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The book of Abraham


livy111us

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I am working on a project on the book of Abraham and am curious what the general apologist/critic think the book's greatest strengths and weaknesses are. Is there enough evidence in behalf of it to make it plausibly true? Do you find problems with the translation process, text, or doctrine? For the critics, how could Joseph Smith get any translation remotely correct, but there is evidence of several correct translations, ancient beliefs, names, etc...? For the believer, why did Joseph Smith get several things wrong? Do you find the translation problematic?

Any help would be appreciated!

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I am working on a project on the book of Abraham and am curious what the general apologist/critic think the book's greatest strengths and weaknesses are. Is there enough evidence in behalf of it to make it plausibly true? Do you find problems with the translation process, text, or doctrine? For the critics, how could Joseph Smith get any translation remotely correct, but there is evidence of several correct translations, ancient beliefs, names, etc...? For the believer, why did Joseph Smith get several things wrong? Do you find the translation problematic?

The best thing about dealing with this issue is that we have facsimiles and Joseph's explanations. The worst thing about it is that the complexities of evaluation are enormous, and general interest is low.

I tested facsimile 2 against standard Egyptology in 1975 and circulated my results. The silence was deafening. I think that proponents and detractors prefer to stake out a position and then to maintain that stance. There seems to be little communication between them. Maybe fear plays a part on both sides.

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Did the translation come from the papyri? Did it come from pure revelation with the papyri as a catalyst?

There's no translation process if it came from revelation.

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The best thing about dealing with this issue is that we have facsimiles and Joseph's explanations. The worst thing about it is that the complexities of evaluation are enormous, and general interest is low.

I tested facsimile 2 against standard Egyptology in 1975 and circulated my results. The silence was deafening. I think that proponents and detractors prefer to stake out a position and then to maintain that stance. There seems to be little communication between them. Maybe fear plays a part on both sides.

You really need to publish your materials on the Book of Mormon and Book of Abraham :-)

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I am working on a project on the book of Abraham and am curious what the general apologist/critic think the book's greatest strengths and weaknesses are. Is there enough evidence in behalf of it to make it plausibly true? Do you find problems with the translation process, text, or doctrine? For the critics, how could Joseph Smith get any translation remotely correct, but there is evidence of several correct translations, ancient beliefs, names, etc...? For the believer, why did Joseph Smith get several things wrong? Do you find the translation problematic?

Any help would be appreciated!

The apologists love to point out common themes between the Book of Abraham and other ancient Abrahamic texts unknown to Joseph Smith.

Critics love to point out that funerary scrolls turned up instead of writings of Abraham. They also point out that the facsimille translations are all wrong.

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[My definition of 'translation" is] 1.the rendering of something into another language or into one's own from another language.

Well there's you problem. You're using the wrong definition.

Since Joseph used the word to describe his work in the early XIX, it would be much better to use a definition of the word as he would have understood and meant it. Try this:

Translate

v.t. [L. translatus, from transfero; trans, over, and fero, to bear.]

1. To bear, carry or remove from one place to another. It is applied to the removal of a bishop from one see to another.

The bishop of Rochester, when the king would have translated him to a better bishoprick, refused.

2. To remove or convey to heaven, as a human being, without death.

By faith Enoch was translated, that he should not see death. Heb 16.

3. To transfer; to convey from one to another. 2 Sam 3.

4. To cause to remove from one part of the body to another; as, to translate a disease.

5. To change.

Happy is your grace,

That can translate the stubbornness of fortune

Into so quiet and so sweet a style.

6. To interpret; to render into another language; to express the sense of one language in the words of another.

The Old Testament was translated into the Greek language more than two hundred years before Christ. The Scriptures are now translated into most of the languages of Europe and Asia.

7. To explain.

The modern (late XX~XXI) connotation doesn't show up until the 6th usage as an XIX USmerican would have used the term.

For Joseph and his contemporaries, the word meant to transport or convey from one place or time to another, not merely to change the language the item was originally written in to another. They'd have used "interpret" to mean what you think they were saying.

Lehi

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Hey man.

The Book of Abraham was given through modern revelation, and like it or not, it does not translate Egyptologically with the Facsimiles in the Explanations. And whether or not the Sensen Papyrus has anything to do with the Book of Abraham or not, a reasonable interpretation (not the usual apologetically favored one) is that the KEP makes attempts to Abrahamically translate the Sensen Papyrus (whether or not that means it is the source of the Book of Abraham). Other apologists will deny that this is the case and say the KEP has nothing to do with it.

Now, we can explain this many ways faithfully, including showing how Egyptologically, some hieroglyphs translate in ways that have attributes that can be shown to relate to themes in Joseph Smith's translations, and so forth. Many have put forth their favored interpretations. I'm good with whichever one people choose that helps them maintain faith, but that doesn't mean I agree with those interpretations. I have my favored one. I'm opinionated about it. I've stated it elsewhere, so my post here is done.

I am working on a project on the book of Abraham and am curious what the general apologist/critic think the book's greatest strengths and weaknesses are. Is there enough evidence in behalf of it to make it plausibly true? Do you find problems with the translation process, text, or doctrine? For the critics, how could Joseph Smith get any translation remotely correct, but there is evidence of several correct translations, ancient beliefs, names, etc...? For the believer, why did Joseph Smith get several things wrong? Do you find the translation problematic?

Any help would be appreciated!

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Slowly but surely, Bobby.

Now that I am retired, I have a great deal more time to devote to that objective.

Just don't pull a Eugene Seaich on us and have your magnum opus published posthumously, okay?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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weakness: We don't have any detailed facts about how this came out. We only have everyone's interpretation of what little we do have.

Strength: the text itself; it's amazing doctrine.

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Does the order of definitions of words in a dictionary indicate the order of prominence in usage at the time?

Yes, at least for most dictionaries. I do not know that there is any law on the matter, and surely some dictionary, somewhere, does it differently.

You will recall from your English teachers* that dictionaries define words according to how people use words, not what they should mean.

*If you had good ones, which is unfortunately not always the case.

Lehi

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Not sure of your question.

You said "I tested facsimile 2 against standard Egyptology in 1975 and circulated my results." Which I assume is the same paper you are currently working on getting published. Is your paper similar to Rhodes paper on the hypocephalus?

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You said "I tested facsimile 2 against standard Egyptology in 1975 and circulated my results." Which I assume is the same paper you are currently working on getting published. Is your paper similar to Rhodes paper on the hypocephalus?

Not really, although he originally wrote his paper (for the 1975 Nibley Festschrift) at the same time I wrote mine. I did not know Rhodes at that time. That paper by Rhodes was first published in BYU Studies, 17 (Spring 1977), 259-274, and he has updated it periodically since then.

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