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Chris Smith

My JWHA Paper on the Egyptian Alphabet

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A decade? I thought you said Hauglid's new book was going to do this, and I thought it was coming out much sooner than that. If you or someone else has already done the analysis convincing you that Ashment and Co. are wrong, then why will it take ten years to convince everyone except the most intransigent critics?

The problem is one of credibility for the entire BOA apologetic intelligentsia. So many BOA apologetic theories have been birthed and died over the last forty years, that it is hard to take it seriously when you tell everyone to "wait, wait, this time we really do have an answer to Ashment."

The ten years is in order to account for persons like yourself.

As for "BoA apologetic theories" that have been birthed and died, perhaps you could elaborate on which ones you feel are dead. Other than the stillborn (in my judgment) "mnemonic device" theory, I'm not aware of any apologetic arguments that could be declared "dead." Quite to the contrary, the one I intend to defend and substantiate is one Nibley suggested from the very beginning. So I think you are mostly suffering from the effects of 40 years of propaganda, rather than the effects of a series of failed apologetic theories.

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Will,

Playing the d-advocate, why are the characters there, if they are not M.O.? Or is that a wholly distinct question that you have yet indulged, or have yet sufficient evidence to garner a conclusion?

PacMan

Which characters? Where?

I think this question has long-since been provided an answer, but I want to be sure I understand what you're asking.

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The credibility comes in when there is no objective analysis, only future promises that at some undefined future date (now extended to a decade) everyone will be convinced by a heretofore unknown analysis.

I'm all for hoping that Will and Hauglid pull the rabbit out of the hat . . . but the history of these endeavors doesn't give one much hope.

It's kind of like cold fusion. I would love it if it worked, but its history doesn't leave one with a lot of hope.

What are you talking about?

There's been a considerable amount of "analysis" presented over the course of the past 3+ years. Check out the Pundit's forum of this message board. I, for one, have written at length about the significance of several findings that continue to inform the "apologetic arguments" that you claim to be dead. Or do you not understand what it means for there to be evidence of visual copying in a document the critics claim to be an "original" translation manuscript?

Do you not understand what it means (as established by the historical record) for there to have been at least two "translation" sessions that preceded any work on a "grammar"?

Granted, there is a considerable body of arguments and evidence that has yet to be made public. But a great deal has been made public in the past few years.

Perhaps the problem here is that you're not really following what has been said and written, but are instead fixed upon what you rigidly believe to be the "facts."

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Which characters? Where?

I think this question has long-since been provided an answer, but I want to be sure I understand what you're asking.

Will,

I am not being nearly as cryptic as you think I am being. The characters adjacent to the narrative which fuels that majority of the critical analysis. I'm not asking if or why the critical argument is wrong, but what is your explanation for it. Why are the the ordered characters adjacent to text. I'm just asking for your theory. Basically, I am simply too lazy to go back, search, read, and remember. It's been far too long...

PacMan

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Hi Will,

You evidently missed my previous message. Since you insinuated that Chris had no warrant for his observation that W. W.'s May 1835 letter was connected to Joseph Smith, I hope it's not too much to ask that you reply to my inquiry...

Hi Will,

Thanks for pointing me to Chris' question (I inadvertently skipped over it). The answer is no, the manuscript revelation on "pure language" doesn't include the characters in Phelps' May 1835 letter. That wasn't my point. My point centers on the fact that the content of all but one of the six translations that Phelps recorded derives from Joseph Smith's then unpublished 1832 revelation. That evinces an intimate relationship between Phelps' report and Joseph Smith.

But there is much, much more...

In your considered opinion, Will, what would you say is the fundamental difference between the character set on the left and the character set on the right?

adamic-characters.jpg

...

All the best,

</brent>

http://mormonscripturestudies.com

(

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Hi Will,

You evidently missed my previous message. Since you insinuated that Chris had no warrant for his observation that W. W.'s May 1835 letter was connected to Joseph Smith, I hope it's not too much to ask that you reply to my inquiry...

