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Robert Ritner - Book of Abraham Interview


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On 8/14/2020 at 9:57 AM, The Unclean Deacon said:

Gee is not a great scholar.  All his accolades are within non-peer reviewed Mormon apologetics.  Can you show me standing within Egyptology outside Mormonism?

Once again, since you know nothing about Egyptology or the ancient world, I suppose you can be expected to be totally ignorant of the facts:

Dr. Gee is the past editor of the non-Mormon Journal of the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities (2008-2010), and has served on the Society's committees and board of trustees. He was also on the board of directors for the Aziz S. Atiya Fund for Coptic Studies at the University of Utah (Atiya was a prominent Coptic Christian scholar, not a Mormon).  Gee has published numerous peer-reviewed articles in non-Mormon journals and books.  Only a few are listed here (out of nearly 150 publications):

Gee, John L., “Le lotus qui sort du terre”: Mélanges offerts à Edith Varga, Bulletin du Museé Hongrois des Beaux-Arts Supplément-2001 (Budapest: Museé Hongrois des Beaux-Arts, 2001), 325-334.

Gee, John L., and Bezalel Porten, “Aramaic Funerary Practices in Egypt,” in P. Davian, J. Weavers, and M. Weigl, eds., The World of the Aramaeans II: Paul-Eugene Dion Festschrift (Sheffield Press, 2001), 270-307.

Gee, John L., “A New Look at the ʿnh pЗ by Formula,” in H. Györy, ed., Aegyptus et Pannonia III (Budapest: MEBT-ÓEB Comité de l’Égypte Ancienne de l’Association Amicale Hongroise-Égyptienne, 2006), 41ff., and in Proceedings of IXe Congrès International des Études Démotiques (2009).

Gee, John L., “Non-Round Hypocephali,” in H. Györy, ed., Aegyptus et Pannonia III (Budapest: MEBT-ÓEB Comité de l’Égypte Ancienne de l’Association Amicale Hongroise-Égyptienne, 2006), 41-58.

Gee, John L., “The Use of the Daily Temple Liturgy in the Book of the Dead,” Totenbuch-Forschungen: Gesammelte Beiträge des 2. Internationalen Totenbuch-Symposiums, Bonn, 25.-29. September 2005 (Harrassowitz, 2007), 73-86.

Gee, John L.,  review of Robert K. Ritner, The Libyan Anarchy (Atlanta:Society of Biblical Literature, 2009) in Journal of the Society forthe Study of Egyptian Antiquities 37 (2010): 137-40.

Gee, John L., review of Ursula Kaplony-Heckel, Land und Leute am Nil nachdemotischen Inschriften Papyri und Ostraka: GesammelteSchriften (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2009), in Journal ofthe Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities 37 (2010): 127.

Gee, John L., “The Cult of Chespisichis,” in Egypt in Transition: Social and Religious Development of Egypt in the First Millennium BCE, eds.Ladislav Bareš, Filip Coppens, and Kvìta Smoláriková (Prague:Czech Institute of Egyptology, Faculty of Arts, Charles Universityin Prague, 2010), 129-45.

Gee, John L., “The Book of the Dead as Canon,” British Museum Studies in Ancient Egypt and Sudan15 (2010), 22-33, http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/online_journals/bmsaes/issue_15/gee.aspx .

Gee, John L., “Execration Rituals in Various Temples,” in 8. ÄgyptologischeTempeltagung: Interconnections between Temples, eds. Monika Doliñska and Horst Beinlich (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag,2010), 67-80.

Gee, John L., “Egyptologists’ Fallacies: Fallacies Arising from LimitedEvidence,” Journal of Egyptian History 3/1 (2010): 137-58.

Gee, John L., “Glossed Over: Ancient Egyptian Interpretations of their Religion,” in Evolving Egypt: Innovation, Appropriation, and Reinterpretation in Ancient Egypt, eds. Kerry Muhlestein and John Gee (Oxford: Archaeopress, 2012), 69-74.

