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Xander

The Gael/Papyri Relationship

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Again, you simply don't know what you're talking about.

Ki Ah broam Kiah brah-oam zub zool oan

Is clearly "explained" in detail in the Grammar, on page 11.

If "George's" statement, to which I was responding, was about the GAEL, then you may have a point (actually, I am being charitable here because the composite character you mentioned, while dissected, isn't explained in the GAEL, though several of its dissected parts are explained). It wasn't. Rather, it was specifically about EA JS. Since it was specific to EA JS, then I was right and knew what I was talking about, and you, yet again....

Just a kindly word of advice. If you are going to attempt deflection using verbal slights of hand (i.e. taking "George's" and my exchange about EA JS and magically morphing it into your own uniformed statement about GAELs, and then claiming that I am the one who doesn't understand), it would probably be best if you did so in a venue where the words aren't recorded and/or where the readers may not know any better and are inclined to accept as gospel anything you say. It won't work here where people actually do understand and know what they are talking about and have the documentation to show you are obviously incorrect and clueless. Doing so will help you save what little credibility you may have among the critically minded.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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I just provided it, with page number.

But apparently, page eleven in your book was sprayed with wade repellent. You could try opening it with a ten foot pole and use binoculars to verify what I'm saying. I promise you the character is explained on that page.

What is it about the specific reference to EA JS that you don't understand? Are you seriously thinking that EA JS is the same thing as Phelp's GAEL?

Besides, as previously intimated, your promise is broken. The composite character isn't explained. It is dissected. Only some of its component parts are explained as parts, and not as a whole.

Perhaps you should take that ten foot poll and binoculars and go in search of a clue. You keep unwittingly embarrassing yourself with your blatantly obvious and mistaken deflections.

I am still waiting for the titles to the books and article specifically about the KEP to go with you list of LDS authors.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by wenglund

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What is it about the specific reference to EA JS that you don't understand? Are you seriously thinking that EA JS is the same thing as Phelp's GAEL?

No. Stop being obtuse.

Besides, as previously intimated, your promise is broken. The composite character isn't explained. It is dissected. Only some of its component parts are explained as parts, and not as a whole.

You're mincing words here in order to find some way to be technically correct over a minor point while ignoring the more important point. George is the guy you said you were "correcting" and I proved you did no such thing because you simply didn't understand what he said. This is a common theme in exchanges with you. But the fact - and it is sad you do not know this - is that the "composite" character (as you now shift the goals posts yet again) is explained in the GAEL in the broken up graphemes, but then fully "explained" on page 154 in Abraham manuscript 2 of the KEP, which proves the Grammar explained it after all, and more importantly this still flies in the face of William's ridiculous claim that none of the explained characters from the papyri appear on the manuscripts the critics claim were dictated. If you had read Chris Smith's paper or understood Marquardt's book, you would have known all of this. Here is the page again:

mashy.jpg

Perhaps you should take that ten foot poll and binaculars and go in search of a clue. You keep unwittingly embarrassing yourself with you blatantly obvious and mistaken deflections.

Yes wade, I'm sure I'm just embarrassing myself here by continually educating you on things you clearly know nothing about. I'm sure hundreds of people signed up to follow the thread just to see how many times I would "deflect" from your stellar arguments. I'm sure William is right about that. As he said, no one reads this thread until one of you post something. That's why page views have more than doubled in your absence over the past 24 hours (from 6k to over 17k), but stagnated throughout the week during your one-man posting marathon (under 600). It makes perfect sense wade. I'm just embarrassing myself and I'm doing so "unwittingly"!

I am still waiting for the titles to the books and article specifically about the KEP to go with you list of LDS authors.

I already provided all that there is, which isn't much. You guys want to complain that we do not present more, non-existent LDS scholarship on the KEP? Do you not see how absurd this is? I asked Bill to produce his preferred list but he chooses not to for obvious reasons. There isn't much to cite from faithful LDS scholars, but whose fault is that? You're going to blame the critics for studying and publishing on a subject the apologists refused to address for decades? Of course there are more non-LDS scholars talking about this stuff. You guys have only recently been granted access to these documents, whereas some non-LDS scholars have had them for decades. In 2001 John Gee didn't even get access to them, but still decided to post manipulated photos to support his embarrassingly misleading two ink theory.

But George and I have already provided two examples from Gee and Rhodes, which proves you had no idea what they argued. What they said pertained to the arguments you were trying to make at the time, which is why George raised the point that you're not very well read on this subject. Had you read them, you never would have been making these ridiculous claims. I mean for crying out loud wade, you asked me if any of the papyri contained red ink or female figures!!!!

You're simply too far behind on this subject, trying to pass off outdated and failed FARMS arguments as valid, proving the converse of what Bill tried to imply; because you refuse to read scholarship produced by non-LDS scholars. The sad fact is that LDS authors generally don't want to touch this subject because of the obvious potential it has for damaging faith. Hauglid has informed me that he plans to publish a complete edition of the GAEL, with larger color photos than what appeared in his first volume. But he also informed me that it is not going to be apologetic.

Putting a faith promoting spin on this project is virtually impossible, so they're simply not up to the task because apologetics, not scholarship, is their primary purpose. Incidentally, several of the non-LDS authors I mentioned were once LDS, some of them were even working for the Church, like Ed Ashment who was director of the Church's Translation Dept.

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Everyone has been doing a good job of holding it together despite differences and annoyances. Don't ruin a good thing by becoming testy even if it is justified. Stick to the topic instead of how the other guy's brain functions.

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This discussion is a classic example of why I don’t waste my time arguing with Kevin. Let’s see what happened here.

1- The topic of the thread is the GAEL/Papyri relationship.

2- In post #49 George Miller berated Wade for not being up to date on the GAEL scholarship. In post #51 Will asked George to provide a list of the bibliography of peer-reviewed published scholarship on the GAEL which George thinks should have been read by Wade. In post #57 I seconded the request. This CFR has remained unanswered by George.

3- In post #61 Kevin/Xander provided a list of 16 general studies on the Book of Abraham. None of these is expressly about the GAEL or even the KEP, although a few mention GAEL, and a couple of others engage a few issues related to the GAEL.

4- In #64 I noted that Xander’s list was strongly biased towards anti-Mormon and non-Mormon articles on the Book of Abraham. I noted, “For anti-Mormons scholarship is only what non-Mormons do.” Kevin agrees with me about this is #65.

