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Phelps As The Ea/Gael Project Leader?

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There seems to be a lack of familiarity on certain people's part regarding the evidence that has been and may yet be presented in favor of the proposition that Phelps may have been the EA/GAEL project leader. This thread is devoted to setting forth and discussing the evidence both pro and con.

To start things off, and in favor of the proposition, I wish to reproduce several posts from a thread that some participants here are banned from viewing:

1. The Joseph Smith Egyptian Papers are comprised of a number of documents, one of which is a notebook titled, "Valuable Discovery...," that is in the handwriting of W.W. Phelps.. On one page of this notebook there is a "Translation <in part> of the next page."

k2n7le.jpg

Here is the next page:

zkivl4.jpg

So, here we have an example where a number of characters on one page are translated on another page. At this point, we don't know which characters, or if all the characters, are being translated.

-continued-

[Edited to reflect corrections suggested by Brent Metcalfe]

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by wenglund

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-continued-

Then, in another notebook, in the handwriting of Oliver Cowdery, we find a similar translation, though with small groups of characters interspersed within the translation (see areas marked with red boxes):

28s7bj4.jpg

From what I can tell, the interspersed characters in the Cowdery notebook were taken from the Phelps notebook (see corresponding red areas marked below), along with the translation:

1t3fvm.jpg

In other words, we here find Cowdery taking a translation of an unknown number of characters, and picking from amongst the characters and deciding which to assign to various segments of the translation. In short, the translation in the Cowdery notebook is dependent upon the Phelps notebook.

-continued-

[edit: to correct errors brought to my attention by Brent Metcalfe]

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by wenglund

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-continued-

2. Finally, in the EA's, we find one or more of the characters from the Phelps and Cowdery notebooks represented (see area in red rectangle) along with the sound/name (Kah tou man) and a brief explanation. Here is what shows up in EA JS:

90c1ab.jpg

Compare this to what we find in EA WWP:

25it4qg.jpg

Please notice that in EA JS, Joseph isn't able to make up his mind which character to assign to the sound/name and brief explanation (he drew three characters in the far left column). Whereas, Phelps seems to have taken the lead and decides on a single character, which then seems to have been copied into EA JS and EA OC and later the GAEL.

3. And, while the sounds for this character appear to be the same across the EA's, the explanations are slightly different. In EA WWP it reads: "The name of the royal family, in the female line." In EA JS it states: "the name of a royal family in female line." And, in EA OC is says: "the name of a royal family - The female line."

Now, if Phelps was the lead in this project, one would expect that his version of the explanation, rather than that of JS and OC, would show up in the GAEL...and in fact it does.

This marks just the first two in a number of similar examples I will be posting here in favor of the proposition.

[edit: to correct errors brought to my attention by Brent Metcalfe]

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by wenglund

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Before heading to bed, I thought I would post this:

In addition to what I presented above, there is a wealth of textual critical evidence suggesting that the EA/GAEL was not a simultaneous dictation, but in many respects consisted of an evolution in content showing that EA JS and EA OC and the GAEL were dependent upon EA WWP, thereby strongly suggesting that Phelps may have been the project leader.

4. There are three Egyptain Alphabet manuscripts, one in the handwriting of WW Phelps (EA WWP), one partially in the handwriting of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery (EA JS), and one in the handwriting of Oliver Cowdery (EA OC). I believe the very existence of these three manuscripts weighs against a simultaneous dictation because it seem a bit out of character for Joseph or anyone else to have two scribes taking simultaneous dictation, but it seem even more unlikely that Joseph would take dictation from himself. And, if Joseph's EA is indication that he was taking dictation, then who was doing the dictating? And, if his manuscript isn't indicative of him taking dictation, then what might that suggest about the other EA's? Also, since Cowdery's handwriting is on two of the manuscripts, it seems a bit far fetched to think he was taking dictation simultaneous on both manuscripts.

