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Kinderhook Plates Discovery damages BOA Missing Scroll and Catalyst Theories


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Posted (edited)
On 5/16/2022 at 10:24 PM, sunstoned said:

 We have the papyrus and we have the BoA,

When did this happen?  We have fragments but a fragment of something never equals the whole.  That is like finding a first century fragment of Corinthians and concluding we have the epistle of Corinthians from just a fragment.

Edited by carbon dioxide
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Kerry Muhlestein

"

  1. "While we know that the Book of Abraham was received by inspiration and is true scripture, we do not know anything about things that were said regarding the rest of the papyri. Presumably the Lord inspired the Prophet in regards to his translation, but he very well may have been left to his own mechanisms to surmise things about the rest of the papyri."

https://www.ldsliving.com/10-things-we-know-and-dont-know-about-the-book-of-abraham-papyri/s/76295

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, jkwilliams said:

I’ve been down the rabbit hole of Book of Abraham evidence in the past, and I don’t really see the point of rehashing it. You can take that as you will. I don’t mind being called an intellectual coward for simply not wishing to go through the tedium again. 

Oh, come on, don't you want to quibble endlessly over every facet of this convoluted mess, all the while knowing that we are never going to persuade each other anyway? That is what this board is for!  

Edited by Ryan Dahle
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2 hours ago, jkwilliams said:

Yup. Catalyst theory is functionally equivalent to “he made it up.

Inspired to make it up.  Catalyst theory admits that Joseph knew nothing about ancient Egypt, couldn’t translate ancient languages, but was still able to produce texts that teach theological truths.  And yes, I realize that I’m doing mental gymnastics.

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3 hours ago, Teancum said:

And that contradicts the accounts about the stone in the hat.

It doesn't contradict the accounts.  The stone in the hat could encompass 99% of the text and 1% could be a different way.  There isn't a witness who sad that the entire BoM was translated through the stone in the hat and there are indications that there were other methods.

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8 minutes ago, webbles said:

It doesn't contradict the accounts.  The stone in the hat could encompass 99% of the text and 1% could be a different way.  There isn't a witness who sad that the entire BoM was translated through the stone in the hat and there are indications that there were other methods.

Okay.....😏🙄

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Posted (edited)
Quote

Abraham 1:14 That you may have an understanding of these gods, I have given you the fashion of them in the figures at the beginning, which manner of figures is called by the Chaldeans Rahleenos, which signifies hieroglyphics.

How does Joseph learn that the facsimile figures are called by the Chaldeans "Rahleenos" and that such means hieroglyphics unless 

A.) Joseph is making it up
or
B.) God is imposing a connection between the papyri and the translation and imposes that the figures are called by the Chaldeans "Rahleenos" meaning "hieroglyphics".
?
Anyone  ????

Edited by The Unclean Deacon
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1 hour ago, Ryan Dahle said:

Oh, come on, don't you want to quibble endlessly over every facet of this convoluted mess, all the while knowing that we are never going to persuade each other anyway? That is what this board is for!  

I was thinking that I’ve been on apologetic boards since 1995 (for all I know you weren’t even born then). I think I’ve seen and heard everything about the Book of Abraham at least twice. For about ten years I found the apologetics at least compelling enough to maintain some belief that the Book of Abraham was of ancient origin, but there was a lot that I couldn’t make work. When I finally stopped rationalizing some things about the church that bothered my conscience, in short I stopped rationalizing that I couldn’t make work, such as the Book of Abraham. So, no, it’s never been central to my faith or lack thereof, but it certainly makes more sense as a 19th-century invention. But that’s just me. I don’t begrudge anyone for assessing things differently than I do. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Kevin Christensen said:

Regarding analogies, metaphors, and their power:

Ian Barbour points out that every metaphor has both positive and negative analogies.  What makes metaphors useful is that they are also extensible, and can provide, maps of territory yet to be explored. But the map is not the terrority.  So the question is, is this metaphor really the best metaphor to account for all that goes on in the situation to which is being applied? That is, how good is the puzzle definition and solution, the accuracy of the key predictions it makes, how comprehensive and coherent a model does it provide, how fruitful is it, (that is, if you climb inside, how much do you see that you would otherwise not have seen), simplicity and aesthetics, and future promise?

The heart of the metaphor is the comparison of the identification of the Hor Book of Breathings as the undisputed source of the Book of Abraham as comparable to identifying a  PF Changs menus an Ancient Armenian Book of Religious incantations.   The advantage the metaphor provides is that is assigns values to evidence via the metaphor:

Rather than direct consideration of all sorts of things not to be found on any PF Chang menu or ancient Armenian writing,  the metaphor does all the work.  No actual puzzle definition and solution, no accuracy of key predictions, no comprehensiveness and coherence, no fruitfulness, no future promise.  It is simple though.

FWIW,

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

 

You’ve misunderstood the analogy, which is about the huge hurdles you have to overcome for disinterested parties to assess the “how could Joseph have known” assertions. 