Unfortunately for you, that's all we've seen from the latest wave of LDS publications on the Book of Abraham (excluding Hauglid's wonderful book). They are not attempts to critically analyze the documents or explain them on their own terms. No; they are attempts to diffuse the scholarly conclusions that have been previously made by those evil "anti-Mormons." Conclusions which conflict with a faith-promoting agenda.

5- Kevin proceeds to rant about me and the supposed lack of LDS scholarship on the subject. He goes on and on and on. But, of course, that was precisely my point. Nobody has published very much about the GAEL at all. We don’t have a critical edition of the GAEL (Hauglid is doing one, but I don't know when it will be done). Clear high-res photos are not available. That’s precisely the point I was making as to why George Miller’s criticism of Wade was absurd. How can Wade be criticized for not having read all the scholarship on the GAEL when there is almost no peer-reviewed published scholarship on the GAEL. This fact was noted by Will in #67.

6- Kevin has been challenging me to provided a bibliography of LDS publications on the KEP/GAEL. Somehow this is supposed to be an indictment of me. The fact of the matter is, I didn’t claim there was very much if any scholarship on the GAEL from either side. Kevin certainly hasn't provided any. My point, and my only point, is that there AREN’T many such publications, if any. Thus, George’s criticism of Wade’s supposed failure to read this scholarship is not only unjustified, but silly.

7- Let’s look at the items Kevin listed:

Marquardt’s (2012) article fits the bill, hasn’t been published, so Wade can hardly be condemned for not having read it.

Peterson = not on GAEL

Ritner = not on GAEL

Rhodes = not on GAEL

Thompson = brief reference to GAEL

Bell = not about GAEL

Larson = brief reference to GAEL?

Marquardt 1999 = not about GAEL

Jesse = not about GAEL

Baer = not about GAEL

Zucker = not about GAEL

Wright = not about GAEL

Ashment (1979) = brief reference to GAEL

Ashment 2 dicusses a couple of characters from the GAEL

Ashment 3 = not about GAEL

8- Then Schryver in #67 mentions Chris Smith's 2009 JWHA--which neither Kevin nor George provided--which in fact does deal with the GAEL. You’ve also got Marquardt and the Tanners reprint of the JS Egyptian Papers, but these are little more than bad copies of the microfilm, and are self-published and certainly not peer-reviewed.

9- After that Kevin continues to rant about all sorts of irrelevant things for a couple of posts.

I’m sorry, but this is a bunch of nonsense. I made one point--there’s not much published on the GAEL/KEP, which, despite the fact that he agrees with me, launched Kevin into a whole sequence of tangential tirades. My policy of ignoring Kevin is a good one, to which I will return immediately. It is simply impossible to have a coherent discussion with him.

Edited by Bill Hamblin

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George: There is a red car parked in Joe's garage.

Wade: Correction, the car in Joe's garage isn't red.

Kevin: Wade, you don't understand, Read this more carefully particularly the underlined words: "There is a red car parked in Joe's garage.

Wade: Kevin, look closely at the word marked in red: "There is a red car parked in Joe's garage." Now, after you let that word sink in, go over to Joe's garage and see if you can find the red car parked there. After looking for hours and not finding it, then hopefully you will realize that I was right and you and George were wrong.

Kevin: Wade, again you don't understand. Look over in Phelps' garage, and you will see a red car, I promise you.

Wade: Kevin, for one, George and I weren't talking about Phelps' garage. We were talking specifically about Joe's garage. For another, there isn't a red car parked in Phelps' garage. There are disassembled pieces of a car that are red. So, not only am I right about what I said about the red car in Joe's garage, but you are wrong about Joe's garage and Phelps' garage. Please, for your own sake, stop pretending that you are fooling anyone with the verbal slights of hand.

Kevin: You really don't know what you are talking about, Wade. Parked in the street at Phelps' office is a red car. And besides, I have had pictures of all the cars for a long time, and you just recently got access to them, and so I am way ahead of you on this and I am drawing a lot of attention to this conversation because people think I know what I am talking about, and you are boring and don't have a clue, and [insert, for the purposes of further distraction, any old irrelevant and meaningless issue from the distant past involving people not engaged in the current discussion]. There, I sure told you, and once again I wiped the floor with the apologists.

Wade; [scratches head, wonder just how deep Kevin will continue to unwittingly dig the hole for himself, and wondering with amusement if Kevin realizes that Wade has been arguing for awhile that a red car was parked in front of Phelps' garage, and not "translated" there.

LOL

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by wenglund

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In post #49 George Miller berated Wade for not being up to date on the GAEL scholarship. In post #51 Will asked George to provide a list of the bibliography of peer-reviewed published scholarship on the GAEL which George thinks should have been read by Wade. In post #57 I seconded the request. This CFR has remained unanswered by George.....But, of course, that was precisely my point. Nobody has published very much about the GAEL at all. We don’t have a critical edition of the GAEL (Hauglid is doing one, but I don't know when it will be done). Clear high-res photos are not available. That’s precisely the point I was making as to why George Miller’s criticism of Wade was absurd. How can Wade be criticized for not having read all the scholarship on the GAEL when there is almost no peer-reviewed published scholarship on the GAEL. This fact was noted by Will in #67....My point, and my only point, is that there AREN’T many such publications, if any. Thus, George’s criticism of Wade’s supposed failure to read this scholarship is not only unjustified, but silly....Then Schryver in #67 mentions Chris Smith's 2009 JWHA--which neither Kevin nor George provided--which in fact does deal with the GAEL....

What makes Chris's article so noteworthy at this point in the discussion is that on the 4th page of his article he talks about the five parts of the EA's, and gives his opinion about where generally the characters for each respective part may have originated, His expressed opinion virtually matches what I have argued here, including in regard to some "astronomy-related" characters in Part 2--something George didn't know about.

In other words, after "George" berated me for supposedly not being familiar enough with current scholarship, and suggested that my alleged ignorance of current scholarship was evident in what I had argued, it turns out that the one scholarly article that any of us can point to that is specific to the topic of this thread, not only matched most closely what I argued here, but it contained information of which I was aware, though "George" was not. I find that quite funny.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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What makes Chris's article so noteworthy at this point in the discussion is that on the 4th page of his article he talks about the five parts of the EA's, and gives his opinion about where generally the characters for each respective part may have originated, His expressed opinion virtually matches what I have argued here, including in regard to some "astronomy-related" characters in Part 2--something George didn't know about.

