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Steve Thompson

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  1. There were three journals. I wonder what happened to them? Oh, yeah....
  2. Replace "Nibley" with "Bushman" and it would be about right.
  3. As I understand it, Galileo's point about looking through the telescope is not that one could actually see the earth going around the sun, but that one could see that not everything in the universe revolved around the earth. Galileo was able to show through his telescope that Jupiter had moons that revolved around it, and not around the earth, proving that the earth wasn't the center of the universe.
  4. A more interesting question is "Why is there Hell?" I'd suggest two books on the subject, Big Gods: How Religion Transformed Cooperation and Conflict, by Ara Norenzayan, and God is Watching You, by Dominic Johnson. One could also Google "Broad Supernatural Punishment" for a list of articles dealing with the subject. These books and articles are representative of the field of the cognitive science of religion, which takes a naturalistic approach to religion.
  5. Something to consider: "The study by Harvard economists Robert Barro and Rachel McCleary found that across countries, societies that are more religious have greater economic performance--and interestingly this relationship was driven by religious beliefs in heaven and hell, not just religious behavior such as church attendance. And Shariff and Rhemtulla's study found that crime rates are lower in countries with stronger beliefs in hell (rather than heaven). Such studies are notoriously tricky to interpret because of possible confounding factors and historical contingency--even if many are statistically controlled for. At the level of national comparisons, therefore, the jury is perhaps still out. But what we can say is that there is at least some evidence that weaker religious beliefs, and weaker beliefs in supernatural punishment in particular are associated with negative social outcomes.... " Dominic Johnson, God is Watching You How the Fear of God Makes us Human (New York, Oxford Univ. Press, 2016) p.218
  6. Just for your gee whiz files, the hieroglyphic inscription above is not an original hieroglyphic text, but a modern transcription of the hieratic text below it. In other words, they are the same text in two different scripts. Scholars today generally transcribe a hieratic text into hieroglyphic when offering a translation (or at least transliterate it) . The only reason I mention this is to point out that the hieroglyphic inscription above contains signs that wouldn't normally occur in an inscription originally written in hieroglyphic (the repeated small strokes, for example). And while I'm pointing out irrelevant facts, the text is from a papyrus known as the Abbot papyrus, and describes the inspection of a royal tomb thought to have been robbed.
  7. That's the part of the theory of EME that has never made sense to me. Why would God go to all the trouble of revealing the plates to Joseph only to transmit to him, and through him to the world, a translation done previously by some other individual/being that wasn't fully intelligible to those to whom it was revealed. I gather some consider it to be a type of "easter egg," that when discovered at a later date somehow verifies Joseph Smith's account of gold plates, seer stone, etc., but that strains credulity.
  8. If you are interested in how the ancient Egyptians viewed their history I recommend Pharaonic King-Lists Annals and Day-Books, A Contribution to the Egyptian Sense of History by Donald Redford.
  9. There are contemporary Egyptian documents that span the time period during which the deluge would have occurred, based on biblical chronology. These are inscriptions recorded in the tombs (mastabas) of officials whom we can date based on the kings they mention serving during their lifetimes. There are also physical remains from ancient Egypt that span this time period as well. The myth I was referring to, which is the one summarized in Wikipedia, is known as the Book of the Heavenly Cow. You can read a translation in W.K. Simpson, Literature of Ancient Egypt, p. 290ff (reachable through this link:http://egyptologyresources.x10host.com/er/bibliography/bibliography_data.html; I wasn't allowed to link directly to this work, but look under S for Simpson and you will find a link). The sun-god Re gets angry at mankind because they were plotting against him and he sends his eye in the form of the goddess Hathor/Sekhmet, representing the blazing heat of the sun. After Hathor has slain "mankind in the desert," Re has a change of heart and inundates the fields with beer stained red to resemble blood. When the goddess recommences her work of destruction the next morning she drinks the beer, apparently mistaking it for blood, and gets so drunk she cannot continue her work of destruction. So the "flood" (of beer) saves mankind, not destroys them.
