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My JWHA Paper on the Egyptian Alphabet


Chris Smith

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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.

Try pronouncing them like the English word "own", and I think you'll see my point.

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 ... seems to me to mitigate somewhat against their being copied from one manuscript to another.

Agreed. However, I can't exclude the possibility that they copied from one manuscript to another in some cases. Like I said before, not all the characters come from the same source, and not all were copied in one sitting. A few in fact appear to be breakdowns of other characters, or even inventions to fill lacunae. So while I think that most of the characters were probably copied directly from the papyri, it was probably more complicated than that in some cases.

Apparently, with you, as is often the case with critics, they quickly lose interest when their material becomes the object of scrutiny and criticism.

Actually, I rather enjoy discussions where meaningful ideas and constructive criticism are shared. Where it gets tedious is when I am criticized without a specific and well-thought-out evidentiary basis, when I am criticized for minor irrelevancies, when I am criticized for things I didn't actually say, and when I am criticized by people who have not actually read my whole paper. At some point, these kinds of interactions begin to feel like criticism for the sake of criticism rather than criticism for the sake of mutual enlightenment. I am more than happy to answer meaningful questions and to clarify my views on important subjects. But I don't really have time for competitive banter.

-Chris

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Try pronouncing them like the English word "own", and I think you'll see my point.

Okay. However, I don't see how to get the spelling of "one" from the phonetic sound for "own"--that is, unless I use a really deep southern drawl. ;)

If it was Joseph's manuscript that spelled it that way, then I could somewhat understand it--given that he is about as bad a speller as me (though without the luxury of a computerized spell checker). But, if he were the one dictating and making the phonetic sounds, then one would reasonably expect that his manuscript would be free of phonetic mistakes. Right?

Whatever the case, I don't know that my point here is all that important.

Agreed. However, I can't exclude the possibility that they copied from one manuscript to another in some cases. Like I said before, not all the characters come from the same source, and not all were copied in one sitting. A few in fact appear to be breakdowns of other characters, or even inventions to fill lacunae. So while I think that most of the characters were probably copied directly from the papyri, it was probably more complicated than that in some cases.

I think this is a valid point. It makes me wonder if the sources and the process by which the three EA manuscripts in question were produced was even more eclectic than originally supposed. The content may have been derived not only from a variety of sources, but via a variety of ways (a little dictation here, a little kibitzing and discussion and writing down going on there, a little copying from this papyri or that original manuscript or that other party's manuscript, a little independent surmising at times, etc. etc.) It kind of puts me in mind of the collaborative and eclectic experiences I had with study groups while attending college.

Actually, I rather enjoy discussions where meaningful ideas and constructive criticism are shared. Where it gets tedious is when I am criticized without a specific and well-thought-out evidentiary basis, when I am criticized for minor irrelevancies, when I am criticized for things I didn't actually say, and when I am criticized by people who have not actually read my whole paper. At some point, these kinds of interactions begin to feel like criticism for the sake of criticism rather than criticism for the sake of mutual enlightenment. I am more than happy to answer meaningful questions and to clarify my views on important subjects. But I don't really have time for competitive banter. -Chris

Point well taken. When I thought more carefully about this last night I concluded that I may very well have approached the discussion in a way that could reasonably appear intended to cause death by a thousand cuts. But, in truth, it is the overly analytical way in which my mind works. I'm like the nerdy forensic scientist scouring the minutia, wishing to extract as much insight from even the most minor details, and this in hopes of collecting more pieces of the puzzle as I work to put together the bigger picture in my mind (to borrow Will's metaphor). And, I have found with not a few friends just how boring and exasperating this can be for them at times.

I certainly don't wish to get on people's nerves, and so I will take more care to keep the minutia more to myself (believe it or not, I have only divulged a portion of my fine-tooth musings) and reserve my comments here to more substantial issues. :P

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Okay. However, I don't see how to get the spelling of "one" from the phonetic sound for "own"--that is, unless I use a really deep southern drawl. :P

Think of the words "bone", "lone", and "phone".

Anyway, this is not the only example of different phonetic spellings of the same sound. It's just the one that stands out in my mind because, like you, I was pronouncing "oan" and "one" very differently until I realized they were supposed to represent the same sound.

Other phonetic differences include the substitution of c or ch for k, e for ee, u for oo. Consider, for example, the difference between phahoeup and Pha=ho=e=oop.

Actually, correlating these spelling differences can be quite fun, because you can figure out how these words were actually being pronounced at the time of dictation.

If it was Joseph's manuscript that spelled it that way, then I could somewhat understand it--given that he is about as bad a speller as me (though without the luxury of a computerized spell checker). But, if he were the one dictating and making the phonetic sounds, then one would reasonably expect that his manuscript would be free of phonetic mistakes. Right?

It was Joseph Smith. But I don't see why his manuscript should be free of "phonetic mistakes", even if this can be classed as such.

I think this is a valid point. It makes me wonder if the sources and the process by which the three EA manuscripts in question were produced was even more eclectic than originally supposed.

You're actually mostly right about that. See the chart on the five "parts" in my JWHA paper and you'll see what I mean. The project evolved substantially as they went along.

-Chris

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It was Joseph Smith. But I don't see why his manuscript should be free of "phonetic mistakes", even if this can be classed as such.

I think this is actually quite an important point, and so I hope you don't mind me pressing it. If, as you argue, "phonetic mistakes" are indictitive of the writer taking dictation, and if Joseph's manuscript contains "phonetic mistakes", then logically this suggests that, at least in terms of the "phonetic mistakes, Joseph was taking dictation, rather than giving dictation. Right?

If so, then who was dictating to Joseph on those occasions? For whom was Joseph acting as scribe? (I ask because I just assumed that you believe that Joseph was the one always giving the dictation, and that Cowdery and Phelps were acting as scribes in taking the dictation--see the last sentence of the second paragraph on page 41 of your article.)

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Wade,

I think this is actually quite an important point, and so I hope you don't mind me pressing it. If, as you argue, "phonetic mistakes" are indictitive of the writer taking dictation, and if Joseph's manuscript contains "phonetic mistakes", then logically this suggests that, at least in terms of the "phonetic mistakes, Joseph was taking dictation, rather than giving dictation. Right?

