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  BOOK OF ABRAHAM
Total Articles: 50
The Book Of Abraham is a book created by Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith purchased some papyrus that was found with an Egyptian mummy. Joseph claimed that the papyrus contained the Book of Abraham and thus created the "Pearl Of Great Price". Modern day Egyptologists have translated the Joseph Smith Papyrus Facsimiles, as well as other documents that did not make it into the facsimiles - but were part of the original collection of Papyri. Their conclusion: The documents are entirely different from what Joseph Smith said.
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The Book Of Abraham
Saturday, Apr 8, 2006, at 08:15 AM
Original Author(s): Infymus
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
The Book Of Abraham is a book created by Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith purchased some papyrus that was found with an Egyptian mummy. Joseph claimed that the papyrus contained the Book of Abraham and thus created the "Pearl Of Great Price".

The Rosetta Stone was discovered in 1799 by French soldiers digging near some ruins. Some prliminary work had been done by scholars in Europe prior to the 1821/1822 breakthru by the Frenchman Champollion using a rubbing from the Rosetta Stone. Due to the esoteric nature of the subject, however, it is quite implausible that this information had reached the Americas except for a few Amercan scholars in 1830. Therefore, it is 99.9% certain that Joseph Smith did not have ANY knowledge of Egyptian hieroglyphs whatsoever. The errors on his facsimilies, such as adding the head of a man missing from the god Anubis, is an obvious error. Anubis had the head of a jackal.

Modern day Egyptologists have translated the Joseph Smith Papyrus Facsimiles, as well as other documents that did not make it into the facsimiles - but were part of the original collection of Papyri. Their conclusion: The documents are entirely different from what Joseph Smith said.

Current Mormon Apologists have retreated to the position that either (A) there are missing portions of the papyri that Joseph Smith translated the Book Of Abraham from or (B) that the existing papyri were just "catalysts" for a kind of "translation" that wasn't literally from the papyri. Both explanations conveniently ignore the fact that we have the facsimiles and Joseph Smith's faux translation, and his repeated insistence that these were really written by Abraham and that he really translated them literally.
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What Is The Rosetta Stone And How Does It Help Prove Joseph Smith Did Not Properly Translate The Egyptian Papyrus?
Monday, Feb 20, 2006, at 11:44 AM
Original Author(s): Infymus
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
What is the Rosetta Stone?


The Rosetta Stone

The Rosetta Stone is a stone with writing on it in two languages (Egyptian and Greek), using three scripts (hieroglyphic, demotic and Greek).

Why is it in three different scripts?

The Rosetta Stone is written in three scripts because when it was written, there were three scripts being used in Egypt.

The first was hieroglyphic which was the script used for important or religious documents.


Detail of hieroglyphic and demotic script on the Rosetta Stone

The second was demotic which was the common script of Egypt.

The third was Greek which was the language of the rulers of Egypt at that time.

The Rosetta Stone was written in all three scripts so that the priests, government officials and rulers of Egypt could read what it said.

When was the Rosetta Stone made?

The Rosetta Stone was carved in 196 B.C..

When was the Rosetta Stone found?

The Rosetta Stone was found in 1799.

Who found the Rosetta Stone?

The Rosetta Stone was found by French soldiers who were rebuilding a fort in Egypt.

Where was the Rosetta Stone found?

The Rosetta Stone was found in a small village in the Delta called Rosetta (Rashid).

Why is it called the Rosetta Stone?

It is called the Rosetta Stone because it was discovered in a town called Rosetta (Rashid).

What does the Rosetta Stone say?

The Rosetta Stone is a text written by a group of priests in Egypt to honour the Egyptian pharaoh. It lists all of the things that the pharaoh has done that are good for the priests and the people of Egypt.

Who deciphered hieroglyphs?

Many people worked on deciphering hieroglyphs over several hundred years. However, the structure of the script was very difficult to work out.

After many years of studying the Rosetta Stone and other examples of ancient Egyptian writing, Jean-François Champollion deciphered hieroglyphs in 1822.

How did Champollion decipher hieroglyphs?

Champollion could read both Greek and Coptic.

He was able to figure out what the seven demotic signs in Coptic were. By looking at how these signs were used in Coptic he was able to work out what they stood for. Then he began tracing these demotic signs back to hieroglyphic signs.

By working out what some hieroglyphs stood for, he could make educated guesses about what the other hieroglyphs stood for.

The Rosetta Stone is very important in Mormon history. When Joseph Smith obtained the papyrus, nobody could understand the hieroglyphics on the papyrus. Joseph was easily able to create a story and make it believable. Today, with lasting pieces of the Joseph Smith papyrus (those not hidden away in church vaults), the world has seen that Joseph's translation of the papyrus was completely bogus.
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Problems - Book Of Abraham And Mormon Apologetics
Thursday, Feb 17, 2005, at 11:05 AM
Original Author(s): Sophocles
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
The Book Of Abraham (BoA) issue is a microcosm of all the larger problems with Mormonism and its apologetics. There's a lot to be said here, but just a few points:
  1. The ad hoc nature of apologetics. Before the discovery and translation of the papyri, no one ever postulated that the translation was anything but literal. JS was clear on the matter. Only after it was clearly proven that the translation could not have been literal did apologists begin to suggest that there was some other kind of translation going on. (You also see this with the LGT. No one thought to question the hemispheric model until it became clear that the evidence did not support it.)

  2. A shift in the attitude of the Church towards its history. Before the discovery and translation of the papyri, many of the Brethren (most notably, perhaps, N. Eldon Tanner) sincerely expected them to vindicate JS, and were eager to get them translated. Since the BoA debacle, the Brethren appear to have learned that any "new" discoveries with regard to Church history or doctrine are more likely to harm than help the Church. You see this in BoM archaeology, and also in the Hoffman affair, as church leaders obviously had reason to believe that there were documents in existence that were very unflattering to JS. The rise of "faithful history" is likely a direct result of lessons learned from the BoA incident. (Philo describes this shift from an attitude of "Let's find out!" to one of "Don't look!" around the 1960s in one of his essays.)

  3. The surprising ability of the faithful to "shelve" doubts. The fact is, there are no good apologetic answers to the BoA problem. Different apologists favor different theories, but in the end all rely on faith. They are forced to admit that we don't know why JS's translation doesn't correspond with the papyri--perhaps we'll find out in the next life. Many believers who know about the BoA problem are somehow able to put this doubt on the shelf and await "further light and knowledge." The problem with this approach is that anything in the world can be true, if only you are willing to shelve your doubts. You can believe the earth is flat if you want. You don't need to explain why it looks round from space or why people seem to be able to circumnavigate the globe in every direction. Just put those doubts on the shelf for now, and trust that it will all make sense in the future.

  4. Widespread ignorance of Church history among the members. When I first learned of the BoA problem, I was somewhat surprised that I had never encountered it before. The same could be said for the BoM issues, and things like MMM, Hoffman, JS's polygamy/polyandry, Kinderhook plates, etc. While I wouldn't expect the Church to openly teach non-faith-promoting things, I was nevertheless surprised at how much I had never heard of, despite my nearly perfect attendence at church meetings, seminary, MTC, BYU religion classes, etc. throughout my youth. It's very possible that I never would have found out about any of these things without the Internet. That fact alone sheds some light on the Church's ability to thrive in spite of all these problems.
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More Book Of Abraham Anomalies
Friday, May 6, 2005, at 07:48 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
In the Book of Abraham, the daughter of Ham and "Egyptus" discovered the land of Egypt while it was still underwater from the Noachic flood, and settled her sons there. That conjures up an image of Egyptus jumping off the ark wearing a snorkel, and coming up a few minutes later exclaiming "Hey kids! There's LAND under this water! Let's settle down here!"

The itsy-bitsy problems with the story's believability are that

a) archaelogical research shows that the land of Egypt had been continuously occupied by humans for thousands of years before the alleged era of the mythical Noah

b) The name "Egypt" was given to the land by the invading Greeks many centuries AFTER the time of the mythical Noah. The ancient Egyptians had called their land "Kemet," meaning black soil, referring to the rich Nile delta earth.

Meaning, the BOA is discredited by that one anomaly alone.
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Church Ensign Explains Problems With The Book Of Abraham
Sunday, Jun 26, 2005, at 02:33 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
The closest thing the church has ever come to an official statement on the problems with the Book of Abraham was in the July 1988 issue of the Ensign Magazine. Granted, this article did not come from a General Authority. But the fact that the church published this in The Ensign comes close to an official statement. If this Ensign article is false, then that would mean church leaders allowed lies to be printed in the church's official publication.

This is an excellent article to share with TBM friends and relatives because it admits the basic facts about the Book of Abraham papyri and facsimiles.

Below is a summary of quotes from the article, with my comments in parenthesis:

Ensign, July 1988, Page 51:

"Why doesn't the translation of the Egyptian papyri found in 1967 match the text of the Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price?"


"The papyri in question are a part of the collection of Egyptian mummies and papyri that the Prophet Joseph Smith bought from Michael Chandler in 1835. After the Prophet's death, the papyri were lost to the Church. But in 1966, Dr. Aziz S. Atiya, a professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Utah, discovered some twenty-two separate papyri fragments in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, which were clearly part of Joseph Smith's original collection. The papyri were acquired by the Church, and they are now located at Brigham Young University."

(Note: The church has always admitted that the rediscovered papyri is the same one in the possession of Joseph Smith.)

"..some people have concluded that this Book of Breathings must be the text Joseph Smith used in his translation of the book of Abraham."

(Note: This "some people" making the conclusion includes the Mormon Church, which under the direction of Apostle N. Eldon Tanner, sent out for the translation, expecting it to prove Smith's true translation abilities.)

"However, there are some serious problems associated with this assumption. First of all, from paleographic and historical considerations, the Book of Breathings papyrus can reliably be dated to around A.D. 60-much too late for Abraham to have written it. Of course, it could be a copy-or a copy of a copy-of the original written by Abraham. However, a second problem arises when one compares the text of the book of Abraham with a translation of the Book of Breathings; they clearly are not the same..."

(Note: Notice how the church is admitting the two basic facts 1: The papyri is too young to have been written by Abraham and 2: A real translation of the papyri doesn't match the book of Abraham. So how are they going to squirm out of this?)

"Actually, there are two possible explanations why the text of the recently discovered papyri does not match the text in the Pearl of Great Price."

(Note: There are actually THREE possibilities.)

"One explanation is that it may have been taken from a different portion of the papyrus rolls in Joseph Smith's possession."

(Note: This has been proven false since the release of Smith's translation dictionary. Characters from the existing fragments match those in Smith's notes that he attributes to the BoA. Besides, the facsimiles in the Book of Abraham are the ones in the discovered papyri.)

"A second explanation takes into consideration what Joseph Smith meant by the word translation. While translating the Book of Mormon, he used the Urim and Thummim rather than dictionaries and grammars of the language. Translating with the Urim and Thummim is evidently a much different process than using the tools of scholarly research."

(Note: According to Church History, the angel Moroni had already permanently taken back the Urim and Thummin years earlier. The Book of Commandments, Smith's Journal and William Clayton's Journal all say Smith used his brown peep stone for the Book of Abraham translation. Later, the DandC changed all references of "peep stone" to "urim and thummim.")

"Instead of making a literal translation, as scholars would use the term, he used the Urim and Thummim as a means of receiving revelation."

(Note: Joseph Smith really used his brown peep stone, the same rock-in-the-hat trick he used to dictate all of the Book of Mormon and the first sections of the DandC)

"..as Joseph Smith used the word, he could have received the meaning, or subject-matter content of the original text, as he did in his translation of the Bible. This explanation would mean that Joseph Smith received the text of our present book of Abraham the same way he received the translation of the parchment of John the Revelator-he did not even need the actual text in front of him."

(Note: So then why did he even have the papyri? This explanation is completely bogus because the Book of Abraham contains Smith's "translations" of facsimile drawings included in the papyri. If it wasn't a literal translation, why does the BoA today show the facsimile drawings? Besides, didn't Smith tell everyone he used the papyri as the source? That's what it still says in the introduction to the BoA in the scriptures. And Abraham 1:12 actually references the facsimile image included in the papyri!)

"His translation of the Bible, parts of which are in the book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price, was also done without having the original text before him."

(Note: This sounds familiar. According to official church history and eyewitnesses, Smith dictated whole sections of the Book of Mormon while the gold plates were hidden in the woods or under a bed.)

"In reality, the actual method Joseph Smith used is far less important than the resulting book of scripture he produced."

(Note: This is where the church throws out reason. They are basically telling you to ignore the facts and evidence in front of you.)

"In the final analysis, however, the proof of the truth of the book of Abraham does not come by human means."

(Note: What does "human means" mean? Why can't a real translation verify Smith's translation claims?)

"I have studied the book of Abraham, and the truth of it has been made known to me in a way I can't deny. I know that anyone who earnestly wants to know if the book of Abraham is true can also receive this same witness and knowledge from God."

(Note: The third possibility they chose to ignore is that the translation is a hoax. Based on the facts, which of the three possibilities is most likely to be correct?)

Want to know more? Check out this web site:
http://www.irr.org/mit/boapage.html

For a really good explanation of how the church obtained the papyri, authenticated it and then tried to cover it all up, read "Quest for the Gold Plates: Thomas Stuart Ferguson's Archaeological Search for the Book of Mormon." A large portion of this book is on the story of the Book of Abraham fiasco.

To read the complete July 1988 Ensign article see:
http://library.lds.org/nxt/gateway.dll/Magazines/Ensi.....
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Book Of Abraham - An Atheist Perspective
Thursday, Sep 15, 2005, at 07:22 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
http://atheists.org/christianity/morm...

SMITH WROTE OTHER SCRIPTURES BESIDES THE BOOK OF MORMON

Encouraged by the success of his first bible, Joseph Smith proceeded to write other "scriptures." One of these is known as The Book of Abraham and is published today as part of a volume known as The Pearl of Great Price.

THE BOOK OF ABRAHAM

Unlike The Book of Mormon, which merely dull or silly, depending upon how much coffee one has been drinking, The Book of Abraham has a rather unpleasant side. Until recent years, it was used to justify the racist policies of the Mormon church. Blacks formerly were not allowed to hold the "priesthood." Since almost all postpubertal Mormon males are priests and since Mormon women can't amount to anything unless they marry a man who does hold the priesthood, this dogma effectively kept Blacks out of the "white and delightsome" Church of Jesus of Latter-Day Saints.

The offensive passages are to be found in Chapter I, verses 20-27. Verse 24 ends with a reference to the biblical "curse of Ham": "From Ham sprang that race which preserved the curse in the land."

Verses 26-7, referring to Pharaoh (whom Smith supposed to be a Negro), say that Noah "cursed him (Ham and his descendants) as pertaining to the priesthood. No Pharaoh being of that lineage by which he could have the right of priesthood," and so on.

IN ALL FAIRNESS

Now I must admit, in all fairness, that these passages are rather mild stuff and aren't as bad as the bible passages which were used by the Christian clergy to justify slavery. And I must inform the reader that although missionaries still do not go out in search of black converts, Blacks nowadays can hold the priesthood if they desire. The head of the Mormon church -- the "Chief Seer and Revelator" -- a few years ago got a message direct from his god to change this policy. The change came just in the nick of time, too, since civil rights legislation was making it harder for racist organizations to feed at the federal money-trough.

THE TRANSLATION OF ABRAHAM'S PAPYRI

How did Joseph Smith come to write this book?

Well, it was 1835. The Mormons had moved from New York state to Ohio. Michael Chandler, a traveling showman, came to Kirtland on July 3, 1835, exhibiting some Egyptian papyri and mummies. Smith declared the papyri contained the autographic writings of the patriarchs Abraham and Joseph of Egypt and that he could read them! The Mormons bought the mummies and the papyri.

When Josiah Quincy visited Smith later at Nauvoo, Illinois, Smith told him, "That is the handwriting of Abraham...this is the autograph of Moses, and these lines were written by his brother Aaron." In fact, the introduction to The Book of Abraham still reads, "The writings of Abraham while he was in Egypt...written by his own hand, upon papyrus.

Armed with his magic seer stone, this would-be prophet set to work and "translated" The Book of Abraham. Unique among the holy books of the world, The Book of Abraham comes equipped with three illustrations.

FACSIMILE 1

Facsimile 1 is accompanied by fantastic interpretation given by Joseph Smith. According to Smith, the "bird" in the upper right is "the angel of the Lord" and the man with the knife is an idolatrous priest trying to make a sacrifice of Abraham (the guy on the check-out counter to the left of the cash register).

Toward the end of the eighteenth century, when more and more scholars appeared who actually could read Egyptian -- even without the use of magic stones -- this interpretation was challenged. The "bird" was not an angel, but the ba or soul of a deceased person. Furthermore, it was claimed, its face had been changed. It should have a human face. The reclining figure wasn't Abraham; it was Osiris being called back to life by Anubis, the god of the dead and of embalming. The so-called priest -- it was claimed over one hundred years ago -- had been altered! He actually should have the head of a jackal and should not have a knife in his hand.

FACSIMILE 2

The second facsimile is rather different from the first, and Smith claimed it has to with astronomy. The accompanying explanation is chock-full of nonsense such as "one day to cubit," "fixed planets," and made-up words such as "Jah-oh-eh" and "Oliblish."

Although the writing in the illustration was too poorly copied for Egyptologists to make much sense out of it, it was noted a century ago that not everything was kosher. Although the writing along the top border is in hieroglyphics, starting at about one o'clock, the writing becomes cursive (hieractic), continuing to about five o'clock, where-upon it becomes hieroglyphics again! A similar peculiarity is seen in the right-central section of the figure. here each line is hieroglyphic on the left end and cursive on the right end. "Something's fishy here," said the experts.

FACSIMILE 3

The third facsimile Smith claimed depicts Abraham upon Pharaoh's throne discoursing on astronomy with Pharaoh behind him. The person standing in the center is a prince, flanked by the king's waiter, and the black person on the far right is -- you guessed it! -- a slave.

Experts a hundred years ago said, "Baloney!" The scene actually depicts the judgment of a deceased person, and the characters are, from left to right, Isis (female!), Osiris on the throne, Maat (female!), the deceased, and Anubis the jackal-headed god. Today, of course, the experts still say the same thing. Unfortunately, the writing on the facsimiles was so poorly reproduced (deliberately, I would assert) that Egyptologists could not say for sure just what the writings did say, even though it was certain that Smith's interpretation was pure blarney.

THE CHANGE IN 1966

But everything changed in 1966. In that year, Jerald and Sandra Tanner, two ex-Mormons who became full-time debunkers of the faith of Brigham Young, obtained a microfilm of a document which had been hidden and suppressed by the Mormon church for over 130 years: Joseph Smith's notebook entitled "Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar". Part of the microfilm contained material in Smith's own handwriting, with his signature.

One such page reads "Valuable discovery of hidden records that have been obtained from the ancient burying grounds of the Egyptians, (signature) Joseph Smith, Jr." Other pages are in the handwriting of several of the "prophets" secretaries.

SMITH'S NOTEBOOK

What is the nature of this notebook? It is, I believe, a show Smith put on for the benefit of his secretaries, a pretense of actually being able to decipher Egyptian. Champollion, in France, had just succeeded in deciphering Egyptian, but in the wilds of America no one yet knew this. So Smith was free in this notebook to make up anything he wanted, confident he could get away with it. After a number of pages of absolute word-hash, we see him making up The Book of Abraham.

QUOTES FROM SMITH'S NOTEBOOK

The word-hash is so mad, however, that I cannot resist quoting a few lines. Smith's explanation of the meaning of a simple vertical stroke -- a single line -- is as follows:

"Beth-Ba-eth. This character is from the first degree. It has an arbitrary sound or signification which is Beth; and also a compound sound which is Za and comprise one simple sentence for its signification. It is only increased or lessened in it signification, or enlarges the sentence. Two connections increases its signification still: Three increases it still: Four increases still and five still, This is as far as a sentence can be carried in the first degree." (punctuation as in original)

Proceeding to the pages containing the characters from which The Book of Abraham was derived, we find Egyptian characters arrayed vertically on the left side of each page, with the verses of scripture allegedly translated from them on the right. At the top left of one such page, we find a character resembling a backward "E" --from which Smith derives the seventy-six words of verse 13 and 14 of Chapter 1!

CAN IT BE BELIEVED?

Can it be believed? Seventy-six words from one character? The idea becomes even more preposterous when we find that this character isn't even an entire Egyptian word: it's just a "determinative," a sign used to give the reader a clue as to the general meaning of the word of which it is a part. In this case, the sign signifies "water." The word of which it is a part is the Egyptian word for "pool."

The real find, however, in the "Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar" was the discovery of Smith's working version of Facsimile 2, the circular figure ( p 32). In exactly every place where the Egyptologists had claimed there was something fishy in the published plate in Joe's notebook we have empty spaces and called it inspiration! The critics could not have been vindicted more perfectly.

AN AMUSING ITEM

An amusing item: in the notebook version of Facsimile 2, the hieroglyphics are clear enough to be read. At about nine o'clock we can make out a hieroglyph of a bull. Reading from there towards six o'clock, we apparently can make out the phrase, "great bull who can copulate without equal..." Can this be a cryptographic prophesy of the second coming of Brigham Young -- who had how many wives?

The "Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar" would have been enough evidence to convict Joseph Smith of fraud, even if we didn't have any further evidence. But we do, we do!

THE "SMOKING PISTOL"

The "smoking pistol" itself has been found -- not in the vaults in Salt Lake City, but in the Metropolitan Museum in New York City.

The smoking pistol consists of the actual papyri Smith got from Chandler, the traveling showman -- including the papyrus from which the characters in the "Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar" had been copied, and the papyrus original of Facsimile 1. Although the papyri had been discovered in the museum in the same year in which the Tanners had published the "Grammar," it wasn't until the following year, 1967, that the papyri were given to the Mormon church by the museum.

THE DIVINE GUIDANCE

The divine guidance which is supposed to guide the "Chief Seer and Revelator" of the church apparently was vacationing on the planet Kolob in 1967, for the church authorities foolishly agreed that the papyri were authentic and were indeed the originals from which Joseph Smith translated The Book of Abraham.

THE OFFICIAL STORY

The official story -- the hope, as it were -- was that the papyri had burned up in the great Chicago fire, although there is evidence that at least some Mormon officials knew the papyri still existed and thought it best to let sleeping dogs lie. Although the plates from which The Book of Mormon had been translated had been taken back to heaven after Smith's library card expired -- conveniently making it impossible to check up on Smith's claims -- the papyri behind the Abraham opus were still on earth, and could be checked! Publication of the papyri dealt what

EXAMINING FACSIMILE 1

If we examine the original of Facsimile 1, we see that the head of the so-called priest is missing. The experts said he should have the head of Anubis the jackal-god. Smith, not knowing anything about Egyptian religion, put a man's head on the figure. There is no knife in the picture either. Strike two. Smith made it up. There is no head on the ba-bird. Strike three. Smith put a bird's head on the ba -- not an unreasonable mistake if a man is uninspired and knows no Egyptology. But for the founder of a religion and a man who claims divine guidance in his interpretations, this is devastating.

But the picture wasn't the only thing "Holy Joe" filled in out of his fertile imagination. If we examine Fig. 4, a picture of the scrap of papyrus from which Smith derived the entire Book of Abraham, we may note the arrow pointing to the backward "E" discussed previously. Three lines below it, we can see some of the characters used to fill in the right-central part of Facsimile 2 (sector 14 right side of Fig. 2). Unfortunately, Smith inserted these characters upside down. How odd of god to tell Smith what all these squiggles meant, but never thought to tell him which way was up!

CONTINUING OUR EXAMINATION

Continuing our examination of Fig. 4, we note that there is a deep, triangular cleft in the papyrus, extending from the upper right-hand corner downward to the fourth line of writing. The characters on both sides of the fissure can be found in Smith's notebook, together with the corresponding verses of The Book of Abraham.

Guess where in this papyrus Smith got the anti-Negro verses! The whole holy business about the "curse of Ham" comes from the hole! As Smith copied the characters from the papyrus into his notebook, he made up the curse-of-Ham characters to fill in the cleft in the original. Embarrassingly, he made up too many of them to fit in the space available!

EGYPTOLOGIST TRANSLATION

Egyptologists have now translated all the Joseph Smith papyri -- including the parts Joseph said could not yet be revealed -- and we can say without fear of contradiction that the materials have nothing to do with Abraham or with Blacks. They are delightfully pagan in nature, and nothing Jewish can be seen in them. They are part of the Book of Breathings -- a late abridgment of the Egyptian Book of the Dead. In fact, these papyri date from approximately the beginning of the Christian era and are about two thousand years too late to contain the autograph of Abraham!

THE MAJOR RELIGIONS

The major religions of the world began too long ago for anthropologists to be able to reconstruct accurately the complex interactions between fraud, delusion, and honest ignorance which went into their manufacture. In the case of Mormonism, however, a very scientific case can be built up to show quite unambiguously the role of chicanery in the formation of this most uniquely American religion. Joseph Smith dared to invent a new religion in the age of printing!
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Using The Standard Works To Disprove The Church
Monday, Nov 21, 2005, at 08:32 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
My vote for the most damning thing in the Standard Works is this:

“. . . the writings of Abraham, while he was in Egypt, called the Book of Abraham, written by his own hand upon papyrus.”

The Book of Abraham should be the church’s best missionary tool. Why?

Because those papyri were supposedly handwritten by Abraham. That would make them the ONLY original Biblical writings in existance. There are NO original writings from any Biblical authors – not even from the New Testament. Nobody knows what Moses’, Jesus’, or Paul’s handwriting looks like. However, the Mormons know what Father Abraham’s handwriting looks like because they have his handwritten scriptures!

Another thing that should be significant is that Abraham wrote them 500 years before Moses wrote Genesis. That alone would make the papyri valuable because they would be the oldest Biblical writings.

All of Christendom should be falling over themselves to study the Book of Abraham papyri. Quite simply, the Book of Abraham papyri (if real) should be one of the most significant historical documents in the world.

But it’s not.

The papyri do not date back far enough and the translations given by real scholars don’t have anything to do with Abraham or the Bible. They are common Egyptian burial texts. The fact that nobody outside of Mormondumb cares about the BoA speaks volumes to me.

And the apologetic excuses for the BoA are just hillarious. To believe in the BoA you have to believe that God used Pagan Egyptian burial texts as secret code for his sacred scriptures. Or that Joseph Smith didn't mean what he said when he said that Abraham hand wrote them. Or my favorite: that God tricked JS into thinking he was translating the papyri when he was actually just receiving direct revelation. Wow!

I have decided that the next time a TBM gives me a hard time about my disbelief I will share this insight with them. What scriptures would you like to share with a TBM?
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Ensign Magazine Questions The Truth About The Book Of Abraham
Monday, Jan 30, 2006, at 07:16 AM
Original Author(s): Deconstructor
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
The closest thing the church has ever come to an official statement on the problems with the Book of Abraham was in the July 1988 issue of the Ensign Magazine.

Granted, the church article did not come from a General Authority. But the fact that the church published it in the Ensign comes close to an official statement. If this Ensign article is false, then that would mean church leaders allowed lies to be printed in the church's official publication.

This is an excellent article to share with TBM friends and relatives because it admits the basic facts about the Book of Abraham papyri and facsimiles.

Below is a summary of quotes from the article, with my comments in parenthesis:

Ensign, July 1988, Page 51:

"Why doesn't the translation of the Egyptian papyri found in 1967 match the text of the Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price?"


"The papyri in question are a part of the collection of Egyptian mummies and papyri that the Prophet Joseph Smith bought from Michael Chandler in 1835. After the Prophet's death, the papyri were lost to the Church. But in 1966, Dr. Aziz S. Atiya, a professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Utah, discovered some twenty-two separate papyri fragments in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, which were clearly part of Joseph Smith's original collection. The papyri were acquired by the Church, and they are now located at Brigham Young University."

(Note: The church has always admitted that the rediscovered papyri is the same one in the possession of Joseph Smith.)

"..some people have concluded that this Book of Breathings must be the text Joseph Smith used in his translation of the book of Abraham."

