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Don Bradley And The Kinderhook Plates


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Grindael,

Which part of your argument about the "Egyptian alphabet" being Book of Mormon characters is the part I haven't already responded to more than once? I'm having trouble spotting it. (This sounds facetious. But I am serious. I believe I've responded to all this in my arguments reposted above.

Don says that Pratt DOESN'T say they were compareddirectly to the papyrus but to the characters that are on the papyrus… (Could not Smith have had a copy of the BOM 'caracters' in his Hebrew Bible?) Of course that is speculation on my part.

But what does Pratt say?

“A large number of Citizens have seen them (theKinderhook Plates) and compared the characters [the KinderhookPlates characters] with those ON the Egyptian papyrus WHICH IS NOW INTHIS CITY.” (The Ensign, August 1981, p. 73).

You keep repeating the quote as if it is self-interpreting and your interpretation is the only possible one.

Whether the characters were seen by way of seeing the original papyrus or seen in copied form on the GAEL, they would still be the characters that are "on the Egyptian papyrus."

Did a 'large number of citizens' have direct access to the GAEL?

Yep. Just as much as they had access to the papyrus. The only way they could have access to either is if Joseph Smith displayed the document, as "A Gentile" says Joseph did with his "Egyptian alphabet," comparing it in his presence with the KP characters.

And if one reads this, if the characters here referred to are the GAEL, it would read, A large number of Citizens have seen the KP and compared the characters from the GAEL with those on the Egyptian Papyrus which is now in the city. ... That doesn't make much sense to me.

Uhhh???

Why would he say they compared the charaters on the GAEL with the papyrus? This has nothing to do with anything I've argued or anything in the evidence.

I don’t see at all, how this says that Pratt saidthe GAEL is referred to here.

Pratt doesn't say he displayed the GAEL. He also doesn't say he displayed the papyrus. Rather, he says that the citizens were able to compare the KP characters with the papyrus characters--which is what a reference to "the characters...on the Egyptian papyrus" means. One can't determine from such a reference whether they saw the papyrus or not.

“A large number of Citizens have seen them and compared the characters with those on the Egyptian papyrus which is now in this city."

What we can tell from this?

The citizens saw the Kinderhook plates--"them." And they compared the characters from these with "those" on the Egyptian papyrus. It says they compared the characters with the characters; it doesn't say they compared the plates with the papyrus. You make a big deal out of the papyrus being "in the city," but I fail to see how this indicates anything more than that the papyrus was in the city. Pratt says they saw the plates but doesn't say they saw the papyrus. The only thing he says they saw relative to the papyrus are its characters.

So for all this, we have one shaky reference to anEgyptian Alphabet, that could or could not be the GAEL, but just as easilycould be the characters from the BOM, (which ‘A Gentile” actually SAYS theyare)

I've already addressed all this quite a bit above. What Book of Mormon character transcript does Joseph have at this point? Any documentation that he has one? Where is it called an alphabet? Luc had called the original transcript an alphabet, but this isn't mentioned after the loss of the 116 pages in 1828, implying that it disappeared with them. If it didn't, where was it in the intervening 15 years and why wasn't JS comparing it with anything else? Also, why is it so unbelievable that an outsider could confuse a document connected with the BoA with one connected to the much, much better known Book of Mormon, from which Mormonism takes its name?

and a character from the GAEL [insertion: i.e., as the GAEL says it should be] that has to be taken apart to match.

Nuff said. You ought to read my arguments before responding.

As for the Anthon Transcript, How in the world didthey get copies of the ‘caracters’ to print in two publications in 1844, ifthey weren’t in the city?

Show me how we know when they got to the city and what reference we have to them in Nauvoo or in JS's possession between 1828 and 1844.

If JS, et al. are going to go to the trouble of having the KP characters published immediately, why hold off so long on publishing the BoM characters, if he has them?

The problem I see here, is that we have TWO accountssaying that the KP characters are similiar,

The only real "problem" is here is that you are misusing the sources. The Haven account says Joseph said they were similar to the BoM characters on sight, before comparing them to anything. How does this support your claim that JS compared them to a BoM character transcript?

(one actually saying they are 'evidently the SAME characters) to the BOM characters, and that Joseph saidso, and we have none that show he said the same about the GAEL.

We have PPP's account that he compares to BoA characters. Why be confident that a non-Mormon will know the difference between these and BoM characters?

Also, and more importantly, we GAEL material migrating into Joseph Smith's reported translation of the Kinderhook plates. How does this happen without him consulting the GAEL. Magic?

I am currently writing up a paper on this, and Ido have more information to support the BOM connection, which I will have donein a few weeks. I think it will add further light to the statement from “AGentile”, the part which says, ‘whichhe took from the plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated,and they are evidently the same characters’.

Despite my severe doubts, I look forward to seeing your paper.

Don

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Don said:

Why beconfident that a non-Mormon will know the difference between these and BoMcharacters?

Isn't that the crux of your argument with "AGentiles" account? Remember, you haven't proven that "A Gentile"saw the GAEL. Don't you think Joseph Smith himself, who spoke to 'A Gentile',would have known the difference? And related it to him? If so, Then why does hesay that they are the same characters that are on the BOM plates? He wasconfused? Richards was confused?

