Jump to content

do We Believe Joseph Smith or Lds Apologists? Joseph Says He Could Translate Egyptian.


Recommended Posts

58 minutes ago, Ahab said:

Everyone has a sense of humor and the only way anyone can sense someone else's sense of humor is to have a sense of humor that is able to sense when someone else is using theirs.  It's kind of like knowing when someone else knows what is mutually known..

Bro Ahab. I apologize if I’ve misunderstood your intentions. As a relatively new member of this board I’ve quickly come to realize that there is a pecking order here, an old boys club of privileged poster who perhaps because of their long standing on the board receive greater leniency to defend when attacked than newer members. Perhaps they have earned this right. I also have noticed that many of these privileged posters relegate newer posters into one of two camps. Critic or  believer. No room for the nuanced who struggle to make it all work. So. Having hit my head against this wall I may have gotten thin skin. I feel unwelcomed  and your post played into these feelings. I’ve never had so called good active members treat others with such contempt 

  • Like 1
Link to post
1 minute ago, Fair Dinkum said:

Bro Ahab. I apologize if I’ve misunderstood your intentions. As a relatively new member of this board I’ve quickly come to realize that there is a pecking order here, an old boys club of privileged poster who perhaps because of their long standing on the board receive greater leniency to defend when attacked than newer members. Perhaps they have earned this right. I also have noticed that many of these privileged posters relegate newer posters into one of two camps. Critic or  believer. No room for the nuanced who struggle to make it all work. So. Having hit my head against this wall I may have gotten thin skin. I feel unwelcomed  and your post played into these feelings. I’ve never had so called good active members treat others with such contempt 

Oh golly.  I feel I must respond to you now.  You are welcome here, brother, as far as I am concerned. I suppose you simply did not sense my sense of humor.  Which is your fault, or the fault of your senses, of course. Whenever in doubt, just laugh.

Link to post
18 minutes ago, Fair Dinkum said:

Bro Ahab. I apologize if I’ve misunderstood your intentions. As a relatively new member of this board I’ve quickly come to realize that there is a pecking order here, an old boys club of privileged poster who perhaps because of their long standing on the board receive greater leniency to defend when attacked than newer members. Perhaps they have earned this right. I also have noticed that many of these privileged posters relegate newer posters into one of two camps. Critic or  believer. No room for the nuanced who struggle to make it all work. So. Having hit my head against this wall I may have gotten thin skin. I feel unwelcomed  and your post played into these feelings. I’ve never had so called good active members treat others with such contempt 

Dude, I ain't going to mention cupcakes or anything, but Ahab's comment was not offensive in the least.  That is something one guy would say to his good buddy because there's nothing to take offense by.  You've got a bit of a complex there....

  • Like 1
Link to post
1 hour ago, Ahab said:

Everyone has a sense of humor and the only way anyone can sense someone else's sense of humor is to have a sense of humor that is able to sense when someone else is using theirs.  It's kind of like knowing when someone else knows what is mutually known..

@Fair Dinkum See?

Link to post
8 hours ago, Bob Crockett said:

2.  I asked a second question as to whether Joseph Smith was aware of the work of Jean-François Champollion.  

     a.  Here, the answer seems to be that he did. 

     b.  But, I'm not sure that Joseph Smith knew that Champollion rendered a translation, because if Joseph Smith was aware, then his claims of knowing Egyptian is even more mystifying.

Yes, he was aware.  But you cannot separate Champollion from his translation.  That's the only reason Champollion is relevant.  It's like talking about Patrick Ewing and someone saying, "I knew he was really famous but I didn't know he played basketball."  Champollion was only relevant because of his work, built on what Thomas Young discovered.  Joseph Smith absolutely knew that the Rosetta Stone mystery was cracking.

Actually, given Martin Harris was visiting his friend Brandish (who lived in Egypt for 4 years) in New York, while visiting Dr. Mitchell (a renowned classicist), it's more like Mark Jackson giving you a tour of Madison Square Garden, seeing pictures of Patrick Ewing in a Knicks jersey, and leaving being oblivious that Ewing was a basketball player.