(Note: This "some people" making the conclusion includes the Mormon Church, which under the direction of Apostle N. Eldon Tanner, sent out for the translation, expecting it to prove Smith's true translation abilities.)

"However, there are some serious problems associated with this assumption. First of all, from paleographic and historical considerations, the Book of Breathings papyrus can reliably be dated to around A.D. 60-much too late for Abraham to have written it. Of course, it could be a copy-or a copy of a copy-of the original written by Abraham. However, a second problem arises when one compares the text of the book of Abraham with a translation of the Book of Breathings; they clearly are not the same..."

(Note: Notice how the church is admitting the two basic facts 1: The papyri is too young to have been written by Abraham and 2: A real translation of the papyri doesn't match the book of Abraham. So how are they going to squirm out of this?)

"Actually, there are two possible explanations why the text of the recently discovered papyri does not match the text in the Pearl of Great Price."

(Note: There are actually THREE possibilities.)

"One explanation is that it may have been taken from a different portion of the papyrus rolls in Joseph Smith's possession."

(Note: This has been proven false since the release of Smith's translation dictionary. Characters from the existing fragments match those in Smiths notes that he attributes to the BoA. Besides, the facsimiles in the Book of Abraham are the ones in the discovered papyri.)

"A second explanation takes into consideration what Joseph Smith meant by the word translation. While translating the Book of Mormon, he used the Urim and Thummim rather than dictionaries and grammars of the language. Translating with the Urim and Thummim is evidently a much different process than using the tools of scholarly research."

(Note: According to Church History, the angel Moroni had already permanently taken back the Urim and Thummin years earlier. The Book of Commandments, Smith's Journal and William Clayton's Journal all say Smith used his brown peep stone for the Book of Abraham translation. Later, the DandC changed all references of "peep stone" to "urim and thummim.")

"Instead of making a literal translation, as scholars would use the term, he used the Urim and Thummim as a means of receiving revelation."

(Note: Joseph Smith really used his brown peep stone, the same rock-in-the-hat trick he used to dictate all of the Book of Mormon)

"..as Joseph Smith used the word, he could have received the meaning, or subject-matter content of the original text, as he did in his translation of the Bible. This explanation would mean that Joseph Smith received the text of our present book of Abraham the same way he received the translation of the parchment of John the Revelator-he did not even need the actual text in front of him."

(Note: So then why did he even have the papyri? This explanation is completely bogus because the Book of Abraham contains Smith's "translations" of facsimile drawings included in the papyri. If it wasn't a literal translation, why does the BoA today show the facsimile drawings? Besides, didn't Smith tell everyone he used the papyri as the source? That's what it still says in the introduction to the BoA in the scriptures. And Abraham 1:12 actually references the facsimile image included in the papyri!)

"His translation of the Bible, parts of which are in the book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price, was also done without having the original text before him."

(Note: This sounds familiar. According to official church history and eyewitnesses, Smith dictated whole sections of the Book of Mormon while the gold plates were hidden in the woods or under the bed.)

"In reality, the actual method Joseph Smith used is far less important than the resulting book of scripture he produced."

(Note: This is where the church throws out reason. They are basically telling you to ignore the facts and evidence in front of you.)

"In the final analysis, however, the proof of the truth of the book of Abraham does not come by human means."

(Note: What does "human means" mean? Why can't a real translation verify Smith's translation claims?)

"I have studied the book of Abraham, and the truth of it has been made known to me in a way I can't deny. I know that anyone who earnestly wants to know if the book of Abraham is true can also receive this same witness and knowledge from God."

(Note: The third possibility they chose to ignore is that the translation is a hoax. Based on the facts, which of the three possibilities is most likely to be correct?)

Want to know more? Check out this web site:
http://www.irr.org/mit/Book-of-Abraham-page.html

For a really good explanation of how the church obtained the papyri, authenticated it and then tried to cover it all up, read "Quest for the Gold Plates: Thomas Stuart Ferguson's Archaeological Search for the Book of Mormon." A large portion of this book is on the story of the Egyptian papyri fiasco.
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Some Comments On Farms' Response To Robert Ritner's Article On The Book Of Abraham
Monday, Mar 27, 2006, at 07:49 AM
Original Author(s): Randy Jordan
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
From the closed thread. Substrate provided the link:

>http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=reviewandid=561


First off, the author, Larry Morris, is identified as "a writer and editor with the Institute for the Study and Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts at Brigham Young University." He holds an MA, not a doctorate, and is not an Egyptologist. Since John Gee is a Mormon Egyptologist, and is the subject of much of Ritner's criticism, one wonders why Gee did not compose a response to Ritner, rather than Morris. Is Morris running interference for Gee?

Morris wrote:

>These three fragments, found on a mummy discovered in a Theban tomb, were owned by an Egyptian priest by the name of Hor. They are part of a larger text sometimes called the "book of breathings." Baer suggests, however, that "breathing permit" is actually a better translation. In addition, these fragments are sometimes known as the "sensen" text, from the Egyptian snsn, or breathing. Hence, these names all refer to the same text.


Great---the FARMS author agrees that the papyrus fragments are an Egyptian funerary text. Joseph Smith said that the fragments were associated with "The Book of Abraham." So the FARMS author agrees that Joseph Smith was clueless as to the true meaning and purpose of the documents.

Morris's complaints about Ritner's "tone" and "anti-Mormon attacks" are hypocritical and diversionary. LDS apologistetics, in particular Hugh Nibley, have and can be laced with ad hominems and polemics. (Need I cite Nibley's "No Ma'am, That's Not History" or William Hamblin's "Metcalfe Is Butthead" comment as examples?) Also, Ritner is hardly alone in his criticism of Nibley: such Mormons as BYU professor Kent Jackson and Nibley's own daughter, Martha Nibley Beck, have criticized Nibley's scholarship and fast-and-loose usage of sources.

Morris's complaints about Ritner's tone are merely typical Mormon whining. Mormons expect the world to treat them and their church with utmost respect and reverence, while they don't grasp the fact that most of the world holds Mormonism in much the same regard they do Scientology or Reverend Moon. Morris needs to save his whining and moaning for somebody who cares.

Morris writes:

>In the very first sentence of his Dialogue article, Ritner steps out of his area of expertise to make a controversial claim that really has nothing to do with his stated purpose of reexamining the Breathing Permit of Hor. He announces, as if it were an established fact, that the eleven papyrus fragments once owned by Joseph Smith–and given by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the Church of Jesus Christ in 1967–were "employed as the basis for 'The Book of Abraham'" (p. 97). Of course, whether Joseph Smith employed these fragments as the "basis" of the Book of Abraham is not established at all–this is the issue that has sparked such a long and heated debate over the origin of the Book of Abraham.


As I detailed in posts to "anon" in this thread, Joseph Smith indeed claimed that the fragments including the three "facsimiles" were part of his "Book of Abraham." If Morris denies this, he is either ignorant or a liar.

>Further, this is not an Egyptological question, for the debate does not center on a translation of the fragments.


To the contrary, the very *HEART* of this debate centers on whether Joseph Smith possessed the ability to translate ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. It doesn't matter whether there are any "missing" scrolls or not. Joseph Smith obviously had no clue as to the meaning of the fragments which are in existence, so since his credibility is shot, the debate is over.

Morris then rehashes the typical Mopologetic defense that the existence of the Kirtland Egyptian Papers (a.k.a. the "Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar") do not prove that Smith used the hieratic characters in the Sen-sen text as the source for his BOA "translation." This is a typical diversionary tactic, designed to obfuscate the fact that whether or not Smith used the EAandG characters does not negate the fact that he was clueless as to the correct meaning and purpose of the documents in general. *NONE* of Smith's papyrus fragments have anything whatsoever to do with Abraham, or Judeo-Christianity in the least. Facsimile No. 1 does *NOT* depict Abraham being attacked by a wicked priest. Rather, it depicts a common Egyptian funerary scene. That error alone ends the debate about Smith's credibility.

Morris then complains about Ritner's "ridiculing" the content of the BOA, saying that earlier Egyptologists didn't do that. I say, why not ridicule what is so obviously ridiculous? As I wrote to "anon" in another post, Smith's tall tale about Egypt being discovered and named by "Egyptus" (while it was still under water from the Noachic flood, no less!), is ridiculous on its face. The land of Egypt had been occupied for many centuries before the mythical flood, and no alleged devastating global flood interrupted Egyptian civilization in the least. Smith's assertion that Egypt was named after "Egyptus" is also a farce. So what it wrong with ridiculing the ridiculous? It is somehow worse than ridiculing (for instance) Scientology's or the Heaven's Gate cult's ridiculous, concocted-out-of-whole-cloth beliefs?

Well, Carrie's calling supper, and this is enough for one post anyhoo. Maybe I'll add more later.
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The Testimony Of The Eight Witnesses
Thursday, May 18, 2006, at 07:58 AM
Original Author(s): Infymus
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
In 1912 copies of the Book of Abraham Facsimiles were sent to eight of the world's leading Egyptologists - asking each for their assessment of Joseph Smith's interpretation of the papyrus.
The eight Egyptologists and Semitists who responded were unanimous in their scathing verdict: "Joseph Smith's interpretation of these cuts is a farrago of nonsense from beginning to end," came the report from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which added that "five minutes study in an Egyptian gallery of any museum should be enough to convince any educated man of the clumsiness of the imposture;"4 ". . . difficult to deal seriously with Smith's impudent fraud," wrote another from Oxford, England. "Smith has turned the Goddess into a king and Osiris into Abraham."5 From Chicago, ". . . very clearly demonstrates that he (Joseph Smith) was totally unacquainted with the significance of these documents and absolutely ignorant of the simplest facts of Egyptian Writing and civilization."6 And from London, ". . . the attempts to guess a meaning are too absurd to be noticed. It may be safely said that there is not one single word that is true in these explanations."7 - By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus: A New Look at the Joseph Smith Papyri Part 1 (Chapters 1-4) By Charles M. Larson
FARMS response? Joseph Smith was able to see things in the Papyrus that someone without the power of God could not see. FARMS's BYU "professors" then cross their fingers behind their backs and hope that Mormons will swallow this bitter pill.

Joseph Smith was nothing more than a conman - who succeeded in conning thousands of people at the time he purportedly “translated” the Papyrus. We now fully understand the Papyrus was nothing more than a funerary scroll, however, Mormonism continues to lie to its members stating the Papyrus was the “Word of God”.
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Reflections On The Book Of Abraham
Wednesday, Jul 26, 2006, at 07:10 AM
Original Author(s): Mad Viking
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
I remember when I first went to the FARMS website. I was really excited about the articles about the BoA. As I started reading Nibley's articles I started to get the feeling that the topic of the BoA was very complicated and almost required several college level classes in Egyptian history and language to even begin to address it. I remember not having the slightest clue about half of what Nibley was saying the first few times I read his articles. The more I read the more I became aware of the fact that Nibley and his still living counterparts were rebutting critics of the BoA. I bounced back and forth, reading critique and rebuttal. At first I thought he apologists were doing quite well. I would read some fact that a critic would bring up and search and search until I found an answer from the apologists. I don't remember if those first points that the critics were really bad ones, or if I was still a little brainwashed.

Eventually, I started gathering critic points quicker than the apologists were answering them. Then I started noticing that the apologists weren't even addressing some points. The propoganda tools I thought I caught them using ran the gambit from ad hoc theories to strawmen arguements and every fallicious arguement in between. I finally got a basic understanding of what the BoB and BotD where. I read Charles Larson's book. I had a couple of small critques for him, but these were areas where I thought that he pulled punches.

Tonight, while reading a post by Concrete Zipper I was directed to a link for the Book of Abraham Project. I tried to be patient and read the whole page. Maybe I am delusional about my understanding of the issues. Maybe I have over simplified the issues surrounding the BoA. However, one must only compare JS's explanation of any of the Facsimiles to a proper Egyptian's translation to determine that JS could not translate Egyptian. Did he claim that he could. I am pretty sure that he did. I am also pretty sure that he claimed he could do it by using his position as a prophet that was entitled to translate scripture. The apologists have come up with all sorts of convoluted theories about the BoB having two meanings, missing scrolls, etc. that have about their basis in a small amount of truth. I guess I have come full circle. I still believe that their main goal is to confuse anyone new to the issue. Except, I am no longer confused by what they say. In my opinion the vast majority of writings about the BoA are nothing more that smoke and mirrors.

Maybe I am being simplistic, but if the BoA does not prove that JS was not a prophet then it comes pretty damn close. I am beginning to think that they are intentionally trying to confuse people.
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The Egyptian Papyri Were Not All Destroyed
Thursday, Dec 14, 2006, at 07:47 AM
Original Author(s): Mormonthink
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
Mormons are taught that all of the Papyrus that Joseph Smith used to translate the Book of Abraham were destroyed in a fire. It is one of the first apologetic words out of their mouths when critics ask to see the Papyrus for proper translation.

In 1966, a University of Utah researcher at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York made a startling find in the archives of the museum. While looking at a collection of some fragments of Egyptian papyrus rolls, he recognized one of the illustrations on one of the fragments as nearly identical to the "Facsimile 1" wood-cut that appears in the Mormon Book of Abraham. Further investigation proved what he suspected--these were some of the original papyrus fragments that were purchased by the LDS in 1835. In 1967, the Museum presented the papyri as a gift to the LDS Church. It was time for Evans' challenge to be taken up by Mormon critics.

The Church itself did some of the investigative work in comparing the results of modern studies in Egyptology applied to the papyri to the claims Joseph Smith had made for his work on the Book of Abraham. But when it became obvious that the results were going to be painfully uncomfortable for the Church, work became very slow. Outside researchers eventually obtained adequate copies of the material and began publishing their own results.

The bottom line of the investigations by all--one of the sections of papyrus was clearly the Egyptian writing from which Smith claimed to "translate" the Book of Abraham. There were still handwritten copies of the original translation work which showed the individual Egyptian figures down the left margin of a page, with the English translation right next to it. The handwriting on these copies was by Smith's regular scribes who helped him in his work. These Egyptian figures are clearly seen in a section of one of the recovered papyrus sections, all in exactly the same order that they appear on the handwritten "translation" pages.

But scholar after scholar both inside and outside the LDS Church declared that there was absolutely no connection between the text of the Book of Abraham and the actual content of the Egyptian documents. The papyri were clearly identified by one and all as examples of completely ordinary "funerary" documents of ancient Egypt. The section used by Smith was from a document called the Book of Breathings. It contained the specific name of the deceased individual it had been prepared for, and would have accompanied that person in their burial setting to provide them guidance in the after life, as it included "spells" which the deceased could use in the afterlife to learn to "breathe" again. Other papyrus fragments from the collection were from the Egyptian Book of the Dead, an earlier collection of writings with a similar purpose. The Book of Breathings was an abbreviated version of the Book of the Dead, used in the later eras of Egyptian history. In fact, the papyrus used by Smith from which to derive the Book ofAbraham has been dated by scholars to the first century AD--almost 2000 years after the time of Abraham.

When the recovered papyrus was discovered in 1966, something else was discovered--the original that Smith had used had pieces missing, including portions of the picture in Facsimile 1. Smith had obviously commissioned an artist to "fill in" the missing details according to Smith's speculation of what would have been in the missing sections. Below is a photo of the actual scroll fragments. It can be clearly seen what portions were "reconstructed" for publication in Mormon writings. The papyrus had obviously been glued to a heavy paper backing at the time it was in Smith's possession (the back side of the backing paper had a map of the Kirtland, Ohio area, and architectural drawings for a temple), and crude sketching is obvious in the missing areas of the illustration.

The study of Egyptian funerary art has progressed extensively during the intervening century, and it is painfully obvious to modern Egyptian scholars that Smith's speculations missed the mark. Below is a modern reconstruction of what the missing pieces likely contained, based on contents of similar funeral documents.

And instead of this being a portrayal of an attempt by an idolatrous priest to sacrifice Abraham, contemporary Egyptian scholars identify it as a mythical stylized funerary scene portraying the embalming and expected resurrection of Osiris, god of the underworld. The human-headed bird on the right would portray the soul of Osiris getting ready to return to his body. The bird hovering over the center of the body is a falcon representing Osiris's wife Isis, "in anticipation of the procreative act which will make Isis pregnant with their son Horus." (Larson, p. 102) The jars with heads below the couch are "canopic jars" which would hold the internal organs of the deceased. The heads represent the four sons of Horus: Amset, Hapi, Duamutef, and Qebehsenuef. In Egyptian funerary documents, Osiris represents the person for whom the documents were prepared.

A number of modern Egyptologists have translated the writings connected to this picture, and their conclusions are all in close agreement. They merely convey information about the deceased for whom the Book of Breathings document was created.



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Joseph Smith's ''Egyptian Alphabet And Grammar,'' As It Has Come To Be Called, Had Never Really Been Lost Or Missing
Thursday, Dec 14, 2006, at 07:52 AM
Original Author(s): Larson
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
From: Larson, pp. 32-33

Smith's ''Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar,'' as it has come to be called, had never really been lost or missing. For a long time it was simply ignored, and more recently it had been considered restricted. It was among that portion of early Church records the Mormons managed to take with them when they left Nauvoo in 1846, and it was included in the list of materials recorded in the Church Historian's Office Journal as having been deposited in the Historian's fireproof vault in Salt Lake City in 1855. There the manuscript lay, apparently all but forgotten for eighty years, before being "rediscovered" in 1935 during the course of some historical research by Dr. Sidney B. Sperry of Brigham Young University, James R. Clark, a student of Sperry's, and A. William Lund, Assistant Church Historian at the time.

These documents were not released for public examination or study, however. For the time being their discovery was not even announced. It was not until 1938 that Dr. Sperry was allowed to publish a pair of rather indistinct photographs of two pages from the Alphabet and Grammar notebook which contained part of a translation manuscript from the Book of Abraham. The existence of the entire Grammar was still only hinted at for many years, and only a select handful of scholars and authorities within the LDS Church were allowed access to the material. This, despite the great historical significance attached to it by LDS writers like William Berrett, who proudly described it as Joseph Smith's "most notable achievement . . . the development of a Grammar for the Egyptian hieroglyphic form of writing," and "the first Egyptian Grammar in America."

Curiously, even as late as 1960 (by which time it had been known for some twenty-five years that the "Alphabet and Grammar" had survived and was in the Church's possession) Dr. Sperry remarked at BYU's Pearl of Great Price Conference that he did not know whether or not the Church authorities would yet allow it to be published, adding that he thought "it would be a little premature, perhaps, to do it now, until we can really do a good job of it."

Others who had occasion to come into contact with the material apparently disagreed with the Church's reluctance in the matter. Late in 1965 a microfilm copy of the entire work was "leaked" to Jerald and Sandra Tanner of Modern Microfilm Company (now Utah Lighthouse Ministry). The Tanners were former Mormons who were rapidly gaining a reputation for printing documents relating to Mormonism that, though authentic, made Church officials uncomfortable. By 1966 the Tanners had produced the first complete photomechanical reprint and transcription of the entire Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar.

But contrary to what most Mormons evidently expected, publication of the Alphabet and Grammar in no way substantiated Joseph Smith's ability to translate ancient Egyptian. Quite the opposite, for the book turned out to be nothing but page after page of nonsensical gibberish. Though it had apparently succeeded at one time in impressing unsophisticated minds, the work was unable to withstand the scrutiny of experts.

Professional Egyptologists to whom the Alphabet and Grammar was submitted for examination were quick to point out that the material in Joseph Smith's notebook bore no resemblance at all to any correct understanding of the ancient Egyptian language. As one of them, I. E. Edwards, put it, the whole work was, "largely a piece of imagination and lacking in any kind of scientific value." He added that it reminded him of "the writings of psychic practitioners which are sometimes sent to me." There were many similar verdicts, all confirming that the person responsible for what Berrett had glowingly called "the first Egyptian grammar in America" could not possibly have understood the ancient Egyptian language.
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Egyptians Keep Exposing Joseph Smith
Sunday, Dec 24, 2006, at 08:45 AM
Original Author(s): Servant Of Osiris
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
Yesterday we took our kids to see an exhibition of Egyptian antiquities from the Louvre, Paris which was on display at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra. The exhibition was entitled “Journey to the Afterlife” and contained a beautiful collection of artefacts from Egypt that were between 2,500 and 4,000 years old. Five minutes after entering the exhibit and watching the introductory video we had learned enough about Book of the Dead papyri to discern the real meaning behind facsimile 1 and 3 in the Book of Abraham.

I have known for years that the BOA is a fabrication, but it was shocking to see “in the flesh” how obvious the fraud was. By the end of this exhibit my 13-year-old daughter was able to see it. In facsimile 1 she could pick out the four canopic jars for storing internal organs, which Smith misidentified as fictitious idolatrous gods and in facsimile 3 she could recognize the Egyptian god Osiris which Smith misidentified as Abraham.

Just weeks earlier I had read Martha Beck’s book in which she mentioned how her father Hugh Nibley (who single-handedly saved the BOA) handled the dissonance this caused him – he went mad. The moment Nibley looked at the papyri he would have known the BOA was a fabrication. The real clincher would have been the facsimiles and they are still the most obvious “smoking gun” that no apologist can explain away.

The feeble explanation that the papyri inspired Smith to write the otherwise unrelated BOA is complete nonsense because Smith’s interpretation of the facsimile links directly with the BOA text. How on earth can the current crop of liars (like Daniel Peterson and John Tvedtnes ) explain this away?

The funniest part is where the "ancient" text say, in essence, "see figure 1"

Abraham 1:14:

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

i.e. the text itself refers the readers to the pictures of "gods" (canopic jars) in facsimile #1. Kind of hard to claim that the BoA was unrelated to the papyrus.

Apologists turn around and say:
"Joseph Smith took some characters from the papyri and translated them by the gift and power of God. He did not do so in a conventional manner. The translation was supernatural and beyond the understanding of modern Egyptologists. We can see with our own eyes how a few characters were used to produce whole sentences of the lost story of Abraham"
Ok, you just keep doing whatever mental gymnastics it takes to believe that.
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Book Of Abraham Rebuttal - The Four Names Of The Four Canopics
Monday, Jan 8, 2007, at 06:26 AM
Original Author(s): Spongebob Squaregarments
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
Have any of the Egyptian names and terms identified by Joseph been verified as actually being Egyptian?

There are many Egyptian names given on Joseph’s explanation of the 3 facsimiles as well as numerous names in Smith’s Egyptian Book of Alphabet and Grammar. Names such as Elkenah, Libnah, Mahmackrah, Korash, etc. Despite some apologists claims to the contrary, none of these names have been found in any Egyptian documents.

Apologists claims - From LDS apologist Jeff Lindsay's site:
Further support for Joseph's interpretation of several elements in Facs. 1 comes from Daniel Peterson's article in the Jan. 1994 Ensign,

Ancient texts indicate that the idolatrous gods of Elkenah, Libnah, Mahmackrah, and Korash, described in the book of Abraham (Abr. 1:6, 13, 17; facsimile 1, figs. 5-8), truly were worshipped in the ancient world, despite the fact that the Bible makes no mention of them.
http://www.jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/FQ_...
The above statement is very misleading. I guess enough critics complained so fellow LDS apologist Kerry Shirts provided this response on another web page:
On the Names of the Four Canopic Jars in Facsimile 1 - by Kerry A. Shirts

A Note of Explanation:

Critics have said the names of these figures are not Egyptian and therefore not authentic.

This article takes a closer look.

We grant the critics a point in noting the four names of the four canopics under the lion couch are not necessarily Egyptian names. But they are names that are found in the ancient world, namely Egyptian combined with ancient Syro-Canaanitish elements, and that is the point. This is not just gibberish. Abraham is pointing out the ancient Egyptian customs to a non-Egyptian audience of his in the Book of Abraham.
http://www2.ida.net/graphics/shirtail...
So LDS apologist Kerry Shirts admits that they are not real Egyptian names so how does that possibly support Joseph’s interpretation as claimed by Jeff Lindsay? I have not been able to find any evidence that the four names mentioned by Joseph are real names at all.

Note that neither Brother Lindsay nor Daniel Peterson provides any evidence to show how these ancient names could be derived and possibly be interpreted by anyone to support Joseph’s claims. If it made sense Lindsay would have simply shown evidence for these four names on his website which would add to Joseph’s credibility but he doesn’t because it really doesn’t support Joseph’s claims when you analyze it.

The four names referred to by Joseph don’t appear to be real ancient names at all unless you combine various parts of different words from different languages. This is typical of some LDS apologist’s efforts to find some sort of wild explanation to Joseph’s translation of the facsimiles.

Even if they were real names, although certainly not Egyptian, Joseph may have simply got them out of a dictionary or encyclopedia. The only way this helps support Joseph’s claims is if he identified the actual Egyptian names which was not known at the time but he failed to identify any Egyptian names.

You will note on Jeff Lindsay’s site, he does not correct the original misleading statement. So any researcher that goes to Lindsay’s site will be under the impression that the four gods named by Joseph on facsimile 1 were somehow correctly identified by Joseph.

Had Joseph Smith actually translated the papyri, he would have referred to the figures as the four sons of Horus and given their actual names of Imset, Hapt, Qebe-senuwef, and Duwa-mutef. This would have stood as a powerful witness to the truthfulness of the BOA and to Smith's prophetic role but Joseph gave incorrect non-Egyptian names.
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The Book Of Abraham And The Mormon Apologist "Missing Scroll Theory"
Tuesday, Jan 9, 2007, at 06:19 AM
Original Author(s): Randy Jordan
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
Charles Larson's book is on-line at

http://www.irr.org/MIT/Book-of-Abraha...

His section titled the "Missing Scroll Theory" debunks the Mormons' bogus claim. In a nutshell:

*The text of the BOA, 1:12, refers to the scroll fragment known as Facsimile No. 1 as "this record." That makes it obvious that that fragment was part of what Smith claimed was the original of the BOA.

*Smith ordered the three "facsimiles" copied and published as part of the BOA in its first publication in 1942, in the "Times and Seasons" newspaper which he owned and edited. They carry the caption "A facsimile from the Book of Abraham," and still do to this day. If those facsimiles are *not* from what Smith claimed was the BOA, then the apologists need to explain why Smith had those particular ones published, rather than the alleged "real" BOA text, which was on some supposed "missing" scroll.

As for what legitimate scholars think of the apologists' defenses of Smith's "interpretations": The U. of Chicago's Dept. of Egyptology is known as one of the best in the nation (the late Hugh Nibley studied there under Klaus Baer.) Its current head, Dr. Robert Ritner, published a scathing criticism of the apologists' lame defenses in the Journal of Near Eastern Studies. You can read it at:

http://72.14.209.104/u/utlm?q=cache:M...

A year or so ago, John Gee sent a "rebuttal" of Ritner's article to fellow Mopologist Daniel Peterson, which was forwarded to me. Gee's response consisted of a pissing contest between he and Ritner, as well as ad hominem attacks, and failed to address a single one of Ritner's criticisms of Joseph Smith's silly "interpretations."
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Watched A BYU Special On The Book Of Abraham
Monday, Jan 15, 2007, at 10:08 AM
Original Author(s): Spongebob Squaregarments
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
I watched a BYU special over the weekend with a hardcore TBM friend of mine. He knows about much of the historical problems yet still believes. The BYU special was on the Book of Abraham - especially the facsimiles.

Although the host, Robert Millet asked some difficult questions, the panel including Michael Rhodes, head of ancient studies at BYU, defended Joseph's explanations of the facsimiles as if Joseph had everything right.

The mental gymnastics was amazing. He would say Joseph said this figure is Kolob. he would then say there is a word in another language, not Egyptian, that sounds kinda like Kolob spelled QRB and that can be interpreted as the word 'near'. And near to God is what Joseph said is Kolob. Another direct hit for the uneducated Joseph.

Every 'hit' was some wild explanation that was extrapolated to the extreme in order to find some way Joseph could possibly be right. Of course they ignored the bizarre claims like how our sun gets its light from another star as mentioned in the BOA and the many items that JS said couldn't be revealed to the world now but Egyptologists have the exact explanation or Joseph's Book of Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar that is complete nonsense.

They ended the show with a quote from Nibley saying how changing science is but how unchanging the gospel is. The worst part is how my friend, a very smart guy, accepted Rhodes' explanations of Joseph's translations as making complete sense.