In other words, after "George" berated me for supposedly not being familiar enough with current scholarship, and suggested that my alleged ignorance of current scholarship was evident in what I had argued, it turns out that the one scholarly article that any of us can point to that is specific to the topic of this thread, not only matched most closely what I argued here, but it contained information of which I was aware, though "George" was not. I find that quite funny.

No Wade, I was well aware of this as Chris and I have discussed the matter backchannel. What I objected to was your mischaracterization of the number, as has been noted earlier in the thread. In fact, I find it quite telling since a subset of the three astrological symbols are actually found in a book to which the Smiths were known to have studied extensively. Additionally, these texts, along with others, would have led Joseph Smith to think that these symbols originated with the Egyptians.

Edited by George Miller

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George: There is a red car parked in Joe's garage.

Except I never stated it was in Joe's garage. I stated that they were explained. I never said nor thought that the two explained hieroglyphs found in EA Part 3 received explanations in the EAs. I stated that they were explained; and they are explained elsewhere. As both Kevin and I have explained these ARE explained in the GAEL and AB1. If Wade would like to show where I said that the two hieroglyphs were explained in the EAs, then perhaps this little quibble has some merit, but personally, I think it is a distraction.

Since I am the one that wrote the content of my post, perhaps one should ask me about what I meant. Writing that section of the post provided various difficulties. I could not claim that all of the hieroglyphs were unexplained, since in a general sense the term explained could denote a provided pronunciation. Additionally, I knew that there were explanations for these characters in the GAEL and Abraham manuscripts. As such I gave the best and most simple description as I could while being accurate. I understand why it was possible that Wade interpreted what I said as he did; but in respectful dialogue when people find that someone has said something they think is wrong, they should then look more carefully at the text and determine if there is any other interpretation that would make sense of what was said. Alternately, they should kindly ask for clarification. While I can not speak for the moderators, I believe this type of respectful dialogue is what they would like on this forum.

Edited by George Miller

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Note that my discussion with Wade on the need to read the published literature very carefully (from Mormons and non-Mormons alike) was made in a wider context of personal conversations between us. As such I was referring to the literature addressing the Book of Abraham generally, as well as the literature addressing both the EAs and the GAEL in particular. Will immediately jumped into the fray defining the conversation as ONLY about the EA and GAEL. Will is correct that these documents have not been adequately treated in the literature, and I look forward to him and others publishing on the subject in rigorously peer reviewed publication(s).

I would like to add to the list of references the following:

Samuel Brown. "Joseph (Smith) in Egypt: Babel, Hieroglyphs, and the Pure Language of Eden." Church History 78(1) (2009)

Samuel Brown, “The Early Mormon Chain of Belonging,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 44, no 1 (Spring 2011): 1-52

Samuel Brown, "In Heaven as It Is on Earth: Joseph Smith and the Early Mormon Conquest of Death" Oxford University Press (2011)

Each of these works by Brown address the contents of the EA and GAEL and they are excellent and erudite peer reviewed publications which all involved should read. Thank you Will for pointing out that the literature on the EA and GAEL is still thin, but please do not erroneously imply that I was being deceptive, as I do think that a careful reading of the larger literature on the Book of Abraham project would aid all involved. Let me point out that while the discussion has been about the EA and GAEL, it has also heavily revolved around the contents of the Hor Book of Breathings and the hieroglyphs in the columns surrounding vignette 1 and the hieratic text in column 1.

The topic at hand most definitely was not confined to the EA and GAEL alone. After all the title of the thread is "The Gael/Papyri Relationship" and as such a working knowledge of the content of the papyri both in Joseph Smith's day as well as in the extant papyri today is helpful. Note that this was the topic at hand, since Wade was insisting that Kevin only identified a small number of matching characters (something that a perusal of what Kevin wrote clearly shows that Wade was misrepresenting what Kevin said), and that many of the characters did not match, when in fact the the research of both Rhodes and others (including Kevin) argues strongly in favor of all of the characters in Part 3-5 coming directly from the papyri. Additionally, Wade also suggests that the first two characters in the first row of column one were "made up" instead of being originally on the papyri, a stance that the extant literature cited by Kevin clearly refutes. Finally, Wade suggests that there might be a column to the far right of the papyrus, but reading the literature written by Egyptologists on both sides of the streets would strongly dissuade him from this position.

Kevin provided a fantastic bibliography and I appreciate him putting this together. Since Dr. Hamblin finds fault with Kevin's list, I am sure he will be so kind as to add to the bibliography. Dr. Hamblin thanks for making the same point that Will made. However, since a perusal of the thread clearly shows that the discussion was not only about the EA and GAEL, but also extensively about the hieroglyphs on the Hor Book of Breathings, something which many of the references provided by Kevin address, I think a request that Wade familiarize himself with the literature on that is not beyond reason.

With the references I provided above in combination with the references provided by Kevin, and in light of the wider discussion, I consider the CFR answered. Thank you Will and Dr. Hamblin for asking for a list of good references on the subject. I hope those participating in the discussion and watching from the sidelines will read some of the many referenced papers to gain a wider perspective on the larger academic discussion about the subject.

Edited by George Miller

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I would like to add to the list of references the following:

Samuel Brown. "Joseph (Smith) in Egypt: Babel, Hieroglyphs, and the Pure Language of Eden." Church History 78(1) (2009)

Samuel Brown, “The Early Mormon Chain of Belonging,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 44, no 1 (Spring 2011): 1-52

Samuel Brown, "In Heaven as It Is on Earth: Joseph Smith and the Early Mormon Conquest of Death" Oxford University Press (2011)

I should note that Brown's Babel article seems to be encompassed in chapter 5 of the book, and his Belonging article in chapter 8.

His index says his book discusses the GAEL on 132-139.

A broader point should be made between studies of the GAEL, and studies of something else that mention or reference the GAEL. There are very few of the former.

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Except I never stated it was in Joe's garage. I stated that they were explained. I never said nor thought that the two explained hieroglyphs found in EA Part 3 received explanations in the EAs. I stated that they were explained; and they are explained elsewhere. As both Kevin and I have explained these ARE explained in the GAEL and AB1. If Wade would like to show where I said that the two hieroglyphs were explained in the EAs, then perhaps this little quibble has some merit, but personally, I think it is a distraction.

Since I am the one that wrote the content of my post, perhaps one should ask me about what I meant. Writing that section of the post provided various difficulties. I could not claim that all of the hieroglyphs were unexplained, since in a general sense the term explained could denote a provided pronunciation. Additionally, I knew that there were explanations for these characters in the GAEL and Abraham manuscripts. As such I gave the best and most simple description as I could while being accurate. I understand why it was possible that Wade interpreted what I said as he did; but in respectful dialogue when people find that someone has said something they think is wrong, they should then look more carefully at the text and determine if there is any other interpretation that would make sense of what was said. Alternately, they should kindly ask for clarification. While I can not speak for the moderators, I believe this type of respectful dialogue is what they would like on this forum.

