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I'd like to make an observation about the numerals in the Kirtland Egyptian Papers.  While it is true that these are called "Egyptian" in those papers, and they do not match the type of Ancient Egyptian language that we are used to, which could be called Afro-Asiatic (meaning that the ancient Egyptian language, as well as Hebrew, came from the Afro-Asiatic family).  However, I would like to propose a different way of looking at it.   It is true that some individuals like Sam Brown and William Schryver have proposed that these things are simply made up, and assume that they came from Phelp's imagination.

However, that is not the only possibility.  If we are going to find what these are in the real ancient world, regardless of what they were "called," we ought to work backward from the known to the unknown.  It is clear that they don't match ancient Egyptian, but that does not mean that they do not have some matches.

In the Kirtland Egyptian Papers, the numbers are vocalized like this:

1 = Eh
2 = Ni
3 = Ze
4 = Teh
5 = Veh
6 = Psi
7 = Psa
8 = A
9 = Na
10 = Ta

The number two here sticks out to me like a sore thumb and screams that it is from the Sino-Tibetan language family.  Many of those languages have Ni for their vocalization for the number two, such as in Japanese.  The number 3 here matches S forms in Sino-Tibetan as well as in some Indo-European forms such as in Iran.  The number 4 matches with an Indo-European form such as in the Greek "Tessera," in our word Tesseract.  The number 5 matches kind of with Indo-European forms such as in the Greek form Pente, from which we get the word pentagram.  The three forms for 8, 9 and 10 match with many Indo-European forms of 8, 9 and 10.  Could we have numerals here from a language that belongs to a family of languages that anciently had influences from both Indo-European and Sino-Tibetan, that originated in the area of the Himalayas, where those two language families cross over and made its way across the ancient world?  Could it be something that came to be known in Egypt among the priests of the Greco-Roman era that had access to all kinds of things in the Library of Alexandria?  Certainly it is not ancient Egyptian as we know it, but that doesn't mean it isn't something ancient.

Edited by EdGoble
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35 minutes ago, EdGoble said:

Could it be something that came to be known in Egypt among the priests of the Greco-Roman era that had access to all kinds of things in the Library of Alexandria?  Certainly it is not ancient Egyptian as we know it, but that doesn't mean it isn't something ancient.

...or Egyptian... Where was the Library of Alexandria located :)?

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In his recent Introduction to he Book of Abraham, John Gee is very dismissive of the so-called KEP and some other docs, seeing them as dependent upon an already extant translation MS (which did not survive to our time).  Gee doesn't think that the Grammar & Alphabet and related items are anything more than a personal effort by Joseph's associates to come up with something useful, and that all that was done after the actual translation of the BofA.  Phelps and his buddies appear to let their imaginations run wild.

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Just now, Robert F. Smith said:

In his recent Introduction to he Book of Abraham, John Gee is very dismissive of the so-called KEP and some other docs, seeing them as dependent upon an already extant translation MS (which did not survive to our time).  Gee doesn't think that the Grammar & Alphabet and related items are anything more than a personal effort by Joseph's associates to come up with something useful, and that all that was done after the actual translation of the BofA.  Phelps and his buddies appear to let their imaginations run wild.

Hello Robert.  It seems you are also dismissive.  I of course differ with John Gee on this, and his work is not the final word, especially because the vindication of the Kirtland Egyptian Papers has barely begun.  And my upcoming series of papers on Book of Abraham and related subjects, once they are peer reviewed, will address all of this in minute detail.  Once they are in that form, having been through that filter of peer review, perhaps some individuals will not be so dismissive, but I am not going to refer people to the rough draft versions as if they are finished or have been through that process yet.

It doesn't matter if the KEP was done after the translation of the BofA if it is a separate production with different intent.  If the KEP is a production of revelatory nature, separate from the Book of Abraham, it requires vindication, not dismissal.  And that means, it takes work and has to be an actual process submitted to the slow scrutiny of peer review, not dismissed out of hand, as some have been so used to doing.  In other words, I am not impressed by your dismissal or anyone else's and you ought to wait to see the outcome before you judge, as much as you think you are right.

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24 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

In his recent Introduction to he Book of Abraham, John Gee is very dismissive of the so-called KEP and some other docs, seeing them as dependent upon an already extant translation MS (which did not survive to our time).  Gee doesn't think that the Grammar & Alphabet and related items are anything more than a personal effort by Joseph's associates to come up with something useful, and that all that was done after the actual translation of the BofA.  Phelps and his buddies appear to let their imaginations run wild.

