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Chris Smith

My JWHA Paper on the Egyptian Alphabet

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1) The name for Egypt given by the Grammar is a nineteenth-century Egyptianization (Ah=meh=strah) of Josephus's Hellenization (Mestre) of the Hebrew name (Mizraim) for Egypt (anciently called Kemet).

I'm not sure which way this cuts, CS. Given a probable production date during or close to Roman times, and the Ptolemies' participation in Egyptian affairs at the highest level both before and during Roman times, I'm not sure we've made any progress in understanding the KEP and the Papyri and the BoA. Just on this point, that is. I mean, why would we not expect Hellenic influences on the text of the Papyri, and thus works based thereon?

USU "Likes the royal "we"" 78

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I mean, why would we not expect Hellenic influences on the text of the Papyri, and thus works based thereon?

Nibley taught me that the Restoration purged us of all those eeeevil Hellenistic influences.

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Then I stand corrected. My apologies to Paul.

No problem.

Have a great day!

Paul O

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Nibley taught me that the Restoration purged us of all those eeeevil Hellenistic influences.

And if the Papyri had been produced by a Prophet during the Restoration you might have something.

Since the Papyri were produced in a place where the elites all spoke Greek, and may even have been produced during Josephus' lifetime (it's in the target range anyway), Greek language may well have had some effect on the text.

USU "Not falling for that one" 78

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And if the Papyri had been produced by a Prophet during the Restoration you might have something.

Since the Papyri were produced in a place where the elites all spoke Greek, and may even have been produced during Josephus' lifetime (it's in the target range anyway), Greek language may well have had some effect on the text.

USU "Not falling for that one" 78

Fair enough, since no so far no prophets have denounced Hellenistic concepts.

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Thanks for the source. The following video on the KEP, Hauglid makes very strong answers to some of the KEP questions. I don't know if you have seen it or read the transcripts but if you have the time I would be interested if you could refute his logic? Perhaps you have in your paper I will pm you with my email address so I can read it. Thanks.

Investigating the Kirtland Egyptian Papers: Myths and Realities, Brian Hauglid, 2006 FAIR Conference (YouTube Video)

edited to add I only linked part one but once your there you can view all of them.

Hey Anijen,

Most of what Hauglid discusses does not bear on my essay. However, in Pt. 4 he does argue that pg. 1 of translation ms 1 (which contains Abr. 1:1-3) is not a dictated text, because it has punctuation and it uses superscripted numbers to show which characters correspond to which English text. This leads Hauglid to the conclusion that this portion of MS 1 was copied from some other document. Well, to a certain degree I actually agree with Hauglid. Much of the phrasing here was copied from the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar. The different mode of composition for these three verses accounts for the peculiarities of the manuscript. These verses weren't dictated in the straightforward way that the Book of Mormon was.

- Chris

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Congratulations on getting your research published. I look forward to reading the article. :P

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Yeah, what's the deal with lostindc?

He's trying out his new act over at the Shades board, as well. Interesting.

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I'm not sure which way this cuts, CS. Given a probable production date during or close to Roman times, and the Ptolemies' participation in Egyptian affairs at the highest level both before and during Roman times, I'm not sure we've made any progress in understanding the KEP and the Papyri and the BoA. Just on this point, that is. I mean, why would we not expect Hellenic influences on the text of the Papyri, and thus works based thereon?

I suppose that if one wanted to make the Book of Abraham a Hellenistic Jewish text, and to argue that the passage in the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar that refers to Ah=meh-strah is a quote from that Hellenistic Jewish text, and if one were willing to dismiss as irrelevant the Egyptianizing "ah" elements introduced by Joseph Smith, then you might have something there.

Which is to say that this probably could be explained within an apologetic paradigm, but I'll leave that task to the apologists.

I should point out, though, that we know from Oliver Cowdery's 1835 letter to William Frye that Josephus was being read in conjunction with the papyri to help interpret them. The portion of Josephus's Antiquities to which Cowdery referred in his letter is within four chapters of the references to Mestre and the Mestreans.

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He's trying out his new act over at the Shades board, as well. Interesting.

It's like he has snapped and suddenly gotten really angry.

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It's like he has snapped and suddenly gotten really angry.

How am I angry, its like you little fellas have never received a little criticism. Don't take it so personal, you dish so you can take.

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How am I angry, its like you little fellas have never received a little criticism. Don't take it so personal, you dish so you can take.

The problem is you havn't used any substance in your criticism. You have made an unfounded claim that Chris Smith is seeking attention from his publication, generally when claims like this are made without any substance to it is an indication that the critical person is jealous. Are you really that jealous Chris Smith was published?

Then you attack the Journal without saying why it is not a good historical journal, another claim without substance.

If you have a problem with Chris Smith's article, rather then express your jealousy and anger that a Journal published it, why not challenge the argument Chris Smith has made? Your criticisms are without any foundation until you challenge the substance of the article. Good Luck!

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I suppose that if one wanted to make the Book of Abraham a Hellenistic Jewish text, and to argue that the passage in the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar that refers to Ah=meh-strah is a quote from that Hellenistic Jewish text, and if one were willing to dismiss as irrelevant the Egyptianizing "ah" elements introduced by Joseph Smith, then you might have something there.

I don't see why it shouldn't be seen as a product of its production environment. Its language and its production values have been placed in a certain time and place. That place is Hellene-dominated Egypt. Your choice of language on the JSJr "introduction" is curious, since it's a conclusion and not a given and something with which very few people in the world who know much about the subject would agree.

Which is to say that this probably could be explained within an apologetic paradigm, but I'll leave that task to the apologists.

That's fine, so long as the folks viewing this discussion understand that your conclusions are bound not to be agreed with by the majority of folks who will read them.

