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Rough Draft Paper on Book of Abraham- Try Number Two


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14 minutes ago, EdGoble said:

My definition of feedback is substance.  It's not too much to ask.

Ok.  Got it.

So, before I spend the time to read your paper, I would sincerely like to know what your qualifications are regarding Egyptian writings?  

I'm not familiar with you, your background or any degrees you may have in that area (or level of expertise).

Edited by ALarson
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3 minutes ago, ALarson said:

Ok.  Got it.

So, before I spend the time to read your paper, I would sincerely like to know what your qualifications are regarding Egyptian writings?  

I'm not familiar with you, your background or any degrees you may have in that area (or level of expertise).

No.  Actually, you can just read it, or you can leave.

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What evidence justifies this point of view? The evidence is found in the pairings of Abrahamic content with Egyptian content from the Breathing Permit in the Book of Abraham translation manuscripts...As you can see, the structure of these translation manuscripts has the Egyptian characters from the Hor Breathing Permit on the left hand side in a column, and they are lined up with English translation content on the right hand side. The one thing all scholars are agreed on, both faithful and critical, is that the Egyptian characters on the left do not contain the information that is in the English translation on the right.

So since the pairings don't match, the text must have come from somewhere else.

Quote

In other words, this missing papyrus was a hybrid structure, that used the symbols from the Hor Breathing Permit on the left hand side as its section markers, and had other Egyptian text lined up with them on the right hand side which was the actual content. These section markers are more like decorations, because they are not actual content of anything (they are not holders of information), and therefore the author proposes that they can be called “decorators.”

I think you're taking too many liberties with the concept of plausibility.

Edited by Thinking
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While I agree that more papyrus was attached to the end of the Book of Breathings, I do not see it plausible that the characters were decorators.  What would be the point? It is simpler to posit that Joseph Smith and company hadn't the faintest clue where the Book of Breathings ended and the Book of Abraham began, so they started with characters from the perceived front of the papyrus roll and tried to match them up.  They failed miserably and the whole project was aborted not long afterword.  Some years later Joseph Smith suggested starting it up again but it went nowhere.  Yet Smith continued to work on translating the Book of Abraham even after the Egyptian grammar project came to a halt.

There are differences between the manuscripts, some substantive, showing to me that the English translation came first before attempts at trying to match up characters.  One has dittography at the end with a paragraph copied twice from another manuscript, now lost.  Not all of them match up with the same characters in exactly the same places 100% of the time.  They begin and end at different places.  Two differing approaches are evident at the first, which then changed after a couple words into matching up characters to English paragraphs.

The manuscript text that has the closest affinity with the published version of the Book of Abraham has not a single Egyptian character affixed.  The section later identified as the Book of Abraham was the roll that was left over and put into the hands of Lucy Mack Smith after the pieces we now have were cut off from the front of the papyrus roll and mounted under glass.  And we already know the first vignette at the front has nothing to do with the Book of Breathings caption material at the front of the scroll.  It doesn't.  It talks about a burial and the guy in the vignette is neither a naked, dead guy nor a mummy.  The whole scroll is an oddity in one way or another, right down to the "warning text" being put nearer the front of the scroll than where it typically is found in other Books of Breathings, nearer the end.

The entire premise of the exercise does not seem to be necessary to the facts of the situation (to me, at least).  I'm just not seeing it.  And it's not often that I have difficulty focusing on things I read but I had a really hard time staying on task trying to get through it.  I almost thought I was beginning to need a prescription for Adderall.  Sorry to be blunt.

Edited by MormonMason
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I'm not going to comment on the content of the article, but the style. And I'll also say that I only read the first couple of pages. You should really hire an editor to help clean up your language and your style to clarify it and make it more engaging. Don't refer to yourself as "the author." You also have too many short sentences one after another -- a constant variation in syntactical structure would really help. Finally, first impressions matter, and the introduction needs work. It contains information that anyone interested in your paper would already know, such as the history of the manuscript and the definition of papyrus. I should be able to tell what you are going to argue after the first page or two and I'm not really sure what that is yet. Perhaps add an abstract?

