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How Much Papyri Did Joseph Own? "lost Book Of Abraham"


Olavarria

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I just watched the movie "The Lost Book of Abraham: Investigating an incredible mormon claim" :P . The video seems to insinuate that Joseph Smith only had one, relativly short roll of papyri. John Gee in "A guide to the Joseph Smith papyri <_< " makes a case for alot more scrolls. Who is right?

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I just watched the movie "The Lost Book of Abraham: Investigating an incredible mormon claim" :P . The video seems to insinuate that Joseph Smith only had one, relativly short roll of papyri. John Gee in "A guide to the Joseph Smith papyri <_< " makes a case for alot more scrolls. Who is right?

Obviously the antis want there to be a little as possible so they can claim that the existing papyri is the stuff Joseph made the translations from. If there is a lot of stuff missing, it dilutes their arguement.

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I just watched the movie "The Lost Book of Abraham: Investigating an incredible mormon claim" :P . The video seems to insinuate that Joseph Smith only had one, relativly short roll of papyri. John Gee in "A guide to the Joseph Smith papyri <_< " makes a case for alot more scrolls. Who is right?

Info. on the scrolls:

"On the 3rd of July, Michael H. Chandler came to Kirtland to exhibit some Egyptian mummies. There were four human figures, together with some two or more rolls of papyrus covered with hieroglyphic figures and devices." History of the Church 2:235
"The last of June four Egyptian mummies were brought here; there were two papyrus rolls, besides some other ancient Egyptian writings with them. As no one could translate these writings, they were presented to President Smith. He soon knew what they were and said they, the 'rolls of papyrus', contained the sacred record kept by Joseph in Pharaoh's Court in Egypt, and the teachings of Father Abraham." W.W. Phelps; Improvement Era 45, August 1942
"Soon after this some of the Saints in Kirtland purchased the mummies and papyrus, a description of which will appear hereafter, and with W.W. Phelps and Oliver Cowdery as scribes, I commenced the translation of some of the characters or hieroglyphs, and much to our joy found that one of the rolls contained the writings of Abraham, and another the writings of Joseph of Egypt" Joseph Smith; History of the Church 2:236

Courtesy of the late Paul O. http://www.myegyptology.net/file/id545.htm

The 2 rolls mentioned above are the Book of Breathings (Book of Abraham) and Book of the Dead (Book of Joseph).

The church currently has portions (i'm not sure how much exactly) of both of these scrolls.

Freakin a man wrote:

Obviously the antis want there to be a little as possible so they can claim that the existing papyri is the stuff Joseph made the translations from. If there is a lot of stuff missing, it dilutes their arguement.

Actually, the 'antis' want you to believe that the Book of Abraham came from the Book of Breathings that is in the possession of the church - and that the Book of Breathings did not contain a 'missing portion' with the writings of Abraham (based on a number of pieces of evidence). But you can believe what you want, I suppose - I'm just not sure what evidence you're basing those beliefs on.

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William Appleby, who was present at Nauvoo, and who wrote a small portion of the text of the Book of Abraham, left the following description concerning a portion of the scroll from which the book was translated:

... Also the serpent when he beguiled Eve. He appears with two legs, erect in the form and appearance of man. But his head in the form, and representing the serpent, with his forked tongue extended.

(William Appleby, Journal, Church Archives MS15183)

Although there is another illustration that is vaguely similar to this (showing a coiled serpent with stick legs and feet), Appleby's description is quite specific about the illustration he saw of the figure of a man with a serpent's head and a forked tongue extended. There is, of course, no such illustration present on the surviving papyri.

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Actually, the 'antis' want you to believe that the Book of Abraham came from the Book of Breathings that is in the possession of the church - and that the Book of Breathings did not contain a 'missing portion' with the writings of Abraham (based on a number of pieces of evidence). But you can believe what you want, I suppose - I'm just not sure what evidence you're basing those beliefs on.

Right. So if there is missing stuff, then they can't necessarily assert that the BOA came from the BOB. Basically I am saying that just because something has survived, does not mean everything has survived.

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William Appleby, who was present at Nauvoo, and who wrote a small portion of the text of the 3rd chapter of the Book of Abraham, left the following description concerning a portion of the scroll from which the book was translated:

Although there is another illustration that is vaguely similar to this (showing a coiled serpent with stick legs and feet), Appleby's description is quite specific about the illustration he saw of the figure of a man with a serpent's head and a forked tongue extended. There is, of course, no such illustration present on the surviving papyri.

I think everyone's in agreement that the church is not in possession of 100% of the papyri.

Right. So if there is missing stuff, then they can't necessarily assert that the BOA came from the BOB. Basically I am saying that just because something has survived, does not mean everything has survived.