I think John goes a bit too far although I'm sympathetic to the basic view. The problem is there appears to be fairly developed theological ideas in the text. Now John wants to say that's a lost translation that was used, if I understand. The problem is how on earth to distinguish what was "authentic" from what was letting imaginations run wild. I think John's approach just comes off as a bit too reductive and dismissive even if I suspect his basic conception has a lot to it.

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1 minute ago, clarkgoble said:

I think John goes a bit too far although I'm sympathetic to the basic view. The problem is there appears to be fairly developed theological ideas in the text. Now John wants to say that's a lost translation that was used, if I understand. The problem is how on earth to distinguish what was "authentic" from what was letting imaginations run wild. I think John's approach just comes off as a bit too reductive and dismissive even if I suspect his basic conception has a lot to it.

Hello again Cousin.

The methodology for distinguishing what is authentically ancient among whatever else exists in the KEP is already demonstrated to us.  Hugh Nibley demonstrated this in his defense of the Facsimiles of the Book of Abraham over many decades, and all that has to be done is a similar type of defense for the contents of the KEP.  Someone needs to do for the KEP what Hugh Nibley did for the Facsimiles.  I am in the process, and when people see the peer-reviewed result, they will realize that all they have to do is follow the same pattern as has been laid out before us in Message of the Joseph Smith PapyriTemple and CosmosOne Eternal Round, and so forth and so on.  In other words, the only reason that Facsimile #2 is given the time of day is because Nibley and Rhodes dug in and found stuff to vindicate them.  Nobody wants to touch the KEP because they assume that Joseph Smith is not responsible.  All of the critics know he's responsible, and they have nothing invested in it to defend.  It is the apologists that insist he is not, because they don't want to defend it, so they make Phelps into the scapegoat and punching bag.  Well, the time has come for a different approach.  The time has come to vindicate the KEP as a rehydration of an ancient production that is just as real as the rest of Joseph Smith's productions in the Book of Abraham and in the Explanations of the Facsimiles.  What will emerge is that the same exact system is used, as I demonstrate.

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19 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

I think John goes a bit too far although I'm sympathetic to the basic view. The problem is there appears to be fairly developed theological ideas in the text. Now John wants to say that's a lost translation that was used, if I understand. The problem is how on earth to distinguish what was "authentic" from what was letting imaginations run wild. I think John's approach just comes off as a bit too reductive and dismissive even if I suspect his basic conception has a lot to it.

Is there any reference to the lost translation or is it assumed?

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1 minute ago, cinepro said:

I recently watched a documentary about the middle ages, and it mentioned an order of Knights in England who also used "Ni" as a key vocalization in their dialect.  I can't recall whether it was related to the number two, but it's possible that these Knights and their religious traditions were in some way related to the concept you are exploring.

I'm not amused, but I can see why you think its funny.

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2 hours ago, EdGoble said:

I'm not amused, but I can see why you think its funny.

I commend you on your quest. 

A wise fisherman once told me that if you cast your net wide enough, you will be amazed at what you can catch.  So cast your net far and wide.  You are only limited by your creativity.

Be nice:angry:

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3 minutes ago, cinepro said:

I commend you on your quest. 

A wise fisherman once told me that if you cast your net wide enough, you will be amazed at what you can catch.  So cast your net far and wide.  You are only limited by your creativity.

I'm sure you won't mind doing your fishing on a different thread.  I consider you a non-contributor, and a troll.  I tried to give you real reasons years ago, and you just threw it back in my face and continue to do so.  Leave me be while I remain serious about what I am doing, while you can take your comedy elsewhere.

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26 minutes ago, cinepro said:

I recently watched a documentary about the middle ages, and it mentioned an order of Knights in England who also used "Ni" as a key vocalization in their dialect.  I can't recall whether it was related to the number two, but it's possible that these Knights and their religious traditions were in some way related to the concept you are exploring.

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36 minutes ago, Calm said:

Is there any reference to the lost translation or is it assumed?

It's a hypothesis of John based upon his missing papyri theory as well as how he views the GAEL/KEP. So there's not necessarily solid evidence for it. While I'm sympathetic to it, I think it needs far more evidence. On the other hand I think assuming the GAEL/KEP is revelation is pretty problematic as well.

But I should also admit that I've not kept up on the nuances of the arguments the past few years. It seems to me that outside of debates over the amount of papyri based upon mathematical calculation of roll size that not a lot of new data has popped up. We really need more data (IMO)  The only other new discovery/claim I'm aware of are arguments that GAEL/KEP includes potential platonic elements particularly from theurgical platonism available in translations. (Iamblichus and company) But while there's been beginning work there a ton needs fleshed out and made rigorous.

