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Robert Ritner - Book of Abraham Interview


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On 8/5/2020 at 1:09 PM, The Unclean Deacon said:

But Ritner is informed and It is Ritner's expert commentary I am pointing to.  The argument and evidence has zilch to do with Dehlin.  Ritner annihilates the very info you share above as solving the problem.  I think you are speaking as one who trusts your experts and seem unwilling to give the actual expert in the room a listen.  Nibley was a amateur in this arena and Gee, Muhlstein, and others  are shown to be definitively misrepresenting the apologetics.

Making Ritner out to be God Almighty is just silly.  Ritner is an excellent Egyptologist.  I heard him lecture years ago at UCLA, and have an autographed copy of his published dissertation.  I have several volumes containing his published work, and I refer to them regularly.  However, he is not smarter than Nibley, Gee, Muhlestein, and Rhodes, and the issues are scholarly.  Your and Bill Reel's focus on apologetics is just childish.  You and Bill are not real participants in the discussion.

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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4 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

Jeeezzzz, man!  (Or, as Joe Biden says, "C'mon, man!" :D) People who have more than the casual interest I have in most things really annoy me!  Teachers' pets, always the first to raise their hands, the whole bit! ;):D  (Just messin' with ya, OGHoosier!  All in good fun.  All in good fun! :friends::good:)

 

2 hours ago, OGHoosier said:

I always was a teacher's pet. 

Figures! :rolleyes:<_<

:D:rofl::D

(Me?  I was a Class Clown! ;))

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5 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

This one, too! +1!

P.S.: I notice that one of your interests is herpetology.  Do you play with snakes? :o:shok::D (You needn't derail the thread.  You can reach me at Greatgourdini(at)gmail(d0t)com, if you wish.  I'd love to hear from you.)

 

2 hours ago, gav said:

Mark 16:18

I believe that scripture, and I want to have faith ... (in many ways, I do: In more than one way, my life has been miraculous, and I certainly cannot deny the Hand of God in my life in some very obvious ways, though His seeming silence on other matters does puzzle me somewhat) ... but, faith notwithstanding, I'd want to make sure I had the necessary antivenom handy, just in case! :o:shok:

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On 8/5/2020 at 3:12 PM, The Unclean Deacon said:

he is clothed while holding his penis

boa-facsimile-1-actual.jpg

According to non-Mormon Egyptologist Lanny Bell, careful analysis shows that there are two hands of the guy on the couch (Osiris-Abraham), rather than a second bird wing.  This restoration (by non-Egyptologist anti-Mormon Chuck Larson) is phony as a three-dollar bill.  See quotation of Bell, and pictorial demonstration at https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/Criticism_of_Mormonism/Online_documents/Letter_to_a_CES_Director/Book_of_Abraham_Concerns_%26_Questions

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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3 hours ago, gav said:

Yaaawn...🥱The entire pod cast is littered with it and I gave you examples to look into.

I'm asking because I did not see one example from you.  When I asked for one you refused.  

3 hours ago, gav said:

I'll make it easy for you, here is a link to one of the videos they play excerpts from. It's where they are discussing the lion "bed" scene with with the name Abraham. As lead up they paint a very dim view of the apologists to the point that my first impression was that they were complete ignoramuses on this matter or completely dishonest. Then they play some excerpts to show them (the apologists) talking about this scroll and singing its praises... supposedly in dishonest fashion. Then Ritner and co. show how clever they are because its a sex spell etc. etc. etc. and how ignorant and dishonest the apologists are.... go to the video and play the full excerpt and you will see the apologists know what the setting of that spell is and mention it... you definitely do not get that from the short except they provided on the podcast. It's specifically edited to leave that part out.

Thanks for the effort.  Although I must say I'm not seeing it.  Are you saying Ritner thnks Gee and Muhlsrein don't know it's a sex spell of sorts?  Where does he say that?  

 

3 hours ago, gav said:

Last time I am doing your homework!

I base my views on the book of Abraham on the things we do know for sure... It's contents.

Interpretations, speculations and conjecture from critics and apologists while very interesting are based on fragmentary evidence at best.

This fragmented (quite literally) evidence is then compared to what I would consider a hopelessly small and often subjective dataset given the symbolic nature of it and vast time scales involved.

No wonder so many divergent versions can be produced. To call others versions dishonest is arrogant and in itself deceitful. To heap condemnation upon this basis belies ulterior motives. 

This doesn't make sense.  Can you clarify?  

3 hours ago, gav said:

It's amazing how few go after the content when that is what we know for sure but instead chose to focus on what can be more easily wrested.