5. The production sequence didn't lend itself to a simultaneous dictation. It is evident to me that upon close examining of the EA's, the production sequence tended to go in the following order per part (there are five parts to the EA's): the characters were first drawn in the left column, then the sounds were added next, followed by the explanations. At the very least, drawing the characters seems far more likely to have been a copy function, rather than dictation (imagine trying to dictate the shape of 23 characters for Part 1 pictured below, particularly given that they don't show up as complete characters on the papyri, and couldn't be pointed to. Rather, it seems more plausible that they were rendered on one manuscript--likely EA WWP--and then later copied onto the other EA's). Besides, the characters in WWP are more elaborate than in the other EA's, and if so, this could mean that the characters were taken from wherever and first drawn on the WWP, and then copied into the OC and then the JS (or vice-versa). As such, this means that, at least in terms of the characters, the EA's were not written simultaneously, and perhaps dependent upon EA WWP, thus again suggesting that Phelps may have been the project leader.

-continued-

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by wenglund

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-continued-

Some of the characters and sounds and explanations appear to have evolved from one EA to the next, and from the EA's to the GAEL, and in several cases, from the GAEL to the one or more EA's. This evolution from EA to EA militates against a simultaneous dictation, and strongly suggest some degree of copying or borrowing, particularly from EA WWP, thereby supporting the proposition of Phelps being the project leader. For example:

6. As best I can tell, the second to the last character in the EA's that was eventually given sounds and explanations (#68 by Will's reckoning), originally consisted of two side-by-side characters in EA WWP. and was given the sound of "Za ki on hish Kulsidon hish", and the explanation, "The land of the Chaldees." The right character was then erased and drawn below the left character, and was given the sound "Za Ki on hish." However, in the EA OC the characters were evidently copied from EA WWP after the right character was erased and drawn below, and it was given the sound of Za kie on hiash or Kalsidon hiash, along with the explanation, "The land of the Chaldeans." The word "or" was then inserted between the hish and Kulsidon sounds in the EA WWP. This second to the last character isn't drawn in EA JS, nor is it given a sound or explanation.

7. As just indicated, the last character that was given a sound and explanation in the EA's, was first given the sound of "Za Ki on hish" in EA WWP. This was later struck through and replaced with the sound Ah-brah oam, and given the explanation, "The father of the faithful the first right ____ unto whom is committed." The sound was then copied to EA JS, though with a slightly different spelling, along with the same explanation. Then, the sound and explanation in EA WWP was copied to the GAEL, first degree in Part 1, and given an expanded explanation. The sound was then copied to GAEL, second degree in Part 1, and given an even further expanded explanation. Finally, in the third degree, the sound was changed to "Ah broam", and the editor then went back and struck out the old sound in the first and second degrees and replaced it with the new sound. Evidently, Cowdery later went back to the EA JS and struck through the sound and explanation for this character, and then on another page he wrote out all the sounds and explanations for this character in each of the five degrees of Part 1.

-continued-

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by wenglund

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Wade, the character in Phelps's EA has been secondarily emended. It appears to have originally matched Joseph Smith's. If the notebook matches any of the three EAs, it's Cowdery's, not Phelps's.

But honestly, wouldn't we expect the primary EA document to be the one that reflects the most uncertainty? How can you say Phelps's character was "copied" into EAJS when that clearly isn't the case? If anything, EAJS seems to reflect first-stage thinking, Phelps's second-stage thinking, and Cowdery's third-stage thinking.

Edited by Chris Smith

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Wade, the character in Phelps's EA has been secondarily emended. It appears to have originally matched Joseph Smith's. If the notebook matches any of the three EAs, it's Cowdery's, not Phelps's.

I would like to see the evidence for this.

But honestly, wouldn't we expect the primary EA document to be the one that reflects the most uncertainty? How can you say Phelps's character was "copied" into EAJS when that clearly isn't the case?

It seems clear to me as I follow the trajectory. But, feel free to make your counter case.

If anything, EAJS seems to reflect first-stage thinking, Phelps's second-stage thinking, and Cowdery's third-stage thinking.

I don't necessarily object to that. My concern in this particular case isn't with who all may have been involved in deliberating about the character, but rather who may have made the final decision about which character to ultimately go with, not only in terms of the EA's, but also in terms of the notebooks and later the GAEL.