Gee, John L., "Some Neglected Aspects of Egypt's Conversion to Christianity," in Mariam F. Ayad, ed., Coptic Culture: Past, Present and Future (Coptic Orthodox Church Centre, 2012), 43-55.

Gee, John L., “Egypt, Ancient, I. History and Civilization, H. Culture and Arts,” in Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception: 7 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2013), 7:491-495.

Gee, John L., “Egypt, Ancient, I. History and Civilization, G. Religion,” in Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception: 7 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2013), 7:487-491.

Gee, John L., “Egypt, Ancient, I. History and Civilization, F. Society,” in Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception: 7 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2013), 7:483-487.

Gee, John L., “Egypt, Ancient, I. History and Civilization, E. Texts,” in Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception: 7 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2013), 7:479-483.

Gee, John L., “Egypt, Ancient, I. History and Civilization, D. Archaeology,” in Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception: 7 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2013), 7:475-479.

Gee, John L., “Egypt, Ancient, I. History and Civilization, A. History,” in Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception: 7 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2013), 7:467-471.

Gee, John L., “A New Look at the di anx Formula,” in Acts of the Tenth International Congress of Demotic Studies, ed. M. Depauw and Y.Broux (Leuven: Peeters, 2014), 73-82.

Gee, John L., “The Martyrdom of Apa Epima,” in Christian Oxyrhynchus:Text, Documents, and Sources, ed. Lincoln H. Blumell andThomas A. Wayment (Waco, Texas: Baylor University Press,2015), 682-697.

Gee, John L., “Textual Criticism and Textual Corruption in Coffin Texts131-142,” in Proceedings of the Tenth International Congress ofEgyptologists, ed. P. Kousoulis and N. Lazarides (Leuven: Peeters, 2015), 1345-50.

Gee, John L., “Horos Son of Osoroeris,” in Mélanges offerts à Ola el-Aguizy, ed. Fayza Haikal (Caire: Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale, 2015), 169-178.

Gee, John L., “Did the Old Kingdom Collapse? A New View of the First Intermediate Period,” in Towards a New History for the Egyptian Old Kingdom: Perspectives on the Pyramid Age, ed. Peter DerManuelian and Thomas Schneider (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2015), 60-75.

Gee, John L., “The Demotic Name for Philadelphia,” Enchoria 35 (2016/2017): 195-97.

Gee, John L, and Aidan Dodson, “The Authenticity of the Canopic Jars of King Takelot in Leiden,” Göttinger Miszellen 253 (2017): 67-75.

Gee, John L., “Lessons on Tolerance from the Ancient World,” Journal ofAcademic Perspectives 3 (2017).

Gee, John L., “The Etymology and Pronunciation of the Late Egyptian Word for Horse,” Lingua Aegyptia 26 (2018): 229–231.

Gee, John L., “Correcting the Genealogy of Chaponchonsis (anx=f-(n)-Hnsw),” Studien zur altägyptischen Kultur 47 (2018): 31-41.

Gee, John L., review of Eugene Cruz-Uribe, The Demotic Graffiti from theTemple of Isis on Philae Island, in Review of Biblical Literature.

Gee, John L., review of Suzanne Topfer, Das Balsamierungsritual: Eine (Neu-)Edition der Textkomposition Balsamierungsritual (pBoulaq3, pLouvre 5158, pDurham 1983.11 + pSt. Petersburg 18128) (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2015), in Review of Biblical Literature (January 2019), online at https://www.bookreviews.org/pdf/10760_11956.pdf .

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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1 hour ago, OGHoosier said:

Credibility shot. Not his. Yours.

Tell me, what does a good Egyptologist look like to you? Someone who toes every line of the scholastic orthodoxy perhaps? Or perhaps someone who publishes a lot of peer-reviewed material? Perhaps you ought to tread a little more carefully: if I am not mistaken, Gee has published more than Dr. Ritner, and his publications are in good standing. The same goes with Dr. Muhlestein, who is one of the most highly rated Egyptology professors in the country. 

I guess his measure of a good Egyptologist is that he must be a frothing-at-the-mouth anti-Mormon.

