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Steve Thompson

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About Steve Thompson

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  1. Sorry. You may get this twice, but I guess it's better than not having it all.
  2. Yes, there are several places in the Book of Breathings papyrus where the name of the deceased appears. Some are damaged, however, so you won't see the full writing. Here's one writing of Hr mAa xrw, with the wsir (Osiris) partially missing, from a fragment of the BB papyrus pasted into Pap. JS 2.6: After a quick scan of the papyrus and Ritner's transliteration I couldn't find any examples where the entire "Osiris Hor, justified" was written out completely without being damaged in some fashion. There may be one, but I couldn't find it at the moment.
  3. First, I apologize for the duplicate posting of the images. I took the images I posted from the JSPP website: josephsmithpapers.org/site/book-of-abraham-and-egyptian-material I clipped images of the writing of Hor's name from another column in the papyrus, and then clipped figures 11-14 from mss. C.
  4. I will probably regret this, as the BA mss and JS Egyptian papers are not my area of expertise, but .... I leave it up to the reader to determine if the characters in mss. C derive from what would have originally been in the papyrus after characters labeled #10. Whether characters 11-14 occur elsewhere in the JS Papyri I cannot say.
  5. In view of the discussion that has taken place here I thought these passages from Leonard Arrington's diaries might be of interest: A key stage in my own reconciliation of modern learning with religious belief came with reading George Santayana, The Life of Reason: Reason in Religion.2 The book was published in 1936 by Charles Scribner’s Sons, and I apparently bought it in 1937 and read most of it very carefully and appreciatively.3 The book was very influential for me; it helped me to see that one might be a sincere believer in Mormonism and at the same time accept the findings of the brightest intellects, whether in philosophy, or science, or the humanities. (Of course, Santayana says nothing about Mormonism as such, and quite possibly had no knowledge of it.) In particular, Reason and Religion helped me to understand that it isn’t important whether certain religious or theological affirmations are truths in a literal sense, or whether they are true in a symbolic or poetic sense. And while religious doctrines may be right symbolically, they should not be substituted for scientific truth. At the same time, those who accept scientific truth as the only truth, as the final truth, end up substituting inadequate personal symbols which are unsatisfying and unedifying. Santayana introduced me to the idea of “myth”—to “mythical truth,”—which is a very satisfying concept. Religion may contain a symbolic, not a literal, representation of truth and life. And for this reason one has no difficulty in trying to harmonize religious assertions with scientific “truth.” In the Christian Epic, one may believe in the Virgin Birth in a symbolic sense, without worrying about the literal truth of it or whether such a thing was possible in the real world. In the Mormon Epic, one may believe in the First Vision without worrying unduly as to whether God and Jesus literally appeared in person to Joseph Smith, or whether he thought he saw them in a mystical sense. Did the plates of the Book of Mormon exist in a concrete literal sense or did they exist in a symbolic sense? I feel comfortable either way. I was stimulated to make this diary entry by reading Scott Kenney’s article “A Defense of the Christian Faith,” which is in the Sunstone which just came out today.4 The following fit right into the thoughts to which Santayana turned me to[,] back in 1937 or 1938: The Scriptures are not themselves divine revelation. They are merely the human testimonies of divine revelation. Modern man does not live only by abstract reasoning, but also by stories and images. We should not exorcize the pictorial, mythical, symbolical elements from religion as if men had only ears and not eyes, as if being stirred could ever be replaced by intellectual comprehension. Truth is not simply facticity. A newspaper report of a traveler attacked on the way from Jerusalem to Jericho would perhaps leave us quite cold, even if it were truth, historically true. On the other hand, the invented story of the Good Samaritan on the same road stirs us immediately, since it contains more truth. Many Mormons miss the power of the Restoration message by attempting to abstract its teachings from their historical context. The ultimate criterion of a person’s Christian spirit is not theory but practice: not how he thinks of teachings, dogmas, interpretations, but how he acts in ordinary life. Bergera, Gary James. Confessions of a Mormon Historian: The Diaries of Leonard J. Arrington, 1971–1997, Volume 2, Centrifugal Forces, 1975–80 . Signature Books. Kindle Edition. One’s testimony of the Gospel is an intensely personal thing. Arguing with it is like arguing with his or her choice of a spouse, his or her taste in art, his or her preference for Verdi over Wagner. —July 9, 1985 Bergera, Gary James. Confessions of a Mormon Historian: The Diaries of Leonard J. Arrington, 1971–1997, Volume 3, Exile, 1980–97 . Signature Books. Kindle Edition.
  6. If you are really interested in the topic, Muhlestein's dissertation on the subject was published and is available for free download here: https://www.academia.edu/10132431/Violence_in_the_Service_of_Order_the_Religious_Framework_for_Sanctioned_Killing_in_Ancient_Egypt._British_Archaeological_Reports_International_Series_2299_Oxford_Archaeopress_2011_ After reading this, ask yourself if the events he describes really are analogous to the events described in Abraham 1.
  7. I was at BYU when that speech was given, and George Pace had been my Stake President. If I remember correctly, there were several instances of students going onto Y mountain to fast and pray for excessively long times hoping to break through to that "personal relationship with Jesus." I believe Pace used to encourage lengthy periods of prayer on one's knees, but certainly not to the extent some students took it. Pace was also developing quite the personality cult at BYU in the early 80s, which probably wasn't considered a positive thing.
  8. This isn't exactly what you are looking for, but David Wright, former professor of Hebrew at BYU, and currently at Brandeis University, was excommunicated for his articles in Sunstone and Metcalfe's New Approaches presenting some of his reasons and evidence for the Book of Mormon being a 19th century production of Joseph Smith. I don't think he would be excommunicated today for the same publications. The opinion that the BM is 19th cent. in origin is not as controversial as it once was. There are no additional "complicating details."
  9. FWIW, I had a bishop tell me that I had committed the "worst sin a person can commit" by writing "against the church" (he was referring to my Dialogue article on the Book of Abraham).
  10. An important sentence from the article: So while the Egyptian word for the sun itself is not the same as in the Book of Abraham,17 one of the Egyptian words for the sun’s ecliptic (the path of the sun through the sky) as attested in Abraham’s day is. Apparently close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and LDS apologetics.
  11. But where is the attestation of the word dšrt written with the determinative of a bee? I don't see the relationship between dšrt and the bee you are suggesting. The bee can be used to write the word for "red crown," but in that instance the word is bj.t. In PT724 the red crown is the determinative to the word nj.t, and in the word bjty, "he of the bee," which Allen translates as "hereditary king." There are several words for the red crown, including dšrt, w3djit, and nt, so every occurrence of the red crown can't be assumed to be read dšrt.
  12. I'd be interested in seeing your reference for the term "dšrt, a term incorporating the ancient Egyptian determinative sign of “bee.” Where have you found dšrt determined with the bee sign?
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