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Robert Ritner - Book of Abraham Interview


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10 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Yes, that is the Leiden Hypocephalus (Hypocephalus of Tanetirt, in the Museum of Antiquities, Leiden, The Netherlands).  Very similar to the Shoshenq Hypocephalus copied by Reuben Hedlock for Book of Abraham facsimile 2.

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Samuel Birch long ago said that, in a typical hypocephalus, the figure which you see only as a legged-serpent could also be seen as "an ithyphallic hawk-headed ape."[1] Wallis Budge described the latter composite figure as Neḥeb-ka, "a god mentioned in the Book of the Dead" (Spells 125, 17:61, 30:3, etc.), who is also illustrated upon coffins, and takes the form variously of a serpent-headed human or animal holding the wd3t-eye in his paws (British Museum 11779), or holds a pair of jars (British Museum 11795, and 1197), and "sometimes wears plumes and horns."[2]  Modern Egyptology describes that figure as being an ithyphallic legged-serpent/anguipede/ legged & armed Neḥeb-K3(w) deity. The late Morton Smith said that the anguipede has strong magical connections, and when falcon-headed can be called the 'agathos daimon, "good spirit."[3] In other words, bird-headed and snake-bodied deities can be connected to the Holy Spirit.[4] A late coffin text on Roman cartonnage is illustrated with a falcon- headed serpent with four legs & wings (British Museum 29,583).[5] In coffin texts actually contemporary with Abraham, one finds the Nḥb-k3w (1) as a nˁw-serpent who is a bestower and taker away of powers, with authority from the Divine Council/ Great Ennead of Atum, or (2) as seven uraei exalted and identified with the Bull of the Ennead/ Tribunal.[6] Miriam Lichtheim, who has regularly defined k3 as "vital force, personality," sees the Nehebkau as "a divinity in serpent form who is in the retinue of Re and serves as a guardian."[7]  Note also the snake-footed and often bird-headed and ithyphallic Jewish anguipedes of the 1st & 2nd centuries B.C. representing Yahweh (Jehovah) as Ares (Mars), the god of war, or as Helios, the sun-god.[8] 

[1] Archaeo­logia, 36:172-173, on British Museum hypocephalus 8,445.

[2] Budge, The Mummy, 295; cf. Rhodes, JSH-TYL, 11-12.

[3] M. Smith, Jesus the Magician, 73, 185, citing Philo: "Quod Omnis Probus Liber Sit," VI '39; "De Gigantibus," II '6, IV '16; "De Somnis, Liber I," XXII ''140-142; "Quis Rerum Divinarum Heres," XLVIII ''230,234.

[4] Cf. Religion and Ethics Institute, "Mystery Religions," Slide Lecture 7, photo 20, bird-serpent.

[5] Journal of Egyptian Archeology, 66, plate XXIV.

[6] R.O. Faulkner, Ancient Egyptian Coffin Texts, 85-88 (II, 51-54); cf. Coffin Text 84 (II, 49); A. W. Shorter, Journal of Egyptian Archeology, 21:41.

[7] Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, I:34 n. 2 (on Pyramid Text Utterance 263); III:127 (from Book of the Dead 125).

[8] J. Campbell, Mythic Image, 294, fig. 274 (citing Goodenough, Jewish Symbols, III:plates 1083ab, 1094a, 1097, 1104a, 1109]; cf. 16, fig. 10, Min of the Uplifted Arm with the child Horus (citing Budge, Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection, I:6); Roussin, AHelios in the Synagogue,@ BAR, 27/2 (Mar-Apr 2001): 52-56.

Amazing.

Just amazing!

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4 hours ago, smac97 said:

So far I have located three sources for John Gee speaking of Olishem/Ulisum:................................

Again, contrast this with RFM telling us that Gee has presented Olishem as "a proof, or potential proof, of the Book of Abraham.".....................

Actually, it was not Gee, but Prof John Lundquist (BYU archeologist, then heading an excavation in Syria) who first called our attention to the likely Olishem/Uilsum connection -- John M. Lundquist, "Abraham at Ebla," in R. L. Millet & K. P. Jackson, eds., Studies in Scripture, 7 vols. (SLC: Randall, 1985), II:233-235.

