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William Schryver

"Sign of the fifth degree of the second part"

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coward

Quite so.

Here was my question:

Have you another more reasonable inference that follows from this evidence, discovered by Will, but apparently missed by others who've had access to these materials?

Answer it and retrieve your soiled honor. It will take far less time than your tapdancing.

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I have found what appears to be conclusive evidence that the first line of Ab2(Williams) was written after the text that follows. You'll recall that this is the line that reads:

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Hi Brian,

Thanks for chiming in.

So you think that F. G. Williams <<deliberately>> erased the left side of the crossbar by scraping?... Can you give us, say, three more examples where Williams erases using a scraping tool? (And explain why he didn't use the tool in the numerous instances where he uses the wiping technique?)

Moreover, why do you think Williams would erase the left side of a crossbar when he frequently didn't erase obvious errors (opting for canceling text by strike out or overwriting)?

I look forward to your insights.

Kind regards,

</brent>

http://mormonscripturestudies.com

(

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Hi Brian,

Thanks for chiming in.

So you think that F. G. Williams <<deliberately>> erased the left side of the crossbar by scraping?... Can you give us, say, three more examples where Williams erases using a scraping tool? (And explain why he didn't use the tool in the numerous instances where he uses the wiping technique?)

Moreover, why do you think Williams would erase the left side of a crossbar when he frequently didn't erase obvious errors (opting for canceling text by strike out or overwriting)?

I look forward to your insights.

Kind regards,

</brent>

http://mormonscripturestudies.com

(

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Hi Brian,

Many thanks for your clarification.

Yes, I concur that Will's <<conclusive evidenece>> needs tempering.

I look forward to perusing your publication. I'm confident that no matter our disagreements, your work will be a substantive contribution to BoAbr scholarship.

All the best,

</brent>

http://mormonscripturestudies.com

(

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Brent,

I saw a sampling of some of your annotations to Abraham 1:1-3 and I must say your erudite text-critical approach to these manuscripts is quite impressive.

Unfortunately I have not been able to undertake as detailed and painstaking an approach in my book. It's already over three hundred pages and, quite frankly, my main goal has been to provide a source book for researchers, no matter their perspectives. So I've kept my text-critical interpretations to a bare minimum.

But in all sincerity I am looking forward to your analyses of these manuscripts in your upcoming volume. No doubt you will have much to contribute.

Kindest regards,

Brian

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Hi Will,

I've already weighed in on your <<dittograph>> ...

</brent>

I missed where this happened and would appreciate a link.

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Hauglid-

My main intent of the last post was to encourage a little more caution in accepting Will's proffered overwrite as conclusive.

More caution?

How strange.

In his opening post on this thread, he wrote:

I have found what appears to be conclusive evidence

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Hi Will,

So much for <<conclusive>>, eh?

I've already weighed in on your <<dittograph>>

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Hauglid-

More caution?

How strange.

Not strange at all. I was responding to Will's opening post.

In my view the use of the potent term "conclusive," even in the context of the benign "it appears," is premature at this stage.

No offense to Will (or you) was intended.

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Hi Will,

Your authoritative source was quite explicit: not a <<decisive>> dittograph.

Who was the source? I don't think anonymous appeals to authority are very helpful, and if they're indeed authoritative they wouldn't be embarrassed to be associated with their professional opinion.

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I've already weighed in on your <<dittograph>>

I'm unaware of any weighing in since beginning my threads on the topic here and at MDB, but a couple people have linked to the following comment apparently made by you a few years ago:

Williams' redundancy would not be considered a dittograph by anyone who understands even the rudiments of textual criticism.

Does this still accurately describe your position? Your appeal to an unnamed source above seems to indicate you do not. If you do still espouse that position, what considerations can you muster to undermine the rather clear indicators homoioteleuton? Feel free to comment on the thread I began on the topic on this forum.

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Not strange at all. I was responding to Will's opening post.

In my view the use of the potent term "conclusive," even in the context of the benign "it appears," is premature at this stage.

No offense to Will (or you) was intended.

I was being pretty cautious, by my standards.

Look, I believe in living large on message boards and writing conservatively in a formal publication. I'm of the opinion that at least occasionally indulging in the former serves quite well to weed out any egregious errors prior to setting positions in stone via the latter.

Besides, no one ever did anything of real significance by always playing it safe. I don't believe in conducting a risk/benefit analysis before every move I make.