What is that website that you use? It is a place for anyone to upload essays? Is it reviewed at all? Are you associated with BYU? Just curious.

Edited by MiserereNobis
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On 4/24/2018 at 12:27 PM, ALarson said:

Ok.  Got it.

So, before I spend the time to read your paper, I would sincerely like to know what your qualifications are regarding Egyptian writings?  

I'm not familiar with you, your background or any degrees you may have in that area (or level of expertise).

His thesis is that is not necessary.  See the thread I started and take a speed reading course

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On 4/24/2018 at 11:55 AM, EdGoble said:

https://www.academia.edu/36428246/The_Principles_of_Book_of_Abraham_and_Kirtland_Egyptian_Papers_Symbolism

Here is a new thread to try get feedback on my article.  Those that wish to attack me are not welcome on this thread.

See my thread which is sympathetic.

If you like I will move the comment here and close down the other thread, but I suspect you don't want my comments either

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3 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

I'm not going to comment on the content of the article, but the style. And I'll also say that I only read the first couple of pages. You should really hire an editor to help clean up your language and your style to clarify it and make it more engaging. Don't refer to yourself as "the author." You also have too many short sentences one after another -- a constant variation in syntactical structure would really help. Finally, first impressions matter, and the introduction needs work. It contains information that anyone interested in your paper would already know, such as the history of the manuscript and the definition of papyrus. I should be able to tell what you are going to argue after the first page or two and I'm not really sure what that is yet. Perhaps add an abstract?

What is that website that you use? It is a place for anyone to upload essays? Is it reviewed at all? Are you associated with BYU? Just curious.

It is not reviewed.

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15 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

See my thread which is sympathetic.

If you like I will move the comment here and close down the other thread, but I suspect you don't want my comments either

Thank you for being sympathetic, contrary to certain other individuals that have harassed me.  I do want your comments, and they are valuable to me.  Don't get me wrong.  You are picking up on some things that I am trying to say, but I think that there are other things you are not understanding that I am trying to say.

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42 minutes ago, EdGoble said:

Thank you for being sympathetic, contrary to certain other individuals that have harassed me.  I do want your comments, and they are valuable to me.  Don't get me wrong.  You are picking up on some things that I am trying to say, but I think that there are other things you are not understanding that I am trying to say.

Do you have a synopsis version? A lot goes over my pea brain head.

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20 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Do you have a synopsis version? A lot goes over my pea brain head.

I will repeat here what I just posted over on the other thread, which can serve as a synopsis.

There are multiple angles or dimensions to view this thing from.  One Mark has identified, in that these are aesthetic objects, in that I call them "decorators."  Because the Sensen characters (the Book of Breathing characters), as they are used in both the Book of Abraham Manuscripts are not information holders when they are used in the Book of Abraham manuscripts, or in the GAEL.  Similarly, the characters used in the Facsimiles that are pictures are mere decorators, because they are not "information holders" either.  They don't hold any information about the things that they are meant to represent.  This is the problem at the core of Joseph Smith's Egyptian.  The critics are right that the symbols do not translate to what they are meant to represent.  Because they do not hold information about what they are used to represent.

The problem here though is that I am trying to show that ancient people were the ones that put these characters side by side by the actual content in the Book of Abraham in an ancient manuscript.  Joseph Smith didn't do it.  He merely reproduced this where they were put side by side by actual Abrahamic content.  And ancient people were the ones that put the content together with the pictures in the Facsimiles.  Why?  Because they were aesthetic objects to them on the one hand.  But on the other hand, the symbol paired with the content in each case formed puns of various types.  And each pun created a linkage between the two items in the pair.  And this linkage was enough in the minds of the ancients to make the item paring into something where each paired item was associated with the other item it was paired with, such that a symbol could stand for the thing it is paired with.  It is not creating an equivalence between the two, but an association or assignment between the two.  This is similar to a variable in mathematics, where a variable is assigned to a value.  Or it is similar to a legend in a map in cartography, where a legend gives an assignment of value or meaning to a symbol.  So, this is about the pairing of items together giving assignments through pun types.  Not about equivalence of one item to another.  And not about where one item would "translate" into the thing it is paired with.  If an item is removed from the pair, it reverts to its default meaning.  Because it is dependent on the pairing for its association with the other item it is paired with.  This is what I call a dependency.