 

The video you played was weak at best.  It's full of parallelomania, which doesn't amount to evidence.  Its riddled with a rew assertions, unsupported and dogmatic.  I'd guess experts like Ritner would disagree strongly with a number of the bald assertions. 

I haven't listened to the whole of Ritners podcast.  It's been interesting and want to get to the rest of it.  

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2 minutes ago, OGHoosier said:

Wishes are for horses and "thought of" ultimately equates to "didn't."

This doesn't do anything to lessen the impression that Ritner is an excellent Egyptologist with an anti-Mormon chip in his shoulder so big that Khufu modeled his Pyramid on it. 

I think he's plainly an Egyptian scholar and cannot for the life of him find anything near the BoA in Egypt nor in the papyri that the Abraham story purportedly came from.  He does seem frustrated with the abhorrent "scholarship" of apologists, though.  

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21 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

I think he's plainly an Egyptian scholar and cannot for the life of him find anything near the BoA in Egypt nor in the papyri that the Abraham story purportedly came from.  He does seem frustrated with the abhorrent "scholarship" of apologists, though.  

Except that he's like the only person I know of that has a problem with Rhodes' translation. Rhodes' translation of the papyri is otherwise highly regarded. It looks like he's seeing shadows whenever he even vaguely glances in the direction of a Mormon, which doesn't bode well for his commentary.

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I really have a hard time taking these arguments serious anymore. Book of Abraham apologetics is on par with flat earthers and other non-sense pseudoscience. I've had private conversations with many of the apologists brought up here in defense of the book and they will privately admit, with varying degrees of specificity, that it's fake.  I can only imagine the amount of cringe they feel reading discussions like these.  Go back and read the defenses of the BoA that they are writing and you'll see that they often use unspecific language that gives the mental escape clauses to keep them from outright lying.  

The church has been distancing themselves from the claims about the text for a while. The writing has been on the wall for years and the Gospel Topic essay on the BoA has plenty of clues where this is headed. 

Phaedrus

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Ritner is  not running an antimormon ministry. He is just an Egyptologist  who was asked to translate the papyri. So all we have is a book and a couple of papers. He probably has other projects that he is interested in. 

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1 hour ago, phaedrus ut said:

I've had private conversations with many of the apologists brought up here in defense of the book and they will privately admit, with varying degrees of specificity, that it's fake.

Are you precisely sure that's how they'd frame it?

Quote

Go back and read the defenses of the BoA that they are writing and you'll see that they often use unspecific language that gives the mental escape clauses to keep them from outright lying.  

Also known as scholastic humility. 

Edited by OGHoosier
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43 minutes ago, Calm said:

Apologetics is a voluntary occupation that has done little imo for the actual careers of those doing apologetics from what I have heard.  Why would any scholar do something that may damage their standing as a scholar which has little financial benefits for them (no one is making much off any of these books, they just don't sell that well for the amount of time that is put into them) if they saw the work as "fake"?  That makes no sense to me.

I would qualify that as "Latter-day Saint apologetics".   There are people outside the church that make their entire career in apologetics (Josh McDowell comes to mind, and even some of the "ministries" that I won't name that attack on the church as part of their "apologetic" efforts.)   But for people within the church I completely agree with your statement.

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10 minutes ago, InCognitus said:

I would qualify that as "Latter-day Saint apologetics".   There are people outside the church that make their entire career in apologetics (Josh McDowell comes to mind, and even some of the "ministries" that I won't name that attack on the church as part of their "apologetic" efforts.)   But for people within the church I completely agree with your statement.

Yes, that is what I meant. I have met nonLDS who make or made a good living off of apologetics. It is BYU and other Latter-day Saint professors I have talked with or read who have said they made the choice not to get involved in apologetics because they were warned not to by bosses or colleagues or who have talked about problems they have encountered after participating. 

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7 hours ago, stemelbow said:

I think he's plainly an Egyptian scholar and cannot for the life of him find anything near the BoA in Egypt nor in the papyri that the Abraham story purportedly came from.  He does seem frustrated with the abhorrent "scholarship" of apologists, though.  

That is nonsense and clearly misstates the facts, as you can discover by reading my own assessment:  https://www.scribd.com/document/118810727/A-Brief-Assessment-of-the-LDS-Book-of-Abraham .

 

 

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8 hours ago, stemelbow said:

The video you played was weak at best.  It's full of parallelomania, which doesn't amount to evidence.  Its riddled with a rew assertions, unsupported and dogmatic.  I'd guess experts like Ritner would disagree strongly with a number of the bald assertions. 