4 hours ago, smac97 said:

...........................

I think it sort of noteworthy that Woods, a contributor to Ritner's 2013 commentary about the Book of Abraham (see Christopher Woods, “The Practice of Egyptian Religion at ‘Ur of the Chaldees’?” in The Joseph Smith Egyptian Papyri: A Complete Edition, ed. Robert K. Ritner (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2013), 73), apparently "acknowledges the possibility that the Book of Abraham’s Olishem could be identified with the Ulišum mentioned in an inscription of the Akkadian king Naram-Sin," but then dismisses it - per Smoot's paraphrase - as "little more than a lucky guess on Joseph Smith's part."

In any event, Smoot does characterize this in enthusiastic terms: "For instance, the Book of Abraham identifies a certain “plain of Olishem” (Abr. 1:10) as being in the vicinity of Abraham’s Ur. This specific detail has captured the attention of Latter-day Saint scholars, since there is a very high likelihood that Olishem has been identified.".......................................

Woods is being highly disingenuous.  He must know full well that the expert on the subject, the late Prof Ephraim Speiser (Jewish expert on Sumero-Akkadian language and culture) had long since argued emphatically that Abraham came from Haran in Syria, at the great bend of the Euphrates River, not from far away in southern Iraq.  So he argued in his 1964 translation-commentary on Genesis for the Anchor Bible. Half a century later and Woods still hasn't gotten the message.  Wow.

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On 8/6/2020 at 2:46 PM, Robert F. Smith said:

You and Bill are not real participants in the discussion.

And certainly neither is Corbin Volluz/Radio Free Mormon.

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"

Dear Noel,

 First and foremost we must state that the hypocephalus of Joseph Smith is a late fourth or early third century BC product (suggested by fine analogies with precise datation) . Was prepared by Egyptian priests, more precisely belonging to the closed Amun-Re priesthood. So when somebody tries to find analogies of an iconographical element in other cultures (Jewish, Hellenistic, Roman) I am a bit sceptical. Nehebkau has excellent documentation as for his role in the Amun-Re rites in the period (See my  reference to Taharka's edifice in Karnak and the Persian time Hibis Temple in oasis Kharga, where rites are preserved set in stone). I think it will certainly produce false results if we use centuries later snake depictions of other cultures (agathos daimon, Yahveh).

 

As for the " ithyphallic hawk-headed ape", some hypocephali coming from the ancient Ipu (today Akhmim/Sohag), really shows this figure. I dedicated a chapter in my book to the Akhmimic workshop, there the priests used Theban examples as a model, but figures which were strange for them simply reinterpreted them. They reinterpreted the snake bodied and falcon headed Theban Nehebkau figure too and substituted it with the hawk-headed baboon. This type of substitution can be verified in the texts too, Theban priests used a difficult wording, thus the Akhmimic priest reworded some sentences which they didn't understand."

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Figure 3 is wrong. This space on the sketch of the facsimile is vacant and Smith took a drawing from another mummy  (Falcon god ra)

Examples of similar hydrocephalus Vienna AS23 a/1  Turin cat no. 2322 Turin cat no. 2321 have a boat with  "scarab (kheper) beetle" which " was one of the most popular amulets in ancient Egypt because the insect was a symbol of the sun god Re. This association evolved from the Egyptians' misunderstanding of the scarab's life cycle. An adult beetle lays its eggs inside a ball of dung, which is then buried underground"

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On 8/14/2020 at 10:42 AM, Robert F. Smith said:

  Nor is the learned Michael Chandler a good source. 

Hi Robert,

 

I am finally getting around to listening to Ritner's podcast and I learned something new regarding Chandler in it. As Chandler toured the country with the artifacts he was selling he advertised them as "going back to the Biblical Prophets. These date from the time of the prophets. See the faces of the Egyptians who will have talked to Joseph!" He also pitched the mummies as royalty, all this to increase their price. Obviously Chandler had no idea who these mummies were or when they actually lived, but it is interesting to see the origin of some of the descriptions (like Lucy Mack Smith) given later on regarding the collection the was purchased in Kirtland.