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34 minutes ago, The Unclean Deacon said:

Robert Ritner goes into great detail about these very credentials and explains why they appear to add credibility but actually says very little.  Is it even possible you have been deceived?  Its in part three by the way.  Try listening.

31 minutes ago, The Unclean Deacon said:

not true.  You may want to listen to Ritner explain Gee's time as editor for a flailing canadian magazine.

One wonders where Ritner's true expertise lie, how does he find the time for any Egyptology?

 

Who's sock puppet are you by the way?

 

 

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2 hours ago, stemelbow said:

This isn't about Dehlin.  

You seem to try to avoid this at all costs? If the "vessel" were a little more appealing perhaps more would be tempted to considder the "meal".

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2 hours ago, stemelbow said:

This simply is not true.  When you publish in non-peer reviewed publications, there is no checks and balances in place at all.  You can say whatever you want. 

You can also often do the same in publications that are peer-reviewed.

I'm not particularly inclined to judge an idea based primarily on it having been peer reviewed or not.  Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Peer review: a flawed process at the heart of science and journals
  2. Let's stop pretending peer review works
  3. When reviewing goes wrong: the ugly side of peer review (Illustrating some of the most common ways that things can go wrong during peer review – and what to do if this happens)
  4. Peer Review is Not Scientific (How a process designed to ensure scientific rigor is tainted by randomness, bias, and arbitrary delays.)
  5. Is Peer Review A Big Bad Joke? (You, too, could have a paper in a science journal! An investigation reveals that dozens of sketchy titles were happy to publish a study so egregiously flawed it almost had to be fake.)
  6. Science Is Suffering Because of Peer Review’s Big Problems (How to reform the journal publication process.)
  7. Phony peer review: The more we look, the more we find
  8. This Study Just Revealed Why The Peer-Review Process Is in So Much Trouble (In recent years, scientists have been warning us about a reproducibility crisis in science, which has seen many seminal papers - particularly in psychology - failing to hold up when an independent team tries to reproduce the results.)

There are significant problems with bias, politics, funding concerns, etc. being implicated in scholarly research and publications.

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What is happening is they keep talking right past each other.  The specific points get glossed over to make some sort of gotcha point.  A big issue here is Ritner wants to point out that Gee and Muhlestein are misusing the discipline.  He doesn't care about Mormonism or one's faith, at least as he states it. 

Sorry, but I'm not buying the Ritner-is-just-an-impartial-bystander-who-is-calling-it-as-he-sees-it explanation.  I think he has a pretty substantial ax to grind, and that is a pretty big part of the two sides "talking right past each other."

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What he cares about is the tricky way that Muhlestein and Gee seem to be winking their way through an argument in order to leave room for the possibility that something that is wrong can be right, in terms of Egyptian and Egyptology.  Nothing on Facsimile 3 is translated correctly, for instance. 

A whole bunch of assumptions built into that statement.  From FAIR:

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Hugh Nibley notes the following,

{I}t is important to emphasize what many Egyptologists are insisting on today as never before, namely, the folly of giving just one interpretation and one only to any Egyptian representation. This is the pit into which Joseph Smith's critics have always fallen: "This cannot possibly represent 'A' because it represents 'B'!" "The value of an Egyptian presentation," Eberhard Otto reminds us, "depended on seeing the greatest possible number of meanings in the briefest possible formulation." Heretofore, critics of the Joseph Smith explanations have insisted on the least possible number of meanings, namely one, to every item, and as a result have not only disagreed widely among themselves, but also exposed their efforts to drastic future revision. The Egyptians "considered it a particular nicety that symbols should possess multiple significance," wrote Henri Frankfort, "that one single interpretation should not be the only possible one."

(Emphasis added)

Well?  Is Nibley wrong?  Are his citations to Otto and Frankfort unfair or inaccurate?

Can Dr. Ritner definitively declare a static one-and-only correct interpretation of an illustration drawn thousands of years ago, which purports to be a representation involved in a story from thousands of years before that?  It's Dr. Ritner's way or the highway?  

