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My JWHA Paper on the Egyptian Alphabet


Chris Smith

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It would be of interest to learn what entries were actually made in the prophet's journal from the first of July of 1835 to mid November of that year, and in whose handwriting. That would give us at least some sense if or when Williams and others acted as Joseph's personal scribe at the time. If, given your access to primary sources, you happen to know off-hand that information, I would appreciate you letting me know when you get the time. Or, if any of the other participants on this thread happens to know, it would also be nice.

The journal starts in mid-September. The journal for the months prior is lost or destroyed. The first several entries were scribed by Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Smith himself. The entries for Oct. 3-7 were scribed by Williams. After that it is Parrish's handwriting for quite some time.

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The journal starts in mid-September. The journal for the months prior is lost or destroyed. The first several entries were scribed by Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Smith himself. The entries for Oct. 3-7 were scribed by Williams. After that it is Parrish's handwriting for quite some time.

It should be noted (and I'm sure it was just an oversight on your part) that Parrish didn't actually start scribing until mid-November, at which point he made post hoc entries in the journal, back-dating them into October.

Just an FYI for the readers ...

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Metcalfe:

I have access to the same primary sources that Brian et al. have (and, perhaps, a few others that they may be unaware of).

Like, perhaps, the McClellin collection? :P

The original documents don't impart to viewers some otherwise inaccessible meaning by osmosis. My photos/scans have served me well.

I have consistently stated that I believe the photos done in the early 80s are excellent in almost every respect. However, they do have some specific shortcomings that I believe may have contributed to some of your mistaken conclusions concerning the nature of the secondary emendations.

For example, I believe there is a somewhat exaggerated contrast and slight tilt towards the red end of the spectrum evident in the digital images I have seen of the photos. I believe this may have influenced your conclusion that the emendations seen in the image below are "in line," rather than secondary. You have suggested that you believe the emendations seen below were made in the process of a dictation, whereas it is certain they were made after the underlying text had been copied in its entirety from a source document.

KEPA2_1.jpg

In other words, the entire phrase "... appointment whereunto unto the priesthood ..." was written in its entirety, and the strikeout of "whereunto" was done at a later point in time.

KEPA2_2.jpg

One might exclaim: "Well, that makes no sense. Why would the scribe do such a thing?" It is quite simple, actually: the scribe (Frederick G. Williams) was copying a manuscript that was clearly very similar to the Book of Mormon original manuscript--essentially one long uninterrupted line of unpunctuated, unedited text (that's what a manuscript of one of Joseph Smith's dictations really looks like). A copy was made of the original, and any editing was applied afterwards. This is the scenario for almost every locus containing an emendation in this document. And I believe it is much more apparent in the original documents than it is in the digital images I have seen that derive from the photos.

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Hi Wade,

Your elusive comma is indeed missing.

But no grammarian or historian would care either way, Wade. The context in the original source is clear: Williams' scribal work and financial remuneration specifically refer to the recording of patriarchal blessings delivered by Joseph Sr.

That's the fact of the matter, like it or not. Cheers,

While I, and evidently the editor of the HoC, believe there is grammatic room to reasonably interpret the entry as I did (your dogmatic assertion to the contrary not withstanding), and even though my interpretation seems to fit various other historical data (see my arguments in previous posts and Chris' post above), I think it only fair to say that after thoughtfully considering what you have said, I am inclined to agree with you on this minor point. :P

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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The journal starts in mid-September. The journal for the months prior is lost or destroyed. The first several entries were scribed by Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Smith himself. The entries for Oct. 3-7 were scribed by Williams. After that it is Parrish's handwriting for quite some time.

This is helpful information, Chris, and I appreciate you posting it. If you don't mind saying, is this your own assessment, or did you derive it from some other source? And, if the later, could you provide a reference?

I am pleased to see that it comports comfortably with the sense I got from reading the secondary source (HoC)--though, as admitted above, not always have my interpretations been spot-on.

