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Kinderhook Plates Discovery damages BOA Missing Scroll and Catalyst Theories


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2 hours ago, jkwilliams said:

2. Missing scroll theory, which also implicitly acknowledges the lack of correspondence between the text and the surviving papyrus. This is based on anecdotal evidence of "long rolls" as well as calculations of the scroll's length. Smith and Cook's work seems fairly solid here.

Or maybe not. It seems like it is probably too early to tell on this point. Here is what Stephen Smoot recently said about this issue in his review of Vogel's 2021 publication on the Book of Abraham: 

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Gee’s initial findings were met with criticism by Andrew Cook and Christopher Smith not long after his 2007 publication.71 They argued that “no more than 56 cm of papyrus can be missing from the scroll’s interior,” a number that, obviously, is both far less than Gee’s estimate and precludes the possibility of a hypothetical missing Book of Abraham text to appear on the Hor scroll.72 What resulted was a back and forth between Gee and Cook73 that resulted in Gee revising his math and coming up with a new estimate: “about 314 centimeters, which is about ten feet three and a half inches give or take a foot.”74

Vogel, predictably, sides with Cook and Smith on the question of mathematically determining the amount of missing papyrus from the Hor scroll (185–86). “This means,” he writes, “that there was an intact roll of about four inches wide and about two feet long that Gee’s and Muhlestein’s eyewitnesses saw and identified with the Book of Abraham” (186). I freely confess that I do not have the mathematical acumen to independently determine who is right or wrong on this matter. From the fact that he provides no actual compelling reason to prefer Cook and Smith’s results over Gee’s, neither, it appears, does Vogel.

What I can say, however, is that last year Eshbal Ratzon and Nachum Dershowitz published a study which found that “though theoretically reasonable, many practical problems interfere with” any attempt to determine the length of ancient scrolls mathematically, with the unfortunate result that “highly significant errors are quite frequent” and “past uses of this approach should be reevaluated.”75 When it comes to Cook and Smith’s methodology, which Vogel assures us is superior to Gee’s (186n19), these two authorities conclude that “the results [derived from their method] are no better than eyeballing.”76 This does not prove Cook and Smith are wrong and Gee is therefore correct, but it does put something of a damper on our confidence in their results, especially since Ratzon and Dershowitz have no vested interest that I can detect in how much missing papyrus there might be from the Hor scroll. It would appear, then, that caution and further study seem prudent when it comes to attempting to determine the length of the Joseph Smith Papyri with heretofore standard mathematical formulae.77

In other words, it appears that a disinterested party with relevant training in this area has reservations about Cook and Smith's results. 

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48 minutes ago, Fether said:

I personally don’t find any specific approach compelling either.  I believe one of them to be true… but which one? I have no clue. It is hard for me to engage with people who feel they have “proven” something to be false when there is clearly lacking information as to whether it is true or false.
 

Once someone has revealed to me they are being intellectually dishonest, I lose all interest. This has happened with virtually all the anti-Mormon prophets. There are a handful of smaller ”influencers” who are former members that I think have worthwhile things to say, but the mainstream voices are hard to listen to since they have such a strong narrative. 

Heaven knows I don’t think anything’s been proven. Life is about probabilities and tentative conclusions, not proofs. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ryan Dahle said:

Or maybe not. It seems like it is probably too early to tell on this point. Here is what Stephen Smoot recently said about this issue in his review of Vogel's 2021 publication on the Book of Abraham: 

In other words, it appears that a disinterested party with relevant training in this area has reservations about Cook and Smith's results. 

Thanks for that. Chris's response, in full (needless to say, I was one of the people who asked him about it):

A number of years ago, Andrew Cook and I wrote a paper estimating how much length is missing from the end of the Hor scroll (one of the Joseph Smith papyri) using spiral geometry. To avoid subjective judgments, we used a computer technique called "autocorrelation" to identify repeating patterns of damage on the scroll.
In a recent Egyptological study (nothing to do with Mormons), an author opted not to use our autocorrelation technique because, in the author's opinion, “the results [derived from their method] are no better than eyeballing.” The author provided no evidence or further comment to back up this dismissal.
To be honest, this is the kind of thing you say about a technique when using it would be a lot of effort or you don't have the expertise, and you need to justify the omission in order to get published. I get it; I probably wouldn't bother either, if I were in this author's shoes. I only bring it up because Steve Smoot's been citing this author's dismissal as proof that our method is bad, and a couple people have asked me about it. For the record, the author proves no such thing.
 