If Joseph's explanations of the facsimiles is as correct as Rhodes says he was, then the Church needs to have a press conference and prove to the world how Joseph was really a prophet by his 'correct' translations of the facsimiles.

I would pay anything to have had non-Mormon Egyptologists be part of that panel and give their opinions as to how valid Rhodes' explanations of Joseph's interpretations of the facsimiles are.

For more info on the BOA: http://www.mormonthink.com/boaweb.htm
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Something To Share With Your Home Teachers
Monday, Jun 4, 2007, at 07:52 AM
Original Author(s): Baura
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
Humorist, film-maker and comedian Woody Allen wrote a parody of the story of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Allen's comic essay, titled "The Scrolls" was originally published in the "New Yorker" and is reprinted in his collection of humorous essays "Without Feathers."

It begins:

"Scholars will recall that several years ago a shepherd, wandering in the Gulf of Aqaba, stumbled upon a cave containing several large clay jars and also two tickets to the ice show. Inside the jars were discovered six parchment scrolls with ancient incomprehensible writing which the shepherd, in his ignorance, sold to the museum for $750,000 apiece. Two years later the jars turned up in a pawnshop in Philadelphia. One year later the shepherd turned up in a pawnshop in Philadelphia and neither was claimed.

"Archaeologists originally set the date of the scrolls at 4000 B.C., or just after the massacre of the Israelites by their benefactors. The writing is a mixture of Sumerian, Aramaic, and Babylonian and seems to have been done by either one man over a long period of time, or several men who shared the same suit. The authenticity of the scrolls is currently in great doubt, particularly since the word "Oldsmobile" appears several times in the text, and the few fragments that have finally been translated deal with familiar religious themes in a more than dubious way. Still, excavationist A. H. Bauer has noted that even thought the fragments seem totally fraudulent, this is probably the greatest archeological find in history with the exception of the recovery of his cuff links from a tomb in Jerusalem."

Of course any supposedly ancient scroll which contained the word "Oldsmobile" would obviously be a modern forgery. In fact the use of such anachronistic (from "ana" meaning not and "chronos" meaning of time--so "out of time") expressions are one way scholars sniff out forged documents from real ones.

Question: why is Egypt called "Egypt"? If you go to Egypt they don't call their country "Egypt," they call it "Misr" or "Misir." If you ask someone from a country whose language was not influenced by the Roman empire they will also not call it "Egypt." In Turkish, for instance, it is called "Misir" also.

So the question arises, why do we call it "Egypt?"

The answer goes back in time to when Memphis was the de-facto capitol of Egypt....er...Misir. Memphis was also the main location of the cult of the Egyptian, er..., Misirian god Ptah. Memphis was referred to, by the ancient Egyptians as the "house of Ptah" which, in their language sounded, more or less, "het ka Ptah"

When the Greeks began to explore the world they came to Memphis, or "het ka Ptah." Upon returning they gave it their own idiosyncratic Greek pronounciation. In Greek "Het ka Ptah" became "aigyptos" which morphed into "Egyptus." This is how Greeks did it. The Hebrew-Aramaic name "Yeshua" became "Jesus" and the Hebrew Name "Moise" became "Moses."

It is from this Greek name for "Egypt" that the Italian, French, German and other languages got the name "Egypt" or variations on it.

With this in mind it is interesting that the following passages shows up in the first chapter of "The Book of Abraham" (BOA:

"23 The land of Egypt being first discovered by a woman, who was the daughter of Ham, and the daughter of Egyptus, which in the Chaldean signifies Egypt, which signifies that which is forbidden;

"24 When this woman discovered the land it was under water, who afterward settled her sons in it; and thus, from Ham, sprang that race which preserved the curse in the land.

"25 Now the first government of Egypt was established by Pharaoh, the eldest son of Egyptus, the daughter of Ham, and it was after the manner of the government of Ham, which was patriarchal."

This interesting passage does two things. It explains how the "curse of Ham" made it to Africa. In this case by his Ham's daughter "Egyptus" who "discovered the land and it was under water" and it "explains" how Egypt became named Egypt (sort of a "how the leopard got its spots" explanation).

This "Curse of Ham," by the way, was a popular argument for justifying racism and even slavery in the time of Joseph Smith. As Wikipedia points out:

"The 'curse of Ham' has been used by some members of Abrahamic religions to justify racism and the enslavement of people of African ancestry, who were thought to be descendants of Ham (often called Hamites), either through Canaan or his older brothers. This racist theory was common during the 18th-20th centuries, but has been largely abandoned even by the most conservative theologians since the mid-20th century."

The problem with the Book-of-Abraham passage, of course, is the word "Egyptus." It is not Chaldean, it is Greek. It doesn't signify "forbidden," it is a Hellenized version of "Het ka Ptah", the Egyptian name for the city now known as Memphis, and it wasn't the name of anyone who "discovered" the land of Egypt or who was the mother of Pharaoh(s).

Just like Allens "Scrolls" The Book of Abraham "deal[s] with familiar religious themes in a more than dubious way" and just like the appearance of "Oldsmobile" in Allen's fictitious "scrolls" the passage about Egyptus in The Book of Abraham shows that it is a later forgery and not an actual Abrahamic document.
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Mormon Apologists Claim The Book Of Breathings Text (Also Known As "Shait En Sensen") Is Not The Source For The Book Of Abraham
Wednesday, Jun 6, 2007, at 08:23 AM
Original Author(s): Brackite
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
Most LDS Apologists of the Book of Abraham believe, maintain, and proclaim that the Book of Breathings text ((also known as Shait en Sensen) "Breathing permit" for the priest Hor text) is Not the source from which the Book of Abraham. Hugh Nibley maintained and proclaimed this. John Gee maintains and proclaims this. And of course, Even the 'Chief' LDS Apologist Daniel C. Peterson maintains and proclaims this.

Here is what Daniel C. Peterson wrote in the January 1994 Ensign:
"Critics have long attempted to make a case against the book of Abraham. They argue that some ancient texts do not support the book. They point to the fragments of the Joseph Smith papyri that we now possess and claim that since the contents of these papyri bear little obvious relationship to the book of Abraham, the book is a fraud; but Hugh Nibley has made an exhaustive study of these claims and has shown that the papyri we now have were probably not the ones from which Joseph Smith translated the book of Abraham." http://library.lds.org/nxt/gateway.dl...
Despite Daniel C. Peterson, wanting the readers of the Ensign to not believe that the Book of Breathings text ((also known as Shait en Sensen) "Breathing permit" for the priest Hor text) is not the source for the Book of Abraham (by providing a footnote to some of Hugh Nibley BofA Apologetics, which had a lot of it already been refuted before the year of 1994 (1)), the evidence is very overwhelming that the Book of Breathings text is indeed the source for the Book of Abraham.

Here is what Kevin Graham wrote and quoted from Brent Metcalfe on the “FAIR"/MAandD Message Board many, many months ago there:
We also get all these wild excuses as to how the Breathings text couldn`t have possibily been the source for the BoA translation, but not one single LDS apologetic even acknolwedges the many reasons to believe it was. Here is a list provided by Metcalfe:
  1. Facsimile 1 is the opening vignette in the Breathing Permit of HĂ´r.
  2. Facsimile 3 is the closing vignette in the Breathing Permit of Hôr. (The Hôr papyrus fragment for Fac. 3 is not extant. Still, the Fac. 3 woodcut preserves the identity of the deceased—Hôr—confirming that it too belongs to Hôr's Breathing Permit.)
  3. The BoAbr identifies Facsimile 1 (the opening vignette in HĂ´r's Breathing Permit) as an illustration placed at the "commencement" (Abr. 1:12) or "beginning" (Abr. 1:14) of patriarch Abraham's record.
  4. Vignette Facsimile 3 (from the Breathing Permit of HĂ´r), according to Smith, also illustrates scenes from Abraham's life.
  5. In keeping with the BoAbr claim that Facsimile 1 opened the record, all extant dictated BoAbr manuscripts (MS 1a [fldr. 2], MS 1b [fldr. 3], and MS 2 [fldr. 1]) contain authentic hieratic copied sequentially from the contiguous portion of the Breathing Permit of HĂ´r only. (There are two minor exceptions to sequence, but those characters too originate from HĂ´r's Breathing Permit. Invented, non-authentic Egyptian characters also appear on the manuscripts at points where the papyrus fragment has a lacuna.)
  6. All authentic Egyptian characters in Joseph Smith's Egyptian Alphabet manuscripts and the bound Grammar and Alphabet of the Egyptian Language were copied from the Breathing Permit of HĂ´r.
  7. Aside from hypocephalus Facsimile 2 (the original of which is no longer extant), Hôr's Breathing Permit is the only papyrus that is associated with Joseph Smith's BoAbr—an association that is attested to repeatedly in the BoAbr text and its antecedent manuscripts.
Point #5 is the true kicker, and to explain exactly how this worked, here is a photo of a KEP manuscript to the right.
(The Bold Emphasis is Mine here; It is Kevin quoting from Brent.)

Well Anyways then, despite what Daniel C. Peterson and John Gee believing and Maintaining, and them wanting a lot of people to believe that the Book of Breathings text ((also known as Shait en Sensen) "Breathing permit" for the priest Hor text) is Not the source for the Book of Abraham, The evidence is indeed very, very Overwhelming that the Book of Breathings text is indeed the very source for the Book of Abraham.

Please See for example: 'Reducing Dissonance: The Book of Abraham as a Case Study' by Edward H. Ashment. http://www.xmission.com/~research/cen...
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The Book Of Abraham Facsimile Shows Lines Copied Directly From The Book Of Breathings - Text Mormon Apologists Say Have Nothing To Do With The BOA
Wednesday, Jun 6, 2007, at 08:38 AM
Original Author(s): Kevin Graham
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
I would add that the original Facsimile #2 suffered from lacunae over to the right. Apparently Joseph Smith decided to fill in the holes while using symbols from the BoB - the text apologists tell us have nothing to do with the BoA.


The facsimile with BoB symbols was published as part of the BoA so it cannot be argued that some scribe decided to do this on his own without Smith's consent.

Rhodes argued that someone filled it in just to make it look better, but this is a lame argument without a shred of evidence to support it. to Especially since Smith filled in the lucuna of the BoB and indicated that he did so via inspiration. Thus, it follows that he did likewise with Fac 2.
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Why Nibley And Gee Cannot Be Trusted
Saturday, Nov 10, 2007, at 09:01 AM
Original Author(s): Dartagnan
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
I will provide what I believe to be a good reason why Nibley’s scholarship should not be trusted. When the papyri were rediscovered in 1967 there was a concerted effort to develop apologetic theories to distance it from the Book of Abraham. At this point we witness the birth of the missing papyrus theory. In order to promote this theory Nibley offered this following bit of misinformation, and this is taken directly from Jeff Lindsay’s website:
The Prophet Joseph himself has supplied us with the most conclusive evidence that the manuscript today identified as the Book of Breathings, J.S. Papyri X and XI, was not in his opinion the source of the Book of Abraham. For he has furnished a clear and specific description of the latter: 'The record of Abraham and Joseph, found with the mummies, is (1) beautifully written on papyrus, with black, and (2) a small part red, ink or paint, (3) in perfect preservation.'...

Since Joseph Smith actually possessed quite a number of perfectly preserved, beautifully written Egyptian manuscripts adorned with rubrics [red characters], there is no reason to doubt that he was describing such a document as the source of 'the record of Abraham and Joseph.' And there can be no doubt whatever that the manuscript he was describing was and is an entirely different one from that badly written, poorly preserved little text, entirely devoid of rubrics, which is today identified as the Book of Breathings. One cannot insist too strongly on this point, since it is precisely the endlessly repeated claim that the Book of Breathings has been 'identified as the very source of the Book of Abraham' on which the critics of Joseph Smith have rested their whole case...."
Hugh W. Nibley, The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri: An Egyptian Endowment, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1975, pp. 2-3).
The problem with this apologetic is that it is patently false on several points:
  1. This statement didn’t derive from “the Prophet.” It comes from Oliver Cowdery’s passing description.
  2. Nibley doesn’t understand that Cowdery describes the entire collection consisting of two different records (Abraham’s record and the other from Joseph)
  3. Nibley doesn’t acknowledge that among the papyri that were rediscovered in 1967, rubrics do appear on fragments IV and VIII.
According to Nibley’s logic, since the papyri (Sensen text) commonly identified as the record of Abraham, is “badly written, poorly preserved little text, entirely devoid of rubrics,” then the real record of Abraham must be missing. The problem here is that Nibley is twisting the citation to say something it doesn’t. This is where point #2 comes in. This description doesn’t strictly refer to this record. It is a general statement about the collection of records, which also included the record of Joseph.

Now according to William Appleby, “there is a perceptible difference between the writings [of Abraham and Joseph]. Joseph appears to have been the best scribe.” This piece of evidence pretty much slams the door on Nibley’s argument because it accounts for the evidence mush better than Nibley’s shot in the dark apologetic. Among the extant records we have today, Appleby’s description fits perfectly because he makes the clear distinction between two records and he says the record of Abraham is inferior in quality to that of Joseph’s. And as I have already noted, the rubrics do appear on two of the better preserved fragments.

It is also worth noting that this “red ink” argument stood the test of time for decades. And because the Church refused to publish color copies of the papyri, we had no other choice but to take Nibley’s word for it that the papyri were void of rubrics. It wasn’t until Charles Larsen published his book, that the world could see the papyri in all their glory.

And who is responsible for making Nibley look like an idiot here? In 1990 Edward Ashment, another dastardly anti-Mormon, researched this issue thoroughly to show the world why Nibley cannot be trusted: http://www.buchabraham.mormonismus-on...

Now this lame argument still lives on at the Jeff Lindsay museum of failed apologetics, but it is good to know some LDS apologists have admitted the error in Nibley’s argument. Take for example, Kevin Barney, who back in January of 2002, made the following comment: “I am a believer in the BoA, but personally I don't put much stock in this ‘description’ argument.” And then again in June of 2003, “…the Nibley rubrics argument doesn't hold water.”

But the “hide the color” game played by LDS scholars continued with Nibley’s successor, John Gee. This time the color was shaded out to support his argument regarding the significance of the Kirtland Egyptian Papers. The KEP provide us with manuscripts of the Book of Abraham written by Joseph Smith’s scribes. The natural conclusion here is that these were the translation manuscripts. The problem for the apologists is that these manuscripts contained Egyptian characters lined up on the left margins – characters which are identical and in sequence, to those found on the Sensen text (the text the apologists cannot accept as the source for the Book of Abraham).

So what does Gee do here? After trying to figure out a way to explain how these characters could be on these manuscripts, yet have nothing to do with the actual translation process, he thinks that maybe if he can show that these characters were added after the text had been written, then maybe he could support the crazy Nibley scenario that some mysterious twit came along and added them to the texts, erroneously thinking they actually had something to do with the BoA translation.

Enter the two ink argument.

First let me not that Juliann informed us at FAIR how important Gee was. John Gee we were told, should be trusted. John Gee, we were told, had access to what the “weekend warriors” could only dream about. John Gee, we were told, had been Yale trained and had the required critical tools. Quite simply, John Gee was the hero we so desperately needed.

So at a time when apologetics needed it the most, John Gee published his “A Guide to the Joseph Smith Papyri.” On page 22 we find the following argument with “color” illustrations of the KEP:


When I first read this I couldn’t help but notice there was something strange about the coloring. Each photo seems to have been changed with a different hue. I then realized that maybe this is actually what the manuscripts looked like. The problem was that Gee’s argument about different inks was based on evidence provided in these photos. From these photos it does seem like the characters to the left were in a much darker ink, perhaps a different color.

More crucial to Gee’s argument, however, was his assertion that it the Egyptian characters sometimes “run over… the English text.”

Enter Brent Metcalfe, deceitful apostate, friend to Mark Hoffman, former security guard at the LDS archives (working undercover for the Tanners), a man who was out to destroy the Church at all costs, and a man who couldn’t tell the truth if his wife’s life depended on it. At least that was the impression most LDS apologists liked to spread.

Brent kindly pointed out that Gee’s apologetic on this point was entirely without merit. How would Metcalfe know? Well, Metcalfe had previously obtained color photos of the KEP from Steve Christensen, who was commissioned by the Church to photograph them before he was killed by Mark Hoffman. To support his counter-argument, Brent kindly shared some of the photos. I’ll present one just to prove the point:


Notice that a full blown color image of the same section provided by Gee, reveals that the ink used for the Egyptian characters is the same exact ink used in the English text to the right. The reason some points are darker than others has everything to do with the double stroke using the quill. Notice the lower portion of the “s” shows that it is just as dark as the Egyptian to the left. So Gee’s argument relies heavily on the ignorance of his audience. He wasn’t counting on anyone out there actually having the means to disprove his presentation, but that was his fault. Ultimately, the apologists want to blame Metcalfe and derail by accusing him of obtaining the photos illegally or whatever, but the fact is these photos prove Gee was being dishonest. He was manipulating the evidence to try saving the Book of Abraham. And the “run over” the English text argument is equally bankrupt. The characters do not “sometimes” run over the text. Gee was called to the carpet and decided to respond while hiding behind DanPeterson. This was so embarrassing: http://www.lds-mormon.com/gee_abraham...

Now all I have seen since this time are attempt to explain how Gee could have made an honest mistake.

I don’t think so.

Remember, we were told he should be trusted because he had first hand access to the materials.

The point here is that FARMS reviews have been pointing out errors by critics that are not even close to being as egregious as the errors committed by Nibley-Gee duo. If anti-Mormon critics should be rejected because of errors far minor than these, then how much more so should we reject Nibley and Gee?
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Why William Schryver's Apologetics Cannot Be Trusted
Saturday, Nov 10, 2007, at 07:16 AM
Original Author(s): Dartagnan
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
OK, no one is 100% objective in anything, granted. But that doesn't give one a license to be recklessly subjective all the while pretending to have credibility as an interpreter. Here is a response to a post of his I saw back in July.

William Schryver said, in reference to the KEP and the Egyptian characters lined up with the English text:
The characters are not always associated with a discrete paragraph. It is especially evident with Williams' Ms. #2.
Were they always associated with paragraphs? No, not always.
The final two characters at the bottom of the first page are not clearly associated with the text. They appear to have been placed entirely at random in relationship to the text. They are not aligned with a paragraph break, nor the beginning of a sentence, nor even a specific line.
This is patently false.

Here is a scan of the microfilm of manuscript 1a in the handwriting of Williams. It is horrible to be sure, but it serves the purpose of refuting Will’s claim.


Click Image For Larger Version


Will says the last two characters are clearly placed "at random" ??

How does he explain the fact that manuscript 1b is nearly identical in placing the same Egyptian characters at the exact same corresponding points? What is so "random" about this? Who says a character has to represent the beginning of a new paragraph or sentence anyway?

He then told Don Bradley to go study the photos like he has or else he is just blowing smoke!
In several cases in Williams' Ms. #2, the characters appear to be placed with much uncertainty -- as though the scribe didn't have any idea what their specific relationship was to the English text in the body of the document.
How in the hell does Will come up with that conclusion?

More notes and observations about Will’s claim.

If you take a look at the third circled character from the top (image above), you will notice that this character doesn’t come before a new paragraph, nor does it come before a new sentence, verse or line. In fact, this would be the only example that could possibly be used to support Will’s claim that characters were thrown about “at random” with no apparent correlation to the English text. The verse this character covers is Abraham 1:5, but Abraham 1:5 is as follows:

“My fathers, having turned from their righteousness, and from the holy commandments which the Lord their God had given unto them, unto the worshiping of the gods of the heathen, utterly refused to hearken to my voice;”

According to this manuscript a new character is placed in mid-sentence. If you look at the style of the writer, the sentences generally continue to the end of the page if they are long enough to do so, but in this manuscript this sentence stops short at the word “heathen,” leaving the rest of the sentence (“utterly refused to hearken to my voice”) for another line. What does this mean? Well, once we consider the Parrish manuscript (Ms1b/folder 3) the verdict becomes all the more clearer:


Did you see that?

It seems perfectly clear to me that these two examples are best explained as a transcription process whereby Joseph Smith stopped dictating at “heathen,” so his scribes could insert the next character. So they stopped at heathen wherever they happened to be on that particular line, and then continued on to finish the verse on the next line adjacent with the corresponding character.

Not only does this anecdote refute Will’s claim, but it also adds more evidence to the already mounting pile of evidences in favor of the dictated transcription scenario. After all, who could imagine someone breaking a sentence in half like that while copying from a source document?

My point here is that there are real reasons why I cannot trust the apologetic position. You are not going to be able to water the situation down as a matter of biased critic who is just too closedminded to see the light. What yoo sense as closedmindedness is actually skepticism, and the faulty logic and disingenuous apologetic explanations forwarded by these guys not only justify my skepticism, they demand it.

Will, Brian, Gee, Nibley, they all provide clear-cut examples of contorting evidence or flat out inventing things that are not there.

Can any of you provide any single example where any of the critics (Brent, Ashment, CK or myself) have ever made errors like those shown above? Then do so. I dare you. I double dare you. Let's see who can be trusted here.

The worst part about these kinds of errors is that they are extremely difficult to explain as honest mistakes. There is nothing in the document above that could even come close to resembling what Will described, and how does he defend his mistake... by not acknolwedging it.

What is wrong with pointing this out? The authors at FARMS do this on a daily basis with anti-Mormon books.

You guys have not even come close to explaining how Will could mess up so badly on this "analysis."

All he does in defense is point out how the scholars at FARMS agree with him. Big deal. As if this is supposed to be some kind of revelation to us? The scholars at FARMS, particularly Nibley and Gee, also have a documented history of twisting evidence in a way that makes it difficult to call it an honest mistake, so lumping your methodology in with this crew is not doing much for your credibility.
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Book Of Abraham Resources
Friday, Jan 18, 2008, at 08:02 AM
Original Author(s): Hueffenhardt
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
Photos of the recovered Joseph Smith Papyri fragments (Sepia colored ones are in the Feb. 1968 issue of the Improvement Era, and full-colored ones in the book “By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus” by Charles Larson),

A modern translation of those papyri fragments (I recommend Robert K. Ritner, “The ‘Breathing Permit of Hor’ Thirty-four Years Later,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 33 [Winter 2000]:101, http://www.utlm.org/other/robertritne... ),

Kirtland Egyptian Papers including Joseph Smith’s Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar (You will have difficulty getting a copy of this, but you can view it online here http://zarahemlacitylimits.com/wiki/i...).

Jim Day’s “False Translation of the Book of Abraham”: http://trialsofascension.net/mormon/a...

Examining the Book of Abraham by Kevin Mathie: http://zarahemlacitylimits.com/BOA/BO...

Link to “By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus” by Larson (Note: You really should get a physical copy of this book as the online version does not have the figures, letters, and pictures). http://www.irr.org/MIT/Book-of-Abraha...

Short Essays on the Book of Abraham: http://www.lds-mormon.com/book_of_abr...

Equality’s links on the BoA Scroll down the page and look on the left for the links: http://www.equalitysblog.typepad.com/

Tanner articles: http://www.utlm.org/topicalindexb.htm...

More articles on BoA: http://www.xmission.com/~research/abo...

Mormon Think BoA: http://www.mormonthink.com/boaweb.htm...

Photos of JS Egyptian Papers: http://zarahemlacitylimits.com/wiki/i...

My Posts on the Book of Abraham.

Book of Abraham: Joseph Knowingly Deceived: http://entreated.blogspot.com/2007/02...

More Book of Abraham and Refutation of Expansion Theory: http://entreated.blogspot.com/2007/03...

My Reply to Stan Barker: Book of Abraham Plagiarism: http://entreated.blogspot.com/2007/04...

Reply to Stan: Book of Abraham (Part 2): http://entreated.blogspot.com/2007/04...
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Facsimile 3: The Silver Bullet
Wednesday, May 7, 2008, at 08:49 AM
Original Author(s): Ft
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
Many of you know that Joseph Smith, Jr., obtained in the mid 1800s papyri scrolls which were part of a travelling mummy show. He claimed that one of the scrolls contained a story about the Biblical Abraham. He then claimed to translate the Egyptian characters and reveal the story. The resulting “Book of Abraham” is one of the most important of the LDS scriptures. A good deal of the unique LDS theology comes from this book.

Critics argue that his “translation” actually came from a common Egyptian funerary text called the Book of Breathings - and had nothing to do with Abraham. Critics argue that the BoA therefore proves Smith as a fraud. This particular papyrus (say the Egyptologists) was for a dead Egyptian named Hor. It was a pagan document designed to help Hor pass to the next world and become a deity himself (or something to that effect).

Who is right?

Well, consider “Facsimile 3”:

http://scriptures.lds.org/en/abr/fac3...

This drawing was copied from the papyrus and allegedly ties directly in to the story line of the BoA. In Joseph Smith’s “version” of the scroll, Abraham teaches the Egyptians about astrology. Here is Smith’s official explanation of the drawing:
Fig. 1. Abraham sitting upon Pharaoh’s throne, by the politeness of the king, with a crown upon his head, representing the Priesthood, as emblematical of the grand Presidency in Heaven; with the scepter of justice and judgment in his hand.

Fig. 2. King Pharaoh, whose name is given in the characters above his head.

Fig. 3. Signifies Abraham in Egypt as given also in Figure 10 of Facsimile No. 1.

Fig. 4. Prince of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, as written above the hand.

Fig. 5. Shulem, one of the king’s principal waiters, as represented by the characters above his hand.

Fig. 6. Olimlah, a slave belonging to the prince.

Abraham is reasoning upon the principles of Astronomy, in the king’s court.
Egyptologists could not disagree more with Joseph Smith’s explanations.

Dr. Robert Ritner, a renowned Egyptologist at the University of Chicago, explains the real meanings of the labels on the drawings:
Label for Osiris (Fig. 1 of Facsimile 3): Recitation by Osiris, Foremost of the Westerners, Lord of Abydos(?), the great god forever and ever(?).

Label for Isis (Fig. 2 of Facsimile 3): Isis the great, the god’s mother.

Label for Maat (Fig. 4 of Facsimile 3): Maat, mistress of the gods.

Label for Hor (Fig. 5 of Facsimile 3): The Osiris Hor, justified forever.

Label for Anubis (Fig. 6 of Facsimile 3): Recitation by Anubis, who makes protection(?), foremost of the embalming booth

Invocation: O gods of the necropolis, gods of the caverns, gods of the south, north, west, and east, grant salvation to the Osiris Hor, the justified, born by Taikhibit.
“THE BREATHING PERMIT OF HÔR” AMONG THE JOSEPH SMITH PAPYRI,” Robert K. Ritner, The University of Chicago, Journal of Near Eastern Studies.

Ritner continues:
Smith misunderstood “Pharaoh” as a personal name (cf. Abraham 1:25), and the name above fig. 2 is unquestionably that of the female Isis. Osiris (fig. 1) is certainly not “Abraham,” nor is it possible that the altar of Osiris (fig. 3) “signifies Abraham.” Maat (fig. 4) is not a male “prince,” Hor (fig. 5) is not a “waiter,” nor is Anubis (fig. 6) a “slave” (because of his dark skin). Such interpretations are uninspired fantasies and are defended only with the forfeiture of scholarly judgment and credibility.
So, the labels which exit in Facsimile 3 PRECISELY MATCH the text of the papyrus in the possession of the LDS church. It is a funerary procession for the deceased Hor. The picture matches the existing papyrus.

No part of the existing papyrus has anything to do with Abraham, so Mormons sometimes argue, “Well, we must be missing some of the papyrus.”

Given Facsimile 3, whether some of the papyrus is missing or not seems irrelevant. The picture directly matches the existing text. The labels in the picture match the existing text.

The labels claimed by Joseph Smith are simply incorrect. Isis is “Isis the great, the god’s mother.” Figure 2 is assuredly not “King Pharaoh, whose name is given in the characters above his head.”

I have never heard a reasonable explanation for how Joseph Smith got these labels wrong. If he could read the characters above the head of figure 2, he would have “translated” just like professor Ritner, “Isis the great, the god’s mother.”

Smith did not.

