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Book Of Abraham: Greco-Roman Era Constrained Writing Experiment With Sensen


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http://egyptianalphabetandgrammar.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-sensen-papyrus-and-hypocephalus-as.html

 

The hypothesis:  Ancient constrained writing experiments with freedom and arbitrariness, and perhaps randomness in composition, yet being tied down with form and rules, led to the association of the story of the Book of Abraham with the Sensen Papyrus, being one of the popular usages of it at the time.  This is an analog to the games of Senet and Mehen, being "board games" with randomness.  Some ancient constrained writing and word puzzles were aleatoric in nature, which is probably one principle that is a basis of iconotropy in symbolism.

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http://egyptianalphabetandgrammar.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-sensen-papyrus-and-hypocephalus-as.html

 

The hypothesis:  Ancient constrained writing experiments with freedom and arbitrariness, and perhaps randomness in composition, yet being tied down with form and rules, led to the association of the story of the Book of Abraham with the Sensen Papyrus, being one of the popular usages of it at the time.  This is an analog to the games of Senet and Mehen, being "board games" with randomness.  Some ancient constrained writing and word puzzles were aleatoric in nature, which is probably one principle that is a basis of iconotropy in symbolism.

 

how about a layman explanation of the above first, please.

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It would be interesting if someone could show how the characters in the three rows next to facsimile 1 could be manipulated to produce an interpretation, according to the game board. Maybe this could somehow be an allegory to the spirit progressing through the temple as in Nibley's Joseph Smith Papyri book compared to progress through the game.

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It would be interesting if someone could show how the characters in the three rows next to facsimile 1 could be manipulated to produce an interpretation, according to the game board. Maybe this could somehow be an allegory to the spirit progressing through the temple as in Nibley's Joseph Smith Papyri book compared to progress through the game.

Since board games are now used to explain ancient texts someone should go buy this game:

pic515964.jpg

Then we can figure out where the Book of Mormon lands are.

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how about a layman explanation of the above first, please.

 

Constrained writing is any type of writing with a constraint on it.  (A word puzzle or letter game).

http://aperiodical.com/2015/03/pi-and-constrained-writing/

Here is another example.  A person imposes rules on his own writing for creativity and artistic reasons, using the mathematical PI concept.

 

Now, for an acrostic (a type of constrained writing), the rules are that the first word in every paragraph or section of text must start out with a letter in a word list in a pre-determined order.

 

For the word "C H R I S T M A S", here is an acrostic someone made:

 

C... Christ is being born on Christmas Day.
H...He will bring love and joy to the world.
R...Remember to honor Him this day.
I...Imagine Him in the Manger.
S...So many years ago it happened on a cold day.
T...Today He will bring us blessings.
M...May you open to Him your heart.
A...Always and forever praise Him.
S...Spread His cheer everywhere.
 
Each letter enumerates a phrase or text in the list.
 
So now, rather than the word christmas, for the Book of Abraham, we have a list of things that are marked or enumerated with the characters in the order they show in the Sensen Papyrus, rather than the word "christmas."
 
So, the hypothesis is that for the Sensen Papyrus, we have something similar, where characters of the papyrus are lined up with ideas/themes from the Book of Abraham text or story in a deliberate enumeration, in the order they appear in the papyrus:
 
Hieratic I.... Land of the Chaldees
Hieratic W...  Abraham
 
And so forth.  And so on.
 
It is not exactly the same, because it is not an acrostic, but it is still similar, because the principle here is pictographic rather than a piece of text starting out with the same character.
 
Because the Hieratic I is the reed symbol as a pictograph, and the Sumerians called the Land of the Chaldees (Southern Babylonia) the Land of Reeds.  So it is a pictographic usage where there is a conceptual tie between a character and a thing (where reed = land of reeds in this case) for using the characters in this list.
 
And then the next character in the Sensen text is W (rope coil hieratic).  Osiris is a symbol for Abraham in the Sensen Papyrus.  W is the first character that the name Wsir (Osiris) starts out with.  The rope coil is to bend, to roll, to bow, etc., matching up with the Hebrew derived word Abrek, which is to bow, to kneel, etc.  This is the name of the Gnostic god Abrakas (Abraxas), which is equated with Osiris in the Greek Magical Papyri.  John Gee said that the name Abraham appears in a Greek Magical Papyrus as Abrakam.  And so, Abrakas/Abraxas/Osiris is the symbol for Abraham, answering to the W or rope coil.
 
So, it is a pictographic constrained writing experiment like an acrostic, but not exactly the same.
 
So, the Sensen papyrus doesn't represent the text of the Book of Abraham.  It represents a list of characters that people were using to make a word puzzle/letter puzzle for the story of Abraham.
 
This is the way the characters are used in the Kirtland Egyptian Papers.  Please tell me if this is plain enough.
Edited by DragonLancer
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It would be interesting if someone could show how the characters in the three rows next to facsimile 1 could be manipulated to produce an interpretation, according to the game board. Maybe this could somehow be an allegory to the spirit progressing through the temple as in Nibley's Joseph Smith Papyri book compared to progress through the game.

 

Well, the analogy with a game board is the idea that we have a word game going on.  Its not so much that the Sensen itself is a game board, but rather a thing that was used for word puzzles as a type of "game," and the Book of Abraham (or at least, elements or themes from its story) was used as one of the word puzzles it was used for.

Edited by DragonLancer
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So your argument is that because the lion couch looks vaguely like some version of a Senet game set that any papyri with such an image on it is random because Senet has random elements? Am I following here?

 

Senet is a game, and representational of randomness.  And so, the hypothesis is that there was a conceptual tie between the Senet game and the Sensen Papyrus, not only because of similar symbology (with the lion couch, etc.), but also because the Sensen papyrus was a papyrus that was commonly being used for word/letter games/puzzles.