I never said that "phonetic mistakes" are indicative of dictation. You're the one who introduced the idea of "mistakes" (by which I now realize you mean hearing errors rather than mistakes of phonetic spelling, as I took it to mean in my last post). I am not aware of any hearing errors in Joseph Smith's EA document. What I said was that the scribes were hearing the same sounds and spelling them differently. That is to say, the different documents provide multiple legitimate phonetic spellings of the same phonemes. The spelling one is not a hearing error, but simply an alternative spelling of the oan/own phoneme. As I noted in a previous post, Joseph's spelling may be compared with the English words "lone", "bone", and "phone". Phelps and Cowdery's spellings may be compared with the words "loan" and "groan". Thus the same sound can be legitimately rendered in multiple ways.

-Chris

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Wade,

I never said that "phonetic mistakes" are indicative of dictation. You're the one who introduced the idea of "mistakes" (by which I now realize you mean hearing errors rather than mistakes of phonetic spelling, as I took it to mean in my last post). I am not aware of any hearing errors in Joseph Smith's EA document. What I said was that the scribes were hearing the same sounds and spelling them differently. That is to say, the different documents provide multiple legitimate phonetic spellings of the same phonemes. The spelling one is not a hearing error, but simply an alternative spelling of the oan/own phoneme. As I noted in a previous post, Joseph's spelling may be compared with the English words "lone", "bone", and "phone". Phelps and Cowdery's spellings may be compared with the words "loan" and "groan". Thus the same sound can be legitimately rendered in multiple ways. -Chris

That makes sense to me now. Thanks for clarifying.

When you get a chance, would you answer, where possible, several clarifying questions regarding the somewhat vague statement you made in your JWHA article (which I just now finished reading and found it rather well done :P). You said that the GAEL "incorporates most of the material from the EA manuscripts, but expands on it, clarifies it, and experiments with it at considerable length."

However, while you spend at least some time in your article explaining and arguing for what you believe to be the mechanics used in producing the EA (i.e. a collaborative effort involving dictation of the explanations and copying of characters), you are a bit more silent about the mechanics used to produce the document that is the focus of your thesis (the GAEL).

To your way of thinking, regarding the GAEL, were all three of the EA used as the source document for the "incorporating", or just one?

Were the expansions, clarifications, and experimentations in the GAEL written by way of dictation?

Was the GAEL also a collaborative effort, and if so, why do you suppose there weren't any GAEL manuscripts in Joseph's handwriting or Cowdery's?

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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To your way of thinking, regarding the GAEL, were all three of the EA used as the source document for the "incorporating", or just one?

Good question, but not one I've explored. Unfortunately I don't have time at the moment. My guess would be all three.

Were the expansions, clarifications, and experimentations in the GAEL written by way of dictation?

In my opinion, yes.

Was the GAEL also a collaborative effort, and if so, why do you suppose there weren't any GAEL manuscripts in Joseph's handwriting or Cowdery's?

Cowdery does seem to have been present for the production of at least the "second part" of the GAEL, relating to astronomy (as I believe I mentioned in my paper). But he did not continue to serve as scribe. For the GAEL, perhaps because it was such a lengthy work, they made only one copy.

EDIT: The three EA manuscripts were probably meant more for individual use and ownership, not unlike the Book of Mormon character documents owned by Cowdery and F. G. Williams, or the copy of the "specimen" that Phelps sent to his wife. With the GAEL, however, the project takes on a more "official" scope and tenor. JS kept the GAEL in his office into the Nauvoo period, and used it, showed it off, and considered publishing it. The move from three copies to one copy probably represents a shift from an unofficial project to an official one.

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Good question, but not one I've explored. Unfortunately I don't have time at the moment. My guess would be all three.

In my opinion, yes.

Cowdery does seem to have been present for the production of at least the "second part" of the GAEL, relating to astronomy (as I believe I mentioned in my paper). But he did not continue to serve as scribe. For the GAEL, perhaps because it was such a lengthy work, they made only one copy.

EDIT: The three EA manuscripts were probably meant more for individual use and ownership, not unlike the Book of Mormon character documents owned by Cowdery and F. G. Williams, or the copy of the "specimen" that Phelps sent to his wife. With the GAEL, however, the project takes on a more "official" scope and tenor. JS kept the GAEL in his office into the Nauvoo period, and used it, showed it off, and considered publishing it. The move from three copies to one copy probably represents a shift from an unofficial project to an official one.

Your already well-developed propensity for conjecture has now officially run amok.

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I am only trying in my small way to fill your very large shoes.

It would take me at least a baker's dozen of papers to produce the number of speculative assertions in but half of your JWHA paper. If you throw in the other half, plus those you have made on this thread, I'm afraid I don't have enough life left in these old bones to ever catch up.

Who knew that Wheaton offered a masters program in conjectural history?

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Good question, but not one I've explored. Unfortunately I don't have time at the moment. My guess would be all three.

In my opinion, yes.

Cowdery does seem to have been present for the production of at least the "second part" of the GAEL, relating to astronomy (as I believe I mentioned in my paper). But he did not continue to serve as scribe. For the GAEL, perhaps because it was such a lengthy work, they made only one copy.

EDIT: The three EA manuscripts were probably meant more for individual use and ownership, not unlike the Book of Mormon character documents owned by Cowdery and F. G. Williams, or the copy of the "specimen" that Phelps sent to his wife. With the GAEL, however, the project takes on a more "official" scope and tenor. JS kept the GAEL in his office into the Nauvoo period, and used it, showed it off, and considered publishing it. The move from three copies to one copy probably represents a shift from an unofficial project to an official one.

Great! This gives me a good sense for where your thinking is going on this.

I wont hold these off-hand guesses over your head--though I think it might prove useful at some point, as a logical analysis, to incorporate them into a comprehensive narrative, like what has recently been done with the Spalding theory (I forget the name of the fellow who did this and the blog where it was published). I am in the process of putting that narrative together.

However, yesterday I began pouring over a small collection of graphics of the KEP that I have culled from the internet, and I believe I have figured out the perfect scientific test for your thesis.

It consist of finding an adult, preferably of Joseph Smith's intelligence and educational background, who is entirely unacquainted with the BoA, and hand him or her a piece of paper (about the size of the missing flake or lacuna from JSP XI) with the three characters from page 1 of KEPA 1 written on it. Then, hand him or her a digitized copy of the GAEL, and nothing more. Finally, instruct the adult subject to use the GAEL as a key to translate the three characters. Check the results of his or her translation against Abr. 1:1-3. The closer in similarity the two, the more viable your thesis; and the father apart in similarity, the less viable your thesis. How about it?