Once you present your evidence, and if I think it compelling, I will change my assessment of this one of many arguments I am in the process of presenting.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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-continued-

8. The fourth to the last character given a sound (#66 by Will's reckoning), was first given the sound of "Ah broam Ah brahoam Ki ahbra am Ki ah-bram" in EA JS. Then, in EA OC this character was given the sound "Ah broam Ah-bra oam-zub-zool-oan" (note that "Ki ahbra am Ki ah-bram" in EA JS was replaced in EA OC with "zub-zool-oan"). Then, in EA OC two "Ki"'s were inserted so that the sound read as "<Ki> Ah broam <Ki> Ah-bra oam-zub-zool-oan". Later, this sound in EA JS was completely struck through and replaced with "Ki ah-bram Ki-ah-bra-oum-zub-zool-oan." Finally, in EA WWP, this character was given the sound "Ki Ah broam Kiah brah-oam zub zool oan." This composite character is only mentioned in the GAEl once, and that is in Part 1 the 5th Degree. Nowhere in the EA or the GAEL is this composite character assigned an explanation. Clearly an indication in this case that the EA's weren't dictated, if not that Phelps was the lead.

9. The third to the last character given a sound (#67 by Will's reckoning), was only given a sound in two of the EA's (likely first in EA WWP and then copied to EA JS). It was not assigned a sound in EA OC. In none of the EA's was it given and explanation, though it was explained in all 5 degrees of the GAEL.. Again, this suggests a non-dictation and a Phelps lead.

-continued-

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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In the previous section evidence was presented showing evolution from individual EA's to other EA's and from the individual GAEL back to individual EA's, which strongly argues against a simultaneous dictation and for a Phelps lead. However, all this evidence comes from characters, sounds, and explanation that were worked on late in the EA production process, which leaves open the door to claims that the simultaneous dictations may have occurred earlier in the EA production but not later on.

In this section, and in addition to what I pointed out earlier, I intend to now supply out evidence from early in the production sequence that also runs contrary to the notion of a simultaneous dictation and in favor of a Phelps lead.

10. While the first page of each of the EA's appear to have two or three columns drawn on the left side of the page, only EA WWP has three English alphabet letters in the second column corresponding with the first three characters in the first column. As best I can tell, EA OC may have one letter in the second column corresponding to the first character in the first column--though a different letter than in EA WWP (Cowdery had an "a" whereas Phelps had an "X"). However, in EA JS, there is no alphabetic letters, and instead, the second column rather than the first column. contains the characters.

Since, in terms of the production sequence where the characters were drawn first and then presumably the letters, after which came the sounds and explanations, the presence of the three alphabetic letters only in EA WWP, and different from the first and only letter in EA OC, suggests to me that Phelps was working alone for a time on his EA and after the first three characters, he decided to abandon assigning English letters. Then, Cowdery worked for a bit on his own, and thought better to start off at the beginning of the English alphabet rather than at the end like Phelps, but after the first letter, he abandoned the effort. Finally, Joseph, learning from the Phelps and Cowdery, and didn't bother with the English alphabet at all, but went straight to the sounds and explanations.

In short, the presence of the three English alphabetic letters in EA WWP, and only one and a different alphabetic letter in EA OC, and no alphabetic letters in EA JS, and this early in the EA production process, is striking evidence to me against a simultaneous dictation, and for some level of independent work lead by Phelps.

-continued-

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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11. One noticeable difference between WWP and the other two EA's is that the second page of the WWP is written in portrait page format (where the width of the page is shorter than the height) like the first page, whereas EA JS and EA OC were written in landscape page format (where the width of the page is longer than the height), the opposite from their first pages. What I induce for this difference is that it became clear when the second page of WWP was written, that the text for the various explanations didn't fit all that well the allotted single lines per character, and so the decision was made to switch to landscape format for the other EA's so as to better accommodate the text. If so, then WWP page 2 was written prior to the same page in EA JS and EA OC.

Let's look now at the sounds to see what they may suggest contrary to the claim of simultaneous dictations as well as in supportive of the WWP priority. In addition to what Will has pointed out in the past regarding the spelling of sounds in the GAEL being far more consistent with the WWP than the other EA's, thereby evincing dependency of the GAEL on the WWP, there are these points to consider:

12. EA WWP has more sounds than the other EA's.(EA JS is missing the critical "Za Ki..' sound and explanation, and EA OC is missing the critical "Kolob" and "Iota nitah veh aqua" and "Ah brah oam" sounds and explanation).