What you suggest above appears to be substantiated somewhat by what I found in my secondary source (HoC). The entry for October 29th reads in part: "Brother Warren Parrish commenced writing for me, at fifteen dollars per month...went to Dr. Williams' after my large journal; made some observations to my scribe [i assume this is in reference to Williams--note the lower case and also see my argument below] concerning the plan of the city, which is to be built up hereafter on this ground consecrated for a Stake of Zion. While at the doctor's...We examined the mummies, returned home, and my Scribe [i assume this is in reference to Parrish--note the upper-case] commenced writing in my journal a history of my life; concluded President Cowdery's second letter to W. W. Phelps, which President Williams had begun." (History of the Church, Vol.2, Ch.21, p.293)

Clearly, Williams had been keeping the journal prior to it being retrieved and Parrish having commenced as Scribe. Also, the mummies were apparently stored at Dr. Williams' while the papyrus presumably remained in Joseph's possession (See also the entry for Nov. 17, 1835)

However, the wording of the entry for the 2nd of November, 1835, is also of interest: "I was engaged in regulating the affairs of the school, after which I had my team prepared, and Sidney Rigdon, Oliver Cowdery, Frederick G. Williams my scribe, and a number of others..." (History of the Church, Vol.2, Ch.22, p.299)

Now, it is possible that in my secondary source, but not in the primary source, a comma is missing after "Williams", but as written, it appears that Williams was still acting as scribe into part of November.

Then, there is the following revelation dated November 14th: "Revelation to Warren Parrish. Verily thus saith the Lord unto my servant Joseph, concerning my servant Warren Parrish. Behold his sins are forgiven him, because of his desires to do the works of righteousness. Therefore, inasmuch as he will continue to hearken unto my voice, he shall be blessed with wisdom, and with a sound mind, even above his fellows. Behold, it shall come to pass in his day, that he shall see great things show forth themselves unto my people; he shall see much of my ancient records, and shall know of hidden things, and shall be endowed with a knowledge of hidden languages; and if he desire and shall seek it at my hands, he shall be privileged with writing much of my word, as a scribe unto me for the benefit of my people; therefore this shall be his calling until I shall order it otherwise in my wisdom, and it shall be said of him in time to come, Behold Warren, the Lord's scribe for the Lord's seer, whom He hath appointed in Israel. Therefore, if he will keep my commandments, he shall be lifted up at the last day. Even so. Amen." (History of the Church, Vol.2, Ch.23, p.31)

Given the use of the word "shall", this suggests to me, in concert with what Will has intimated, that Parrish didn't actually begin as scribe until the middle of November, but wrote "post hoc" for the October entry above. I suppose that were we to have access to the primary source for the accounting records of the "committee store" from whence Joseph paid Parrish an advance of $16 for then future scribal services(ibid p. 293), that would certainly confirm things one way or the other. And, if we had access to the date of the letter written to Phelps, that would also prove illuminating. But, absent these things, we may be left with our potentially disputable historical inductions. :P

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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With the relatively minor issue regarding the 14th of September somewhat resolved, and moving past the evidentiary posturing, I would like to get back to a point that Nibley makes in his article on the Meaning of the KEP. He says:

" A third alphabet text (Egyptian Ms. #5) is, like the others, of four pages only, on the same paper and obviously produced as part of the same campaign. It is in the handwriting of Oliver Cowdery. The interesting thing is the way the three men disagree in their interpretations, each going his own way. Take for example the one sign that is constantly being rehashed in all the grammar and alphabet writings, the wellknown reed-sign, perhaps the most important and certainly the commonest of all hieroglyphic symbols. A special treatment of the reed-sign is tacked on at the end of each of the three copies
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Since at least Chris Smith has repeatedly agreed that the KEP may have been intended to learn the Egyptian language, the question may rightly be asked as to why I continue to harp on this point?

Well, aside from the possibility that there are critics besides Chris who may be reading this thread but who may not be on board, the point that I, along with Nibley and Will, am making is a bit more exclusionary than this. We (or at least I) believe that the KEP are irrelevant not only to the scriptural translation of the BoA, but irrelevant to the truth of Joseph's prophetic calling as well as irrelevant to the verity of the restored gospel and its mission to bring people to Christ and best enable us to become like him, and thus issues surrounding the KEP ought not negatively impact one's faith therein.

The essential point that Nibley and Will have or may yet make, is that the alphabet/grammar, and perhaps even the Mss., were not and could not have been used to produce the BoA. And, with the exception of Abr. 1:1-3, Chris seems mostly to agree. We will just have to wait for Brother Schryver's review of Chris's article to see if Chris's hypothesis about Abr. 1:1-3 is able to remain standing. I wouldn't hold my breath. :P

The essential point that I am trying to make is that the alphabet/grammar, and perhaps even the Mss., were never intended to be used to produce the BoA as scripture. Rather, such came directly by way of the gift and power of God as consistently attested to by friend and foe, and as consistently has been the case for all LDS scripture.