Yes, there's hope for ya!

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Nothing from any missing papyrus related to Abraham turns up in any of the Kirtland papers. The Book of Breathings was associated with some Book of Abraham ideas. And Book of Breathings characters was placed next to the english text of the Book of Abraham.

I am still trying to figure out even though missing papyrus existed what's to point to it as the source of the Book of Abraham?

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Dale:

Nothing from any missing papyrus related to Abraham turns up in any of the Kirtland papers.

The Kirtland Egyptian Papers are something separate and distinct from the Joseph Smith papyri. The papyri stayed with Joseph Smithâ??s family after his death. Your statement seems to indicate some confusion about the relationships between these various items.

The Book of Breathings was associated with some Book of Abraham ideas.

What do you mean by this?

And Book of Breathings characters was placed next to the english text of the Book of Abraham.

Yes. But by whom, and when, and for what purpose?

There is no evidence that Joseph Smith had any part in the production of Mss. #1, #2, and #3. They are all copies. We do not know, at this time, what purpose the copyists had in mind when they created these documents, nor why they placed characters from the Book of Breathings in the left margin. They may have been using them to mark paragraphs much like the 119th Psalm. It is difficult to say. However, there is no evidence that they believed the characters â??translatedâ? into the English text. This is simply a myth perpetuated by critics motivated to discredit Joseph Smith. They have no basis for their assertion. As PacMan has demonstrated repeatedly, the phonetic nature of ancient Egyptian was widely understood in 1830s America. There is no reason to conclude that these well-educated and widely-read men (Phelps, Parrish, Williams) would have believed that a single Egyptian symbol could translate into 100+ English words.

The 1841-42 Willard Richards copy (Ms. #4) is the only one known to have been prepared with Joseph Smithâ??s input, and it was then used to produce a portion of the published version of the BoA in the Times and Seasons in March 1842. It does not contain any of the Egyptian characters in the left hand margin.

I am still trying to figure out even though missing papyrus existed what's to point to it as the source of the Book of Abraham?

Perhaps you missed the quote from William Appleby above. He describes things he saw on the papyrus from which the Book of Abraham was translated. What he describes doesnâ??t conform to what has survived.

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Still looking for the Hebrew without points in the JS Papyri.

Has anybody else found them?

USU "Why won't anybody address this?" 78

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Still looking for the Hebrew without points in the JS Papyri. Has anybody else found them?

USU "Why won't anybody address this?" 78

I recall you mentioning this before. What is your source on this?

The following is from the Millenial Star, Vol. XV, at 550:

The record of Abraham and Joseph, found with the mummies, is beautifully written on papyrus, with black, and a small part with red, ink or paint, in perfect preservation. The characters are such as you find upon the coffins of mummies, hieroglyphics, etc., with many characters or letters like the present (though probably not quite so square) form of Hebrew, without points.

I asked Paul Osborne about this several times, as you no doubt recall. He never gave a response of any kind. Perhaps my question is too stupid to be entertained.

USU "Wouldn't be the first time; won't be the last" 78

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Still looking for the Hebrew without points in the JS Papyri. Has anybody else found them?

USU "Why won't anybody address this?" 78

I recall you mentioning this before. What is your source on this?

The following is from the Millenial Star, Vol. XV, at 550:

The record of Abraham and Joseph, found with the mummies, is beautifully written on papyrus, with black, and a small part with red, ink or paint, in perfect preservation. The characters are such as you find upon the coffins of mummies, hieroglyphics, etc., with many characters or letters like the present (though probably not quite so square) form of Hebrew, without points.

I asked Paul Osborne about this several times, as you no doubt recall. He never gave a response of any kind. Perhaps my question is too stupid to be entertained.

USU "Wouldn't be the first time; won't be the last" 78

Hmmmm. First thing that jumped out is that it says "like" Hebrew. And looking at some of the Heiratic characters in the KEP thread over in pundits, I did see a few that sort of looked like Hebrew. But perhaps someone else has something different to say about it.

What else struck me exceptionally hard is that this is where the comment from DHC that Nibley used is from.

I'm going to go see who wrote the article, but perhaps someone already knows. Also, did Joseph approve the article for publication?

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The Kirtland Egyptian Papers are something separate and distinct from the Joseph Smith papyri. The papyri stayed with Joseph Smith?s family after his death. Your statement seems to indicate some confusion about the relationships between these various items.

I think Dale's point was that the symbols and referrences on the KEP all relate to the papyri that exists today. IOW, there's nothing in the KEP that seem to indicate a source other than what exists today. Even if the scribes were just screwing around making copies, they used the papyri that exists today as a source - indicating that they believed the BOA came from the BOB, and not some non-existant papyrus. And there's good reason to believe that they were privvy to what was being used as a source of the BOA.