Is there any reasonable explanation which can logically reconcile Joseph Smith’s mistakes on Facsimile 3?
topic image
John Gee's Latest Book Of Abraham Piece
Thursday, May 8, 2008, at 07:28 AM
Original Author(s): Doctor Scratch
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
Well, this is what I've been waiting for. Certainly, I'll be interested to read what more up-to-speed BoA observers have to say about this article, but in any case, I thought I'd offer up my impressions. Simply put: it sucks. Gee spends far too much time trying to discredit various witnesses, and to undermine knowledge concerning the "discovery" of the JS papyri. In short, Gee has no real thesis beyond a very basic, 5-alarm "Must defend the BoA! Must defend the BoA!" Basically, reading this article is like watching an academic in free-fall. Just as a small sampling of this embarrassment, check out this: John Gee wrote:
Since there is no official position, members of the church divide into four opinions about the translation of the Book of Abraham. The smallest group, comprising about 0.5 percent of members–according to my informal, admittedly unscientific surveys–thinks that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Abraham from the existing fragments that were in the Met. The next largest group thinks that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Abraham from papyrus fragments that are no longer in existence. About one-third think that there is or was no connection between the Book of Abraham and any papyrus fragments. The largest group, more than half of members, do not care where the Book of Abraham came from.
Only .5 percent of members?!? Gee, why might this be, Prof. Gee? Aren't members informed about these very important and controversial apologetic issues? Elsewhere, Gee relies upon this now very tired Mopologetic chestnut:
All approaches will be biased. Objectivity is a myth.
Right. Especially those approaches which have their basis in sound Egyptological disciplinary practices. Right? In this next quote, Gee seems to (already) be mourning the mantel he has been forced(?) to shoulder within LDS apologetics:
If you do address the issue in print, you need to know that the two sides in the dispute will never leave you alone. It is a life sentence with no possibility of parole.
Yeeouch! I guess this means that Robert Ritner is in for a lifetime of harassment as well? Next, Gee seems to be channeling juliann:
If you decide you want to enter the debate, you ought to do some real homework. There is a large bibliography, and there are dozens of theories to master, not to mention a large body of evidence. Many mistakes would not have been made had Egyptologists only known the literature better.
And dig this howler:
If you want to do anything with the originals, you need to apply to the archives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at least a full year in advance. You will need approvals from half a dozen committees that meet only once a month and for whom your request will be far down the list of agenda items. Requests to do anything before that time will garner an automatic denial.
Hmmm. And how many times have we heard LDS assert that historical archives are "wide open"? This seems to blow that out of the water! Gee whiz! A full year! And who are the "half a dozen committees"? Is one of them the SCMC? This, in effect, is how Gee winds up the article:
Whatever goodwill Professor Baer had established among the Mormons by his tact has more than been destroyed by the recent cooperation of certain Egyptologists with anti-Mormons. Whatever short-term tactical gains for anti-Mormonism these Egyptologists may have made, the net result is a long-term loss for a serious Egyptological examination of the material. Those who wish to work with the originals will have to find ways to distance themselves from those efforts and the individuals involved in them, and from those who violate the church's copyrights on the material. It is worth following Professor Ritner's warning that those "for whom ridicule . . . [is] an occupation" and who are "not disposed to be particularly charitable" are "not relevant to the present discussion."
A couple of points here. Am I mistaken, or was this Ritner quote originally directed at LDS apologists? Furthermore, does this not seem like a kind of finger-wagging threat? All in all, I found this piece by Gee to be an exercise in futility. He failed to deal with any of the more pertinent issues, and ultimately, the article functions primarily in the arena of rhetoric (rather than Egyptological scholarship). He is sitting here warning people that they had better back off, or else! The whole article seems like a long winded variation on that old childhood thread: "You better be nice, or I'm taking my ball home!"
topic image
The Burden Of Being BYU Professor John Gee
Wednesday, May 21, 2008, at 07:39 AM
Original Author(s): Doctor Scratch
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
For some time now, I have found myself increasingly fascinated by the very difficult mantle which is presently being shouldered by Professor John Gee. As most of us know, the controversy surrounding the Book of Abraham is perhaps the most damning apologetic issue that LDS defenders have ever had to reckon with. The BoA makes a rather chilling commentary on the prophethood of Joseph Smith, and, as even TBMs are sometimes willing to point out, it could be the final straw for any number of LDS with wavering testimonies. Indeed, it is probably not going to far to state that the BoA, more than any other issue, is one which should be avoided by struggling Mormons.

With so much at stake, then, it was clear, post-Nibley, that the world of Mormon apologetics was sorely in need of someone with both the superficial credentials and the chutzpah needed to address all these BoA problems. Enter John Gee--the Yale-educated Egyptologist who, apologists hoped, would be their Great White Hope. But Gee entered the fray with a troubled past. The Chair of his dissertation committee, Dr. Robert Ritner, abruptly resigned on account of some shadowy conflict---one which may have had to do with Gee's heavy involvement with BoA apologetics. (On the other hand, LDS apologists such as DCP have insinuated that the resignation came about because Ritner is "bigoted" against Mormons.)

What is interesting---and sympathetic---about Gee, is that he has become a Sisyphean figure in Mopologetics. He, practically by himself, has been left alone to try and shoulder the over-bearing boulder of the BoA. And, following the very embarrassing "Two Inks" scandal, Gee was left in a tailspin. Indeed, in his most recent FARMS Review piece, he lamented his lot in life, complaining that those involved with BoA apologetics "will never be left alone."

This brings us to one of the great, classic moments in recent online Mopologetics:

Professor Gee's BoA 'Qualifications' Test

Approximately a year ago, following an inquiry by CaliforniaKid, the following was posted to the aptly named MADboard. It is important to note that Gee himself was apparently too timid to post the material himself; instead, he had juliann/Chaos do it. I will intersperse my comments within:

Chaos wrote:
Dear Moderators,

It has been more than a quarter of a century since I first started studying ancient Egypt. I spent years in graduate school learning the basic skills to do research in the area. I teach the subject now and regularly publish and participate in professional conferences in my field. Occasionally, I have friends who direct my attention to this and other message boards where I am regularly vilified as incompetent by people who in some cases have not attended college, and usually masquerade behind pseudonyms. Yet, when I read their responses, I wonder about the competence of these critics. They remind me of something Nibley wrote long ago: "As if to prove that they have no intention of pursuing serious investigations, these people have conspicuously neglected to prepare themselves for any but the most localized research; they are like a man setting out to explore a wonderful cavern without bothering to equip himself with either lights or ropes. We respect our local Gelehrten for the knowledge and proficiency which they have demonstrated to the world, but when they go out of bounds and attack the Church with specious learning they invite legitimate censure. They are like dentists who insist on performing delicate brain surgery, because that is more interesting than filling teeth. Nice for them--but what about their patients?" I demonstrate my knowledge and proficiency on a regular basis, but [b]I never see the critics on the message boards at these events and thus see no demonstration of knowledge or proficiency from them.
(emphasis added)

A couple of points here. 1) Apologists frequently trot out the argument that there is not such things as a "Mormon Studies" degree. Thus, why is Gee trying to "out" people with no "college education"? (This seems a veiled insult towards B. Metcalfe, in any event.) Further, he complains about folks "hiding behind a pseudonym." Well, might it be the case that the reason he "never see[s] the critics....at these events" lie in the fact that they were pseudonymous?

Anyways, Gee goes on:
So I am willing for the next month to conduct a little test of the basic Egyptological skills needed for an intelligent discussion of the Joseph Smith Papyri. I do not participate on these message boards and rarely even look at them. I will pose the questions through you, the moderators, requesting that you pin them for a month. Any who wish to demonstrate their skills may send their answers to the following to me at egyptiantest at byu.edu. All emails must include the person's real name, daytime phone number, and pseudonym under which they post to this board. All persons should submit a statement truthfully stating that their submission is their own work. I will evaluate the results and send to the moderators, the pseudonym and the test results in the form of a score. My answers coincide with the standard published Egyptological versions of these texts and images, so I am not introducing anything that is idiosyncratic.
Wow! That's quite a test. A few things are worth observing. For one thing, it seems that Gee took the trouble to create a whole, spanking new BYU email account for the sole purpose of administering this silly Egyptology test to the MAD board. Secondly, why does he want the person's contact information? Is he hoping to "out" the anonymous critics, or to submit their names to the SCMC?

What followed were a series of questions aimed at determining whether or not the answeree was "legit" in terms of being able to criticize Gee's BoA apologetics. Interestingly, the following was added to the message by the MAD moderating team:
This post has been made with the permission of John Gee for the use on http://www.mormonapologetics.org site solely. This is a good opportunity for our posters to have some interaction with Gee concerning the Joseph Smith Papyri.

Chaos
What this says to me is that Gee is completely and utterly overwhelmed and terrified by the multitude of problems he's facing vis-a-vis the BoA. He certainly seems to *want* to address the critics, but he is afraid to do so himself on the MADboard, and further, he apparently feels the need to control every tiny, conversation-related piece of minutia as far as the debate is concerned. Thus, it's rather difficult to see how Chaos's (I.e., juliann's) use of the word "interaction" is even remotely applicable in this situation.

It should be noted that this thread originally appeared in the main MAD forum, "LDS Dialog and Discussion," but later, for whatever reason, it was squirreled away to the seldom-viewed "Pundits Forum," where it now resides. Of further interest is the fact that the MADmods trimmed away the "Peanut Gallery" commentary which was originally part of the thread. In other words, juliann and Co. went to pains to separate the embarrassing criticism from Gee's embarrassing "test." What do I mean by "embarrassing"? Observe:

Tarski wrote:
I think it quite likely that there are plenty of people (often mentioned here- Ritner etc) who could rise to Dr. Gee's challenge and yet have the same criticisms of Dr. Gee's writings anyway. So, one is left wondering about the point of the challenge.
The Dude wrote:
The point? To question the competence of a critic and put off engaging that person's specific criticism.
Next: if there was any doubt that Chaos=juliann, prepare to kiss those doubts goodbye:

Chaos wrote:
The point is self-evident and I don't think there is one poster here who doesn't see what it is. Put up or shut up as the saying goes. It is time to stop blustering and start some serious analysis for those who think their opinion about obscure academic topics should make a difference to anybody. Apparently, a few bluffs have been called. Step up to the plate or get out of the debate. Calling trained scholars liars isn't a substitute for the real thing on this board.
Here is a very observant post from Runtu:
I asked this in another thread, but I don't understand why it's necessary to read Egyptian to discuss the Book of Abraham. It's been my understanding that there's general agreement among everyone as to the translation of the Egyptian text. The interesting questions are not what the Egyptian says but how Joseph Smith arrived at an alternative translation.

Anyway, I don't know much about this subject, so I'll leave it to the experts.
Yes, of course. We *know* what the Egyptian portion of the BoA says.

Later, with Chaos evidently not being enough, juliann decides to post under her "normal" moniker:

juliann wrote:
cksalmon wrote:
I would not necessarily expect MB critics of the missing scroll hypothesis to be able to translate Egyptian. And discussing non-translational aspects of JSP/BoA does not require that one be able to translate Egyptian.
I wouldn't expect that either. But that isn't what happens on message boards. What we have been treated to is a shameful exhibition of slander, mockery and just plain meanness. Maybe if a discussion ever got on its feet it would be different. So let the mockers and savagers present their credentials and get on with it. It's not an unreasonable request.
And what, pray tell, are juliann's credentials? Does she possess a graduate degree? Is she an expert in sociology of religion? I don't think so. It's worth noting that she attempted to utilize this same Mopologetic gambit with Brent Metcalfe and handwriting analysis.

Perhaps the most level-headed and damning post came from Dan Vogel:
Professor Gee,

Of what relevance could translating Egyptian be to the study of early Mormon history? JS didn't translate Egyptian. You have proposed that the text he translated is missing. So no matter how good you are at translating Egyptian, it won't help you. You don't even dispute that the characters in the left margins of the translation papers are incorrectly translated, although you question the relationship between the two. And for that theory your knowledge of Egyptian is useless. What about JS's translation or interpretation of the characters on the facsimiles? Does your expertise in Egyptian help you explain your way out of that? Hardly. No one (not even Noel, I believe) has questioned your ability to translate Egyptian. What is at issue is your theories about how the JS Egyptian papyri connect with the Book of Abraham. Basically, your idea that the missing papyri contain the missing text of Abraham is wishful thinking, the fallacy of possible proof, and downright silly, according to your mentor. The questionI have for you is: are you an Egyptologist who happens to be interested in the Book of Abraham, or are you an apologist who became an Egyptologist so that you could browbeat your opponents with irrelevant feats of erudition?

If there has been ad hominal attacks, I don't approve of it; but most of the points made by the critics involve the non-technical aspects of the debate. I hope you realize that your test, if taken seriously, would apply to many of your defenders as well, some of whom go into vast detail on things Egyptian. You quote Nibley, but how bright was his light and long his rope when he tried to explore the Egyptian caverns? And was his wild theories about JS's scribes trying to learn Egyptian by working backwards from JS's translation beyond criticism from all except the Egyptologist?
D'oh! Perhaps that would make for a better "discussion": What were Hugh Nibley's Egyptology credentials? Would he have been able to ace all the technical items on Gee's list?

Later, we get another pathetic cry from juliann/Chaos:
It looks like to me that this is the level of response we will have to be satisfied with when those who rely on badmouthing instead of demonstrating their knowledge can't put out what they demand from others. It is unfortunate that posters with no background in what they are criticizing resort to this instead of facing the problems with their approach with the same honesty they claim is lacking in others. Claiming that a critic doesn't need to know what an Egytologist knows to determine if that Egyptologist is lying or interpreting obscure translations correctly is laughable and pathetic. I don't know how to say what needs to be said about what we have seen nicely and we have been given no reason to try to. Dr. Gee has been a poster here and the scoffers will talk about what he says instead of throwing out schoolyard taunts when they are in our house. Critics can use all the phoney baloney justifications they can muster but the challenge stands unanswered and that tells us what we need to know.
And this:

Chaos wrote:
cksalmon wrote:
It appears to be an attempt to silence criticisms, rather than respond to them.
And how will a challenge like this silence discussion? Will the name callers start caring about what they know as compared to what Dr. Gee knows and disappear into the shadows in shame? I have seen no indication of that. If a call out silences the school yard criticism then bully for us, respectful posters will finally be able to have a discussion. The truth is this challenge is doing what it needs to do. It is an embarrassment to those who can't do anything but parrot what somebody else says. The only thing that comes from them is the scurrilous insults they use to convince everybody they know best. So just keep bringing on those excuses and see who falls for them while the challenge stands unanswered. Complaining that Dr. Gee hasn't answered your questions when you won't even get near theh questions he asked first is the weakest response of all.
Later, The Dude tries to get the discussion back on track:

The Dude wrote:
Chaos wrote:
I agree so let's begin with Dr. Gee's carefully thought out questions. We have to start somewhere, he did ask them first, and I think those who have slandered Dr. Gee should be responsible for restarting the debate in a nondefensive way.
We all know it's CaliforniaKid we're talking about.

What if CKid tries to answer the test and gets an "F" grade? Then will Gee post a response to CKid's criticism (...which was asked first, BTW)? There's a pundit folder for this kind of thing, right? Maybe we can get that moderator formerly known as Oreos to set it up. He/she did a pretty fair job when I debated David Stewart.
So, what is this debate really about then? Is it a question of who can translate Egyptian? (Despite the fact that Joseph Smith couldn't?) Or is it a question of who is failing to respond to whose criticisms?

Later, we find out that it was really just a lame and desperate attempt to score points against critics:

Orpheus wrote:
Dan Vogel wrote:
The existence of unique texts doesn't answer the problem of constructing a probable, rather than a merely possible argument.

Enough of the vague and indirect responses. Your original post needs clarifying. You said: What exactly are you talking about? Rather than the critics trying to guess what you mean and more or less causing problems that may not exist, please outline what accusations you are addressing with this test.
This is Dr. Gee's thread and no one else get's to control the topic. Sorry but the topic is his questions and nobody elses.
If it is Gee's thread, then where is the Good Doctor? Answer: hiding. Trying to not deal with the criticism, which, it seems, is eating him up from the inside out. Later, the mods added a final piece of text from Gee:

Chaos wrote:
The final post from Dr. Gee:

At the end of a class I taught a few years ago one of the students told me that the class had the worst whining of any class she had ever attended. The class did whine about the textbooks, the subject matter, the essays, and the tests; I also know that they whined a great deal about me behind my back. This message board beats them hands down. As Elder Holland said this past conference: "no misfortune is so bad that whining about it won't make it worse."
Wow! Was it really all that bad? Further, it seems a tactical mistake for him to admit that his students dislike him so strenuously. (And how did he know they were bad-mouthing him behind his back? Darn those BYU spies!)

Anyways, the post goes on:
I am withdrawing the test; my workload has increased and I no longer have time for it. I have asked the moderators to delete it from the thread and close the thread. I am certain you can start another one to grouse in.
A pity they didn't delete it.
Many construed the test to mean that if you did not know Egyptian you could not discuss the Book of Abraham. This is utter nonsense, as they all immediately went on to argue. Egyptian, however, is necessary if you wish to discuss the Book of Abraham as a translation of Egyptian (whether you think it was or wasn’t). If you wish to argue with those who espouse the view that the Bible was originally written in Syriac, you need to have some Syriac even if you take the contrary view.
Wha...? Why, if one does not think the BoA is the result of actual translation, would one need to know Egyptian? It doesn't make sense. If you are a chiropractor, do you really need to know acupuncture in order to treat someone's sore back? Chaos as J. Gee wrote:
Three things are interesting about the test:

(1) Few people seem to have read it all. For example, Mr. Vogel complains that Joseph Smith’s interpretation of the Facsimiles should have been addressed, but it was, in question 5.

(2) CaliforniaKid has taken the test. He and I have discussed his results and I will not post them. No one else seems to have thought about answering any of the questions. That is too bad, as the answers to those questions might have taught them something about the debate and my positions in it. Instead they merely spouted their opinions and claimed, without basis, that I had done nothing to engage their positions. If they had bothered to respond to the questions, even the bibliographic ones, they would have realized how hard it is to answer certain questions. The test was diagnostic of several skills, not just in Egyptian, that are directly relevant to the debate. The test was an invitation to a serious discussion, but no one is actually interested in such. I put forth a riddle for those with eyes to see and ears to hear.
A "diagnostic of several skills"? What, such as the ability to smooch Gee's butt?
(3) Most importantly, no one seems to have any interest in what the texts actually say.
Especially LDS apologists!
This has been the irony of the whole debate as no one else seems to care what either the Book of Abraham or the Letter of Fellowship Made by Isis actually says and yet the debate rests on a comparison between the two. The texts in the test were important too, but no one seems to have realized it.

In the end, the test should have taught those who took it something about faith. Who do we put our faith in, that is, who do we trust? Most critics put no trust in me, whatever argument I might make on whatever subject, because I am Mormon.
This, of course, is complete and utter bull, and it is embarrassing to see Gee relying on this very cheap rhetorical card. If people have lost "trust" in him it may have more to do with such things as the "two inks" theory, or his gossiping about Robert Ritner.
They are willing to put their trust in some surprisingly dubious sources because those sources tell them what they want to hear (compare Helaman 13:25-28). In the end, it does not matter whether anyone trusts me because they should trust God more than me. I have found God trustworthy. I have also found his prophets trustworthy--imperfect though they may be. If you trust God, you do not need to have the answer to every little question; certainly not now and perhaps not ever. If this or that sophistry seems persuasive or this or that little thing bothers you and makes you doubt God, then you do not have enough faith in him.
Ah, good: When in doubt, bear thy testimony!
My test asked you not to trust me, but trust the texts; but they are not important, at least not to you. That is why I find discussion on these boards generally not to be worth my time.

--

John Gee

William (Bill) Gay Associate Research Professor of Egyptology

Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

Brigham Young University
And so, that was that. Gee retreated into the shadows once again. This "performance," though, points us to how many cracks exist in Gee's Mopologetic foundation. I have no doubt that Gee is a terrific Egyptologist. As an LDS apologist, though, he positively sucks, and this set of posts is a case study why.

Perhaps most poignantly, though, is that Gee, perhaps alone amongst contemporary apologists, seems genuinely wounded by the criticism he's endured. He doesn't take it on the chin and use it as fodder for further Mopologetic endeavors, as do DCP and Hamblin; nor does he seem to view the criticism as evidence of his own divine apologetic calling, as do folks like Tvedtness and Midgley. Instead, Gee seems almost to have fallen into this position of Chief BoA apologist, and he seems to resent it very much.

The poster named Helix summed all of this up nicely:
That being said, I do understand some of John Gee's motivations (he does seem to be the favorite punching bag of critics, and it looks like it finally brought him to the point of responding).
Yes; indeed. The problems relating to the BoA are never going to go away. One can only wonder how long Gee will continue to weather the storm.
topic image
Challenge For Will Schryver
Thursday, May 22, 2008, at 07:06 AM
Original Author(s): Dartagnan
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
In October of 2006 I posted a challenge for Will. Of course he chickened out as usual, but I went on to show that at least the critical side has presented evidences for the dictation explanation. Will and Brian present nothing to explain away these evidences. After two years Brian is still using the "mystery" technique as his evidence. He assures us there is a ton of counter evidence, but he can't manage to tell us what it is. He assures us there are scholars who support him, but he can't manage to tell us who they are. It is the same hide and seek game these guys have been playing for years now.

Will, to give you an idea just how absurd he is willing to be, is now arguing at MADB that the scribes of these texts are actually the "authors." Yea, so Nibley's crazy idea that these scribes were in the business of trying out their own skills at revelation, has been resurrected? He goes on to say that there is "no evidence" that Joseph Smith was dictating these texts. No?

So the fact that these men were Joseph Smith's hired employees, whose jobs were to transcribe dictated texts, doesn't count as evidence that Joseph Smith was at the other end? No. Of course not. In Will's world, that's not evidence!

We're not dealing with rational people here.

I present 7 humdingers for the copyist theorists out there.

Please offer us a sound explanation that could possibly explain the following scribal phenomena within a copying context.

#1 - Abraham 1:4
BoA– “I sought for mine appointment unto the Priesthood according to the appointment of God”
Ms1a – “I sought for mine appointment whereunto unto the Priesthood according to the appointment of God”
Ms1b – “I sought for mine appointment whereunto unto the Priesthood according to the appointment of God”


"Whereunto" is crossed out and corrected in transition by both scribes.

"The" is crossed out replaced with "mine" by both scribes.

#2 - Abraham 1:9
BoA shagreel, Ms1a - shag = reel, Ms1b- shagreel
If the scribes were copying from a mysterious "source document" then why do they make spelling errors, and why do such errors tend to involve strange words that are difficult to discern audibly? If they were merely copying the mistakes intentionally - for whatever far fetched reason that is jumping around in Will's head - from a mysterious source document, then why do they make mistakes in copying the mistakes!?! That would kinda defeat the purpose wouldn't it?

#3 - Abraham 1:11
BoA - “Onitah, one of the royal descent directly”
Ms1a - “Onitah, one of the xxxxxx royal descent directly”
Ms1b- “Onitah, one of the xxxxxx royal descent directly”
xxxxx is an illegible word that was crossed out by both scribes as the corrected term was made in transition. Again, here we see the scribes must have coincidentally made copying errors in the same exact manner in the same exact place. What are the chances?

#4 Abraham 1:12
BoA - “I will refer you to the representation at the commencement of this record”
Ms1a - “I will refer you to the representation that is at the commencement of this record.”
Ms1b - "I will refer you to the representation, that is lying before you at the commencement of this record"


"that is lying before you" was crossed out and corrected in transition by William Parrish in Ms1b. The partial mistake was made by Williams who was probably transcribing at a slower pace and was corrected before getting past "that is." But the point here is that Brian and now Kerry Shirts, have argued that these can all be explained as "copying" errors just the same.

Excuse me, but how could a copist, or anyone for that matter, possibly mistake "at the commencement of this record" for "that is lying before you." The only sound explanation is that this was dictated as the orator corrected a mistake in transition.

#5 - Abraham 1:13 ; 1:16
BoA - bedstead, Ms1a – bedsted, Ms1b – bed stead
BoA kinsfolk, Ms1a – kinsfolk, Ms1b – kin folks
Another strange word that the scribes were not sure how to spell. A copyist would have no excuse for misspelling words like these. And these were professional scribes, yet they both couldn't manage to copy the same word in the same way from the same document?

#6 - Abraham 1:17
BoA – “And this because they have turned their hearts away from me”
Ms1a - “And this because their hearts are turned they have turned their hearts away from me”
Ms1b - “And this because their hearts are turn they have turned their hearts away from me”
The bold area was scratched out in transition. Williams and Parrish again make the same mistake coincidentally? The fact that Parrish didn't quite finish the mistake (turn) is an indicator that the correction was given before he finished the phrase. And again, it is approaching the realm of impossibility, to think these scribes were copying a text, coincidentally made the same exact mistake again, and mistook "their hearts are turned" for "they have turned their hearts away."

#7 - Abraham 1:26
BoA- “and also of Noah, his father, who blessed him”
Ms1b – “and also of Noah, his father, xx xx xxx xxxx who blessed him”
Ms1b – “and also of Noah, his father, xx xx xxx xxxx who blessed him”
Both scribes wrote four illegible words before crossing them out and replacing them with the corrected text.

Now according to Brian Hauglid these can all be explained as "copying errors". How? He doesn't say. He just keeps asserting it. Will Schryver insists that all the evidence points to these manuscripts representing a copying effort. I tried to get Brian to explain his reasoning, only to be criticized for my "tone," immediately reprimanded by the FAIR mods and banned a week later.

I'd like to see someone step up to the plate and address the issues above for once, before offering more smoke and mirrors on the FAIR board, playing off the ignorance of a gullible audience. People are generally sensible, but the problem over at FAIR is that the big picture with all the data is not allowed to be demonstrated are argued intelligently. Only apologetic sermons are allowed because serious debate is not the goal there.

Since Brian doesn't seem to see the "bombastic certitude" expressed by Schryver, then allow me to point it out. I'll simply go through William's opening post and respond to the problems I see with his commments. From the beginning:
One of the standard critical arguments in relation to the Book of Abraham controversy is that the BoA supposedly links itself to the so-called “Sensen” (or “Book of Breathings Made by Isis”) text via its apparent internal reference to Facsimile #1, which is known to have originally preceded the Sensen text on the scroll of Hor. While the overall length of the scroll of Hor is a disputed question, we do know that the scroll begins with the illustration known as Facsimile #1, which was then immediately followed by the Sensen text, which was then followed by an unknown length of scroll.
What William and the rest of the apologetic camp seems to have completely overlooked, is the fact that this is not a uniquely "critical argument." This is how the Church has understood the relationship between Facsimile #1 and the Book of Abraham for more than a century. Every published version of the Book of ABraham has an opening page containing a blown up image of facsimile #1 (with Smith's corresponding and erroneous translations). The reason? Because the Book of Abraham 1:12 "links itself" to this papyrus.
The critics claim that additional strength is given their argument by the Kirtland Egyptian Papers. The documents known respectively as KEPA #2 and #3 each contain text of a little more than the first chapter of the Book of Abraham in the main body of their pages, and successive characters from the Sensen text in the left column.
Right.
Of course, the critical argument, originating with Edward Ashment decades ago
Who was at the time a faithful, practicing Mormon who was hired by the Church to study and analyze these documents.
has been that these two KEPA manuscripts are actually the transcripts of Joseph Smith’s orally-dictated “translation” of the Book of Abraham. And since we now know that the Sensen text has nothing to do with Abraham, then it follows that Joseph Smith’s purported “translation” was nothing of the sort; it is a fictionalized account originating in the mind of a pretended prophet. Or so the critics would have us believe.
Yes, qand Will's lkast statement is a rhetorical technique (or so they would have us believe) which alludes to a promise of refutation. But the refutation never becomes realized. We just get more rheotorical allusions to credulity of the "critical argument."
Upon closer examination, however, some key questions must be considered: Is it incontrovertible that KEPA #2 and #3 are transcripts of an oral dictation? Is Abraham 1:12 an incontrovertible internal reference to Facsimile #1?
First and foremost, these are apologetic questions raised for apologetic reasons. These are not questions that would naturally cause investigation. But since the consequences of the "critical argument" would otherwise prove destructive to faith, these questions are raised for the purposes of complicating what is rather simple to understand. And Will's "upon closer examination" is just more rhetoric. What he really means is "since we need to avoid the obvious conclusion at all costs."
We have previously examined question #1, and I have presented persuasive evidence that both of these manuscripts cannot be, in fact, simultaneously-produced transcripts of an oral dictation.
Here is the bombastic certitude Brent spoke of. Will has presented nothing new in two years to suggest this proposition is false. He just keeps fighting it with silly rhetoric against the "critical argument." Before WIll even gets into his so-called analysis and list of evidences, he already declares a conclusion with bombastic certitude.
Despite certain elements that admittedly appear consistent with a dictation theory, there are numerous compelling, even overriding, evidences that establish these documents as being visual copies of some earlier document(s).
Again with the bombastic certitude. Compelling evidences? Overriding? To whom? Will states again that his theory has been "established" as a fact, yet one is hard pressed to find a single piece of evidence that clearly points in that direction. All we get is pages of rhetorical fluff.