And I have carefully documented the other Egyptological cases where this happens OUTSIDE of Joseph Smith's productions.  This is not something that Joseph Smith made up.  I have documented MANY cases where Egyptians are assigning values/meanings to hieroglyphics merely by virtue of pun pairings.

Edited by EdGoble
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20 hours ago, MormonMason said:

While I agree that more papyrus was attached to the end of the Book of Breathings, I do not see it plausible that the characters were decorators.  What would be the point? It is simpler to posit that Joseph Smith and company hadn't the faintest clue where the Book of Breathings ended and the Book of Abraham began, so they started with characters from the perceived front of the papyrus roll and tried to match them up.  They failed miserably and the whole project was aborted not long afterword.  Some years later Joseph Smith suggested starting it up again but it went nowhere.  Yet Smith continued to work on translating the Book of Abraham even after the Egyptian grammar project came to a halt.

There are differences between the manuscripts, some substantive, showing to me that the English translation came first before attempts at trying to match up characters.  One has dittography at the end with a paragraph copied twice from another manuscript, now lost.  Not all of them match up with the same characters in exactly the same places 100% of the time.  They begin and end at different places.  Two differing approaches are evident at the first, which then changed after a couple words into matching up characters to English paragraphs.

The manuscript text that has the closest affinity with the published version of the Book of Abraham has not a single Egyptian character affixed.  The section later identified as the Book of Abraham was the roll that was left over and put into the hands of Lucy Mack Smith after the pieces we now have were cut off from the front of the papyrus roll and mounted under glass.  And we already know the first vignette at the front has nothing to do with the Book of Breathings caption material at the front of the scroll.  It doesn't.  It talks about a burial and the guy in the vignette is neither a naked, dead guy nor a mummy.  The whole scroll is an oddity in one way or another, right down to the "warning text" being put nearer the front of the scroll than where it typically is found in other Books of Breathings, nearer the end.

The entire premise of the exercise does not seem to be necessary to the facts of the situation (to me, at least).  I'm just not seeing it.  And it's not often that I have difficulty focusing on things I read but I had a really hard time staying on task trying to get through it.  I almost thought I was beginning to need a prescription for Adderall.  Sorry to be blunt.

If you don't see it as plausible, all I can say is I disagree and you have not studied my material in depth enough to see my documentation of the many other cases outside Joseph Smith's productions where this is happening, many other Egyptological cases.  I guess I would just refer you back to my paper, and my website where I have documented a ton of other cases, and hope you would read more in depth to see what I am talking about.

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19 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

I'm not going to comment on the content of the article, but the style. And I'll also say that I only read the first couple of pages. You should really hire an editor to help clean up your language and your style to clarify it and make it more engaging. Don't refer to yourself as "the author." You also have too many short sentences one after another -- a constant variation in syntactical structure would really help. Finally, first impressions matter, and the introduction needs work. It contains information that anyone interested in your paper would already know, such as the history of the manuscript and the definition of papyrus. I should be able to tell what you are going to argue after the first page or two and I'm not really sure what that is yet. Perhaps add an abstract?

What is that website that you use? It is a place for anyone to upload essays? Is it reviewed at all? Are you associated with BYU? Just curious.

Thanks for the suggestions, and they have been noted, and yes, somebody will edit this thing.  However, it is not at that stage yet.

No, I am independent, and I am definitely not with BYU.

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4 minutes ago, EdGoble said:

I will repeat here what I just posted over on the other thread, which can serve as a synopsis.