Edited by jkwilliams
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Ehh... I wish Critics could make up their minds, was Joseph Smith an idiot or an evil genius?

Lets say these Kinderhook plates "fooled" Joseph Smith and he tried to translate them, as Clayton's journal claims, and all the many contradicting portions of hearsay of the members, in which apparently members seemed excited by the prospect of there being Canaanite people being here first (I kind of still do... I think the Jaredites/the Olmecs might have been large black African-Arabians). So Joseph thought it was possible the kinderhook plates were real, then isn't this evidence that Joseph Smith and the members of the early Church entertained the idea that other people were in the Americas before all the Book of Mormon Semites? The Critics claim their dogma of the interpretation the Book of Mormon is the same as the early Church, and the Critics say the Book of Mormon makes it clear that the Americas was uninhabited besides the Jaredites, Nephites, and Lamanites. Yet they dig into stuff like this and flip flop the truth, the idea of other people in the Americas wasn't so foreign to early Mormon's thought and this idea of "others" in the land is not forbidden by the Book of Mormon.

Are these going to back off the idea that the Book of Mormon demands we exclude that there were any other people being in the Americas and the lame accusation that we are changing our positions that? They critique every aspect of these mystically produced texts (that they think should conform in anyway to conventional translations) to the point that the keep contradicting themselves.


 

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, jkwilliams said:

Thanks for that. Chris's response, in full (needless to say, I was one of the people who asked him about it):

A number of years ago, Andrew Cook and I wrote a paper estimating how much length is missing from the end of the Hor scroll (one of the Joseph Smith papyri) using spiral geometry. To avoid subjective judgments, we used a computer technique called "autocorrelation" to identify repeating patterns of damage on the scroll.
In a recent Egyptological study (nothing to do with Mormons), an author opted not to use our autocorrelation technique because, in the author's opinion, “the results [derived from their method] are no better than eyeballing.” The author provided no evidence or further comment to back up this dismissal.
To be honest, this is the kind of thing you say about a technique when using it would be a lot of effort or you don't have the expertise, and you need to justify the omission in order to get published. I get it; I probably wouldn't bother either, if I were in this author's shoes. I only bring it up because Steve Smoot's been citing this author's dismissal as proof that our method is bad, and a couple people have asked me about it. For the record, the author proves no such thing.

Interesting response. Thanks for that.

First of all, at least in the publication I am aware of, Smoot wasn't citing it as "proof that [their] method is bad." Rather, Smoot saw it as a reason to be cautious and wait for further data and discussion. Maybe Smoot was less provisional in some other instances of communication that I am not aware of, but it seems like Chris is probably just mischaracterizing his statements. 

Second of all, it seems to me (after reading through the article again) that the authors of the study were taking issue with the assumptions involved in Cook and Smith's methodology, before the application (and validity) of their technique is even considered. I doubt the authors would agree with Chris's assessment of why they dismissed his and Cook's methodology.

I suppose one thing we can learn from all this is how easily the pendulum can swing back and forth. At first it probably seemed like Gee had a solid case. And then it seemed like he didn't. And then there was back and forth. And then it seemed like Cook and Smith had won the day. And now disinterested outside scholars have provided reason to doubt that. And then Chris basically tells us there is reason to doubt their doubts. ;) 

Edited by Ryan Dahle
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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Ryan Dahle said:

Or maybe not. It seems like it is probably too early to tell on this point. Here is what Stephen Smoot recently said about this issue in his review of Vogel's 2021 publication on the Book of Abraham: 

In other words, it appears that a disinterested party with relevant training in this area has reservations about Cook and Smith's results. 