Instead, the KEP were simply about learning the Egyptian language. Other than that, the only other possible intent that I can reasonably see for them, was to act as some sort of training materials in developing certain members, at least two who had been promised through revelation that they would translate by the gift and power of God, ability and faith for eventually translating by the gift and power of God. Think of it as akin, in principle, to those few occasions where the Savior dabbed mud on blind men's eyes to act as a faith-enhancer to enable them to be healed and see. Perhaps the a&g's were a kind of literary mud that was hoped to assist Cowdery and others to finally "see" in Egyptian or other languages. Something to think about.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Wade,

The "interpretive latitude" Nibley finds is more a product of his own manufacture than a conclusion drawn from the documents. I encourage you, if and when you have a copy of the KEP in hand, to examine his arguments with a critical eye. Certainly we do find the scribes sometimes capturing different aspects of what Smith is saying as he expounds on each character, but the idea that they are venturing interpretations of their own is unsupported by the documentary evidence.

Meanwhile, your assertion that the language-learning aspect of the EAG papers somehow precludes their role in translating Abr. 1:1-3 remains simply that: an assertion. In order to rise to the level of argument, it must be supported by evidence. You have neither provided evidence nor responded to the specific arguments I made for literary dependence.

Perhaps more importantly, there is a whole other dimension to this problem that you have not even touched. Even if the case against the dependence of Abr. 1:1-3 on the GAEL could be successfully made, there would still be a large quantity of information in the GAEL whose origin would be unaccounted for. That this information was intended as revelation seems the natural explanation. That it was intended as speculation or sheer invention, on the other hand, seems simply unbelievable.

So, if you do indeed intend to establish "that the KEP are irrelevant not only to the scriptural translation of the BoA, but irrelevant to the truth of Joseph's prophetic calling," you have a long way to go. I wish you the best of luck in that endeavor. You're gonna need it.

Peace,

-Chris

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Not hardly. Have you actually read it all? Because if you have, I really don't know how you could say such a thing.

No matter how wild your claims become, William, you always seem to manage to outdo yourself.

Not only that, but I intend to demonstrate that the GAEL is effectively irrelevant. The GAEL is nothing more or less than W. W. Phelps
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No matter how wild your claims become, William, you always seem to manage to outdo yourself.

With which "wild claims" did I do that?

Quite clever of Phelps to dupe Smith and Cowdery into going along with it. Smith even proudly showed Phelps's creation off to his visitors! Apparently not the sharpest tack in the drawer, that prophet of yours.

There was no "duping" ever involved in Joseph Smith "proudly" showing off Phelps's handiwork and even taking public credit for it. I don't personally understand it, but it apparently didn't seem to bother him. After all, he did it quite frequently over the course of many years.

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Wade,

The "interpretive latitude" Nibley finds is more a product of his own manufacture than a conclusion drawn from the documents.

Actually, I cited but a portion of Nibley's documentation in my previous post. So, while you are free to interpret things differently from him, it isn't accurate or fair to suggest that his perceptions are imagined and un-documented.

I encourage you, if and when you have a copy of the KEP in hand, to examine his arguments with a critical eye.

Good advise.

Certainly we do find the scribes sometimes capturing different aspects of what Smith is saying as he expounds on each character...

Speaking of assertions potentially imagined rather than documented, this clearly presupposes at least six things: 1) that various KEPE were dictated; 2) they were dictated by Joseph; 3) They were dictated by Joseph to himself (EA JS)--does this make sense?, Oliver Cowdery (EA JS and EA OC), and W.W. Phelps (EA WP); 4) they were dictated simultaneously; 5) the dictation was in the form of "expounding on each character"; and 6) the supposed "expounding" went beyond what any one of the scribes wrote in their respective manuscripts (they each but "captured different aspects" of what Joseph dictated).

Regarding presupposition #1, in your JWHA article you stated: "The three EA manuscripts appear to be products of simultaneous dictation." (see p. 40). Yet, in the very next paragraph, you said: "In each of the three manuscripts, the Egyptian characters were drawn by different scribal hands (as evidenced by their different drawing styles). The copying of the characters was likely a collaborative effort overseen by Smith

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Actually, I cited but a portion of Nibley's documentation in my previous post. So, while you are free to interpret things differently from him, it isn't accurate or fair to suggest that his perceptions are imagined and un-documented.