Please keep in mind that I respectfully offered a "slight correction," and for good reason. Here is the text from you to which I was responding:

Figure 4 - Pictured above are the five column of vertical text from the hieroglyphics surrounding the initial vignette. To the left of each column are the Egyptian hieroglyphs as published in Michael D. Rhodes translation. To the right are the hieroglyphs from EAJS taken in order. Only the hieroglyphs given neither a pronunciation or definition are shown, with the exception of the explained hieroglyphs in part 3.

Notice that there was no mention of the GAEL or Abr.1 in your statement, there is only mention of EA JS. This is the immediate context of your statement, and the conspicuous lack of mention of the GAEL or Abr.1 is understandable given the larger context of your statement, which you set forth earlier in your post when you said: "I will focus the bulk of my analysis using the EA in the hand of Joseph Smith."

And, that is exactly what you did. If you look at your Figure 3 you will find that it was about EA JS and not the GAEL or Abr.1.

Also, your introductory statement to Figure 4 says: "The easiest way to understand the relationship between the hieroglyphs in the EA and Hor Book of Breathings is to start from the end and move backwards. The last two hieroglyphs in the EA are the first two hieroglyphs from row 1 of column 1."

Notice once more that you are talking about the EA and not about the GAEL or Abr.1.

Furthermore, your statements came as a part of the much larger context of the dispute between Kevin and I, which likewise was specific to the EA's.

Now, I can accept that in your mind you may have thought that your reference to unexplained characters was in reference to the GAEL and Abr.1. However, your statement contained no mention of it, and given what you actually said and the clear context of your actual statement, it was incorrect, and as such it was completely appropriate for me to respectfully offer the "slight correction."

Had you and Kevin graciously accepted the legitimate correction, that would have been the end of it. But, no, the two of you had to try and turn it back on me, just as you are now trying to do the same. Sorry, but you were wrong, and the respectful thing for you to do is to man up to it and stop trying to project your faults onto me. Graciously accepting respectful "slight corrections" will save the thread from being filled with all sorts of seemingly desperate deflective nonsense.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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No Wade, I was well aware of this as Chris and I have discussed the matter backchannel. What I objected to was your mischaracterization of the number, as has been noted earlier in the thread. In fact, I find it quite telling since a subset of the three astrological symbols are actually found in a book to which the Smiths were known to have studied extensively. Additionally, these texts, along with others, would have led Joseph Smith to think that these symbols originated with the Egyptians.

Did Chris provide you with the link to the discussion between he and I where he posted a graphic delineating the 6 or 8 astronomical characters ? If not, let me post the graphic below:

20l0ynk.jpg

If I recall correctly, Chris posted this in response to my follow-up question regarding what he had said in his JWHA paper about the astronomy characters (which didn't specify a number). I wasn't misrepresenting what Chris has said. Rather, I was correctly informed about what he has posted, whereas you weren't--your back-channel discussions notwithstanding.

Besides, I wasn't just speaking about the astronomy characters, but also about Chris' peer-reviewed delineation of the origins of the EA characters per part, which nearly echoes my own (actually, it is the other way around since I got some of my own ideas from him). The point being, you were berating my stated view as out of touch with current scholarship, when in terms of the one piece of scholarship that directly addresses the issue of the EA/GAEL, it was much closer to my view than yours. You were berating me on a point at which you, ironically, were the one that was actually at fault. Meaning, if you pretentiously portend to remove the supposed mote from the eye of someone else, it would be wise to first remove the beam from your own. And, when you are called on your evident irony (I am being charitable here), it is better to own up to it and move on rather than once again disrespectfully clutter up the thread with continued deflective nonsense.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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"George",

With all due respect, and in the hopes of putting the discussion back on a productive footing, let me kindly offer yet one more possible point of criticism in relation to your hypothesis about the origins of the EA/GAEL characters. In your initial post on this thread, you said, "The easiest way to understand the relationship between the hieroglyphs in the EA and Hor Book of Breathings is to start from the end and move backwards."

While this may make things easier for the reader to understand your hypothesis, it may expose a fundamental flaw in your approach. This "backward" approach may provide a clearer view from an after-the-fact perspective of the documents (hindsight is 20-20), but it may limit the reader and you from accurately viewing things from a before-the-fact perspective of those who actually created the documents. It may limit your/their capacity to properly test your hypothesis by rightly walking forward through the production process in the shoes of the producers. The difference in the direction of approach may mean the difference in correctly, or not, ascertaining the character selection process and in turn the origins of the characters, and perhaps the intent and purpose of the documents (beyond what little may be learned from the titles thereof).

Let's do so now and see how your hypothesis fairs--i.e. let's put the production sequence into a plausible narrative beginning at the start of the EA/GAEL production:

-continued-

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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"George",

With all due respect, and in the hopes of putting the discussion back on a productive footing, let me kindly offer yet one more possible point of criticism in relation to your hypothesis about the origins of the EA/GAEL characters. In your initial post on this thread, you said, "The easiest way to understand the relationship between the hieroglyphs in the EA and Hor Book of Breathings is to start from the end and move backwards."

While this may make things easier for the reader to understand your hypothesis, it may expose a fundamental flaw in your approach. This "backward" approach may provide a clearer view from an after-the-fact perspective of the documents (hindsight is 20-20), but it may limit the reader and you from accurately viewing things from a before-the-fact perspective of those who actually created the documents. It may limit your/their capacity to properly test your hypothesis by rightly walking forward through the production process in the shoes of the producers. The difference in the direction of approach may mean the difference in correctly, or not, ascertaining the character selection process and in turn the origins of the characters, and perhaps the intent and purpose of the documents (beyond what little may be learned from the titles thereof).

Let's do so now and see how your hypothesis fairs--i.e. let's put the production sequence into a plausible narrative beginning at the start of the EA/GAEL production:

The pattern is indeed easier to see if presented backward. Go ahead and perform this analysis in either direction you choose, but I will point out that absent my analysis which I will be discussing at the MHA, and not here, you will be jousting at windmills. My explanation works perfectly well both ways, as only I can tell, as I have analyzed it both ways. I will tell you up front that I will not be responding or contributing to this line of discussion should you wish to go that way in this venue.