13. In EA WWP, the 16th character is given the sound "Oan", and later there was added "or ahe". This complete sound was then copied later to the other EA's.

14. The 19th character in EA WWP was given the sound "Zub-Zool-oan-eh" and was later copied to the other EA absent the "oan".

-continued-

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by wenglund

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15. The 53rd character in EA WWP was given the sound "Jah-ho ni oop" this was later copied to EA JS in the abbreviated form "Jah-ho-e-oop" and in the OC as "Jah-ni-hah", and finally the "ho" in EA WWP was struck through.

16, The 65th character in the WWP was initially given the sound "Noh nit tish." This was later struck through and replaced with "Flo-ees." This revised sound was later copied to the other EA's.

17. The sounds for characters 5 & 6 ("Ho-oop-hah" and "Zi") were initially only missing in EA JS, though later inserted. This is evidently a coping and not a dictation error.

So, of the 69 characters given sounds in the EA's, at least 6 of them give strong indication that the EA's were not simultaneously dictated, and most of them give indication that Phelps was the lead.

Granted, there are some sounds that certain critics have pointed to and believe are phonetically similar enough to be indicative of dictation (like "oan" compared with "one", or "Alkibeth" compared with "Alchibeth"). However, the "dictation" in these isolated cases may have consisted of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery copying the sounds via Phelps reading to them from what he had already written on his EA, rather than them copying the sounds from Phelps by sight.

-continued-

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Now let's look at the explanations to see what they may indicate in terms of copy/dictation and WWP priority:

18. For character 5 ("Ho-oop-hah") EA WWP gives the following explanation: "Crown of a princes, or signifies Queen." The other EA's give a more elaborate explanation For example, EA JS says, "Crown of a princys or queen or stands for queen"). The expanded explanations militate against dictation and suggest that EA WWP was written prior to the other EA's and that the other EA's may have been dependent upon EA WWP.

19. For character 8 ("Zi-oop-hah"), EA WWP says, "An unmarried woman, & a virgin, a princess." This is later amended by striking through the last comma and "a", and then copied in amended form into the other EA's.

20. For character 14 ("Iota tou-es Zip Zi"), EA WWP give the explanation: "Egypt. The land first seen, by a woman, under water," whereas EA JS writes, "the land of Egypt first seen under water," and EA OC says, " The land of Egypt first discovered under water by a woman.." Clearly, not a dictation.

21. The 17th character ("Ho-e-oop hah-pha-e") in EA WWP is given the explanation, " Riegn, government, power right, kingdom," whereas in EA JS it says, "government power or Kingdom," and EA OC writes , "Reign, government, power, kingdom, or dominion." Again, clearly not a dictation.

22. The explanation for character 23 ("Zool") in EA WWP initially read, "From a fixed period of time back to the beginning." The word "a" was later amended with "any", and this amendment explanation was copied into the other EA's.

23. Character 25 ("Aleph") in EA WWP shows the explanation, " In the begining with God the Son or first born," where as EA OC reads, " in the beginning with God, the Saviior."

24. The explanation for character 27 ("Alkabeth") in EA WWP states, " Angels in an unattainable state, men after they are raise from the dead," whereas EA JS says, " Angels in an unattainable immortal state," and EA OC reads, "Angels in an unattainable in new state - sanctified or men after they are raised from the dead."

-continued-

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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25. Character 35 ("Ba-eth Ki") is given the following diverse explanations: EA WWP: " The third ordained under Adam," EA JS: " he third patriarch," and EA OC: " The ____ third ordained king under Adam, third patriarch."

26. For character 38 ("Beth"), here are the different explanations: EA WWP: " Man's first residence, a fruitful garden a great valley," EA JS: " man's first resident fruitful garden a great valy a place of happiness 1 times," and EA OC: " Man's first resident in a fruitful garden, a great valley or plain filled with fruit trees and flowers good to___ taste, pleasiing to the eye and sweet & precious to the smell, a place of happiness." Clearly not a simultaneous dictation.