There are multiple angles or dimensions to view this thing from.  One Mark has identified, in that these are aesthetic objects, in that I call them "decorators."  Because the Sensen characters (the Book of Breathing characters), as they are used in both the Book of Abraham Manuscripts are not information holders when they are used in the Book of Abraham manuscripts, or in the GAEL.  Similarly, the characters used in the Facsimiles that are pictures are mere decorators, because they are not "information holders" either.  They don't hold any information about the things that they are meant to represent.  This is the problem at the core of Joseph Smith's Egyptian.  The critics are right that the symbols do not translate to what they are meant to represent.  Because they do not hold information about what they are used to represent.

The problem here though is that I am trying to show that ancient people were the ones that put these characters side by side by the actual content in the Book of Abraham in an ancient manuscript.  Joseph Smith didn't do it.  He merely reproduced this where they were put side by side by actual Abrahamic content.  And ancient people were the ones that put the content together with the pictures in the Facsimiles.  Why?  Because they were aesthetic objects to them on the one hand.  But on the other hand, the symbol paired with the content in each case formed puns of various types.  And each pun created a linkage between the two items in the pair.  And this linkage was enough in the minds of the ancients to make the item paring into something where each paired item was associated with the other item it was paired with, such that a symbol could stand for the thing it is paired with.  It is not creating an equivalence between the two, but an association or assignment between the two.  This is similar to a variable in mathematics, where a variable is assigned to a value.  Or it is similar to a legend in a map in cartography, where a legend gives an assignment of value or meaning to a symbol.  So, this is about the pairing of items together giving assignments through pun types.  Not about equivalence of one item to another.  And not about where one item would "translate" into the thing it is paired with.

And I have carefully documented the other Egyptological cases where this happens OUTSIDE of Joseph Smith's productions.  This is not something that Joseph Smith made up.  I have documented MANY cases where Egyptians are assigning values/meanings to hieroglyphics merely by virtue of pun pairings.

Thank you for shortening this for me! It helps immensely. And want to add, I'll never forget sub'g in an elementary school class, and reading about the funeral texts or book of breathings in a illustrated book, to the students. It was the first time that I knew that they were funeral texts about how to care for their dead's bodies in order for them to move on. But I understand that a member of the LDS church would want to search further into it. And it looks like you did this for a good reason. 

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5 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Thank you for shortening this for me! It helps immensely. And want to add, I'll never forget sub'g in an elementary school class, and reading about the funeral texts or book of breathings in a illustrated book, to the students. It was the first time that I knew that they were funeral texts about how to care for their dead's bodies in order for them to move on. But I understand that a member of the LDS church would want to search further into it. And it looks like you did this for a good reason. 

thank you

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1 hour ago, EdGoble said:

I will repeat here what I just posted over on the other thread, which can serve as a synopsis.

There are multiple angles or dimensions to view this thing from.  One Mark has identified, in that these are aesthetic objects, in that I call them "decorators."  Because the Sensen characters (the Book of Breathing characters), as they are used in both the Book of Abraham Manuscripts are not information holders when they are used in the Book of Abraham manuscripts, or in the GAEL.  Similarly, the characters used in the Facsimiles that are pictures are mere decorators, because they are not "information holders" either.  They don't hold any information about the things that they are meant to represent.  This is the problem at the core of Joseph Smith's Egyptian.  The critics are right that the symbols do not translate to what they are meant to represent.  Because they do not hold information about what they are used to represent.

The problem here though is that I am trying to show that ancient people were the ones that put these characters side by side by the actual content in the Book of Abraham in an ancient manuscript.  Joseph Smith didn't do it.  He merely reproduced this where they were put side by side by actual Abrahamic content.  And ancient people were the ones that put the content together with the pictures in the Facsimiles.  Why?  Because they were aesthetic objects to them on the one hand.  But on the other hand, the symbol paired with the content in each case formed puns of various types.  And each pun created a linkage between the two items in the pair.  And this linkage was enough in the minds of the ancients to make the item paring into something where each paired item was associated with the other item it was paired with, such that a symbol could stand for the thing it is paired with.  It is not creating an equivalence between the two, but an association or assignment between the two.  This is similar to a variable in mathematics, where a variable is assigned to a value.  Or it is similar to a legend in a map in cartography, where a legend gives an assignment of value or meaning to a symbol.  So, this is about the pairing of items together giving assignments through pun types.  Not about equivalence of one item to another.  And not about where one item would "translate" into the thing it is paired with.  If an item is removed from the pair, it reverts to its default meaning.  Because it is dependent on the pairing for its association with the other item it is paired with.  This is what I call a dependency.