Don, you can say all you want that Joseph Smithhad no access to the Characters from the Book of Mormon, but the fact thatthey were published in Nauvoo, in 1844 shows that they were accessible. Do youthink that David Whitmer loaned HIS COPY to the Church so they could use it? Ireally don't think so. This implies that there was a copy of them in Nauvoo.You don't think Joseph would have had access to them? The fact is, it is a veryplausible scenario. It becomes even more plausible when one reads this, byStanley Kimball:

In late 1844 two important dimensions to theAnthon story are added: the first publication of what the transcript lookedlike and the first explicit allusion to the event having been a fulfillment ofIsaiah 29: 11-12. This information waspresented to the public in two ways--by newspaper and by placard. On Saturday, December 21, Samuel Brannan, thepresiding Elder of the branch in New York City and publisher and editor of asemi-official Church publication, The Prophet, published in this newspaper athree-line reproduction of the "Anthon transcript." With no introductory remarks or anyindication of source, this illustration was printed under a headline reading,"The Stick of Joseph taken from the hand of Ephraim." He then added that. . . "The followingis a correct copy of the characters taken from the plates which the Book ofMormon was translated from: the same that was taken to Professor Mitchell, andafterwards to Professor Anthon of New York, by Martin Harris in the year 1827[sic] in fulfillment of Isaiah 29: 11-12." (The quotation was given in full.)

Although Brannan gave no source or any furtherinformation about this illustration of the "Stick of Joseph," we candivine its probable origin. Sometimeprior to December 1844 (probably earlier in the same year) someone printed ablack and gold placard titled "The Stick of Joseph taken from the Hand ofEphraim: A correct copy of thecharacters taken from the plates [of] the Book of Mormon!! Was translated from--the same that was takento Professor Anthon of New York by Martin Harris in the year 1827 [sic] infulfillment of Isaiah 29: 11-12." Since the wording and the three lines of the transcript printed in TheProphet on December 12 are almost identical with that printed on the black andgold placard, it seems more than likely that this placard was the source ofBrannan's story in The Prophet.54

Very little, however, is known about theprovenance of the placard. We conclude,of course, that it existed before December 21, 1844, and from the only extantcopy known, in the LDS Church Historian's Office, we learn the following fromwhat is written on its back: There isthe signature of Mrs. Hyrum Smith (who died in 1852) and a statement,"1844 placard Stick of Joseph. Thiswas formerly OWNED BY HYRUM SMITH and sent to the Historian's Office March 22,1860, by his son, Joseph Fielding Smith." http://www.shields-research.org/Scriptures/BoM/BYUSAntn.html

"You say,

"IfJS, et al. are going to go to the trouble of having the KP characters publishedimmediately, why hold off so long on publishing the BoM characters, if he hasthem?

"I don't know. But Hyrum obviously had a copyof them, therefore Joseph had access to them. An easy document to docomparisons with, (by the way) one which easily could have been referred to asan Egyptian Alphabet, as Lucy Smith referred to the one from 1828.

Also, Where are the references to “large numbersof people that had access to the GAEL?” Is that in your presentation? Wheredoes it say anywhere, that Joseph Smith was showing the GAEL around to peoplein Nauvoo? (And you may have some, I'm still waiting foryour presentation to be posted). You write

"The citizens saw the Kinderhookplates--"them." And they compared the characters from these with"those" on the Egyptian papyrus. It says they compared the characterswith the characters; it doesn't say they compared the plates with the papyrus.You make a big deal out of the papyrus being "in the city," but Ifail to see how this indicates anything more than that the papyrus was in thecity. Pratt& says they saw theplates but doesn't say they saw the papyrus. The only thing he says they sawrelative to the papyrus are its characters

"I make a big deal out of the papyrus beingin the city, because ANYONE for a quarter, could go see them (see JosiahQuincy's account, Among the Mormons). Pratt says they compared them (theplates) with the those (characters) that were ON THE PAPYRUS, WHICH IS NOW INTHIS CITY. That is pretty specific.

You also said: "One can't determine from sucha reference whether they saw the papyrus or not.

I disagree. That is what Pratt says they did.People were interested in the KP and what their relationship to the Book ofAbraham might be, or for that matter the BOM. And the papyrus was on display, by Lucy Smith, and anyone could go and see it. How could they do this with the GAEL? But there is still those twoaccounts that link the KP characters to the BOM, not to the Papyrus.

You also say

"The only real "problem" is here isthat you are misusing the sources. The Haven account says Joseph said they weresimilar to the BoM characters on sight before comparing them to anything. Howdoes this support your claim that JS compared them to a BoM charactertranscript?

"Howam I misusing sources? Isn't that a bit harsh? I am looking at what was said, ALL OF IT. Hereis the account:

"When he showed them to Joseph, the lattersaid that the figures or writing on themwas similar to that in which the Book of Mormon was written, and if Mr.Moore could leave them, he thought that by the help of revelation he would beable to translate them.

And "A Gentile's" account says that hecompared them with an Egyptian Alphabet that was taken from the BOM plates, that is how. How would Joseph know thatthey were similar? Either he had the BOM Characters memorized, or he comparedthem. Haven's account doesn't exclude this, it just doesn't include it. And aGentile's account says the same thing. Joseph said they were similar, not tothe Egyptian Papyrus, but to the Book of Mormon Characters.

As to how or why Smith quoted parts of theGAEL, I've never said he didn't consult it, or use it, I'm just saying that itisn't the ONLY possibility here, and there are things in these statements thatgive good reason to question that the GAEL could have been the only source ofhis translation.

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You're not in any position to offer explanations because you just complained that I would discuss the KEP in a thread that explicitly refers to the KEP.