I haven't listened to the whole of Ritners podcast.  It's been interesting and want to get to the rest of it.  

How is it that you can spot "weakness" and bias in one presentation and yet not bias or even animosity in another?

Bias, assertions, dogmatism etc. is prevalent on all sides of this debate simply because there isn't enough evidence in the field to go around. The field is too immature with too many gaps, many of which will never be filled.

If people can't see it for themselves due to their own biases, or permit themselves to be bamboozled by complexities, technicalities and scholastic gymnastics then nobody can help them.

Edited by gav
rewording for clarity
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8 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

That is nonsense and clearly misstates the facts, as you can discover by reading my own assessment:  https://www.scribd.com/document/118810727/A-Brief-Assessment-of-the-LDS-Book-of-Abraham .

 

 

 

I don't see anything in your paper that comes close to showing the Ritner has found something near the BoA in Egypt in his studies.  HOw is that possibly nonsense and clearly misstates the facts?  Or are you suggesting the Ritner speaks nonsense and clearly misstates the facts?  If so, I don't see such in our paper either.  Anything specific?  

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7 hours ago, gav said:

How is it that you can spot "weakness" and bias in one presentation and yet not bias or even animosity in another?

It's pretty easy.  You listen or read whatever is being presented and consider the words and ideas.  After consideration you conclude different things about what those words mean.  But clearly, I"m not saying Ritner has no bias.  That's just silly.  As for animosity?  It seems pretty clearly present in some form, whether weak or prominent, on both sides.  But really it's all about the statements of fact.  When I watch your little clip, I see very little substance, if any, and tons of bald assertions which are likely contradicted by experts.  

7 hours ago, gav said:

Bias, assertions, dogmatism etc. is prevalent on all sides of this debate simply because there isn't enough evidence in the field to go around. The field is too immature with too many gaps, many of which will never be filled.

I hear that and wonder what specifics you have in mind.  What, for instance, does Ritner specifically say about Egyptian that you consider too conclusive, but should be far more tentative?  

7 hours ago, gav said:

If people can't see it for themselves due to their own biases, or permit themselves to be bamboozled by complexities, technicalities and scholastic gymnastics then nobody can help them.

Mental gymnastics basically defines the apologetics on the BoA.  It's squirrely twisted logic, it seems to me.  

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15 hours ago, OGHoosier said:

Except that he's like the only person I know of that has a problem with Rhodes' translation. Rhodes' translation of the papyri is otherwise highly regarded. It looks like he's seeing shadows whenever he even vaguely glances in the direction of a Mormon, which doesn't bode well for his commentary.

Which non-LDS Egyptologist has commented on the Rhodes translation aside from Ritner?  I mean serious...I don't know.  Can you tell me?  

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12 hours ago, Calm said:

Apologetics is a voluntary occupation that has done little imo for the actual careers of those doing apologetics from what I have heard.  Why would any scholar do something that may damage their standing as a scholar which has little financial benefits for them (no one is making much off any of these books, they just don't sell that well for the amount of time that is put into them) if they saw the work as "fake"?  That makes no sense to me.

So do you see money as the only driving force?  I think those whose names get thrown around by members as very smart, and praised as knowing more than the rest of us, have motivation beyond money. If they can stand out as prominently faithful for bucking the criticisms then they may have motivation beyond moneys.  No? 

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9 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

That is nonsense and clearly misstates the facts, as you can discover by reading my own assessment:  https://www.scribd.com/document/118810727/A-Brief-Assessment-of-the-LDS-Book-of-Abraham .

 

 

 

Robert, you've been very kind to my comments in the past, hopefully you can put up with my comments again. I'm sure it's been mentioned before, haven't read each comment on the thread. But what do you think of Joseph Smith saying the Priesthood is being taught in one of the pictures, but instead in reality it's someone doing the "m" word? 

 

Edited by Tacenda
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14 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Robert, you've been very kind to my comments in the past, hopefully you can put up with my comments again. I'm sure it's been mentioned before, haven't read each comment on the thread. But what do you think of Joseph Smith saying the Priesthood is being taught in one of the pictures, but instead in reality it's someone doing the "m" word? 

I wonder if the "but instead in reality" part of the above is part of the problem.

Thanks,

-Smac

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1 hour ago, stemelbow said:

 

... Mental gymnastics basically defines the apologetics on the BoA.  It's squirrely twisted logic, it seems to me.  

Okey-doke!  Well, ah guess we better shut 'er down, Clancy!  She's pumpin' mud! :rolleyes:<_<

:D:rofl::D

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