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Robert K. Ritner'S "The Joseph Smith Egyptian Papyri": A Complete Edition


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#21 Pahoran

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 05:41 PM

The debate is also concerning the accuracy of Joseph Smith's interpretations/translations of the facsimilies. We have Joseph Smith's interpretations of the facsimilies. Dr. Ritner claims the interpretations are in error

And, as an egyptologist, that is entirely within his area of expertise. When Dr Ritner tells us what the facsimiles show and what the text on them says, we should, presuming we are interested in such things, listen.

and the errors are enough to question the Book of Abraham text.

And as an egyptologist, that is entirely outside his area of expertise.

Well, that just goes to show: scholars are human too. They have their failings, including their prejudices. Dr Ritner's particular failing is not simply that he rejects the truth claims of the Church of Jesus Christ; plenty of people do that. His problem is that he tries to leverage his academic standing to support his anti-Mormon attacks.

Which is seriously bad form.

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#22 aka

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 07:30 PM

And, as an egyptologist, that is entirely within his area of expertise. When Dr Ritner tells us what the facsimiles show and what the text on them says, we should, presuming we are interested in such things, listen.


And as an egyptologist, that is entirely outside his area of expertise.

Well, that just goes to show: scholars are human too. They have their failings, including their prejudices. Dr Ritner's particular failing is not simply that he rejects the truth claims of the Church of Jesus Christ; plenty of people do that. His problem is that he tries to leverage his academic standing to support his anti-Mormon attacks.

Which is seriously bad form.

Regards,
Pahoran


Are you saying that you agree Dr. Ritner is qualified to asses Joseph Smith's translation/interpretation of the facsimilies?

Are you also suggesting that Dr. Ritner's conclusions about the validity of Joseph Smith's facsimilie related results are valid?
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#23 Pahoran

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 07:38 PM

Are you saying that you agree Dr. Ritner is qualified to asses Joseph Smith's translation/interpretation of the facsimilies?

Are you also suggesting that Dr. Ritner's conclusions about the validity of Joseph Smith's facsimilie related results are valid?

I'm saying that Dr Ritner is certainly qualified to examine the facsimiles and, to the extent that they are legible, tell us what they say as Egyptian pictures.

I'm also saying that he's not qualified to comment on what other uses they might be put to, or what other meanings they might convey, either anciently or modernly.

Regards,
Pahoran
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(1) Honest. (2) Well-informed. (3) Denying that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been a Christian institution without interruption from the beginning of its history.

A critic may choose any two of the above three. Choose wisely.

 

If you try to take away my right to believe in, teach and actively uphold the sanctity of genuine, heterosexual-only marriage, in both my private and public life, then you are a bigot. It doesn't matter your reasons. You're still a bigot. If you don't like being called that, then change.


#24 Bill Hamblin

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 08:12 PM

Are you saying that you agree Dr. Ritner is qualified to asses Joseph Smith's translation/interpretation of the facsimilies?

Are you also suggesting that Dr. Ritner's conclusions about the validity of Joseph Smith's facsimilie related results are valid?


Dr. Ritner's Egyptological analysis of the papyri has added nothing to the much better critical editions previously edited by Michael Rhodes, and published by the Maxwell Institute.

On the other hand, Dr. Ritner's knowledge of the Book of Abraham and Mormonism is abysmal to say the least.
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#25 Robert F. Smith

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 05:02 AM

Dr. Ritner's Egyptological analysis of the papyri has added nothing to the much better critical editions previously edited by Michael Rhodes, and published by the Maxwell Institute.

On the other hand, Dr. Ritner's knowledge of the Book of Abraham and Mormonism is abysmal to say the least.

The Ritner approach reminds me of Episcopal Bishop Spalding's panel of "qualified" Egyptologists making predicable comments on the Book of Abraham just a century ago: The late John A. Wilson, a well-qualified Egyptologist, rightly saw the “offhand and hostile opinions” of the Spalding jurors as “a lot of indignant snorts” inimical to good scholarship. (WIlson, Thousands of Years, 176)

Edited by Robert F. Smith, 17 September 2012 - 05:02 AM.

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#26 Vance

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 06:58 AM

This is a blatant anti-Mormon production, i.e., no attempt to be even-handed -- instead, all assumptions are a priori negative and creation of straw men the order of the day.


WOW!!!!!

Do you realize how universal that sentence is?
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#27 happy

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 08:41 AM

I do kinda wish the Church would make an official statement on the BoA, or at least the KEP.
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#28 Tacenda

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 08:44 AM

I do kinda wish the Church would make an official statement on the BoA, or at least the KEP.