27. For character 39 ("Beth Ka"), here are the explanations: EA WWP: "Another place of Residence 5 times as great more spacious, larger the the first," EA JS: " another place of residence or a more fruitful garden an a more fruitful garden a larger place of hapiness greater hapiness 5 times," EA OC: "A garden, valley or plain, larger more spacious, more pleasing, more beautiful - place of more complete happiness, peace & rest for man."

28. The explanations for character 40 ("Beth Kee") are: EA WWP: "The third place of residence 5 times as great as the last still greater &c," EA JS: " the third place 5 times Bethcha," and EA OC: "A third garden, or place of residence still more spacious, beautiful and pleasing - increasing in greatness five degrees or being five times as large as Beth-Ka."

-continued-

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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29. The explanations for character 44 ("Beth Ku-Ain tri-ette") are: EA WWP: " The whole earth, pure, with all glory _____," EA JS: " the whole Earth or the largest place the greatest enjoyment on Earth garden of the Earth," and EA OC: " The whole earth, or the largest place, the greatest enjoyment on earth - man's residence in the garden of the earth."

30. The explanations for character 45 ("E beth-ku-ain tri-ette") are: EA WWP: " All the heavenly bodies - Eternity," EA JS: "Eternity," and EA OC: " The heavenly bodies, the worlds of light and glory, the heaven, heavens, and heaven of heavens - eternity." Again, definitely not a simultaneous dictations.

31. The diverse explanations for character 46 ("E beth Ka") are: EA WWP: " The heaven of heavens, <wher God resides> the greatest place of happiness," EA JS: " the greatest place of hapiness where God resides the Celestial kingdom," and EA OC: " The greatests place of happiness, where God resides - The celestial kingdom."

So, of the 39 characters given explanations in the EA's, 16 of them (including ones addressed earlier in the thread), scattered throughout the EA's, from beginning to end, contain moderate to clear evidence that the EA's weren't simultaneously dictated, and that EA JS and EA OC were dependent upon EA WWP.

Could EA WWP have been dictated and the other EA's copied from EA WWP? I suppose that is possible. However, given what was mentioned earlier (arguments 4a and 4b1-2), it seems unlikely. Rather, it appears that Phelps may have spearheaded the venture, which venture may have consisted of some academic sharing back and forth between the several participants.

We know that the GAEL wasn't simultaneously dictated since there was only one copy, and this in the handwriting of Phelps, and some later on in the handwriting of Warren Parrish. Was it dictated, nevertheless? Again, it is uncertain, but from preliminary indications gathered during my research, it doesn't seem likely.

How about the Abraham manuscripts? Were they simultaneously dictated? Clearly, of the manuscripts produced in late 1835 or early 1836, there is only one containing Abr. 1:1-3, and this only in the handwriting of Phelps. So, at least that portion of the Abr. Mss. wasn't simultaneously dictated.

And, since two out of the three 1835 Mss., with content from Abr. 1:4 - Abr. 2:2, are in the handwriting of Warren Parrish, at least one of them evidently wasn't part of a simultaneous dictation (it seems impractical for one person to take simultaneous dictation on two different manuscripts).

This leaves open the question whether the Fredrick Williams manuscript and one of the Warren Parrish manuscripts were simultaneously dictated, and if so, were they dictated or copied from an earlier Parrish manuscript, or copied from another non-extant manuscript. And, since Dan McClellan is far more educated and experienced at textual critical analysis than I, and since he is already exploring this territory, I will leave answering this question to him. (see the thread at: HERE)

-more to come later-

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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I probably should have mentioned earlier why I believe evidence against a simultaneous dictation is relevant to the proposition of a Phelps lead, so I will do so now.

It is my position that if there wasn't a simultaneous dictation, then it was likely that throughout the KEP project there may not have been much if any single dictation, but instead the project appears to have been at times both an individual and collaborative effort. And, since there may not have been much if any dictation, then the fact that Phelps and Cowdery were Joseph's scribes, is no longer all that relevant. In short, it removes the necessity of Joseph taking the lead, thus leaving open the prospect that others may have taken charge or facilitated.