Edited by clarkgoble
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11 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

It's a hypothesis of John based upon his missing papyri theory as well as how he views the GAEL/KEP. So there's not necessarily solid evidence for it. While I'm sympathetic to it, I think it needs far more evidence. On the other hand I think assuming the GAEL/KEP is revelation is pretty problematic as well.

But I should also admit that I've not kept up on the nuances of the arguments the past few years. It seems to me that outside of debates over the amount of papyri based upon mathematical calculation of roll size that not a lot of new data has popped up. We really need more data (IMO)  The only other new discovery/claim I'm aware of are arguments that GAEL/KEP includes potential platonic elements particularly from theurgical platonism available in translations. (Iamblichus and company) But while there's been beginning work there a ton needs fleshed out and made rigorous.

Actually, on the one hand, Kerry Muhlstien and Gee claim one mathematical methodology, while Smith and Cook claim another to determine scroll size.  This is a toss-up.  Neither one can be considered definitive until someone with math credentials can weigh in to break the tie.

Edited by EdGoble
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9 minutes ago, EdGoble said:

Actually, on the one hand, Kerry Muhlstien and Gee claim one mathematical methodology, while Smith and Cook claim another to determine scroll size.  This is a toss-up.  Neither one can be considered definitive until someone with math credentials can weigh in to break the tie.

The math is simple lower division mathematics. So math credentials aren't the issue. The issue is comparing the model with actual papyri to see whose model is accurate. I thought John had done that but I might be wrong.

Edited by clarkgoble
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11 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

The math is simple lower division mathematics. So math credentials aren't the issue. The issue is comparing the model with actual papyri to see whose model is accurate. I thought John had done that but I might be wrong.

The math of Smith and Cook seems quite convincing to me, and I don't think that most apologists have really given it a fair assessment, but it is immaterial.  There is a missing papyri either way.  I just don't think there was another papyrus attached to the Hor Breathing papyrus, and I don't think Joseph Smith ever had a papyrus with the Book of Abraham text in his hands.  I think that a visionary experience is as functional as an actual papyrus in hand.  And I think that ancient Egyptians in the time of the priest Hor (probably Hor himself directing his scribes), produced a non-extant redaction of the Book of Abraham text that is associated with Hor's Breathing papyrus.  This would be the missing papyrus that I also believe in.  I just think Joseph never had it, and I don't think that the forensic evidence in the extant papyri and in the KEP support the notion that he ever had it.  I think there is good evidence that he produced the text from a revelatory experience, and I don't think that apologetics that try to show that Joseph Smith had such a thing in his hands are well supported.

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42 minutes ago, EdGoble said:

The math of Smith and Cook seems quite convincing to me, and I don't think that most apologists have really given it a fair assessment, but it is immaterial. 

Somewhat. I just think both need to tie it to empirics more. As I said I thought John was doing that to a certain degree. Cook did a few in his second article - at least somewhat. John I thought did a good job comparing Cook with his own model that I don't think Cook ever responded to. Unfortunately John doesn't compare the formulas to other papyri we just get a passing,

"While Cook and Smith’s formula predicts a highly inaccurate length, Hofmann’s formula provides a rough approximation. On the basis of observations I have made while measuring various scrolls, I am not convinced that these formulas can ever yield anything more than rough approximations. More empirical data is needed to make refinements in the formulas."

So both are really only doing analysis on a single scroll. John says he's done more on other scrolls but we really don't have a comparison of the two methods across various papyri which is the only way anything either says would be empirically significant in the least. Models tested with a single piece of data aren't really too significant.

42 minutes ago, EdGoble said:

There is a missing papyri either way.  I just don't think there was another papyrus attached to the Hor Breathing papyrus, and I don't think Joseph Smith ever had a papyrus with the Book of Abraham text in his hands. 

That's fine. I think the evidence is we have a 1st century papyri so if there was something like the Book of Abraham it probably was fairly distorted from what we have. I tend to favor some late Abraham text on the papyri that acts as a catalyst to revelation in a deconstructive was. i.e. more akin to say parts of the JST. 

42 minutes ago, EdGoble said:

I just think Joseph never had it, and I don't think that the forensic evidence in the extant papyri and in the KEP support the notion that he ever had it.  I think there is good evidence that he produced the text from a revelatory experience, and I don't think that apologetics that try to show that Joseph Smith had such a thing in his hands are well supported.

There's not a lot of evidence I'd acknowledge. But I don't think the evidence is sufficient for "pure revelatory experience" unrelated to the papyri either. Indeed all the evidence seems to strongly suggest Joseph thought he was doing something related to the papyri. After all when you look at the 1st century independent of our extant papyri there are lots of magic papyri and texts that seem like they'd fit the bill. That's not to say it logically follows it was on Joseph's papyri. Just that purely from a historic perspective I don't think John's position is that far out even if he lacks sufficient evidence to back up his claims.

