New Mormon Stories/RFM interview with Egyptologist Robert Ritner

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jfro18
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New Mormon Stories/RFM interview with Egyptologist Robert Ritner

Post by jfro18 » Fri Jul 31, 2020 6:38 pm

I haven't had a chance to listen to it... and since it's a weekend might not until next week since I can't listen around DW, but I can not wait to give this one a go.

https://mormondiscussionpodcast.org/202 ... am-part-1/

A saw someone recommend the Mormon Stories link as they use video with the images of the facsimiles/papyri/other similar scrolls which are helpful as the conversation gets going, and those are @ https://www.mormonstories.org/podcast/robert-ritner/
Last edited by jfro18 on Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Hagoth
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Re: New Mormon Stories/RFM interview with Egyptologist Robert Ritner

Post by Hagoth » Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:24 am

I am incredibly grateful that Dr. Ritner did this. Just started listening. Thanks Bros. Consiglieri and Dehlin for making my dream come true.
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Re: New Mormon Stories/RFM interview with Egyptologist Robert Ritner

Post by deacon blues » Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:32 am

I'm excited about this as well. I think it's great RFM and Dehlin worked together on this. Listening is definitely on my to do list.
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Re: New Mormon Stories/RFM interview with Egyptologist Robert Ritner

Post by jfro18 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:28 am

I'm only 30-40 minutes in since I have to do it when I'm alone, but it's getting into the good stuff now.

One comment from the MD board I found really interesting was this:
I think it is worth repeating, something Chris Smith pointed out on this board years ago: Chandler had spent the last couple of years before he showed up in Kirtland, touring the east coast with the consignment of Egyptian artifacts and had ample time and exposure listening to the leading experts of the day comment on them. When Chandler arrived in Kirtland he spent some hours with Joseph Smith talking about the mummies and their papyri, after which Joseph Smith took some of the papyri home to examine it. He returned the next day with a partial explanation of its content, much of which agreed with what Chandler had told him the day before. What a shock! Chandler immediately congratulated Smith on his ability to regurgitate what he, Chandler had simply told him the day before. It is like the used car salesman who gushes about his potential sales customer's ability to spot the best car on the lot. "Why yes Mr Smith, that Ford Pinto has a great safety record, how did you know?"
And on one last note - if anyone listens to this and has questions, let me know as JD asked me to send any questions about the BoA to possibly ask Ritner in the follow-up interviews to come. I had a few that came from listening to John Gee's FAIR podcast this week but waiting to see if they're covered in the first one or not.

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Re: New Mormon Stories/RFM interview with Egyptologist Robert Ritner

Post by Hagoth » Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:00 am

I wrote to Ritner to thank him for doing this and got a very kind response. He told me that he's going to record another 3-4 hours on Monday.

He said, "I am humbled that my work has had a useful impact on your life, and I am genuinely grateful for the support of the community. It is particularly helpful in my current situation."

and, "I never expected to have any impact on a living individual when I worked on the papyri."

This is epic. I can feel John Gee sweating from here.
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Re: New Mormon Stories/RFM interview with Egyptologist Robert Ritner

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:35 pm

Hagoth wrote:I wrote to Ritner to thank him for doing this and got a very kind response. He told me that he's going to record another 3-4 hours on Monday.

He said, "I am humbled that my work has had a useful impact on your life, and I am genuinely grateful for the support of the community. It is particularly helpful in my current situation."

and, "I never expected to have any impact on a living individual when I worked on the papyri."

This is epic. I can feel John Gee sweating from here.
Wow that is pretty fascinating! Thanks for sharing.

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Re: New Mormon Stories/RFM interview with Egyptologist Robert Ritner

Post by Mormorrisey » Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:59 pm

I had about a 7 hour window at work today that I was by myself, so I did my work while listening to this. It was absolutely how I thought it would be - a fascinating listen! The material itself was largely taken from his paper on the book of Abraham, but it was still a great listen. For those who haven't read Ritner's paper or just want a fairly quick read to refresh what you heard in this podcast, here it is:

https://oi.uchicago.edu/sites/oi.uchica ... inal-2.pdf

What I thought was particularly helpful was switching to Youtube and watching Ritner's actual rendition of what Facsimile 1 should have looked like, which was not in his paper. That was brilliant, and riffing on Gee and Muhlestein was the icing on the cake! What a crappy month it's been for John Gee - first the Hauglid takedown and now this. I'm sure it stings for Gee that his mentor is so dismissive of his work. I almost felt sorry for him, until I listened to his Fairmormon podcast in response to Hauglid. I haven't seen the actual link posted anywhere else, so here it is:

https://www.fairmormon.org/blog/2020/07 ... of-abraham

Fair warning, I could only get through about half before I shut it off in frustration. What a complete non-answer to what Hauglid was saying. Even more annoying was his assertion that only a belief that the BOA was written by Abraham or it's a fraud, is the only "intellectually stable position." Quite the slam on the Givens/Bushman pseudepigrapha theory! While I actually agree with him, his arrogance about it turned me off.