If you were to, say, take the facsimiles sans interpretations to 100 Egyptologists, all 100 of them would say a variation of, “Someone has made some strange alterations to a bog-standard Book of Breathings.”

If you showed them the original fragments, all 100 would say, “It’s not surprising that all the weird alterations are attempts to fill in lacunae.”

Then if you presented Joseph Smith’s labels and interpretations, you’d likely get some chuckles or polite requests to leave. 

And if you tried to present the alleged parallels and evidences, they would likely say, “Everything else is wrong with this, so why would I bother with the minutiae?”

My analogy was in response to the idea that people who don’t engage with the “how could Joseph have known” stuff are lazy or intellectually deficient. More likely is that you haven’t surpassed the credulity hurdle to make that worth anyone’s time.

ETA: I am not in any way denigrating Robert’s thorough work. 

Edited by jkwilliams
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13 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:
1 hour ago, Ryan Dahle said:

Oh, come on, don't you want to quibble endlessly over every facet of this convoluted mess, all the while knowing that we are never going to persuade each other anyway? That is what this board is for!  

I was thinking that I’ve been on apologetic boards since 1995 (for all I know you weren’t even born then). I think I’ve seen and heard everything about the Book of Abraham at least twice. For about ten years I found the apologetics at least compelling enough to maintain some belief that the Book of Abraham was of ancient origin, but there was a lot that I couldn’t make work. When I finally stopped rationalizing some things about the church that bothered my conscience, in short I stopped rationalizing that I couldn’t make work, such as the Book of Abraham. So, no, it’s never been central to my faith or lack thereof, but it certainly makes more sense as a 19th-century invention. But that’s just me. I don’t begrudge anyone for assessing things differently than I do. 

Gotcha. Hopefully it was clear I was joking. I really don't want to hash out all the details either. BofA is still working great for me as a revelation, but I understand why others have a hard time with it. I was alive in 1995, btw. But I would hardly have been a good BofA conversationalist at the time, as I was only ten!

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21 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

If you showed them the original fragments, all 100 would say, “It’s not surprising that all the weird alterations are attempts to fill in lacunae.”

Not all of the "weird alterations" are in the lacuna.  The man laying on the bed doesn't look anything like all of the other bed facsimiles that I've seen.  And except for his hands, none of it is missing from the papyrus that we have.

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17 minutes ago, webbles said:

Not all of the "weird alterations" are in the lacuna.  The man laying on the bed doesn't look anything like all of the other bed facsimiles that I've seen.  And except for his hands, none of it is missing from the papyrus that we have.

Hmm. A random survey of lion couch scenes shows variations, and the BofA scene fits pretty comfortably within the range. 

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37 minutes ago, Ryan Dahle said:

Gotcha. Hopefully it was clear I was joking. I really don't want to hash out all the details either. BofA is still working great for me as a revelation, but I understand why others have a hard time with it. I was alive in 1995, btw. But I would hardly have been a good BofA conversationalist at the time, as I was only ten!

I got it. No worries. I was just thinking how all the people who were heavily invested in Book of Abraham apologetics 10 or 15 years ago have all left the church. As I said, it really never was a huge issue for me. 

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:
37 minutes ago, webbles said:

Not all of the "weird alterations" are in the lacuna.  The man laying on the bed doesn't look anything like all of the other bed facsimiles that I've seen.  And except for his hands, none of it is missing from the papyrus that we have.

Hmm. A random survey of lion couch scenes shows variations, and the BofA scene fits pretty comfortably within the range. 

Here is the FAIR summary of this topic: 

Quote

Question: Is Joseph Smith papyri Facsimile 1 common and similar to other such scenes?

Joseph Smith papyri Facsimile 1 has a number of unique features that are not present in other lion couch scenes

Although many similar lion couch scenes exist, this one has quite a few unique features:

  • No other lion couch scene shows the figure on the couch (Osiris) with both hands raised. (There is a dispute regarding whether or not two hands are represented. See below)
  • No other lion couch scenes show the figure lying on the couch clothed in the manner shown in Facsimile 1. In most other lion couch scenes, the reclining figure is either completely nude or fully wrapped like a mummy. There is one known scene in which the figure is wearing a loin cloth. None to date show the type of clothing being worn by the figure in Facsimile 1.
  • No other lion couch scenes to date have shown the reclining figure wearing anklets or foot coverings.
  • No other lion couch scenes show a crocodile beneath the couch.
  • The original of Facsimile 1 shows the couch behind the priest's legs, and the reclining figure's legs are shown in front of the priest's. The figure was transferred on to the woodcut prior to publication in the Times and Seasons. The wood cut attempted to correct this odd perspective by placing the legs of the priest behind the lion couch.
  • No other such scenes have hatched lines such as those designated as "Expanse" or "Firmament" in Facsimile 1.
  • No other such scenes are known to have the twelve gates or pillars of heaven or anything like them.
  • No other such scenes show a lotus and an offering table. These items are common in other Egyptian scenes, but do not appear in the lion couch scene.

