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My JWHA Paper on the Egyptian Alphabet


Chris Smith

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Hi Chris,

Yes, it is clear now that I was terribly mistaken about the characters not matching up. It would have helped were I to have had a full set of graphics for the KEPE and KEPA, then perhaps I could have saved myself the embarrassment and you the hassle. Do you by chance have a graphic of pages 1 and 3 that you could post?

However, now that I can see the character dissection and the explanation for each part of the dissection, it seems to scream "reverse engineering". First of all, I don't think it coincidental that the first character found on KEPA 1 is the first character dissected in the GAEL, and that the bulk of Part 1 of the GAEL is devoted to defining each part of that character for each degree.

And, it will be of interest to see (once i get my hands on a graphic of page 3 of the GAEL) if the second and only other character dissected in GAEL part 1, and whose dissected parts are likewise defined for each degree and comprise a large portion of part 1, is, not coincidentally, the third character in the KEPA 1. (Presumeably, the second character in the KEPA 1 is not dissectable).

I will explore this further in my next post.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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However, now that I can see the character dissection and the explanation for each part of the dissection, it seems to scream "reverse engineering".

I'm not surprised that it screams that to someone who is clearly already deeply invested in that view. But before I could accept your gut-level reactions, I would want you to articulate a compelling argument for your conclusion.

First of all, I don't think it coincidental that the first character found on KEPA 1 is the first character dissected in the GAEL, and that the bulk of Part 1 of the GAEL is devoted to defining each part of that character for each degree.

I don't think it is coincidental either. These are clearly the characters in which Joseph Smith was most interested as the EAG project progressed. However, I'd advise you against thinking that Page 1 of KEPE 1 was the first portion of the GAEL produced, just because of the numbering. Not only does the evidence suggest that the EA manuscripts came first, but it also suggests that the first part of the GAEL manuscript that was produced was actually the first degree, at the back of the book. The dissection of the characters here is actually the climax of a developmental trajectory that began in the EA documents. If it were a reverse-engineering, then we'd expect the developmental trajectory to go in the opposite direction, with this being the first portion of the EAG produced.

I'll post the bottom of page 2 and top of page 3 in a moment.

-Chris

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Hi Wade,

You've not represented your sources well, my friend.

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.

Of course that's your source.

Yet you claim...

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.

[Emphasis added.]

Mike's online transcripts do not include the Egyptian Alphabet manuscripts, yet somehow you know their content... how?!

Out of consideration for Chris' conversational stamina, please don't pretend you know the content of manuscripts you haven't even read.

My best,

</brent>

http://mormonscripturestudies.com

(

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I'm not surprised that it screams that to someone who is clearly already deeply invested in that view.

Actually, if you will recall from my previous post, I mentioned that I had my doubts about the reverse engineering hypothesis. So, the alleged "deep investment" wasn't all that deep.

In truth, I started researching this issue completely open to wherever the evidence leads. In fact, part of the reason that I put off reading your article and Nibley's and other related papers was because I didn't want to be inadvertently biased one way or the other. I wanted to see what the raw data suggested to me (and I still am open to all viable options). The main reason I initially and once again am leaning towards reverse engineering is because, to me, the historical data seems to suggest that the translation of portions of the BoA preceded the alphabet/grammar, and also because reverse engineering was the very means that I used, and I suspect you did too, to find textual matches between KEPA 1 and the GAEL--and this because the approach I used was amenable to finding the matches, whereas the approach suggested in your thesis was not (hense, my proposed test, which I still believe has some validity). And, even though I currently have serious doubt about your thesis, if further research ends up weighing more in your favor, then I will be accepting and perfectly fine with that.

But before I could accept your gut-level reactions, I would want you to articulate a compelling argument for your conclusion.

Fair enough. Apart from the arguments I have already raised in this thread, the questions I am currently exploring, in hopes of eventually shaping them into arguments, are how it is that Joseph (and/or Phelps and/or Cowdery) figured out that certain characters are composites of other characters, and that each character, and each of the parts of the composite and other characters, had degrees of meaning and signification. This can be somewhat explained us a reverse engineering hypothesis, though left somewhat a mystery with your thesis (I would like to explore your notion of "divine inspiration" at a later time.)