You are consciously misrepresenting the discussion, as you habitually do.

You previously tried to argue that since Joseph's interpretation of one KP character was based upon the GAEL, and since it was a "fact" that the GAEL was revelatory in nature, it followed that Joseph's KP interpretation was somehow also revelatory, as if revelation has some kind of transitive property. I rebutted that wishful-thinking fantasy by pointing out that any exploration of how Joseph interpreted that KP character had to be based on how he interpreted that character, and not the source of any pre-existing materials he used. When I said "the subject under discussion" I was not referring to the entire thread, as I rather suspect you know.

Now you're trying to squirm your way out of this mess with rhetoric, as usual.

You are projecting, as usual.

Stop right there and back up your claim with references.

Your manners are as bad as ever. You throw out these peremptory commands and then blow your top when I point out your bullying tactics.

For my references, I refer you to post no. 228 of this thread.

This should be rather easy for you to do since, according to you, it is the "standard" argument. Last week you produced five examples of the "anti-Mormon" argument using obscure citations from various Evangelical anti-Mormons. Yet, none of them support your straw man about translation via "revelation." In fact, their overall gripe, based on the citations you provided, was that Joseph Smith's belief that a hoax contained a legitimate record, made him untrustworthy as a translator. Which is what I always said!

And that is a pathetic scrap to salvage from what used to be widely touted as burying Joseph's prophetic claims.

So I call a straw man foul on this one.

Pity you're not the umpire.

This morning I looked over some of the more popular anti-Mormon sources to see what they concluded on this subject. The Tannners wrote thousands of words in their critique and said nothing about "revelation." Mormon Research Ministry wrote a piece by McKeever that went into detail, and again, said absolutely nothing about translation via revelation. The title of their article was called, "Fooling the Prophet with the Kinderhook Plates." Then there is the piece written by MormonThink, which again says nothing about translation via revelation. The only time it mentions revelation is when it says revelation should have prevented him from being fooled:

The article concludes by summarizing the overall argument: "Only a bogus prophet translates bogus plates."

EXACTLY.

And how is that conclusion reached, Kevin? What "logic" leads uttery worthless haters to that triumphalistic pronouncement?

The "logic" that Joseph's prophetic gifts must somehow have been engaged. That's what.

The fact that the unprincipled deceivers you are championing prefer not to spell out their logic so that people won't see the holes in it is not my fault.

Luke Wilson concludes his article with, "The Kinderhook Plates are a known hoax. Joseph Smith identified them as ancient artifacts and claimed to translate a portion of them."

And now that Don has shown what that actually means, the "criticism" falls into the category of petty nit-picking.

So, it seems the evidence supports me, as usual. The general anti-Mormon complaint is that Joseph Smith was fooled by a trickster. Period.

That's a Grahamism, and you know it. The real anti-Mormon "complaint" is that Joseph being fooled by one of your lot made him a false prophet. "Only a bogus prophet translates bogus plates," remember?

They generally complain because he translated it, thinking a hoax was genuine. They don't generally comment on how Joseph Smith purported to translate it because they believe he was just making it all up anyway.

I agree that anti-Mormons are usually knee-jerk bigots who evaluate Joseph's honesty by projecting their own total lack thereof upon him.

As far as K-Hook goes, it seems perfectly clear to me that the Tanners, the McKeevers and the Wilson's of the anti-Mormon community will need to alter absolutely nothing in thier traditional treatments of this subject. The only thing I can see them doing is editing their existing articles to include Don's devastating evidence that, contrary to years of apologetic denial, Joseph Smith did in fact believe K-Hook contained a legitimate ancient record, and thus, far from being "eviscerated," their primary criticism is strengthened ; because for them, "only a bogus prophet would translate bogus plates."

The statement that beautifully sums up the standard anti-Mormon argument, and proves that those who deny it are lying. But now they have to grapple with the fact that Joseph's interaction with the KP's was cursory and did not entail any prophetic activity. Comparing two characters to each other is not "acting as such."

Just so you know.

Regards,

Pahoran

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Don, you can say all you want that Joseph Smithhad no access to the Characters from the Book of Mormon, but the fact thatthey were published in Nauvoo, in 1844 shows that they were accessible.

That they were published in Nauvoo in 1844 does not show that they were accessible to Joseph Smith in 1843. Since the published characters are a version of the "Caractors" document then in possession of Oliver Cowdery or the Whitmers. The version used for the 1844 publication is likely a copy made from that, but unless you have information that neither you nor anyone else has presented, we don't know when such a copy would have been made, or when or how these were otherwise obtained.

"IfJS, et al. are going to go to the trouble of having the KP characters publishedimmediately, why hold off so long on publishing the BoM characters, if he hasthem?

"I don't know. But Hyrum obviously had a copyof them, therefore Joseph had access to them. An easy document to docomparisons with, (by the way) one which easily could have been referred to asan Egyptian Alphabet, as Lucy Smith referred to the one from 1828.

Note, again, that 1844 and 1843 are different years, with 1843 preceding 1844.

Note also that in Lucy Mack Smith's couple statements in her history she says Joseph was creating an alphabet of the characters by pulling out each character he saw and putting it on his alphabet document. In such a production we would have unique characters listed rather than a text with a number of obvious repetitive characters. The document Lucy references is likely the one referenced by Anthon, which he says had characters from various scripts, but it is not the "Caractors" text published in 1844, which is a copy of a segment of plates' text rather than an alphabet of all the individual characters.