Therefore, we do not agree that it is the "same funeral scene." Facsimile 1 actually depicts the resurrection of Osiris. The figure on the couch is alive. The figures to which it is compared all show the preparation of a mummy.

Mummy.fac.1.comparison.jpg
 
500px-Lion_couch_scene_at_the_louvre.jpg
 
Photograph of "lion couch" carving displayed at the Louvre in Paris. Note that there is only a single bird shown. (click to enlarge)
Edited by Ryan Dahle
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12 minutes ago, Ryan Dahle said:

Here is the FAIR summary of this topic: 

There are some 30 known couch scenes, as I recall. There are differences in each and some main commonalities. I’m trying to imagine the significance of the differences you point out, but I am at a loss. 

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3 hours ago, Tweed1944 said:

Kerry Muhlestein

"

  1. "While we know that the Book of Abraham was received by inspiration and is true scripture, we do not know anything about things that were said regarding the rest of the papyri. Presumably the Lord inspired the Prophet in regards to his translation, but he very well may have been left to his own mechanisms to surmise things about the rest of the papyri."

https://www.ldsliving.com/10-things-we-know-and-dont-know-about-the-book-of-abraham-papyri/s/76295

 

The bolded part is a very poor way to pursue truth. We already know so we will do anything we can to prove what we think we know. But that's religious apologetics for you.

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4 minutes ago, Teancum said:

The bolded part is a very poor way to pursue truth. We already know so we will do anything we can to prove what we think we know. But that's religious apologetics for you.

That is the insuperable problem with apologetics: it starts with a defined conclusion and works backward to support it. This is how some people misapply Kuhn’s theory of paradigm shift: if you don’t get the result you want, just change the rules of the game until you can support your predetermined conclusion. 

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20 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

There are some 30 known couch scenes, as I recall. There are differences in each and some main commonalities. I’m trying to imagine the significance of the differences you point out, but I am at a loss. 

I'm not the one pointing them out. FAIR is. And the differences, as I understand them, are relevant to determining the plausibility of the scene being connected to the text of the BofA. Is it really just a typical funerary scene, as so many have alleged? Or is it possibly depicting something else, such as as Abraham being sacrificed on an altar?

I think there is a lot of wiggle room here anyway (considering how ancient people might reappropriate images). It's just not a hill I'm going to die on. Apparently you don't think any of the differences or similarities matter anyway. So apparently you don't care either. Cool. 

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6 hours ago, Teancum said:

And that contradicts the accounts about the stone in the hat.

Why does this matter?

Why assume he would assume he’d have to use the same process to ‘translate’, especially when it appears he had already tried a few variations with the plates?  Maybe what he did depended on the day and what was going on around him.  By the end of all his translations, the method seems to have been quite varied for things we know for sure he worked on (plates present, plates not, ancient document likely not existing any more, papyri).  

He had to realize he was not following the same process of academics, that it was done through revelation/inspiration of some sort, so why would he assume he was locked into one form of revelation for translation when he had experienced multiple forms of revelation for other things? (Visions, visitations, mental revelations due to questions people asked, revelations triggered by reading scripture).

Why not experiment in this area as he tried different methods in other areas of his life over time (the pattern of plural marriages changed over time, temples were different, structure of Church authority changed).  Why be stagnant in one thing when he was fluid in so many others?

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7 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

That is the insuperable problem with apologetics: it starts with a defined conclusion and works backward to support it. This is how some people misapply Kuhn’s theory of paradigm shift: if you don’t get the result you want, just change the rules of the game until you can support your predetermined conclusion. 

Thus I got to point over 12 years ago where I could not do it anymore.  

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, The Unclean Deacon said:

Do you do the same with LDS Prophets?

When they do historic research and analysis, yes, I am critical at times of their methods. 

Edited by Calm
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4 minutes ago, Ryan Dahle said:

I'm not the one pointing them out. FAIR is. And the differences, as I understand them, are relevant to determining the plausibility of the scene being connected to the text of the BofA. Is it really just a typical funerary scene, as so many have alleged? Or is it possibly depicting something else, such as as Abraham being sacrificed on an altar?

I think there is a lot of wiggle room here anyway (considering how ancient people might reappropriate images). It's just not a hill I'm going to die on. Apparently you don't think any of the differences or similarities matter anyway. So apparently you don't care either. Cool. 

Again, the only things that connect it to Abraham and sacrifice are 1) The text of of the Book of Abraham and 2) the alterations in the lacunae that transform an embalming into a murder.

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5 minutes ago, Teancum said:

Thus I got to point over 12 years ago where I could not do it anymore.  

For me, it was realizing that I was suppressing my conscience to defend things I knew were morally wrong. You can’t do that forever, unless of course you have no conscience to begin with. 

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