So why did Joseph Smith claim to know Egyptian (when he didn't)?  The answer is what the critics can't get their head around.  The answer is because he sincerely believed he knew Egyptian.  I think Joseph Smith caved to the expectations of being a prophet and seer.  That was his calling card.  And like Moses, he hit his staff against a rock, took one step too far, and stumbled his way into something that, although sincere, he could not navigate.

What's more amazing is that in 1831 he knew of Champollion.  As I mentioned, he must have knew of the progress of his work (even if he didn't have a translation in hand).  He was at least knowledgeable enough to think about vacationing to New York to see if there was any additional scholarship in the field.  JS's conduct, however, is completely inconsistent if he was making it all up.  Joseph Smith was not a stupid man.  If he was a con, he would have never done what he did.  The only explanation was that he sincerely thought he could learn Egyptian.  And that actually gives MORE credibility to the BoM than it takes away from anything.

Edited by PacMan
  • Like 3
Link to post
2 hours ago, stemelbow said:

Is your whole point to show that when Ritner claims the Egyptian papers with the Egyptian bits in the margins is an artifact of the "translation" attempt, that it really is not such an artifact?  You think Joseph knew enough about Egyptian to know that a single character would not amount to lines of English text all because it was possible that Joseph was all caught up on the Young and Champollion work?   Ah but the burden rests on you.  What leads to you to believe Joseph didn't think a single character could amount to a few lines of English?  As of now, we have evidence that he did think it was possible--you know the papers formerly known as the Kirtland Egyptian ones.  

My first point is that everyone needs to cool their jets about the Ritner bandwagon.  He's an Egyptology, but clearly not a historian of Egyptology in North America.  Ritner is not an objective source is just flat wrong.

My second point is that there is no causal translative relationship between the characters and the text.  The burden is met once you agree that Joseph knew about Champollion because Champollion was known for his work.  Joseph knew Egyptian was getting cracked (and had no basis to defraud anyone) and would have known that Champollion and Thomas had discovered that Egyptian included a phonetic alphabet--something inconsistent with the translation theory.  A single character cannot produce a paragraph of text. And Joseph knew that by knowing Champollion.

  • Like 2
Link to post
1 hour ago, PacMan said:

My second point is that there is no causal translative relationship between the characters and the text.  The burden is met once you agree that Joseph knew about Champollion because Champollion was known for his work.  Joseph knew Egyptian was getting cracked (and had no basis to defraud anyone) and would have known that Champollion and Thomas had discovered that Egyptian included a phonetic alphabet--something inconsistent with the translation theory.  A single character cannot produce a paragraph of text. And Joseph knew that by knowing Champollion.

Frivolous sophistry.  You say:  (1) the text has no relationship to the ultimate translation  (2) Because Joseph Smith knew that translation was imminent from somebody else, his completely baseless translation must therefore be legitimate.

Huh?  Really?

Either Joseph Smith rendered a verifiable translation or he did not. 

It isn't verifiable if he rendered gobbledygook. 

Edited by Bob Crockett
  • Like 1
Link to post
1 hour ago, PacMan said:

Dude, I ain't going to mention cupcakes or anything, but Ahab's comment was not offensive in the least.  That is something one guy would say to his good buddy because there's nothing to take offense by.  You've got a bit of a complex there....

That was uncalled for. It's not anyone's place on here to diagnose anybody else with a "complex", as if we had any understanding of each other beyond the vague outlines of our Internet avatars. Even if we did, just telling somebody that they've "got a bit of a complex" is pretty rude.  

@Fair Dinkum, I'm sorry that you've felt unwelcomed and I'm sorry for the contempt you have experienced. It seems we have fallen short of the promises we made as followers of Christ. 

  • Like 3
Link to post
8 hours ago, Nevo said:

There is no evidence that "Martin Harris knew to go to Charles Anthon." As Michael Hubbard MacKay and Gerrit Dirkmaat note in their book, From Darkness unto Light, "Harris's exact plan and whom he intended to visit in New York City is unknown" (40). The first person Harris visited in New York City was apparently Samuel Mitchill, not Anthon.