If my lengthy (about 12 hours) tedious exploration of the KEP yesterday is any indication, I don't see your thesis faring too well. :P

As somewhat of a control for your test, you could solicite another adult subject who is entirely unacquainted with the KEP, hand them a sheet of regular notebook paper (with a 1 inch margin on the left), with the content of Abr. 1:1-3 written out in the body of the notebook paper. Then, hand him or her a digitized copy of the GAEL, and nothing more. Finally, instruct the adult subject to use the GAEL to locate symbols that correspond to portions of the written text, and to write them in the lefthand margin. Compare the results against page 1 of KEPA 1. The closer in similarity the two (particularly as contrasted with the results of the previous test), the more tenable your thesis; and the father apart in similarity, the less tenable your thesis. Again, how about it?

This I was far more successful in doing, particularly when using Marquardts' searchable Egyptian Alphabet.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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While laboring arduously over the GAEL (Marquardt's typed version), trying to make sense of it and Chris' arguments, several times I was given considerable pause when reading instructional enteries like:

Beth This character, that is the character of the second degree, is designated from characters of the first degree by the manner of its being inserted in the compound: as follows - when it is connected it has the signification of the second degree; and when disconnected from the names of other places, it stands for the original sound of Kah=oan for Chaldee and it should be known as being in the second degree, in order to vary the verbs, prepositions participles conjunctions, and adverbs: All names of rivers, & seas, of lands of hills, and of mountains should be preserved in their order according to their degrees, from the first For instance, the first connection should be called Jugos, which signifies verb or action: and the second connection should be called Kah-Jugos, which is a variation, according to the signification of the second degree: Kah Jugos should be preserved in the second degree. It signifies an action passed: The third connection is called Kah Juga-os, which signifies an action to be received or to come to pass The fourth connection is called Ka-os-Ju which signifies connection And the fifth is called Ka-os-Juga-os and is used to qualify according to the signification of the fifth degree whether for prepositions, verbs, adverbs &c

And:

This is called Za Ki=oan-hiash, or Chalsidonhiash. This character is in the fifth degree, independent and arbitrary. It may be preceded in the fifth degree while it stands independent and arbitrary. That is, without a straight mark inserted above or below it. By inserting a straight mark over it thus, (2) it increases its signification five degrees: by inserting two straight lines, thus: (3) its signification is increased five times more. By inserting three straight lines thus (4) its signification is again increased five times more than the last. By counting the number of straight lines or considering them as qualifying adjectives we have the degrees of comparision There are five connecting parts of speech in the above character, called ZaKi on hish These five connecting parts of speech, for verbs, participles-prepositions, conjunctions, and adverbs. In Translating this character, the subject must be continued until there are as many of these connecting parts of speech used as there are connections or connecting points found in the character. But whenever the character is found with one horizontal line, as at (2) the subject must be continued until five times the number of connecting parts of speech are used; or, the full sense of the writer is not conveyed. When two horizontal lines occur, the number of connecting parts of speech are continued five times further - or five degrees. And when three horizontal lines are found, the number of connections are to be increased five times further. The character alone has 5 parts of speech: increased by one straight line thus 5 x 5 is 25 [p. 1] by 2 horizontal lines thus 25 x 5 = 125; and by 3 horizontal lines thus: -125 x 5 =625.

When this character has a horizontal line under it it reduces it into the fourth degree, consequently it has but four connecting parts of speech. When it has two horizontal lines, it is reduced into the third degree and has but three connecting parts of speech, and when it has three horizontal lines; it is reduced into the second degree and has but two connective parts of speech.

This caused me to wonder, if the GAEL was allegedly intended for Joseph to use in translate the BoA, and if Joseph was the one who created the GAEL, then why would he need to give himself instructions on how to do, linguistically, what he already figured out how to do?

To me, the most rational answer is, he didn't. The GAEL was clearly not intended for Joseph's use in translating the BoA. Instead, the GAEL was crafted (at least the beginnings of it) to be a lesson manual for people to learn the Egyptian language--not unlike what one might expect to find in a Greek or Latin or Hebrew lesson manuals at the time.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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By way of summarizing my arguments thus far for the point I have been pressing throughout this thread, here is

Wade's Top Ten Reasons

...to believe that the GAEL and other EA manuscripts were NOT intended for Joseph's use in translation, but rather to assist others in learning the Egyptian language:

10) Early in 1835, and several years after Joseph and Sidney had ceased work on translating the Bible, there was a marked change in the educational program of the Church, in which there was added to religious instruction a considerable zeal for learning languages like Greek, Latin, and Hebrew. So, it is not coincidental to find the KEP being produced during that time, and for obvious reasons.

9) Given Sidney Rigdon's considerable involvement in the translation of the Bible, but conspicuous lack of involvement in the KEP or the language classes that were all the rage in 1835-36, this suggests that the function of the KEP was linguistic education rather than translation.

;) The layout of the GAEL and EA (with ruled-off columns and headings) and the KEPA (with the exception of those written by Willard Richards), are quite similar to lesson material used in learning other languages (Greek, Latin, Hebrew) back in the day, and is entirely unnecessary for translation, and quite different from the translation manuscripts from Joseph's past (see the BoM manuscripts).

7) While Joseph may have over the years prior to 1835, in relation to various translations, initially copied and translated a number of characters that might possibly have formed the beginnings of several alphabets and grammars, there is nothing in the historical record to suggest, and numerous witnesses that suggest otherwise, that an alphabet/grammar was ever used by Joseph in translating scripture (the BoM, Book of Moses, the JST of the Bible).

6) Since Joseph had long demonstrated the ability to translate scriptures directly by the gift and power of God, it seems entirely unnecessary and unlikely that he would suddenly decide, in the case of the BoA, to add the additional step of using revelatory powers in producing an alphabet and grammar, and then proceed to use the alphabet and grammar, in an arduous and secular manner, in translating the BoA, particularly when it would be far more simpler and potentially more accurate to directly translate the BoA by the gift and power of God.

5) There isn't a single witness who claims the BoA was translated using the GAEL or the EA, and many who attest to it being translated by the gift and power of God.

4) The inclusion of sounds in the GAEL, and letters and sounds in the EA, are entirely unnecessary for translating the BoA, but are very useful when learning to read and speak and write the Egyptian language.