Edited by George Miller

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Samuel Brown. "Joseph (Smith) in Egypt: Babel, Hieroglyphs, and the Pure Language of Eden." Church History 78(1) (2009)

Samuel Brown, “The Early Mormon Chain of Belonging,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 44, no 1 (Spring 2011): 1-52

Samuel Brown, "In Heaven as It Is on Earth: Joseph Smith and the Early Mormon Conquest of Death" Oxford University Press (2011)

Add Brown's essay "The Translator and the Ghostwriter" to that list. It's available in either the JWHA Journal or Steve Taysom's new Mormon Studies Reader. And then there's his 2007 Sunstone talk. There's also an old Sunstone recording of a talk by Robert Fillerup titled "The Joseph Smith Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar Are Examined."

Actually, there are a number of other relevant works, as well. I should put together a full BoA bibliography sometime.

Edited by Chris Smith

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-continued-

Let's imagine we are Phelps or whomever, and we may have already produced something approximating an "alphabet" from which a "specimen" (characters and perhaps sounds) along with aspects of the "pure language" was sent by Phelps in a letter to his wife a month or so prior to the papyri arriving in Kirtland.

We may also have produced, prior to the arrival of the papyri in Kirtland, a Counting document, containing non-Egyptian characters selected from who knows where, though possibly from several different languages.

Now that we have have marked off the first sheet of our EA paper into four columns, we title the first column "characters." At this point, there are no characters drawn and no sounds and no explanation. Our first order of business, then, is to select characters to put in the left-hand column.

It is uncertain whether we would write done all the characters for each of the parts before moving on to the next column, but let's suppose that at the very least we selected the characters for Part 1 of our EA during our first session. Here are the characters that we selected:

21ltz7c.jpg

The question now becomes, by examining just these characters alone, determine from whence these characters were derived, and why these particular characters were selected?

At first glance, it appears that some of the characters may be bits and pieces of some of the other composite characters, while some of the characters may stand alone, while still other characters could both stand alone and/or be parts of multiple characters (such as the horizontal line, the dot, and the diagonal line).

And, given that for the most part the characters don't appear to be particularly Egyptian, but are fairly simple geometric shapes that may be found as a part of most any language and/or culture, it is hard to say from whence they were derived. It is possible that these characters could have been selected apart from the Egyptian papyri and perhaps even prior to the papyri arriving in Kirtland. Then again, they may have been selected from a particular portion of the papyri or multiple portions of the papyri. We just don't know with any degree of certainty at this point, though I believe there is reason to suppose the former.

However, to test your hypothesis, let's suppose that we decide, for whatever reason, to select our characters for EA Part 1 from the first portion (reading from right to left) of the scroll presumably identified as containing the record of Abraham. So far so good. Yet, instead of selecting characters or bits of characters from the then extant portion of the papyri, you propose that we began selecting from the presumably missing portion of that papyri. In other words, instead of selecting characters from the mostly intact first column on the right for our Part 1, or the second column, or the third column, or the fifth column (the one to the left of the vignette), we inexplicably decided to select characters for the first part of our "alphabet" from the almost entirely missing portion of the fourth column from the right. In other words, we actually didn't select characters from the papyri, we made up characters and pieces of characters for Part 1 of our "alphabet" supposedly to fill in the missing portions of the papyri.

This seems quite a stretch to me, though at this point in the narrative it can neither be confirmed not denied.

-continued-

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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At this point in the forward-looking narrative testing "George's" hypothesis (though we will see if he will or won't engage my test), none, or virtually none, of the composite characters or pieces of characters in our EA Part 1 were derived from the papyri, though presumably they were intended to fill in the missing column from the papyri. (How one may explain why non-Egyptian composite characters and pieces of made up characters, were used to supposedly fill in missing portions of an Egyptian papyri, is anyone's guess.)

Looking next at the assignment of sounds and explanations for Part 1, one may reason, as Chris has done, that some of the sounds and explanations may indicate from whence some of the characters were derived. Given the "Kah tou mun" sound, and some of the explanation that appear to have some relation to "translations" of characters in the KEP notebooks taken from the Amenhotep papyri, it may reasonably be argued that some of the characters in Part 1 (not just the one--though "George" agrees with the one) originated from that papyri. Such an argument, to me, outweighs the pure speculation of "George's" hypothesis in regards to Part 1. If some of the characters were derived from elsewhere than the missing column of JSP I, and given that the remaining characters were made up or comprised bits and pieces taken from here and there, gives reasonably cause to conclude that not only were none of the characters of EA Part 1 taken from the JSP I "blue" column, but weren't thought to be taken from or intended to fill in missing portions of that "blue" column. In other words, evidence for characters in Part 1 being derived elsewhere than JSP I "blue" column, weigh more heavily than "George's" pure speculation that they were intended to fill in the missing portion of that "blue" column.

Granted, "George" claims that "Some of the hieroglyphs presented in Part 1 can be identified in the blue column." However, I have looked closely at the two extant characters, the bottom one looks like a bed and the other one looks like a baseball bat laying on its side. In my estimation, neither match any of the composite characters in EA Part 1--certainly not the bottom two composite characters.

So, by working forward in the production sequence, thus far not only does "George's" hypothesis seem far fetched in regards to EA Part 1, but the evidence appears to me to weigh against it.

To reiterate, none of this makes any difference to Will's thesis. I am only pressing the point because it impacts upon accurate understandings of the documents, themselves, as well as determinations of intent and purposes of the EA/GAEL.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by wenglund

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Okay, now that we have selected the characters for Part 1 and possibly assigned the sounds and maybe even the explanations, it is now time for us to select characters for Part 2. I don't know for sure if we select all of the characters for Part 2 all at once, or if we select them during different sessions, but I get the sense from examining EA WWP, that during the the first session the character for Part 2, ended after the first page, were selected. During the second session, the production may have ended after the 15th character and the sounds assigned through to "E beth Ka." During the third session, the explanations may have been assigned to all the characters in Part 2 that up to that point had been assigned sounds. The fourth session may have entailed selecting the remainder of the characters for Part 2, and assigning sounds through "Io ho hah oop zip zi." The last eight sounds may have been added later in the production process, perhaps after the characters had been selected for some of the other parts, or even in some cases after much of what what we have of the GAEL had been completed.

I mention the prospect of different sessions because it may tie into the respective origins for the characters selected during each session. We know from the existence of the Phelps letter that at least 6 of the first nine characters, and likely all of the characters during that first session, were not derived from the papyri, but originated elsewhere than JSP I or the papyri (perhaps a preexisting, partially completed "alphabet" from which a "specimen" was taken?).