In any event, a great listen, I can't wait for the next instalments. Great work by our friend consiglieri and John Dehlin. I must admit, I like John's interviews where the facts, history and data come to life, rather than hyperbole. It was great!
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Re: New Mormon Stories/RFM interview with Egyptologist Robert Ritner

Post by blazerb » Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:21 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:00 am
I wrote to Ritner to thank him for doing this and got a very kind response. He told me that he's going to record another 3-4 hours on Monday.

He said, "I am humbled that my work has had a useful impact on your life, and I am genuinely grateful for the support of the community. It is particularly helpful in my current situation."

and, "I never expected to have any impact on a living individual when I worked on the papyri."

This is epic. I can feel John Gee sweating from here.
Very cool. This podcast is amazing. I am only about 2/3 through. I'll finish it sometime tomorrow.

The thing that struck me was early in the interview when they referenced the Book of Mormon, Mormon 9:33, when Moroni says that if the plates had been larger, they could have written in Hebrew. This refers to the belief that each Egyptian letter could hold a paragraph of information. JS's belief in this is also shown by the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar. Ritner calls this scripture a "smoking gun" that they whole thing is made up. I know this won't convince by faithful friends, but the signs that JS was a fraud, pious or otherwise, are so glaring now that I am amazed I held onto my belief for so long.

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Re: New Mormon Stories/RFM interview with Egyptologist Robert Ritner

Post by wtfluff » Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:05 pm

Yet another one of those mind-blowing listens... And they're just getting started.

To riff off of a statement I read elsewhere on the inter-webs: Joseph had to know that he was just pulling this stuff out of you-know-where and that eventually he would be proven a complete fraud? Did he think Jesus was going to be back "the-week-after-next" and no-one would find out? Or did he really, honestly believe in his own crap?

And how did I know nothing about BoA issues, or literally any other COJCOLdS MORmON issues before wasting more than half a lifetime believing the lies? :x
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

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Re: New Mormon Stories/RFM interview with Egyptologist Robert Ritner

Post by moksha » Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:52 pm

wtfluff wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:05 pm
Joseph had to know that he was just pulling this stuff out of you-know-where and that eventually he would be proven a complete fraud?
Joseph started translating the Kinderhook plates a number of years later. Wonder what Joseph would have made out of Viking Runes or Linear A of the Minoans?
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
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Re: New Mormon Stories/RFM interview with Egyptologist Robert Ritner

Post by Reuben » Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:40 pm

blazerb wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:21 pm
The thing that struck me was early in the interview when they referenced the Book of Mormon, Mormon 9:33, when Moroni says that if the plates had been larger, they could have written in Hebrew. This refers to the belief that each Egyptian letter could hold a paragraph of information. JS's belief in this is also shown by the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar. Ritner calls this scripture a "smoking gun" that they whole thing is made up. I know this won't convince by faithful friends, but the signs that JS was a fraud, pious or otherwise, are so glaring now that I am amazed I held onto my belief for so long.
Yeah, well, you thought the only way for you to be good enough for God was to keep believing in it.

Does anyone know of an accurate-ish estimate of how many Egyptian characters would fit on the plates as they were described? IIRC, Egyptian has about the same information density as English (i.e. about half that of Hebrew), so the number of characters in the English BoM should fit on those plates. It would be interesting to compare.

(I know, apologists, Reformed Egyptian yadda yadda yadda. One can wave the magic language wand to get out of this one.)
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Re: New Mormon Stories/RFM interview with Egyptologist Robert Ritner

Post by Hagoth » Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:58 am

I think the main realization I have had from this is just how simple-minded and juvenile the whole venture is.

Ritner points out that pretty much the ONLY thing Americans knew about Egypt at the time was what the Bible and the apocrypha say about it as it relates to Abraham, Joseph and Moses. Joseph Smith had already played the Moses card, so the only two characters he had to work with were Abraham and Joseph. Someone hands him two scrolls (plus some smaller fragments) so, 'hey, these must be the work of the only two guys I know."