I should point out, though, that we know from Oliver Cowdery's 1835 letter to William Frye that Josephus was being read in conjunction with the papyri to help interpret them. The portion of Josephus's Antiquities to which Cowdery referred in his letter is within four chapters of the references to Mestre and the Mestreans.

And OC is one of the people whose fingerprints are all over the KEP. Why should this be surprising? OC's involvement and OC's study of Josephus are givens here. Yet CS insists we must jump to a barely supportable conclusion because CS takes as a priori TRUTH that JSJr created the KEP and the KEP were used by him to arrive at the first bit of the BoA.

Conclusions are not best based upon the hoofbeats of equus grevyi.

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For those of you derailing the thread get back on topic or out of the thread.

Nemesis

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Where can one reference Joseph Siith's book "Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar"?

I'd like to see pictures of it.

Thanks

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Where can one reference Joseph Siith's book "Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar"?

I'd like to see pictures of it.

Thanks

Darth Gazelem, Dark Lord of the Sith. :P

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Where can one reference Joseph Siith's book "Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar"?

I'd like to see pictures of it.

Thanks

The best edition of it that has been published thus far is H. Michael Marquardt's book The Joseph Smith Egyptian Papers. Unfortunately, that is out of print. Utlm.org has an inferior edition for about 8 dollars. However, I'd recommend waiting to make your purchase, since supposedly Brian Hauglid will be releasing his critical edition sometime early next year.

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The best edition of it that has been published thus far is H. Michael Marquardt's book The Joseph Smith Egyptian Papers. Unfortunately, that is out of print. Utlm.org has an inferior edition for about 8 dollars. However, I'd recommend waiting to make your purchase, since supposedly Brian Hauglid will be releasing his critical edition sometime early next year.

Thanks. Will this include the papyrus as well?

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I don't see why it shouldn't be seen as a product of its production environment. Its language and its production values have been placed in a certain time and place. That place is Hellene-dominated Egypt.

...

That's fine, so long as the folks viewing this discussion understand that your conclusions are bound not to be agreed with by the majority of folks who will read them.

I wouldn't be so sure. Most of the apologists seem to believe that the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar is a strictly nineteenth century work. The FAIR Wiki calls it "a mess of linguistic gobbledegook" or something along those lines. So I'm not sure how many of them would try to connect "Ah-meh-strah" to Ptolemaic Egypt.

Your choice of language on the JSJr "introduction" is curious, since it's a conclusion and not a given and something with which very few people in the world who know much about the subject would agree.

As I explained in my paper, a large number of Joseph Smith's "Egyptian" words and names have an "ah" or "ash" element in them. Abraham becomes Ah-brah-oam. Hades becomes Hahdees. And so on. I don't think it's outrageous for me to conclude that this is Joseph Smith "Egyptianizing" these words.

That's fine, so long as the folks viewing this discussion understand that your conclusions are bound not to be agreed with by the majority of folks who will read them.

I approach Mormon history as an unbeliever, and that colors my conclusions. That's just a fact of life. It would get awfully tedious if every time I drew a conclusion I inserted a disclaimer that said, "By the way, people with a different worldview might not agree with me about this."

People can, of course, take my conclusions or leave them. I just hope that my evidence and reasoning process help people to come to a better understanding of what happened in the past. If that understanding does not perfectly line up with mine, then it's not the end of the world. In fact, I would be quite pleased if because of my Ah-meh-strah observation the LDS apologists began to take the Egyptian Alphabet seriously as an inspired work rather than a speculative nineteenth-century creation of the scribes. That would be at least one step in the right direction.

And OC is one of the people whose fingerprints are all over the KEP. Why should this be surprising? OC's involvement and OC's study of Josephus are givens here. Yet CS insists we must jump to a barely supportable conclusion because CS takes as a priori TRUTH that JSJr created the KEP and the KEP were used by him to arrive at the first bit of the BoA.

Actually, my paper suggests that it was Oliver Cowdery who brought "Mestre" to Joseph Smith's attention in the first place. So I don't entirely deny Cowdery and Phelps a contributing role, although I still see the bulk of the text as Joseph Smith's creation.

And my conclusion that Joseph Smith created the KEP is not an a priori truth, but one that I argue for based on documentary evidence. People who read my paper may or may not find that evidence compelling, but let's not pretend that I'm just making things up, here.

Thanks,

-Chris

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Thanks. Will this include the papyrus as well?

I don't know. But the papyri have been published multiple times. In my opinion the most useful edition is the color foldout in Charles Larson's By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus. Other publications are either incomplete, bad quality, or too small to be helpful.

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Thanks. Will this include the papyrus as well?

If you mean, will the critical edition of the Kirtland Egyptian Papers including images of the Joseph Smith Papyri, the answer is no. Volume 2 in the FARMS Book of Abraham series does include excellent images of the "Book of Breathings" portions of the papyri.

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Volume 2 in the FARMS Book of Abraham series does include excellent images of the "Book of Breathings" portions of the papyri.

Unfortunately without the paper backing.

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CS:

I would be quite pleased if because of my Ah-meh-strah observation the LDS apologists began to take the Egyptian Alphabet seriously as an inspired work rather than a speculative nineteenth-century creation of the scribes. That would be at least one step in the right direction.

I agree it would definitely be a step in a direction.

Whether it would be the "right" one is subject to considerable dispute, and I can guarantee that the divide will grow wider rather than narrower in coming years, your desires to the contrary notwithstanding.

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Unfortunately without the paper backing.

I agree that was a poor choice, especially because I believe it unconsciously created fertile grounds for criticism when publishing the unedited photos would have done no harm.

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