  10. An old LDS Institute Manual gives the date of the flood as 2344BC(E). That would put the flood during the Egyptian 6th dynasty, probably in the reign of Teti. If you would like to read translations of Egyptian records dating to before, during and immediately after the time of the flood I suggest you look at Breasted's Ancient Records of Egypt, vol. 1 (there are more recent translations of these texts, but this work is available here for download: https://archive.org/details/BreastedJ.H.AncientRecordsEgyptAll5Vols1906/page/n161/mode/2up). If you mean a continuous, narrative history, then no, no such work exists. But there are historical records spanning the supposed date of the biblical flood. There's an account of at least one official who served kings whose rule spanned the period before and after the flood (see p. 131 in vol. 1 of Ancient Records). FWIW, ancient Egypt had no tradition of a flood myth such as that found in ancient Israel and Mesopotamia. When the gods grew angry at mankind and resolved to destroy them they chose the heat of the sun, not a flood, as their means of destruction. For the Egyptians, the inundation was a much needed and highly anticipated yearly event; a year with a "low Nile" was a catastrophe.
  11. Those interested in the discussion of the attempt to mathematically determine the length of the Hor papyrus scroll may find the following article of interest: The length of a scroll: Quantitative evaluation of material reconstructionsEshbal Ratzon, Nachum DershowitzPublished: October 21, 2020https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0239831Scholars have used mathematical models to estimate the missing lengthof deteriorated scrolls from ancient Egypt, Qumran, Herculaneum, andelsewhere. Based on such estimations, the content of ancientliterature as well as the process of its composition is deduced.Though theoretically reasonable, many practical problems interferewith the method. In the current study, the empirical validity of thesemathematical models is examined, showing that highly significanterrors are quite frequent. When applied to comparatively intactscrolls, the largest contribution to errors is the subjectivityinherent in measuring patterns of damaged areas. In less wellpreserved scrolls, deterioration and deformation are more centralcauses of errors. Another factor is the quality of imaging. Hence,even after maximal reduction of interfering factors, one should onlyuse these estimation methods in conjunction with other supportingconsiderations. Accordingly, past uses of this approach should bereevaluated, which may have substantial implications for the study ofantiquity.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Citation: Ratzon E, Dershowitz N (2020) The length of a scroll:Quantitative evaluation of material reconstructions. PLoS ONE 15(10):e0239831. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0239831
  12. If anyone is interested in how several Egyptologists interpret the figures of the four sons of Horus when they occur in hypocephali, here's a passage from Mekis' book on the Hypocephalus: In the second group of figures, the Four Sons of Horus appear in the first position, and stand in front of the jh.t-cow and the god(dess), who has a wedjat-eye in the place of his/her head. According to Jan Assmann, the Four Sons of Horus manifest the personality of the deceased.327 Bernard Mathieu, in his study of the Four Sons of Horus, approaching Assmann’s interpretation, wrote about how the four figures manifest the four members of the supreme god in the Pyramid Texts.328 Hapy and Duamutef embody the arms of the deceased, Imsety and Qebehsenuef the two legs, through which the defunct is able to move in the underworld.329 On the basis of the interpretations of Assmann and Mathieu, one may suppose that the Four Sons of Horus are a new transformation of the hidden Amon-Re – Atum, representing his members just before the access to the underworld at the entrance of the West, in front of the guardian cow-goddess. According to Horst Beinlich330 and Dieter Kurth,331 the Four Sons of Horus, hold the four colour bandages (wAD.t, jdmj, dmj, HD.t)332 used during the embalming of the deceased, are participants in the ritual and are interceding in the divination of the deceased. Kurth bases his opinion on the role the gods fulfilled during the embalming ritual. The four deities act in the revivification of the four inner organs, separated from the body during embalming. When they appear together with the bandages used for the ‘clothing’ of the mummy, their role may be manifest in the promise of rebirth.333 pp. 53-54 from The Hypocephalus: an Ancient Egyptian Funerary Amulet by Tamás Mekis
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