Yet, when I asked Brian Hauglid to explain how the evidences pointing to a dictation scenario were to be explained, he simply asserted that they could be explained in the context of a copying session. He didn't explain why, he just asserted. And when I pressed him toi explain, I was reprimanded by the moderators for violating the "asked and answered" rule. Two years later neither of them have provided any real explanations. Will just keeps trying to make his proposal sound more plausible by trying to ridicule the "critics" for not considering other questions "after careful examination" of course.
Although I anticipate revisiting that topic in the near future, it will not be a subject for our current discussion.
What "discussion"? Nobody ever engages Will in what can only be described as "lectures," except Chris Smith, and he has already spent many, many posts refuting his nonsense over the years. Will just pretends none of this has already been dealt with.

Will then spends the rest of his long-winded post arguing something we never disagreed with. But he leaps to the conclusion that the insertion was "perhaps much later," which is supported by zero evidences. It is just his own bombastic assertion. And apparently Will provided an erroneous transcription and Brent called him on it, but Will doesn't seem to understand what he transcribed incorrectly. I thought this was a guy who had access to the "highly digitized scan".

Furthermore, I should point out that Will cannot be trusted in any sense because he has a documented history of making bombastic statements which he clearly knows nothing about. Hi is so obviously wrong it can only be assumed he is willfully trying tod eceive his audience with rhetoric. Here is just one example. About a year ago he made the following statement in reference to the relationship between the KEP characters and the english text:
The characters are not always associated with a discrete paragraph. It is especially evident with Williams' Ms. #2. The final two characters at the bottom of the first page are not clearly associated with the text. They appear to have been placed entirely at random in relationship to the text. They are not aligned with a paragraph break, nor the beginning of a sentence, nor even a specific line.
This is clearly false for anyone who has actually seen this manuscript page. Here is a scan of the microfilm of manuscript 1a, page 1, in the handwriting of Williams. It is horrible to be sure, but it serves the purpose of refuting Will’s arrogance.



Will says the last two characters are clearly placed "at random" ??

How does he explain the fact that manuscript 1b is nearly identical in placing the same Egyptian characters at the exact same corresponding points? What is so "random" about this? Who says a character has to represent the beginning of a new paragraph or sentence anyway? He then told Don Bradly to go study the photos like he has or else he is just blowing smoke!
In several cases in Williams' Ms. #2, the characters appear to be placed with much uncertainty -- as though the scribe didn't have any idea what their specific relationship was to the English text in the body of the document.
If you take a look at the third circled character from the top (image above), you will notice that this character doesn’t come before a new paragraph, nor des it come before a new sentence, verse or line. In fact, this would be the only example that could possibly be used to support Will’s claim that characters were thrown about at random with no apparent correlation to the English text. The verse this character covers is Abraham 1:5, but Abraham 1:5 is as follows:

“My fathers, having turned from their righteousness, and from the holy commandments which the Lord their God had given unto them, unto the worshiping of the gods of the heathen, utterly refused to hearken to my voice;”

According to this manuscript a new character is placed in mid-sentence. If you look at the style of the writer, the sentences generally continue to the end of the page if they are long enough to do so, but in this manuscript this sentence stops short at the word “heathen,” leaving the rest of the sentence (“utterly refused to hearken to my voice”) for another line. What does this mean? Well, once we consider the Parrish manuscript (Ms1b folder 3) the verdict becomes all the more clearer:


It seems perfectly clear to me that these two examples are best explained as a transcription process whereby Joseph Smith stopped dictating at “heathen,” he then told his scribes to insert the next character. So they stopped at heathen wherever they happened to be on that particular line, and then continued on to finish the verse on the next line adjacent with the corresponding character.

Not only does this anecdote refute Will’s pet theory, but it also adds more evidence to the already mounting pile of evidences in favor of the dictated transcription position. After all, who could imagine someone break a sentence in half like that while copying from a source document? Will deals with none of this. Instead, he is throwing all his eggs in the same apologetic basket that supposes the BoA translation must have everything or nothing to do with the Book of Mormon translation process. Meaning, if one aspect of the critical argument has no parallel with the Book of Mormon translation process, then they think it is safe to throw it out altogether as "unsupported."

Hell, even the entire BoM translation process wasn't consistent with itself, but they need to insist that the BoA translation be consistent with not only itself, but also the BoM translation. What a crazy argument.

I was walking through memory lane today while flipping through the archived discussions I had saved from the FAIR boards years ago. I came across the first discussion where Will tried to engage the KEP issue. After I continued to raise the issue of the KEP it became clear to me Will didn't even know what they were.

On May 10, 2006, Will Schryver said:
I know precisely what the Kirtland Egyptian Papers are (contrary to your previous assertion). It's just that I view them as being utterly irrelevant to the question at hand. I've examined the contents of the KEP at length -- and doing so hasn't persuaded me one iota that the Book of Abraham is anything except what it claims to be.
I laughed after reading this post because Will was obviously lying about having examined the KEP. If he really knew what the KEP were, he would have known that nobody in the apologetic camp has been able to "examine the contents at length," because they are locked up. Even John Gee did not get access to them when he wanted to publish photos in his "Guide to the Joseph Smith Papyri."

Anyway, I didn't accuse him of lying. Instead, I started a new thread the very next day that explained the KEP situation and I provided photos that I had acquired from Metcalfe. Will quickly realized he was out of his league and tried to distance himself from his previous insinuation that he was in any way familiar with the KEP. So instead of offering criticisms of what I presented, or any arguments based on his "at length examination of the contents," he sat back and watched the discussion play itself out. After a day he took a more humble approach and started asking me questions about the manuscripts, such as:
Are there any, or even substantial (in your estimation), differences between the portion of text appearing in the columns of "translated" paragraphs and the final product published in 1842? (Aside from the fact that the KEP refer to only the first 1 1/2 chapters of the BofA?) Question 1: Why do you say "so another scribe to (sic) take over"? It was my understand from detailed descriptions of the manuscripts that each is of similar content. Perhaps that is my misunderstanding and you could clear that up. But, to elaborate, it is my understanding that there is nothing to indicate that one "scribe" wrote a certain portion, then another "scribe" took up where the previous one left off. Rather, all of the manuscripts appear to be related to the same portion of the Book of Abraham.

Question 2: What other indications lead you to believe that the process "went slowly"? I would not have made that observation based on the photographs I have seen in the past few days. To the contrary, the text in the right hand columns appears to have been written in an extremely fluid fashion, with very few evidences of ink pooling where the scribe would have freshened his pen after a period of pause. Do you not agree?

Question 3: At this period of time (when the KEP were being produced) is there any contemporary evidence that any of the individuals in question had been recently or were currently serviing Joseph Smith in the capacity of "scribe"? To my knowledge, neither Cowdery, Phelphs, nor Parrish had served as scribes to Joseph for a considerable time preceeding this period. Perhaps I am mistaken in this respect and someone will correct me. But I think not.
Are these the kinds of questions you would expect from someone who has "examined the contents of the KEP at length"? The fact that he didn't even know who Smith's scribes were, is reason enough to dismiss him as a know-nothing. This was almost two years ago exactly. Now Will thinks he has become something of an expert because he has been tinkering with "inferior photos" passed to him via Hauglid.

What they are trying to argue is that these are copies of a missing text; what we can only assume is the missing original translation manuscript (manuscript Q). Following this theory, it is assumed that like any original dictation manuscript, there will be all sorts of punctuation errors, scratch outs, misspellings, etc. What they have argued is that what we find in Ms1a and Ms1b are copies of this missing Q document. The reason they contain all the same errors is because (get this!) for whatever reason, Joseph Smith wanted them to make exact copies of the original manuscript. Meaning, he wanted the closest thing to a xerox of the original, with all its scribbles and errors. Not just one, but two copies. And not by just one scribe, but by two. This is how they account for the evidence we have, and it becomes perfectly clear they are bending over backwards in every way they can to distance Joseph Smith from this work.

This scenario doesn't even begin to make sense, and it pretty much undermines their effort to use the Book of Mormon translation process as a parallel model. They shoot down everything we propose because "that ain't how Cowdery and Smith did it." Well, Joseph Smith never asked for two exact copies of the original BoM manuscript either. He never asked for one. So they appeal to the BoM translation process only to the extent that it serves their purposes for shooting down anything they don't like coming from our side. There is no consistency in anything Hauglid tries to argue.

But what drives me nuts is how they criticize us for making proposed models whereas they offer none of their own. In all of their rants, they always stop short of providing a hypothetical, let alone plausible, model by which these KEP could have come about. Instead, what we see them doing, constantly, is throwing out all sorts of "maybes" and "could haves", demanding that we answer every ridiculous molehill question they decide to treat as a mountain, and then they stop short of providing any real explanation as they abandon the whole thing and declare it all a mystery. They need it to be as mysterious as possible. Just look at Will's post at MADB. He goes on and on and on attacking the critical model for making "unsupported assumptions," yet when it came time for him to step up to the plate and answer the relevant questions posed by the data, he gave up and said he doesn't have any answers:
"Now, what does this all mean? That is a good question, and I don’t pretend to have a complete answer."
No, he doesn't know. He just knows with bombastic certitude, that the critical argument is wrong. Why? Because it has to be. Why? Because he already begins with the assumption that we're wrong. He and Brian both walked into this thing with a planned mission in mind. They came into this thing celebrating Nibley and they feel it is their duty to continue his work, his failed arguments, etc. And this is why Brian responds to Brent's questions with such hostility. He doesn't like being asked to produce something. He knows he can't. All he is left with is rhetoric.

So they admittedly don't "have answers" and they think this is somehow a respectable position to take! Well, at least we do have answers and we base them on the evidences they refuse to address. At least we dare to provide answers and deduce the facts to determine what was the most likely scenario. It isn't mysterious to us. It isn't mysterious to any non-LDS apologist who analyzes the evidence. They can't produce a detailed hypothetical explanation as to who these manuscripts came about, because they realize they would be laughed off the stage if they had to actually back up their claims with a model. So they play this silly game of hide the apologetic. Keep people's hopes up by offering "wait and see" sermons and then two years later, just reiterate the same sermon.

To make matters even more difficult for the "scribes did it" theory, you have to see the overall process in its context. Since we know Ms1a and Ms1b used the Sensen text, how did they manage to get around the huge hole in the papyri at the beginning?

Take a look:


Now Ms1a uses 18 Egyptian characters, and below I provided a photos with the characters taken from the 6 pages of the manuscript, in the order they appear:


Notice that in the hole, there are three characters that were invented. Only Joseph Smith would have been able to "reveal" what those characters were. Characters 1-3 appear on the first page, and then on the second page you begin to see the characters from the papyrus show up in order from right to left. Every page has anywhere between 2 or 5 characters, and you can see the past page (p.6) ends at the where the second line of the papyrus reaches an end (which might explain why they stopped there). And then as they reach the end of the first line, they drop down to the second line and begin where Joseph Smith again tells them what the missing characters were, via revelation. Why does he need to do this? Because he knows that if he is going to convince these guys that he is really "translating" the text as it was originally in Egyptian, then he knows he has to account for the huge hole at the beginning of the document which contained relevant text.

To propose a scenario where all the scribes got together to "try their hand" at revelation, as Nibley suggested ... well, this is really an exercise in desperate thinking.

The above just goes to further the case that Joseph Smith believed, erroneously, that the Sensen text contained writings that had something to do with Abraham. To keep insisting "there is no evidence" to connect him to this, is really just an insult to everyone's intelligence.

And to fully appreciate the schizophrenia that haunts Will, take a look at what he wrote to me in an email just last year:
"…if I were an outsider looking in at all of this, I find it difficult to believe that I could be persuaded that the production of the Book of Abraham was anything other than a clumsy imposture perpetrated by Joseph Smith upon his followers. But, of course, I’m not. I came into the discussion already possessing a conviction that the Book of Abraham was divinely-inspired scripture."
Will the real Will please stand up?
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Significance Of The Book Of Abraham
Monday, Mar 2, 2009, at 06:30 AM
Original Author(s): Confused
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
This quote from McConkie:
contains priceless information about the gospel, pre-existence, the nature of Deity, the creation, and priesthood -- information which is not otherwise available in any other revelation now extant. (Mormon Doctrine p.567)
That's right, the Book of Abraham contains information that is nowhere else to be found.

Here's some more info:

Most of these additional teachings were made public and were embraced by the membership as soon as they were revealed. However, some (and one very special teaching in particular) were of such a sacred nature that they could not be taught publicly, nor could their existence even be acknowledged, as the time had not yet come, their leaders said, when people could understand these new truths. The major new issue was polygamy --How were they to practice something secretly in order to be counted righteous of God, and at the same time be able, in honesty, to deny that they were practicing it? Joseph and many of the brethren were being forced into the position of having to deny publicly that polygamy was being taught and practiced in Nauvoo in order to prevent persecution from their gentile neighbors and dissent from uninitiated fellow Mormons.

When translation of the Book of Abraham began again, the answer to this dilemma became obvious. The Bible described how Abraham, when he first entered Egypt, had deceived the Egyptians into thinking that Sarai, who was very beautiful to look upon, was his sister -- not his wife. He did this because he feared the Egyptians would kill him and take his wife (Genesis 12:11-13). This same incident was described in the papyri when Joseph began translating the second time, but with a significant change: according to the papyri version of the narrative it had actually been the Lord himself who had instructed Abraham to tell the Egyptians that Sarai was his sister (Abraham 2:22-25). >This demonstrated that God sometimes justifies deceit in those instances when a righteous purpose is served.

When the book of Genesis had been corrected by the Prophet the first time in 1830, the text he produced retained the Bible's (and Moses') emphasis that there is only one God. Joseph's 1842 translation of portions of the Book of Abraham, however, distinctly taught the plurality of gods -- a concept of deity Joseph had started teaching a few years earlier, but one which many Saints neither understood nor appreciated.

The Book of Abraham also introduced the first and only scriptural basis for denying the priesthood to Blacks, the Church's official position until 1978. It described Pharaoh and the Egyptians as descendents of Ham and Canaan (the progenitors of the Negro race), and under the curse of Canaan and disqualified from the priesthood (Abraham 1:21-22, 26-27).

...to the followers of Brigham Young -- those who would eventually become the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- the value of the Book of Abraham was incalculable. It could never be laid aside without forfeiting some of that Church's most sacred and distinctive doctrines.

From Larsons By His Own Hand Upon the Papyrus..

As I discovered the Book of Abraham was a fraud in 2007 it was the single most damning evidence against Joseph Smith and it totally blew me away. It has been a downward and outward spiral ever since. Since then, I had seen the history of the problems, the translations and skimmed through Larsons book, but I finally started reading from page one, and this section and its significance had some how escaped me.

Reading the quote by McConkie finally brought that realization that had been hovering just over my shoulder, directly in front of my eyes; that the church's most startling and unique doctrines which are troublesome to most people, come directly from the most obviously false scripture that they have ever conceived.

As the Egyptologists all agree-the BoA does not contain one single word that relates to the papyrus, and to quote McConkie again:
contains priceless information about the gospel, pre-existence, the nature of Deity, the creation, and priesthood -- information which is not otherwise available in any other revelation now extant. (Mormon Doctrine p.567)
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I Think The Greatest Mistake By Smith Was To Try To Pass Off His "Translation" Of The Egyptian Papyri As Valid
Thursday, Apr 30, 2009, at 08:29 AM
Original Author(s): Kevin Graham
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
I think the greatest mistake by Smith was to try to pass off his "translation" of the Egyptian papyri as valid. In so doing, he allowed his new religion to become falsifiable. He just didn't realize Egyptian wouldn't remain a mystery to scholars.

I am of the opinion that when Martin Harris "lost" the 116 pages of translated Book of Mormon text, he merely hid it from Smith, hoping he would respond by offering a second translation of the same text. In so doing, he would be able to pull up the original, compare it with the second, and confirm with his wife whether or not Joseph Smith was really a prophet. If the two translations match, Smith is clearly a prophet. If not, then he is clearly a fraud. Smith responded the way one might expect a fraud to respond. He knew that if he translated the same text twice, then there is a chance the original version might surface to make his claims falsifiable. So he played it safe and came up with a "revelation" that said God wanted to punish him for letting Harris take the papers with him. His punishment? He wouldn't be allowed to translate that text again.

Funny how the BoM was supposedly for the benefit of the world, and not Joseph Smith, and yet the world must suffer the consequences of Harris' actions by not having these 116 pages of "inspired" text to guide the "restoration."
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Written By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus?
Thursday, May 7, 2009, at 09:15 AM
Original Author(s): Californiakid
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
When you are writing with your own hand, do you usually lose your train of thought and ramble on in a jumble of sentence fragments and half-finished thoughts? No, I didn't think so. We do this when we are speaking, but not so much when we're writing with our own hand. That's because we can look back at what we've just written in order to remind ourselves what comes next. So why does Abraham ramble on so incoherently in the BoA if he wrote it with his own hand?

"If two things exist, and there be one above the other, there shall be greater things above them; therefore Kolob is the greatest of all the Kokaubeam that thou hast seen, because it is nearest unto me."

Right. How does that follow, exactly? Oops, false start. Let's try that one again.

"Now, if there be two things, one above the other, and the moon be above the earth, then it may be that a planet or a star may exist above it; and there is nothing that the Lord thy God shall take in his heart to do but what he will do it."

That was a little better, although that last bit after the semicolon (besides being barely grammatically coherent) doesn't seem to quite fit with what came before.

"Howbeit that he made the greater star; as, also, if there be two spirits, and one shall be more intelligent than the other, yet these two spirits, notwithstanding one is more intelligent than the other, have no beginning; they existed before, they shall have no end, they shall exist after, for they are gnolaum, or eternal."

What the hell? I dare someone to try to parse that out for me. Not only is it not a complete sentence or even a coherent thought, it's also just downright twisted reasoning. God made the greater star, ergo the greater spirit is eternal? If there are two spirits, and one is more intelligent than the other, then they must both have always existed? Was the prophet in a drug-induced stupor when he dictated this?

"And the Lord said unto me: These two facts do exist, that there are two spirits, one being more intelligent than the other; there shall be another more intelligent than they; I am the Lord thy God, I am more intelligent than they all."

That was much more coherent than the rest, except for the part where we lay down a general principle and then violate the general principle in the very next thought. It's like saying, "No matter how smart one is, there's always someone smarter. I think I must be the smartest person in the world!"

Anyway, my point is that this passage shows signs of basically stream-of-consciousness composition: the kind of signs we would expect from an oral composition rather than from a written one. Add to that the fact that the passage basically operates under the assumptions of nineteenth-century natural theology, and I think we can say that this pretty clearly was not written by Abraham's own hand upon papyrus. Instead, it's a nineteenth century product of the mind of Joseph Smith, dictated by Smith to his scribe Willard Richards. And it's not even a very articulate or well-thought-out one.
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Will Schryver Loses His Mojo
Tuesday, May 19, 2009, at 10:02 AM
Original Author(s): Kevin Graham
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
Earlier today I decided to write up a response to Will's claim that the testimonys suggest the Book of Abraham came from a missing papyrus. He responded by 1. outing me so the mods would immediately ban me (which they did) 2. faulting me for typos and 3. accusing me of relying on Vogel and Metcalfe for my "sudden acquisition of historical minutia." The funniest thing about that last comment is I managed to come up with this on my own, within an hour. Will acts like I must have broken into the Church vault or something, apparently because he couldn't get these documents, even with the help of six apologists! Anyway, enjoy...

Will Schryver scolds critics:
Critics don't like the Haven and Blanchard quotes (and others) that speak of the long roll.
Others? He hasn't even managed to produce two here. It appears Will hasn't read the Blanchard quotation which he fails to provide for his audience, since it says nothing about its length. Incidentally, it appears Will lifted that entire section of his article from John Gee's, "New Light on the Joseph Smith Papyri." This is from Gee:
a quantity of records, written on papyrus, in Egyptian hieroglyphics,"32 including (1) some papyri "preserved under glass,"33 described as "a number of glazed slides, like picture frames, containing sheets of papyrus, with Egyptian inscriptions and hieroglyphics";34 (2) "a long roll of manuscript"35 that contained the Book of Abraham;36 (3) "another roll";37 (4) and "two or three other small pieces of papyrus with astronomical calculations, epitaphs, andc."38
And now from Will's latest apologetic, changing only the footnote numbers:
a quantity of records, written on papyrus, in Egyptian hieroglyphics,'2 including (1) some papyri 'preserved under glass,'3 described as 'a number of glazed slides, like picture frames, containing sheets of papyrus, with Egyptian inscriptions and hieroglyphics';4 (2) 'a long roll of manuscript'5 that contained the Book of Abraham;6 (3) 'another roll';7 and (4) 'two or three other small pieces of papyrus, with astronomical calculations, epitaphs, andc.'"8
I guess I'm confused about why no citation was provided from Blanchard. Here is the relevant portion from the source, found in Relief Society Magazine, January, 1922:
What fun we had with Aunt Emma's boys, Joseph, Frederick, Alexander and David. How we raced through the house playing hide and seek. My favorite hiding place was in an old wardrobe which contained the mummies, and it was in here that I would creep while the others searched the house. There were three mummies: "The old Egyptian king, the queen and their daughter. The bodies were wrapped in seven layers of linen cut in thin strips. In the arms of the Old King, lay the roll of papyrus from which our prophet translated the Book of Abraham"
Contrary to Will, there is nothing to indicate the roll's length.

So let's move to the testimony of Charlotte Haven, in its context from Overland Monthly, "A Girl's Letters from Nauvoo," pp.623-624. What follows is a more detailed version of the testimony that you will not find in any apologetic treatment of the matter, for reasons soon to be obvious:
...we called on Joseph's mother, passing the site of the Nauvoo House, a spacious hotel, the first floor only laid. It is like the Temple in being erected on the tithe system, and when finished will surpass in splendor any hotel in the State. Here Joseph and his heirs for generations are to have apartments free of expense, and they think the crowned heads of Europe will rusticate beneath its roof. Madam Smith's residence is a log house very near her son's. She opened the door and received us cordially. She is a motherly kind of woman of about sixty years. She receives a little pittance by exhibiting The mummies to strangers. When we asked to see them, she lit a candle and conducted us up a short narrow stairway to a low, dark room under the roof. On one side were standing half a dozen mummies, to whom she introduced us, King Onitus and his royal household, -- one she did not know.

Then she took up what seemed to be a club wrapped in a dark cloth, and said, "This is the leg of Pharaoh's daughter, the one that saved Moses." Repressing a smile, I looked from the mummies to the old lady, but could detect nothing but earnestness and sincerity on her countenance. Then she turned to a long table, set her candlestick down, and opened a long roll of manuscript, saying it was, "the writing of Abraham and Isaac, written in Hebrew and Sancrit," and she read several minutes from it as if it were English. It sounded very much like passages from the Old Testament. - and it might have been for anything we knew - but she said she read it through the inspiration of her son Joseph, in whom she seemed to have perfect confidence. Then in the same way she interpreted to us hieroglyphics from another roll. One was Mother Eve being tempted by the serpent, who - the serpent, I mean - was standing on the tip of his tail, which with his two legs formed a tripod, and had his head in Eve's ear. I said, "But serpents don't have legs."

"They did before the fall," she asserted with perfect confidence. The Judge slipped a coin in her hand which she received smilingly, with a pleasant, "Come again," as we bade her goodby.
Now Will assures us that critics just,
want to diminish their reliability on the basis of the fact that these were young women who probably weren't really paying close attention to what was going on. I find that attitude condescending and naďve.
As is so often his wont, Will misrepresents the arguments from critics and LDS scholars alike. Yes, you heard me correctly. According to LDS scholar, Jay M. Todd:
One wonders if Charlotte is reporting accurately. Until more evidence is gathered, the sum and value of Charlotte's report remains clouded on several issues." (The Saga of the Book of Abraham, by Jay M. Todd, page 249)
The reason her testimony is considered questionable by reasonable standards of evidence, isn't because she was just a "young woman," but because we know her memory was clouded and she did not properly describe the material. She says they were written in Sanscrit, which we know is false. She says it included records of Isaac, which we know is false. She mentions two records on one roll, which from the more reliable account of William I. Appleby, we know to be false. She also fails to correctly describe the snake with legs (it wasn't standing on its tail). But William is dead certain her use of the word "long" must be dead accurate, assuming her perception of long is more than several feet.

It seems more likely that the papyri slides or sheets were laid out on the table back to back, appearing as one long roll. It is unrealistic to think Granny Smith would be constantly "rolling" and "unrolling" an eroding ancient document that was to be shown to strangers on a regular basis. The whole idea was to keep the collection preserved, and they were cut and glued to slides for preservation.

The reason apologetic versions of the Haven account never include the context probably has something to do with the fact that what Haven describes is clearly part of the extant material. She doesn't describe the serpent portion perfectly, but it is obvious she is referring to the same scene properly described by Appleby below.

All of this throws cold water on any hopes of establishing a missing source for the Book of Abraham, when she claims to be looking right at it!
when you stop to consider what kinds of things an 18-year-old woman would most notice in such an experience, it would be the kinds of elements we read in Haven's account: the length of the roll and the nature of the illustrations on the papyrus itself.
The last apologetic hope, it seems, must be hanging on the word "long." So how long is long? By what method does Will propose in determining Haven's meaning of the word "long"? He doesn't say. It seems he's just content to assert long means extremely long or maybe outrageously long, when it could very well be just a few feet, when comparing it to the other scraps. Will says Haven has given us the length of the roll. She hasn't. "Long" doesn't tell us the length anymore than "heavy" gives us the weight.

Will is clearly unaware of the fact that the Haven account has been address on numerous occassion over the past three decades, and only recently has the Blanchard reference been thrown into the mix, leading impressionable folks to believe it somehow counts as a second independent witness for the supposed, "long" description.

Since Will wants to accuse critics of being afraid of these so-called devastating eye-witness accounts, I suppose this would be a good time to ask him why John Gee finally got around to acknowledging the William I. Appleby account in 1999, but failed to provide the context that essentially refuted the argument he was trying to make. What follows is the full context of this statement from his journal entry of May 5, 1841:
To day I paid Br Joseph a visit. Saw the Rolls of papyrus and the writings thereon, taken from off the bosom of the Male Mummy, having some of the writings of ancient Abraham and of Joseph that was sold in Egypt. The writings are chiefly in the Egyptian language with the exception of a little Hebrew. I believe they give a description of some of the scenes in Ancient Egypt, of their worship, their Idol gods, etc. The writings are beautiful and plain, composed of red, and black inks. There is a perceptible difference, between the writings. Joseph, appears to have been the best scribe. There are representations of men, beasts, Birds, Idols and oxen attached to a kind of plough, a female guiding it. Also the serpent when he beguiled Eve. He appears with two legs, erect in form and appearance of man. But his head in the form, and representing the Serpent, with his forked tongue extended. There are likewise representations of an Alter erected, with a man bound and laid thereon, and a Priest with a knife in his hand, standing at the foot, with a dove over the person bound on the Altar with several Idol gods standing around it. A Celestial globe with the planet Kolob of first creation of the supreme being - a planet of light, - which planet - makes a revolution once in a thousand years, - Also the Lord revealing the Grand key words of the Holy Priesthood, to Adam in the garden of Eden, as also to Seth, Noah, Melchizedek, Abraham, and to all whom the Priesthood was revealed.