What most people (including the man himself) fail to realize is that often the only way to flush Metcalfe out of his cave is to poke him with a stick and taunt him a little bit; or dangle in front of him something he's apt to regard as low-hanging fruit. Then and only then will he saunter forth and, just maybe, if the mood strikes him, and the provocation has been sufficient to move the blood from his brain to his fingertips, will he then give some clue, any clue, of his position on any given question. And even then, there will be sufficient ambiguity built into the language of his response that the best one can hope for is to narrow down to a logical handful of possibilities the potential interpretations of his perpetually slippery posture on the meaning and purpose of the Kirtland Egyptian Papers.

I love the movie The Hustler. Classic film. In fact, Metcalfe reminds me, in some ways, of Bert, the character played so brilliantly by George C. Scott. I especially love the final scene when Fast Eddie Felson lays down his entire bankroll on one game with Minnesota Fats--playing pool for $3000 a game. High stakes, not some wimpy-*** penny ante smoky barroom match.

Anyway, we pick up the action right after Fats, off the break, has left the cue ball in a horrible position for Eddie. It's a leave that calls for a defensive move.

Eddie looks at the lineup of the balls.

Then he sets down his cue and walks over to the washroom. He

glances at Bert as he sprinkles the powder on his hands.

EDDIE

How shall I play that one, Bert? Play it safe?

That's the way you always told me to play it,

safe, play the percentage. Well, here we

go ... fast and loose.

He turns and snatches up his cue.

EDDIE

One ball, corner pocket.

(chalks his cue, lines up his shot)

Yeah, percentage players die broke too, don't

they, Bert?

He rams a bank shot into the pack. The one ball rolls in, while others

scatter about the table. The crowd applauds. Eddie moves swiftly to his

next shot. As he plays, he talks to Bert.

EDDIE

How can I lose? Twelve ball.

(shot goes in)

I mean, how can I lose? Because you were right,

Bert. I mean, it's not enough that you just

have talent. You gotta have character too. Four

ball.

(shot goes in, a pause)

Yeah and I sure got character now. I picked it

up in a hotel room in Louisville.

Bert and Fats exchange glances.

FATS

(from his seat)

Shoot pool, Fast Eddie.

EDDIE

I'm shootin' pool, Fats. When I miss you can

shoot.

Well, Brent clearly doesn't realize it yet, but while he's been basking in the glow of his imagined mastery of the Kirtland Egyptian Papers, I've actually been spending some quality time with that fascinating collection of documents. And whether or not this particular case of possible overwriting is confirmed in the end, there are a number of balls I've already knocked down the pockets:


  • The issue of the visual copying error on page 4 of Ab2--an unambiguous case of homoioteleuton-facilitated dittography--is in one of those pockets;
    `
  • The correctness of my analysis of the secondary nature of almost all the emendations in Ab2 and Ab3 is in another;
    `
  • The fact that the "facsimile locator phrase" in Abr. 1:12 is a secondary, interlinear insertion (and likely a 19th century redaction) is in another;
    `
  • The demonstrable fact that all of the Abraham manuscripts are visual copies of one or more parent documents--not dictated "translation manuscripts";
    `
  • The dependency of the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar materials on a pre-existing text of the Book of Abraham is filling up two or three pockets all on its own.

There is no doubt that, along the way, on occasion, I've stuck my neck out a little further than the case has warranted; tried an impossible bank shot just for the hell of it. But I wouldn't change a thing. You see, I'm not afraid of taking the occasional risk--though mine are seldom, if ever, without some measure of prior calculation. I've been around enough to know when something is worth being certain about and when it doesn't matter as much. I've learned that, sometimes, it's worth losing a minor point in order to draw out from the reclusive Metcalfe some revelation of his thoughts on a question of much larger import. I've confessed before to having learned many things from him along the way--although I doubt they are the things he thought he was teaching. :P

In any case, the findings listed above are things that won't go away. They'll still be standing when Metcalfe's long-awaited foray into the fray finally occurs--assuming it ever does. If he has something to say in response to these findings, I implore him to do so. After I have published my detailed article concerning the primary thesis of my FAIR conference presentation, I will welcome a debate with him consistent with the latest terms I proposed--terms that won't even require him to commit himself to a position beforehand, but which will require him to play for the high stakes attendant to a formal public debate. I look forward to his acceptance of those equitable terms, in order that the envisioned debate might become a vivid reality.

As for the possible case of overwriting to which I allude in my initial post of this thread, as I indicated, I will arrange to subject this locus to a forensic examination. I have identified several alternative interpretations of what can be seen with the naked eye, and I believe the only way to ascertain the facts with any degree of certainty is to examine the locus under high magnification, as well as other possible imaging options.

So we'll see how it goes. I've actually got a list of several separate items I want to check out at some point in the relatively near future, including one much more potentially important than the others.

In the meantime, I'll keep playing this message board game in the manner I prefer. And why not? It has never yet failed to produce the desired results.

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