Ah, but they are.

Here is Nibley's argument for disagreement between the three EA documents:

The interesting thing is the way the three men disagree in their interpretations, each going his own way. Take for example the one sign that is constantly being rehashed in all the "Grammar and Alphabet" writings, the well-known reed-sign, perhaps the most important and certainly the commonest of all hieroglyphic symbols. A special treatment of the reed-sign is tacked on at the end of each of the three copies. A comparison of the three texts is instructive.

Nibleyunderinfluence-1.jpg

Each of these is interpreting the same sign, with no sovereign master-mind to bring them to a unity of the faith. Cowdery and Phelps hear different sounds and come up with different meanings. And Joseph freely lets them go their way while he goes his, each under obligation to "study it out in your mind" before asking for revelation. This is something that anti-Mormon writers have wilfully misinterpreted from the first.

I just love that last line. Let's repeat that: yes, folks, anti-Mormons have willfully misinterpreted this from the first.

Basically, what Nibley is arguing is that the three documents interpret the same sign in completely different ways. In fact, Nibley says the documents don't even agree on whether the symbol is some variant of Za Ki on-hish or whether it's some variant of Ah-bra-oam! How damning!

The trouble is that he is completely and totally wrong. Below are images of the actual documents. The documents do not interpret the same sign differently. In fact, there are actually two signs here: the first is Za Ki on-hish and the second is Ah-bra-oam. They are not the same sign. If I were a less charitable person, I might accuse Nibley of having "willfully misinterpreted" this.

Nibleyunderinfluence.jpg

Speaking of assertions potentially imagined rather than documented, this clearly presupposes at least six things: 1) that various KEPE were dictated; 2) they were dictated by Joseph; 3) They were dictated by Joseph to himself (EA JS)--does this make sense?, Oliver Cowdery (EA JS and EA OC), and W.W. Phelps (EA WP); 4) they were dictated simultaneously; 5) the dictation was in the form of "expounding on each character"; and 6) the supposed "expounding" went beyond what any one of the scribes wrote in their respective manuscripts (they each but "captured different aspects" of what Joseph dictated).

I do not merely presuppose these things. I argue them in my paper.

Regarding presupposition #1, in your JWHA article you stated: "The three EA manuscripts appear to be products of simultaneous dictation." (see p. 40). Yet, in the very next paragraph, you said: "In each of the three manuscripts, the Egyptian characters were drawn by different scribal hands (as evidenced by their different drawing styles). The copying of the characters was likely a collaborative effort overseen by Smith
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Ah, but they are.

Here is Nibley's argument for disagreement between the three EA documents:

I just love that last line. Let's repeat that: yes, folks, anti-Mormons have willfully misinterpreted this from the first.

Basically, what Nibley is arguing is that the three documents interpret the same sign in completely different ways. In fact, Nibley says the documents don't even agree on whether the symbol is some variant of Za Ki on-hish or whether it's some variant of Ah-bra-oam! How damning!

The trouble is that he is completely and totally wrong. Below are images of the actual documents. The documents do not interpret the same sign differently. In fact, there are actually two signs here: the first is Za Ki on-hish and the second is Ah-bra-oam. They are not the same sign. If I were a less charitable person, I might accuse Nibley of having "willfully misinterpreted" this.

I appreciate your confirming my point. While, as you suggest, Nibley may have been mistaken in his argumentation and his use of documentation (which is understandable given the limited material he had to work with over a third of a century ago), he nevertheless presented argumentation and documentation for his assertion. As such, it was incorrect and unfair for you to claim it was merely imagined and not documented. And, were I uncharitable, I might even say you were "completely and totally wrong." :P

I do not merely presuppose these things. I argue them in my paper.

Until I have critically examined the entirety of your article (as you wisely suggested that I do with Nibley's article) I will take your word for it.

Now you're straining at gnats, Wade. That the characters were copied has no bearing on the dictation of the sounds and interpretations of those characters.

Perhaps your not seeing the potential significance of my clarifying question.

1) It brings out that you are not arguing for a complete dictation, but rather a partial dictation.

2) It enables us to see that you and Will and I are at least partially in agreement about the manuscripts being copied.

