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Her Amun, Please Explain The Papyrus Joseph Smith Had


Sethbag

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Who wrote the papyrus Joseph Smith had? What did they intend by such writing? How do the papyrus pieces we have today, which translate out into the Breathing Permit of Hor, including the original that served as the basis for facsimile #1, serve to produce the story written in the Book of Abraham? How is it that the priests who produced the Breathing Permit of Hor thought that what they had was indeed a suitable breathing permit to be buried with a mummy, and buried it with a mummy in fulfillment of its purpose? Please relate the Book of Abraham story to the fact that these documents were buried with a mummy as if they'd been a proper Breathing Permit for a dead Egyptian priest.

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Who wrote the papyrus Joseph Smith had? What did they intend by such writing? How do the papyrus pieces we have today, which translate out into the Breathing Permit of Hor, including the original that served as the basis for facsimile #1, serve to produce the story written in the Book of Abraham? How is it that the priests who produced the Breathing Permit of Hor thought that what they had was indeed a suitable breathing permit to be buried with a mummy, and buried it with a mummy in fulfillment of its purpose? Please relate the Book of Abraham story to the fact that these documents were buried with a mummy as if they'd been a proper Breathing Permit for a dead Egyptian priest.

You clearly don't understand that Abraham was significantly connected to a Lion Couch in another Egyptian papyri. Except BoA wasn't necessarily Egyptian. And there's the spiritual witness to consider. And if Abraham was mentioned at all, that seals the deal.

Okay, enough kidding. All joking aside, I'm curious about this, too.

But, I'm afraid Her Amun's answer will incorporate the position that BPoH is not BoA. And BoA is not BPoH. And the connection between the two is conceptual rather than linguistic. And, thus, it doesn't matter what text is written upon the extant source document, because the two documents are not related linguistically to one another. Queue catalystic segue music.

This has been his answer in previous threads. It solves some problems. And creates others. But I don't expect him to change horses in mid-stream.

Best.

CKS

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There were lots of Jews living in Egypt. The lion couch scene that Gee commented on shows exactly the kind of environment in which the Book of Abraham that Joseph discovered on the mummies could have been produced.

Shows exactly?

Could have been?

I have to say, if you're serious, that you haven't read the links in question that have been referenced.

Lots of Jews living in Egypt? Sure. And lots of Jewish-cum-Christians living in Egypt as well. Which explains the mention of Abraham in post 30 AD Egyptian magical texts.

I have to question the exactitude you mention. Please elucidate.

Best.

CKS

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Shows exactly?

Could have been?

I have to say, if you're serious, that you haven't read the links in question that have been referenced.

Lots of Jews living in Egypt? Sure. And lots of Jewish-cum-Christians living in Egypt as well. Which explains the mention of Abraham in post 30 AD Egyptian magical texts.

I have to question the exactitude you mention. Please elucidate.

Best.

CKS

The part of the text that has the lion couch and the mention of Abraham is actually a stock scene that is instructed to be inserted in various texts, with the text immediately following the depiction of the scene. In the example we have, the text surrounding the picture and the mention of Abraham is actually a kind of spell pleading for someone to fall in love with the petitioner. The lion couch scene with the Abraham text underneath it is an execration text from long before the extant text that was inserted in this petition as a sort of curse should the love spell be withstood. The caption (so to speak) is written in coptic to ensure proper pronunciation in a culture where the original (older) script might not have been properly spoken. The rest of the text is written in demotic. The lion couch depiction with accompanying "Abraham" caption long predates the extant version.

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with the text immediately following the depiction of the scene. In the example we have, the text surrounding the picture and the mention of Abraham is actually a kind of spell pleading for someone to fall in love with the petitioner. The lion couch scene with the Abraham text underneath it is an execration text from long before the extant text that was inserted in this petition as a sort of curse should the love spell be withstood. The caption (so to speak) is written in coptic to ensure proper pronunciation in a culture where the original (older) script might not have been properly spoken. The rest of the text is written in demotic. The lion couch depiction with accompanying "Abraham" caption long predates the extant version.