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23 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

Hi Robert,

 

I am finally getting around to listening to Ritner's podcast and I learned something new regarding Chandler in it. As Chandler toured the country with the artifacts he was selling he advertised them as "going back to the Biblical Prophets. These date from the time of the prophets. See the faces of the Egyptians who will have talked to Joseph!" He also pitched the mummies as royalty, all this to increase their price. Obviously Chandler had no idea who these mummies were or when they actually lived, but it is interesting to see the origin of some of the descriptions (like Lucy Mack Smith) given later on regarding the collection the was purchased in Kirtland.

That actually is really interesting. I didn't know that about Chandler's pitch. Since it's a podcast I'm gonna assume that no source was given, which is a shame because I'd like to look into that. 

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39 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

Hi Robert,

I am finally getting around to listening to Ritner's podcast and I learned something new regarding Chandler in it. As Chandler toured the country with the artifacts he was selling he advertised them as "going back to the Biblical Prophets. These date from the time of the prophets. See the faces of the Egyptians who will have talked to Joseph!" He also pitched the mummies as royalty, all this to increase their price. Obviously Chandler had no idea who these mummies were or when they actually lived, but it is interesting to see the origin of some of the descriptions (like Lucy Mack Smith) given later on regarding the collection the was purchased in Kirtland.

Kerry Muhlestein addressed this a bit in 2016 (emphases added) :

Quote

Identity of the Mummies

A similar question is connected to the identity of the mummies. A number of accounts speak of who the mummies were. The earliest such mention is made by Oliver Cowdery in 1835, when he averred that they did not know the identity of the mummies, though they were sure none of them were Abraham.77 In 1838, Joseph Smith also denied knowing the identity of the mummies.78 The first time of which I am aware of the mummies being ascribed royalty is when a visitor to Quincy, Illinois, reported that Father and Mother Smith displayed the mummies while Joseph Smith was still in Liberty Jail and that they told this visitor that the mummies were royalty.79

An account of a visit with Joseph Smith soon after this also speaks of the mummies being royal. S. M. Bartlett, who at the time of the visit was quite friendly toward the Latter-day Saints, described something of Joseph Smith’s ideas about who the mummies were. “‘The embalmed body that stands near the centre of the case,’ said he [Joseph Smith], ‘is one of the Pharaohs, who sat upon the throne of Egypt; and the female figure by its side was probably one of the daughters.’ ‘It may have been the Princess Thermutis,’ I replied, ‘the same that rescued Moses from the waters of Nile.’ ‘It is not improbable,’ answered the Prophet; ‘but time has not yet allowed me fully to examine and decide that point.’”80 This second-hand account of what Joseph Smith thought of the mummies’ identities indicates that he thought one had been a king of Egypt and assumed, but was not sure, that one of the others was the daughter. He was clear that he did not know their exact identities. It is equally clear that Bartlett felt free to speculate on the identities and that his speculation tended toward the grandiose, since he immediately thought of one of the most famous father-daughter sets of Egyptian royalty. These ideas seem to have taken hold and are conveyed frequently thereafter.

From this point forward, we encounter more and more second- and thirdhand accounts describing the mummies as royalty. Seemingly what began as speculation experienced a steady progression in its circulation and acceptance.81 Eventually there was something of a widespread belief that the collection of antiquities in Nauvoo included the mummies of Egyptian kings.

There is one account from this time period that reports Mother Smith teaching that one of the mummies was the body of Abraham.82 Because in every other account Lucy Mack Smith spoke of the mummies being royalty, and because from the time of their acquisition the Saints had denied that any of the mummies were Abraham, this report seems unlikely to be accurate. This same account also states that a picture of Noah’s ark was on the papyri. Again, while this is possible, it is unique among the accounts. On the whole, there are a number of dubious aspects about this report, so we are best served to rely on the consistency of the majority of accounts. Reports of royal mummies were consistent, while this account is fully unique. It is probable that the author of this account remembered things inaccurately. It is also quite possible that Lucy Mack Smith embellished as she showed the antiquities. She had reason to do so, and there are other times when it seems she may have.83

I have already highlighted the improbability that the papyri contained the actual handwriting of Abraham. It is equally unlikely that any of the mummies were the remains of an Egyptian king, especially the king of the Exodus. If Lebolo had discovered a royal mummy and had known it, he almost certainly would have reported it as such and even more certainly would not have shipped it to be sold along with a cache of other mummies and papyri in such a nonchalant manner.