I am also still attempting to piece together evidence that will give me a better sense for the timing of the writing of each of the KEP in relation to Joseph's expressed awareness of aspects of the BoA. For example, as mentioned earlier in the thread, it appears that prior to starting work on the alphabet/grammar, Joseph was already aware that portions of the papyrus were about Abraham--thus indicating that revealed translation may have preceded work on the alphabet/grammar. Also, a month prior to Parrish's astronomy-related addendum to the GAEL, "The system of astronomy was unfolded" to Joseph and Cowdery and Phelps (HoC, Vol.2, Ch.21, p.286). This leads me to hypothesis that the translation of segments of the BoA preceded corresponding entries in the GAEL, and perhaps even portions of the EA (see below).

I suspect, too, that once Dr. Gee publishes his article in which he portends to identify from whence each of the characters of the KEP were derived, this may provide additional data for inducing the timing of things. It is possible that his findings may help in determining which fragments of papyri were being worked on at a given time, and if so this could then give some indication as to when corresponding portions of the EA and GAEL may have been written. We'll see.

I don't think it is coincidental either. These are clearly the characters in which Joseph Smith was most interested as the EAG project progressed. However, I'd advise you against thinking that Page 1 of KEPE 1 was the first portion of the GAEL produced, just because of the numbering.

My conclusion (working hypothesis) wasn't based on the page numbering-though I think this is a valid factor for consideration. Instead, it was based on realizing that, as happened with me, the bulk of GAEL part 1 makes little or no sense absent the illuminating dissections and descriptions on pages 2 and 3. (I have you to thank for that realization. ;) ) It makes perfect sense that the author of the GAEL would first describe the two key characters (not coincidentally matching two of the first three characters in KEPA 1), and show how they are dissected, prior to providing degrees of signification for each of the dissected parts--particularly if the GAEL was intended for use by prospective students in learning the Egyptian language (I can certainly understand how a prospective student could be terribly confused were th GAEL to have been laid out as Marquardts has it on his web page).

I have other working reasons for coming to my conclusion (hypothesis), but I prefer to reserve stating them until I have a little more research under my belt--I don't wish to overly tax your "conversational stamina" with more premature musings that may later need to be corrected. :crazy:

Not only does the evidence suggest that the EA manuscripts came first
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Hi Wade,

You've not represented your sources well, my friend.

Of course that's your source.

Yet you claim...

Mike's online transcripts do not include the Egyptian Alphabet manuscripts, yet somehow you know their content... how?!

Out of consideration for Chris' conversational stamina, please don't pretend you know the content of manuscripts you haven't even read.

My best,

Please, Brent. There is no call for this kind of haughty and busy-body lecture from you. I have not pretended to do anything here. I have been quite open and honest about being new to this game and having limited resources to draw upon. I have willingly admitted to being limited to secondary sources, and to having but graphical bits and pieces of the GAEL, and to having relied on Mike's website for the GAEL text. As for the EA, as previously initmated, I also have only but a few graphical bits and pieces, and until I can somehow get a complete set, I have been forced to rely mostly on descriptions of portions of the EA content provided in a variety of BoA and KEP articles, including Chris's. And, since I have yet to claim that I know the entire contents of the EA, I wouldn't have had any reason to pretend that I did, nor have I.

Granted, I don't take myself or this issue anywhere close to as serious as you appear to. But, then, for me, it is but an interesting historical puzzle to solve--a brain-teaser to expand my historical horizons, and a cognative bone on which to sharpen my research, critical thinking, and forensic teeth. In the whole scheme of things, it registers for me little more than modest entertiment value, and in relation to the restored gospel, it holds little or no relevance or significance to the verity thereof, let alone to me and others achieving the intended gospel objective of coming to Christ and becoming more like him.

So, if I continue to fail to measure up to your lofty "textual-critical" standards on this issue, you will now know why, and perhaps no longer feel the seemingly persistent and entirely unnecessary need to chasten me about it. With your having been intensely active in the KEP discussion for more than a decade, and given your privileged access to certain photos as well as primary documents, you still have rights in my book to the coveted status of "King of the KEP Hill" (at least compared to me), if needs be. :P

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Also, a month prior to Parrish's astronomy-related addendum to the GAEL, "The system of astronomy was unfolded" to Joseph and Cowdery and Phelps (HoC, Vol.2, Ch.21, p.286). This leads me to hypothesis that the translation of segments of the BoA preceded corresponding entries in the GAEL, and perhaps even portions of the EA (see below).