I think Harris probably visited Mitchill first because Smith knew who he was. Mitchill (also spelled Mitchell) had a paragraph long endorsement on the 3rd page of a book Joseph owned before he was 15, called First Lines in Arithmetic, for the Use of Young Scholars by DeWolf and Brown. So we know that Smith knew who he was and I think it is a safe assumption that Smith was also familiar with Mitchill's theories about the origins of the native Americans, which are very similar to what is claimed in the Book of Mormon.

 

I find it ironic that someone who thinks he is defending Smith makes such a tenuous claim to what Joseph Smith knew about Champollion. If one can assert Smith knew enough about Champollion's work to impact his own,  then assertions by others including critics that Smith knew about and used authors like Clarke's, Priest, Hone, Josephus, Jahn's, Taylor, Barrett, Addison, Seixas, the apocrypha, Mosheim, Horne, Agrippa, Swedenborg, and more are equally or more valid.

Edited by CA Steve
  • Like 2
Link to post

I think it's tough to get inside Joseph Smith's mind for anyone.  No one can really know what he knew or didn't know.  This is why I find the "how did Joseph know" arguments some apologists make to be highly questionable.

  • Like 2
Link to post
16 hours ago, Ahab said:

Oh golly.  I feel I must respond to you now.  You are welcome here, brother, as far as I am concerned. I suppose you simply did not sense my sense of humor.  Which is your fault, or the fault of your senses, of course. Whenever in doubt, just laugh.

You received my push back that is the result of my being maligned  by several posters.  On one I  defended myself in what I felt was a *** for tat and got banned from the board for 24 hours and yet this other poster received nothing for his post. I’ve had my misspelling pointed out my intelligence questioned, my grammar pretty much since I first started posting. It’s ok I’m gaining a Better Understanding of who everyone is and how this place works. 

Link to post
1 hour ago, CA Steve said:

So we know that Smith knew who he was

I think it is a stretch to say “we know” he knew.  Not everyone reads every paragraph in a book or remembers all that they do.  It increases the probability certainly. 
 

  • Like 2
Link to post
11 minutes ago, Calm said:

I think it is a stretch to say “we know” he knew.  Not everyone reads every paragraph in a book or remembers all that they do.  It increases the probability certainly. 
 

calm,

 

How many books do you think the Smith's actually owned in that time period?  Given the type of book this was, the number of members in the Smith family that would use this type of book, the amount of books they probably owned, the location of the endorsement and Mitchill's reputation, it is not a stretch at all to say that Smith knew who Mitchill was by the time Harris set out for New York.

Edited by CA Steve
Link to post
53 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

calm,

 

How many books do you think the Smith's actually owned in that time period?  Given the type of book this was, the number of members in the Smith family that would use this type of book, the amount of books they probably owned, the location of the endorsement and Mitchill's reputation, it is not a stretch at all to say that Smith knew who Mitchill was by the time Harris set out for New York.

This article from BYU states that there was a library near Joseph's home (5 miles). And one of the books had Ethan Smith's thesis which became the "View of the Hebrews".  

The library was called the Farmington Library and opened in 1817, I believe.

Oops, need to locate the link.

ETA: Google https://byustudies.byu.edu/file/2528/download?token=EcEMSg7W

[PDF]

Joseph Smith and the Manchester (New York) Library 

(It needs to be downloaded)

Edited by Tacenda
Link to post
On 8/20/2020 at 10:34 AM, Bob Crockett said:

To summarize:

1.  Despite my repeated questioning, there is zero evidence that Joseph Smith ever rendered a verifiable translation of Egyptian.

     a.  He claimed to be able to render a translation in the letter to the Green Mountain Boys and in excerpts to the Times and Seasons.

          (i)  The suggestion is made that somebody else rendered that letter and those excerpts to the Times and Seasons.  That could or may be true, but then there's the doctrines of adoption and ratification by Joseph Smith. 

     b.  Scott Lloyd made the argument, "are you calling Joseph Smith a liar?" 

           (i)  That is an interesting argument, but it doesn't really address the issue.  This "a liar" argument also impugns the integrity of the questioner.  Scott doesn't know me from Adam, so I wonder why he would do that.