32. In light of this, it may be of interest to note that during the 1835 period, several key KEP documents were only in the handwriting of Phelps (the Counting Document, the GAEL, and Abr. MSS--Abr.1:1-3). And, while the two KEP notebooks were respectively in the handwriting of Phelps and Cowdery, only the Phelps notebook contained a breakout of characters matched with portions of the translation. Since these documents only contain explicit evidence of Phelps' involvement, this suggests to me that he may have worked somewhat alone and/or took the lead in producing those documents.

-continued-

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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33. Around March of 1832, Joseph was in a meeting where he asked questions about the meaning of five Adamic words, and then provided the answers. This Q&A was recorded on a sheet tilted, "Sample of pure Language." (see HERE)

As Will has pointed out, a little over three years later, towards the end of May, 1835, Phelps sent a letter from Kirtland, where he resided with Joseph, to his wife in Missouri, which contained what Phelps called "A Specimen & some of the 'pure language'" (note that the Specimen is distinguished from the 'pure language")

As Will also explained, this Specimen, while containing some variations of the content of the "Sample..." (see below), Phelps had constructed a table with four columns containing respectively: characters, sounds, names, and explanations. The characters and sounds were not a part of the "Sample" from three years earlier, nor was the table format.

These weren't the only differences. In the "Sample," the first question asked was, "What is the name of God in pure Language?," and the answer given was, "Awmen." In the "Specimen," Phelps spelled the name of God as, "Ahman." This change of spelling, particularly the "Ah" rather than "Aw", may factor in later in the production of the EA.

The next question in the "Sample" was, "The meaning of the pure word A[w]men." The answer Joseph gave was, "It is the being which made all things in all its parts." This answer doesn't appear in the "Specimen," which may explain why Phelps indicated that along with his "Specimen" there were "some of the pure language."

-continued-

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by wenglund

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Next in the "Sample" Joseph asked the question, "What is the name of the Son of God?." and gave the answer, "The Son Awmen." This was followed by, "What is the Son Awmen?," and answered with, "It is the greatest of all the parts of Awmen which is the Godhead the first born." Note again the different spelling (Phelps spelled it "son ahman") and that this last answer is not found in Phelps' "Speciment"

Joseph then asked, "What is man?," and then responded, "This signifies Sons Awmen. the human family the children of men the greatest parts of Awmen Sons the Son Awmen." Whereas, in the "Specimen," Phelps gives the name "sons ahmen" and the explanation, "sons of God and Son."

Finally, in the "Sample," Joseph asked, "What are Angels called in pure language?," and he answered, "Awmen Angls-men." He went on to ask, "What are the meaning of these words," and answered with, "Awmen’s Ministerring servants Sanctified who are sent forth from heaven to minister for or to Sons Awmen the greatest part of Awmen Son. Sons Awmen Son Awmen, Awmen."

Compare this with what Phelps wrote in the "Specimen," "anglo - angels"

The Phelps "Specimen" lists another entry not found in the "Sample." That being: "Ohah - the Earth."

-continued-

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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What is to be made of all these differences between Joseph's "Sample" and Phelps' "Specimen"?

It seems to me, and as Will intimated, Phelps selectively borrowed "some of the pure language," and culled or created his own characters and sounds, put them in a different format (one that lent itself better to a lexical functionality), and added an entire entry of his own. The "Specimen" appears to be the initial phase of a project that Phelps spearheaded and began a month or so before the papyri arrived in Kirtland and work commenced on the EA's. To use Will's words, the "Specimen" provides an example (one of many to come) where Phelps produced documents that were dependent upon a preexisting text of revelations received by Joseph. This may be further underscored as I present Will's evidence comparing the "Specimen" with EA WWP.

-continued-

Now I must go eat some turkey dinner.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by wenglund

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This may be further underscored as I present Will's evidence comparing the "Specimen" with EA WWP.

-continued-

I will let Will speak for himself, as he posted, in part, HERE:

...In this May 1835 'specimen of the pure language,' as with the EA/GAEL, Phelps uses as 'explanations' text from Joseph Smith's previously received revelations. In the May 1835 letter to his wife, Phelps introduces this 'template' that contains characters in the left-most column, sounds, and explanations for the character. Phelps drew upon Joseph Smith's statements from an 1832 Question and Answer session recorded here: Pure Language 1832.