3) It ties in nicely with my ongoing point about the manuscripts being geared towards language-learning and not translation.

4) And most importantly, it provides something of a control to test your arguments in favor of a partial dictation. For example, if you argue that variants, in general, in the sounds and grammar, is reason to think they were dictated, then were variants to be found among the symbols that you agree were copied, then that would somewhat negated the general variant argument. ;)

We'll see.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Hi Chris,

At the risk of being accused again of straining gnats, do you believe the characters on the three EA's in question were copied from those given by Chandler on the 3rd of July, 1835, to Joseph to translate? And/Or, do you believe they were copied from some other source (papyri?) at some other time?

Also, on page 41 of your article, you mentioned that letter columns and several letters were present in EA OC and EA WWP, but not in EA JS. To your way of thinking, were the letters dictated or copied?

Could you also explain how it is that Joseph ended up supposedly dictating to himself with EA JS?

I am just trying to visualize how and when you believe the alleged simultaneous dictation occurred. I recall you mentioning earlier in the thread that you believe the alphabet/grammar was mostly completed by the end of July, 1835. However, since it is evident that Joseph worked alone on the alphabet/grammar throughout the later part of July (the HoC entry for the 19th of July uses the singular pronoun "I" in regards to Joseph spending the remainder of the month translating the alphabet, as contrasted with other entries later in the year that specifically mention Cowdery's and Phelps' involvement in the translation, as well as Phelps' letter of the 20th which speaks in the future tense about translating), and given that Joseph's journal for October 1st of 1835 specifically mentions Joseph laboring "on the Egyptian alphabet, in company with brsr. O. Cowdery and W.W.Phelps", I am just wondering if you view the alleged simultaneous dictation as having occurred during a single session or over multiple sessions, and when do you view the alleged simultaneous dictation(s) as having occurred, and what evidence do you see textual-critically in the EA's to support your belief about the timing of the alleged simultaneous dictation(s)?

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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I appreciate your confirming my point. While, as you suggest, Nibley may have been mistaken in his argumentation and his use of documentation (which is understandable given the limited material he had to work with over a third of a century ago), he nevertheless presented argumentation and documentation for his assertion. As such, it was incorrect and unfair for you to claim it was merely imagined and not documented. And, were I uncharitable, I might even say you were "completely and totally wrong." :P

I would be "completely and totally wrong" if I really made the claim you seem to think I made. But you have misread me. When I said that "The 'interpretive latitude' Nibley finds is more a product of his own manufacture than a conclusion drawn from the documents," I was accusing Nibley of interpretive error. That is, eisegesis rather than exegesis. I was not denying that he provided faulty documentation and fallacious argumentation in support of his conclusion.

1) It brings out that you are not arguing for a complete dictation, but rather a partial dictation.

2) It enables us to see that you and Will and I are at least partially in agreement about the manuscripts being copied.

You and William think that the three Egyptian Alphabet manuscripts are copied? You might want to check with Will before you speak for him on this subject. The dictation vs. copying arguments that have occurred on this board so far have applied to the translation manuscripts, not the EA manuscripts. I don't think Will has stated his views on the production of the EA manuscripts.

Anyway, I never claimed that I was arguing for "complete dictation". My paper makes quite clear that the characters were visually copied.

4) And most importantly, it provides something of a control to test your arguments in favor of a partial dictation. For example, if you argue that variants, in general, in the sounds and grammar, is reason to think they were dictated, then were variants to be found among the symbols that you agree were copied, then that would somewhat negated the general variant argument. ;)

The variants in the sounds are significant not because they are variants, but because they are variant phonetic spellings of the same sound. Where one manuscript has "oan" and another has "one", we can conclude that both scribes are hearing the same sound and spelling it differently. Variants among the copied characters are quite different because not only is it impossible to dictate an Egyptian character, but the variants also lack the phonetic component. Here the scribes seem to be seeing the same shapes and rendering them differently. For example, one scribe fills in most of the shapes, while another scribe tends to leave the shapes unfilled. The variants are visual rather than auditory.

And now, Wade, this discussion is becoming tedious. You appear to be moving beyond helpful discussion into the realm of irrelevant point-scoring.

Peace,

-Chris

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At the risk of being accused again of straining gnats, do you believe the characters on the three EA's in question were copied from those given by Chandler on the 3rd of July, 1835, to Joseph to translate? And/Or, do you believe they were copied from some other source (papyri?) at some other time?