           (ii)  This argument seems to suggest that I am required to accept a particular person's word without exception or qualification.  I suppose that is done in the religious context, but not the secular context.  My question is a secular one. 

     c.  The suggestion has been made that "translation" means something other than the dictionary definition of the word.  I understand that argument, but it really is sophistry.  But, it could be true.

     d.   The argument has been made that the words Joseph Smith transmitted to Charles Anthon were confirmed by him to be legitimate translations and thus Joseph Smith was demonstrated to have successfully translated Egyptian.

           (i)  But, given the state today of knowledge of Egyptian, this vignette doesn't really answer the question of a verifiable translation.

           (ii)  Plus, the "caracters" were not really Egyptian.  

      e.  It could be that Joseph Smith was just speculating or joking about his knowledge of Egyptian.  But, there's a lot of effort that went into the KEP, for a joke.

      f.   Lots of argument has been made to attack my integrity, to discuss my analytical skills as a lawyer.  I suppose there might be some relevance to the argument.  But the question as framed is a simple one, one that could be asked by a buffoon as well as by the likes of Robert Smith.  I think I tilt towards the Homer Simpson side of things, but I think the question is legit and attacks against my integrity are not. 

  2.  I asked a second question as to whether Joseph Smith was aware of the work of Jean-François Champollion.  

     a.  Here, the answer seems to be that he did. 

     b.  But, I'm not sure that Joseph Smith knew that Champollion rendered a translation, because if Joseph Smith was aware, then his claims of knowing Egyptian is even more mystifying.

 

 

 

“Are you saying Joseph lied?” Is not an argument; it’s a question. 
 

And it’s not true that I “don’t know [you] from Adam.” I’ve gained some knowledge from being exposed to your postings on two separate boards for quite a number of years now. I know that you are an attorney by profession. I know that you are an erstwhile contributor to the old FARMS Review of Books, and I have read and re-read one of your articles therein. I know certain things that have come out in your postings, including the fact you are or have been associated in an administrative capacity with Claremont Graduate University. I know that in the past you have disputed the limited geography theory of the Book of Mormon.  And I know that, although you claim to be a supporter of Daniel Peterson, you approve of and defend the purging of him and his colleagues some years ago from the Maxwell Institute’s Mormon Studies Review, an episode that resulted in the founding of the Interpreter Foundation by Peterson et al.
 

So, while it’s true that I don’t know you intimately and that we have in fact never met, I have gathered too much knowledge over time for it to be true that I “don’t know [you] from Adam.“ 

  • Like 1
Link to post
1 hour ago, Fair Dinkum said:

You received my push back that is the result of my being maligned  by several posters.  On one I  defended myself in what I felt was a *** for tat and got banned from the board for 24 hours and yet this other poster received nothing for his post. I’ve had my misspelling pointed out my intelligence questioned, my grammar pretty much since I first started posting. It’s ok I’m gaining a Better Understanding of who everyone is and how this place works. 

I hadn’t been on the board for too long before Scott corrected my spelling and grammar.  I remember thinking I was no longer a stranger, but now an initiated member of the board family. 🎉😀

  • Like 3
Link to post

I have a sibling that was surrounded by bible story books, went to primary and SS all her life and didn’t know who Goliath was. I have tutored kids who don’t remember what they just read or can’t find a simple formula on a page.

Chances are Joseph wasn’t like that, but I have had enough experience with kids lacking interest not picking stuff up, that it goes against my grain to assume just because someone has a book it means they must know what is in that book. 
 

It is the tutor in me that is protesting, not the apologist.  I don’t think it makes any significant difference.  It is the principle of assuming something I think shouldn’t be assumed that is pushing me to post on this...that and the total lack of sleep making me a little loopy. 

Edited by Calm
  • Like 2
Link to post
54 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

“Are you saying Joseph lied?” Is not an argument; it’s a question. 
 

And it’s not true that I “don’t know [you] from Adam.” I’ve gained some knowledge from being exposed to your postings on two separate boards for quite a number of years now. I know that you are an attorney by profession. I know that you are an erstwhile contributor to the old FARMS Review of Books, and I have read and re-read one of your articles therein. I know certain things that have come out in your postings, including the fact you are or have been associated in an administrative capacity with Claremont Graduate University. I know that in the past you have disputed the limited geography theory of the Book of Mormon.  And I know that, although you claim to be a supporter of Daniel Peterson, you approve of and defend the purging of him and his colleagues some years ago from the Maxwell Institute’s Mormon Studies Review, an episode that resulted in the founding of the Interpreter Foundation by Peterson et al.
 