3) The instructional portions of the GAEL is clearly written for the benefit of potential students, and is unnecessary for the instructor or creator of the GAEL in translating the BoA.

2) It is highly unlikely, if not virtually impossible, for your average Joe to be given say the first three symbols from the missing lacuna of JSP XI, and use the GAEL alone as a key, and come up with the same translation as Abr. 1:1-3. And since these three symbols are virtually the only ones in common between the GAEL and the KEPA 1, it is all the more unlikely that the GAEL was used to translate the BoA, but was intended for educational purposes.

1) This is reserved for when Will Schryver publishes his highly anticipated paper. :P

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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It consist of finding an adult, preferably of Joseph Smith's intelligence and educational background, who is entirely unacquainted with the BoA, and hand him or her a piece of paper (about the size of the missing flake or lacuna from JSP XI) with the three characters from page 1 of KEPA 1 written on it. Then, hand him or her a digitized copy of the GAEL, and nothing more. Finally, instruct the adult subject to use the GAEL as a key to translate the three characters. Check the results of his or her translation against Abr. 1:1-3. The closer in similarity the two, the more viable your thesis; and the father apart in similarity, the less viable your thesis. How about it?

Since my thesis posits that there is a considerable amount of ambiguity involved in using the GAEL in translation (i.e., in identifying the characters, supplying connecting parts of speech, & arranging lexical units in the text), I don't see why such a test would reflect on my thesis either way.

This caused me to wonder, if the GAEL was allegedly intended for Joseph to use in translate the BoA, and if Joseph was the one who created the GAEL, then why would he need to give himself instructions on how to do, linguistically, what he already figured out how to do?

To me, the most rational answer is, he didn't. The GAEL was clearly not intended for Joseph's use in translating the BoA. Instead, the GAEL was crafted (at least the beginnings of it) to be a lesson manual for people to learn the Egyptian language--not unlike what one might expect to find in a Greek or Latin or Hebrew lesson manuals at the time.

I agree that the GAEL was not only intended for use in translating the BoA. But I remind you, yet again, that creating a Grammar for learning a language and using that Grammar to translate that language are complementary rather than mutually exclusive purposes. And, you should take note that if I'm correct that JS was receiving the Grammar by revelation as he went along, then your question "why would he need to give himself instructions on how to do, linguistically, what he already figured out how to do?" is completely moot. He didn't already know how to translate Egyptian. He was receiving instructions from God, not from himself.

Peace,

-Chris

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Wade's Top Ten Reasons

...to believe that the GAEL and other EA manuscripts were NOT intended for Joseph's use in translation, but rather to assist others in learning the Egyptian language:

I see basically four reasons here, and I will respond to each in turn.

1) The EA and GAEL projects were clearly designed for learning the Egyptian language.

I agree. But this does not militate against the use of the GAEL in translating the first three verses of the BoA. Actually, it is quite consistent with it.

2) There are no eyewitnesses that say Joseph used the Grammar to translate ancient documents, and several sources that say he translated the BoA by direct inspiration.

The historical record for July 1835 is extremely spotty, so we don't get anyone describing BoA translation or its modus operandi during that period (which is when I think 1:1-3 was translated). Warren Parrish's direct inspiration remarks apply to the period after he came on board as scribe.

As for the use of the GAEL in translation of ancient documents more generally, Lucy Mack Smith implies that Joseph was planning to use a Reformed Egyptian Alphabet in the Book of Mormon translation, and there is one other case of using the GAEL for translation of an ancient document that I can't discuss in detail until someone else publishes on the subject. In addition to these instances, we have the textual evidence for the use of the Grammar in translating not only Abr. 1:1-3, but also the Facsimile 2 explanation. I think the evidence placing the production of the Facsimile 2 explanation long after the Grammar is quite clear, but that's for another paper and another thread. Suffice to say for now that I think you're very wrong on this point.

3) Sidney Rigdon was not involved, and because he was involved in the Bible translation, we'd expect him to be involved in the Book of Abraham or something.

The Bible translation was several years earlier, so I'm not sure why we should expect Sidney to still be involved during this period. My impression is that he had mostly outgrown his earlier role as Scribe. Moreover, a major reason for Sidney's involvement in the Bible translation project was that he was a Bible scholar. He had no comparable expertise in Egyptian.

I see this argument as completely irrelevant, personally, but maybe it will seem significant to your readers. *shrug*

4) It would be hard for someone to exactly duplicate Joseph's use of the Grammar to translate Abraham 1:1-3.

As I noted in my previous post, there is a lot of built-in ambiguity in Joseph's Egyptian system. This was actually to Joseph's advantage, since it gave him freedom in the translation process. You're right that it prevents modern people from mastering his Egyptian system in a rigorous way, or exactly reduplicating his translations. But that has no bearing on whether JS used it to translate Abraham 1:1-3.

Peace,

-Chris

P.S. Maybe I will provide my own top ten as time allows.

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Since my thesis posits that there is a considerable amount of ambiguity involved in using the GAEL in translation (i.e., in identifying the characters, supplying connecting parts of speech, & arranging lexical units in the text), I don't see why such a test would reflect on my thesis either way.

The posited ambiguity certainly allows for the possibility of your thesis. However, my proposed test reflects on the improbability (substantial in my humble opinion) of your thesis.

I agree that the GAEL was not only intended for use in translating the BoA. But I remind you, yet again, that creating a Grammar for learning a language and using that Grammar to translate that language are complementary rather than mutually exclusive purposes.

For those whose native language is English and who have yet to learn Egyptian (which likely included most, if not all, the population of Kirtland back in the day), then the Egyptian alphabet and grammar is certainly intended for translation. How could it not be? In fact, its very structure (Egyptian symbols associated with English meanings) unavoidably affects a translation.

So, as previously intimated, the issue isn't whether the Egyptian alphabet and grammar was intended to be used by students for translating so as to read and hear and speak the Egyptian language. It clearly is intended for that purpose. Obviously! Rather, the issue is whether Joseph intended to use the alphabet/grammar, instead of the Urim and Thummim or Seer stone or other direct revelatory gifts and power of God, to initially translate the Book of Abraham. The case I am making is that it quite probably wasn't.