Furthermore, we can identify most of the royal mummies that are possible candidates for the pharaoh of the Exodus, and none of them were owned by Joseph Smith.84 If any of his mummies had contained the kind of lavish accoutrements and goods we would expect to accompany royalty, then it certainly would have been mentioned by some eyewitness at some point. While we can never fully rule out the possibility that the mummy of some king of Egypt reached Ohio in 1835, it is so improbable as to be a virtual certainty that none of the Smith mummies were royalty. It may not have seemed so unlikely to the people and culture of Joseph Smith’s time and place, but today this seems implausible. While we do not know with certainty that Joseph Smith thought the mummies were royal, the idea became so widespread and was never corrected in any way, it seems quite likely that Joseph Smith at least somewhat accepted this point of view.

Thanks,

-Smac

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2 hours ago, CA Steve said:

Hi Robert,

I am finally getting around to listening to Ritner's podcast and I learned something new regarding Chandler in it. As Chandler toured the country with the artifacts he was selling he advertised them as "going back to the Biblical Prophets. These date from the time of the prophets. See the faces of the Egyptians who will have talked to Joseph!" He also pitched the mummies as royalty, all this to increase their price. Obviously Chandler had no idea who these mummies were or when they actually lived, but it is interesting to see the origin of some of the descriptions (like Lucy Mack Smith) given later on regarding the collection the was purchased in Kirtland.

Sounds like a good pitch man, which makes sense.  One basic question, though:  Did Chandler give those ideas to Joseph, or did he get them from Joseph?  Do we have dates on those pitches?

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11 hours ago, aussieguy55 said:

Figure 3 is wrong. This space on the sketch of the facsimile is vacant and Smith took a drawing from another mummy  (Falcon god ra)

Examples of similar hydrocephalus Vienna AS23 a/1  Turin cat no. 2322 Turin cat no. 2321 have a boat with  "scarab (kheper) beetle" which " was one of the most popular amulets in ancient Egypt because the insect was a symbol of the sun god Re. This association evolved from the Egyptians' misunderstanding of the scarab's life cycle. An adult beetle lays its eggs inside a ball of dung, which is then buried underground"

The restorations of the Reuben Hedlock woodcut do not have the ba-boat, Isis & Nephthys, Kheprer-beetle, baboon, cabin, etc., and add the unusual offering table, Sacred Eyes, and throne.  That was done by Hedlock, not Joseph Smith, and it merely fills in an empty space in the damaged hypochephalus.  In fact, Joseph did not provide "wrong" explanations:

He said that both Fac. 2:3 and 2:7 represent "God" seated "upon his throne," and "clothed with power and authority."  For God and throne, S. A. B. Mercer said that Joseph was nearer the truth there than anywhere else, but he said that God on a throne was obvious, and the scepter of dominion in his hand would be obvious as well.  Yet Joseph doesn't mention the obvious boat, and how is it that Joseph only picks the Egyptian head of pantheon as God on his throne.  There are other gods on the Hypocephalus.  A. M. Lythgoe termed Joseph's explanations for Fac 2:3 "a sad joke," nevertheless admitting that Joseph was correct in saying that a god is pictured, though he "is the chief god of a polytheistic people."  Scholars today undertand that Abraham and the Israelites were polytheists in a henotheistic sense.