There is no evidence that Joseph Smith had any part in the production of Mss. #1, #2, and #3. They are all copies.

In the words of Lee Corso - "Not so fast, my friend". You really should qualify that statement by noting that it's your opinion. Don't you think it's a bit careless to go around stating that as fact at this point in time? You've brought up some good points, including showing that a portion of Mss2 was copied (which, btw, does not conflict with Brent's theory). It's just too bad that he and Brian aren't still around...

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WK:

I think Dale's point was that the symbols and referrences on the KEP all relate to the papyri that exists today. IOW, there's nothing in the KEP that seem to indicate a source other than what exists today. Even if the scribes were just screwing around making copies, they used the papyri that exists today as a source - indicating that they believed the BOA came from the BOB, and not some non-existant papyrus.

Agreed.

And there's good reason to believe that they were privvy to what was being used as a source of the BOA.

Not necessarily.

In the words of Lee Corso - "Not so fast, my friend". You really should qualify that statement by noting that it's your opinion. Don't you think it's a bit careless to go around stating that as fact at this point in time? You've brought up some good points, including showing that a portion of Mss2 was copied (which, btw, does not conflict with Brent's theory). It's just too bad that he and Brian aren't still around...

Permit me to restate:

It is my considered opinion that there is persuasive evidence (including and in addition to what I have shown so far) that supports the thesis that Ms. #1, #2, and #3 are all copies.

Look for a new entry in the FAIR wiki within the next several days which will detail the evidence to which I refer.

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I don't believe this statement should be interpreted to mean that there were actually Hebrew characters on the scrolls, only that the characters had an appearance similar to Hebrew, without the vowel points.

Exactly . . . so where are the characters that ( a ) looked like Hebrew but ( b ) not so square and ( c ) without the vowel points?

I've looked and looked and looked at what's extant and cannot for the life of me figure out what those guys were talking about.

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I don't believe this statement should be interpreted to mean that there were actually Hebrew characters on the scrolls, only that the characters had an appearance similar to Hebrew, without the vowel points.

Exactly . . . so where are the characters that ( a ) looked like Hebrew but ( b ) not so square and ( c ) without the vowel points?

I've looked and looked and looked at what's extant and cannot for the life of me figure out what those guys were talking about.

I've just interpreted that statement to mean that, at least to Oliver Cowdery (who I believe was the author), the Egyptian hieratic characters looked like Hebrew -- which they do ... kind of ... I suppose.

But, be that as it may, there are other evidences, including the Appleby quote I cited above, that strongly suggest there was considerably more material originally than has survived.

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WK:

You've brought up some good points, including showing that a portion of Mss2 was copied (which, btw, does not conflict with Brent's theory).

Then you don’t understand the Metcalfe theory at all. The Metcalfe Theory posits that both Ms. #2 and #3 are transcripts of Joseph Smith’s original oral dictation of the translation of the Book of Abraham.

If either manuscript is demonstrated to be a copy, it disintegrates the Metcalfe Theory, because he depends on the common emendations between the two as his evidence for oral dictation.

It's just too bad that he and Brian aren't still around...

Believe me, they’re both “around”. It’s just that neither chooses to say anything for the time being. I’m pretty sure Brian will only speak via his publications in the future. As for Metcalfe, I wouldn’t presume to speak for him.

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Then you donâ??t understand the Metcalfe theory at all. The Metcalfe Theory posits that both Ms. #2 and #3 are transcripts of Joseph Smithâ??s original oral dictation of the translation of the Book of Abraham.

Apparently, you don't understand his theory. You need to go re-read the pundit thread between Brent and Brian.

Let me know if you need help understanding it. I'm quite confident though that you'll see what I'm talking about once you reread Brent's first couple posts.

You also probably should have read that thread before your chest thumping about defeating Brent by showing that mss1 is a copy.

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Then you donâ??t understand the Metcalfe theory at all. The Metcalfe Theory posits that both Ms. #2 and #3 are transcripts of Joseph Smithâ??s original oral dictation of the translation of the Book of Abraham.

Apparently, you don't understand his theory. You need to go re-read the pundit thread between Brent and Brian.

Let me know if you need help understanding it. I'm quite confident though that you'll see what I'm talking about once you reread Brent's first couple posts.

You also probably should have read that thread before your chest thumping about defeating Brent by showing that mss1 is a copy.

If you believe that I have mis-characterized his theory, I would invite you to restate it for us.

I am fairly confident that I understand his argument, but I am willing to be corrected.

And Brent is the one who has admitted that Ms. #1 is a copy, so I don't know why I would have engaged in any "chest thumping" about it.

Are you sure you understand the issues here?

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