So, while it’s true that I don’t know you intimately and that we have in fact never met, I have gathered too much knowledge over time for it to be true that I “don’t know [you] from Adam.“ 

I respect you greatly Scott.  I wish you wouldn't be so nasty with me.

As to your statement about Dr. Peterson, I believe you have somewhat mischaracterized what was my support for BYU as an institution.  You might have forgotten that I was a Platinum supporter of MI when Dr. Peterson was there.  And I support the Interpreter now, financially.  I guess I just didn't see the Peterson/MI a good fit, ever, for BYU.  The old MI seemed to admit unqualified writers significant access to publication within its journals on argumentative topics (such as my own articles). Not appropriate for a University like BYU which should publish peer-reviewed material from qualified professional academicians.  

I don't think it legit or fair to implicitly accuse me, by a question, of calling Joseph Smith a liar.   Questions are meant to be argumentative, at times, and yours was.

Edited by Bob Crockett
Link to post
1 hour ago, Fair Dinkum said:

You received my push back that is the result of my being maligned  by several posters.  On one I  defended myself in what I felt was a *** for tat and got banned from the board for 24 hours and yet this other poster received nothing for his post. I’ve had my misspelling pointed out my intelligence questioned, my grammar pretty much since I first started posting. It’s ok I’m gaining a Better Understanding of who everyone is and how this place works. 

This is what it is like when a lot of brothers and sisters get together to share their ideas and when they do not all agree with each other.  Fact:  wee are all brothers and sisters.  Fact:  This is what is happening here

You may not have noticed but I am not everyone's favorite poster here, either.  The ones with the most likes are the favorites.  The ones who have been here the longest are the ones willing to put up with all of this.

Stick around if you like it.  Leave if you don't.  It's a free country and pretty much a free world.  My favorite part of posting here is when I receive inspiration to guide me when I think about how to respond to people.

And yet I am still me.

  • Like 1
Link to post
38 minutes ago, Calm said:

I have a sibling that was surrounded by bible story books, went to primary and SS all her life and didn’t know who Goliath was. I have tutored kids who don’t remember what they just read or can’t find a simple formula on a page.

Chances are Joseph wasn’t like that, but I have had enough experience with kids lacking interest not picking stuff up, that it goes against my grain to assume just because someone has a book it means they must know what is in that book. 
 

It is the tutor in me that is protesting, not the apologist.  I don’t think it makes any significant difference.  It is the principle of assuming something I think shouldn’t be assumed that is pushing me to post on this...that and the total lack of sleep making me a little loopy. 

If we were talking about today's environment, I totally agree, but we are talking about the 19th century. That is a totally different environment  than today. Books were a luxury, especially for a very poor family like the Smith's. Not a whole lot to do in a small cabin after dark, especially in the winter. They read. Joseph knew of Mitchill before he was 15 when he owned the book and certainly years later by the time he sent Harris to New York, Joseph knew who he was.

Link to post
19 hours ago, Bob Crockett said:

Frivolous sophistry.  You say:  (1) the text has no relationship to the ultimate translation  (2) Because Joseph Smith knew that translation was imminent from somebody else, his completely baseless translation must therefore be legitimate.

Huh?  Really?

Either Joseph Smith rendered a verifiable translation or he did not. 

It isn't verifiable if he rendered gobbledygook. 

Sophistry, eh?  You need to go back and read my position.  It is not that Joseph's translation was legitimate or illegitimate.  It was that it was no translation at all.  Given the historical facts and the inconclusive handwriting analyses, I conclude that the text/character relationship is not casual one way or the other but comparative in nature.  I believe they hypothesized that there was a relationship and they were investigating that potential, but there is not a causal relationship.  It was not a translation.

Edited by PacMan
  • Like 2
Link to post
13 hours ago, Nevo said:

There is no evidence that "Martin Harris knew to go to Charles Anthon." As Michael Hubbard MacKay and Gerrit Dirkmaat note in their book, From Darkness unto Light, "Harris's exact plan and whom he intended to visit in New York City is unknown" (40). The first person Harris visited in New York City was apparently Samuel Mitchill, not Anthon.

