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A Brief Assessment of the Lds Book of Abraham by Robert F. Smith


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31 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Its possible I could be wrong about any information, facts or data and whether it supports the claim.  And it could be that he who declares something as evidence is wrong about whether it is information, facts or data that supports the claim.  I don't even know that we have a disagreement on the nature of what constitutes evidence so much as a disagreement about any stated evidence is really evidence.

So, is it your position that there is no evidence supporting the antiquity of the Book of Abraham?

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59 minutes ago, Ryan Dahle said:

So, is it your position that there is no evidence supporting the antiquity of the Book of Abraham?

I am curious what you mean by "antiquity"? Are you asking for evidence that the Abraham of the PofGP actually lived? or?

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1 hour ago, Ryan Dahle said:

So, is it your position that there is no evidence supporting the antiquity of the Book of Abraham?

I"m not sure there's good evidence to the notion that Abraham as defined in Judeo-Christian world or the Islam world was a real person.  It seems the myth of his life has grown into something kind of silly.  Does that mean there could not have been Abraham myths found in Egypt at some point, or that some jews attempted to stretch Abraham myths into Egypt.  I'm happily starting into the little list Smac gave me on the other list, and I"m happy to report I intend to decide which is evidence for the claims in the BoA and which are not, if any.  There might be some.  I don't know that means it's enough to convince anyone of the BoA claims.  It might be there is in each case better explanations for the items listed. 

In other words, I"m not feeling quick to say there's no evidence.  I'm eager to understand the evidence better--mostly because  as a believer, I saw little use for the BoA and didn't pay all that much attention to it, thinking it was likely some sort of inspired writing that carried very little meaning or purpose. 

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14 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

I am curious what you mean by "antiquity"? Are you asking for evidence that the Abraham of the PofGP actually lived? or?

I'm not "asking" for evidence. I'm asking what another person's position is on the evidence for antiquity.

It is my assumption that historicity can't be proven by the available evidence, but it is also my assumption that certain types of evidence for antiquity can simultaneously increase the plausibility for historicity and for a miraculous translation. 

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16 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

I"m not sure there's good evidence to the notion that Abraham as defined in Judeo-Christian world or the Islam world was a real person.  It seems the myth of his life has grown into something kind of silly.  Does that mean there could not have been Abraham myths found in Egypt at some point, or that some jews attempted to stretch Abraham myths into Egypt.  I'm happily starting into the little list Smac gave me on the other list, and I"m happy to report I intend to decide which is evidence for the claims in the BoA and which are not, if any.  There might be some.  I don't know that means it's enough to convince anyone of the BoA claims.  It might be there is in each case better explanations for the items listed.

I wasn't asking about historicity. I intentionally used the term "antiquity."

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In other words, I"m not feeling quick to say there's no evidence.  I'm eager to understand the evidence better--mostly because  as a believer, I saw little use for the BoA and didn't pay all that much attention to it, thinking it was likely some sort of inspired writing that carried very little meaning or purpose. 

Fair enough.

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1 hour ago, Ryan Dahle said:

I'm not "asking" for evidence. I'm asking what another person's position is on the evidence for antiquity.

It is my assumption that historicity can't be proven by the available evidence, but it is also my assumption that certain types of evidence for antiquity can simultaneously increase the plausibility for historicity and for a miraculous translation. 

What do you mean by "antiquity" when it comes to the BofA and Abraham?

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5 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

What do you mean by "antiquity" when it comes to the BofA and Abraham?

Things that seem to be ancient, from a relevant milieu, and that are unlikely or less likely to be known or guessed by Joseph Smith. For instance, Joseph Smith's explanation of Facsimile 6:

https://www.pearlofgreatpricecentral.org/the-four-sons-of-horus-facsimile-2-figure-6/

Or his explanation of facsimile 5:

https://www.pearlofgreatpricecentral.org/the-hathor-cow-facsimile-2-figure-5/

 

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18 hours ago, Ryan Dahle said:

Things that seem to be ancient, from a relevant milieu, and that are unlikely or less likely to be known or guessed by Joseph Smith. For instance, Joseph Smith's explanation of Facsimile 6:

https://www.pearlofgreatpricecentral.org/the-four-sons-of-horus-facsimile-2-figure-6/

Or his explanation of facsimile 5:

https://www.pearlofgreatpricecentral.org/the-hathor-cow-facsimile-2-figure-5/

 

Ancient and antiquity are equally vague terms. Correct me if I am wrong but I think by 'antiquity' you probably mean known parallels between the BofA and what we know of Egypt from around 2000 years after Abraham was purported to live. The argument being that when Smith lines up with any of those items it is unlikely he could have acquired that information from his own milieu. Which is basically an argument from ignorance. At best we can show that some of the items claimed to be guessed by Smith were readily available to him in books we know he used like the Crocodile God as Steve Thompson has pointed out in the Ritner thread, or how the four sons of horus might be an easily guessed match as Ritner explained in his interview on RFM. In any case, claims that Smith was unlikely or less likely to know something are not based on any research I have seen showing how he could not of known something and, as Bob Smith as pointed out, such research may not even be possible. Whether or not that is true remains to be seen but in either case it does not give the Egyptological apologist any standing to claim what Joseph could or could not of known.

 

Edited by CA Steve
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