Would it were so easy. I question whether or not the text surrounding. etc. It seems that you're saying that the extant text doesn't fit with the lion couch scene. Perhaps you're not.

But, at any rate, it seems that you're backing off some sort of direct connection between the lion couch scene and a relevant reference to Abraham.

If you've got to invoke a long-later Coptic text to ensure some sort of connection between a relevant lion couch scene and the surrounding text, I just don't see it. Again, no one seems to want to engage Ashment here.

Why not?

We're dancing all around it here.

Why not just engage his analysis directly?

I don't get it.

CKS

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Would it were so easy. I question whether or not the text surrounding. etc. It seems that you're saying that the extant text doesn't fit with the lion couch scene. Perhaps you're not.

But, at any rate, it seems that you're backing off some sort of direct connection between the lion couch scene and a relevant reference to Abraham.

If you've got to invoke a long-later Coptic text to ensure some sort of connection between a relevant lion couch scene and the surrounding text, I just don't see it. Again, no one seems to want to engage Ashment here.

Why not?

We're dancing all around it here.

Why not just engage his analysis directly?

I don't get it.

CKS

Yes, Abraham's name was being used as a magic word, because of the abr- element as in abrax. Yet, it is still the biblical Abraham and he is connected with a lion couch scene, hence the comand to copy the spell with the picture. Lets not forget that the JS papyri come from the same time period as Leiden I 384. All the Theban cache shows is that some egyptian priests were adopting jewish elements into their religious practice and associating them with native egyptian stuff, a judeo-egyptian syncretism of sorts.

I'll give you a modern example to serve as an imperfect analogy?

Who is this person?

180px-St-barbara.jpg

Answer: For the European and most Christians it is Santa Barbara.

For some Puerto Ricans and Cubans it is the african god, Chango.

Not a perfect analogy but......

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But, I'm afraid Her Amun's answer will incorporate the position that BPoH is not BoA. And BoA is not BPoH. And the connection between the two is conceptual rather than linguistic. And, thus, it doesn't matter what text is written upon the extant source document, because the two documents are not related linguistically to one another. Queue catalystic segue music.

SETHBAG

Pay close attention to CK SALMON"S analysis of my position. He reads the same posts you do. Ask yourself, why is it he understands Her AMun and you dont? Im not trying to get personal, I just value clarity over agreement.

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The papyri that *we* have are only the illustrations that were used by the author of the papyri that is missing--the one on which the real Book of Abraham was written.

But the portion that we do have--that is, the part identified as a common funeral text--is physically connected to the illustrations--the same illustrations that the author of the Book of Abraham refers to as being at the begining of his story. Why would Abraham insert this totally irrelevant funerary text after his illustration and before the text the illustration was meant for?

Furthermore, what does it mean that said illustrations actually relate to and illustrate the funeral text that they're connected to (according to Egyptologists)? If the illustrations were intended to portray an event depicted in the Book of Abraham story, why do Egyptologists tell us that they instead relate to the funeral text portion?

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SETHBAG

Pay close attention to CK SALMON"S analysis of my position. He reads the same posts you do. Ask yourself, why is it he understands Her AMun and you dont? Im not trying to get personal, I just value clarity over agreement.

Ok, to make sure I'm understanding you correctly, you are not arguing that Joseph Smith actually got the BoA from the papyrus, but rather received it as revelation after he prayed about the papyrus, a la catalyst theory?

If that is so, I'm really curious why you bother trying to relate Egyptian symbology with Israelitish religion, such as your continual bringing up of the Leiden papyrus with a lion couch scene and the name of Abraham. If the story of the Book of Abraham was not actually even on the papyrus, what does it matter what other things might have been on other papyrus, written by other people, at other times? I'm trying to understand what your over-arching point is in all of these threads. I've been confused in the past, because you have at other times seemed to be championing the idea that Israelites repurposed Egyptian symbols to tell Israelite stories, and I guess I assumed you meant that this applied to the BoA as well, but apparently not.