Parrish added a few addenda related to Kolob, but the system of astronomy was revealed to Smith/Phelps/Cowdery in October in Part 2 of the GAEL (the last part of the GAEL they produced).

However, you mentioned in your article (p. 42) that certain characters in part 2 of the EA, "appear to be breakdowns of larger characters into their component parts". Do the presumed "larger characters" include the only two characters dissected in the GAEL?

No.

And, on page 43 of your article, you mentioned that in part five of each of the EA, the final character was "interpreted in each of the five degrees"? But, you didn't identify the character. Was it, by chance, one of the characters found on page two or three of the GAEL?

Yes.

And, if so, wouldn't it make sense for the GAEL to start out, as I suppose, by picking up where the EA left off (i.e. with the fifth degree), and then working backwards through the book to the first degree, where the EA had started?

The EA was almost completely in the first degree. It was only the last character that was interpreted in all five degrees. So if they picked up where the EA left off, it would be the first degree.

Also, I am curious about your mention of "a series of astronomy-related characters" in part 2 of the EA's. If you could post a graphic of that page from at least one of the EA's, that would be great. The reason I am curious about this is because, as intimated earlier in this post, it wasn't until Oct. 1st of 1835 we find first mention that "The system of astronomy was unfolded".

These characters are not interpreted in the EA documents, except for a couple in Cowdery's MS that have very abbreviated interpretations in parentheses. In my opinion Cowdery's parenthetical interpretations are secondary additions made in October. I identified these EA characters as "astronomy-related characters" only because later, in the GAEL, they get interpreted as such.

Here is the horrible microfilm image of this portion of EA OC, with Marquardt's transcription:

EAastronomychars.jpg

I will probably only have time for one more post tomorrow before I disappear for a few days on a whirlwind archive tour of Utah, and then head home to Sacramento for Thanksgiving with the family.

Peace,

-Chris

Peace,

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Hi Chris,

Thanks for responding to my questions above (If you have a moment, could you let me know which characters you believe were broken down, if not the two on page 2 and 3 of the GAEL?).

You may be pleased to learn, if you didn't know already, that I just found another piece of evidence that supports YOUR notion that at least Part 2 of the GAEL may have been written from the back page forward (from the first degree to fifth degree). According to Marquardts Egytian Papers web page, regarding the first two degrees, the character and sound for "Veh Kliflos isis" (which happens to be the last character with a sound on your graphic above) and its translation, are in the handwriting of Phelps. However, for the third degree, the character and sound for "Veh Kliflos isis" is in the handwriting of Phelps, but the translation is in the handwriting of Parrish. For degrees 4 and 5, the character, sound, and translation are all in the handwriting of Parrish. Since Parrish became Joseph's scribe after Phelps, this suggest that degrees 3-5 were written after degrees 1-2. :P

If you weren't aware of this already, I thought it might brighten things a bit before your Thanksgiving trip. Have a good one!

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Thanks, Wade. I actually wasn't aware that Parrish's handwriting starts earlier than Kolob in the later degrees, so I appreciate your pointing that out.

The "dissection" occurs in the same rather anomalous section as the "astronomy" characters. Here is this section from EA WWP, with my scribblings indicating where the anomalies occur:

breakdownsastronomychars.jpg

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Metcalfe (to Englund):

Out of consideration for Chris' conversational stamina, please don't pretend you know the content of manuscripts you haven't even read.

Charming, as always.

I love to watch you fill the cup of your hubris in this fashion. Ichor of Talos, as it were.

Such brazen majesty!

But watch your step. There be argonauts about ...

talos.jpg

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Hi Chris,

Thanks, Wade. I actually wasn't aware that Parrish's handwriting starts earlier than Kolob in the later degrees, so I appreciate your pointing that out.

Yes, Warren Parrish's handwriting appears in the interpretation of one other character in the GAEL, as I noted previously in response to Will:

Excluding BA1b (folder 3) and BA2 (folder 1), which contain text from the BoAbr proper, Warren Parrish's handwriting only appears in the translations of two characters

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Hi Chris,

Yes, Warren Parrish's handwriting appears in the interpretation of one other character in the GAEL, as I noted previously in response to Will:

Parrish's chirographic contribution to the GAEL varies gradationally in a sequence that's best explained as W. W. Phelps having begun the five entries for Veh kli flos-isis with the 1st Degree. When Phelps reached the 3rd Degree, he only penned Veh kli flos-isis, while Parrish inscribed the interpretation. In the 4th and 5th Degrees, both Veh kli flos-isis and its interpretation are in Parrish's handwriting. Since the character for Veh kli flos-isis is consistent with Phelps' ink flow in all five degrees, we can be confident that Phelps drew the character in all degrees before transcribing Veh kli flos-isis or its interpretation, and that Phelps' final scribal act in the GAEL was most likely recording the word Veh kli flos-isis in the 3rd Degree.