In a FB post   Chris wrote "

A number of years ago, Andrew Cook and I wrote a paper estimating how much length is missing from the end of the Hor scroll (one of the Joseph Smith papyri) using spiral geometry. To avoid subjective judgments, we used a computer technique called "autocorrelation" to identify repeating patterns of damage on the scroll.
In a recent Egyptological study (nothing to do with Mormons), an author opted not to use our autocorrelation technique because, in the author's opinion, “the results [derived from their method] are no better than eyeballing.” The author provided no evidence or further comment to back up this dismissal.
To be honest, this is the kind of thing you say about a technique when using it would be a lot of effort, or you don't have the expertise, and you need to justify the omission in order to get published. I get it; I probably wouldn't bother either, if I were in this author's shoes. I only bring it up because Steve Smoot's been citing this author's dismissal as proof that our method is bad, and a couple people have asked me about it. For the record, the author proves no such thing.
 
and " I don't want to denigrate Steve's intellectual acuity. As far as I can tell he's a reasonably sharp guy, and though I haven't interacted with him a lot, he's been civil to me. But like anybody defending a position because they're invested in it rather than because it's convincing, he's doing the confirmation bias thing.
Edited by Tweed1944
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20 minutes ago, Ryan Dahle said:

Interesting response. Thanks for that.

First of all, at least in the publication I am aware of, Smoot wasn't citing it as "proof that [their] method is bad." Rather, Smoot saw it as a reason to be cautious and wait for further data and discussion. Maybe Smoot was less provisional in some other instances of communication that I am not aware of, but it seems like Chris is probably just mischaracterizing his statements. 

Second of all, it seems to me (after reading through the article again) that the authors of the study were taking issue with the assumptions involved in Cook and Smith's methodology, before the application (and validity) of their technique is even considered. I doubt the authors would agree with Chris's assessment of why they dismissed his and Cook's methodology.

I suppose one thing we can learn from all this is how easily the pendulum can swing back and forth. At first it probably seemed like Gee had a solid case. And then it seemed like he didn't. And then there was back and forth. And then it seemed like Cook and Smith had won the day. And now disinterested outside scholars have provided reason to doubt that. And then Chris basically tells us there is reason to doubt their doubts. ;) 

I would imagine if they had some data to back up their dismissal, they would have presented it. The lack thereof means it’s just an assertion.

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15 hours ago, DonBradley said:

Bill challenged me to come on the show and comment on all of this. Despite having not having planned or prepared to do so, I was willing to call in. I agreed with them only regarding idea #1 above--that Joseph Smith's scribes produced the GAEL apart from Joseph himself. As Mark and I noted in our chapter, "Many, if not most, Mormon scholars have been skeptical about Smith's involvement in the production of the curious Egyptian Alphabet documents. ... However, Smith's autonomous use of the Egyptian Alphabet book...in the translation of the Kinderhook plates thus calls for a reconsideration of Smith's relationship with this and the other Egyptian study documents."

First I wanted to say that I was hoping you would pop in to comment on this thread because of your research in this area.  Thank you for your comments. 

Regarding the bolded part above, I can understand that Joseph Smith's use of the GAEL for translation demonstrates that he had some degree of confidence in the work put into the creation of the GAEL, but does his use of it necessarily prove that Joseph participated in its creation?  I'm just trying to look at this logically.  I use tools created by other people all the time without having participated in the creation of those tools.  Certainly his use of the GAEL could mean that Joseph participated in the process, but I don't think it demonstrates that he did so absolutely, unless there is something else that I'm missing.  Is there something I'm missing?

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8 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

I would imagine if they had some data to back up their dismissal, they would have presented it. The lack thereof means it’s just an assertion.

Have you actually read their article? 