"I make a big deal out of the papyrus beingin the city, because ANYONE for a quarter, could go see them

Recall that there is not one but three May 7 sources about non-Mormons visiting Joseph's house to see the plates. All three likely refer to a single group of non-Mormons visiting, and Joseph's journal describes only one. "A Gentile" is one of these men, and he doesn't simply go view the papyri on display but sees Joseph directly compare the KPs with another document. Why, then, are we supposed to think that it's unlikely that Joseph shows this group a document that isn't ordinarily on display?

You also said: "One can't determine from sucha reference whether they saw the papyrus or not.

I disagree. That is what Pratt says they did.

How many times do you think it will take you asserting this opinion before I will magically see the light and agree with you? As I've indicated in the words bolded in my post, PPP says only that they saw the KPs and compared the characters of the KPs and those of the papyrus. We have the characters that are on the papyrus in the GAEL in just the same sense that we have the characters that are on the plates in the character transcripts. The act of copying the characters from the papyri onto another document does not suddenly make them not be the characters that are on the papyri.

But let's grant your assertion for a moment. Suppose it is the papyrus itself that is being compared to the KPs. How does this weaken the view that it is the GAEL, and not a BoM transcript that is the Egyptian alphabet in question? If JS's visitors are being shown the papyrus in comparison to the KPs, doesn't this dovetail nicely with them being shown the GAEL, which interprets the papyrus characters? If papyrus characters are being connected to those on the KPs (and why else compare them, if no connections are to found?), all the more reason to use the GAEL to understand the KP characters that are the same as those on the papyrus!

How could they do this with the GAEL?

<sigh> "A Gentile" says directly that Joseph Smith was comparing the KPs to a document he calls his "Egyptian alphabet" in front of others, including himself. Therefore Joseph Smith was specially displaying for visitors items not usually on display.

You also say

"The only real "problem" is here isthat you are misusing the sources. The Haven account says Joseph said they weresimilar to the BoM characters on sight before comparing them to anything. Howdoes this support your claim that JS compared them to a BoM charactertranscript?

"Howam I misusing sources?

What a waste of my time this discussion is. Why should I answer again here what I answer in what you just quoted? You're trying to make the point that the Haven account somehow supports "A Gentile's" statement that Joseph compared in his presence the KPs with BoM characters. Yet, as I point out above, at the time of JS's statement reported by Haven, JS had done nothing more than look just at the KPs. Haven's report, if accurate, means that when JS saw the KPs he thought some of their characters looked like those on the BoM plates. It doesn't mean that he had compared them to a BoM character transcript, which her account would indicate he hadn't. "A Gentile" isn't talking about whether JS thought the KP characters looked like BoM characters when he first saw them; it's talking about a later physicalcomparison he made on a specific occasion.

Her account indicates that he recognized the characters on sight as being similar:

Haven: "When he showed them to Joseph, the latter said that the figures or writing on themwas similar to that in which the Book of Mormon was written, and if Mr.Moore could leave them, he thought that by the help of revelation he would beable to translate them.

This account does not have Joseph comparing the two sets of characters, in which case Haven could see the match for himself. Nor does it say he specifically matched the characters--i.e., that there were identical characters. It says that Joseph recognized a similarity "when" he saw them.

You are absolutely misusing Haven.

there are things in these statements thatgive good reason to question that the GAEL could have been the only source ofhis translation.

Really? Because the case for JS's use of the GAEL in interpreting the KPs is based overwhelmingly on the fact that GAEL content shows up in Joseph's KP translation as reported in the Clayton diary--and you have no other explanation for how he derived this specific text from the KPs.

The "A Gentile" letter is only supporting evidence. So, even if your argument that JS compared the KPs to BoM characters seemed credible, it would not do anything whatsoever to suggest that anything other than the GAEL--which has the content necessary to derive the reported translation was the source used.

If I'm wrong, please show me how or why Joseph Smith would have derived the constellation of kingship, descent from Pharaoh, and language about the master "of heaven and earth" from BoM character comparisons. Even if you posit a claim to revelatory translation, you have an explanation that doesn't live up to its name--it doesn't actually explain the content of his translation, whereas the GAEL comparison does explain just that.

Grendael, if you're getting something out of our conversation, you are free to continue your end of it. But I'm getting nothing out of it; so mine is ending. I will post a few more general arguments on the subject, but do not plan to engage you further.

Cheers,

Don

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On the identity of the "Egyptian alphabet" mentioned by "A Gentile"...

That Joseph Smith possessed a character transcript in 1843 for the Book of Abraham characters is...

Definite. He had the GAEL from the Kirtland period on, and W. W. Phelps knew to look for it in Joseph's office just a few months later and borrowed it from there.

That Joseph Smith possessed a character transcript in 1843 for the Book of Mormon characters is...

Hypothetical, argued for on the basis that a copy of the "Caractors" document known to be in others' hands was published in Nauvoo in 1844. Despite the handing down of numerous Joseph Smith documents through the Smith family, a manuscript of this one is never mentioned thereafter nor passed on to posterity. In fact, the sole mention of Joseph Smith having a transcript he'd made from the plates between 1828 and 1844 is this single non-Mormon account. And on that basis alone we are to believe he had one.

That the Book of Abraham character transcripts in Joseph Smith's possession would have been called an "Egyptian alphabet" is...