And a statement on where the BoM lands are. It would put a few out of business possibly but it'd solve alot of misconceptions.
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#29 MormonMason

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 09:09 AM

Someone has performed winding measurements on the Book of the Dead that was part of the collection returned to the Church? Where can I read more about that?


Yes. Here: http://maxwellinstit...e=review&id=699

Click the PDF link on the page and read the PDF version for better formatting.
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#30 MormonMason

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 09:27 AM

And a statement on where the BoM lands are. It would put a few out of business possibly but it'd solve alot of misconceptions.


It would do no such thing. There still would be those with differing interpretations and who would disagree with the official statement, if one could be made sans revelation on the subject. A group of people once had a discussion with a critic of the Church some years back. When all was said and done, this critic stated that even if a sign were found in Mesoamerica, that had a Book of Mormon city name on it, it would only become a point for discussion and not an outright support for belief in the Book of Mormon.

Yet, the fact that would be the case actually is consonant with the purposes of the Book of Mormon, and why it is that the Lord has not seen fit to reveal the exact place (although Meldrum and others of his ilk think that the current Brethren are wrong and that Joseph Smith really knew by revelation where it all took place). Even the Book of Mormon states that it is to be a trial of faith to see whether people will believe and whether they would be able to receive the greater things afterward. See 3 Nephi 26:8-11 (1-12).
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#31 Tacenda

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 09:36 AM

It would do no such thing. There still would be those with differing interpretations and who would disagree with the official statement, if one could be made sans revelation on the subject. A group of people once had a discussion with a critic of the Church some years back. When all was said and done, this critic stated that even if a sign were found in Mesoamerica, that had a Book of Mormon city name on it, it would only become a point for discussion and not an outright support for belief in the Book of Mormon.

Yet, the fact that would be the case actually is consonant with the purposes of the Book of Mormon, and why it is that the Lord has not seen fit to reveal the exact place (although Meldrum and others of his ilk think that the current Brethren are wrong and that Joseph Smith really knew by revelation where it all took place). Even the Book of Mormon states that it is to be a trial of faith to see whether people will believe and whether they would be able to receive the greater things afterward. See 3 Nephi 26:8-11 (1-12).


Well, if this church is all about revelation from living prophets I'm ready for it. And the time is now. Maybe they should make it a matter of prayer as they did with blacks in the priesthood. Alot of people are possibly getting ripped off or mislead when going on the BoM land tours, etc. And we have the rife between believers on both sides, the one side being the ilk as you put it. This subject is causing a rift enough that might have lasting consequences, pitting member against member. It's time for the church to come out on one side or the other or they should put it to rest by saying it wasn't given for us to know and that further speculation should be stopped.
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#32 volgadon

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 09:44 AM

Well, if this church is all about revelation from living prophets I'm ready for it. And the time is now. Maybe they should make it a matter of prayer as they did with blacks in the priesthood. Alot of people are possibly getting ripped off or mislead when going on the BoM land tours, etc. And we have the rife between believers on both sides, the one side being the ilk as you put it. This subject is causing a rift enough that might have lasting consequences, pitting member against member. It's time for the church to come out on one side or the other or they should put it to rest by saying it wasn't given for us to know and that further speculation should be stopped.


Or, people can grow up and learn to be peacemakers.
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#33 MormonMason

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 09:55 AM

WOW!!!!!

Do you realize how universal that sentence is?


The sad thing is, I agree with that assessment. That is why I am having a hard time justifying purchasing it. It has some good stuff in it, but is loaded with a lot of crap. And, while it is true that I have collected anti-Mormon literature from time to time, there are so many other books that I can justify purchasing before that one. If Ritner had stuck with the Egyptian stuff and kept it a professional Egyptological production, it would be a whole lot easier to make the decision, plunk down the cash, and just purchase the book.

There are other considerations in addition with respect to this book, and that is that there are a couple portions of translation that are speculative and do not fit the facts of the case, such as the translation of column 4. Granted, he does use a question mark but still there are problems. This does not fit with the fact that there is no room for a second bird in the reconstruction most commonly offered to readers of standard fare on the Book of Abraham and that his speculative translation could not fit in the full column if it were still extant.

He also offers a translation of "justification" there where I am unaware of a word that means such that could actually fit there in the manner suggested. Ritner's offering would require at least two columns, and that is likely what was there. However, the suggested translation of the extant last word has little 'justification' (pun intended) in my view. The text that is extant contains a broken ending to a word and a two-character word that better fits the context of sacrifice than of the Egyptian concept of justification.

But, what would sacrifice have to do with a mere funerary vignette and the critics' assessment thereof? That is the question of the day, isn't it? But, does Ritner allow for such a meaning? Not that I recollect.

Of course, I do not at present own my own copy so the memory might be off a smidgen. Those who have their own copy would know whether I remember the details correctly. :)

Edited by MormonMason, 17 September 2012 - 09:56 AM.