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Just having read this thread, a little outsider perspective:

  • This Book of Abraham business reminds me a little of the problems historians have when they don't have an original, or satisfactory, artifact. The Edict of Milan is an example, and there are many, many other possible examples.
  • The LDS apologists would probably prefer to have stronger arguments. Apologists have to argue like this sometimes, but reading through this thread it seems like LDS apologists will continually move the Book of Abraham goal posts away unless an unquestionable document is found in Joseph Smith Jr.'s handwriting that says "This is the Book of Abraham" and that includes an image by image translation that exactly matches LDS scripture. I sense more obfuscation than clarification.
  • Critics do seem eager to declare the Book of Abraham a "fate accompli" as a fraud. They insinuate that smart people need to agree with them, wade into matters wherein they don't demonstrate expert knowledge, and use word choices that are loaded with pathos and personal disparagement of LDS folks, Joseph Smith, etc. Again, I'm not impressed.

I can't imagine that LDS missionaries want to get into discussions of these matters. 

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Ryan Dahle said:

Have you actually read their article? 

Can you provide a link?
 

So far we have Cook and Smith who show their work and make a compelling case for their length, we have Gee who doesn’t show his work and is all over the map with his lengths, then we have a third party that says determining scroll lengths is hard. 

 

Missing from the conversation is the fact that Cook and Smith’s method aligns almost perfectly with the scroll length we’d expect if it were a standard text (per Klaus Baer). It seems like this is strong corroborating evidence. 
 

So we have Joseph Smith relying on the GAEL for kinderhook. We have eye witness testimony that Hor’s book of breathing was the source of the Abraham’s scroll. We have facsimile one linking Abraham’s scroll to Hor. We know that the existing Hor scroll doesn’t match the book of Abraham. We have Smith and Cook independently confirming Baer’s estimate on how much was missing on the scroll. 
 

Proof is for mathematicians, but if someone doesn’t have a compelling reason to believe, the evidence is compelling and damming. 

Edited by SeekingUnderstanding
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22 hours ago, sunstoned said:

We have the facsimiles (reproduced in the BoA) and we have JS's "translation" of them. Smoking gun.

For facsimile 3, we actually don't have translations by egyptologists, we have extremely educated guesses based on similar scenes.

For example, in the column above Isis (per the egyptologists) or the pharaoh (per the explanations for facsimile 3), the characters that make up the name "Isis" aren't readable.  Here's the two side by side.

hieroglyphics_boa.thumb.png.fdd574ac60381993c2537b6ae85472a9.png

On the right is a cleaned up version of what the characters "should" look like and on the left is what the facsimile has.  The first two characters at the top are not really recognizable and that is where Isis should be written.  Did Hedlock make a poor copy, was there a lacuna in that spot, or is it a different word?

If you want to see more examples of the above, I'd recommend reading Quinten Barney's thesis on the 3rd facsimile.  Chapter 2 is where he talks about the differences in readings between the few egyptologists that have attempted one (Baer, Ritner, and Rhodes) and the differences between what the facsimile shows and what the readings would expect.  You can read the thesis at https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/etd/7598/.

 

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2 hours ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

Just having read this thread, a little outsider perspective:

  • This Book of Abraham business reminds me a little of the problems historians have when they don't have an original, or satisfactory, artifact. The Edict of Milan is an example, and there are many, many other possible examples.
  • The LDS apologists would probably prefer to have stronger arguments. Apologists have to argue like this sometimes, but reading through this thread it seems like LDS apologists will continually move the Book of Abraham goal posts away unless an unquestionable document is found in Joseph Smith Jr.'s handwriting that says "This is the Book of Abraham" and that includes an image by image translation that exactly matches LDS scripture. I sense more obfuscation than clarification.
  • Critics do seem eager to declare the Book of Abraham a "fate accompli" as a fraud. They insinuate that smart people need to agree with them, wade into matters wherein they don't demonstrate expert knowledge, and use word choices that are loaded with pathos and personal disparagement of LDS folks, Joseph Smith, etc. Again, I'm not impressed.

I can't imagine that LDS missionaries want to get into discussions of these matters. 

 

St. B,

I find your outsider perspective fascinating and illuminating. Thanks!

Not being a regular here these days, I'm curious what religious tradition you have from--apparently Roman Catholicism?

Don

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1 minute ago, DonBradley said:

St. B,

I find your outsider perspective fascinating and illuminating. Thanks!