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YEAH!! After the dear departure of one Brother Golden G****, I was worried this would never again pop up!

Sethbag and others,

It becomes tremendously apparent that you believe that Joseph and his scribes thought that a single, simple grapheme could translate into hundreds of words of narrative. Not only is this what you may think, but the integrity of this assumption is critical for such a critical analysis, using the KEP. As such, you erroneously attribute a most unnecessary relationship between the manuscript narrative text, and the characters from the BoB. What gives you the slightest reason to believe that this is what Joseph believed, considering it's but stupidity to think that such characters could produce lengthy text when Egyptian is really phonetic?!

PacMan

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The more time that passes, the more I've forgotten that I once read when I was looking into the Book of Abraham thing. But apparently, Joseph (or someone) wrote about their being different degrees of meaning for the character, with each degree including more detail than the previous degree. By the time you got to third or fourth degree or something like that, it was whole sentences or even paragraphs. Yeah, it seems like a dumb idea to you and me, but apparently someone believed it, because they wrote that explanation down.

I could totally see an overly credulous person believing that. Especially when it's viewed as mysterious or miraculous. In fact, invoke miracles and almost anything goes.

You seem to be arguing that it's ridiculous to think that someone in JS's day could have believed that a single Egyptian character could produce a whole paragraph of text, because we all, in this day and age, know that's just silly. But the Saints in those days didn't have modern egyptology to explain how things really worked, and they had Joseph claiming knowledge straight from God, and they believed it. I can totally see people falling for that. Heck, even in this day and age, I see people falling for stupid stuff all the time.

My purpose in posting this thread was really to get Her Amun to come out and stake his claims. He's been posting and reposting the same stuff for weeks now, and putting things out there that he apparently feels are important to explaining or justifying the Book of Abraham, but he hasn't been very clear about what he's saying it all means. What I'd like to know, so I better understand all the things he's putting out there, is just how Her Amun thinks the Book of Abraham came about.

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Sethbag,

You know, you’re in good company for what it’s worth. Robert Ritner from the University of Chicago notes: “…Almost any interpretation given to an Egyptian document in 1842, or ’45, or ’50, or even 1860 would have been believable to a general audience who’d have no way of comparing it with the actual truth.” The only problem with Ritner, an Egyptologist and apparent expert on the subject is he’s not a historian…or at least not a very good one.

I am concluding a detailed, monotonous, and boring paper that outline the chronology of Egyptology in America, it’s publication, and how that information was available to Joseph Smith. Let me tell you that Ritner is unequivocally wrong. Champollion’s discovery reached America long before Joseph had even heard of Chandler, and not only was Anthon likely an expert on the matter by the time Harris met him with the characters, but other such as Phelps may well have been exposed to the information, at least the basics, or phonetic characteristics of Egyptian were known. By the time Joseph begun the translation of the BoA, Egyptology was well into full bloom in the United States and Champollion’s research was not only published, but well distributed and advertised throughout the United States. In is almost inconceivable that Joseph, his circle of well-read associates, and Harris through all those he consulted with—including Anthon—hadn’t received even the simplest explanation of what was very well known at the time: that the Egyptian language used a phonetic alphabet.

The foundation for disputing that the manuscript came from the BoB is now completely without merit. If you would like, I will gladly send you an autographed copy of my paper. Although, to be honest, it would be more entertaining to watch the paint dry. An entertaining read, it is not.

PacMan

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But the portion that we do have--that is, the part identified as a common funeral text--is physically connected to the illustrations--the same illustrations that the author of the Book of Abraham refers to as being at the begining of his story. Why would Abraham insert this totally irrelevant funerary text after his illustration and before the text the illustration was meant for?

Furthermore, what does it mean that said illustrations actually relate to and illustrate the funeral text that they're connected to (according to Egyptologists)? If the illustrations were intended to portray an event depicted in the Book of Abraham story, why do Egyptologists tell us that they instead relate to the funeral text portion?