Definite. The shorter transcripts were titled "Egyptian Alphabet." The longer document into which these were copied was titled "Grammar and Alphabet of the Egyptian Language." The spine of the document was either by then or in the several years following labeled on the spine by Joseph Smith's companions "Egyptian Alphabet." And these documents functioned as alphabets, attempting to collect all the different characters, arrange them alphabetically, and so on.

That the "Caractors" document published in 1844, or some otherwise unknown Book of Mormon character transcript extant in 1843 Nauvoo, would have been called an "Egyptian Alphabet" is...

Hypothetical. There is no record of anyone referring to the Caractors document this way. And such a transcript is an abstract of text, with repeating characters, and does not function as an alphabet. The difference is as clear as this:

Alphabet: a b c d e f g h i j k ...

Abstract of text: O Romeo, Romeo, why must some persons be so tendentious in ignoring my central arguments and repeating over and over bad criticisms of my supporting arguments on this topic? Wherefore art thou, Romeo?

Note that in the first example the symbols do not repeat: this is an alphabet, a total set of characters. But note that in the second the symbols (letters) repeat as often as the tired arguments for a Book of Mormon Egyptian alphabet do in the discussion above.

I'm going to post one more thing about the Parley P. Pratt letter and then largely leave this thread.

Don

Edited by DonBradley
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Parley P. Pratt wrote his letter about the Kinderhook plates on May 7, the same day that Joseph Smith's journal makes its only mention of a number of "gentlemen," evidently (from the term) non-Mormons, visiting him about the Kinderhook plates and the same day that one particular "Gentile" who visited with Joseph about the plates wrote his letter about them to the New York Herald. Thus when Pratt writes about a number of "Citizens," a word suggesting persons besides fellow Saints, comparing the characters on the plates (which were at Joseph's house) with those on the Egyptian papyrus he appears to have heard detail about this the same non-Mormon group calling about the plates at Joseph's house on May 7. In Pratt's further report he makes no mention of the KPs being compared to a much more significant set of characters, those that are written on the Book of Mormon plates. But he does mention something suggesting he'd heard report of content translated from the Kinderhook plates--content which overlaps that Clayton says Joseph got from the plates and which could be explained by reference to the GAEL. Pratt says what the plates contain. Reporting that they are in Egyptian, he states that they "contain the genealogy of one of the ancient Jaredites back to Ham the son of Noah." Egyptian plates that specify someone's descent from Ham? Compare this to Clayton's statement that Joseph's translation from the Kinderhook plates indicated that they were about "a descendant of Ham through the loins of Pharaoh."

Thus, in the same May 7 letter in which he reports non-Mormons comparing the KP characters with the papyrus characters (which are those of the GAEL as well), he also reports some of the translation content which, we've already seen, is readily derivable by comparing the KP with the GAEL.

On the same day "A Gentile," by parsimony probably describing the very same non-Mormon group visit to Joseph about the plates, has Joseph comparing the KP characters to those on his "Egyptian alphabet" and finding a match, leading him to conclude that Joseph could decipher the plates.

This fits together very tightly and dovetails perfectly with the observation that Joseph's reported KP translation could derive from a quick comparison of the KP to the GAEL.

For those who can't see how, not only these overlapping data, but also all those presented above and on the other thread, fit together beautifully, I have no idea how to remedy this for you. If you still disagree when the full case is laid out in a peer-reviewed journal (probably JMH), feel free to write a critique and see if you can get that through peer review.

Ciao,

Don

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For any who may have missed this demonstration that the entire distinctive cluster of content elements Clayton says Joseph Smith translated from the Kinderhook plates can be derived from the single GAEL character ho-e-oop-hah, here it is again:

William Clayton Journal, May 1, 1843:

"Prest J. has translated a portion and says they contain the history of the person with whom they were found & he was a descendant of Ham through the loins of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom from the ruler of heaven & earth."

Clayton-GAEL comparison:

___________________________________________________________________________

Clayton journal: "Prest. J....says..."

He was a descendant of Ham through the loins of Pharaoh king of Egypt,

and that he received his kingdom from the ruler of heaven & earth.

___________________________________________________________________________

"Ho e oop hah," as defined on GAEL, page 4 (second page of characters):

Honor by birth, kingly power by the line of Pharaoh; possession by birth;

one who reigns upon his throne universally — possessor of heaven and earth, and of the blessings of the earth.

___________________________________________________________________________

What Clayton says Joseph translated from the Kinderhook plates can be derived from this single character definition in the GAEL. The GAEL text from which a "Kinderhook plates" idea or phrase can be derived is given in the same color.

A couple of the ideas Clayton says Joseph translated are given implicitly rather than explicitly. The king "of Egypt" detail is implicit in being Pharaoh. The detail of descent from Ham is also implicit, since the Book of Abraham gives Pharaoh's lineage to Ham in Abraham 2.

It should also be noted that the detail that the plates were the record of the person with whom they were buried is a surmise and not something that would be on the plates, unless one would expect to find the author giving a valedictory like "I am burying these plates in this mound alongside my corpse."

Thus everything Clayton says Joseph translated from the Kinderhook plates is readily derivable from the definition given on the GAEL for the character it calls "Ho-e-oop-hah."

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grindael continues to raise excellent points supported by the very sources Bradley thinks prove his case. Bradley continues to try to bully his way through those arguments with a lot of bluster and growing frustration that grindael is "misusing" the sources. I disagree that grindael is misusing sources or misunderstanding "obvious" things. I think grindael is simply exposing the weaknesses of what is inherently a very weak case. Good job, grindael.