And, you should take note that if I'm correct that JS was receiving the Grammar by revelation as he went along, then your question "why would he need to give himself instructions on how to do, linguistically, what he already figured out how to do?" is completely moot. He didn't already know how to translate Egyptian. He was receiving instructions from God, not from himself. Peace, -Chris

This is a fascinating proposition. So, to your way of thinking, God not only revealed to Joseph the English meaning of each of the characters (I, too, think this is plausible, though I am yet undecided as to whether that was the case or not), but God also revealed to Joseph the instructions that I quoted earlier (I happen to believe that Joseph and/or Phelps and others may have induced this on their own, with at best a nominal amount of inspiration from God).

On what basis do you rest this proposition? I mean, at least with the Book of Mormon and the Book of Moses and the translation of the Bible and other revelations, we have Joseph and other witnesses declaring that these works were translated by the gift and power of God, but I can't find a single mention in relation to the EA, let alone the GAEL in general, or the instruction in particular.

And, while God has revealed that his gift and power to translate involves pondering and studying things out in the mind, etc., this is the first I have heard where God allegedly engages in revelatory teaching of foreign languages, to the point of supposedly instructing Joseph on the intricacies (degrees, arbitrary sounds, signification's, compounds, number of parts of speech--verbs, participles-prepositions, conjunctions, and adverbs) of individual and combined characters.

Since Brent Metacalfe presumably purports a naturalistic origin for the BoA, I can only imagine what problems he might have with your proposing that the English translations of the characters in the EA and GAEL were inspired, but even more so with the alleged divine revelation of the GAEL instructions I quoted.

This should stir the pot of BoA controversy a bit, and make things all the more interesting. :P

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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I see basically four reasons here, and I will respond to each in turn.

1) The EA and GAEL projects were clearly designed for learning the Egyptian language.

I agree. But this does not militate against the use of the GAEL in translating the first three verses of the BoA. Actually, it is quite consistent with it.

As intimated in my previous post, my top ten list doesn't completely rule out the possibility of the GAEL being used to translate Abr 1:1-3, but it does increasingly weaken the probability to the point that I believe your thesis quite improbable (almost as improbable as the GAEL being used to translate the remainder of the BoA), particularly in comparison to the probability of other revelatory and translation modus operandi (Urim and Thummim, etc.--like with the BoM and the JST of the Bible). In short, to me personally, my top ten list doesn't render your thesis impossible, just highly improbable. But, to each their own.

2) There are no eyewitnesses that say Joseph used the Grammar to translate ancient documents, and several sources that say he translated the BoA by direct inspiration.

The historical record for July 1835 is extremely spotty, so we don't get anyone describing BoA translation or its modus operandi during that period (which is when I think 1:1-3 was translated). Warren Parrish's direct inspiration remarks apply to the period after he came on board as scribe.

As for the use of the GAEL in translation of ancient documents more generally, Lucy Mack Smith implies that Joseph was planning to use a Reformed Egyptian Alphabet in the Book of Mormon translation, and there is one other case of using the GAEL for translation of an ancient document that I can't discuss in detail until someone else publishes on the subject. In addition to these instances, we have the textual evidence for the use of the Grammar in translating not only Abr. 1:1-3, but also the Facsimile 2 explanation. I think the evidence placing the production of the Facsimile 2 explanation long after the Grammar is quite clear, but that's for another paper and another thread. Suffice to say for now that I think you're very wrong on this point.

Again, while Lucy's comments may be interpreted, in a somewhat strained way, to imply the existence and intent of an the alleged BoM alphabet/grammar, she never implied or explicitly said that it was used in the BoM translation. And, to my knowledge, no one else has even hinted about the alphabet or its alleged intent (though they did speak of characters being copied and translated for the purpose of engendering secular credibility), but were pretty clear that the BoM was directly translated by the gift and power of God, using such spiritual implements as the Urim and Thummim and the Seer stone, etc. In other words, you have but the strained implication drawn from a late, second-hand at best, surmising by Lucy, that stands against the explicit statements of the principles involved. To me, your presumed implication is not only a weak argument for your thesis, but it tests the bounds of credulity.

3) Sidney Rigdon was not involved, and because he was involved in the Bible translation, we'd expect him to be involved in the Book of Abraham or something.

The Bible translation was several years earlier, so I'm not sure why we should expect Sidney to still be involved during this period. My impression is that he had mostly outgrown his earlier role as Scribe. Moreover, a major reason for Sidney's involvement in the Bible translation project was that he was a Bible scholar. He had no comparable expertise in Egyptian.

I see this argument as completely irrelevant, personally, but maybe it will seem significant to your readers. *shrug*

I am not sure why you would think it irrelevant that the last person to have been heavily involved as Joseph's scribe in translating scripture, supposedly wasn't involved in translating the BoA. In fact, I don't know that his participation as scribe in the translating at least a portion of the BoA, can entirely be ruled out. After all, in early July of 1835, he, like the other participants in the Egyptian project at the time (Phelps, Cowdery, and Williams), was actively involved with Joseph in compiling, for August publication, the revelations that comprise the D&C. Yet, we find Rigdon uninvolved in the KEPs or the language classes later that year and on into the next. The correlation, then, between those who were actively involved with learning languages (Smith, Cowdery, Phelps, Williams) and the KEP through October of that year (same), and the conspicuous absence of a former scribe who was intimately involved in scriptural translation, seem a bit striking, at least to me.

Granted, this is a somewhat weak circumstantial argument (though stronger I believe than the implication you induced from the Lucy quote),. That is why it wasn't that high on my list. But I think it adds inductive strength when combined with the other arguments I raise.

4) It would be hard for someone to exactly duplicate Joseph's use of the Grammar to translate Abraham 1:1-3.

As I noted in my previous post, there is a lot of built-in ambiguity in Joseph's Egyptian system. This was actually to Joseph's advantage, since it gave him freedom in the translation process. You're right that it prevents modern people from mastering his Egyptian system in a rigorous way, or exactly reduplicating his translations. But that has no bearing on whether JS used it to translate Abraham 1:1-3.

Please see my comments above.

Also, I wish to re-stress that while I am increasingly convinced that your thesis is improbable, I can respect that you and others may reasonably think otherwise. To each their own.

P.S. Maybe I will provide my own top ten as time allows.

I welcome it. I find such things entertaining if not also enlightening. :P I have long admired your intelligence and reasoning ability and writing skills, and I think those skills came together marvelously in your paper. And, though I may not entirely agree with everything your paper said, I did learn much from what you have written here and there.