More from FAIR:

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There are at least two possibilities here:

Kevin Barney hypothesizes that the Book of Abraham was written by Abraham himself, then passed from generation to generation until it fell into the hands of a hypothetical Jewish editor in the second century B.C. This editor attached it to a the Egyptian papyri because of the useful symbolism contained on the Egyptian funerary text.

For a detailed response, see: A Jewish redactor

Richard D. Draper, S. Kent Brown, and Michael D. Rhodes have similarly theorized that "the original illustration drawn by Abraham had been modified and adapted for use by Hor, the owner of the papyrus. What Joseph Smith did with the facsimiles is thus similar to the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible—he gave the original meaning of Abraham's illustrations, correcting for the changes and distortions that had taken place over nearly two millennia."

Well?  Can Ritner definitively rule these out?  Would Ritner's conclusion be something within the realm of his expertise?  Can he rule out the "hypothetical Jewish editor in the second century B.C." postulated by Barney?  the "Jewish redactor" theory presented by Draper/Brown/Rhodes?

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But there is some complicated effort by Gee and Muhlestein, it seems, to pretend that's not true.  The fixing of the Hypocephalus is nonsense.  But that simply can't be clearly stated, or so it seems.  If they can all sit and talk, they can take facsimile 3 and clearly point out that the translation attempts fail badly.  There can be room to acknowledge such things.  If they sit and talk they can clearly declare that the Hypocephalus fixing was nothing more than inserting info from other pieces of the papyri, and doing so doesn't make any sense at all.  I mean it'd be a start.  I mean that's for instance.  If Gee and Muhlestein have a point by declaring "well we don't really know, so it's possible" then a discussion can point that out.  

Haven't they already done a lot of "well we don't really know, so it's possible"?

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It's weird people want ot make this about their hate for Dehlin and RFM, when simply put a discussion can benefit us all.  What a weird distraction.  

Dehlin and Consig are indeed a distraction.  They are attempting to insert themselves into the discussion.

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This isn't about Dehlin.  

He's trying really hard to make it about him.  About generating publicity, and attention, and clicks, and revenue, for himself.

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Its fine if you think you have something better than others.  If you think your faith is bestest.  No big deal.  No one's worried about that. 

Nobody is taking a hands-off, let's-just-remain-in-abject-ignorance approach.  That's silly.  There are large amounts of literature devoted to this subject.  Many of the participants of this thread have read much of it and are encouraging others to do so.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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13 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Why not just promote the two divergent sides get together?  As I see it, there's too much talking past each other.  I don't know that a podcast with them all discussing will resolve anything...but it could.  

Sounds like the other definition of majority rule to me... you know... two wolves and a lamb voting over what's for dinner...

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2 minutes ago, The Unclean Deacon said:

Robert Ritner is the most renowned living Egyptologist on the Western Hemisphere and John Gee is a hack and your confirmation bias has you flipping them.... such is hilarious

Then why does Ritner stoop to unscholarly behaviour? 

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35 minutes ago, The Unclean Deacon said:

the last 2 and 1/2 hours

Ok, where in that last 2.5 hours?  Dr. Ritner talks about a lot of things during that.  But I don't remember him "[explaining] why they appear to add credibility but actually says very little"

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48 minutes ago, The Unclean Deacon said:

 Try listening.

I did... Lasted through a couple of hours... to overstated overstatements... that was somewhat off-putting but I endured some more... then did my own research on some of the unfamiliar points that were being posited... turns out classic yellow journalism tactics were readily apparent.

Why was that necessary if this is such an open and shut case?

Don't need to waste more of my life but Ritner&Co seem well on their way to dedicating 12 to 16 or so hours... and that is just in screen time... what gives?

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29 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

What?  Why would we demand Ritner do what Joseph Smith did?  That seems silly.

Seems silly to me that a lesser gets to unashamedly criticise someone far greater.

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3 hours ago, CA Steve said:

Hi Robert.