Abraham also in the Court of Pharaoh sitting upon the King's throne reasoning upon Astronomy, with a crown on his head, representing the Priesthood as emblematical of the grand Presidency in Heaven. And King Pharaoh, standing behind him, together with a Prince - a principle waiter, and a black slave of the King. A genealogy of the Mummies, and the Epitaphs and their deaths, etc., etc., are also distinctly represented on the Papyrus which is called the "Book of Abraham."

The Male mummy was one of the Ancient Pharaohs of Egypt, a Priest, as he is embalmed with his tongue extended, representing a speaker: The females were his wife and two daughters, as a part of the writing has been translated, and informs us, who they were, also whose writing it is, and when those mummies were embalmed, which is nearly four thousand years ago.
Appleby goes into strenuous detail in explaining what exactly it was he saw. He confirms that there is a "perceptible difference" between the writings of Abraham and Joseph, pointing out that "Joseph was the better scribe." This clearly points to the Breathings text as the source for the Book of Abraham, which, as Ed Ashment pointed out nearly two decades ago that:
despite Nibley, the evidence indicates that the Book of Abraham was developed from "that badly written, poorly preserved little text, entirely devoid of rubrics, which is today identified as the [Breathing Permit of Hor]."
Contrary to Will's assertion, the abundance of eye-witness testimony describing the Joseph Smith Papyri collection point us directly to extant portions that we can clearly identify. But I guess it is easy to make these arguments when you're only showing a fraction of the testimonies, divorced from their contexts.

One minor quibble: Jay Todd is not an LDS scholar. He was the managing editor of Church magazines back in the early 1990s when I was working there.

I am just disappointed to see BoA being taken backwards by Will Schryver. I mean seriously, Charlotte Haven? This is old news and Will is such an infant in ths arena he doesn't even realize it. She was one of my sources when I wrote my FAIR article, "A Case for the Missing Papyrus" back in 2001. My discussion with Brent Metcalfe prompted me to ask FAIR to remove it because it was filled with one flmsy reference after another. Will hopes to resurrect them with a new shine, but he doesn't know anything about source criticism. None of these guys do.

Every source they try to use ends up as another example of apologetic malpractice. Perhaps the worst one was the rubrics argument by Nibley and Rhodes, and then the Gustavo Seyffarth con that Gee tried to pull over on us.

In Gee's "New Light on the Joseph Smith Papyri," the only thing "new" was his use of the Blanchard reference, which turns out to prove nothing. Why not provide the citations youre relying on? Why assume your audience has to just trust your judgment? It is unscholarly to say the least. Nibley pulled this crap and the rest are just following his method, assuming nobody would check their sources they way nobody checked Nbley's. The irony is that whenever the Tanners use ellipses or fail to provide a citation the apologists jump all over their case and say it is evidence they aren't true scholars, and worse, that they are trying to deceive!

Well, why the double standard? That sledge hammer swings both ways. But when we call them out for deception, oh no, we're just being too uncharitable and intolerable! They deserve the benefit of the doubt, no one else.
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Book Of Abraham, Why Isn't This The Silver Bullet?
Monday, Aug 17, 2009, at 08:08 AM
Original Author(s): Oregon
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
Is this as black and white as possible? Or am I missing something? Why isnt this enough to show that the BoA is a fraud to TBM's?

To see the facimilie 1 in reference to the below look here:

http://www.answers.com/topic/book-of-...

Element 1.
Joseph Smith Explanation
The Angel of the Lord.

Explanation by Egyptologists
"The soul of Osiris (which should have a human head)"

Element 2.
Joseph Smith Explanation
Abraham fastened upon an altar.

Explanation by Egyptologists
Osiris coming to life on his couch, which is in the shape of a lion"

Element 3.
Joseph Smith Explanation
The idolatrous priest of Elkenah attempting to offer up Abraham as a sacrifice

Explanation by Egyptologists
The God Anubis (who should have a jackal's head) effecting the resurrection of Osiris"

Element 4.
Joseph Smith Explanation
The altar for sacrifice by the idolatrous priests, standing before the gods of Elkenah, Libnah, Mahmackrah, Korash, and Pharaoh.

Explanation by Egyptologists
The funeral bed of Osiris

Element 5.
Joseph Smith Explanation
The idolatrous god of Elkenah.

Explanation by Egyptologists
Canopic jar portraying Qebehsenuf with a falcon's head - one of the four sons of Horus

Element 6.
Joseph Smith Explanation
The idolatrous god of Libnah.

Explanation by Egyptologists
Canopic jar portraying Duamutef with a jackal's head - one of the four sons of Horus

Element 7.
Joseph Smith Explanation
The idolatrous god of Mahmackrah

Explanation by Egyptologists
Canopic jar portraying Hapy with an ape's head - one of the four sons of Horus

Element 8.
Joseph Smith Explanation
The idolatrous god of Korash

Explanation by Egyptologists
Canopic jar portraying Imsety with a human head - one of the four sons of Horus

Element 9.
Joseph Smith Explanation
The idolatrous god of Pharaoh

Explanation by Egyptologists
The sacred crocodile, symbolic of the god Sedet"

Element 10.
Joseph Smith Explanation
Abraham in Egypt.

Explanation by Egyptologists
Altar laden with offerings"

Element 11.
Joseph Smith Explanation
Designed to represent the pillars of heaven, as understood by the Egyptians

Explanation by Egyptologists
An ornament peculiar to Egyptian art"

Element 12.
Joseph Smith Explanation
Raukeeyang, signifying expanse, or the firmament over our heads; but in this case, in relation to this subject, the Egyptians meant it to signify Shaumau, to be high, or the heavens, answering to the Hebrew word, Shaumahyeem

Explanation by Egyptologists
Customary representation of ground in Egyptian paintings

Note:The word Shauman is not Egyptian, and the Hebrew word is badly copied.
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The Book Of Abraham Fiasco Taught Me That Reality Doesn't Matter To Mormons
Monday, Aug 17, 2009, at 08:09 AM
Original Author(s): Baura
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
"Silver bullet?" That's what I would have thought. I have trouble imagining anything clearer or more devastating to the claims of JS's "prophetic mantle."

But it was just a blip on the radar screen. A few who made noise over it were quietly ex'd and everyone else got up and put white shirts on and went to Church on Sunday. As I see it there are a whole closet full of "Silver Bullets" that prove unequivocally that Mormonism is bogus. But none of that matters if someone really WANTS to believe it's true.

But one thing has changed. When I was a young TBM Mormons bragged about how their faith was practical and logical. Mormons constantly had war stories about getting the best of critics by reasoning from the scriptures.

That was before mesoamerican archaeology had gotten so far. That was way back when Joseph Fielding Smith and Mark E. Petersen could claim BY was "misquoted" in his Adam-God sermon. That was back when nobody knew about Joseph Smith taking other men's wives or 14-year old girls. That was back when post-manifesto polygamy was undocumented. That was back when DNA markers were but a theoretical pipe-dream.

One of the biggest hits my fledgling testimony took was reading an apologetic article by Hugh Nibley concerning the BOA. He laid out the argument against it that was published in 1912 (1912?? Why hadn't I heard of this?) he told the story in terms unflattering to the critics but he did present their argument which seemed incredibly strong to me. However I knew that by the end of the article Nibley would have it completely refuted. After all this was the "Improvement Era" (precursor to the "Ensign") and this was Hugh Nibley!

Well, I got to the end of the article and his defense was incredibly lame. I was shocked that this was the best he could do. Later when I actually looked into the BOA situation it was much worse than I had imagined. But when I'd mention it to Mormons they'd spout some phrase they'd been told and that would be the end of it.

To this day BOA apologetics still appears the work of mental patients. You can't clearly confront the problem without appearing anti-Mormon so you have to go nuts.

So the upshot is that the Church has changed it's epistemological approach. Now evidence doesn't matter. It's only your "spiritual confirmation" that counts and nothing else. In the old days the two worked hand in hand, "spiritual confirmation" and "evidence." Well now that the evidence is no longer just cherry-picked parallels the value of "evidence" has gone way down in Mormonism. It's become a much more mystic religion in its approach.
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Perhaps This Is Where FAIR Is Coming From
Thursday, Aug 20, 2009, at 08:58 AM
Original Author(s): Confused
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
Following the discovery of the Egyptian Papyri and evidence of strange accounts of the First Vision (from Cheesman and BYU), Ferguson concluded definitively that the church was false. He didn't share this information with his family, seeing the church as having social utility. But the documentation of his personal conclusions is irrefutable. For example, in a letter written Feb. 9, 1976, he gave this advice:
"…Mormonism is probably the best conceived myth-fraternity to which one can belong…Joseph Smith tried so hard he put himself out on a limb with the Book of Abraham, and also with the Book of Mormon. He can be refuted - but why bother…It would be like wiping out placebos in medicine, and that would make no sense when they do lots of good…

"Why not say the right things and keep your membership in the great fraternity, enjoying the good things you like and discarding the ones you can't swallow (and keeping your mouth shut)? Hypocritical? Maybe…thousands of members have done, and are doing, what I suggest you consider doing. Silence is golden - etc…So why try to be heroic and fight the myths - the Mormon one or any other that does more good than ill?

"Perhaps you and I have been spoofed by Joseph Smith. Now that we have the inside dope - why not spoof a little back and stay aboard?"
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Too Unbelievable For Even The Believers
Friday, Aug 27, 2010, at 12:22 PM
Original Author(s): Dealingwithit
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
I find that I am amazed at times at what I missed, or ignored when I was a true believer. While I had heard about Kolob from time to time, I never really looked at where that doctrine came from until I became a skeptic. IMO, the most unbelievable doctrine in Mormonism comes from Joseph’s translation of figure 5 in facsimile 2.

“Is called in Egyptian Enish-go-on-dosh; this is one of the governing planets also, and is said by the Egyptians to be the Sun, and to borrow its light from Kolob through the medium of Kae-e-vanrash, which is the grand Key, or, in other words, the governing power, which governs fifteen other fixed planets or stars as also Floeese or the Moon,the Earth and the Sun in their annual revolutions. This planet receives its power through the medium of Kli-flos-is-es, or Hah-ko-kau-beam, the stars represented by numbers 22 and 23, receiving light from the revolutions of Kolob”

As far as my experience goes, I do not know of anyone in the church that believes this. I have never met someone who thinks that the sun is a planet that gets its light from Kolob instead of from internal nuclear fusion. I know of no one who thinks that there is an interstellar medium through which Kolob powers the movements of the planets and stars instead of gravity.

In my experience, even the most devout do not accept this cosmological doctrine over nuclear fusion and gravity. They don’t think about it and don’t let themselves go there. I think that this alone shows just how fraudulent the Book of Abraham is.

Has anyone here either believed, or know someone who did believe the cosmology taught in the Book of Abraham?

FWIW I just finished making a video about this and other book of Abraham issues that some here might enjoy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwQ9V1I7Wio
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Why The Book Of Abraham Is Important
Monday, Sep 6, 2010, at 09:24 AM
Original Author(s): Jod3:360
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
This quote from McConkie regarding the Book of Abraham:
. . contains priceless information about the gospel, pre-existence, the nature of Deity, the creation, and priesthood -- information which is not otherwise available in any other revelation now extant. (Mormon Doctrine p.567)
That's right, the Book of Abraham contains information that is nowhere else to be found.

The correct translations of the Facsimiles:

http://www.bookofabraham.com/boamathi...

http://www.bookofabraham.com/boamathi...

Here's some more info from Larsons By His Own Hand Upon the Papyrus..
Most of these additional teachings were made public and were embraced by the membership as soon as they were revealed. However, some (and one very special teaching in particular) were of such a sacred nature that they could not be taught publicly, nor could their existence even be acknowledged, as the time had not yet come, their leaders said, when people could understand these new truths. The major new issue was polygamy --How were they to practice something secretly in order to be counted righteous of God, and at the same time be able, in honesty, to deny that they were practicing it? Joseph and many of the brethren were being forced into the position of having to deny publicly that polygamy was being taught and practiced in Nauvoo in order to prevent persecution from their gentile neighbors and dissent from uninitiated fellow Mormons.

When translation of the Book of Abraham began again, the answer to this dilemma became obvious. The Bible described how Abraham, when he first entered Egypt, had deceived the Egyptians into thinking that Sarai, who was very beautiful to look upon, was his sister -- not his wife. He did this because he feared the Egyptians would kill him and take his wife (Genesis 12:11-13). This same incident was described in the papyri when Joseph began translating the second time, but with a significant change: according to the papyri version of the narrative it had actually been the Lord himself who had instructed Abraham to tell the Egyptians that Sarai was his sister (Abraham 2:22-25). >This demonstrated that God sometimes justifies deceit in those instances when a righteous purpose is served.

When the book of Genesis had been corrected by the Prophet the first time in 1830, the text he produced retained the Bible's (and Moses') emphasis that there is only one God. Joseph's 1842 translation of portions of the Book of Abraham, however, distinctly taught the plurality of gods -- a concept of deity Joseph had started teaching a few years earlier, but one which many Saints neither understood nor appreciated.

The Book of Abraham also introduced the first and only scriptural basis for denying the priesthood to Blacks, the Church's official position until 1978. It described Pharaoh and the Egyptians as descendents of Ham and Canaan (the progenitors of the Negro race), and under the curse of Canaan and disqualified from the priesthood (Abraham 1:21-22, 26-27).

...to the followers of Brigham Young -- those who would eventually become the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- the value of the Book of Abraham was incalculable. It could never be laid aside without forfeiting some of that Church's most sacred and distinctive doctrines.
As I discovered the Book of Abraham was a fraud in 2007 it was the single most damning evidence against Joseph Smith and it totally blew me away. It has been a downward and outward spiral ever since. Since then, I had seen the history of the problems, the translations and skimmed through Larsons book, but I finally started reading from page one, and this section and its significance had some how escaped me. Reading the quote by McConkie finally brought that realization that had been hovering just over my shoulder, directly in front of my eyes; that the church's most startling and unique doctrines which are troublesome to most people, come directly from the most obviously false scripture that they have ever conceived.

As the Egyptologists all agree-the BoA does not contain one single word that relates to the papyrus, and to quote McConkie again:
. . contains priceless information about the gospel, pre-existence, the nature of Deity, the creation, and priesthood -- information which is not otherwise available in any other revelation now extant.
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Kolob Is A Star Near The Throne Of God
Monday, Aug 15, 2011, at 07:45 AM
Original Author(s): Hoggle
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
The LDS writings about Kolob are in the Book of Abraham. Some of my earliest doubts about Mormonism began with Kolob.

I had learned through studying astronomy that the stars are not eternal. They are formed from molecular clouds, run their cycles and then come to an end. Why would the throne of the eternal God be near something that was going to die?

Stellar physics and nuclear processes were not understood when Joseph Smith entertained himself and his followers with Egyptian papyri. I could find no way to accept the nonsense of Kolob after what I had learned about stars.

Just as the life cycle of a star comes to an end, the existence of Kolob died for me.

Dying stars: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/201...

Synthesis of the elements in stars, 1957 http://rmp.aps.org/pdf/RMP/v29/i4/p54...

Nine years after the Synthesis of the elements in stars was published, the Joseph Smith papyri was found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Like so many of Joseph Smith's writings and ideas, prophetic insight through the "gift and power of God" was nothing more than imaginative fantasy.
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FAIR's New DVD On Book Of Abraham
Monday, Oct 17, 2011, at 07:03 AM
Original Author(s): Kevin Graham
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
I received my copy yesterday and skimmed through it as I didn't have time to watch it all.

It is precisely as I expected, which is a collection of all the failed apologetics wrapped in video format.

It was essentially bouncing back and forth between testimonies of the only three Egyptologists in Church (and the world) who think the Book of Abraham is anything of value. (Rhodes, Gee and Mulhstein).

They essentially skimmed over ever point that undermined their thesis. For example, they never actually quote the Book of Abraham in areas where they assert that it is supported in ancient texts. They merely assert it and we're supposed to just take their word for iit. They resurrected all sorts of failed apologetics, such as the 40ft length of the scroll, along with Nibley's unreliable account of a scroll stretching out through several rooms. The level of misinformation that was being dished out by credentialed scholars was not just disturbing, but also nauseating. But I was particularly disappointed in Michael Ash, because he had always struck me as one of the more reasonable fellows in the apologetic lot. He asserted on at least two occasions that Joseph Smith got "hits" on things that were very very unlikely for Joseph Smith to have known about and then he said it was "impossible based on odds." Really? It was impossible or very unlikely that he read books which he owned? Of course he doesn't specify which parallels he has in mind so it is impossible to figure out what exactly he is talking about. He just asserts that these parallels exist and that the critics (while grinning) "have problems" dealing with the text. This is a popular apologetic straw man that is nothing short of deceptive. Critics have dealt with every single thing these guys have thrown at us.

Then Kerry goes on in another segment to use the so called discovery of Olishem as proof that Joseph Smith was a prophet. Let me be perfectly clear. No scholar outside Brigham Young believed this inscription reads Olishem or translates as Olishem. A honest approach to this issue would at the very least share information that undermines the assertion, but again, they're not interested in any of that. They're only interested in throwing the apologetic kitchen sink at their audience, refusing to address or acknowledge any established problems with their assertions. For example, even the apologist Dave Stewart has issues with the apologetic attempt to twist Ulisim to mean Olishem and then to relocate it with a wave of the hand.

There is so, so much wrong with this DVD, but I'll probably sift through it and write up a review at some future point. Right now I have too much on my plate. I'll just provide the opening statements by the expert apologists:
There is simply an incredible wealth of ancient Egyptian and other NE historical documents that substantiate what Joseph Smith said. He simply could not have guessed correctly so many times. He was actually translating from an ancient text and he was a prophet of God. - Michael Rhodes

In places where I've had questions about whether Joseph Smith got something right (long pause) and I've done my homework...he's never been wrong. - John Gee
Amazingly dishonest. John Gee knows very well Joseph Smith got virtually everything wrong in his translation of the facsimiles. But he glosses over that with dismissive comments about how Egyptology is still changing. He is careful to word his statement above so he can later wriggle his way out of it when called on it. He can say, "well what I said was that he never got anything wrong in the areas where I questioned whether he got something right." So Gee can later say he always acknowledged Joseph Smith got things wrong as well. But this is just ambiguous enough to deceive his audience into thinking Joseph Smith got everything right and nothing wrong. Amazingly deceptive. You'd think this think was produced by some political party or something.

As much as he and Rhodes keep referring to these numerous examples of Joseph Smith getting remarkable hits, you'd think they'd actually provide several examples with evidence, references, citations, etc. Instead, all we got was assertions of silly paraallels between some of his stuff and genuine Hebrew, which overlapped in some creative way with some other Egyptian words. What they don't share with their readers is the fact that at this point in his life, Joseph Smith had a working knowledge of Hebrew, so it should hardly be any surprise that he used legitimate Hebrew or at the very least, Hebrew souding words, and that some of these words overlap in some way with the "Ancient world." Good grief!
There's enough evidence from Egyptology and traditions about Abraham that tie into what Joseph Smith just couldn'y possibly have known, yet hit right on target. - Michael Rhodes
Examples?
Ancient sources verify that Abraham was almost sacrificed that he was saved by God that he intervened that he prayed for salvation and all these things, uh very very unlikely that Joseph Smith could have known about them. To get so many of them right just seems impossible on odds alone. - Michael Ash
Oh really Mike? Is it really, really "unlikely" that Joseph Smith would have read Bible Commentaries which he purchased and stored in his library for the "School of the Prophets"? Is it really "impossible"?? I've already dealt with numerous examples of these so called parallels existing in books we know Joseph Smith owned. The works of Josephus is a popular example, and apologists used to fall back on the "prove he read that" argument until the critics pointed out to them that Oliver Cowdery actually cited Josephus in the Church published Times and Seasons. The attempted sacrifice of Abraham is mentioned in numerous ancient works, sure. Rhodes keeps saying "that's not in the Bible." But what they don't tell you is that it was in other books Joseph Smith most likely read.
The text is uh (grinning) a more difficult target for the critics, because there is some very interesting evidences that support the text. What Joseph Smith could have known about what couldn't he have known about. There were writings floating around in the country that talked a little bit about Abraham or talked about some of the things that we find in the Book of Abraham but what is the liklihood that Joseph Smith could have known these and collected all the right pieces from libraries or archaic sources.. - Michael Ash
Name me one thing in this video that hasn't already been addressed by critics, Mike.

And then of course the usual gossip stories about how people leave the Church over minor issues that turned out to be evidence for Joseph Smith as a prophet. Yes, Kerry Muhlstein had the audacity to assert this without providing ANY support for it. And then he goes on to call those who leave the faith fools for doing so. So don't pretend you guys didn't draw blood first with the critics. I'd rather be a fool than dishonest, and one thing is most certain about this video, and that is these guys are totally dishonest. Or at the very least, the editor is since it is clear these interviews were constantly being snipped and clipped together. I've already proved beyond any reasonable doubt that John Gee was a dishonest person who would lie about a source if he thought he could get away with it. But I never felt that way about Rhodes or Ash.

Bokovoy's piece was a rather innocuous commentary about parallels with the divine council. Nothing we haven't heard before. There really isn't much to argue with there except to point out that Smith's knowledge of the divine council corresponded to his Hebrew learning at the time. He even admitted that he learned of the plural nature of elohim from learned Jews, and then he immediately incorporated that doctrine into his upcoming Book of Abraham. But it contradicts his previous "inspired" translation of the Book of Moses.

What did surprise me is that after spending 98% of the time trying to prove the Book of Abraham true via evidences (which mostly consisted of bald assertions we were supposed to just take on the authority of the usual suspects in the Church) the video takes an occasional twist by telling the audience that ultimately you can know it is true by praying about it. Gee, you'd think that if they really had much faith in that method then they would have just said this at the beginning and then left it at that.

I know for a certainty that God doesn't need people to lie in order to prove something he did is true. Therefore, God had nothing to do with the Book of Abraham.

No attempt to deal with the KEP of course, which is (grinning) something the apologists obviously have a hard time dealing with. By ignoring the KEP it becomes much easier for Gee and Rhodes to make the ludicrous assertion that the existing papyri had nothing to do with the Book of Abraham translation. For them, the original source must have been burned up or lost at some point because obviously what exists now doesn't support the Prophet's claims. How convenient! None of the dozen or so historical references pointing to the extant portions are dealt with. At least Brian Hauglid has the integrity to publish these in his recent book. None of these examples can be said to be referring to some missing papyri. None. No attempt to acknowledge the problems with Gee's pathetic 40ft scroll theory.

Again, this video does everything apologists frequently complain about with anti-Mormon productions. Just go back and read FAIR reviews of things like, Luke Wilson's video on the book of Abraham. The biggest gripe was that none of the apologetic responses were dealt with and that no acknowledgment was given to credentialed opinions to the contrary. Well, pot meet kettle.
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The Book Of Abraham "You're Down To Your Ride, Pal"
Monday, Oct 24, 2011, at 06:59 AM
Original Author(s): Sock Puppet
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
The BoAbr is LDS canonized scripture. It is not the mere musings of some apostle or even a prophet subsequent to JSJr's death, that can be dismissed now that the author is dead in the way that BRM's Mormon Doctrine is.

The BoAbr is LDS canonized scripture. It is at the heart of whether members or investigators can believe what the LDS leadership claims is god's word--or not.

Until the 1960s, the BoAbr was touted as another great imparting of knowledge from god to his latter-day, restoration prophet, JSJr. Then the s*** hit the fan. The source Egyptian papyrus, the Sensen Papyrus, was found and returned to the LDS church. And more damning, the Kirtland Egyptian Papers existence had leaked out, and it ties this very piece of papyrus to the BoAbr manuscript.

For 45 years now, this has been a major thorn in the side of the truth claims of the LDS Church.

It has been the undoing of many apologists' testimony in the LDS truth claims. The closer they have looked at the BoAbr issues, the more problematic such have become. Eventually, the cognitive dissonance has become too much for the human psyche. Then, there is a break with those LDS truth claims.

Witness the metamorphosis of Will Schryver, currently in progress. He's been as ardent of a BoAbr apologist as they come. He's twisted reason every which way to try to come up with an explanation, a rationale, of how to explain away JSJr's quintessential 'revelatory' blunder. In 2010, there was his spectacular crash and burn of the reverse cipher theory, presented at FAIR. (Too bad he could not have trusted some objectivity from the FAIR/FARMS folks that previewed it to tell him it was bunk. They let Will trot right out in public, where any credibility he aspired to fell flat on his chin.)

Now, as I've previously reported here http://www.mormondiscussions.com/phpB..., Will seeks to disconnect the BoAbr text entirely from any remaining physical fragments from history of 1830s and 1840s JSJr and his scribes. Will's stripe of the catalyst theory he calls the 'transmitter' theory. Of course, this requires throwing JSJr under the bus. The catalyst theory supposes that god was duping JSJr into thinking he was a 'translator'--part of the religious title JSJr ascribed to himself and has been assumed or attributed to no other in these latter days. The historical record is replete with references as to JSJr thinking he was actually performing translations. This theory assumes that god could not trust JSJr to know that he was really just a 'transmitter' in the process of writing down what god dictated. JSJr had received in the first vision direct instruction from elohim and jehovah, no props, no needing to make JSJr think that he was 'translating' records of god's dealings with ancient prophets and peoples. But god must have realized later, in 1829 (Book of Mormon 'translation') and 1835 and 1842 (BoAbr 'translation') that JSJr could no longer be trusted to relay to the world the word of god, as he had been so entrusted in 1820 (first vision).

Unbeknownst to JSJr in Ohio and Illinois, Champollion in Paris was cracking the code of ancient Egyptian writings with the use of the Rosetta Stone. With that assistance, Egyptologists have since been able to provide translations into English that bear a consistent relationship to the Egyptian characters and their usage in various different ancient documents. Yet those clinging to their LDS testimonies tell us god has a different translation of those same characters. But there is a problem with that, and like so many things Mormon, it is a problem of consistency.

The Egyptologists can take the translation keys developed from the Rosetta Stone, apply it to the same Egyptian characters found in different ancient Egyptian writings and come up with narratives in English that each makes sense. Each time the Egyptologists do this, it further validates and buttresses the accuracy of those translation keys. If those translation keys were pure bupkis, then applied to other, newly found ancient Egyptian writings containing those same hieroglyphic and hieratic symbols would simply result in English gibberish. Unintelligible. But they don't. And so those translation keys are validated.

This point is simply an application of the same logic used by LDS to sell the Book of Mormon as a second witness of christ, one that validates the Bible's account--not a validation of the translation, but a validation by a second iteration of the Jesus' teachings that are otherwise found in the NT (and which, of course, JSJr had read all of his life).

God's "correct" translation that differs from the translation keys used by Egyptologists would, when eventually applied to other ancient Egyptian writings, have to render those other writings to be nonsensical, gibberish. Even Schryver, the master of secret, reverse ciphers, is now untethering the BoAbr text from the pretensions of JSJr that he was 'translating' not just being a 'revelator' for god, untethering the BoAbr text from any historical remnants that we have, such as the Sensen papyrus and the KEP.

Nevermind that it implies that god had to dupe JSJr into thinking he was more important to the process than he was, including god having to use props like Egyptian papyrus and gold plates. Schryver's breaking the connection between the papyrus/KEP and the BoAbr text might be a temporary fix for his cognitive dissonance. It might alleviate it for a time. But then the inconsistencies implied therefrom for JSJr and what JSJr himself and the LDS proclaim JSJr to have been will be the next corrosive element againt cognitive consonance for Schryver--and others that have looked very closely at the BoAbr--to deal with.
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God's Own Interpretation Of Hieratics On The Papyrus
Tuesday, Oct 25, 2011, at 07:35 AM
Original Author(s): Sock Puppet
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
I sometimes hear defenders dismiss the fact that Egyptologists have, due to the Rosetta Stone and the breakthrough work of Champollion ("translation keys") in the 1830s and 1840s, been able to translate ancient Egyptian hieorglyphs and hieratic characters into English as 'god has his own separate interpretation'.