Entries on Kolob (including character and, in one notable instance, column lines and page heading) are in Parrish's hand in all five degrees.

These are among the several pieces of evidence that have persuaded me that the GAEL wasn't written in consecutive page order. Note, too, that page numbers throughout the GAEL are in a hand other than Phelps' or Parrish's; in other words, the volume originally lacked pagination.

I appreciate you echoing what I stated in my previous post. Great minds think alike. :P

Hi Wade,

I didn't intend to offend. I just believe that in rigorous discourse, clarity and candor are essential. So when someone refers to culling data from "the EA" yet hasn't even read "the EA," I'm leery of that person's credibility. (To say nothing of the fact that there is no "the EA" to speak of; rather, the EAs, or the EA manuscripts

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Here are some questions for me and anyone else inclined to contemplate over the Thanksgiving holiday:

1) If the GAEL was intended to translate the BoA, then why was it only allegedly used to translate a few verses?

2) If the GAEL was intended to translate the BoA, then why did work on the GAEL continue through at least until November of 1835, when at best it is alleged to have been used for translation ending around the last of July of 1835--and this supposedly because the GAEL was deemed ineffectual as a translation key? In other words, does it make sense to continue building something after realizing that it doesn't function very well as supposedly intended?

3) If the GAEL was intended to translate the BoA, then how do you explain, in terms of KEPA 1, the title preceding the characters and alleged translation? In other words, prior to allegedly using the key to initially translate the first three characters on KEPA 1, how could the collaborators have figured that the translation would be a "Translation of the Book of Abraham written by his own hand upon papyrus and found in the catacombs of Egypt"? Doesn't the title suggest that beforehand the collaborators already knew a portion of the content of what they, presumably for educational purposes, were about to write in the KEPA?

4) When attempting to determine how the EA's or GAEL were produced, and how they were intended to be used or were actually used, what is to be made of the words and sentences that have been crossed out in each? For example, according to the graphic of page 2 of the GAEL that Chris posted earlier on this thread, the first translation of "Beth" (i.e. "means first residence, a fruitful place, &") was completely crossed out, and below it is given another translation ("Beth place of happiness, purity, holiness & rest").(I just checked the graphic that I have page 2, and the sentence above isn't crossed out. So, I am not sure what to think about it) In terms of how the GAEL was produced, doesn't the crossing out suggest that the collaborators were attempting to inductively figure out at least some of the meanings, and were prone to changing their mind? And if so, doesn't this mitigate somewhat against the notions that the GAEL was produced by reverse engineering or by way of "inspiration"? And, doesn't the strike-through's suggest that the collaborators didn't intend for the crossed-out meanings to be used by the students when translating (as Chris appears to have done with the "Beth" element--see his graphic above where he provides a side-by-side translation using the GAEL and the BoAbr. MS 1, p.1)? Doesn't the mind-changing and crossing-out suggest that GAEL was most likely intended for informal, educational purposes, and not formally for such important translations like what would be expected and previously found in the case of scriptures?

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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By the way,

5) Does anyone dispute that, in regards to at least the first page for each of the EA (WWP, OC, JS), the production sequence is as follows: a ) column lines were drawn first, b ) then each of the characters were written in the appropriate column, c ) after which each of the corresponding letters were written in their column (this involves only three letters and only applies to EA WWP and EA OC), d ) then the corresponding sounds were written down in order, and finally, e ) the English meaning for each character was written?

6) Whereas, does anyone dispute that with the GAEL, part 1 (particularly page 20), this is the production sequence; a ) the columns were likely drawn first, then b ) the first number written, followed by the first character, after which the sound for that character was written, followed by the English meaning, and then c ) the second number was written, followed by the second character, sound, and English meaning, and d ) so on and so forth through to the end of the page and on to the next?

As previously intimated, and as reinforced by Brent, there is good reason to believe that for at least Part 2 of the GAEL, it was written from back to front ( first degree to fifth degree). Does anyone dispute this?

7) Does anyone dispute that Part 1 of the GAEL was written prior to Part 2?