And I have carefully documented the other Egyptological cases where this happens OUTSIDE of Joseph Smith's productions.  This is not something that Joseph Smith made up.  I have documented MANY cases where Egyptians are assigning values/meanings to hieroglyphics merely by virtue of pun pairings.

So would you say that the ancient pairings and Joseph's pairing were all inspired to bring forth the message of Abraham?

It strikes me that if that is the case, there could be a parallel here with the Book of Mormon and the discovery that it was pre translated by someone earlier than Joseph. So perhaps they were God appointed agents between the Book of Mormon and the Book of Abraham who helped bring it down to the latter days.

Highly highly speculative obviously but nevertheless just putting together puzzle pieces

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

Thank you for shortening this for me! It helps immensely. And want to add, I'll never forget sub'g in an elementary school class, and reading about the funeral texts or book of breathings in a illustrated book, to the students. It was the first time that I knew that they were funeral texts about how to care for their dead's bodies in order for them to move on. But I understand that a member of the LDS church would want to search further into it. And it looks like you did this for a good reason. 

I may not have this right, but my even shorter synopsis would be something along the lines that Joseph perhaps thought he was translating hieroglyphics but what he was translating were the symbols understood by ancient peoples to be the message of Abraham. Ed spends much time relating exactly what the symbols are and how they relate to the original message but I think that is basically the overall picture of where he's going with this.

I think what he is saying is that the bottom line is that this is the message from Abraham transmitted symbolically to Joseph, not as literal Egyptian but as ancient symbols conveying the same message.

What is remarkable is that he is attempting to analyze the meaning of the symbols by placing them in a historical context, even though he realizes they are not literal translation.

That is my interpretation at any rate.

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43 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

So would you say that the ancient pairings and Joseph's pairing were all inspired to bring forth the message of Abraham?

It strikes me that if that is the case, there could be a parallel here with the Book of Mormon and the discovery that it was pre translated by someone earlier than Joseph. So perhaps they were God appointed agents between the Book of Mormon and the Book of Abraham who helped bring it down to the latter days.

Highly highly speculative obviously but nevertheless just putting together puzzle pieces

Well, who was it that wrote the Book of Abraham?  I say it is Abraham.

So the originally inspired content was written by Abraham.

There was an intermediary person or persons, who were Egyptians, that created an artistic composition out of the Book of Abraham.  It was a new redaction of the Book of Abraham text that combined it with pictures and illustrations (decorators) from the papyrus of Hor (the book of Breathings), and from the hypocephalus of Sheshonk (facsimile 2).  Abraham didn't do this.  Someone else did.  Kevin Barney called him J-Red or Jewish redactor.  I don't think it is necessary to say he was Jewish.  He could have been an Egyptian scribe.  Whatever the case, he interpolated these aesthetic additions to the Book of Abraham in the Greco-Roman era.

These illustrations and decorators (aesthetic additions) are not critical to the message of the Book of Abraham.  But they were nevertheless added to it.  They are definitely nice for added effect.

Whether they are "inspired" aesthetic additions is not really the point I think.  They are merely aesthetic.  Its kind of like some scribe in the middle ages adding some artistic design to some manuscript of the Bible, or adding some illustration.  We wouldn't presume that the original writers of the Bible added medieval illustrations to the original manuscripts of the Bible.  We would presume that scribes in the middle ages added them to the later copies, and that the illustrations and designs didn't exist in the originals.

What is also inspired is that Joseph Smith knew that these people did this with these symbols in the original manuscript and reproduced it.  And because he reproduced it, we are able to see the puns manifest in the pairings, and reverse-engineer them to elucidate their existence, through Egyptological analysis of the symbols in comparison to the content of the English text paired with them. The English text is a translation of ancient content, produced by Joseph Smith.