How likely is that?

For example, if the translation keys only translated one ancient Egyptian writing into a coherent writing in English, that would alone validate those translation keys. A single ancient writing uses some of the same characters more than once each. If the translation keys were off the mark, then the resulting English text would be unintelligble gibberish.

However, those translation keys applied to the same ancient characters that appear on numerous ancient documents have yielded coherent English writings (albeit the Egyptologists doing an interpretation learning new nuances of denotation and connotation of each hieroglyphic or hieratic character with each additional ancient document translated using those translation keys).

Just like the logic that LDS claim the Book of Mormon as a 2nd witness to that of the NT of Christ making each corroborate the other and thereby give it greater validity, so too does each additional sensible English text translation of another ancient Egyptian document using these translation keys provide ever more validation of the efficacy of those translation keys.

If there is some "god interpretation" that is different, that would not be the result of applying any kind of a translation tool or key that would have any consistency. The chances that the same characters written in order of a document of any sufficient length yielding two separate but both sensible English texts that differ completely one from the other is unfathomably, infinitesimally minute.

For example, given the millions of documents originally written in French that have been translated into intelligible English, each of which adds another validation to the process and translation keys used to convert French into English, what are the chances that god could have a completely different translation key that yields completely different English texts of each of those French document that make sense and would yield sensible English text when this other, 'god interpretation' translation key is applied to every document written in French? It is astronomically implausible.

So god would have such a key that could yield the story of Abraham from Hor's Breathing Permit? Really? And on top of that, it was Abraham who wrote this ancient Egyptian hieratics and signed his name to this papyrus that centuries later Egyptians mistook for being a Breathing Permit for Hor?

I find those of you defenders incredulous that latch onto this hope that god has his own special translation key that somehow does all this. You believe in a god that would go to untold lengths, perhaps logically impossible lengths, to secretly code writings so that only JSJr could translate them and make sense of what they mean, in the meantime depriving billions of his children living on the planet in between the times of Abraham and JSJr of the 'sacred truths' contained therein?

The BoAbr is nothing short of an indefensible hoax, and with it, the whole house of LDS cards falls.
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The Future Of The Book Of Abraham And Its Facsimiles
Monday, Dec 5, 2011, at 10:54 AM
Original Author(s): Sock Puppet
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
Will Schryver, the shrill mopologist dogged by the KEP, has himself mused that perhaps the Facsimiles might be removed from the LDS canon. The reason is clear. Those Facsimiles are the clearest, most palpable evidence of the religious fraud perpetrated by JSJr.

The explanations don't line up with what Egyptology has discovered about ancient Egyptian writings that appear on those Facsimiles. JSJr 'restored' them in the most inventful ways. Using hieratics to replace missing hieroglyphics in the ring of Facsimile 2, and placing them upside down at that. And those borrowed hieratics were drawn by JSJr from the mid 1960s found Sensen papyrus, just as those in the left hand margins of the damning KEP were too.

Of course, there is the problem with Facs 3 that Paul Osborne repeatedly points out: 'There is no king's name above Isis and neither is the name Shulem found in the writings' re Figure 5 in Facs 3.

As Kevin Graham laid out this week on MDandD, and now on MDB, Schryver's 'substantial word study' supports Chris Smith's argument that Abr 1:1-3 were developed from the GAEL, not the other way around. (BTW, thanks Will for providing that extra nail for the BoAbr's coffin.)

If the Brethren take away the Facs, what do they do with Abr 1:12 that reads: "and that you may have a knowledge of this altar, I will refer you to the representation at the commencement of this record."

Also, some of Mormonism's unique doctrines depend on the BoAbr:
  • the exaltation of humanity (Abr 2:10)
  • the plurality of gods (Abr 4:1)
  • priesthood (Abr 1:1-4)
  • pre-mortal existence (Abr 3:18-28) and other inhabited worlds in the cosmos (Pearl of Great Price Student Manual, Book of Abraham, pp 28-40)
The Brethren hardly mention the BoAbr at GCs or other fora. That's been the case for decades. But the internet discussions just go on and on. One mopologist after another has come up to the plate, only to swing and miss the pitch of criticism. Gee, Hauglid, Schryver. Makes one wonder who will be next.

Since the PoGP is the weakest link in the chain of the Mormon truth claims, and the 'net discussions about the PoGP persistently continue, what does the LDS Church do next to diffuse this problem? Will going mainstream Christian and ignoring these BoAbr "truths" take enough attention off of the BoAbr?
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LDS.org And The Book Of Abraham
Monday, Mar 19, 2012, at 08:19 AM
Original Author(s): Alex71ut
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
At http://www.lds.org/manual/the-pearl-o... its written "Joseph Smith never claimed that the papyri were autographic (written by Abraham himself), nor that they dated from the time of Abraham." At http://www.lds.org/scriptures/pgp/abr... in the Preface to Book of Abraham before Chapter 1 says "The writings of Abraham while he was in Egypt, called the Book of Abraham, written by his own hand, upon papyrus."

Back at http://www.lds.org/manual/the-pearl-o... we're reminded how Mormons discern truth vs. error. "The greatest evidence of the truthfulness of the book of Abraham is not found in an analysis of physical evidence nor historical background, but in prayerful consideration of its content and power."

In the Jan 1994 Ensign Daniel C. Peterson at http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp... makes a claim about the 4 canopic jars under the altar (i.e. lion couch) of Facsimile 1 that 'they also verify the names of four idols (detail) and confirm the terminology for the “pillars of heaven” (bottom of facsimile).'

Okay DCP let's remind ourselves what Facsimile 1 at http://www.lds.org/scriptures/pgp/abr... says about those 4 canopic jars numbered 5, 6, 7 and 8.

5.The idolatrous god of Elkenah.

6.The idolatrous god of Libnah.

7.The idolatrous god of Mahmackrah.

8.The idolatrous god of Korash.

Anyone doing a search on the canopic jars for the Book of the Dead (i.e. http://www.google.com/search?q=book%2...) can find out what these canopic jars really represent. See http://www.king-tut.org.uk/egyptian-m... for one example of many on the details. "The liver, lungs, stomach and intestines were stored in their appropriate canopic jars decorated with depictions of the four sons of Horus.

The liver was protected by the man-headed Imsety

The lungs were protected by the baboon-headed Hapi

The stomach was protected by the jackal-headed Duamutef

The intestines were protected by the falcon-headed Qebehsenuef"

Dear Denial C. Peterson, you should be embarrassed by this explanation.

In summary I think lds.org pretty much has proven itself to be an anti-Mormon website on the "Book of Abraham".
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The Claim That Joseph Smith Never Said That The Papyri Were In The Actual Handwriting Of Abraham Is Totally Bogus
Monday, Mar 19, 2012, at 08:21 AM
Original Author(s): Snowowl
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
The claim that Joseph Smith never said that the papyri were in the actual handwriting of Abraham is totally bogus. There is recorded testimony from people who actually heard him make the statement. The following is a portion of an article that I wrote on the subject of the Book of Abraham, dealing with the specific issue in relation to Charlotte Haven's visit to Lucy Mack Smith during which she was duped and did not talk to Joseph Smith, and the desire of Mormon apologists to accept her testimony as valid while at the same time denying the testimonies of Josiah Quincy and Charles Adams who are much more reliable witnesses because they spoke directly to Joseph Smith.

""In an article, an example is noted regarding an account by Charlotte Haven of a visit to the Smith home in 1843: ". . .in 1843, a non-Mormon named Charlotte Haven visited Joseph Smith's mother, Lucy Mack Smith, and wrote a letter to her own mother about it.

Haven writes: 'Then she [Mother Smith] turned to a long table, set her candlestick down, and opened a long roll of manuscript (yes it was not a modern document - they didn't come in long rolls! Furthermore old papyrus scrolls can be remarkably well preserved and ""rollable"" –comment inserted by an editor), saying it was ""the writing of Abraham and Isaac, written in Hebrew and Sanscrit [sic],"" and she read several minutes from it as if it were English. It sounded very much like passages from the Old Testament-and it might have been for anything we knew-but she said she read it through the inspiration of her son Joseph, in whom she seemed to have perfect confidence. Then in the same way she interpreted to us hieroglyphics from another roll. One was Mother Eve being tempted by the srpen[sic], wh-the serpent, I mean-was standing on the tip of his tail, which with his two legs formed a tripod, and had his head in Eve's ear." source cited –Gee, Tragedy, 107f.

As quoted by: http://www.boap.org/LDS/critic.html titled "JSCOM Appendix V, Criticisms of Joseph Smith and the Book of Abraham"

The source cited as a confirmation that there were additional manuscripts is a woman who knew nothing about manuscripts, could not verify that the manuscripts were indeed genuine and did not even know if what was being read by Mother Smith was from the Bible. In addition she identified the language as Sanskrit (an Indic language and not Egyptian) and Hebrew, something Joseph Smith never mentioned. In addition, Mother Smith is stated to have translated the writings by inspiration through her son, who was not even present. So, not only is Joseph Smith a translator, but his mother as well, a fact not found in any other place.

The difficulty with Charlotte Haven is, she was the perfect person to have been the subject of a hoax which she was unable to detect. Supporters of her testimony, would then reject the testimony of Josiah Quincy in relation to the statements he recorded regarding an actual conversation with Joseph Smith in which Joseph Smith made a claim about the papyri, stating: "That is the handwriting of Abraham, the Father of the Faithful," said the prophet. "This is the autograph of Moses, and these lines were written by his brother Aaron. Here we have the earliest account of the Creation, from which Moses composed the First Book of Genesis."

Attempting to discredit Josiah Quincy by making a statement against his veracity and character, supporters of Charlotte Haven say, "However it is clear that Quincy was exaggerating for effect," – http://www.boap.org/LDS/critic.html "JSCOM Appendix V, Criticisms of Joseph Smith and the Book of Abraham"

The attempt to discredit Josiah Quincy in that manner is without foundation and unworthy of consideration. Josiah Quincy's testimony is very damaging to the Mormon position, because he says that Joseph Smith specifically identified the writing on the papyri as being the handwriting of Abraham and other writing as the autograph (meaning written with one's own hand) of Moses and other lines written by Aaron. Since none of the papyri can possibly date from the time of Abraham or Moses, then the writings cannot be the actual hand written records created by Abraham or Moses.

Mormon apologists attempt to circumvent the problem in two ways: 1. They state that Joseph Smith never claimed that the writings on the papyrus were in the actual handwriting of Abraham, but said they were "purporting to be the writings of Abraham. . ," Joseph Smith, Times and Seasons, March 1, 1842. However the difficulty created by holding this position is obvious. If Joseph Smith did not know if the writings were the actual handwriting of Abraham, then what kind of a prophet does that make him out to be? To hold that position is to assume that Joseph Smith was not truly a prophet, and was willing to translate and claim those documents to be scripture when he did not actually know that to be the case. To hold the position is ludicrous, because Joseph Smith published the "translation" with the full intent that people should believe that they were the writings of Abraham, and that was the position adopted by all the future presidents, prophets, seers and revelators of the Mormon church, which resulted in the Book of Abraham being canonized as Mormon scripture.

Another difficulty in the matter is that the papyri cannot even be copies of the writings of Abraham, since they were the products of a later religious system of belief that did not even come into existence until just prior to the birth of Jesus Christ. The Egyptian religious system represented in the papyri could not have been known by Abraham in his day, and as a consequence they could not be representative of his writings.

2. They state a new definition of the phrase "written by his own hand," as noted in the preface of the Book of Abraham, redefining it to mean that: "They were copies from the land of copyists." – http://www.boap.org/LDS/critic.html "JSCOM Appendix V, Criticisms of Joseph Smith and the Book of Abraham."

Mormon apologists state that Josiah Quincy's statement about Joseph Smith claiming the writing on the papyri was the "handwriting of Abraham" and the "autograph of Moses" was not confirmed by another person who was at the same meeting. However, this is not the case, as the record of Charles Adams, who was the person also present stated, "'This,' said he, 'was written by the hand of Abraham and means so and so. If anyone denies it, let him prove the contrary.'" –Diary of Charles Adams, May 15, 1844, in proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society vol. LXVII, 1952 p. 285 As quoted in: http://www.boap.org/LDS/critic.html "JSCOM Appendix V, Criticisms of Joseph Smith and the Book of Abraham"

Charles Adams can only be said to say something different from Josiah Quincy if the phrase "written by the hand of Abraham" is defined to mean something different than the "handwriting of Abraham" or the "autograph of Moses." This is precisely what the Mormon apologists attempt to do, and claim that Josiah Quincy said something different than what was actually the case and Charles Adams stated what was the reality, as conforming to the definition provided by the Mormon apologists.""
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Review Of FAIR's Book Of Abraham DVD: Part 1
Tuesday, May 29, 2012, at 07:39 AM
Original Author(s): Kevin Graham
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
I'll go through this video minute by minute. It is more than an hour long so I'll be doing this in segments, writing more as I find time.

The first 6:00 minutes is an introduction and quick history about the papyri.

The next 1:30 discusses the translation process and all three men agree that no one knows, except that it was done by revelation. Why the apologists keep making a big deal about this is beyond me. No critic ever claimed to know the exact process.

The next 4:00 minutes discusses the “age of the papyrus” which should have been entitled the age of the papyri, since there was more than one papyrus. Kerry Muhelstein says some members are concerned about the fact that it purports to be the handwriting of Abraham, because the papyri date to a much later period. He goes on to explain that it was originally written by Abraham, but that it was copied over and over and over again through the centuries. He says, “when you recopy it you’re still going to write, ‘written by the hand of Abraham,’ because the text itself the original story was written by Abraham.” He doesn’t provide any evidence for this aside from his own say-so. To me, it makes no sense for subsequent scribes to say their copy is "by the hand" of Abraham. The apologists have produced not a single example of this ever occurring in the history of Ancient Near East documents, and just when you think he is prepared to back up his statement with evidence, the video quickly fades out as the narrator thenstarts in with a photo of John Gee, and goes on to say:
“Professor John Gee has identified another Egyptian text, the Tale of Setne, that describes the place in which the book which Thoth wrote by his own hand when he came down following the Gods. Professor Gee notes that in this text, the book is said to be written by his own hand upon papyrus which should not be taken as anything more than authorship. In other words the phrase, by his own hand was the ancient way of saying that the text was written by a particular person. As LDS researcher Russel C. McGregor and Kerry Shirts have reported, ‘it is obvious from reading the Hebrew Bible, that the phrase By His Own Hand is a Hebrew idiom, beyadh, which means by the authority of. In other words, Abraham may not have even touched these documents which bear his name, the very ones that fell into the hands of Joseph Smith in the 1830’s, since Abraham could have had them commissioned and written for him. Yet, for all this the documents would still bear his signature since they were authorized by him, by his own hand, even though a scribe may have written them, instead of Abraham.”
This is immediately followed with comments from Mike and Kerry:
Mike Ash: “Again, there were copies of copies so that’s not a problem that the documents themselves don’t date to that period.”

Kerry: “The fact that we have a copy from 200 B.C just tells us that this has been an important document for a long time. They wanted it to last so they recopied it and a number of people thought it was important enough that they wanted their own copies, that’s why we have another copy made of this about 200 B.C.”
Now, you really have to listen to this closely several times to appreciate just how convoluted this apologetic really is. First we have Kerry admitting the obvious by saying the phrase “by his own hand” means Abraham wrote the original text. Then immediately we are introduced to an apologetic argument by Kerry Shirts and Pahoran (of all people) who assert that the phrase doesn’t have to have anything at all to do with literal use of the hand. For those who are unfamiliar with the argument by McGregor and Shirts, the narrator quoted them word for word, from their FARMS Review published back in 1999. Their argument uses two examples from the Bible where “hand” is used metaphorically. The scriptures they use, which the video fails to produce, are:
Exodus 9:35 - “and the heart of Pharaoh is strong, and he hath not sent the sons of Israel away, as Jehovah hath spoken by the hand of Moses.”

1 Samuel 28:15 – “God hath turned aside from me, and hath not answered me any more, either by the hand of the prophets, or by dreams; and I call for thee to let me know what I do.'
Notice that neither of these scriptures refer to a literal hand, nor do they refer to written documents. Muhlstein had already conceded that this phrase was used because Abraham literally wrote the original document with his literal hand. But seconds later, Shirts and McGregor argue the opposite. So when I say FAIR is throwing the kitchen sink at this, I’m not kidding. The narrator is ignorant enough of these arguments that he misses out that they essentially contradict one another.

Shirts and McGregor decided that it was enough to point out that these biblical phrases have some of the same words from the phrase “by his own hand,” therefore they should be understood as synonymous in meaning (metaphors). This is the epitome of eisegesis. Using this logic, all anthropomorphic references apologists love to use, must be understood as mere metaphors, but I digress. As most Hebrew experts acknowledge, “Hand” is a metaphor throughout the Hebrew Bible usually referring to power, particularly the power of God. McGregor and Shirts assert incorrectly that “the phrase by his own hand is a Hebrew idiom beyadh, which means by the authority of.” The second half of this statement is correct, but their problem is that they fail to make a distinction between the phrase, “by the hand of” and “by his own hand.” Do I really need to explain to them how context makes a difference when determining a concrete or metaphorical meaning? In the context of documents, there is no reason to suppose metaphor when speaking of a hand doing the writing. To do so would be intentionally ambiguous.

So, while McGregor and Shirts argue that “by the hand of” always means “by the authority of,” the Exodus scripture they use to support their argument actually undermines it since in this verse it is Moses who is speaking on God’s authority, not his own. McGregor’s argument would require that it be by the authority of Moses, since it was by Moses’ hand that God spoke. But did Moses authorize the lord to speak? No, it’s the other way around. Hence, their argument can be dismissed on is merits, or lack thereof.

Again, we have Muhelstein saying the phrase refers to Abraham actually writing the original document, and then immediately we are told by McGregor and Shirts that the phrase refers to an "authority" by which the job was commissioned to some other scribe.

And then we have the argument by John Gee.

As Egyptian images and a photo of John Gee fade in and out, the narrator explains:
“Professor John Gee has identified another Egyptian text, the Tale of Setne, that describes the place in which the book which Thoth wrote by his own hand when he came down following the Gods. Professor Gee notes that in this text, the book is said to be written by his own hand upon papyrus which should not be taken as anything more than authorship. In other words the phrase, by his own hand was the ancient way of saying that the text was written by a particular person.”
So John Gee managed to find a similar phrase in an Egyptian text about a document written in someone's hand, and concluded that "by his own hand" should mean nothing more than authorship. Why did he conclude this? How did he conclude this? Since this video substantiates nothing with references, I can only assume Gee’s argument rests on the following remark found in the Tale of Setne:
“Pharaoh said to him: “My son Setne, you have heard the words that this chieftain spoke before me, saying ‘Is there a good scribe and learned man in Egypt who can read this document that is in my hand, without breaking its seal, and shall learn what is written in it without opening it?’” (Ancient Egyptian Literature: A Book of Readings Volume III, Miriam Lichtheim, p 142)
Now I read through the Tale of Setne several times and have found no reason to conclude what John Gee asserted. There is nothing in this tale that would suggest “in my hand” doesn’t refer to a literal writing, so Gee’s reference to Setne is irrelevant and he is simply asserting something to be true without evidence. So it would seem Gee also disagrees with the McGregor/Shirts theory, which makes you wonder why FAIR decided to mention them at all. You have two Egyptologists in agreement and then you throw in two amateur apologists who contradict them? FAIR is free to choose its own poison, but what irks me the most about this is how the narrator uses Gee’s unfounded assertion to claim two ludicrous positions and present them as established facts

1. “the book is said to be written by his own hand upon papyrus”

On the contrary, the Tale of Setne says nothing about “papyrus” nor does it say the phrase “by his own hand.” The Narrator says this to strengthen the supposed parallel with the Book of Abraham reference, which says precisely, “by his own hand upon papyrus.” I catch apologists doing this kind of thing all the time, and it is hard to chalk it up to accident every time. At some point you have to say to yourself, these guys know exactly what they're doing here, but they just don't care about the truth.

2. “In other words the phrase, by his own hand was the ancient way of saying that the text was written by a particular person.”

Absolutely absurd. If this were true, then there’d be a plethora of examples from which they could invoke. Yet, all they provided were two biblical passages, which upon examination contradict their point, along with the bald assertion provided by John Gee supported by an irrelevant reference to Setne. That’s it. There is no evidence that “by his own hand” was an ancient way, let alone “the” ancient way, to say anything.

None!
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The Priceless Fraud Of The Book Of Abraham
Friday, Mar 1, 2013, at 07:31 AM
Original Author(s): Jod3:360
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
This quote from McConkie regarding the Book of Abraham:
. . contains priceless information about the gospel, pre-existence, the nature of Deity, the creation, and priesthood -- information which is not otherwise available in any other revelation now extant. (Mormon Doctrine p.567)
That's right, the Book of Abraham contains information that is nowhere else to be found.

The correct translations of the Facsimiles:

http://www.bookofabraham.com/boamathi...

http://www.bookofabraham.com/boamathi...

Here's some info from Larsons book By His Own Hand Upon the Papyrus..

Most of these additional teachings were made public and were embraced by the membership as soon as they were revealed. However, some (and one very special teaching in particular) were of such a sacred nature that they could not be taught publicly, nor could their existence even be acknowledged, as the time had not yet come, their leaders said, when people could understand these new truths. The major new issue was polygamy --How were they to practice something secretly in order to be counted righteous of God, and at the same time be able, in honesty, to deny that they were practicing it? Joseph and many of the brethren were being forced into the position of having to deny publicly that polygamy was being taught and practiced in Nauvoo in order to prevent persecution from their gentile neighbors and dissent from uninitiated fellow Mormons.

When translation of the Book of Abraham began again, the answer to this dilemma became obvious. The Bible described how Abraham, when he first entered Egypt, had deceived the Egyptians into thinking that Sarai, who was very beautiful to look upon, was his sister -- not his wife. He did this because he feared the Egyptians would kill him and take his wife (Genesis 12:11-13). This same incident was described in the papyri when Joseph began translating the second time, but with a significant change: according to the papyri version of the narrative it had actually been the Lord himself who had instructed Abraham to tell the Egyptians that Sarai was his sister (Abraham 2:22-25). >This demonstrated that God sometimes justifies deceit in those instances when a righteous purpose is served.

When the book of Genesis had been corrected by the Prophet the first time in 1830, the text he produced retained the Bible's (and Moses') emphasis that there is only one God. Joseph's 1842 translation of portions of the Book of Abraham, however, distinctly taught the plurality of gods -- a concept of deity Joseph had started teaching a few years earlier, but one which many Saints neither understood nor appreciated.

The Book of Abraham also introduced the first and only scriptural basis for denying the priesthood to Blacks, the Church's official position until 1978. It described Pharaoh and the Egyptians as descendents of Ham and Canaan (the progenitors of the Negro race), and under the curse of Canaan and disqualified from the priesthood (Abraham 1:21-22, 26-27).

...to the followers of Brigham Young -- those who would eventually become the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- the value of the Book of Abraham was incalculable. It could never be laid aside without forfeiting some of that Church's most sacred and distinctive doctrines.

The Book of Abraham is the single most damning evidence against Joseph Smith.

Reading the quote by McConkie highlights the fact that the church's most startling and unique doctrines which are troublesome to most people, come directly from the most obviously false scripture that they have ever conceived.

As the Egyptologists, mormon and nonmormon alike, all agree-the BoA does not contain one single word that relates to the papyrus, and to quote McConkie again:

. . contains priceless information about the gospel, pre-existence, the nature of Deity, the creation, and priesthood -- information which is not otherwise available in any other revelation now extant.
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A Brief Account Of Jsjr's "Egyptian Alphabet" And Grammar
Monday, Mar 4, 2013, at 07:15 AM
Original Author(s): Sock Puppet
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
In May 1835, W W Phelps wrote a letter to his wife. In that letter, Phelps included a table entitled "specimen of the pure language" that incorporated "explanations" text from JSJr's previous "revelations". As with the GAEL begun two months later, characters were listed by Phelps in the 'specimen' in the left-hand column, sounds in the next one, and then explanations in the right-hand column. Phelps had used JSJr's March 1832 Qandamp;A on the 'pure language' in preparing the "specimen of the pure language" table.

Just two months later...
HoC, v2, Ch XVI wrote:
On the 3rd of July [1835], Michael H. Chandler came to Kirtland to exhibit some Egyptian mummies. There were four human figures, together with some two or more rolls of papyrus covered with hieroglyphic figures and devices. As Mr. Chandler had been told I could translate them, he brought me some of the characters, and I gave him the interpretation, and like a gentleman, he gave me the following certificate:

KIRTLAND, July 6, 1835. This is to make known to all who may be desirous, concerning the knowledge of Mr. Joseph Smith, Jun., in deciphering the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic characters in my possession,
which I have, in many eminent cities, showed to the most learned; and, from the information that I could ever learn, or meet with, I and that of Mr. Joseph Smith, Jun., to correspond in the most minute matters. MICHAEL H. CHANDLER,
Traveling with, and proprietor of, Egyptian mummies.

Sunday 5.--I preached in the afternoon. Michael H. Barton tried to get into the Church, but he was not willing to confess and forsake all his sins--and he was rejected.

Soon after this, some of the Saints at Kirtland purchased the mummies and papyrus, a description of which will appear hereafter, and with W. W. Phelps and Oliver Cowdery as scribes, I commenced the translation of some of the characters or hieroglyphics, and much to our joy found that one of the rolls contained the writings of Abraham, another the writings of Joseph of Egypt, etc.,--a more full account of which will appear in its place, as I proceed to examine or unfold them. Truly we can say, the Lord is beginning to reveal the abundance of peace and truth.
This is similar to how after translating just a character grapheme from the Kinderhook Plates almost 8 years later that the GAEL key indicated to be referring to descendant of Ham, JSJr was recorded by his diarist William Clayton as those plates including a 'history' of such Ham descendant and was recorded by apostle Parley P Pratt as those plates including a 'genealogy' all the way back to Ham.

HoC, v2, Ch XVII wrote:
Sunday, 19th [July 1835].--Our public meeting was attended by more than a thousand people, and during our conference nine were baptized. ORSON HYDE, WM. E. M'LELLIN, Clerks.

The remainder of this month, I was continually engaged in translating an alphabet to the Book of Abraham, and arranging a grammar of the Egyptian language as practiced by the ancients.

The production of the alphabet itself was an act of 'translation.'

And Chris Smith makes a strong case that this alphabet and grammar preceded, or was at least developed concurrently with, the development of the Book of Abraham 1:1-3 text.

HoC, v2, Ch XXI wrote:
I was at home on the 30th [September 1835], and was visited by many who came to inquire after the work of the Lord.

This afternoon I labored on the Egyptian alphabet, in company with Brothers Oliver Cowdery and W. W. Phelps, and during the research, the principles of astronomy as understood by Father Abraham and the ancients unfolded to our understanding, the particulars of which will appear hereafter.
It was while laboring on the alphabet, and during that research, that Abraham's astronomy was 'unfolded' to JSJr's, Cowdery's and Phelps' understanding. The particulars did appear later: Abraham's astronomy is set forth in Book of Abraham 3. This shows that the alphabet was not merely a human derivation, a reverse engineering from the revealed text of Book of Abraham; the alphabet constitutes 'work papers' from which their laboring on and researching led to the 'unfolding to their understanding', revelation of Abraham's astronomy that then later appeared, i.e., as Book of Abraham 3. This defies the apologetic claim that the GAEL was merely a human derivative, reverse engineered from a divinely inspired text known as the Book of Abraham.

HoC, v2, Ch XXI wrote:
This afternoon [October 7, 1835] I re-commenced translating the ancient records.

JSJr exhibited the alphabet to strengthen the faith of others, such as Erastus Holmes, who had been excommunicated from the Methodist Church for accepting Mormon Elders into his home.
HoC, v2, Ch XXI wrote:
Saturday, 14 [November 1835].-- * * * This afternoon, Erastus Holmes, of Newbury, Ohio, called on me to inquire about the establishment of the Church, and to be instructed in doctrine more perfectly.