It's only random in the sense that the characters could be matched up with anything if someone has a pre-determined set of rules for each thing that they would be using it for.  And so, there were no limitations on its usage, so long as there were pre-determined rules for a given word/letter puzzle.  And so, the hypothesis is that one of the popular things to do with this papyrus among priests was to have a letter game with the Book of Abraham story.

Edited by DragonLancer
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Maybe "Game" isn't quite the right word for it. 

 

In electronics class we use a saying that helps us remember the  values for resistors.

 

Brown Black Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Violet Gray White 

 

Bad Boys Reap Our Young Gardens But Violets Go Willingly.

 

Where each first letter = its ordinal value starting at 0; 

 

Similarly in Trigonometry we were taught.

 

Some Old Horse

Caught Another Horse

Taking Oats Away

 

Where S = Sin, C = Cosign, T = Tangent, O = Opposite, H = Hypotenuse, A = Adjacent

 

As a way to remember the Trig functions and the needed values.

 

Perhaps what they where doing was something similar so they could remember the chronology of the Abraham Story.

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So, the Sensen papyrus doesn't represent the text of the Book of Abraham.  It represents a list of characters that people were using to make a word puzzle/letter puzzle for the story of Abraham.

 
This is the way the characters are used in the Kirtland Egyptian Papers.  Please tell me if this is plain enough.

 

 

How do you see your theory as different from the Mnemonic Device theory?  Is it different?

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How do you see your theory as different from the Mnemonic Device theory?  Is it different?

 

Because this was creative composition for artistic purposes, not for memory recall.  Therefore, it is not a mnemonic device.

Yes, because I demonstrate actual associations between characters and themes, and so, I actually explain the Kirtland Egyptian Papers.  The Mnemonic device theory is fundamentally different, because they were not showing the associations that I have shown.  They were doing it differently, and were not actually reverse-engineering what Joseph Smith was showing in the Kirtland Egyptian Papers.  They were merely trying to line up characters to text and pretty much ignoring the KEP.  I'm actually explaining what is going on in the KEP.

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Maybe "Game" isn't quite the right word for it. 

 

In electronics class we use a saying that helps us remember the  values for resistors.

 

Brown Black Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Violet Gray White 

 

Bad Boys Reap Our Young Gardens But Violets Go Willingly.

 

Where each first letter = its ordinal value starting at 0; 

 

Similarly in Trigonometry we were taught.

 

Some Old Horse

Caught Another Horse

Taking Oats Away

 

Where S = Sin, C = Cosign, T = Tangent, O = Opposite, H = Hypotenuse, A = Adjacent

 

As a way to remember the Trig functions and the needed values.

 

Perhaps what they where doing was something similar so they could remember the chronology of the Abraham Story.

 

Well, see, I think that the purpose was not memory recognition but creative composition.

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Well, see, I think that the purpose was not memory recognition but creative composition.

So Egyptian priests idled away their spare time creatively (creative how?) remembering stories about Abraham from clues an parallels out of the papyri and made a game out of it? Sounds like a boring game. Why not just play Senet?

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So Egyptian priests idled away their spare time creatively (creative how?) remembering stories about Abraham from clues an parallels out of the papyri and made a game out of it? Sounds like a boring game. Why not just play Senet?

 

Creatively like anybody that idles away their time writing poetry or wasting time with crossword puzzles or playing board games or Banana-grams or whatever.

 

And they either had copies of the actual book of Abraham text we have now and knew the story, or they had the story orally passed down.  Either way is fine by me, but I do not believe Joseph Smith had the text of the Book of Abraham in his possession, but that he got it through revelation.  And since this papyrus was representative of this story through associations over time with the various characters in it, it was serviceable for Joseph Smith to use for the Book of Abraham.  The important thing is ancient context here of the usage of the papyrus, not the literal meaning of the papyrus.

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Creatively like anybody that idles away their time writing poetry or wasting time with crossword puzzles or playing board games or Banana-grams or whatever.

 

And they either had copies of the actual book of Abraham text we have now and knew the story, or they had the story orally passed down.  Either way is fine by me, but I do not believe Joseph Smith had the text of the Book of Abraham in his possession, but that he got it through revelation.  And since this papyrus was representative of this story through associations over time with the various characters in it, it was serviceable for Joseph Smith to use for the Book of Abraham.  The important thing is ancient context here of the usage of the papyrus, not the literal meaning of the papyrus.

That is not creative though. It is like sitting down with the Lord of the Rings book pretending it is about Narnia. Did they meld the stories? Did the Egyptians have the equivalent of bad internet crossover fan fiction?

And how does this explain anything? That God used the Egyptian priests' game to come up with a translation? Why would God need that?

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That is not creative though. It is like sitting down with the Lord of the Rings book pretending it is about Narnia. Did they meld the stories? Did the Egyptians have the equivalent of bad internet crossover fan fiction?

And how does this explain anything? That God used the Egyptian priests' game to come up with a translation? Why would God need that?

 

 

You are welcome to your opinion.

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Thank you. My opinion is that this is a crazy supposition built purely on guesswork that doesn't make any sense even in the unlikely event that any of it was true.

So par for the course for you I guess. Have fun.

 

Glad to see that you continue on with the same patterns of time wasting yourself critiquing the work of others in the most negative way possible.

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Glad to see that you continue on with the same patterns of time wasting yourself critiquing the work of others in the most negative way possible.

 

Sadly, I think that may have been the most positive way possible.

 

 

 

Edit: Great minds think alike.  But I said it better ;)

Edited by cinepro
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