This means that not only were virtually all the characters in Part 1 not derived from JSP I, but neither were most of the explained character for Part 2. In other words, virtually none of the characters that were explained in the EA, originated with JSP I.

I suppose this doesn't entirely negate "George's" speculation that these characters may have been intended to fill in the missing portions of the respective columns in the JSP I, but that is a somewhat separate issue from whence the characters were actually derived (which is the dispute that Kevin and I were having). However, it again seems odd to think that characters not on the papyri would be considered as appropriate fill for missing pieces of papyri.

Besides, from what I can tell, the objective of the project was to construct an "alphabet", and not to reconstruct the papyri. As such, "George's" speculative hypothesis seems superfluous at best, and nonsensical at worst. Even so, "George's" speculative hypothesis doesn't rebut Will's thesis.

The good news is, though, in this thread both Kevin and "George" have referred to the text of the Abr.1 as "explanations" rather than translations. I heartily agree with them. To me, the 1835 Abr. Mss. are an extension of the EA/GAEL, rather than a translation therefrom. The characters in the left-hand column of the 1835 Abr. manuscripts were assigned "explanations,' just as was the case with the EA/GAEL, using the preexisting text of the divine translation of portions of the Book of Abraham. [thumbs up]

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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One final point for now regarding "George's" speculative hypothesis. As I examine the color coded columns in "George's" Figure #1 shown below:

Color%2BCoded%2BHor%2BBook%2Bof%2BBreathings.jpg

...with the exception of the column marked in blue, each of the extant portions of the other columns appear to be relatively similar in length.

And, assuming that "George" and Kevin are correct about the extant portions of those columns containing the unexplained characters for the respective parts of the EA's, then one would expect that the number of unexplained EA characters would be about the same for each of those parts. However, in:

Part 2 (purple) there are 35 unexplained characters

Part 3 (red) there are 20 unexplained characters

Part 4 (yellow) there are 14 unexplained characters

Part 5 (silver) there are 21 unexplained characters (not counting the last two characters)

The disparity between the lowest and highest number of unexplained characters is 21. This doesn't add up. And, even if one generously accounts for possible dissected characters, that would at best lower the disparity to around 14 or 15, which still doesn't add up.

Furthermore, given that the missing portions of all the columns would be the same, particularly between the top of the extant portions of the columns and the top margin of the papyri, where the explained portions presumably "fill in," then one may reasonably expect that the number of explained characters in each of the EA parts would be pretty much the same. However, in:

Part 1 (blue) there are 23 explained characters

Part 2 (purple) there are 23 explained characters

Part 3 (red) there are 0 explained characters

Part 4 (yellow) there are 0 explained characters

Part 5 (silver) there are 0 explained characters (not counting the last two characters)

The disparity between the lowest and highest is 23 characters. This, too, doesn't add up. Even accounting for the possible dissected characters, the difference would still be about 19 characters, and doesn't add up.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by wenglund

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To summarize, I believe that "George" (and possibly John Tvedtnes, Michael Rhodes, and others) are for the most part correct in their hypothesis. It is clear to me that most of the characters in EA, particulalry Parts 2 - 5, were selected from corresponding columns/registers in JSP I.

Where I disagree is with the characters in EA Part 1 and the first portion of Part 2.

In my estimation, while the EA project ended up culling characters from JSP I, it didn't start out that way. Prior to the EA project even beginning, and to some extent before the papyri arrived in Kirtland, I think characters were being culled from here and there, and may have comprised an "alphabet-like" document, a "specimen" of which Phelps sent to his wife in June of 1835, as well as, or along with perhaps the Counting document.

To me, the first portion of the EA project may have been that "alphabet-like" document, or a copy and continuation thereof, where characters were culled from here and there, and when that method of character selection became impractical (following what we now have as the explained characters in EA Part 2), particularly with the arrival of the papyri in Kirtland, the decision was made to cull the remaining characters from the papyri, particularly the several columns surrounding the vignette in JSP I.

It is plausible that early in the project it hadn't been determined how many parts there would be to the "alphabet." That decision may have been made during the course of the project, perhaps once the shift was made from culling from here and there to culling from the JSP I. I don't believe the characters were culled to supposedly "fill in" the missing portion of the papyri since they may have been selected, in part, prior to the arrival of the papyri in Kirtland, and as previously explained, the alleged "fill in" doesn't add up.

Also, I don't think it coincidental that the number of explained characters in Part 1 and explained characters in Part 2 were both 23 (the average number of letters in the alphabets of ancient languages like Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, etc.), and that is where the uniformity ended, and this with the shift to culling characters from the extant portion of the JSP I.

And, once the EA project had shifted to the GAEL, and the EA characters with sounds were given explanation in the five degrees of the GAEL, the project shifted to the Abr. Mss. where characters were culled from JSP XI and given explanations using the pre-revealed translation of portions of the Book of Abraham.

At least that is how I see the data best explained.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by wenglund

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For those interested, I started a new thread discussing the sequence of characters in the Book of Abraham manuscripts. It is a rebuttal of Schryver and Gee's presentation from a year ago.

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Just caught what Bill posted..

This discussion is a classic example of why I don’t waste my time arguing with Kevin. Let’s see what happened here.

We already what happened Bill; it is all documented for everyone to see. But it was fun watching you try to reinvent recent history in your favor. And yes, we know why you don't argue with me. It is because you have no argument. So stop making excuses.

The topic of the thread is the GAEL/Papyri relationship.

Correct. Notice the second part of the title Bill: the "papyri." How you missed that, I have no idea. Most of what we've been discussing is Papyrus JSP I.

In post #49 George Miller berated Wade for not being up to date on the GAEL scholarship.

And rightly so.

In post #51 Will asked George to provide a list of the bibliography of peer-reviewed published scholarship on the GAEL which George thinks should have been read by Wade. In post #57 I seconded the request. This CFR has remained unanswered by George.

Because I had already provided a general list.

In post #61 Kevin/Xander provided a list of 16 general studies on the Book of Abraham. None of these is expressly about the GAEL or even the KEP, although a few mention GAEL, and a couple of others engage a few issues related to the GAEL.

What you're neglecting to share Bill, is the context of the debate in which George "berated" wade's lack of familiarity with the relevant scholarship. What you're also neglecting to share is your back and forth from works explicitly about the GAEL to general works about the BoA.

