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Zeptah, and Joseph’s Translation Methods

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A recent post of mine that some of you may find to be of interest. 


Here’s the first part:

As people engage in speculation and debate over the translation methods of Joseph Smith, one very important point seems to have been missed, which has the potential to change our whole outlook. We have an example of Joseph Smith translating Egyptian into a technically accurate English version but then changing the technically accurate word into a more modern equivalent that would have more meaning to the typical reader of today.

Others have pointed out that the word “Zeptah” fits nicely with the word “Egyptus” in an ancient Egyptian setting. I would like to point out that the word "Zeptah" gives us a very rare glimpse into Joseph Smith's translation methodology. It is a name found in early manuscripts of the Book of Abraham but it did not make it into the printed version. He changed it to "Egyptus."

Ironically, anti-LDS website Mormonthink "thinks" it is exposing Joseph Smith as some sort of fraud by describing Egyptus as an anachronism:

Where does the word "Egyptus" come from? It's the Greek name for Memphis which was called, at that time, Het Ka Ptah--"home of the Ka of Ptah." Just like the Hebrew "Yeshua" became "Jesus" to the Greeks, "Het Ka Ptah" became "Aigyptus" which became "Egyptus."

Interesting. So, Zeptah is tied to Egyptus via "Ptah." Ptah was the creator God, which takes us back to the very first days of Egypt, which is exactly where the Book of Abraham places Zeptah. Unfortunately, Egyptology has no way of knowing how these ideas first arose and how they are intertwined. The mythology extends too far back in time, even before the first complete sentence was written in Egyptian. The convergences are quite interesting however, in light of the fact that Joseph Smith penetrated so deeply into the name. This also gives us some insight into Joseph's alleged anachronisms, since Joseph took this ancient name and translated it into something that would have more meaning for us in our day - "Egyptus." Witnessing this methodology, as we have here, renders moot a number of criticisms.

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