The ignorant and arrogant notion that Re and El are mutually exclusive begins to be undercut when Mercer says that the Babylonian equivalent of Re is Shamash,[1] and this is true more than to the extent that Shamash is the "Sun."  The Egyptians did in fact know something about foreign gods, and regularly cross-identified them with their own gods.[2]

Mercer defined the was-scepter in the left hand of Re in Fac. 2:3 as "the royal sceptre which gave dominion over heaven and earth,"[1] "dominion" being synonymous with "authority."  Budge said that it meant "power."[2]  Gardiner saw it as "divine power, dominion,"[3] both Faulkner and Scamuzzi as "dominion,"[4] Brunner as "power,"[5] while J. G. Griffiths defined the was as meaning "power, might,"[6] and, according to te Velde, "power," while also symbolizing "order," among other things.[7]  As usual, Joseph Smith was right on target with prominent Egyptologists.

[1] Mercer, Utah Survey, I/1:33.

[2] Cyrus Gordon in Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th ed., Macropaedia, 12:917-920; W. F. Albright, Yahweh and the Gods of Canaan, 120,129,166.

[3] Mercer, Utah Survey, I/1:23.

[4] Budge, The Mummy, 2nd ed. (Collier), 221.

[5] Gardiner, JEA, 36:7,12 n. 1.

[6] Faulkner, Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, rev. ed. (Austin: Univ. of Texas Press, 1985), 178,184, for Book of the Dead illustration and text: "life and dominion"; Scamuzzi, Egyptian Art in the Egyptian Museum of Turin, plate XXXIII.

[7] Brunner, AfO, 23:119-120.

[8] Griffiths, JEA, 56:229-230, on E. Winter, Untersuchungen zu den aegyptischen Tempelreliefs der griechisch-roemischen Zeit (Vienna, 1968).

[9] H. te Velde, Seth, 89-90.

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

Sounds like a good pitch man, which makes sense.  One basic question, though:  Did Chandler give those ideas to Joseph, or did he get them from Joseph?  Do we have dates on those pitches?

This is new information to me and that is all I know at this time. I inferred from the way Ritner presented it that it was from advertisements that Chandler had placed along the way as he displayed and sold the collection. If the information was from Smith we would have Joseph claiming that the mummies dated to the time of Abraham, something we know not to be true, it would also mean Joseph really believed that he had the actual autographs of Abraham and Joseph. My guess is the information came from Chandler but I think this is worth looking at more.

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Numbers 22 and 23 do not appear in hand drawing of Fac 2 In the copies I have of the hypocephalus the figure in the middle has multiple (more than 2) heads. Do you have examples of the restoration by Smith of two heads?

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26 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

This is new information to me and that is all I know at this time. I inferred from the way Ritner presented it that it was from advertisements that Chandler had placed along the way as he displayed and sold the collection. If the information was from Smith we would have Joseph claiming that the mummies dated to the time of Abraham, something we know not to be true, it would also mean Joseph really believed that he had the actual autographs of Abraham and Joseph. My guess is the information came from Chandler but I think this is worth looking at more.

Yes, newspaper ads.  That would make sense.  However, we don't have those mummies, so it would be very difficult to make learned assertions about them.  We need more than rumor and speculation.

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 A FB friend who is studying this said regarding the "two" hands " The main problem that i see (which I didn't see addressed) was the different length of fingers.Egyptians almost ALWAYS drew hands with fingers the same length. This is done on the lower hand which shows that this is how the artist who produced this scene drew hands. The upper "hand" looks like a wing tip" 

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I’m pretty skeptical of Ritner’s claim about Chandler advertising the mummies/papyri and so forth as dating from the time of the patriarchs. While Ritner knows Egyptology, his scholarship regarding the LDS side of the coin leaves much to be desired. He doesn’t seem to care or to understand the significance and interplay between that and the Egyptology. He seems to treat the Book of Abraham as a matter of Egyptology, as if Joseph Smith were trying to approach it as an Egyptologist, which is just as silly as mistaking the Book of Revelation for a scientific analysis of future probabilities. 

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13 minutes ago, Latter Day Data said:

I’m pretty skeptical of Ritner’s claim about Chandler advertising the mummies/papyri and so forth as dating from the time of the patriarchs. While Ritner knows Egyptology, his scholarship regarding the LDS side of the coin leaves much to be desired. He doesn’t seem to care or to understand the significance and interplay between that and the Egyptology. He seems to treat the Book of Abraham as a matter of Egyptology, as if Joseph Smith were trying to approach it as an Egyptologist, which is just as silly as mistaking the Book of Revelation for a scientific analysis of future probabilities. 