The fact is wade never would have said what he said about the papyrus columns had he read Rhodes or Ritner, and George explained why. You and William then decided to jump in, after offering not a single substantive point in this entire discussion, by challenging George to provide a detailed bibliography that explicitly addresses the GAEL alone. I provided what was available on the subject and your only response was to complain that most of the literature was written by non-Mormons, and then concluded that "anti-Mormons" like me only think non-Mormons produce real scholarship, despite the fact that I had just provided several LDS authors. Sigh! It is almost as if you really think no one reads anything I say, just because you don't.

In #64 I noted that Xander’s list was strongly biased towards anti-Mormon and non-Mormon articles on the Book of Abraham. I noted, “For anti-Mormons scholarship is only what non-Mormons do.” Kevin agrees with me about this is #65.

Kevin does not agree with this and Kevin never said he did. Why would you think you could get away with this?

Kevin proceeds to rant about me and the supposed lack of LDS scholarship on the subject.

Supposed? You just said it yourself.

He goes on and on and on.

This is just more rhetoric. I responded to your nonsense about anti-Mormon bias. You never did handle refutations well.

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But, of course, that was precisely my point. Nobody has published very much about the GAEL at all.

How is that a valid point? You still keep trying to make this about the GAEL alone, when, as you noted, the title of this thread is also about the Joseph Smith papyri. I'm pretty sure wade was commenting on the papyri when George told him he should have read Rhodes and Ritner. Why do you ignore this?

We don’t have a critical edition of the GAEL (Hauglid is doing one, but I don't know when it will be done). Clear high-res photos are not available.

Irrelevant, since George's point was that a corrective to wade's nonsense was already in print.

That’s precisely the point I was making as to why George Miller’s criticism of Wade was absurd.

It isn't absurd. I've had to deal with wade's abject ignorance on these matters for quite some time. He's read nothing. Anyone vaguely familiar with images of the papyri would never ask me whether there was red ink or female figures involved. Just google them for Pete's sake.

Kevin has been challenging me to provided a bibliography of LDS publications on the KEP/GAEL. Somehow this is supposed to be an indictment of me.

Yes, because you were complaining about the fact that most of the names I cited were non-LDS. Your statement implied that I was intentionally ignoring valuable LDS scholarship on the subject. I wasn't. And to make the point, I left the ball in your court so you could provide us with your own list of preferred reading. But then I forgot that asking questions and demanding answers is something only you're supposed to do.

My point, and my only point, is that there AREN’T many such publications, if any. Thus, George’s criticism of Wade’s supposed failure to read this scholarship is not only unjustified, but silly.

Then why not just say that? You worded your response in a way that suggested I was intentionally leaving out LDS scholarship. If you agree that LDS scholars have not published on this subject, then why respond the way you did? Your failure to comprehend the context of this thread, as well as the context of George's remark, is the only think I find silly.

Let’s look at the items Kevin listed

Careful readers would also note that this was my recommendation of preferred readings. I never said wade should be faulted for not having read each and every one. A valid interpretation of your request was that you were genuinely interested in educating yourself further on the topic. Silly me.

Marquardt’s (2012) article fits the bill, hasn’t been published, so Wade can hardly be condemned for not having read it.

Right.

Peterson = not on GAEL...

Again, Bill, you've obviously read none of these written by non-LDS. Scanning an Amazon.com table of contents simply won't do. And you haven't been paying attention to the context of this squabble. Wade has been making false claims related to the papyrus as well. We're discussing not only the GAEL, but also the characters on the papyrus.

Then Schryver in #67 mentions Chris Smith's 2009 JWHA--which neither Kevin nor George provided

Again, if you read what I said just before posting the list I specifically said I was providing what hasn't already been mentioned. We've discussed Chris Smith's paper already, especially in the other related threads. Besides, he is non-LDS and it would give you just one more thing to complain about.

which in fact does deal with the GAEL. You’ve also got Marquardt and the Tanners reprint of the JS Egyptian Papers, but these are little more than bad copies of the microfilm, and are self-published and certainly not peer-reviewed.

Again, we've already been talking about this book. And Marquardt provided a helpful transcriptions of these documents, and has in fact, along with Dean Jesse, identified important details regarding the hands in which the various sections were written. Though he only published the microfilm versions, he has access to the hi-quality color photos and he, Metcalfe and Ashment have been studying them for decades, all the while LDS scholars have been sitting on their hands hoping it never becomes an apologetic issue.

After that Kevin continues to rant about all sorts of irrelevant things for a couple of posts.

Again, I'll let readers judge for themselves. The fact that you feel like you have to provide a synopsis of what just happened, when the documentation is already there for everyone to see, tells me that you're not really willing to let the evidence speak for itself. You have to doctor it and hope no one notices. Well, you're not going to be able to get away with that, not with me. Sorry.

I’m sorry, but this is a bunch of nonsense. I made one point--there’s not much published on the GAEL/KEP, which, despite the fact that he agrees with me, launched Kevin into a whole sequence of tangential tirades. My policy of ignoring Kevin is a good one, to which I will return immediately. It is simply impossible to have a coherent discussion with him

And yet, so many others, LDS scholars included, disagree. Funny how that works, eh?

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The fact is wade never would have said what he said about the papyrus columns had he read Rhodes or Ritner, and George explained why.

This is not a fact. It is a demonstrably false conjecture. As the ultimate authority of what I would or would not have done, and having since read Rhodes and Ritner, I have not changed my position. Rather, I have solidified it.

Not that any of this matters since, as Bill wisely surmised, there is no point in trying to engage Kevin in a reasoned discussion.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by wenglund