Well, we can't be positive, but I am guessing that the ancient editor has inserted comments connecting the Abraham story he had access to with funerary texts he brought on board as illustrations to accompany the texts. A pretty ingenious re-appropriation of Egyptian temple cult into the true divine mysteries, really.

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Would it were so easy. I question whether or not the text surrounding. etc. It seems that you're saying that the extant text doesn't fit with the lion couch scene. Perhaps you're not.

But, at any rate, it seems that you're backing off some sort of direct connection between the lion couch scene and a relevant reference to Abraham.

If you've got to invoke a long-later Coptic text to ensure some sort of connection between a relevant lion couch scene and the surrounding text, I just don't see it. Again, no one seems to want to engage Ashment here.

You may be misunderstanding me. The caption with the mention of Abraham is instructed to always accompany the drawing, and the text surrounding the collective drawing and Abrahamic caption is the text that is new, and in demotic. The caption and picture must not be separated. The connection is much, much older than the text which it now accompanies.

It's also relevant to point out that in order that the the drawing not be placed in another section of the text, or not be replaced altogether, the drawing carried with it explicit instructions to the contrary, leading to the inescapable conclusion that this was a common occurance. The fact that drawings often do not accompany their explanation in the text is made even more clear. The suviving papyri have a drawing, but there is no such instruction to maintain the juxtaposition of drawing and caption.

Why not just engage his analysis directly?

Gee has more than supplied ample response to his criticisms. If you would like to respond to Gee then do so.

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Ok, to make sure I'm understanding you correctly, you are not arguing that Joseph Smith actually got the BoA from the papyrus
Yes, I donot believe he got the BoA from the SURVIVNG PAPYRUS.
but rather received it as revelation after he prayed about the papyrus, a la catalyst theory?

Thats one posibility ala D&C section 7"the Tesitomony of John" and this is what I favor. http://scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/7

Another possibility is that some form of Abraham related text was attached to the papyrus, but did not survive the Chicago fire. We dont have all the papyri he had(facsimile 2,3 are proof of this). If a small Abraham related text was part of the papyri then the translation was akin to the BoMoses Enoch chapter. Genesis only gives us 2 or 3 verses about Enoch, yet the BoMoses gives us 1 whole chpter.

If that is so, I'm really curious why you bother trying to relate Egyptian symbology with Israelitish religion, such as your continual bringing up of the Leiden papyrus with a lion couch scene and the name of Abraham.
The Theban Cache(which contained Leiden I 384 and 383) and the Testament of Abraham are examples of the exchange that was occuring between Egyptian Jews and native egyptians during the Greco-Roman period(the period of the JS papyri). Leiden 384 shows that in the mind of 1 egyptian preist Abraham could be connected to lion couch, Leiden 383 shows that the same priest meant the Biblical Abraham. The Testament of Abraham shows that jews were open to adopting Jewish motifs for their own religious purpuses. In other word, the JS papyri come from a time in egyptian history, where a very limited egypto-jewish syncretism was taking place.

If the story of the Book of Abraham was not actually even on the papyrus, what does it matter what other things might have been on other papyrus, written by other people, at other times?
Good questian. It matters because one has to ask "what would a book like this(BoA) be doing near a scroll like that(HBoB)"? Or , "If the BoA's use of the facsimilies represents such egypto-jewish syncretism/adoption/adaption, to what extetant do the semetic interpretations depend on the egyptian interpretations?"
I've been confused in the past, because you have at other times seemed to be championing the idea that Israelites repurposed Egyptian symbols to tell Israelite stories, and I guess I assumed you meant that this applied to the BoA as well, but apparently not.

I GUESS THE OVERARCHING THEME WOULD BE:

Some egyptians and some jews during the time of the JS papyri, mixed and matched material from each other, often in connection with Abraham. They each adapted/adopted these materials and gave them new meaning within their respective religious traditions. The BoA is the first publication in modern times that shows a mixing of of overtly pagan egyptian motifs and jewish ones, specifically connected to Abraham.

