, Harris notes that "Joseph Smith's explanations of these figures appropriately emphasized the expanse of heaven (symbolized by the Hawk with the expanded wings) and the symbol of the Seker Boat, or ship of a Thousand, as a sign that symbolized one thousand."

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...

shipofgod.jpg

Now, these hieratic characters do not come from any of the Joseph Smith Papyri, so Joseph could not have been haphazardly copying them. But what do these hieratic signs read? Michael Rhodes says:

"Divine ship."

E. A. W. Budge calls them:

"the boat of the god"

DeHorrack renders these lines as:

"the bark of Osiris defunct"

Samuel Birch explains that they read:

"god Ra in the (soul) boat."

Need I go on? Joseph Smith was able to properly restore these figures and supply us with the proper hieratic labels accompanying them.

...

There are critics who would maintain that the characters came from a rubric on P. JS-IV, which I have marked in a red square:

post-7377-1213740853_thumb.jpg

I teeter either way on the source of the characters. My only wish is that we had the original.

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There are critics who would maintain that the characters came from a rubric on P. JS-IV, which I have marked in a red square:

post-7377-1213740853_thumb.jpg

I teeter either way on the source of the characters. My only wish is that we had the original.

Thanks MormonMason.

Harris responds to this accusation, originating with Ashment, and notes that these characters dd md.w btf in "to recite a formula in front of" cannot be the hieratic in Figure 3, which are wi3 "sacred bark" and are an inappropriate association.

I too wish we had the original.

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You can be quite certain that we all look forward to the paper. I trust that you and Don have been spending considerable time in the Church Archives -- since that's the only place you'll be able to find some of the documents relevant to this question. :P

Don has spent many, many hours there and transcribed and shared with me a number of relevant documents. I, of course, do not live in the Salt Lake City area, so I make do with what I can get. I'm heading out that way this summer though, so we'll see if they'll let me in. I don't know how long the interview process takes to get access.

Leaving aside for the moment the possibility of cognate nouns/concepts, it rather begs the question, the very considerable question, to make the bolded reference above, since the two sides are incapable at present of finding common ground on the meaning of the EAG, let alone the author(s).

I have yet to see an even remotely coherent argument absolving JS of responsibility for the GAEL. On the other hand, I have advanced several coherent arguments to the contrary, and have several more in store for a future publication.

-Chris

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This thread has been and is one of the most fascinating threads to appear on MADB in a long time. Thank you.

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This thread has been and is one of the most fascinating threads to appear on MADB in a long time. Thank you.

Yes, it truly has!

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...

I have yet to see an even remotely coherent argument absolving JS of responsibility for the GAEL. On the other hand, I have advanced several coherent arguments to the contrary, and have several more in store for a future publication.

...

I have yet to see a complete, cogent argument quantifying just how much of it there is for he might actually be responsible. So, it should be interesting to see what you have to say. The textual evidence of the manuscripts seems to show me that one manuscript, believed by some to be one of two dictation manuscripts, in the Kirtland Papers is a copy of the other, and that the other may well be a copy of another manuscript.

I am used to comparing manuscripts of the Greek New Testament and Hebrew manuscripts of the Old Testament and often see particular patterns of editing and copyist errors therein. I see the same patterns in the BofA manuscripts, which would not be as extensive if these had really been dictation manuscripts. And, then, there is the problem of the manuscripts missing substantial portions of text from the beginning of the first chapter and so forth.

But, who knows? Please let us know when and where it will be published. There are many who are interested in reviewing and looking over the material, including myself.

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Here is Nibley's view on Shinehah. It is somewhat different than Kerry's approach, but still interesting:

Shinehah--another name for the Sun. Note how free-and-easy Joseph Smith is in identifying this and that sign with the Sun. He is only following the Egyptian way. Shinehah certainly suggests the Egyptian sheni. 'encircle' from which shnw, 'circuit,' 'cartouche;' the oldest form of the cartouche which contained the name of the King was round, and was retained in later times as the symbol for infinity. To quote Gardiner, "The Egyptians called the cartouche shnw, from a verb-stem shemi 'encircle', and it seems not unlikely that the idea was to represent the King as ruler of all 'that which is encircled by the sun', a frequently expressed notion. " (Gardiner, p. 74). The second element of the name suggests the common hh= heh (vowel uncertain), meaning "a great number," "a million, eternity". As a verb heh means to go around. to search continually. Its common occurrence is in the ten nhh, "eternity"--that which never stops going on (Endowment). It may be significant that nehah appears twice as a designation of the Sun in the Pyramid Texts (#5 I1,302-314), and in an epithet for the sun meaning to determine [time] or to flee [on its course] (Wb.II, 313); nhh can also mean 'star' (II,313). Thus we may play with the idea that Sheni-heh could very well be Shinehah, "the eternal encircling one," whose "course is one eternal round."

http://www.boap.org/LDS/Hugh-Nibley/TrFac.html

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The critical perspective was explained quite clearly by Mr. Metcalfe nearly six years ago, but it seems few have actually taken the time to understand the argument, let alone the evidence that supports it. This is what he said then, and I unless I am wrong, he has stood by this up until this day:

The problem with the copyist theory is multifaceted, but perhaps the more problematic aspect is that nobody has explained why:

  • Joseph Smith would pay men to copy such a short text.
  • Require that they go through painstaking detail to include all of the errors that were present in an alleged "source" document.
  • If these men were truly copying, then they were the worst copyists in the history of copying - for manuscripts 1a and 1b are not identical. Identical copies is what one would expect if two professional scribes were given the task of copying such a short text.