I am also pleased to see when non-members are as as ardently interested in LDS scriptures as members, and even in some ways more interested. If only the interest of all parties was intent on better understanding the meaning of the BoA and applying its principles in coming to Christ and becoming increasingly like Christ (as the BoA is intended), then I would extatic.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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The posited ambiguity certainly allows for the possibility of your thesis. However, my proposed test reflects on the improbability (substantial in my humble opinion) of your thesis.

I don't see how. Consider the following analogy:

We have a puzzle with a number of distinctive pieces that can be arranged in multiple different ways. Joseph Smith assembles these pieces to create an image. We can clearly see that the pieces he used are the pieces of our puzzle. Does the fact that someone else would probably arrange the same pieces in a different way somehow negate the fact that these are the pieces he used to create his image?

Your argument is literally nonsensical to me. I cannot even begin to understand how the ambiguity of the GAEL might render its use in BoA translation "improbable". In my mind, the ambiguous translation rules of the GAEL are precisely what we'd expect if it was used as a translation key, because the ambiguity gave Joseph Smith the freedom to construct a coherent narrative from otherwise disparate elements.

For those whose native language is English and who have yet to learn Egyptian (which likely included most, if not all, the population of Kirtland back in the day), then the Egyptian alphabet and grammar is certainly intended for translation. How could it not be? In fact, its very structure (Egyptian symbols associated with English meanings) unavoidably affects a translation.

I'm glad we agree on that much.

So, as previously intimated, the issue isn't whether the Egyptian alphabet and grammar was intended to be used by students for translating so as to read and hear and speak the Egyptian language. It clearly is intended for that purpose. Obviously! Rather, the issue is whether Joseph intended to use the alphabet/grammar, instead of the Urim and Thummim or Seer stone or other direct revelatory gifts and power of God, to initially translate the Book of Abraham. The case I am making is that it quite probably wasn't.

Why not? This must be defended, not asserted. (Also note that the use of the Grammar is not exclusive of the use of inspiration to order the elements and fill in the connecting parts of speech.)

This is a fascinating proposition. ...Since Brent Metacalfe presumably purports a naturalistic origin for the BoA, I can only imagine what problems he might have with your proposing that the English translations of the characters in the EA and GAEL were inspired, but even more so with the alleged divine revelation of the GAEL instructions I quoted.

Brent may be more open to this kind of thing than you realize. However, when I talk about the GAEL being received by revelation, I am speaking primarily as a historian, not as a theologian. That is to say, I'm describing how Joseph Smith experienced and understood the process of translation rather than what I literally think happened. I am open to the idea that there was inspiration involved, but if there was then in my opinion it would be what you called "minimal" inspiration. More like direct illumination or flashes of insight than propositional revelation.

On what basis do you rest this proposition? I mean, at least with the Book of Mormon and the Book of Moses and the translation of the Bible and other revelations, we have Joseph and other witnesses declaring that these works were translated by the gift and power of God, but I can't find a single mention in relation to the EA, let alone the GAEL in general, or the instruction in particular.

I mentioned some evidences of this in my paper. In short,

1) The EAG materials are similar to the Sample & specimen of Adamic revealed by Joseph.

2) The Church History refers to "translating an alphabet to the Book of Abraham", which implies that Smith worked on the manuscripts in his capacity as inspired translator, and does not sound like reverse-engineering or speculation.

3) Smith referred to the GAEL astronomy being "unfolded", which implies revelation.

4) Where could things like the characters' "sounds" possibly have come from if not revelation? Certainly they were not reverse-engineered from the BoA.

5) The EA documents are largely a translation of the four vertical columns at the beginning of the Hor papyrus, not of the column 1 characters that commence the BoA. Thus the "alphabet to the Book of Abraham" seems to have actually been on the papyrus and translated therefrom. Not unlike the alphabet that according to JS Sr. was actually on the gold plates.

I could go on but this should suffice.

I am not sure why you would think it irrelevant that the last person to have been heavily involved as Joseph's scribe in translating scripture, supposedly wasn't involved in translating the BoA. In fact, I don't know that his participation as scribe in the translating at least a portion of the BoA, can entirely be ruled out. After all, in early July of 1835, he, like the other participants in the Egyptian project at the time (Phelps, Cowdery, and Williams), was actively involved with Joseph in compiling, for August publication, the revelations that comprise the D&C.

Are you sure about that? I mean, it's not impossible, and maybe you have historical evidence to support it. But when I look through the manuscripts of the Revelation Books (in the new Joseph Smith Papers volume), I see Sidney making emendations in the Book of Commandments portion but not in the 1835 D&C portion. In the post-1833 portion of the revelation books the changes seem to be made almost exclusively by Smith, Phelps, and Cowdery. (Changes by F. G. Williams and John Whitmer in documents they wrote were likely made at the time of composition rather than at the time of editing).

Again, while Lucy's comments may be interpreted, in a somewhat strained way, to imply the existence and intent of an the alleged BoM alphabet/grammar, she never implied or explicitly said that it was used in the BoM translation. And, to my knowledge, no one else has even hinted about the alphabet or its alleged intent (though they did speak of characters being copied and translated for the purpose of engendering secular credibility), but were pretty clear that the BoM was directly translated by the gift and power of God, using such spiritual implements as the Urim and Thummim and the Seer stone, etc. In other words, you have but the strained implication drawn from a late, second-hand at best, surmising by Lucy, that stands against the explicit statements of the principles involved. To me, your presumed implication is not only a weak argument for your thesis, but it tests the bounds of credulity.

Let's be clear about exactly what Lucy and Joseph Smith, Sr. said:

Lucy Mack Smith Preliminary History Manuscript, p. 108 (EMD 1:343): "soon It soon became necessary to take some measure to accomplish the translation of the record into English but he was instructed to take off a fac simile of the alphabet Egyptian characters <composing the alphabet which were called reformed Egyptian> Alphabetically and send them to all the learned men that he could find and ask them for the translation of the same. Joseph was very solicitous about the work but as yet no means had come into his hands of accomplishing the same it."

Joseph Smith, Sr. 1830 interview with Fayette Lapham (EMD 1:462-63): "...the remaining pages [of the gold plates] were closely written over in characters of some unknown tongue, the last containing the alphabet of this unknown language. Joseph, not being able to read the characters, made a copy of some of them, which he showed to some of the most learned men of the vicinity. ...Returning home, one day he tried the spectacles, and found that, by looking through them, he could see everything-- past, present, and future-- and could also read and understand the characters written on the plates."