I look forward to your thoughtful reply.

Cheers,

</brent>

http://mormonscripturestudies.com

(

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I choose to refrain from doing so at this juncture.

Any particular reason why?

Just wondering....

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Hi Will,

No doubt.

You've been fed historical sources about which you have no clue as to their meaning or historical context.

Shades of the former Kevin Graham!

My best,

</brent>

http://mormonscripturestudies.com

(

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I really don't understand why you just couldn't accept his answer and move on. The "which you have no clue" part I think was just unwarranted. IMO

Anijen, buddy, don't sweat it. Believe me, I am utterly unaffected by it.

I once spent weeks waiting for Metcalfe to produce a long-promised answer to a significant text critical question for which I knew he had no such answer.

It won't hurt him to wait for an answer that makes little difference either way.

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Hi Will,

I'm convinced that you have no clue what you're talking about (sorry Anijen), and, as I said, you've been fed historical sources about which you have no clue as to their meaning or historical context.

Again, I don't think my query is unreasonable...

Hi Will,

Thanks for pointing me to Chris' question (I inadvertently skipped over it). The answer is no, the manuscript revelation on "pure language" doesn't include the characters in Phelps' May 1835 letter. That wasn't my point. My point centers on the fact that the content of all but one of the six translations that Phelps recorded derives from Joseph Smith's then unpublished 1832 revelation. That evinces an intimate relationship between Phelps' report and Joseph Smith.

But there is much, much more...

In your considered opinion, Will, what would you say is the fundamental difference between the character set on the left and the character set on the right?

adamic-characters.jpg

...

All the best,

</brent>

http://mormonscripturestudies.com

(

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The ten years is in order to account for persons like yourself.

As for "BoA apologetic theories" that have been birthed and died, perhaps you could elaborate on which ones you feel are dead. Other than the stillborn (in my judgment) "mnemonic device" theory, I'm not aware of any apologetic arguments that could be declared "dead." Quite to the contrary, the one I intend to defend and substantiate is one Nibley suggested from the very beginning. So I think you are mostly suffering from the effects of 40 years of propaganda, rather than the effects of a series of failed apologetic theories.

How about the "two-inks" theory or the "over-run" argument. Nibley's stuff looks for parallels at any time and in any context in Egyptian history, and most of his stuff has been debunked by the likes of Ashment, Stephen Robinson Thompson, and Robert Ritner.

Edited to change Stephen Robinson to Stephen Thompson.

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Brent,

If I may be so bold (since I doubt Will is going to answer and I want to see where you're going with this), the one on the right is Joseph Smith's handwriting (from his Egyptian Alphabet document) and the one on the left is W. W. Phelps's from the "specimen". The more cursive/italic style of Smith's characters is mirrored in Cowdery's document, as well as in the second column in Phelps's EA document. Phelps's EA document is of course unique among the three in that for this section it includes two columns of characters side by side: the left more neat and square, the right in the cursive/italic style of Smith and Cowdery's documents. I'd say that the "specimen" is halfway between the squareness of Phelps's left column and the cursiveness of his right column in his EA document.

So what are we to make of all this? Well, if all four of these documents are copied from a now-lost original of the "specimen", we probably could conclude that it was in the cursive/italic style. Phelps in his copy of the "specimen" cleans it up considerably but retains a bit of the cursive tilt; in his EA document he attempts to do both-- preserving the cursive style in one column and cleaning it up in the other. Cowdery and Smith, meanwhile, preserve the original cursive/italic style. And if we acquiesce to all that I just inferred, then we could conclude that the characters on the lost original were not written by Phelps, since he didn't quite know what to do with them. Presumably the original artist would have been Smith.

Is all of that where you were going with this?