The Times and Seasons printed some of Chandler's original placards.  Here's a snippet from it which states the mummies "may have lived in the days of Jacob, Moses, or David".

Quote

"they have certainly been conspicuous actors in those mighty scenes of which the history of Egypt is full. An hundred generations have passed away, and new empires have began since this flesh was animated—since these eyes were bright, and this tongue was eloquent, and the heart beat within this breast. These strangers illustrious from their antiquity, may have lived in the days of Jacob, Moses, or David, and of course some thousand years have elapsed since these bodies were animated with the breath of life!"

https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/times-and-seasons-2-may-1842/8

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11 minutes ago, cacheman said:

The Times and Seasons printed some of Chandler's original placards.  Here's a snippet from it which states the mummies "may have lived in the days of Jacob, Moses, or David".

https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/times-and-seasons-2-may-1842/8

So if Ritner changed “may have” into a stronger claim, that would make my point. Do you remember Ritner’s exact words? 

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21 minutes ago, Latter Day Data said:

So if Ritner changed “may have” into a stronger claim, that would make my point. Do you remember Ritner’s exact words? 

It hardly makes your point and in fact reinforces Ritner's claim. My time stamp for Ritner's comments about Chandlers's claim is from the 1st podcast at the 35.54 mark. Feel free to review it.

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On 8/13/2020 at 8:42 AM, Kevin Christensen said:

Facsimile 1. In an ancient Egyptian papyrus dating to roughly the first or second century ad, there is a lion-couch scene similar to the one shown in facsimile 1. Underneath the illustration, the text reads “Abraham, who upon .…” There is a break in the text here, so we do not know what word followed. The key point, however, is that an ancient Egyptian document, from approximately the same time period as the papyri Joseph Smith had in his possession, associated Abraham with a lion-couch scene.

Kevin,

 

I asked you earlier if all references to Abraham that  are referenced as evidence for the BoA  are actually to the Biblical Abraham. This quote above is problematic in that the name Abraham here is part of a love spell and really has nothing to do with the Biblical Abraham participating in a Lion couch scene, I expect you know this. 

Do you care to comment?

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33 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

It hardly makes your point and in fact reinforces Ritner's claim. My time stamp for Ritner's comments about Chandlers's claim is from the 1st podcast at the 35.54 mark. Feel free to review it.

Thanks for replying. You seem to be suggesting that Ritner accurately portrayed what Chandler said. Is that what you are suggesting?

So let’s have a look:

What Chandler is known to have said:

“... probably not less than three thousand year ago.”

“These strangers illustrious from their antiquity, may have lived in the days of Jacob, Moses, or David”

What Ritner claims Chandler said: 

“These date from the times of the prophets”

 “you can see the faces of Egyptians who will have talked to Joseph” 

“here are people who talked to Joseph” 

Looking at these quotes, can you point out where you seem to think Chandler says the people (mummies) talked to Joseph? Or, do you instead think Ritner got it wrong? 

Can you also point out where Ritner explains that Chandler qualified his statements with words like “probably” and “may have.” Or, do you instead think Ritner got it wrong? 

Or, would you suggest that Ritner quoted Chandler verbatim and that I just need glasses? ;) 

Edit: where are you getting your claim about Chandler pitching the mummies as royalty?

Edited by Latter Day Data
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18 hours ago, Latter Day Data said:

Thanks for replying. You seem to be suggesting that Ritner accurately portrayed what Chandler said. Is that what you are suggesting?

So let’s have a look:

What Chandler is known to have said:

“... probably not less than three thousand year ago.”

“These strangers illustrious from their antiquity, may have lived in the days of Jacob, Moses, or David”

What Ritner claims Chandler said: 

“These date from the times of the prophets”

 “you can see the faces of Egyptians who will have talked to Joseph” 

“here are people who talked to Joseph” 

Looking at these quotes, can you point out where you seem to think Chandler says the people (mummies) talked to Joseph? Or, do you instead think Ritner got it wrong? 