How that effects one's theology is a completly different questian.

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You seem to be arguing that it's ridiculous to think that someone in JS's day could have believed that a single Egyptian character could produce a whole paragraph of text, because we all, in this day and age, know that's just silly. But the Saints in those days didn't have modern egyptology to explain how things really worked, and they had Joseph claiming knowledge straight from God, and they believed it. I can totally see people falling for that. Heck, even in this day and age, I see people falling for stupid stuff all the time.
Actually, WW Phelps(the scribe), Joseph Smith and some of the other bretheren were studying hebrew at the time, in the school of the prophets.

If a knowledge of hebrew showed Joseph and/or his associates that egyptian could have read from right to left, then why would they assume that 1 character=a paragraph, if this isnt the case in hebrew?

If the bretheren believed that KEP represented some kind of divine inspirtion or new knowledge, why were they not published alongside the BoA?

If the bretheren believed that 1character=a paragraph, why do the KEP stop after 5 characters?

If the bretheren believed that 1character=a paragraph, why are only the first 3 of the 5 characters simultanius? Where did the 4t character come from?

If the text of the BoA was written after the characters were put on paper, why do some of the characters spill into the margins and in 1 instance almost onto the text itself, while the BoA text is neatly in the margins? Where they writing around the characters? This is from material the video didnt show.

Why the use of seperate inks, one for the BoA one for the heiratic characters?

If the bretheren believed that 1character=a paragraph, why were the 3 consecutive plus 2 non-consecutive chracters not lined-up when the BoA was published?

If the bretheren believed that 1character=a paragraph, why is there no record of this? These people kept journals and wrote any minutia tought by Joseph that they thought was important.

at the 2:30-2:40 mark,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNoxKcWFEPw

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Sethbag,

...

The foundation for disputing that the manuscript came from the BoB is now completely without merit. If you would like, I will gladly send you an autographed copy of my paper. Although, to be honest, it would be more entertaining to watch the paint dry. An entertaining read, it is not.

PacMan

I'm going to go out on a limb and say I think you'll have a hard time supporting the statement that the foundation for arguing that the BoA came from the BoB is without merit, but oh well. I'd be glad to read your paper.

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Her Amun, I want to make sure to publically thank you for answering my call to clarify your position with respect to the Book of Abraham. I think there's still a small amount of ambiguity in your approach, but I think I have a much better idea of where you're arguing from. That was the main objective in starting this thread; to clarify what you believed about the origin of the BoA so as to shine some light into what you are trying to accomplish with all these other threads you've been starting lately. Obviously I disagree with you on the Book of Abraham, but I'd much rather be arguing with you about what it is you actually believe, rather than arguing with what I think you believe, but you really don't.

Actually, WW Phelps(the scribe), Joseph Smith and some of the other bretheren were studying hebrew at the time, in the school of the prophets.

If a knowledge of hebrew showed Joseph and/or his associates that egyptian could have read from right to left, then why would they assume that 1 character=a paragraph, if this isnt the case in hebrew?

I've never been 100% comfortable with concluding that JS guessed that Egyptian would be read from right to left because Hebrew was. I think that's a weak link in the argument chain. It may well be true that this is how it happened, but I don't think that conclusion necessarily follows from the evidence. Still, absent any evidence that it was to be read vertically, it had to be left to right, or right to left. He could have totally guessed and had a 50% chance of being right. Maybe the fact that Hebrew, itself an ancient language, did influence Joseph into thinking that if he had to guess, maybe reading right to left was simply a trait ancient languages shared or something. It's funny the kinds of things people will assume. I'm not saying this argument is persuasive, only that it makes sense.

If the bretheren believed that KEP represented some kind of divine inspirtion or new knowledge, why were they not published alongside the BoA?

I'm not sure it follows that anything considered divine inspiration or new knowledge necessarily had to be published. The BoA was meant to be published as a work of scripture. LDS leaders claim the church is lead through revelation constantly, and yet how much new scripture has been published by the church in the last 170 years?