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    • By Xander
      It is important to point out that William Schryver committed himself to this notion that the entire KEP can be understood via a proper understanding of the two pages called the "Egyptian Counting" document. He claims there has been "no explanation" proposed for this document, and so he goes to great lengths to "explain" it for us. I've been told that the critics have never provided an explanation, therefore Schryver's is the first. However, the explanation for this document is found in the document itself; the critics just never felt the need to argue otherwise..
      The Egyptian Counting document was intended to be... (drum roll)... an Egyptian Counting document.
      Mystery solved.
      The best way to approach this is by allowing the document to define itself. There is no need to complicate it further with superfluous brain-storms.
      To those familiar with these documents, it is quite obvious what this particular document was intended to be. But Schryver claims it is something else entirely; a cipher key which he asserts to supports his thesis that these men were engaged in an enciphering project, and not literal translations. Will is privileged in that he has been granted access to images of the documents, and he shares a few of them in his presentation. However his commentary accompanying the images is riddled with errors and baseless assumptions that are essential to his conclusion.
      First and foremost,
      Assertion #1:
      William tells us that when the text refers to Egyptian, it doesn't really mean to be referring to the Egyptian language (despite the fact that the "EL" in the acronym GAEL refers to "Egyptian Language," as the first page identifies itself). But his only evidence for this is the fact that none of the characters are genuine Egyptian characters. This is what we call a circular argument. He begins with the premise that these men would only believe real Egyptian characters were really Egyptian, and so he proceeds to argue in a circle that since these were not really Egyptian, then they never believed they were. So it is important that Schryver establish the premise that these men never really believed these Egyptian characters were Egyptian. Unfortunately, he never even tries to establish this. Instead, he asserts that it is true and leaves it at that.
      Assertion #2:
      According to William, this wasn't a "translation" at all, despite the fact that the document claims to contain Egyptian characters along with an English "explanation." William tells his audience that we should dispense with this description and call the English explanation a "substitute value." Presumably because that makes it sound more like a cipher.
      Assertion #3:
      He then says that these men would not have called a cipher a cipher, but instead they would have called it a "translation." This is how he accounts for the word "translation" being used, by claiming these men used it to mean the exact opposite ("Decipher" is synonymous with translate, but "encipher," as Will proposes was their purpose, is the opposite). So the argument here seeks to turn this document on its head by making it say the exact opposite of what it is.
      So in this short two page document, William manages to rid himself of three crucial pieces of evidence with no justification. His argument's underlying premise requires that Egyptian must not really mean Egyptian, translation really means the opposite of translation, and explanation really refers to a cipher-like "substitute value." Without all three of these assumptions, his entire argument collapses. So the million dollar question is simple. Does William justify these assumptions with evidence? The answer is no.
      But let's delve deeper into this so we can see further why Will's proposed explanation is not reasonable, and contrary to his repeated claim, has no explanatory power.
      The document contains the numbers 1-79 represented by mysterious characters along with their English names. To me - and I speak with experience teaching languages - this document has all the symptoms of a translated numbering system from one language to another. Something similar to this can be found in just about any Grammar book on any language. That this is what they were trying to do is further demonstrated by the manner in which these English explanations were represented.
      For example, why would a couple of characters be said to mean "Twice ten and two is twenty-two"? If it were merely a cipher as William asserts, then we'd begin with a coherent English concept and encrypt it into a symbol. We wouldn't begin with a symbol and extract from it redundant or ambiguous English phrases. In this case, there would be no reason to represent the number 22 with a phrase of seven words. One would simply say "twenty-two" or more to the point, "22," But Joseph Smith felt the need to spell out the literal translation.
      Moreover, the way in which these men rendered these Egyptian numbers in English tells us everything we need to know about what they thought they were doing, because this looks just like a typical 'word for word" translation from one language to another. A perfect example of this can be demonstrated in basic translations of Portuguese numbers. For instance, the number nineteen is represented in the Portuguese language as "dezenove." Literally translated it says "ten (dez) and (e) nine (nove)." This is very similar to the literal translation that appears in the Egyptian document, "Twice ten and two is twenty-two". So there should be no question that this was intended to be an Egyptian numbering system translated for English readers. I've taught this to literally hundreds of students, so when I read the Egyptian Counting document this jumped out at me and I knew exactly what this was trying to say.
      Will asserts, with no evidence, that none of these men really believed the symbols they used had any relationship to genuine Egyptian. This is easily refuted, and as I explained to Will and his defenders a year ago, many of the characters used to represent the Egyptian numbers can be found on the Anthon Transcript, which is a document containing characters that were derived from the "Gold Plates" written in "Reformed Egyptian." Here are a sample of the characters found on the Egyptian Counting document, alongside the Anthon transcript:

      Obviously, many of these characters preexisted this project, and it is worth noting that several Masonic cipher symbols bear strong resemblance to a number of the characters found in the Anthon transcript. So despite the fact that many of these symbols derive from the "reformed Egyptian," William asserts that there is absolutely no reason to believe these men thought these characters had anything to do with the Egyptian language. I mean the fact that they called them Egyptian, and the fact that some of them were clearly present on a document containing "reformed" Egyptian, makes this a dubious claim.
      Further evidence against Will's assertion can be found in Joseph Smith's explanations of Facsimile #2, which appear in the GAEL and are to some extent, dependent on the Egyptian Counting document. You see, Will does a good job of showing flashy images and complicating a rather simple document, but what he never does is test the proposed english explanations with other examples in which these Egyptian numbers were used. This is because he rejects out of hand the obvious fact that this was believed to be a literal translation from Egyptian to English.
      The Egyptian number one is called "eh" in the Egyptian Counting document. Phrases pulled from the GAEL reveal that this same "eh" is used to denote the meaning of one, first or beginning. The same is true for the Egyptian number "veh" which means five. The former LDS apologist Paul Osborne, provided an online article explaining how these words consistently correspond to their assigned translations.
      But the real coffin nail here is the fact that Facsimile #2 was worked on in the GAEL, and the translation produced is now canonized alongside the Book of Abraham.
      From Joseph Smith's explanation of Figure 1:
      Notice that Joseph Smith mentions "Jah-oh-eh" and explains what it meant to the Egyptian people. This term is found in the GAEL with an accompanying symbol. This proves three points that effectively dismiss Schryver's thesis:
      1. The Facsimile explanations produced by Joseph Smith, not W.W. Phelps, use a word derived from the GAEL. There is nothing in LDS history or canon to suggest the source for the Facsimile explanations was W.W. Phelps. The Facsimile explanations also refer to GAEL terms, "Kolob" and "Floees," along with their corresponding definitions. The latter appearing in Cowdery's Alphabet document, but not in Phelps's.
      2. This word along with the corresponding definition establishes the critical argument regarding the meaning and purpose of the Egyptian Counting document. There is no evidence of enciphering. It was clearly used to decipher, to demonstrate a literal translation.
      3. This word was understood to have been used, not by the "Ancients" (as William asserts blindly) but more specifically, the "Egyptians."
      And yet William argues, without a shred of evidence of support, that those involved with this project never believed they were dealing with anything that had to do with the Egyptians or the Egyptian language. Will's thesis relies on a rejection of all three points listed and proved above.
      So why in the world are they publishing something William claims was being enciphered?
      The entire point to enciphering is to encrypt data. To keep it hidden. But Joseph Smith freely demonstrated these documents and their translations to whomever wanted to view them. Continued...
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