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#34 Tacenda

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 10:00 AM

The sad thing is, I agree with that assessment. That is why I am having a hard time justifying purchasing it. It has some good stuff in it, but is loaded with a lot of crap. And, while it is true that I have collected anti-Mormon literature from time to time, there are so many other books that I can justify purchasing before that one. If Ritner had stuck with the Egyptian stuff and kept it a professional Egyptological production, it would be a whole lot easier to make the decision, plunk down the cash, and just purchase the book.

There are other considerations in addition with respect to this book, and that is that there are a couple portions of translation that are speculative and do not fit the facts of the case, such as the translation of column 4. Granted, he does use a question mark but still there are problems. This does not fit with the fact that there is no room for a second bird in the reconstruction most commonly offered to readers of standard fare on the Book of Abraham and that his speculative translation could not fit in the full column if it were still extant.

He also offers a translation of "justification" there where I am unaware of a word that means such that could actually fit there in the manner suggested. Ritner's offering would require at least two columns, and that is likely what was there. However, the suggested translation of the extant last word has little 'justification' (pun intended) in my view. The text that is extant contains a broken ending to a word and a two-character word that better fits the context of sacrifice than of the Egyptian concept of justification.

But, what would sacrifice have to do with a mere funerary vignette and the critics' assessment thereof? That is the question of the day, isn't it? But, does Ritner allow for such a meaning? Not that I recollect.

Of course, I do not at present own my own copy so the memory might be off a smidgen. Those who have their own copy would know whether I remember the details correctly. :)


I'm hoping it comes to your local public library, if it isn't already, so we can have a believer's POV!
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#35 MormonMason

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 10:05 AM

Well, if this church is all about revelation from living prophets I'm ready for it. And the time is now. Maybe they should make it a matter of prayer as they did with blacks in the priesthood. Alot of people are possibly getting ripped off or mislead when going on the BoM land tours, etc. And we have the rife between believers on both sides, the one side being the ilk as you put it. This subject is causing a rift enough that might have lasting consequences, pitting member against member. It's time for the church to come out on one side or the other or they should put it to rest by saying it wasn't given for us to know and that further speculation should be stopped.


What makes you think they haven't prayed? Have you thought about that? You used the analogy of Blacks and the Priesthood. Were you aware that there are at least two times that it had been prayed about before? Both John Taylor and David O. McKay did it. In both cases the answer was that the policy should continue. (Even then, there were exceptions made). It was not until the time of Spencer W. Kimball that the answer was given that the policy should end. We are on the Lord's timetable, not our own.

The Lord has not yet seen fit to answer on the subject, so the policy of the Church will remain--until that day that he answers and provides--that we do not know the precise locations of the events of the Book of Mormon and that the official position of the Church is that there is no official position on Book of Mormon geography.
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#36 MormonMason

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 10:09 AM

I'm hoping it comes to your local public library, if it isn't already, so we can have a believer's POV!


I've flipped through a copy at a bookstore but, as I said, I have not found a good reason to justify wasting my money on it at the moment. I have both of the professionally done texts published by NAMI and that makes it that much harder to justify just handing over my cash for something so blatantly anti-Mormon in nature. Maybe one day I might consider a used copy but I just don't know right now. There are so many better books and uses with greater positioning for the money. :)
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#37 happy

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 10:20 AM

So do we just eject the comments about how the scrolls were extremely long? Is that now proven false or do non-LDS simply toss it aside as it challenges those who disagree with missing scrolls?
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#38 MormonMason

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 12:15 PM

So do we just eject the comments about how the scrolls were extremely long? Is that now proven false or do non-LDS simply toss it aside as it challenges those who disagree with missing scrolls?


There is nothing proven. And, no, I do not see the need for us to cast aside the idea of missing material since the evidence available insists upon missing material. Critics have to say otherwise, though, because if they didn't it would undercut their argumentation. And, they know it.
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#39 Cobalt-70

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 12:35 PM

I do kinda wish the Church would make an official statement on the BoA, or at least the KEP.

I don't think the LDS Church could say anything that would make the situation better, unless the church picked the "catalyst" theory, which is the most academically-plausible hypothesis, and the only one that is not falsifiable. Making the authenticity of the Book of Abraham non-falsifiable would go a long way toward neutralizing the Book of Abraham problem. The Book of Mormon has long-benefited from similar efforts.
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#40 wenglund

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 05:29 PM

Here is a review of one of Ritner's earlier works--his Dialogue article: "The Breathing Permit of Hor' Thirty-four Years Later (2000). Dialogue 33/4. 97—119."

http://maxwellinstit...=16&num=2&id=56

Thanks, -Wade Englund-
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