Thus we have both parents talking about an "alphabet" of the language of the gold plates, and strongly implying that Joseph sought a translation from the learned men because he himself was unable to read the characters and had no means (so far as he knew) of translating them. I don't think it's all that crazy to draw a parallel to the Book of Abraham here.

Peace,

-Chris

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Hi Chris,

Since the issue below is by far the most critical, I will focus on it and address later the other issues you raised, if needs be.

I don't see how. Consider the following analogy:

We have a puzzle with a number of distinctive pieces that can be arranged in multiple different ways. Joseph Smith assembles these pieces to create an image. We can clearly see that the pieces he used are the pieces of our puzzle. Does the fact that someone else would probably arrange the same pieces in a different way somehow negate the fact that these are the pieces he used to create his image?

Your argument is literally nonsensical to me. I cannot even begin to understand how the ambiguity of the GAEL might render its use in BoA translation "improbable". In my mind, the ambiguous translation rules of the GAEL are precisely what we'd expect if it was used as a translation key, because the ambiguity gave Joseph Smith the freedom to construct a coherent narrative from otherwise disparate elements.

First of all, I think part of the reason you may mistakenly think my argument (test) is nonsensical, is because you have confused what I said. I wasn't arguing that the ambiguity renders improbable the use of the GAEL in translating the BoA. In fact, I suggested that it "allows for the possibility of your thesis". Rather, it is my proposed TEST that I believe renders your thesis improbable.

Second, part of the reason you may mistakenly think my test is nonsensical is because in your own mind you apparently believe the issue has been settled in favor of your thesis (this is implied in your puzzle analogy), and since you believe it settled, then you can't understand how my test would somehow unsettle it; whereas, for me, the issue is yet open. I am still at the point of assessing whether or not Joseph used the GAEL as you posit.

By applying my test so as to helps settle the open question, I believe it might not only evince the improbability of your thesis, but it also may illuminate the flaws in your reasoning, and perhaps even demonstrate that your likely approach to the question actually stands inadvertently in opposition to your thesis.

To see how, one may ask why, as a way of making your argument, you apparently didn't uses the GAEL as you suppose Joseph did? Why didn't you follow the translation process you suggest of Joseph, and start with the first character in the KEPA 1, dissect it into its supposed parts (sub-characters), and using the connections between those parts, rationally identify which degree for each sub-character is applicable, and then appeal to the GAEL to find the matching character/sub-character and corresponding English translations? Had you done this, then your argument would have been somewhat persuasive.

However, one may rightly ask why you didn't take that approach or use that process, since it would actually have demonstrate how Joseph might have used the GAEL to translate Abr. 1:1-3?

I believe the reason (and I am still researching this) is because it can't be done. It is highly improbable, if not impossible, to go from the KEPE 1 characters to the GAEL characters/sub-characters, to then derive a translation of Abr. 1:1-3. You couldn't or didn't use that process. I certain haven't been able to do it that way. And, I seriously doubt if Brent or Will or Brian or John Gee or Nibley or anyone else could do it. As such, contrary to your thesis, it evinces that it is highly improbable, if not impossible, that the GAEL was used to translate Abr. 1:1-3.

Instead, you seem to have ironically, like me, reverse engineered your findings--i.e. you may have, as did I, picked out key words or phrases from the first three verses of the BoA and searched the GAEL for matches, and then "cobbled" the matches together without rhyme or reason from different degrees and parts of the GAEL, and then borrowed from one of the EA to fill in a missing piece. In other words, your's and my approach/process to settling the issue at hand, is suggestive of reverse engineering rather than the GAEL acting as a translation key as your thesis suggest. In other words, your approach inadvertently contradicts your thesis, and unwittingly supports another. And, I think you may have been blind to this seemingly obvious observation because your thesis may have driven your analysis, rather than you using your analysis to test your thesis, as I did. Had you utilized the test that I suggested, I believe the improbability of your thesis would have become evident to you as well. :P

However, I am not even sure reverse engineering can be fully demonstrated when looking at all the data. Like with you, one may use reverse engineering to get as far as finding textual matches between the KEPE 1 and the GAEL/EA, but then things become fairly problematic when attempting to rationally explain the connection between the English translation in the GAEL/EA and the corresponding characters/sub-characters. I am left scratching my head.

So, perhaps there is some other hypothesis that better explains the relationship, if any, between the two documents (GAEL and KEPE1) as well as the BoA--one that is at least somewhat probable, if not plausible. We'll see.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Wade,

You are correct when you write,

However, I am not even sure reverse engineering can be fully demonstrated when looking at all the data.

If you think that deriving Abr. 1:1-3 from the GAEL is difficult, try doing it the other way around! The former is a molehill, the latter is a mountain.

I am not saying that deriving Abr. 1:1-3 was easy for JS. On the contrary, it was a fairly complicated task, which I believe was a major reason for its discontinuation. The rules of the GAEL are so complicated, in fact, that some of them were simply ignored when producing Abraham 1:1-3. (I'm thinking in particular of the mathematical method of calculating how many connecting parts of speech to supply.) However, I think that the task was probably less difficult than you are making it out to be. Much of the work had already been done in the pages of the EA and GAEL documents themselves.

Here are the steps you listed:

1) start with the first character in the KEPA 1

2) dissect it into its supposed parts (sub-characters)

3) identify which degree for each sub-character is applicable

4) appeal to the GAEL to find the matching character/sub-character and corresponding English translations

You seem to think all these things have to have happened at the time of using the Grammar to translate the text of the Book of Abraham. However, that is no the case. Steps 1 and 2 had already been accomplished in the GAEL. There are no clear rules for step 3, but Joseph focused heavily on the fifth degree, which was the most elaborate one (although drawing a little bit-- maybe even from memory-- from other degrees). Step 4 was expedited by the way the GAEL was laid out, with the BoA's first three characters all appearing in order, pre-dissected for easy reference.

I see these steps happening over multiple documentary stages.