It apparently occurred in more than one session, and using multiple source texts, and involved collaboration among the scribes. More detailed work will probably be required before we can determine exactly the process employed; I only made some very general and preliminary suggestions.

Also, on page 41 of your article, you mentioned that letter columns and several letters were present in EA OC and EA WWP, but not in EA JS. To your way of thinking, were the letters dictated or copied?

We have too little evidence to say precisely what was going on here, so far as I can tell.

Could you also explain how it is that Joseph ended up supposedly dictating to himself with EA JS?

He wrote and talked at the same time.

However, since it is evident that Joseph worked alone on the alphabet/grammar throughout the later part of July (the HoC entry for the 19th of July uses the singular pronoun "I" in regards to Joseph spending the remainder of the month translating the alphabet,

That is not at all evident. Joseph's diary often does not mention the involvement of scribes in the prophet's writing projects, but he almost always employed one. In fact, the history entry you cite (written by Willard Richards rather than by Smith himself) probably had W. W. Phelps rather than Smith as its source. Richards' diary is silent with respect to any contributions by Smith during the period this entry was written. And from other History entries, we know that Phelps and Richards were working together during this period (DHC 5:253; 6:66). Phelps likely informed Richards of the late July Grammar project based on his own direct personal knowledge and involvement as scribe in the project.

I am just wondering if you view the alleged simultaneous dictation as having occurred during a single session or over multiple sessions, and when do you view the alleged simultaneous dictation(s) as having occurred,

Multiple sessions, possibly July 6-8.

and what evidence do you see textual-critically in the EA's to support your belief about the timing of the alleged simultaneous dictation(s)?

Once you've determined the developmental trajectory of these documents, as I do in my paper, you can make an effort to correlate them with entries from histories, journals and reminiscences that mention translation work. That's all I'm doing in this case. Unfortunately the evidence for July is mostly spotty and late, so it cannot be done with the level of precision I'd prefer.

Peace,

-Chris

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You and William think that the three Egyptian Alphabet manuscripts are copied? You might want to check with Will before you speak for him on this subject. The dictation vs. copying arguments that have occurred on this board so far have applied to the translation manuscripts, not the EA manuscripts. I don't think Will has stated his views on the production of the EA manuscripts.

He has hinted at it with his surmising about the sequence in which they were written. But, I am not even sure myself about them being copies, and if I am incorrect regarding Will as well, I trust he will correct me.

Anyway, I never claimed that I was arguing for "complete dictation". My paper makes quite clear that the characters were visually copied.

I am pleased to have that clarified.

The variants in the sounds are significant not because they are variants, but because they are variant phonetic spellings of the same sound. Where one manuscript has "oan" and another has "one", we can conclude that both scribes are hearing the same sound and spelling it differently.

That is interesting. When I read those two quoted words out loud, I get two different phonetic sounds--the former consisting of two syllables and the later consisting of one.

Variants among the copied characters are quite different because not only is it impossible to dictate an Egyptian character, but the variants also lack the phonetic component. Here the scribes seem to be seeing the same shapes and rendering them differently. For example, one scribe fills in most of the shapes, while another scribe tends to leave the shapes unfilled. The variants are visual rather than auditory.

While admittedly difficult, I don't think it is "impossible" to dictate characters, though reason suggests to me that they were most likely copies of one sort or another. But, whatever the case, the character variants that I had in mind are the significant ones you mentioned in footnote #15--those that were "quite distinct in all three manuscripts", and such as the "bird-shaped symbol on page 3". To me, this is as significant if not more significant than the alleged phonetic misspellings you mention above, and seems to me to mitigate somewhat against their being copied from one manuscript to another.

And now, Wade, this discussion is becoming tedious. You appear to be moving beyond helpful discussion into the realm of irrelevant point-scoring. Peace, -Chris

I am sorry that you see it that way. The thought of "point-scoring" never crossed my mind (I don't tend to look at things like this egotistically or competitively). Rather, I thought this was an excellent way of scholastically testing each other's arguments. Apparently, with you, as is often the case with critics, they quickly lose interest when their material becomes the object of scrutiny and criticism. I don thank you for th time you have given me. With your burdensome responsibilities of school and all, I feel privileged to have shared the time that we have.

Perhaps I will continue to post my thoughts on the off chance that some lurkers may still be interested.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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