But...the 1832 document bears no resemblance to the Phelps's May 1835 table included in the letter to his wife. That table introduces the use of characters to represent sentences of meaning; characters that are then used again in the July 1835 Egyptian Alphabet document, but with different sounds and meaning assigned to them, as can be seen here:

Phelps-Letter-Comparison.jpg

...The May 1835 Phelps letter to his wife is the first instance we see of these tables with characters, sounds, and explanations.

Therefore, given that in regards to Phelps' "Specimen," there is no evidence that anyone other than Phelps made the decisions to create a lexical table format, or anyone else who drew up the six characters and sounds, and produced the name and explanation for the final entry, and decided upon which of "some of the pure language" to use in creating the other names and explanations; and given that the same lexical table format and characters were later used to produce Phelps' EA, and then even later when Phelps produced the GAEL; then one may reasonably induce from all this evidence that Phelps may have provided the impetus for the EA/GAEL project, and may also have taken the lead in that project.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by wenglund

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34. I have in my possession a document that Will put together in which he compared the spelling variants of 22 sounds found in EA WWP, EA JS, and the GAEL. I don't recall where I got the document, and so rather than posting it here myself, I will wait to see if Will posts it or gives me permission to do so, or whether he prefers to wait until he publishes his findings before disclosing the information. Suffice it to say that the comparison evinced to me that Phelps was at least responsible for deciding which variant EA spellings would be used in the GAEL, which in turn suggests that he took something of a lead in the EA/GAEL project.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Wade, the character in Phelps's EA has been secondarily emended. It appears to have originally matched Joseph Smith's. If the notebook matches any of the three EAs, it's Cowdery's, not Phelps's.

But honestly, wouldn't we expect the primary EA document to be the one that reflects the most uncertainty? How can you say Phelps's character was "copied" into EAJS when that clearly isn't the case? If anything, EAJS seems to reflect first-stage thinking, Phelps's second-stage thinking, and Cowdery's third-stage thinking.

Precisely. And this was discussed on this forum a couple of years ago. I remember Brent asking William Schryver to explain why Phelps' EA contained two columns of the same sequence of characters. After pretending to know, but refusing to answer, you finally answered the question and correctly pointed out that the characters in the right hand column were in Joseph Smith's handwriting - on Phelps' EA document. This clearly suggests that Phelps was relying on Smith, not vice-versa.

adamic-characters_wwp.jpg

But as has been explained in numerous threads already, wade simply doesn't understand these documents enough nor does he pay much attention to what he has been told by the "critics." He is taking bits and pieces of anything Schryver says, accepts it as law, and repackages as if this is stuff he is coming up with on his own. The entire argument about Phelps being the first to use a table is nonsense (another Schryverism wade adopts uncritically). This says nothing about where the characters originated. Nothing.

But even though wade was present during these past exchanges, nothing seems to stick with him accept the contents of Schryver's posts. I remember about a year ago he presented this same Schryverism about the Phelps letter on the other forum and when I posted an image of the 1832 revelation provided by Joseph Smith, he had never seen it before and apparently knew nothing about it. But this had already been discussed in the thread linked above. A discussion in which wade participated, but it didn't stick with him because it was a critic who presented the information. This is why it is so frustrating trying to have a discussion about any of this stuff with wade or William. Whatever we say, it doesn't matter because it goes in one ear and then out the other. After enough time has passed and their refutation has blown over, they repeat the cycle again as if none of this had ever been dealt with before. Likewise, they continue to conceal information that undermines their intended usage of the document. For example, they tell you Phelps wrote a letter sharing a sample of the pure language, but they refuse to tell you that Phelps was living with Joseph Smith at the time and that he told his wife he would share with her things that had been revealed, indicating that what he was sharing came from the Prophet, not from Phelps' conventional education in languages.

Incidentally, I've just been informed by George Miller that he is working on a publication that will demonstrate quite conclusively that Phelps relied on Joseph Smith, and not vice-versa. His research in the area of masonry and the influence it played in Joseph Smith's usage of these symbols, is pure genius. For Schryver or Wade to insist it was the anti-Mason, W.W. Phelps, who believed Adam used a Masonic code, is nothing short of ridiculous. But I agree with Hamblin on one point: I hope they do publish on this. As Metcalfe said in the thread linked above, William's inane comments on this subject will come back to haunt him upon publication.