The EA documents end with the first two characters of the Book of Abraham. Joseph Smith knew what they were. He bypasses most of the "Alphabet" characters from the four vertical columns accompanying Facsimile 1 to focus on these two characters. In the EA documents, he provided very basic translations for each one: the first was the land of the Chaldees, the second was the name of Abraham. Then on the back of his own EA manuscript, JS has Oliver Cowdery expand the entry for the Abraham character. He provides interpretations in all five degrees. Up to this point, the EA documents had only dealt with the first degree. It was at this point that the decision was made to create an expanded version of the Egyptian Alphabet, that treats all of the characters in all five degrees. So they begin the Grammar notebook. In the Grammar notebook, they started with the first degree and then worked their way to the fifth. In each degree the meanings of the characters became more elaborate. In the fifth degree, they provide the first three characters of the Book of Abraham, in order, with each character "dissected" and its component parts named and translated. This was the climax of the GAEL effort. At this point most of the work was done. It was just a matter of assembling the translations of the component parts into a narrative, and providing connecting parts of speech. Thus my "puzzle" analogy earlier.

The image below illustrates how relatively easy the assembly of this "puzzle" was once the work on the GAEL had been done. You can see that in translating the first character, only two pages had to be consulted. In fact, Joseph probably didn't even need to consult the EA entry. "Land of the Chaldees" was the basic meaning of this character. He'd spent enough time ruminating on this character that he would have known this from memory. Notice that all the other component parts are already laid out there in the GAEL, in almost exactly the same order that JS assembles them in the BoA.

GAEL-translation.jpg

Thus I hope you will see why you are wrong when you say, "It is highly improbable, if not impossible, to go from the KEPE 1 characters... to then derive a translation of Abr. 1:1-3." Constructing the BoA text from the GAEL was hardly the impossible task for JS that you make it out to have been (though it's not like it was easy, either). It was mostly just a matter of assembly, like putting together pieces of a puzzle.

Your proposed "test" of giving this to modern adults and seeing if they can repeat Joseph's feat is problematic for several reasons. First, most modern adults are not going to be interested enough to even comprehend these documents, let alone sit down and use them. Second, modern adults were not involved in creating the EA and GAEL documents, and so are not going to be as familiar with their content and internal logic as Joseph and his scribes were. And finally, a modern adult who knows what he's doing will have many of the same elements in his translation as Joseph did, but will arrange them differently and provide different connecting parts of speech. This is due to the inherent ambiguity of the Grammar's Egyptian system. Thus although there will be strong similarities between the two translations, there will also be very significant differences. Such differences would be entirely consistent with my thesis and so would not reflect on its plausibility one way or the other. For my hypothesis to be true, Joseph's Egyptian system doesn't need to have been good or precise. It just needs to have been the one he used.

Best,

-Chris

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Hi Chris,

I appreciate the thoughtful response, though I disagree that reverse engineering is more difficult. In fact, as previously mentioned, it is the process I used to match the text of Abr. 1:1-3 with text scattered throughout the GAEL and the EA, and this because I was unsuccessful using your proferred route. And, from what I could tell from your article, that is what you did as well.

However, I am not sure why you are struggle to grasp my seemingly obvious point. Whatever the case, let's simplify things quite a bit. In order for your thesis to be established, you need to be able to do at least both these two things:

1) Match textual elements of the GAEL with the text of KEPE 1. You and I were somewhat successful in doing this (I question some of your word and phrase choices as well as your reasons for picking elements from the first degree), though I won't press this at this time), ironically, using reverse engineering--i.e. picking out key words and phrases from KEPE 1 and looking for matches within the GAEL. So far so good.

2) Match each associated character in the GAEL with an associated characters in the KEPE 1. You were able to match the first character of the KEPE 1 with a character [Za ki on hish Kalsidon hish], not in the GAEL, but rather in the EA WWP or EA OC. So, not so good there for your GAEL-centric thesis. But, things are going to get really hairy from here. Would you be so kind as to point to where on the first page of KEPE 1, among the second and third characters, you found the following characters from the GAEL (to make things easy, I will refer to the characters by their "sound"):

a) Beth

cool.gif Zub Zool-oan

c) Iota

d) Hi

e) Ki

f) Beth ka

g) Ash

h) Ah Brah oam (not to be confused with part of the Ki Ab Broam Ki Ab Brah Oam character found on page 1 of the KEPE 1)

i) Ah Broam (not to be confused with part of the Ki Ab Broam Ki Ab Brah Oam character found on page 1 of the KEPE 1)

j) Phah eh

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Hi Wade,

In fact, as previously mentioned, it is the process I used to match the text of Abr. 1:1-3 with text scattered throughout the GAEL and the EA, and this because I was unsuccessful using your proferred route.

I'm curious, what is your source for the Grammar and Alphabet of the Egyptian Language and the Egyptian Alphabet manuscripts? In the past, you've acknowledged that you've not purchased or read Mike Marquardt's publication. Please provide the full citation of your source (consider this a CFR).

Thanks,

</brent>

http://mormonscripturestudies.com

(

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Wade, if I'm understanding your argument correctly, then we could have saved ourselves a lot of trouble if you were working from actual images of the documents rather than from just Marquardt's online transcript. With the exception of Phah-eh, the characters alongside matching text in the GAEL and the BoA are the same.

As an example, let's look at the very first character in the BoA manuscript. Here it is in the translation manuscript, KEPA 1:

KEPE1-TransMS1.jpg

Here it is in EA WWP:

KEPE1-EAWWP.jpg

On page 1 of the GAEL, this character is used for a lengthy explanation of pseudo-Egyptian grammatical principles. Here it is at the top of page 1:

KEPE1p1.jpg

The grammatical discussion continues on page 2, and then "this character" is dissected into its component parts, including most of the ones you listed-- Beth, Zub Zool-oan, Iota, Hi, Ki, Beth ka, and Ash.

KEPE1p2.jpg

Here's a close-up of the dissected character:

GAELdissectedhi-res.jpg

The vertical and diagonal strokes are apparently re-used. Each is treated independently, and then each vertical stroke is combined with a diagonal stroke to create two additional sub-characters (Hi and Ki).

Anyway, the point is that your concern about the characters not matching up is misguided. It's quite clear from the GAEL which characters are supposed to be the ones that match up with the first three in the BoA. And, as we'd expect, the English text for these characters corresponds as well.

-Chris

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Hi Wade,

I'm curious, what is your source for the Grammar and Alphabet of the Egyptian Language and the Egyptian Alphabet manuscripts? In the past, you've acknowledged that you've not purchased or read Mike Marquardt's publication. Please provide the full citation of your source (consider this a CFR).

Thanks, </brent>

For the text, I am using Marquarts online version of the GAEL. For the characters, I have only bits and pieces culled from graphics spread thoughout the web.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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