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Here are more questions for holiday consideration:

8 ) If the GAEL was intended to translate the BoA by way of the KEPA 1, and if the characters in the left-hand column of KEPA 1 are indicative that the GAEL was used to translate the KEPA 1, then why do the characters continue to be found in the left-hand column beyond the third verse of Abr. 1, where the GAEL supposedly stopped being used as the means for translation?

9 ) Furthermore, if the characters in the left-hand column of KEPA 1 are indicative of a translation production (as opposed to being constructed as an educational tool), then by what means were the characters beyond Abraham 1:3 of KEPA 1 translated? And, why wasn't this other 'means" allegedly not used to translate Abr. 1:1-3--particularly were it a superior means to that of the GAEL?

10) What do some of you make of the marked difference between the BoA and the GAEL in terms of names for the sun and moon?

For Abr 3: sun = Shinehah and moon = Olea

For the GAEL: sun = Enish-go-on-dosh and moon = flo-ees

Facsimili #2: sun = Enish-go-on-dosh and moon = Floeese

Doesn't this suggest a disconnect between the BoA text, particularly chapter 3, and the GAEL? In other words, don't these marked differences imply that the GAEL wasn't intended to be used to translate the BoA (though likely intended for educational purposes--i.e. students learing the Egyptian language), and that Abr 1-3 may have been written before at least Part 2 of the GAEL--i.e. prior to Oct. 1st, when Facsimile #2 was openned to Joseph's understanding?

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Wade,

I don't really have the time or energy to prolong this thread any further. This is no reflection on you; just on the fact that it's gone on for more than thirty pages. Those who have been reading will probably be able to predict my answers to at least some of your questions, which we've already talked about at some length.

I am enjoying my archives tour, and will try to find time to share some of my findings in the near future.

-Chris

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At the risk of being the sole participant on this thread, I have spent the last two days comparing and contrasting the first pages of EA WWP and EA JS, part 1, and I have compiled a list of differences (except for capitalization) between these two documents., This list strongly suggests to me that the two documents weren't written at the same time, but rather that EA JS was likely a first draft written by Joseph, himself, and EA WWP and possibly EA OC were second drafts written by W. W. Phelps and Oliver Cowdery, with portions of each possibly being dictated by Joseph Smith from the first draft. And, presumably the GAEL was the third and perhaps final draft of the Alphabet and grammar (this appears to be the case from what little comparisons I have done between the two EA's and the GAEL).

Hi Wade,

I admire your willingness to argue for a conclusion that so thoroughly flies in the face of the "scribes did it" theory. However, I don't entirely understand your reasoning process when you conclude that "the two documents weren't written at the same time, but rather that EA JS was likely a first draft written by Joseph, himself, and EA WWP and possibly EA OC were second drafts." If you intend to continue to argue for this view, I'd encourage you to make your argument more explicit.

On a somewhat different note, what is the source of your graphics? They don't appear to be the images from Nibley's paper, so you'll understand my curiosity as to where they come from. They're substantially better than the microfilm images upon which I have had to rely for most of my own studies.

Peace,

-Chris

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Hi Wade,

I admire your willingness to argue for a conclusion that so thoroughly flies in the face of the "scribes did it" theory.

I don't know that the theory can be entirely ruled out for at least part of the KEP production.

However, I don't entirely understand your reasoning process when you conclude that "the two documents weren't written at the same time, but rather that EA JS was likely a first draft written by Joseph, himself, and EA WWP and possibly EA OC were second drafts." If you intend to continue to argue for this view, I'd encourage you to make your argument more explicit.

I would have thought it obvious. However, since it apparently isn't, I will do as you suggest.

On a somewhat different note, what is the source of your graphics? They don't appear to be the images from Nibley's paper, so you'll understand my curiosity as to where they come from. They're substantially better than the microfilm images upon which I have had to rely for most of my own studies. Peace, -Chris

I am affraid that I mistakenly posted the graphics and may have inadvertantly infringed on copyrights, and I am attempting to get the Mods to delete them (I am unable to). As such, you can understand that I am not at liberty to say who they were from.

Please, everyone, delete any copies you may have made of the graphics.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Here are some questions for me and anyone else inclined to contemplate over the Thanksgiving holiday:

1) If the GAEL was intended to translate the BoA, then why was it only allegedly used to translate a few verses?