Not being a regular here these days, I'm curious what religious tradition you have from--apparently Roman Catholicism?

Don

 

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4 hours ago, InCognitus said:

First I wanted to say that I was hoping you would pop in to comment on this thread because of your research in this area.  Thank you for your comments. 

Regarding the bolded part above, I can understand that Joseph Smith's use of the GAEL for translation demonstrates that he had some degree of confidence in the work put into the creation of the GAEL, but does his use of it necessarily prove that Joseph participated in its creation?  I'm just trying to look at this logically.  I use tools created by other people all the time without having participated in the creation of those tools.  Certainly his use of the GAEL could mean that Joseph participated in the process, but I don't think it demonstrates that he did so absolutely, unless there is something else that I'm missing.  Is there something I'm missing?

Incognitus,

Good question.

My first thought is to ask, what is at stake in Joseph's participation in the creation of the GAEL that would not also be at stake in his participation in the EA?

Joseph wrote "Egyptian Alphabet, circa Early July–circa November 1835–A" by his own hand, demonstrating his involvement in the EA project. Given that the methodology of the GAEL and the EA appear to be largely the same, and that their contents overlap and intertwine, whatever is at stake in Joseph's participation in the GAEL is also at stake in his participation in the EA--which is demonstrable. So unless we are going to throw Joseph out for participating in the creation of the EA, it makes little sense to worry about his apparent participation in the creation of the GAEL. Nothing is at stake in the one that was not already at stake in the other, and few of us appear to have left the church simply because Joseph's hand appears in the EA.

But that just gets at what is (or is not) at stake in Joseph's participation in producing the GAEL. What are the evidences that he actually did participate?

Here are a few. (By the way, for the full arguments on the below and documentation, see Don Bradley and Mark Ashurst-McGee, "'President Joseph Has Translated a Portion': Joseph Smith and the Mistranslation of the Kinderhook Plates," in Producing Ancient Scripture: Joseph Smith's Translation Projects in the Development of Mormon Christianity (University of Utah Press, 2020). 

First, the conjecture that the Grammar and Alphabet of the Egyptian Language in the handwriting of Joseph Smith's scribes was a creation of those scribes has always been a poor explanation. Given Joseph's status as the translator of the Book of Mormon and Book of Abraham, he is the default translator for related works, particularly when the others involved in the related work were his scribes, and writing things down for him is, by definition, what his scribes are tasked to do. And Joseph's clear participation in the EA project further suggests his participation in the closely related GAEL. These considerations collectively make Joseph's participation in the GAEL project the default working hypothesis, which can then be strengthened or weakened by further lines of evidence.

Second, Joseph's use of the GAEL to translate from the Kinderhook plates indicates that he gave credence to it and raises the question of why he gave credence to it. It is unclear why Joseph would have given the GAEL sufficient credence to use it as a translation tool if it were simply composed by W. W. Phelps and Warren Parrish, but it is clear why he would have given it such credence if he had been involved in working it out and it therefore represented his thinking. We all, axiomatically, believe our own beliefs, but those of others, not so much--at least not without good reason. 

Third, the eye-witness account of Joseph comparing the Kinderhook plates to the GAEL says, of Joseph's engagement with the characters on those plates, "He compared them, in my presence, with his Egyptian alphabet…and they are evidently the same characters. He therefore will be able to decipher them." (To read the original letter, as published in the New York Herald, see column 3, here.) The author of this letter, Nauvoo judge Sylvester Emmons, as a non-Mormon mistakenly connected this "Egyptian alphabet" with the Book of Mormon rather than the lesser known Book of Abraham, but it is evidently a reference to the GAEL, which bears the title "Egyptian Alphabet" on its spine and is identifiably the source of Joseph's translation of the Kinderhook plates character known in the GAEL as "ho-e-oop-hah." A key phrase to observe here from Emmons regarding the GAEL is that the letter identifies the GAEL as "his Egyptian Alphabet," suggesting that Joseph represented himself as the one who had derived the GAEL's contents.