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Nomad,

How nice of you to show up to cheerlead critics whose biases overlap yours. But I'm disappointed that you've haven't arrived with any substance, like that passage from some source that's going to show how Joseph Smith derived the distinctive constellation of kingship, descent from Pharaoh, and master "of heaven and earth" from somewhere besides the GAEL.

Don

'

Edited by DonBradley
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For any who may have missed this demonstration that the entire distinctive cluster of content elements Clayton says Joseph Smith translated from the Kinderhook plates can be derived from the single GAEL character ho-e-oop-hah, here it is again:

William Clayton Journal, May 1, 1843:

"Prest J. has translated a portion and says they contain the history of the person with whom they were found & he was a descendant of Ham through the loins of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom from the ruler of heaven & earth."

Clayton-GAEL comparison:

___________________________________________________________________________

Clayton journal: "Prest. J....says..."

He was a descendant of Ham through the loins of Pharaoh king of Egypt,

and that he received his kingdom from the ruler of heaven & earth.

___________________________________________________________________________

"Ho e oop hah," as defined on GAEL, page 4 (second page of characters):

Honor by birth, kingly power by the line of Pharaoh; possession by birth;

one who reigns upon his throne universally — possessor of heaven and earth, and of the blessings of the earth.

___________________________________________________________________________

What Clayton says Joseph translated from the Kinderhook plates can be derived from this single character definition in the GAEL. The GAEL text from which a "Kinderhook plates" idea or phrase can be derived is given in the same color.

A couple of the ideas Clayton says Joseph translated are given implicitly rather than explicitly. The king "of Egypt" detail is implicit in being Pharaoh. The detail of descent from Ham is also implicit, since the Book of Abraham gives Pharaoh's lineage to Ham in Abraham 2.

It should also be noted that the detail that the plates were the record of the person with whom they were buried is a surmise and not something that would be on the plates, unless one would expect to find the author giving a valedictory like "I am burying these plates in this mound alongside my corpse."

Thus everything Clayton says Joseph translated from the Kinderhook plates is readily derivable from the definition given on the GAEL for the character it calls "Ho-e-oop-hah."

Joseph's use of the GAEL verifies his belief that it was a accurate tool for translating the Egyptian language.

The GAEL was developed in connection with the translation of the Book of Abraham.

The Book of Abraham was translated by revelation so anything that was developed in connection with it is therefore also a result of that revelation.

This makes the attempted translation revelatory in nature because JS was using a unique tool (GAEL) which was developed in connection with his revelatory translation of the Book of Abraham.

This raises the question, "Is the GAEL an accurate tool for translating the Egyptian language?"

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Don,

What I've been doing, is looking at all the evidence, that you seem to be ignoring. One is the FACT that Hyrum Smith had a copy of the BOM Characters and must have had it before 1844.

Thanks for the great comment about 'biases'. I thought you were better than that. Perhaps you missed the end of this statement in my post:

As to how or why Smith quoted parts of the GAEL, I've never said he didn't consult it, or use it, I'm just saying that it isn't the ONLY possibility here, and there are things in these statements that give good reason to question that the GAEL could have been the only source of his translation. And I haven't revealed all that I plan to in the future.

Respectfully,

grindael

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Thinking,

Joseph's use of the GAEL verifies his belief that it was a accurate tool for translating the Egyptian language.

The GAEL was developed in connection with the translation of the Book of Abraham.

The Book of Abraham was translated by revelation so anything that was developed in connection with it is therefore also a result of that revelation.

This makes the attempted translation revelatory in nature because JS was using a unique tool (GAEL) which was developed in connection with his revelatory translation of the Book of Abraham.

This raises the question, "Is the GAEL an accurate tool for translating the Egyptian language?"

If JS called for his GAEL in addition to the Hebrew Bible and Lexicon, this seems to be the second time. Later, on 13 Nov. 1843, JS also called for the GAEL in reference to a letter he was drafting (with W W Phelps) to James Arlington Bennett (see T&S 4:372-75), which included several foreign-language quotes. One was from the GAEL, pp. 29-30, about “Jah-oh-eh”. See American Prophet’s Record, p. 427.

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David B.,

In terms of his translation efforts using the GAEL, I wouldn't use the expression "making things up." As Don has clearly shown, there is a strong correlation between not only the shape of the two signs, but also the explanations Joseph gave them. Honestly, I can't see how anyone could possibly account for this evidence as mere coincidence.

My point is simply that the additional elements in the KP version of the sign would suggest a need for a more detailed definition than the one provided in the GAEL, which is of course, precisely what Joseph provides.

I'm not suggesting that Joseph actually translated the "theta" etc. within the the KP sign, only that based upon the GAEL definition, Joseph would have had a basic idea of what the sign signified and could have easily interpreted it to mean that the plates contained "the history of the person with whom they were found... a descendant of Ham through the loins of Pharaoh king of Egypt... [who] received his kingdom from the ruler of heaven and earth."

This seems more reasonable. Perhaps I misunderstood. I think Don should be careful not to push the similarity too far. It would be partial translation at best with no prospect of translating more by the same method, that is, if we assume that the GAEL was being used as a translating aid rather than simply as support for an “inspired” translation.

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One of the criticisms of Don's hypothesis is that the presumed compared characters don't perfectly match. The character in the KP has additional lines not found in the GAEL character. This criticism is reasonable, and can legitimately give one pause.