I do not believe in the theory about the Book of Mormon being translated by a different prophet before Joseph Smith.  I believe that Moroni gave Joseph Smith the English text, and the rendering that we have are actually the English words produced in the mind of Moroni, who learned the English language a couple of hundred years before Joseph Smith, while he was a resurrected being, as an angel among the English immigrants from Europe in America.  I believe Moroni had interaction with the founding Fathers, and was instrumental in establishing this country.  And he learned English in that era, which is why the Book of Mormon is from a style of English before Joseph Smith's time.

Edited by EdGoble
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1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

I may not have this right, but my even shorter synopsis would be something along the lines that Joseph perhaps thought he was translating hieroglyphics but what he was translating were the symbols understood by ancient peoples to be the message of Abraham. Ed spends much time relating exactly what the symbols are and how they relate to the original message but I think that is basically the overall picture of where he's going with this.

I think what he is saying is that the bottom line is that this is the message from Abraham transmitted symbolically to Joseph, not as literal Egyptian but as ancient symbols conveying the same message.

What is remarkable is that he is attempting to analyze the meaning of the symbols by placing them in a historical context, even though he realizes they are not literal translation.

That is my interpretation at any rate.

I don't think that Joseph thought he was translating these hieroglyphics.  I think he saw the original manuscript that he never physically had before him in vision, Doctrine-and-Covenants-section-7 style, and translated the text from that.  And he saw that the same illustrations and symbols from the Hor papyrus (Sensen/Book of Breathings) were artistically/aesthetically  paired with Abrahamic content in that ancient version that Joseph Smith saw in vision.

While MormonMason and others have criticized the idea that I think that the original missing papyrus was separate from the Hor Book of Breathings papyrus, and was a derivative/hybrid employing symbols taken from the Hor papyrus for aesthetics, it doesn't really matter much to me if both the Hor papyrus and the text of the Book of Abraham were originally part of the same papyrus or not.  They may have been at the time that Hor commissioned his papyrus to be composed, and then perhaps they were cut in two, or perhaps two separate papyri to begin with.  This point is unimportant.  What seems to be the case is that the Hor Papyrus was in the hands of Joseph Smith physically, but contrary to a lot of supposition, Joseph Smith never had an original for the book of Abraham text in his hands.  This is what the forensic evidence that we have before us would seem to suggest.  But it is a much smaller and unimportant point than the main thrust of my argument.  It doesn't matter to me much if Joseph Smith had the original to the Book of Abraham text physically, because seeing it in vision is effectively and functionally identical to having it in hand.  He had access to it.  Period.  Either through vision or holding it in his hands, it is the same.  Period.  And getting hung up on that point is a distraction from the bigger and more important point.

It seems that a lot of people I interact with get hung up on little details and miss the main point that I'm trying to get at.  I have an explanation for why English text is paired with Egyptian symbols in the Book of Abraham manuscripts and in the KEP/GAEL that they don't translate to.  That is the most important point.  And it is not because those symbols contain the message they are paired with.  It is because this was an ancient aesthetic production that Joseph Smith reproduced.

The reason people lose faith in the Book of Abraham is because they think that this is a false translation because the symbols that the text is paired with do not translate to that text.  Well, they weren't supposed to translate in the first place because the reason they are there is different.  And furthermore, it doesn't mean that they don't have a relationship with the text they are paired with.