Remember, if it isn't dictated then it must be a copy and the evidence must be explained to fit this theory. It simply won't do to say you can't explain it, but that you know with certainty that it isn't dictated. If you want to assert that it isn't dictation, then you must explain it in the context of a copying session. You cannot have it both ways.

Nobody has even come close to doing this.

An impressive amount of effort has been made to cast doubt on the dictation theory without really providing a copyist model that makes any bit of sense. This effort consists mainly of ignoring the evidence in favor of dictation (Hauglid said in his 2006 presentation that he wasn't even aware of these evidences) and making the issue more complex than need be. Yes, the KEP are complex, but complex and incomprehensible are not synonymous.

Please do include sources for your claims, such as whether these men were paid for their services with the Kirtland Egyptian Papers including the amounts paid.

As to whether these men were the worst copyists in history, what is that to us if they were? They were not professional scribes, and even those made mistakes in copying in ancient times.

I look over manuscripts both ancient and late and see particular patterns in copyist errors. I see the same patterns and kinds of errors in manucripts 1a and 1b. At the very least, one of these two is a copy of the other one. But, there are similar errors in the other one as well, just not as extensive.

Identical copies when copying short manuscripts??? One who understands the subject matter would not expect identical copies with manuscript copying without the use of a copy machine! One cannot even see such a thing with the New Testament or Book of Mormon manuscripts.

With the Book of Mormon manuscripts, Oliver Cowdery introduced an estimated three errors per page when copying the Printer's Manuscript from the Original Manuscript. Dittography and Haplography, and so forth, are what are expected in even short manuscript copies, and these kinds of things are exactly what we see when we compare Manuscripts 1a and 1b. I myself once copied a section of Bible text for notes I was writing down and then made a copy of the same later so I had a cleaner working text to use.

Not only did I introduce a couple spelling errors into the copy I made, I omitted an entire paragraph of material! Oliver Cowdery did the same thing with Alma 32:31 as he omitted a large sentence by haplography in the Printer's Manuscript.

There are other examples even in Church historical materials in manuscript form. It is no difficult thing to see it in other historical sources. For someone who uses the moniker "critical thinker" you were not thinking very critically in your above post. :P

But, back to this matter, there is another concern as well. I may not be remembering correctly, but were not 1a and 1b bound together in the same book of material. I cannot fathom two people holding such a bound volume with consecutively numbered and lettered pages in a severely awkward way in order to record dictation at the same time. They would have needed a third person to hold the pages between them up out of the way and make sure that no one was using more pages than another so as not to prevent the other from finishing the text he was copying or writing from dictation.

I do not recall seeing anything that would have indicated anything like that done with these pages. The dictation theory conjures up some pretty awkward positions and motions in my mind. I have yet to see a dictation theory that explains such awkwardness.

Or, were they written out and then later inserted into the volume? I do not recall at the moment but this itself is an interesting question, is it not?

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Critical Thinker,

So, youâ??re a â??newâ? poster here on the MADB board. Well then, let me be among the first to welcome you. I hope you can stick around for awhile.

You wrote:

The problem with the copyist theory is multifaceted, but perhaps the more problematic aspect is that nobody has explained why:

â?¢ Joseph Smith would pay men to copy such a short text.

â?¢ Require that they go through painstaking detail to include all of the errors that were present in an alleged "source" document.

â?¢ We know the Book of Abraham wasn't completed until 6 1/2 years later, so why would Joseph Smith request a printer's copy long before it was finished?

â?¢ If these men were truly copying, then they were the worst copyists in the history of copying - for manuscripts 1a and 1b are not identical. Identical copies is what one would expect if two professional scribes were given the task of copying such a short text.

Letâ??s take these one at a time.

Joseph Smith would pay men to copy such a short text.

There is no evidence that Joseph Smith hired Williams and Parrish to make these copies. In fact, the evidence tends towards the conclusion that they were making the copies for their own purposes.

Require that they go through painstaking detail to include all of the errors that were present in an alleged "source" document.

To the contrary, copyists routinely reproduce in the abschrift (the copy) exactly what they see in the exemplar (the source document.) In the case of Mss. #2 and #3, the text critical evidence does, in fact, suggest that these are visual copies (see the various threads I have commenced in the School of the Pundits for details) The emendations (corrections) are, almost without exception, secondary. The Metcalfe theory suggests that these common emendations are evidence of a dictation scenario. We will argue that the secondary emendations that correct the various errors are, in fact, evidence consistent with a copying model.