On the other hand, I don't see the criticism as nullifying. While the two characters aren't exact matches, there are important similarities. Think of it like the non-exact, though reasonable similarities between these two characters:

n46yht.jpg

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

This makes no sense, Wade. Don has been talking about the dissection of characters in the GAEL—each line having an assigned meaning--so your use of different fonts for a single character isn’t analogous in any way to what has been discussed.

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As to how or why Smith quoted parts of the GAEL, I've never said he didn't consult it, or use it, I'm just saying that it isn't the ONLY possibility here, and there are things in these statements that give good reason to question that the GAEL could have been the only source of his translation.

I see this as a reasonable point. The very nature of scant and oft circumstantial historical data leaves room for various logical hypothesis from which the thoughtful readers may pick and be convinced as they see fit. And, the reader may be benefited by the exchange of arguments in the marketplace of ideas. What may have once seemed "weak" arguments to some, may become "strong" to others when tempered by healthy debate. I know that my convictions have been increased by this exchange. The more I have open-mindedly consider the reasonable challenges raised against Don's hypothesis, and the more I read of Don's thoughtful responses, the more I have been persuaded to his point of view, though I continue to be open to others.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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We LDS agree that that there are things that the prophets have done which were not inspired. Joseph Smith once ate some bad meat and got violently ill for a time. Clearly, he wasn't inspired in that case. There are countless instances like this in each of the daily lives of the ancient and modern prophets.

What you, as an EV may not know, but Kevin certainly would, is that we LDS don't view our prophets as constantly in a state of divine revelation and having perfect insights into all things. We don't view our prophets as infallible, but prone to making the mistakes of men. Our concern isn't with the presumed mistakes that prophets have made in matters that are inconsequential to the intents and purpose of the restored gospel (like the Kinderhook plates), but regarding those things that will enable us to progress in salvific and exalting faith to become like Christ. In that regard, we have no complaints.

In short, the fact that the disbelievers focus on non-prophetic matters, and use non-godly means, to assess certain men's claims of being prophets of God, while we LDS do the opposite, merely explains, in part, why the difference in belief and unbelief.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Bringing up "bad meat" is just redirection. The KP is not inconsequential, as its the same behavior (interpreting ancient texts) that is the source for much LDS scripture. Spin it however you want, but that Smith got it wrong, again, is just more of the same.

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Hey Grindael,

If you haven't noticed, I have trouble staying out of these discussions. ;) I will try to be brief.

What I've been doing, is looking at all the evidence, that you seem to be ignoring.

I've looked at the evidence you're presenting, and I've weighed it out right here on the thread--I've simply done so differently than you'd like me to.

Ironically, I've yet to see you deal with more than just the supporting evidence for my argument--the Egyptian alphabet comment.

One is the FACT that Hyrum Smith had a copy of the BOM Characters and must have had it before 1844.

I added emphasis on one word in your quotation, to be discussed here.

I just reviewed your evidence on this above, and it indicates that Hyrum Smith owned a placard that was believed to have been printed in 1844.

Thanks for the great comment about 'biases'. I thought you were better than that. Perhaps you missed the end of this statement in my post:

As to how or why Smith quoted parts of the GAEL, I've never said he didn't consult it, or use it, I'm just saying that it isn't the ONLY possibility here

Historians are in the business of reconstructing the most probable past from the best evidence. As such, you're right that I've been uninterested in arguments that it's possible the reference is to something other than the GAEL.

and there are things in these statements that give good reason to question that the GAEL could have been the only source of his translation.

As I've said above...these statements about Book of Mormon characters don't give any reason to question that the GAEL was the source of the reported translation, because the GAEL actually contains the content said to have been translated, and this fact is entirely unchanged by any number of arguments about whether Joseph Smith looked at a Book of Mormon character transcript--unless you can show how and why this specific "translated" content would be derived by comparison to Book of Mormon character transcripts.

Since we're talking more about one another's approaches than about the data, I'll (really) give you the last word in our exchange.

Cheers,

Don

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Bringing up "bad meat" is just redirection. The KP is not inconsequential, as its the same behavior (interpreting ancient texts) that is the source for much LDS scripture. Spin it however you want, but that Smith got it wrong, again, is just more of the same.

I disagree. To me, and I trust most believing LDS, the KP is as inconsequential to the verity and intents/purpose of the gospel and Joseph's calling as a prophet of God as the bad meat. It is also outside the means God has availed us for determining whether Joseph was a prophet of God.

Non-believers are free to make it of utmost importance, and they sometimes "spin it" that way. And, they are free to rely on this man-made (arm of flesh) mode of assessment to judge the things of God.

To each their own.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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This makes no sense, Wade. Don has been talking about the dissection of characters in the GAEL—each line having an assigned meaning--so your use of different fonts for a single character isn’t analogous in any way to what has been discussed.

Here is where I see it as analogous. We are also talking about two characters that are essentially the same presumably with essentially similar meanings. The difference, however, is one of the characters is more elaborate or ornate (consisting of more lines) than the other. The same is true for a basic "E" and a more elaborate/ornate "E" (the latter has more lines).

The point being, the existence of additional lines doesn't necessarily mean the characters are not essentially the same.

Said another way, one may reason that the KP character may have been written in a more elaborate font than the GAEL. ;)

Do you see the sense now?