Best,

-Chris

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There's been a considerable amount of "analysis" presented over the course of the past 3+ years. Check out the Pundit's forum of this message board. I, for one, have written at length about the significance of several findings that continue to inform the "apologetic arguments" that you claim to be dead. Or do you not understand what it means for there to be evidence of visual copying in a document the critics claim to be an "original" translation manuscript?

Will, you won that one argument over in the Pundits forum but it hardly refutes the mountain of evidence you're up against.

Do you not understand what it means (as established by the historical record) for there to have been at least two "translation" sessions that preceded any work on a "grammar"?

Where is the evidence for this? Don't tell me, it's going to come out at some future day.rolleyes.gif

Granted, there is a considerable body of arguments and evidence that has yet to be made public. But a great deal has been made public in the past few years.

Perhaps the problem here is that you're not really following what has been said and written, but are instead fixed upon what you rigidly believe to be the "facts."

Right, this from the guy that refuses to answer a very simple question from Brent in this very thread.

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Finally...

Brent,

If I may be so bold (since I doubt Will is going to answer and I want to see where you're going with this), the one on the right is Joseph Smith's handwriting (from his Egyptian Alphabet document) and the one on the left is W. W. Phelps's from the "specimen". The more cursive/italic style of Smith's characters is mirrored in Cowdery's document, as well as in the second column in Phelps's EA document. Phelps's EA document is of course unique among the three in that for this section it includes two columns of characters side by side: the left more neat and square, the right in the cursive/italic style of Smith and Cowdery's documents. I'd say that the "specimen" is halfway between the squareness of Phelps's left column and the cursiveness of his right column in his EA document.

So what are we to make of all this? Well, if all four of these documents are copied from a now-lost original of the "specimen", we probably could conclude that it was in the cursive/italic style. Phelps in his copy of the "specimen" cleans it up considerably but retains a bit of the cursive tilt; in his EA document he attempts to do both-- preserving the cursive style in one column and cleaning it up in the other. Cowdery and Smith, meanwhile, preserve the original cursive/italic style. And if we acquiesce to all that I just inferred, then we could conclude that the characters on the lost original were not written by Phelps, since he didn't quite know what to do with them. Presumably the original artist would have been Smith.

Is all of that where you were going with this?

Best,

-Chris

Yes, the character set on the left was drawn by W. W. Phelps, the character set on the right was drawn by Joseph Smith.

Today, Chris you're smartest person in the class -- a gold star for you. :P

Kind regards,

</brent>

http://mormonscripturestudies.com

(

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How about the "two-inks" theory or the "over-run" argument. Nibley's stuff looks for parallels at any time and in any context in Egyptian history, and most of his stuff has been debunked by the likes of Ashment, Stephen Robinson, and Robert Ritner.

There are, in fact, at least two different inks used in places on the KEPA manuscripts.

There are, in fact, cases where there are to be found significant instances of over-writing which militate against the critics' arguments.

A great many of Nibley's demonstrated parallels have great merit, and are, I believe, an extremely valuable evidence of the antiquity of the Book of Abraham, along with the sources cited in Hauglid and Gee's Traditions about the Early Life of Abraham.

Ashment was, quite simply, wrong about a large proportion of his arguments. I've demonstrated some of the ways already. More is forthcoming.

I don't know who Stephen Robinson is. Do you?

Finally, I invite you to cite something by Ritner that you believe militates against current LDS apologetic arguments.

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Shades of the former Kevin Graham!

</brent>

I remember him being in a car accident in South America...did he pass away and I not get the memo?

PacMan

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There are, in fact, at least two different inks used in places on the KEPA manuscripts.

Now, was that the original two-inks theory? I don't think so.

There are, in fact, cases where there are to be found significant instances of over-writing which militate against the critics' arguments.

Was that the original "over-run" argument? I don't think so.

I don't know who Stephen Robinson is. Do you?

Crap. He is a BYU professor of religion (you know, "Believing Christ"). I meant Stephen Thompson. I'll have to change that.

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