Hello LDD,

 

As I explained in my original post regarding this information; what I heard from the Ritner podcast was new information to me. It was the extent of what I knew about Chandlers sales pitch. Can you verify that the quotes you are posting above are the extent of what is known about what Chandler is known to have said during the time he was exhibiting the collection, a period of about two years IIRC?

 

18 hours ago, Latter Day Data said:

Can you also point out where Ritner explains that Chandler qualified his statements with words like “probably” and “may have.” Or, do you instead think Ritner got it wrong? 

Or, would you suggest that Ritner quoted Chandler verbatim and that I just need glasses? ;) 

Edit: where are you getting your claim about Chandler pitching the mummies as royalty?

I took some quick notes as Ritner was talking and it is quite possible I miss recorded what he had said. I will have to go back and listen to him again but that may not happen until this next weekend when I have time to do so. My time stamp of when he talked about it was at about the 36 minute mark in the 1st podcast if you are interested in checking it out.

Honestly I do not find the differences in what you are presenting and what I said to be very important. From your own post it looks like you have verified that Chandler was promoting the mummies using Biblical time frames and names, something he could not have known and in all likelihood not true. Based on the papyri we know that the mummies with the Hor and Min scrolls were from the Ptolemaic era. For me at least, the interesting part in this is that it appears that the some of the contemporary descriptions of the artifacts we have from people like Luck Mack Smith may have originated from Chandler. If you disagree with that, then where do you think they got that information?

Edited by CA Steve
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On 8/23/2020 at 3:59 PM, CA Steve said:

Kevin,

 

I asked you earlier if all references to Abraham that  are referenced as evidence for the BoA  are actually to the Biblical Abraham. This quote above is problematic in that the name Abraham here is part of a love spell and really has nothing to do with the Biblical Abraham participating in a Lion couch scene, I expect you know this. 

Do you care to comment?

Hi Steve,

Earlier, I quoted Rhodes, who is well qualified to discuss the issue with authority.  Here is another discussion from John Gee, who cites several different scholars who have discussed the appearances of the name Abraham in various Egyptian texts.

https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/msr/vol7/iss1/6/

Here is about a third of footnote 35:

Quote

For example. the following sources all accept the occurrence of the name Abraham: Augustus Audolleni, Defixiones Tabellae q11otq11ot innot11enmt (P:iris: Fontemoing, 1904), 374- 75; David E. Aune. ''PCM Y.459-89.'' in The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation i11cl11ding 1he Demotic Spells, ed. Hans D. Betz (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1986). 11 0; David E. Aune, "PCM XXIIB. 1-26." in ibid.; Walter Beltz, "Die koptischen Zauberpapyri der PapyrusSammlung der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin," Archiv flir Papyru~forschung 29 ( 1988): 81: Ludwig Blau. Das altjiidische Zmiberwesen ( 1898; reprint Graz: Akademische Druck- und Vcrlagsanstalt. 1974), 97-101, 106-7; James H. Charlesworth. ''Prayer of Jacob." in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. ed. James H. Charlesworth, 2 vols. (Garden City. NY: Doublcd:iy, 1983-85). 2:7 17: W. E. Crum, Short Texts from Coptic Ostraca and Papyri (Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1921 ), 6 (#18); W. E. Crum. "Eine Vertluchung," zAS 34 ( 1896): 87. 89: Daniel and Ma ltomini , eds .. S11pplement11111 Magicwn, 1:7- 9. 79-80. 82:...

Gee goes on to remark: "That the name refers to the biblical Abraham is both undisputed and indisputable when the papyrus mentions "Abraham, lsaac, and Jacob. "37 Nor is Abraham the only biblical figure to appear in the papyri, since the names Isaac,38 Jacob,39 Solomon,40 Eve,41 Seth,42 and Moses43 also appear. The name Moses even appears in a demotic papyrus where, in a lamp divination text (an Egyptian technique for receiving revelation),44 the supplicant requests the god to " reveal thyself to me here today in the type of form of revealing thyself to Moses which thou didst on the mountain upon which thou createdest the darkness and the light."45 Further corroboration of the use of the name Abraham by ancient pagan Egyptians is provided by a decidedly unsympathetic ancient author. The Egyptian Christian Origen, writing in the early third century, reported that " many of those who call upon the divine powers use 'the God of Abraham' in their speeches..." (Gee, 30-31) and 
"Thus ancient Egyptian documents contain the name Abraham,47 modern scholars who study these documents say that they mention the name Abraham, and other ancient sources say that the Egyptians used the name Abraham. Most people seem to be convinced that there has been sufficient "demonstration that a name exists, and is not unlikely in the given region and period."