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by wenglund
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Mr. Englund,

Thank you so much for your very thoughtful reply, and want to thank you for the work you've done in the past. (I read here constantly, but haven't commented much until lately). I want to stress that I haven't had a chance to listen/read (hope there is a transcript) Don's presentation, hence what I've commented on is just from comments generated here. I've said over and over that I'm not at all ruling out Don's scenario, BUT I'm intrigued by the Book of Mormon connection, and really that is what I'm focusing on at this point in my research. What leads me there, is the location of the KP (in Pike County) in the 'plains of the Nephites', perhaps the 'land of desolation' where there is Jaredite History. We find mention of the person from the KP as being a Jaredite, (by Pratt) and there is perhaps a connection to Ham in this. Then we have Zelph, who was rumored to be 9 feet tall, and that also is mentioned about the KP person (by Clayton). I personally think there is more to the story than Joseph simply looking at the GAEL and doing a reading from the GAEL. I stress, my OPINION at this point. I do have some interesting evidence to present to support a BOM/KP connection. The reason I have been focusing on "A Gentile's" statement, is that it is a new piece of the puzzle, and it has that problematic (for ME) mention of the BOM characters from the plates, and adds some weight to Charlotte Haven's account. I'd still love to see a copy of the whole statement by "A Gentile".

Your comment about Joseph's 'translation' of part of the Chandler Papyri, which reads:

"On the 3rd of July, Michael H. Chandler came to Kirtland to exhibit someEgyptian mummies. There were four human figures, together with some two or morerolls of papyrus covered the with hieroglyphic figures and devices. As Mr.Chandler had been told I could translate them, he brought me some of thecharacters, and I gave him the interpretation..."

Is also very interesting. As you mentioned, how did Joseph do this? Will S. wrote this on another Topic:

"Joseph was permitted to take the papyrus home with him overnight on July4, 1835. He returned the following day having achieved the translation ofsomething we dont know exactly what but it was apparentlyenough (along with the hefty sum of $2400) to convince Chandler to certify thatthe Prophet knew what he was doing. Ownership of the papyri was transferred toJoseph Smith, and the following day he commenced to translate again, for it isso recorded in his journal. He translated enough to declare that the papyricontained records of both Abraham and Joseph."

Then we have The plates being shown to Joseph by Joshua Moore, (on the 29th of May?) and Joseph making a comment (as Don B. says) based on visual observation (commenting on their similarity to the characters that came from the BOM and being able to translate them by revelation), and then on May 1st Clayton writes that he did do a translation, and uses phraseology from the GAEL. (Using what I think is a picture of a boat that has to be deconstructed) Then, a week later, he shows the similarities between the Kinderhook Characters and those of the Book of Mormon again. Why are these comments about the BOM characters there? That is my concern. I don't want to get anyone frustrated, I'm just asking questions, and looking at what I see in front of me.

And upon further investigation, the broadside attributed to being owned by Hyrum was probably not, even though it was written on the back by Thomas Bullock? that it was. But, that Broadside was printed in mid December of 1844, and where could anyone have gotten the BOM characters from to do that? I still don't think D. Whitmer would have let them use his copy, so I still think it's a good bet that there was an accessible copy floating around in Nauvoo.

Respectfully,

grindael

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Then we have The plates being shown to Joseph by Joshua Moore, (on the 29th of May?) and Joseph making a comment (as Don B. says) based on visual observation (commenting on their similarity to the characters that came from the BOM and being able to translate them by revelation), and then on May 1st Clayton writes that he did do a translation, and uses phraseology from the GAEL. (Using what I think is a picture of a boat that has to be deconstructed) Then, a week later, he shows the similarities between the Kinderhook Characters and those of the Book of Mormon again. Why are these comments about the BOM characters there? That is my concern. I don't want to get anyone frustrated, I'm just asking questions, and looking at what I see in front of me.

A reasonable explanation is that the various witnesses merely conflated the two things in their minds. The Book of Mormon was a well-known, widely published book, the first thing that most of Joseph's contemporaries would have associated with him and the Church. Furthermore, it was translated from a script its authors called "reformed Egyptian." Someone describing himself as "A Gentile" would reasonably be expected to have heard of the BofM and know considerably more about it than the (as yet unpublished) Book of Abraham.

OTOH, Parley P. Pratt, who as an apostle could reasonably be expected to know something about the Book of Abraham project, does not conflate the two things.

Regards,

Pahoran

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Hey Grindael,

I messaged you on the other board.

As you lay out a few more of your connections to Wade above, you have me intrigued.

As indicated above, I have a hard time seeing the need for additional, revelatory or Book of Mormon-based, concepts in explaining Joseph Smith's K-hook interpretation as described by Clayton, since a single GAEL character can account for this content and a BoM connection can't (e.g., where is Pharaoh in it?). But--of course--you're right that a record found in the New World is going to be understood in light of the Book of Mormon, hence, for instance, the identificaton of the Pharaoh/Ham descendant as a Jaredite. (BTW, there are sources--none at my fingertips, unfortunately--suggesting that some early Mormons connected the common lore of very large human skeletons with the Jaredites.)

If, in defending the full accuracy of "A Gentile's" statement that the "Egyptian alphabet" was one taken from the plates, you are trying to carve out space for further exploration of Book of Mormon context for how the Kinderhook plates were understood, this is understandable. I don't think, for reasons given above, that his statement is correct at face value, nor that one needs it to be in order to explore how the Kinderhook plates was understood in light of the Book of Mormon, etc.

I apologize for giving you an unnecessarily hard time above. I still think my arguments for the "Egyptian alphabet"-GAEL link are sound, but I'm glad to know you're pursuing a potentially illuminating avenue of research.

Best of luck,

Don

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