So, bringing together all these lines of evidence that Joseph took part in producing the GAEL, we find that 1) Joseph was the default translator for the church and on the Egyptian papyri, 2) Joseph demonstrably participated in the GAEL's parallel and overlapping project, the EA, 3) the GAEL is recorded by the hand of Joseph's scribes, whose duty as scribes (what it meant for them to be his scribes) was to record text for Joseph, 4) while Joseph would have presumably believed what was in the GAEL if he helped produce it, there is no obvious reason for him to have relied on it if it were the sole product of his scribes, 5) yet Joseph does rely on it to translate from the Kinderhook plates, with 6) an eye-witness reporting him representing it as "his Egyptian alphabet." 

Could one hold that Joseph Smith did not participate in the creation of the GAEL? Certainly, but only if one wants to bet on side of probably being wrong on the issue even though nothing new is at stake on it that wasn't already at stake in the issue of EA, and that wasn't already laid to rest with the issue of the EA when that text was found to be written out in Joseph's hand.

Don

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21 hours ago, Calm said:

Thank you, Don.  I figured you were most likely intelligently taking your time to response rather than at a loss.  Others who listened interpreted your response in that way, you were not going to respond until you were ready rather than you couldn’t respond.  They said Reel and RFM were not the most ‘cordial’ in their pressure/invitation.  It was kind of you to show up and interact with them after you had politely declined and they wouldn’t let it respectfully go, to still give their criticism a serious treatment after that. 

I need stuff in writing to process it, so hoping if podcast you have a transcript available.

Thank you, Calm! 

I actually thought Bill and RFM were quite cordial during the show, particularly RFM, who made quite a point to praise my work. Bill was a little hard-sell in getting me to call in and pressing his questions, but I think that was understandable. My only disappointment was with how Bill chose to spin our interaction in his written description of the show afterward. Oh well. 

Given that I had a cold and was definitely not prepared to go on air, it's good to know that I came across okay. I appreciate you letting me know.

Don

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https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/Y_EA36188

Museums have collections that are similat to Fac 2

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vYqfTAwR2xVx0gKruLt_ylbU9hBz4EZ7pqSh0uUm8lg/edit

Tamas Mekis an Egyptpoliist from humgary explains the meansing of the various registers

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Fc7q4KNlr01H7J4xr7HnU_yL8ACaQC08kAoEkVt3DDc/edit

Royal Skousen has a different view on the value of the facsimiles - 

https://humanities.byu.edu/wp-content/uploads/royal-skousen-J2019.pdf

Would there be much of a problem if the LDS church ommitted the facsimiles?

I was watching the newsroom videos on youtube and brought back some nice memories. Even with some problematic scriptures they do a lot of good.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Tweed1944 said:

In a FB post   Chris wrote "

A number of years ago, Andrew Cook and I wrote a paper estimating how much length is missing from the end of the Hor scroll (one of the Joseph Smith papyri) using spiral geometry. To avoid subjective judgments, we used a computer technique called "autocorrelation" to identify repeating patterns of damage on the scroll.
In a recent Egyptological study (nothing to do with Mormons), an author opted not to use our autocorrelation technique because, in the author's opinion, “the results [derived from their method] are no better than eyeballing.” The author provided no evidence or further comment to back up this dismissal.
To be honest, this is the kind of thing you say about a technique when using it would be a lot of effort, or you don't have the expertise, and you need to justify the omission in order to get published. I get it; I probably wouldn't bother either, if I were in this author's shoes. I only bring it up because Steve Smoot's been citing this author's dismissal as proof that our method is bad, and a couple people have asked me about it. For the record, the author proves no such thing.
 
and " I don't want to denigrate Steve's intellectual acuity. As far as I can tell he's a reasonably sharp guy, and though I haven't interacted with him a lot, he's been civil to me. But like anybody defending a position because they're invested in it rather than because it's convincing, he's doing the confirmation bias thing.