If Joseph Smith knew how to translate Egyptian (I know you are not claiming that), the question isn't how did he get a few of the fac explanations right (or close as I see it), the question is why did he get so many of them wrong? facsimile #3 is especially troubling due to the actual text explanations right over the characters.

The simple explanations for the ones he got right is he got information from 19th century sources and maybe a lucky guess or two. For example, we know that Chandler toured with the artifacts for a couple of years in the east before bringing the remaining 4 mummies, 2 scrolls and a few random pieces of paypri to Kirtland.  What did Chandler learn from showing the collection to educated observers in the East and how much of that did he share with Smith? 

Also in the Ritner podcast we learn where Joseph got the crocodile god explanation in figure 9 from facsimile #1.  Now that we know from Dr Wayment's work about Joseph's familiarity with Clarke's commentary it is easy to see where that came from.

 

Clarke Commentary on Exodus 1:11

Additionally there was  nearly 7 years between the time Joseph received the artifacts in 1835 and when he translated the facsimiles in Nauvoo in 1842. What was he able to learn about them in that period?

The question is, what correct explanations did Joseph provide that were not already understood by 1842? Because you have to eliminate possible 19th century sources before moving on to other possibilities.

I  have no problem at all with anyone exploring Clarke's Commentary (especially his 6-vol corrected 1837 edition) for any similarities with any LDS writings, and was glad to see Thomas Wayment take a close look.  I have always had strong misgivings with modern Protestants still consulting Clarke all these years later, when much better commentaries have long been available.  The blatant dishonesty of those who use Clarke without bothering to provide the date of publication for his work shows their lack of concern for scholarship.

Moreover, even if we allow for any and all of Clarke's useful hints about this or that Egyptian religious or cultural feature, we are still left with a plethora of correct explanations and identifications in the BofA which cannot be explained by a couple of lucky guesses, as you suggest.  Nor is the learned Michael Chandler a good source.  If the apriori assumption is that there is nothing here, so just move along, these are not the droids you're looking for . . . Well, of course, you will not recognize the plethora of items I am talking about.  Why bother?

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19 minutes ago, The Unclean Deacon said:

Robert Ritner is the most renowned living Egyptologist on the Western Hemisphere and John Gee is a hack and your confirmation bias has you flipping them.... such is hilarious

You sound like a PR man for the best product ever manufactured.  Problem is that no living Egyptologist (including Ritner) ever says anything like that.

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7 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

I  have no problem at all with anyone exploring Clarke's Commentary (especially his 6-vol corrected 1837 edition) for any similarities with any LDS writings, and was glad to see Thomas Wayment take a close look.  I have always had strong misgivings with modern Protestants still consulting Clarke all these years later, when much better commentaries have long been available.  The blatant dishonesty of those who use Clarke without bothering to provide the date of publication for his work shows their lack of concern for scholarship.

Moreover, even if we allow for any and all of Clarke's useful hints about this or that Egyptian religious or cultural feature, we are still left with a plethora of correct explanations and identifications in the BofA which cannot be explained by a couple of lucky guesses, as you suggest.  Nor is the learned Michael Chandler a good source.  If the apriori assumption is that there is nothing here, so just move along, these are not the droids you're looking for . . . Well, of course, you will not recognize the plethora of items I am talking about.  Why bother?

What have you done to eliminate the possibility of 19th century sources for these plethora of items you have found?

 

 

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1 hour ago, The Unclean Deacon said:

always the same old games....  Mormonism as the true and living church is indiscernible from a fraud.

Is that an example of scholarly discussion -- at least in your opinion?

Why is there such a depth of hatred in you?

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19 hours ago, Fair Dinkum said:

I've known for a long time that the Book of Abraham was problematic and that the actual book was not found on the extant papyri.  But what I hadn't fully wrapped my head around was just how strong the argument against Smith is by merely looking at what we do have, the Facsimiles and what Smith claimed they were.  It's complete nonsense and gibberish.

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Mathew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 

Do that enough times and to sufficient depth and then these overstated "perceived" problems take on a different light.