Personally, I rate the appearance of the name of Abraham on an that Egyptian text alongside a lion couch scene with Anubus as "interesting" compared to our Facsimile 1, as one tiny piece of a large mosiac, not decisive by itself, but interesting as part of much larger picture, that for me, includes several large books, a range of ancient Abraham texts, including the Apocalypse of Abraham, the Testament of Abraham, the Gensis Apocryphon from the Dead Sea Scrolls, with its story of Abraham being warned in a dream to lie about his marriage to Sariah, the Psuedo Philo, with its story of an attempted sacrifice of Abraham, and all sorts of fascinating details and possibilities reported by Nibley, Gee, Kevin Barney, Robert F. Smith, and others.  It's not grounds for perfect knowledge, but is for me, counts as a bit of "cause to believe."

FWIW,

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA
 

Edited by Kevin Christensen
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5 hours ago, CA Steve said:

Hello LDD,

 

As I explained in my original post regarding this information; what I heard from the Ritner podcast was new information to me. It was the extent of what I knew about Chandlers sales pitch. Can you verify that the quotes you are posting above are the extent of what is known about what Chandler is known to have said during the time he was exhibiting the collection, a period of about two years IIRC?

 

I took some quick notes as Ritner was talking and it is quite possible I miss recorded what he had said. I will have to go back and listen to him again but that may not happen until this next weekend when I have time to do so. My time stamp of when he talked about it was at about the 36 minute mark in the 1st podcast if you are interested in checking it out.

Honestly I do not find the differences in what you are presenting and what I said to be very important. From your own post it looks like you have verified that Chandler was promoting the mummies using Biblical time frames and names, something he could not have known and in all likelihood not true. Based on the papyri we know that the mummies with the Hor and Min scrolls were from the Ptolemaic era. For me at least, the interesting part in this is that it appears that the some of the contemporary descriptions of the artifacts we have from people like Luck Mack Smith may have originated from Chandler. If you disagree with that, then where do you think they got that information?

Just a couple things, here. To me, wording matters because a lot of these issues come down to small nuances. 

I said I’m skeptical of Ritner, and after I was shown some of what Chandler said, I replied, “So if Ritner changed “may have” into a stronger claim, that would make my point.” In other words, “if” those were the quotes from Chandler that Ritner was relying on, then Ritner would indeed be misrepresenting what Chandler said.

In a recent topic, I explained how Ritner is apparently misleading people by claiming facsimile 3 contains the name “Isis,” when he seems to actually be referring to what is written on similar (though not identical) vignettes, and extrapolating from that. The problem with Ritner making his claim in this context is that according to the claims Joseph Smith made about Facsimile 3, it may be a unique situation. So, Ritner is using circular reasoning i.e. arguing along the lines of it being an ordinary vignette by simply assuming it says the same things as ordinary vignettes. This would ordinarily be an acceptable way to approximate what a vignette likely said, but it cannot then be used as evidence against someone who claims that this particular vignette said something different. 

By analogy, it’s a little bit like the POW who used his eyes to blink out “SOS” in morse code while spewing forced propaganda with his mouth. Now, let’s say that someone claimed to see it but then that video ended up getting badly blurred so no one could see his blinks very well. So, a skeptic of the Morse Code claim does an analysis of blinking patterns among humans, and points out that it doesn’t contain any SOS Morse Code - and then claims to have proven that the POW in the blurred video didn’t blink SOS. It’s very poor logic. 
 

edit: he blinked “torture,” not sos

Edited by Latter Day Data
Correcting error
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