Edited by EdGoble
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Ed,

In your theory... say the ancient scribes doing what you describe were looking at the Egyptian character for "cat". Are they saying to each other:

A - Look at this character for "cat"... doesn't it ALSO look like a ladder with 3 rungs? It does. So we'll use this character as a decorator next to our discussion on the 3 degrees of glory. (visual similarity)

or

B - See this character for "cat"... we're gonna use it to talk about the 3 degrees of glory. Just remember that the character for cat will be your clue to that this is about the 3 degrees of glory. (code word style)

EDIT... or

C - I'm just going to line the left margin of our Book of Abraham with the characters of the Breathing Permit in order because I think it looks nice. (pure decoration, which maybe led to code word style usage)

Edited by Brian 2.0
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23 minutes ago, Brian 2.0 said:

Ed,

In your theory... say the ancient scribes doing what you describe were looking at the Egyptian character for "cat". Are they saying to each other:

A: Look at this character for "cat"... doesn't it ALSO look like a ladder with 3 rungs? It does. So we'll use this character as a decorator for our discussion on the 3 degrees of glory.

or

A: See this character for "cat"... we're gonna use it to talk about the 3 degrees of glory. Just remember that the character for cat will be your clue to that this is about the 3 degrees of glory. 

 

Well, what you are saying is a crude example, but I guess its close enough (although I don't think cat is a good example), because I don't think that a cat looks like a ladder.  One Egyptologist used the example of how a bunch of grapes has the shape of the human heart and the color of blood, so the two had an association through that visual pun.  This is one Egyptological example pointed out in my paper.

Visual likeness/affinity is a type of visual pun.  And a visual pun is one of the pun types that they used.  So the first option you where you say "Look at this character for "cat"... doesn't it ALSO look like a ladder with 3 rungs? It does. So we'll use this character as a decorator for our discussion on the 3 degrees of glory" kind of comes close to one of the ways they were using this.  Yes.

The second option not so much.  They didn't just arbitrarily assign things to other things in pairs the way you can modernly with a letter as a variable in Math.  I'm saying that the principle in a variable or in an item in a legend has a general similarity to this principle.  But the Egyptians did so in a principled way where puns were the basis of the pairs.  The Egyptian language at its core (i.e. the root of the written language) is based on punning.  But visual puns weren't the only types of puns in this system.  Sound-alike puns are another type.  There was always some sort of likeness at the root of the pun, whether it was look-alikeness or sound-alikeness or some other kind of likeness.  There is always a set of shared traits or a likeness of some sort between the items in the pair in the pun pairing.

An LDS example that we can relate to is where we have a likeness between the grave/death and the symbol of baptism.  See D&C 128:12-13 where it talks about likenesses in symbols and literals.

James Faulconer's paper on the principle of "incarnation" in ancient/premodern symbolism is precisely this principle.

https://rsc.byu.edu/archived/historicity-and-latter-day-saint-scriptures/2-scripture-incarnation

Edited by EdGoble
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1 minute ago, EdGoble said:

Well, what you are saying is a crude example, but I guess its close enough (although I don't think cat is a good example), because I don't think that a cat looks like a ladder.  One Egyptologist used the example of how a bunch of grapes has the shape and of the heart and the color of blood, so the two had an association through that visual pun.  This is one Egyptological example pointed out in my paper.

Visual likeness/affinity is a type of visual pun.  And a visual pun is one of the pun types that they used.  So the first option you where you say "Look at this character for "cat"... doesn't it ALSO look like a ladder with 3 rungs? It does. So we'll use this character as a decorator for our discussion on the 3 degrees of glory" kind of comes close to one of the ways they were using this.  Yes.

The second option not so much.  They didn't just arbitrarily assign things to other things in pairs the way you can modernly with a letter as a variable in Math.  I'm saying that the principle in a variable or in an item in a legend has a general similarity to this principle.  But the Egyptians did so in a principled way where puns were the basis of the pairs.  The Egyptian language at its core is based on punning.

But aren't the characters in the margin next to the Abraham text in the same order on the permit? If it's visual affinity that seems like the scribes got super lucky that the characters used in the permit shared visual likeness to the BoA concepts, in order!

I get the idea of a "visual pun" on a individual character level... but that the permit in sequence served as a visual pun IN SEQUENCE to the Book of Abraham seems like a stretch. Unless the scribes were looking at the next character in the Permit and said "ok... here's the character... the BoA text is about the creation... how does this character visually link to the creation...hmmmm..." and then they found a way to make the visual link. 

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