 

Edited by clarkgoble
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59 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

The math is simple lower division mathematics. So math credentials aren't the issue. The issue is comparing the model with actual papyri to see whose model is accurate. I thought John had done that but I might be wrong.

There has been discussion of measurements in the past:

http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/43174-missing-papyrus/

 

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12 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Somewhat. I just think both need to tie it to empirics more. As I said I thought John was doing that but perhaps I was mistaken. Cook did a few in his second article - at least somewhat. John I thought did a good job comparing Cook with his own model that I don't think Cook ever responded to. Unfortunately John doesn't compare the formulas to other papyri we just get a passing,

"While Cook and Smith’s formula predicts a highly inaccurate length, Ho mann’s formula pro- vides a rough approximation. On the basis of observations I have made while measuring various scrolls, I am not convinced that these formulas can ever yield anything more than rough approximations. More empirical data is needed to make refinements in the formulas."

So both are really only doing analysis on a single scroll. John says he's done more on other scrolls but we really don't have a comparison of the two methods across various papyri which is the only way anything either says would be empirically significant in the least. Models tested with a single piece of data aren't really too significant.

That's fine. I think the evidence is we have a 1st century papyri so if there was something like the Book of Abraham it probably was fairly distorted from what we have. I tend to favor some late Abraham text on the papyri that acts as a catalyst to revelation in a deconstructive was. i.e. more akin to say parts of the JST. 

There's not a lot of evidence I'd acknowledge. But I don't think the evidence is sufficient for "pure revelatory experience" unrelated to the papyri either. Indeed all the evidence seems to strongly suggest Joseph thought he was doing something related to the papyri. After all when you look at the 1st century independent of our extant papyri there are lots of magic papyri and texts that seem like they'd fit the bill. That's not to say it logically follows it was on Joseph's papyri. Just that purely from a historic perspective I don't think John's position is that far out even if he lacks sufficient evidence to back up his claims.

 

I'm not saying it isn't related to the papyri.  Its just that the papyri we do have do not contain the Book of Abraham text at all, as is well known.  These characters on the Hor papyrus (i.e. even the "text" characters) were repurposed to be used symbolically as illustrations for a text we do not have, and the KEP contains explanations in English for those illustrations, just like the Facsimile explanations are explanations of the numbered characters in the "Facsimiles."  Each character in the Hor papyrus was separated out and used symbolically.  And the meaning assigned to each has a direct relationship to its Egyptological identity.

Edited by EdGoble
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27 minutes ago, Calm said:

There has been discussion of measurements in the past:

http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/43174-missing-papyrus/

That's dated from before the last of Cook's and Gee's papers on the subject. Cook's last paper was fall 2012 and Gee's last paper was also fall 2012. Although looking closely Cook 2012 actually refers to Gee 2012 and I guess was the last word in the debate as John never responded that I know of.

I should note I've just glanced through the papers and haven't really read them in depth since they came out. So don't take any of this as deep analysis.

20 minutes ago, EdGoble said:

I'm not saying it isn't related to the papyri.  Its just that the papyri we do have do not have the Book of Abraham text at all.  These characters on the Hor papyrus (i.e. even the "text" characters) were repurposed to be used symbolically as illustrations for a text we do not have, and the KEP contains explanations in English for those illustrations, just like the Facsimile explanations are explanations of the numbered characters in the "Facsimiles."

Right, I'm just saying that "at all" while perhaps understandable is open to question.

 

 

Edited by clarkgoble
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7 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Right, I'm just saying that "at all" while perhaps understandable is open to question.

Well, there is no "mechanical" process where a meaning like in the text of the Book of Abraham can be extracted from these characters.  A catalyst is one thing that I am open to.

What I am really proposing is, there is a relationship between how these characters are used and the text, and also the content of the KEP, and I have identified in depth what this relationship is.  I have identified the system behind this relationship.  This is what my papers will show when published.  These characters do not translate to the Book of Abraham text, nor do they translate to the content in the KEP.  Both the KEP content and the Book of Abraham text are representations of ancient material from papyri we do not have.

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2 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

That's dated from before the last of Cook's and Gee's papers on the subject. Cook's last paper was fall 2012 and Gee's last paper was also fall 2012. Although looking closely Cook 2012 actually refers to Gee 2012 and I guess was the last word in the debate as John never responded that I know of.

Have they redone the actual measurements?  I figured it would be out of date except perhaps for those that were listed in the thread.

Edited by Calm
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