I gave him a brief relation of my experience while in my juvenile years, say from six years old up to the time I received my first vision, which was when I was about fourteen years old; also the revelations that I
received afterwards concerning the Book of Mormon, and a short account of the rise and progress of the Church up to this date.

Tuesday 17 [November 1835].--Exhibited the alphabet of the ancient records, to Mr. Holmes, and some others. Went with him to Frederick G. Williams', to see the mummies. We then took the parting hand, and he started for home, being strong in the faith of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and determined to obey its requirements.

HoC, v2, Ch XXIII wrote:
At home in the morning. Weather warm and rainy. We spent the day [November 20, 1835] in translating, and made rapid progress.
* * *
In the afternoon [of November 24, 1835] we translated some of the Egyptian records.
* * *
Wednesday, 25 [November 1835].--Spent the day in translating. * * *

Thursday, 26 [November 1835].--Spent the day in translating Egyptian characters from the papyrus, though severely afflicted with a cold.

HoC, v2, Ch XXV wrote:
Thursday, 31 [December 1835],--* * *
In the afternoon I attended at the chapel to give directions concerning the upper rooms, and more especially the west room, which I intend occupying for a translating room, which will be prepared this week.

HoC, v2, Ch XXVI wrote:
We are occupying the
translating room for the use of the school, until another room can be prepared. It is the west room in the upper part of the Temple, and was consecrated this morning by prayer, offered up by Father Smith. This is the first day [January 4, 1836] we have occupied it.

HoC, v2, Ch XXVIII wrote:
Tuesday, 16 [February 1835].--Attended school at the usual hour. Resumed our translating, and made rapid progress. Many called to see the House of the Lord, and the Egyptian manuscript, and to visit me.

Many references to translating Hebrew, particularly chapters of the OT, but the Egyptian translation next mentioned months later:
HoC, v2, Ch XXXVI wrote:
[November 2, 1836]The Church in Kirtland voted to sanction the appointment of Brother Phinehas Richards and Reuben Hedlock by the Presidency, to transact business for the Church in procuring means to translate and print the records taken from the Catacombs of Egypt, then in the Temple.

HoC, v3, Ch III wrote:
Saturday, 12 [May 1838].-- President Rigdon and myself attended the High Council
for the purpose of presenting for their consideration some business relating to our pecuniary concerns.

We stated to the Council our situation, as to maintaining our families, and the relation we now stand in to the Church, spending as we have for eight years, our time, talents, and property, in the service of
the Church: and being reduced as it were to beggary, and being still detained in the business and service of the Church, it appears necessary that something should be done for the support of our families by the
Church, or else we must do it by our own labors; and if the Church say to us, "Help yourselves," we will thank them and immediately do so; but if the Church say, "Serve us," some provision must be made for our
sustenance.

The Council investigated the matter, and instructed the Bishop to make over to President Joseph Smith, Jun., and Sidney Rigdon, each an eighty-acre lot of land from the property of the Church, situated adjacent to the city corporation; also appointed three of their number, viz., George W. Harris, Elias Higbee and Simeon Carter, a committee to confer with said Presidency, and satisfy them for their services the present year; not for preaching, or for receiving the word of God by revelation, neither for instructing the Saints in righteousness, but for services rendered in the printing establishment, in translating the ancient
records, etc., etc.
Said committee agreed that Presidents Smith and Rigdon should receive $1,100 each as a just remuneration for their services this
year.
HoC, v4, Ch VII wrote:
Memorial of Joseph Smith, Jun., to the high Council of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, June 18th, 1840. The Memorial of Joseph Smith, Jun., respectfully represents--That * * * Under the then existing circumstances, your Memorialist had necessarily to engage in the
temporalities of the Church, which he has had to attend to until the present time:--That your Memorialist feels it a duty which he owes to God,
as well as to the Church, to give his attention more particularly to those things connected with the spiritual welfare of the Saints, (which have now become a great people,) so that they may be built up in their most holy
faith, and go on to perfection:--That the Church have erected an office where he can attend to the affairs of the Church without distraction, he thinks, and verily believes, that the time has now come, when he should devote himself exclusively to those things which relate to the spiritualities of the Church, and commence the work of translating the Egyptian records, the Bible, and wait upon the Lord for such revelations as may be suited to the conditions and circumstances of the Church. And in order that he may be enabled to attend to those things, he prays your honorable body will relieve him from the anxiety and trouble necessarily attendant on business transactions, by appointing some one to take charge of the city plot, and attend to the business transactions which have heretofore rested upon your Memorialist: That should your Honors deem it proper to do so, your Memorialist would respectfully suggest that he would have no means of support whatever, and therefore would request that some one might be appointed to see that all his necessary wants may be provided for, as well as sufficient means or appropriations for a clerk or clerks, which he may require to aid him in his important work.

On March 1, 1842, the Book of Abraham was published in the Times and Seasons.

April 19, 1842: the Greek Psalter fiasco, where JSJr proclaimed an old book to be a "Dictionary of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics", but then secreted himself from the scene when Caswall explained to the assembled that it was just a centuries old Greek Psalter. Not Egyptian.

April - June, 1843, the GAEL is used by JSJr to translate a boat-shaped grapheme in a character on the Kinderhook Plates.

HoC, v6, Ch IV wrote:
Wednesday, 15 [November 1843].--Mayor's court in the office. "Erskine versus Pullen." Nonsuit.

P. M. At the office. Suggested the idea of preparing a grammar of the Egyptian language.
topic image
David Bokovoy's New Take On The Book Of Abraham
Thursday, Mar 7, 2013, at 07:45 AM
Original Author(s): Sock Puppet
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
http://www.withoutend.org/book-abraha...

I thank David for the 7 paragraph part that begins with the paragraph that itself begins, "The conclusion to the Book of Abraham contains an alternative version of Genesis 1-2:20." and ends with that paragraph that itself ends with "In the story found in Genesis 1, God creates by simply speaking a command, and in Genesis 2, the LORD creates by physically working with the ground." In these 7 paragraphs, David lays out in an easy to grasp and understand way the issues surrounding the two creation accounts found in the Book of Genesis. Thanks, David.

I can certainly understand the exuberance of a Biblical scholar that is a TBM with the change in the LDS introduction to the Book of Abraham from it being a "translation" to an "inspired translation". In legal circles, we'd call that adding a weasel word to give some wiggle room for what is meant by "translation", and we'd cross-examine on why the change, what does adding the weasel word signal, why was it not in the earlier introduction and what its absence from the earlier introduction suggested about what the LDS Church/Brethren thought the Book of Abraham's provenance was.

I also appreciate that the pre-1980 introduction had weasel words then removed: that the "ancient Records" (from which the Book of Abraham is derived) "purporting to be the writings of Abraham". I have for more than 3 decades now wondered why the 'purported' was removed from that introduction, and actually thought that was the better portal to an apology for the Book of Abraham than what LDS apologetics mainly focused on in this interim.

The change in introduction is certainly a step toward disconnecting the Book of Abraham text from the papyrus. Nevertheless, the sentence reads "An inspired translation of the writings of Abraham." Does this mean that the FP/12 for 33 years (1980-2013) thought that the Book of Abraham translation was not inspired? What "WRITINGS" were the subject of this inspired TRANSLATION?

The next sentence of the new introduction states that the translation began in 1835 after obtaining some Egyptian papyri. Are they suggesting the catalyst theory--which, IIRC, is one of the classic apologetic arguments over the last 33 years (and perhaps longer)?

This new introduction raises many questions. It does not kill the connection between the sensen papyrus and the Book of Abraham that is established by those pesky KEP which from at least the 9/29/1835 entry in the HoC we know preceded the Book of Abraham text in regards to Abraham's astronomy its scriptural text incarnation (Book of Abraham 3). The KEP were at least in significant part work papers, not merely a human only derivation, reverse engineered from a text of inspired translation.

I think when the existence of the KEP came to light in the 1940s-60s, Pandora's Box was opened for the Book of Abraham. It will take Herculean mental and intellectual effort to stuff the KEP back in and then close that box. It will be interesting if Elohim and Jehovah have that much intellectual heft, and can help the FP/12 out with that. It remains to be seen.
topic image
Intelligent Mormons And The Book Of Abraham Facsimiles
Thursday, Aug 1, 2013, at 07:43 AM
Original Author(s): Sock Puppet
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
The Facsimiles published in and as a part of the Book of Abraham, part of the Pearl of Great Price, itself a collection of writings that are part of the LDS canon, are terribly embarrassing, particularly in light of the "restorations" of lacunae (parts missing from the papyrus from which those facsimiles were taken) and verbal Explanations that JSJr gave for them. Those are, in basketball terms, air balls.

Per BoAbr 1:12, Father Abraham refers the reader "to the representation at the commencement of this record" after having recounted that "the priests laid violence upon me, that they might slay me also, as they did those virgins upon this altar." That is reference to Facsimile No. 1.

Though the Brethren recently re-worked the introductions to many Mormon scriptures (making them more vague, so less inaccurate), they've left the Facsimiles and their Explanations intact in the LDS canon.

Poster Shulem (Paul) has recently noted it is dissonant for an academic like Bill Hamblin to defend such nonsense as the Facsimile "restorations" and "explanations."

The Facsimiles cannot be written off casually as merely being catalysts for prop-less inspiration/revelation of scriptural text. The Facsimiles are taken from the papyrus. The Facsimiles cannot be chalked up to "other", lost papyrus. They're available. The Explanations are demonstrably wrong. The restorations of lacunae silly--upside down hieratics in place of lost hieroglyphics on Facsimile No. 2. Putting a man's head in the lacunae atop Annubis' body, instead of the jackal's head; putting a sword instead of an erect penis on Annubis at another lacunae spot, both on Facsimile No. 1.

Mormon Egyptologists either won't touch the topics of the incorrect restorations or explanations of the Facsimiles, or risk making and in fact make themselves look like laughing stocks of the Egyptology world.

Not touching--ignoring--the restored Facsimiles and the Explanations is by far their best bet. But most mopologists, professional like the OMIDs and even many amateurs, have wrestled mentally to try to explain these problems away. These problems cause dissonance for them.

So, how do they reconcile these indefensible inclusions in their canon with their continued fealty towards the LDS Church and the Brethren that perpetuate them?
topic image
Change In The Introduction To The 2013 Edition Of The Book Of Abraham
Wednesday, Jan 8, 2014, at 08:24 AM
Original Author(s): Truthseeker2013
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
The introduction was changed in four important ways:

1981 version:

"A translation from some Egyptian papyri that came into the hands of Joseph Smith in 1835, containing writings of the patriarch Abraham. The translation was published serially in the Times and Seasons beginning March 1, 1842, at Nauvoo, Illinois. See History of the Church, vol. 4, pp. 519-534."
2013 version:
"An inspired translation of the writings of Abraham. Joseph Smith began the translation in 1835 after obtaining some Egyptian papyri. The translation was published serially in the Times and Seasons beginning March 1, 1842, at Nauvoo, Illinois."
1. It is No Longer Claimed that Smith Translated the Papyri: The introduction previously stated, "A translation from some Egyptian papyri," thus asserting that Smith in fact translated the papyri. The new introduction, however, backs away from this assertion and instead declares that the translation was simply a translation of the "writings of Abraham" and that this translation occurred "after obtaining some Egyptian papyri." Therefore, the church has backed away from claiming that Smith translated the papyri at all.

2. It is No Longer Claimed that the Papyri Were the Source: The introduction previously identified the papyri as the source of the Book of Abraham by asserting that the Book of Abraham was "A translation from some Egyptian papyri...." The new introduction, however, states that the source of Book of Abraham is "the writings of Abraham." There is no longer any identification of the source of the Book of Abraham.

3. It is No Longer Claimed that the Papyri Contained Abraham‘s Writing: The previous assertion that the papyri "contain[ed] writings of the patriarch Abraham" is completely removed. Thus, the church has also backed away from its claim that Abraham‘s writing appeared on the papyri.

4. It is Now an Inspired Translation: "Translation" is replaced with "inspired translation," suggesting that Smith‘s translation was accomplished with God‘s inspiration.

The changes open the door to two theories: the Missing Papyrus Theory and the Catalyst Theory (it was just revelation and the papyrus acted as a signal to Joseph Smith to receive the revelation). There are a plethora of problems with these new theories, but the church apparently feels it's best to back away from Joseph's own claims of what the papyri were.
topic image
LDS.org And The Book Of Abraham
Thursday, Feb 13, 2014, at 11:25 AM
Original Author(s): Alex71ut
Topic: BOOK OF ABRAHAM   -Link To MC Article-
At http://www.lds.org/manual/the-pearl-o... its written "Joseph Smith never claimed that the papyri were autographic (written by Abraham himself), nor that they dated from the time of Abraham." At http://www.lds.org/scriptures/pgp/abr... in the Preface to Book of Abraham before Chapter 1 says "The writings of Abraham while he was in Egypt, called the Book of Abraham, written by his own hand, upon papyrus."

Back at http://www.lds.org/manual/the-pearl-o... we're reminded how Mormons discern truth vs. error. "The greatest evidence of the truthfulness of the book of Abraham is not found in an analysis of physical evidence nor historical background, but in prayerful consideration of its content and power."

In the Jan 1994 Ensign Daniel C. Peterson at http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp... makes a claim about the 4 canopic jars under the altar (i.e. lion couch) of Facsimile 1 that 'they also verify the names of four idols (detail) and confirm the terminology for the “pillars of heaven” (bottom of facsimile).'

Okay Daniel C. Peterson let's remind ourselves what Facsimile 1 at Continue Reading Story says about those 4 canopic jars numbered 5, 6, 7 and 8.

5.The idolatrous god of Elkenah.

6.The idolatrous god of Libnah.

7.The idolatrous god of Mahmackrah.

8.The idolatrous god of Korash.

Anyone doing a search on the canopic jars for the Book of the Dead (i.e. http://www.google.com/search?q=book%2...) can find out what these canopic jars really represent. See http://www.king-tut.org.uk/egyptian-m... for one example of many on the details. "The liver, lungs, stomach and intestines were stored in their appropriate canopic jars decorated with depictions of the four sons of Horus.

The liver was protected by the man-headed Imsety

The lungs were protected by the baboon-headed Hapi

The stomach was protected by the jackal-headed Duamutef

The intestines were protected by the falcon-headed Qebehsenuef"

Dear Daniel C. Peterson, you should be embarrassed by this explanation.

In summary I think lds.org pretty much has proven itself to be an anti-Mormon website on the "Book of Abraham".
 
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The Book Of Abraham
What Is The Rosetta Stone And How Does It Help Prove Joseph Smith Did Not Properly Translate The Egyptian Papyrus?
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Book Of Abraham - An Atheist Perspective
Using The Standard Works To Disprove The Church
Ensign Magazine Questions The Truth About The Book Of Abraham
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The Testimony Of The Eight Witnesses
Reflections On The Book Of Abraham
The Egyptian Papyri Were Not All Destroyed
Joseph Smith's ''Egyptian Alphabet And Grammar,'' As It Has Come To Be Called, Had Never Really Been Lost Or Missing
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Why William Schryver's Apologetics Cannot Be Trusted
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John Gee's Latest Book Of Abraham Piece
The Burden Of Being BYU Professor John Gee
Challenge For Will Schryver
Significance Of The Book Of Abraham
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Written By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus?
Will Schryver Loses His Mojo
Book Of Abraham, Why Isn't This The Silver Bullet?
The Book Of Abraham Fiasco Taught Me That Reality Doesn't Matter To Mormons
Perhaps This Is Where FAIR Is Coming From
Too Unbelievable For Even The Believers
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The Book Of Abraham "You're Down To Your Ride, Pal"
God's Own Interpretation Of Hieratics On The Papyrus
The Future Of The Book Of Abraham And Its Facsimiles
LDS.org And The Book Of Abraham
The Claim That Joseph Smith Never Said That The Papyri Were In The Actual Handwriting Of Abraham Is Totally Bogus
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The Priceless Fraud Of The Book Of Abraham
A Brief Account Of Jsjr's "Egyptian Alphabet" And Grammar
David Bokovoy's New Take On The Book Of Abraham
Intelligent Mormons And The Book Of Abraham Facsimiles
Change In The Introduction To The 2013 Edition Of The Book Of Abraham
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5,717 Articles In 332 Topics
TopicImage TOPIC INDEX (332 Topics)
TopicImage AUTHOR INDEX

  · ADAM GOD DOCTRINE (4)
  · APOLOGISTS (53)
  · ARTICLES OF FAITH (1)
  · BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD (31)
  · BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD - PEOPLE (16)
  · BLACKS AND MORMONISM (12)
  · BLACKS AND THE PRIESTHOOD (11)
  · BLOOD ATONEMENT (4)
  · BOB BENNETT (1)
  · BOB MCCUE (144)
  · BONNEVILLE COMMUNICATIONS (2)
  · BOOK OF ABRAHAM (50)
  · BOOK OF MORMON (66)
  · BOOK OF MORMON EVIDENCES (18)
  · BOOK OF MORMON GEOGRAPHY (24)
  · BOOK OF MORMON WITNESSES (5)
  · BOOK REVIEW - ROUGH STONE ROLLING (28)
  · BOOKS - AUTHORS AND DESCRIPTIONS (12)
  · BOOKS - COMMENTS AND REVIEWS (44)
  · BOY SCOUTS (22)
  · BOYD K. PACKER (33)
  · BRIAN C. HALES (1)
  · BRIGHAM YOUNG (24)
  · BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY (54)
  · BRUCE C. HAFEN (4)
  · BRUCE D. PORTER (1)
  · BRUCE R. MCCONKIE (10)
  · CALLINGS (11)
  · CATHOLIC CHURCH (5)
  · CHANGING DOCTRINE (12)
  · CHILDREN AND MORMONISM (48)
  · CHRIS BUTTARS (1)
  · CHURCH LEADERSHIP (3)
  · CHURCH PUBLISHED MAGAZINES (51)
  · CHURCH TEACHING MANUALS (10)
  · CHURCH VAULTS (4)
  · CITY CREEK CENTER (23)
  · CIVIL UNIONS (14)
  · CLEON SKOUSEN (3)
  · COGNITIVE DISSONANCE (2)
  · COMEDY (128)
  · CONCISE DICTIONARY OF MORMONISM (14)
  · D. MICHAEL QUINN (1)
  · D. TODD CHRISTOFFERSON (6)
  · DALLIN H. OAKS (101)
  · DANIEL C. PETERSON (88)
  · DANITES (4)
  · DAVID A. BEDNAR (23)
  · DAVID O. MCKAY (8)
  · DAVID R. STONE (1)
  · DAVID WHITMER (1)
  · DELBERT L. STAPLEY (1)
  · DESERET NEWS (3)
  · DIETER F. UCHTDORF (13)
  · DNA (23)
  · DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS (8)
  · DON JESSE (2)
  · ELAINE S. DALTON (5)
  · EMMA SMITH (5)
  · ENSIGN PEAK (1)
  · ERICH W. KOPISCHKE (1)
  · EX-MORMON FOUNDATION (33)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 1 (35)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 10 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 11 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 12 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 13 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 14 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 16 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 17 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 18 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19 (26)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 2 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 20 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 21 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 22 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 23 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 24 (28)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 3 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 4 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 5 (23)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 6 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 7 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 8 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 9 (26)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 1 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 10 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 11 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 12 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 13 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 14 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 15 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 16 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 18 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 19 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 2 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 20 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 22 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 23 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 24 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 25 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 26 (61)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 3 (21)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 4 (22)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 5 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 6 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 7 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 8 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 9 (26)
  · EXCOMMUNICATION AND COURTS OF LOVE (19)
  · EZRA TAFT BENSON (30)
  · FACIAL HAIR (6)
  · FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS (70)
  · FAITH PROMOTING RUMORS (11)
  · FARMS (30)
  · FIRST VISION (23)
  · FOOD STORAGE (3)
  · FUNDAMENTALIST LDS (17)
  · GENERAL AUTHORITIES (29)
  · GENERAL CONFERENCE (14)
  · GENERAL NEWS (5)
  · GEORGE P. LEE (1)
  · GORDON B. HINCKLEY (68)
  · GRANT PALMER (8)
  · GREGORY L. SMITH (9)
  · GUNNISON MASSACRE (1)
  · H. DAVID BURTON (2)
  · HAROLD B. LEE (1)
  · HATE MAIL I RECEIVE (23)
  · HAUNS MILL (2)
  · HBO BIG LOVE (12)
  · HEBER C. KIMBALL (4)
  · HELEN RADKEY (17)
  · HELLEN MAR KIMBALL (4)
  · HENRY B. EYRING (5)
  · HOLIDAYS (13)
  · HOME AND VISITING TEACHING (9)
  · HOWARD W. HUNTER (1)
  · HUGH NIBLEY (13)
  · HYMNS (7)
  · INTERVIEWS IN MORMONISM (18)
  · J REUBEN CLARK (1)
  · JAMES E. FAUST (7)
  · JEFF LINDSAY (6)
  · JEFFREY MELDRUM (1)
  · JEFFREY R. HOLLAND (32)
  · JEFFREY S. NIELSEN (11)
  · JOHN GEE (3)
  · JOHN L. LUND (3)
  · JOHN L. SORENSON (4)
  · JOHN TAYLOR (1)
  · JOSEPH B. WIRTHLIN (1)
  · JOSEPH F. SMITH (1)
  · JOSEPH FIELDING SMITH (8)
  · JOSEPH SITATI (1)
  · JOSEPH SMITH (101)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - POLYGAMY (43)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - PROPHECY (8)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - SEER STONES (7)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - WORSHIP (13)
  · JUDAISM (3)
  · JULIE B. BECK (6)
  · KEITH B. MCMULLIN (1)
  · KERRY MUHLESTEIN (9)
  · KERRY SHIRTS (6)
  · KINDERHOOK PLATES (6)
  · KIRTLAND BANK (6)
  · KIRTLAND EGYPTIAN PAPERS (17)
  · L. TOM PERRY (5)
  · LAMANITE PLACEMENT PROGRAM (3)
  · LAMANITES (36)
  · LANCE B. WICKMAN (1)
  · LARRY ECHO HAWK (1)
  · LDS CHURCH (19)
  · LDS CHURCH OFFICE BUILDING (9)
  · LDS OFFICIAL ESSAYS (22)
  · LDS SOCIAL SERVICES (3)
  · LGBT - AND MORMONISM (44)
  · LORENZO SNOW (1)
  · LOUIS C. MIDGLEY (6)
  · LYNN A. MICKELSEN (2)
  · LYNN G. ROBBINS (1)
  · M. RUSSELL BALLARD (13)
  · MARK E. PETERSON (7)
  · MARK HOFFMAN (12)
  · MARLIN K. JENSEN (3)
  · MARRIOTT (2)
  · MARTIN HARRIS (5)
  · MASONS (16)
  · MELCHIZEDEK/AARONIC PRIESTHOOD (9)
  · MERRILL J. BATEMAN (3)
  · MICHAEL D. WILLIAMS (1)
  · MICHAEL OTTERSON (1)
  · MICHAEL R. ASH (26)
  · MITT ROMNEY (71)
  · MORE GOOD FOUNDATION (4)
  · MORMON CELEBRITIES (14)
  · MORMON CHURCH HISTORY (8)
  · MORMON CHURCH PR (13)
  · MORMON CHURCH PROPAGANDA (5)
  · MORMON CLASSES (1)
  · MORMON DOCTRINE (35)
  · MORMON FUNERALS (12)
  · MORMON GARMENTS (20)
  · MORMON HANDCARTS (12)
  · MORMON INTERPRETER (4)
  · MORMON MARRIAGE EXCLUSIONS (1)
  · MORMON MEMBERSHIP (38)
  · MORMON MISSIONARIES (142)
  · MORMON MONEY (73)
  · MORMON NEWSROOM (5)
  · MORMON POLITICAL ISSUES (5)
  · MORMON RACISM (18)
  · MORMON TEMPLE CEREMONIES (38)
  · MORMON TEMPLE CHANGES (15)
  · MORMON TEMPLES (116)
  · MORMON VISITOR CENTERS (10)
  · MORMON WARDS AND STAKE CENTERS (1)
  · MORMONTHINK (13)
  · MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE (21)
  · MURPHY TRANSCRIPT (1)
  · NATALIE R. COLLINS (11)
  · NAUVOO (3)
  · NAUVOO EXPOSITOR (2)
  · NEAL A. MAXWELL (1)
  · NEAL A. MAXWELL INSTITUTE (1)
  · NEIL L. ANDERSEN - SECTION 1 (3)
  · NEW ORDER MORMON (8)
  · OBEDIENCE - PAY, PRAY, OBEY (15)
  · OBJECT LESSONS (15)
  · OLIVER COWDREY (6)
  · ORRIN HATCH (10)
  · PARLEY P. PRATT (11)
  · PATRIARCHAL BLESSING (5)
  · PAUL H. DUNN (5)
  · PBS DOCUMENTARY THE MORMONS (20)
  · PERSECUTION (9)
  · PIONEER DAY (3)
  · PLAN OF SALVATION (5)
  · POLYGAMY (60)
  · PRIESTHOOD BLESSINGS (1)
  · PRIESTHOOD EXECUTIVE MEETING (0)
  · PRIMARY (1)
  · PROCLAMATIONS (1)
  · PROPOSITION 8 (21)
  · PROPOSITION 8 COMMENTS (11)
  · QUENTIN L. COOK (11)
  · RELIEF SOCIETY (14)
  · RESIGNATION PROCESS (31)
  · RICHARD E. TURLEY, JR. (6)
  · RICHARD G. HINCKLEY (2)
  · RICHARD G. SCOTT (7)
  · RICHARD LYMAN BUSHMAN (11)
  · ROBERT D. HALES (5)
  · ROBERT L. MILLET (7)
  · RODNEY L. MELDRUM (15)
  · ROYAL SKOUSEN (2)
  · RUNTU'S RINCON (78)
  · RUSSELL M. NELSON (14)
  · SACRAMENT MEETING (11)
  · SALT LAKE TRIBUNE (1)
  · SCOTT D. WHITING (1)
  · SCOTT GORDON (5)
  · SEMINARY (5)
  · SERVICE AND CHARITY (24)
  · SHERI L. DEW (3)
  · SHIELDS RESEARCH - MORMON APOLOGETICS (4)
  · SIDNEY RIGDON (7)
  · SIMON SOUTHERTON (34)
  · SPAULDING MANUSCRIPT (8)
  · SPENCER W. KIMBALL (12)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 1 (18)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 10 (17)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 11 (15)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12 (19)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 13 (21)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 14 (17)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 15 (12)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 2 (21)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 3 (18)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 4 (25)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 5 (22)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 6 (19)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 7 (15)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 8 (13)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 9 (19)
  · STORIES (1)
  · SUNSTONE FOUNDATION (2)
  · SURVEILLANCE (SCMC) (12)
  · TAD R. CALLISTER (3)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 1 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 2 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 3 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 4 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 5 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 6 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 7 (9)
  · TALKS - SECTION 1 (1)
  · TEMPLE WEDDINGS (6)
  · TEMPLES - NAMES (1)
  · TERRYL GIVENS (1)
  · THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE (1)
  · THE SINGLE WARDS (5)
  · THE WORLD TABLE (3)
  · THOMAS PHILLIPS (18)
  · THOMAS S. MONSON (33)
  · TIME (4)
  · TITHING (63)
  · UGO PEREGO (5)
  · UK COURTS (7)
  · UNNANOUNCED, UNINVITED AND UNWELCOME (36)
  · UTAH LIGHTHOUSE MINISTRY (3)
  · VALERIE HUDSON (3)
  · VAN HALE (16)
  · VAUGHN J. FEATHERSTONE (1)
  · VIDEOS (30)
  · WARD CLEANING (4)
  · WARREN SNOW (1)
  · WELFARE (0)
  · WENDY L. WATSON (7)
  · WHITE AND DELIGHTSOME (11)
  · WILFORD WOODRUFF (6)
  · WILLIAM HAMBLIN (11)
  · WILLIAM LAW (1)
  · WILLIAM SCHRYVER (5)
  · WILLIAM WINES PHELPS (3)
  · WOMEN AND MORMONISM (86)
  · WORD OF WISDOM (7)
  · WORLD CONGRESS OF FAMILIES (1)
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