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Stemmelbow said 

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So you think the extant papyri can be translated to be the BoA?  I thought that discussion ended over 100 years ago.  What discussion is ongoing?  

Why in the world would you possibly think that I have ever said anything to suggest that I thought the extant papyri could be translated to the Book of Abraham?  I thought that my mentioning the "Breathing Permit of Hor" might be a clue. And I have read The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri: An Egyptian Endowment, a detailed translation and commentary on what actually is on the bits that the MET gave to the church in 1967. Nothing I learned from that, or any other LDS scholarship that I have read, would lead me to think, imply, or say that the existant papryi can be translated to the Book of Abraham.  (I have heard about the mnemonic theory, but haven't pursued it seriously.)  Even the LDS website Gospel Topic Essay has this, which was not at all news to me.

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Mormon and non-Mormon Egyptologists agree that the characters on the fragments do not match the translation given in the book of Abraham, though there is not unanimity, even among non-Mormon scholars, about the proper interpretation of the vignettes on these fragments.27 Scholars have identified the papyrus fragments as parts of standard funerary texts that were deposited with mummified bodies. These fragments date to between the third century B.C.E. and the first century C.E., long after Abraham lived.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-topics-essays/translation-and-historicity-of-the-book-of-abraham?lang=eng

Ongoing discussion, things like this thread.  The seven books that I own on the various aspects of the story and contents and implications of the Book of Abraham, the various other essays reviews and discussions that crop up constantly.  Robert F. Smith's essay.  Pearl of Great Price Central.  People like John Dehlin trying to pump up the controversy out of the goodness of his heart and committment to marketable "hot button" issues.  That discussion.  It never ends.

FWIW,

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

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4 minutes ago, Kevin Christensen said:

People like John Dehlin trying to pump up the controversy out of the goodness of his heart and committment to marketable "hot button" issues.

Reeks like "praise of men", "filthy lucre" or other more nefarious motives are afoot.

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3 hours ago, smac97 said:

You can also often do the same in publications that are peer-reviewed.

I'm not particularly inclined to judge an idea based primarily on it having been peer reviewed or not.  Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Peer review: a flawed process at the heart of science and journals
  2. Let's stop pretending peer review works
  3. When reviewing goes wrong: the ugly side of peer review (Illustrating some of the most common ways that things can go wrong during peer review – and what to do if this happens)
  4. Peer Review is Not Scientific (How a process designed to ensure scientific rigor is tainted by randomness, bias, and arbitrary delays.)
  5. Is Peer Review A Big Bad Joke? (You, too, could have a paper in a science journal! An investigation reveals that dozens of sketchy titles were happy to publish a study so egregiously flawed it almost had to be fake.)
  6. Science Is Suffering Because of Peer Review’s Big Problems (How to reform the journal publication process.)
  7. Phony peer review: The more we look, the more we find
  8. This Study Just Revealed Why The Peer-Review Process Is in So Much Trouble (In recent years, scientists have been warning us about a reproducibility crisis in science, which has seen many seminal papers - particularly in psychology - failing to hold up when an independent team tries to reproduce the results.)

There are significant problems with bias, politics, funding concerns, etc. being implicated in scholarly research and publications.

Sorry, but I'm not buying the Ritner-is-just-an-impartial-bystander-who-is-calling-it-as-he-sees-it explanation.  I think he has a pretty substantial ax to grind, and that is a pretty big part of the two sides "talking right past each other."

A whole bunch of assumptions built into that statement.  From FAIR:

(Emphasis added)

Well?  Is Nibley wrong?  Are his citations to Otto and Frankfort unfair or inaccurate?

I"m not sure what you're going for.  Are you saying some say Joseph's translation of say, Facsimile 3 has merit?  

3 hours ago, smac97 said:

Can Dr. Ritner definitively declare a static one-and-only correct interpretation of an illustration drawn thousands of years ago, which purports to be a representation involved in a story from thousands of years before that?  It's Dr. Ritner's way or the highway?  