It was an attempt to deconstruct the original (prior) translation. The purpose of the GAEL was not the translation process itself, but as a learning exercise.

But the important point is whether it points to the actual egyptian text from which the BOA was translated by the prophet Joseph Smith. Did JS deceive the scribes by giving them the wrong text, or did the scribes simply select a manuscript at random?

I would suggest that they were using the correct text, under the direction of the prophet.

I apologize in advance to William, et al, for my stupidity and ignorance.

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I am affraid that I mistakenly posted the graphics and may have inadvertantly infringed on copyrights, and I am attempting to get the Mods to delete them (I am unable to). As such, you can understand that I am not at liberty to say who they were from.

Wade?

That doesn't quite make sense. Copyright laws don't exclude anyone from disclosing their source. Am I missing something?

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This is what I think happened:

After Joseph Smith finishes the translation of the BOA, one of the brethren approaches him:

"Joseph, we've been learning Hebrew, and I would really like to learn Egyptian. Can you give me some ideas on that." JS shrugs and agrees to help.

JS then takes the egyptian manuscript, and goes thru each egyptian character, and shows him the corresponding translation in the BOA. Several brethren tnen take up the task of figuring out the egyptian language with each character and the english text.

Of course they did not learn egyptian. Think of this as a homework assignment with the impossible goal of learning egyptian.

Amd one person did eventually figure it out. And that person is John Tvedtnes.

The whole thing fits together very nicely, with a ribbon on top.

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The images Wade posted are available to anyone who wants to purchase Volume 18 of Hugh Nibley's collected works, An Approach to the Book of Abraham. They're not nearly as good as looking at the originals, or high-resolution scans of the originals, but they're much better than the photocopies-from-microfilm images in Marquardt's old book. Unfortunately, due to the poor quality of the images they had, Tanner (and Marquardt?) made numerous transcription errors, some of them quite significant in terms of their import.

In any event, I am now convinced that the historical and text-critical evidence is conclusive:

The

GAEL_Title.jpg

of the Egyptian Language (GAEL) is, almost exclusively, the creation of William Wines Phelps.

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Hi Will,

The images Wade posted are available to anyone who wants to purchase Volume 18 of Hugh Nibley's collected works, An Approach to the Book of Abraham. They're not nearly as good as looking at the originals, or high-resolution scans of the originals, but they're much better than the photocopies-from-microfilm images in Marquardt's old book.

No doubt.

But let's be clear: Wade's images aren't scans of the reprint-revision of Nibley's essay that you cite, rather they are leaked/provided images from the source photos/scans used in the reprint-revision (I think we can safely assume that you, Brian, or John sent them to Wade).

Unfortunately, due to the poor quality of the images they had, Tanner (and Marquardt?) made numerous transcription errors, some of them quite significant in terms of their import.

I concur, though this work remains a pivotal contribution to the history of BoAbr interpretation.

In any event, I am now convinced that the historical and text-critical evidence is conclusive:

The

GAEL_Title.jpg

of the Egyptian Language (GAEL) is, almost exclusively, the creation of William Wines Phelps.

"[T]he historical and text-critical evidence is conclusive"!

Your bombastic certitude never fails to make me smile (and, occasionally, wince at the thought of your embarrassment in putting such tripe into print).

My best,

</brent>

http://mormonscripturestudies.com

(

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Metcalfe:

Your bombastic certitude never fails to make me smile (and, occasionally, wince at the thought of your embarrassment in putting such tripe into print).

As your condescending arrogance never fails to entertain. If only it demonstrated more variety and creative originality, it would be notable. As it is, it only rises to the predictable.

At any rate, I don't dispute that there will be a heaping plate of embarrassment served to someone at some point in the future. Fortunately, the raw text-critical data will not easily lend itself to distortion or misrepresentation.

Yes, as I wrote above, I am convinced that the evidence is conclusive concerning Phelps's primacy in the creation of the GAEL. I am also convinced that the key elements of that evidence have eluded you all these years, along with the overwhelming evidence of many other things. That's what will happen when you try to mold the evidence instead of being willing to let the evidence mold you.

In any case, I am more than willing to let the eventual readers be the judges. You have indicated that your long-awaited book is on the front burner again. Good. I'm very glad to hear it. I know of at least two other books on the topic of the KEP that will appear in the coming months, one by Brian Hauglid and one by someone else. Who will yet emerge triumphant in the KEP cage fight of 2010 remains to be seen. :P

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