Edited by Xander

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Kevin has one of those inventive minds where he can pick a couple of reasonably debatable nits, side with the opposing view, believe that in so doing it settles the issue, and then goes on to draw the conclusion that my 34 arguments have somehow been negated and that I have been proven not to understand the documents I have been working with. LOL

It is the same kind of mind that can level accusations like, "they refuse to tell you that Phelps was living with Joseph Smith at the time...", when anyone with at least a 4th grade reading comprehension, and who has actually read my comments on the previous page, will know that I clearly said, "towards the end of May, 1835, Phelps sent a letter from Kirtland, where he resided with Joseph, [bolded for Kevin's benefit] to his wife in Missouri," And, yet, I am the one who doesn't understand what I am reading. :crazy:

He also blithely insinuated that I haven't come up with ideas of my own, and this in the process of him quoting almost exclusively what other critics have said.

It is the same mind that accuses me of taking the ideas from others and trying to pan them off as my own, when I took great pains to give attribution. Yet, I recall having read through a thread a year or so ago in which Kevin painstakingly pointed out a number of similarities that presumably he had allegedly found between the Book of Genesis and several of the chapters of the Book of Abraham (I don't recall him giving any attributions). Imagine my surprise this summer when I finally purchased Michael Marquardt's book on the Egyptian Papers, written in 1981, and found much, if not all, of the same material.

Who can doubt that with Kevin we are in the blessed presence of the zenith of KEP scholarship?

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Incidentally, I've just been informed by George Miller that he is working on a publication that will demonstrate quite conclusively that Phelps relied on Joseph Smith, and not vice-versa. His research in the area of masonry and the influence it played in Joseph Smith's usage of these symbols, is pure genius. For Schryver or Wade to insist it was the anti-Mason, W.W. Phelps, who believed Adam used a Masonic code, is nothing short of ridiculous. But I agree with Hamblin on one point: I hope they do publish on this. As Metcalfe said in the thread linked above, William's inane comments on this subject will come back to haunt him upon publication.

Perhaps it would be best to wait until "Miller" actually publishes something that can be critiqued before declaring the debate is over and you've won. Just a suggestion.

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Perhaps it would be best to wait until "Miller" actually publishes something that can be critiqued before declaring the debate is over and you've won. Just a suggestion.

You don't understand, Bill. As the supreme judge of all things KEP, once Kevin has deemed a notion as valid, even if it has yet to be published and critiqued, the debate is over, and it is absurd for you or I or anyone else to think otherwise.

Besides, you just inadvertently put out the welcome mat for Kevin to dredge up some ancient history in which he believe we apologist are guilty in spades of what you foolishly imply is his guilt.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by wenglund

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Precisely. And this was discussed on this forum a couple of years ago. I remember Brent asking William Schryver to explain why Phelps' EA contained two columns of the same sequence of characters. After pretending to know, but refusing to answer, you finally answered the question and correctly pointed out that the characters in the right hand column were in Joseph Smith's handwriting - on Phelps' EA document. This clearly suggests that Phelps was relying on Smith, not vice-versa.

adamic-characters_wwp.jpg

Please feel free to demonstrate why you believe these characters are in Joseph Smith's handwriting. There is no evidence that these characters are in Joseph Smith's handwriting.

If you believe there is, please feel free to explain it to us. I'm convinced that, in the first place, you don't understand the argument. Secondly, I know you don't have the evidence to support the argument.

Surprise me by showing that you do understand the argument, and then perform a miracle by demonstrating the evidence to support it.

In the words of Brent Metcalfe on the thread you linked:

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!

Metcalfe doesn't know what he's talking about. He didn't know what he was talking about in the thread you linked, but I wasn't about to enlighten him at that time. And now you, since you're following his lead, don't know what you're talking about. Indeed, the text-critical data concerning these characters is one small part of the case I will make demonstrating that Phelps appears to be the dominant force in the production of the EA/GAEL.

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