Well, he did know one other Egyptian name, which was Potiphar, so he made sure to work that in there somewhere but, wouldn't you know it, it's another anachronism.
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Re: New Mormon Stories/RFM interview with Egyptologist Robert Ritner

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:01 am

Did anyone else notice that the youtube video speed seemed slightly slow so that John D sounded like he had a Demon voice? I had to speed that video up to 1.75x to get through it. I have to say Mr. Ritner is a class act for giving his time on the topic and I hope he finds that brave kidney donor.

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Re: New Mormon Stories/RFM interview with Egyptologist Robert Ritner

Post by wtfluff » Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:41 am

FiveFingerMnemonic wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:01 am
Did anyone else notice that the youtube video speed seemed slightly slow so that John D sounded like he had a Demon voice? Image
Yeah, I noticed something weird with John's voice, but I wasn't smart enough to speed things up to fix it. :geek:
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

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Re: New Mormon Stories/RFM interview with Egyptologist Robert Ritner

Post by Hagoth » Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:43 pm

wtfluff wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:41 am
FiveFingerMnemonic wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:01 am
Did anyone else notice that the youtube video speed seemed slightly slow so that John D sounded like he had a Demon voice? Image
Yeah, I noticed something weird with John's voice, but I wasn't smart enough to speed things up to fix it. :geek:
Yeah, but Consiglieri's voice seemed normal. They must have been moving at different relativistic speeds from the rest of us.

Anyway, what a great discussion. Like I said, epic. It really shows what a game of cups and balls Gee and Muhlestein are playing. Ritner is right, they know better. They know what they are doing and they better hope the church continues to want their brand of tap dancing because they are toast if they ever need to look for work elsewhere.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

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Re: New Mormon Stories/RFM interview with Egyptologist Robert Ritner

Post by jfro18 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:28 pm

wtfluff wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:41 am
FiveFingerMnemonic wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:01 am
Did anyone else notice that the youtube video speed seemed slightly slow so that John D sounded like he had a Demon voice? Image
Yeah, I noticed something weird with John's voice, but I wasn't smart enough to speed things up to fix it. :geek:
I sped it up and RFM sounded super high pitched but JD and Ritner sounded good. Kind of weird but was OK on the whole.

A truly great podcast and I love that there will be a lot more material to come - I can only imagine this podcast will be helping a lot of members for years to come.

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Re: New Mormon Stories/RFM interview with Egyptologist Robert Ritner

Post by moksha » Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:49 pm

jfro18 wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:28 pm
FiveFingerMnemonic wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:01 am
Did anyone else notice that John D sounded like he had a Demon voice? Image
I sped it up and RFM sounded super high pitched but JD and Ritner sounded good.
RFM is a quick thinker and a fast talker. No explanation as to why John D has a demon voice, speaks in long dead languages, or even sometimes sounds like a reverse recording. Perhaps it is from swamp gas or sun spots. Turning his head in circles is due to being very agile.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
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Re: New Mormon Stories/RFM interview with Egyptologist Robert Ritner

Post by jfro18 » Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:49 am

To get John Dehlin's voice to "normal" I had the speed at 1.8x and the pitch at like 150%... it was the weirdest thing.

I don't know what Dr. Ritner normally sounds like to see why Dehlin sounded like a possessed demon and RFM sounded normal... pretty sure the adversary was trying to stop that podcast from being recorded.

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Re: New Mormon Stories/RFM interview with Egyptologist Robert Ritner

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:54 am

jfro18 wrote:To get John Dehlin's voice to "normal" I had the speed at 1.8x and the pitch at like 150%... it was the weirdest thing.

I don't know what Dr. Ritner normally sounds like to see why Dehlin sounded like a possessed demon and RFM sounded normal... pretty sure the adversary was trying to stop that podcast from being recorded.
Since youtube allows 2x listening speed I will likely use that for every Dehlin podcast from now on. You can still follow the information but get through a 3 hour podcast in 1.5 hours.

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Re: New Mormon Stories/RFM interview with Egyptologist Robert Ritner

Post by Lucidity » Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:45 am

Hagoth wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:58 am
I think the main realization I have had from this is just how simple-minded and juvenile the whole venture is.
This pretty much sums up my entire perspective about Mormonism these days Hagoth.

A few years back right after I had just finished reading Sapiens I was at a family bonfire where we were all sitting around and I was kind of zoned out looking deep into the fire. I commented how I wondered at what point early man first discovered fire and how supernatural that must of seemed to those early humans.

Instantly the reply was that of course God had showed Adam how to make a fire. The answer snapped me out of my trance and I was like oh yeah I forgot that’s the game we are playing.

Nothing stifles curiosity and wonder like “God did it”.

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