Why do you assume he's saying this?  He's simply pointing out what the Egyptian says.  Are you saying there's a way to translate the extant portions into something other than what he and others have translated them into?  

3 hours ago, smac97 said:

More from FAIR:

Well?  Can Ritner definitively rule these out?  Would Ritner's conclusion be something within the realm of his expertise?  Can he rule out the "hypothetical Jewish editor in the second century B.C." postulated by Barney?  the "Jewish redactor" theory presented by Draper/Brown/Rhodes?

Of course there are possibilities.  Possibililties are endless.  If your point is, "well even if there is valid reasons to disagree, I still think it's possible" then great.  But that's not a convincing argument at all.  

3 hours ago, smac97 said:

Haven't they already done a lot of "well we don't really know, so it's possible"?

Dehlin and Consig are indeed a distraction.  They are attempting to insert themselves into the discussion.

He's trying really hard to make it about him.  About generating publicity, and attention, and clicks, and revenue, for himself.

That's nonsense of course.  You simply dont know from which you speak.  But your seemingly shameless hostility is perhaps noteworthy.  

3 hours ago, smac97 said:

Nobody is taking a hands-off, let's-just-remain-in-abject-ignorance approach.  That's silly.  There are large amounts of literature devoted to this subject.  Many of the participants of this thread have read much of it and are encouraging others to do so.

Thanks,

-Smac

Read away.  Of course that hardly vindicates Joseph.  it may complicate the issues or complicate matters.  It may be nothing more than possibility sharing.  

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2 hours ago, Kevin Christensen said:

Stemmelbow said 

Why in the world would you possibly think that I have ever said anything to suggest that I thought the extant papyri could be translated to the Book of Abraham?  I thought that my mentioning the "Breathing Permit of Hor" might be a clue. And I have read The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri: An Egyptian Endowment, a detailed translation and commentary on what actually is on the bits that the MET gave to the church in 1967. Nothing I learned from that, or any other LDS scholarship that I have read, would lead me to think, imply, or say that the existant papryi can be translated to the Book of Abraham.  (I have heard about the mnemonic theory, but haven't pursued it seriously.)  Even the LDS website Gospel Topic Essay has this, which was not at all news to me.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-topics-essays/translation-and-historicity-of-the-book-of-abraham?lang=eng

That's what 1912 would have settled.  There is nothing on the papyri that is anything near what Joseph Smith produced as the BoA.  If we aren't discussing it anymore, then why do you think we are?  

2 hours ago, Kevin Christensen said:

Ongoing discussion, things like this thread.  The seven books that I own on the various aspects of the story and contents and implications of the Book of Abraham, the various other essays reviews and discussions that crop up constantly.  Robert F. Smith's essay.  Pearl of Great Price Central.  People like John Dehlin trying to pump up the controversy out of the goodness of his heart and committment to marketable "hot button" issues.  That discussion.  It never ends.

FWIW,

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

There are reasons why it doesn't end, as demonstrated by Ritner in the podcast that is the topic of this thread.  

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3 hours ago, gav said:

Seems silly to me that a lesser gets to unashamedly criticise someone far greater.

I think everyone largely agrees, Joseph couldn't translate Egyptian. I'm glad, personally, I"m not int he mindset of seeing people as greater and lesser than each other.  What a tragic view religion brings, in truth.  

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4 minutes ago, stemelbow said:
Quote

There are significant problems with bias, politics, funding concerns, etc. being implicated in scholarly research and publications.

Sorry, but I'm not buying the Ritner-is-just-an-impartial-bystander-who-is-calling-it-as-he-sees-it explanation.  I think he has a pretty substantial ax to grind, and that is a pretty big part of the two sides "talking right past each other."

A whole bunch of assumptions built into that statement.  From FAIR:

(Emphasis added)

Well?  Is Nibley wrong?  Are his citations to Otto and Frankfort unfair or inaccurate?

I'm not sure what you're going for.  Are you saying some say Joseph's translation of say, Facsimile 3 has merit?  

I'm saying there's plenty of room for principles and disagreement with a one-size-fits-all approach to Facsimile 3.