MacKay and Dirkmaat point out that when Harris left on his journey in 1828, neither Martin nor Joseph knew what language was on the plates. "Before Joseph sent Harris to New York City with the characters, he was told that ancient American prophets were responsible for the characters on the plates and that the content described the inhabitants of the ancient Americas, leaving him with very little reason to conclude that the plates were written in any form of Egyptian" (42).

Mitchill "was one of the leading scholars on Native Americans in the New York area" as well as being "an avid linguist" (47). Anthon was a 31-year-old adjunct professor of Greek and Latin at Columbia College. Neither had any expertise in Egyptian.

Yes, Bradish spent five months in Egypt in 1821--and also didn't know Egyptian, although he'd been interested in Egyptian excavations when he was there. He compared the characters Harris showed him to "a Pass that [he] had been given ... when traveling through the Turkish dominions; and he thought the characters resembled those of that Pass" (in MacKay and Dirkmaat, 44).

This, of course, does not demonstrate that Joseph Smith knew of Champollion (whose work wasn't available in English yet), even if one supposes that Bennett's informant was Harris. However, Bennett's informant was actually Charles Butler, a Geneva lawyer Martin Harris had tried to borrow money from.

Bennett recorded his notes of the interview in his diary on August 8, 1831:

August 8, 1831: Mormonism—C[harles]. Butler saw Harris they wanted to borrow money to print the Book—he told him he carried the engravings from the plates to New York—showed them to Professor Anthon who said that he did not know what language they were—told him to carry them to Dr. Mitchell— Doctor Mitchell examined them—and compared them with other hieroglyphics—thought them very curious—and they were the characters of a nation now extinct which he named—Harris returned to Anthon who put some questions to him and got angry with Harris (source)

A few things to note here. First, this is a third-hand account. It is not from either of the participants in the meeting. In August 1831, Harris was in Missouri. The notes mention "hieroglyphics" but not Champollion. Did Bennett supply that detail? It's very possible. Or perhaps Butler did. Nobody knows for certain. If Mitchill did ascribe the characters he examined to "a nation now extinct" (which is very plausible), he was likely thinking of a favorite theory of his, of an extinct "Australasian race that had been destroyed by the more ferocious Tartars somewhere in upstate New York not far from where Harris lived in Palmyra" (source). It's difficult to see how he would come to that conclusion through a comparison with Champollion's transcriptions of Egyptian hieroglyphics.

So there's nothing here to suggest that Martin Harris or Joseph Smith had any acquaintance at all with Champollion or with his conclusions about the phonetic nature of Egyptian hieroglyphs. In Joseph Smith's case, all of the available evidence points in the other direction. As Samuel Morris Brown notes in his latest book, "when Smith encountered mummies and their funeral papyri in 1835, he employed hieroglyphs as mystical correspondences--abundant linguistic objects of real divine presence--to expose primordial truths from the Hebrew Bible's history. This pictographic project in an Egyptian key revealed aspects of Smith's divine anthropology, primarily as a targum of the Genesis creation accounts. He integrated those principles with his repurposed Chain of Belonging while fixing logical problems in the King James text along the way" (Brown, Joseph Smith's Translation: The Words and Worlds of Early Mormonism [New York: Oxford University Press, 2020], 230).

So much to respond to.  So little time....

Martin Harris DID know to go to Anthon.  He at least knew it from other contacts--namely Bradish (whose important is not in reading Egyptian but being familiar with the state of Egyptology in 1828).  Now, you note that Anthon was a young scholar at the time as if that's supposed to mean something.  Remember, Anthon had published his own version of Lempriere's "A Classical Dictionary" by 1822 when he was 25.  His name was known.  Further, Anthon reportedly told Harris to go to Mitchell--not the other way around.  Assuming that your argument is material (and it's not), it's pretty clear that Harris knew to go to Anthon, and probably went to him first.