Reminds me of a blogpost Chris Smith (no relation) wrote some years ago correctly denying the validity of an Akkadian word identical to Book of Mormon sheum (Mosiah 9:9), at  http://chriscarrollsmith.blogspot.com/2008/12/sheum-in-book-of-mormon.html .   Even though he was correct, it made no difference, since the original form of the word was Sumerian, from which the Akkadian loanword was incorrectly thought to derive.  Turns out that the Sumerian ŠE.UM is the exact parallel anyhow.  So it is with this innocuous back and forth on the length of the Breathing Permit.

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2 hours ago, Tweed1944 said:

https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/Y_EA36188

Museums have collections that are similat to Fac 2

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vYqfTAwR2xVx0gKruLt_ylbU9hBz4EZ7pqSh0uUm8lg/edit

Tamas Mekis an Egyptpoliist from humgary explains the meansing of the various registers

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Fc7q4KNlr01H7J4xr7HnU_yL8ACaQC08kAoEkVt3DDc/edit

Royal Skousen has a different view on the value of the facsimiles - 

https://humanities.byu.edu/wp-content/uploads/royal-skousen-J2019.pdf

Would there be much of a problem if the LDS church ommitted the facsimiles?

I was watching the newsroom videos on youtube and brought back some nice memories. Even with some problematic scriptures they do a lot of good.

 

 

It is clear to me that facsimile 2 is an important clue to the symbology of the temple rites, though scholars are not likely to notice that, working from their perspective/ paradigm.

In fact it is clear to me that there is a kind of "semaphore code" within the various positions of the figures portrayed that correlates strongly with probable meanings of similar gestures in the temple. 

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2 hours ago, Tweed1944 said:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1It7wOu1Hog3SADHI8F4RPQSH2HElCUrHpCmsIL08ktw/edit

 

Why was Smith attempting he pictures but cannot interpret the words. ?  

Actually, Joseph correctly interprets the very words in Fac 2, as I mention in my comments -- which I cited above.  Moreover, Egyptologists generally read the "pictures" as well as the words when translating.  Non-scholars have no clue how to assess such matters.

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HOw do you explain the false restoration of figure 3 in Fac 2.

The sketch of fac 2 shows parts were missing and in the printing parts were added from other papyri.

https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/copy-of-hypocephalus-between-circa-july-1835-and-circa-march-1842/1#historical-intro

What was inserted there seems to come from JS papyri

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-87zHvKQxp8XKlhrkl_xaDCsESUbc5VapxQ3Q9Dge0E/edit   bottom right hand corner.

In other examples there is a man on a boat with a scarab (insect)

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vYqfTAwR2xVx0gKruLt_ylbU9hBz4EZ7pqSh0uUm8lg/edit

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Royal Skousen's view on a cv page

I definitely do NOT hold a positive view of Joseph Smith’s “interpretation” of the facsimiles. Here’s what’s on my curriculum vitae, at the end in the section entitled “Fundamental Scholarly Discoveries and Academic Accomplishments by Royal Skousen from about 1970 to 2020; first placed online in 2014”, on page 39:

 

“The Book of Abraham was a revelation given to Joseph Smith, who later (mistakenly thinking it was a translation from the papyri he had in his possession) tried to connect the revealed text to the papyri by inserting two sentences, verse 12c and verse 14, into Abraham 1. The secondary nature of these two inserted sentences can be directly observed in the photos of folios 1a and 1b in the document identified as Ab2. Verse 12c is totally inserted intralinearly, not partially (as incorrectly represented in the accompanying transcription – and without comment). Verse 14 is not written on the page as are other portions of this part of the text (instead, it is written flush to the left), which implies that it is a comment on the papyri and that it was added to the revealed text. Overall, these results imply that all the facsimiles from the papyri (1-3 in the published Pearl of Great Price) should be considered extracanonical and additions to the revealed text of the Book of Abraham, not integral parts of the original text of the book.”

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9 hours ago, DonBradley said:

St. B,

I find your outsider perspective fascinating and illuminating. Thanks!

Not being a regular here these days, I'm curious what religious tradition you have from--apparently Roman Catholicism?

Don

And thank you for responding. 

As Calm indicated, I'm a Catholic with LDS family who is Bible'd up and Church History's up. I come at things through my own lenses, but I try to filter what I'm learning about LDS through my love for my family members.

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