4 minutes ago, stemelbow said:
Quote

Can Dr. Ritner definitively declare a static one-and-only correct interpretation of an illustration drawn thousands of years ago, which purports to be a representation involved in a story from thousands of years before that?  It's Dr. Ritner's way or the highway?  

Why do you assume he's saying this?  He's simply pointing out what the Egyptian says.

Did you read the FAIR quote from Nibley (who was in turn quoting Otto and Frankfort)?  And its citation to Barney, Draper, Brown and Rhodes?

4 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Are you saying there's a way to translate the extant portions into something other than what he and others have translated them into?  

I don't dispute Ritner's translation.  I do, however, question his assumptions and conclusions.

4 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Of course there are possibilities.  Possibililties are endless.  If your point is, "well even if there is valid reasons to disagree, I still think it's possible" then great.  But that's not a convincing argument at all.

I'm quite fine with that.  The BOA is very much a "downstream" issue for me.  It is the Book of Mormon, not the Book of Abraham, that is the "keystone of our religion." 

4 minutes ago, stemelbow said:
Quote

Dehlin and Consig are indeed a distraction.  They are attempting to insert themselves into the discussion.

He's trying really hard to make it about him.  About generating publicity, and attention, and clicks, and revenue, for himself.

That's nonsense of course. 

Your "nonsense of course" is nonsense of course.

See?  I can do it too.

4 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

You simply dont know from which you speak.

I think I have sufficient experience with reading Dehlin and Consig to reach informed conclusions about them.

4 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

But your seemingly shameless hostility is perhaps noteworthy.

Not sure what you mean here.  I have a very low opinion of Dehlin and Consig.  I have ample reason for this low opinion.  Nothing "shameless" in that.

4 minutes ago, stemelbow said:
Quote

Nobody is taking a hands-off, let's-just-remain-in-abject-ignorance approach.  That's silly.  There are large amounts of literature devoted to this subject.  Many of the participants of this thread have read much of it and are encouraging others to do so.

Read away.  Of course that hardly vindicates Joseph. 

It sure presents a lot of intriguing information about him, though.

4 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

It may complicate the issues or complicate matters.  It may be nothing more than possibility sharing.  

Yep.  And again, the BOA is quite downstream from the BOM.

Thanks,

-Smac

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4 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I'm saying there's plenty of room for principles and disagreement with a one-size-fits-all approach to Facsimile 3.

Not sure what you mean by this.  

4 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Did you read the FAIR quote from Nibley (who was in turn quoting Otto and Frankfort)?  And its citation to Barney, Draper, Brown and Rhodes?

I did.  I'm asking you why are you making an assumption about Ritner.  This topic is about his views as he laid them out in the podcast.  Why are you assuming he has declared only one possible interpretation?  Why do you not realize he has done just as suggested by Otto and Frankfort?  Leaving it as the greatest amount of possible interpretations?  

4 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I don't dispute Ritner's translation.  I do, however, question his assumptions and conclusions.

Which are?  

4 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I'm quite fine with that.  The BOA is very much a "downstream" issue for me.  It is the Book of Mormon, not the Book of Abraham, that is the "keystone of our religion." 

Great.  

4 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Your "nonsense of course" is nonsense of course.

Which is only to say your nonsense of my nonsense is nonsense because ultimately your anger directed at Dehlin, RFM and Ritner has produced a nonsensical view of them, or so it seems.  

4 minutes ago, smac97 said:

See?  I can do it too.

I think I have sufficient experience with reading Dehlin and Consig to reach informed conclusions about them.

Not sure what you mean here.  I have a very low opinion of Dehlin and Consig.  I have ample reason for this low opinion.  Nothing "shameless" in that.

That's all I"m saying.  You look down upon them, and it appears with much anger.  

4 minutes ago, smac97 said:

It sure presents a lot of intriguing information about him, though.

Yep.  And again, the BOA is quite downstream from the BOM.

Thanks,

-Smac

Okee dokes.  Have a good weekend.  Sounds like nothing to see here.  

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