We know the Book of Abraham wasn't completed until 6 1/2 years later, so why would Joseph Smith request a printer's copy long before it was finished?

No one has suggested that these are â??printerâ??s cop[ies]â?. And no one has ever presented any evidence that Joseph Smith was involved in the creation of these documents.

If these men were truly copying, then they were the worst copyists in the history of copying - for manuscripts 1a and 1b are not identical.

An interesting observation, to be sure. But it is one that presents many more problems for the dictation scenario than perhaps you realize. No, Mss. #2 and #3 are NOT identical. While they do attest similarities at certain points, they are notably different at other points â?? we have recently discussed the anomalous nature of the text at Abr. 1:12.

The issue, of course, is not whether they were bad copyists, but whether or not the documents exhibit visual copying errors. They do. And I have yet to hear any explanation (assuming a â??dictationâ? scenario) for these instances of visual copying errors. Within the next few days, I will commence another thread in the Pundits forum which will focus on some of the most compelling evidences for copying. Weâ??ll see then if those who defend the simultaneous dictation scenario can explain these apparent visual copying errors.

.

.

.

Mormon Mason:

I may not be remembering correctly, but were not 1a and 1b bound together in the same book of material. I cannot fathom two people holding such a bound volume with consecutively numbered and lettered pages in a severely awkward way in order to record dictation at the same time. They would have needed a third person to hold the pages between them up out of the way and make sure that no one was using more pages than another so as not to prevent the other from finishing the text he was copying or writing from dictation.

First of all, I would suggest that you refrain from referring to these documents as â??1aâ? and â??1bâ?. Those designations originate with Ashment and Metcalfe and are specifically designed to suggest that these documents were created at the same time â?? via simultaneous dictation. The documents should be designated as:

KEPA #2 â?? in the handwriting of Frederick G. Williams

KEPA #3 â?? in the handwriting of Warren Parrish

As to your other statement about Mss. #2 and #3, they were not part of a bound volume. You are probably thinking of the bound â??Grammar and Alphabet of the Egyptian Languageâ? (GAEL). KEPA #2 consists of two sheets, written on both sides (recto and verso) for a total of four pages. KEPA #3 consists of three sheets, written on both sides, for a total of six pages.

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I have yet to see a complete, cogent argument quantifying just how much of it there is for he might actually be responsible. So, it should be interesting to see what you have to say. The textual evidence of the manuscripts seems to show me that one manuscript, believed by some to be one of two dictation manuscripts, in the Kirtland Papers is a copy of the other, and that the other may well be a copy of another manuscript.

Hey MormonMason,

The Alphabet and Grammar manuscripts should not be confused with the translation manuscripts. The translation manuscripts are the ones around which the copying vs. simultaneous dictation debate has coalesced. There are three "Egyptian Alphabet" manuscripts that are very similar and that appear to have been produced simultaneously with each other as well, but I don't think any apologists have suggested that they might be copies of each other instead of simultaneous productions. One of the three is in Joseph Smith's handwriting. The larger notebook that we know as the Grammar and Alphabet of the Egyptian Language, or GAEL, is an expansion of the three shorter Alphabet manuscripts. Ed Ashment has done the best work on these documents so far.

I'll let you know when any of my work sees publication.

-Chris

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...

Mormon Mason:

First of all, I would suggest that you refrain from referring to these documents as â??1aâ? and â??1bâ?. Those designations originate with Ashment and Metcalfe and are specifically designed to suggest that these documents were created at the same time â?? via simultaneous dictation. The documents should be designated as:

KEPA #2 â?? in the handwriting of Frederick G. Williams

KEPA #3 â?? in the handwriting of Warren Parrish

As to your other statement about Mss. #2 and #3, they were not part of a bound volume. You are probably thinking of the bound â??Grammar and Alphabet of the Egyptian Languageâ? (GAEL). KEPA #2 consists of two sheets, written on both sides (recto and verso) for a total of four pages. KEPA #3 consists of three sheets, written on both sides, for a total of six pages.

Yes, I understand about the actual designations but was just doing what I did for convenience' sake because "critical thinker" used the older, defective numbering system.

Thanks for helping me remember. As I said above, I did not recall whether they were bound or not and asked accordingly. Thanks again.

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MormonMason:

Yes, I understand about the actual designations but was just doing what I did for convenience' sake because "critical thinker" used the older, defective numbering system.

No offense intended. I was just taking the opportunity presented by your having referenced them that way to make a point that the "1a" "1b" designations actually contain a disputed argument within themselves. There is a reason that we have consistently referred to the documents by their church archive folder designations. Those designations, while imperfect in certain ways, are sufficiently generic that they serve the purpose of providing a label without implicitly advocating one theory over another.

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