More importantly, you are confusing the importance of Bennett's 1831.  Ritner has long promulgated that no one knew of Champollion in the Americas at the time that JS bought the papyri because Champollion's work had not been translated and made it across the pond.  You adopt this demonstrably false narrative, stating "This, of course, does not demonstrate that Joseph Smith knew of Champollion (whose work wasn't available in English yet)."  That's false.  Greppo's "work" of Isaac Stuart's translation of "Essay on the Hieroglyphic  System of M. Champollion, Jun. And on the Advantages which it offers to Sacred Criticsim" was published by Perkins & Marvin in Boston in 1830.  The work had already been translated by Stuart into English, and it was being published in North America LONG before JS got the papyri.  You can see for yourself from this bulletin of the New York Public Library:
https://www.google.com/books/edition/Bulletin_of_the_New_York_Public_Library/e2k8AQAAIAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=Essay+on+the+Hieroglyphic+System+of+M.+Champollion,+Jun.+And+on+the+Advantages+which+it+offers+to+Sacred+Criticism.&pg=PA123&printsec=frontcover

The mere mention of Champollion in Bennett's work is evidence that both you and Ritner are wrong.

Now, I am not sure why you are trying to proof text Bennett's article.  He clearly states: "Harris says that the Doctor received him very “purlitely,” looked at his engravings—made a learned dissertation on them—compared them with the hieroglyphics discovered by Champollion in Egypt—and set them down as the language of a people formerly in existence in the East, but now no more.""  Don't just quote from page 355.  Go to page 362.  It's right there.  It absolutely names Champollion.  And attributes Harris to the quote (not just a paraphrase).

Your facts are simply wrong.  And you can quote book after book.  None of them matter if their facts are also wrong.  Here are the facts:

1. Champollion was known for not only cracking the Rosetta Stone but noting that Egyptian included a phonetic alphabet.

2. Champollion's work was translated into English years before JS received the papyri.

3. Champollion's work was being published in North America at least 5 years before JS received the papyri.

4. Martin Harris is reported to have stated (and is quoted as having said) that Mitchell compared the BoM characters "with the hieroglyphics discovered by Champollion in Egypt."  Thus, in 1831, Bennett reported that Champollion and his work was not only known in North America, but also by Mitchell and Martin Harris in 1828 (before the Boston publication).  This is 7 years before JS bought the papyri.

 

Your only hope is to either Bennett lied about the Harris quote (which he had no reason to do) or to assume that Harris said nothing of Champollion to JS.  I don't think that's reasonable at all.  And, at the point that JS knew of Champollion--however detailed--it's silly to believe that he would intentionally perpetuate a fraud with the BoA before investigating the current state of Egyptology after having already known that the mystery of the Rosetta Stone was cracking at least 7 years earlier.

Link to post
5 hours ago, CA Steve said:

I think Harris probably visited Mitchill first because Smith knew who he was. Mitchill (also spelled Mitchell) had a paragraph long endorsement on the 3rd page of a book Joseph owned before he was 15, called First Lines in Arithmetic, for the Use of Young Scholars by DeWolf and Brown. So we know that Smith knew who he was and I think it is a safe assumption that Smith was also familiar with Mitchill's theories about the origins of the native Americans, which are very similar to what is claimed in the Book of Mormon.

 

I find it ironic that someone who thinks he is defending Smith makes such a tenuous claim to what Joseph Smith knew about Champollion. If one can assert Smith knew enough about Champollion's work to impact his own,  then assertions by others including critics that Smith knew about and used authors like Clarke's, Priest, Hone, Josephus, Jahn's, Taylor, Barrett, Addison, Seixas, the apocrypha, Mosheim, Horne, Agrippa, Swedenborg, and more are equally or more valid.

Great point.  Except we have a quote attributed to Martin Harris actually noting Champollion by name during his trip to New York in 1828 with the BoM characters.  Yeah.  Real tenuous.

Good try, Steve.

Link to post
1 hour ago, PacMan said:

Sophistry, eh?  You need to go back and read my position.  It is not that Joseph's translation was legitimate or illegitimate.  It was that it was no translation at all.  Given the historical facts and the inconclusive handwriting analyses, I conclude that the text/character relationship is not casual one way or the other but comparative in nature.  I believe they hypothesized that there was a relationship and they were investigating that potential, but there is not a causal relationship.  It was not a translation.

He claims to have translated it. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...