The KEP may well have been intended to develop into a tool for people to use for practical purposes. Sure, the underlying "knowledge" that underpinned the KEP may have been considered of divine origins, but perhaps the KEP was meant to serve more of a mundane role as a tool to be used by future people in translating egyptian.

If the bretheren believed that 1character=a paragraph, why do the KEP stop after 5 characters?

I don't know. Maybe Joseph was saving the rest for later. Book of Abraham, part deux?

If the brethren believed that 1character=a paragraph, why are only the first 3 of the 5 characters simultanius? Where did the 4t character come from?

I don't have my Larson book handy, so I may be wrong on this, but wasn't the fourth character supposed to have come from a location in the parchment where there was a hole, so Joseph made up a character instead, thus "restoring" what was lost in that hole?

If the text of the BoA was written after the characters were put on paper, why do some of the characters spill into the margins and in 1 instance almost onto the text itself, while the BoA text is neatly in the margins? Where they writing around the characters? This is from material the video didnt show.

I don't know.

Why the use of seperate inks, one for the BoA one for the heiratic characters?

It was my impression that once color photos were observed, there was no apparent difference in the inks.

If the bretheren believed that 1character=a paragraph, why were the 3 consecutive plus 2 non-consecutive chracters not lined-up when the BoA was published?

One might well ask why the original Nephite (or should that always be called Reformed Egyptian) characters weren't printed with the Book of Mormon. You'd have to ask the editors chose to print these things the way they did.

If the bretheren believed that 1character=a paragraph, why is there no record of this? These people kept journals and wrote any minutia tought by Joseph that they thought was important.

Well, we do have the writings explaining how the characters had different degrees, each of which carried with it more detail and information. It's not as if this wasn't recorded, it sure was, or we wouldn't know about it.

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Ok. I'll have to look for it. The Larson book, which discussed it, was something I read before moving into my new house, so I'm not sure where it ended up.

Actually, come to think of it, that book is available on the internet. I'll see if I can find the degrees stuff.

edit: Here's the link straight to part 3 of Larson's book online. About halfway down the page is the whole business with the degrees of each character. Not only did the person who wrote that think that one character could generate a whole paragraph of detail about it, but in fact they wrote down an elaborate explanation of how this w as supposed to have worked. Of course it's gibberish, but that's what they wrote. The fact that it's gibberish is actually part of the critics' point. :P

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Not trying to derail the thread but how do the Facsimilies play in all of this?

In the PoGP the meanings of the different symbols/figures are listed.

As I understand it though the symbols actually relate The Book of Breathings. Am I making sense?

Anyone have explanations for that?

SG

Yes, but they're pretty lame. :P I'll have to let one of the Defenders explain it though - I'm sure I couldn't do it justice. Something about Israelites repurposing Egyptian symbolism. Or, perhaps, the Egyptians will be said to have repurposed Israelite symbolism, such that the lion-couch scene was originally lifted by the Egyptians from some Israelite story about Abraham being sacrificed on an altar, etc. Then the Egyptians used that scene to fit in with their own religious ceremonies. Like I said, it's not making a whole lot of sense when I say it, better let a Defender have a go.

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Not trying to derail the thread but how do the Facsimilies play in all of this?

In the PoGP the meanings of the different symbols/figures are listed.

As I understand it though the symbols actually relate The Book of Breathings. Am I making sense?

Anyone have explanations for that?

SG

In other words, Joseph Smith restored the missing portions of the hypocephalus with text from the BoB. Here's what William V. Smith has to say about this:

[This] is... actually an evidence that Joseph Smith was not a charlatan. (60) Joseph Smith

gave instruction to his woodcut artist on the missing portions of Facsimile No. 2, evidently telling

him to insert some characters for the sake of aesthetics (61) but Joseph Smith made no attempt to

interpret those characters on the facsimile, which he certainly would have done if he was as daring

and/or as stupid as many of his critics style him. (62)

So there you have it. This is evidence that JS was not a charlatan, after all.

-CK

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