The Return of the Book of Abraham

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Cnsl1
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Re: The Return of the Book of Abraham

Post by Cnsl1 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:15 pm

Did everyone notice the wording in the desert news article when talking about the parts of the scroll that was not destroyed? The description is accurate but misleading. "One piece that survived" comes across or reads as the ONLY piece, and if nearly 50% of the Egyptian scroll narratives beside a facsimile talks about other stuff then it's perfectly logical that this silly funery text isn't the part about Abraham. It works to discredit the entire argument against the BofA then quickly switches gears to point out that it's really about revelation anyway. It's like this idiot is saying "The arguments against have some major flaws, just check this out right here, see? But let's just really focus on the fact that it's true revelation and it just makes us feel good". Because, if we spend too much time looking at the evidence, you're going to see that we're really just grasping at straws here.

It's this kind of apologetic argument that helped me realize the stories didn't work.

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Hagoth
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Re: The Return of the Book of Abraham

Post by Hagoth » Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:43 am

jfro18 wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:15 pm
Do we know if the church has this scroll and how are we sure it's the Ta-shert scroll?
Yes. I have seen it. In fact, when the church had a display on the "Book of Abraham" at the history library, they actually pulled out the 3-ring binder that they have all of the papyri stuffed into and turned it to a page of the Ta-shert-min scroll, rather than the Hor scroll. I wondered if that was to keep people from asking questions about the Hor scroll, or whether it's because the Ta-shert-min scroll is prettier. It is reproduced in a large color foldout of Stan Larsen's ..."By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus" with the label "the untranslated Book of Joseph papyrus scroll." It is also reproduced as P.JS 2 in Robert Ritner's The Joseph Smith Egyptian Papyri.
jfro18 wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:15 pm
And last... what is the argument about the manuscript matching the papyrus from an apologetic view (of the images I added above)? People keep screaming we don't have the source material but those pages are pretty clear to the contrary.
The apologetic response for that is the "the scribes did it" hypothesis. They claim that Joseph's scribes were so impressed with Joseph's translation that they set about trying to reverse engineer it by doing a character-by-character analysis of the papyri, but got it all wrong. There are several problems with this. Some of the writing in the GAEL is in Joseph's own handwriting. Joseph's journal has numerous comments about actually translating from the characters on the papyrus. Joseph used bogus words from the GAEL when he was trying to impress people with his command of the Egyptian language. The GAEL contains samples of the Adamic Language (in what appears to be a variation of the Masonic Royal Arch cipher) that he produced before the Book of Abraham. This is were we get such wackiness as the Adamic word for angels: angls-men.
“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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felixfabulous
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Re: The Return of the Book of Abraham

Post by felixfabulous » Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:59 am

I'm surprised this isn't trotted out more in the Book of Abraham discussion. This is Josiah Quincy's experience with seeing the papyrus in Nauvoo:

"And now come with me," said the prophet, "and I will show you the curiosities." So saying, he led the way to a lower room, where sat a venerable and respectable-looking lady. "This is my mother, gentlemen. The curiosities we shall see belong to her. They were purchased with her own money, at a cost of six thousand dollars;" and then, with deep feeling, were added the words, "And that woman was turned out upon the prairie in the dead of night by a mob." There were some pine presses fixed against the wall of the room. These receptacles Smith opened, and disclosed four human bodies, shrunken and black with age. "These are mummies," said the exhibitor. "I want you to look at that little runt of a fellow over there. He was a great man in his day. Why, that was Pharaoh Necho, King of Egypt!" Some parchments inscribed with hieroglyphics were then offered us. They were preserved under glass and handled with great respect. "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." The parchment last referred to showed a rude drawing of a man and woman, and a serpent walking upon a pair of legs. I ventured to doubt the propriety of providing the reptile in question with this unusual means of locomotion.

"Why, that's as plain as a pikestaff," was the rejoinder. "Before the Fall snakes always went about on legs, just like chickens. They were deprived of them, in punishment for their agency in the ruin of man." We were further assured that the prophet was the only mortal who could translate these mysterious writings, and that his power was given by direct inspiration.

It is well known that Joseph Smith was accustomed to make his revelations point to those sturdy business habits which lead to prosperity in this present life. He had little enough of that unmixed spiritual power which flashed out from the spare, neurasthenic body of Andrew Jackson. The prophet's hold upon you seemed to come from the balance and harmony of temperament which reposes upon a large physical basis. No association with the sacred phrases of scripture could keep the inspirations of this man from getting down upon the hard pan of practical affairs. "Verily I say unto you, let my servant, Sidney Gilbert, plant himself in this place and establish a store." So had run one of his revelations, in which no holier spirit than that of commerce is discernible. The exhibition of these August relics concluded with a similar descent into the hard modern world of fact. Monarchs, patriarchs, and parchments were very well in their way; but this was clearly the nineteenth century, when prophets must get a living and provide for their relations. "Gentlemen," said this bourgeois Mohammed, as he closed the cabinets, "those who see these curiosities generally pay my mother a quarter of a dollar."

From https://www.boap.org/LDS/Early-Saints/JQuincy.html

I think a few things are interesting to note: 1. Displaying the mummies and scrolls was a curiosity, like you would see at a fair; 2. He describes the drawing of a serpent with legs in the Book of Joseph scroll; 3. It seems pretty clear that Joseph told everyone these were the writings of Abraham and impressed people by showing his knowledge as a translator and colorful narrations of the past.

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jfro18
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Re: The Return of the Book of Abraham

Post by jfro18 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:41 am

Hagoth wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:43 am
jfro18 wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:15 pm
And last... what is the argument about the manuscript matching the papyrus from an apologetic view (of the images I added above)? People keep screaming we don't have the source material but those pages are pretty clear to the contrary.
The apologetic response for that is the "the scribes did it" hypothesis. They claim that Joseph's scribes were so impressed with Joseph's translation that they set about trying to reverse engineer it by doing a character-by-character analysis of the papyri, but got it all wrong. There are several problems with this. Some of the writing in the GAEL is in Joseph's own handwriting. Joseph's journal has numerous comments about actually translating from the characters on the papyrus. Joseph used bogus words from the GAEL when he was trying to impress people with his command of the Egyptian language. The GAEL contains samples of the Adamic Language (in what appears to be a variation of the Masonic Royal Arch cipher) that he produced before the Book of Abraham. This is were we get such wackiness as the Adamic word for angels: angls-men.
That's what I thought the only 'real' apologetics were on that, but I wondered if there was something better.

It makes no sense... how could you reverse engineer it without Joseph there? You can literally see how it matches the papyrus.. if it was being reversed engineered by scribes they would have *no idea* where to line that up.

It's one of the most insane arguments you can make... and the Adamic stuff is just bonkers stupid. That graphic from Missed in Sunday I just think is beyond hilarious because it just shows how stupid it is:

Image

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Hagoth
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Re: The Return of the Book of Abraham

Post by Hagoth » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:55 am

jfro18 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:41 am
the Adamic stuff is just bonkers stupid.
Yeah, it's pretty bonehead stuff.

The problem with this Muhlestein article is that it's built upon a straw man. He's trying to tell us that evidence for some possibly ceremonial executions in Egypt vindicates the Book of Abraham; see, priests of Pharaoh really did sacrifice people! I'm not sure the jury is in about whether there was really even a religious component to the "sacrifices" he's talking about. But that's beside the point. He's not addressing the bigger problems. The BoA claims that priests of Pharaoh were doing sacrifices:

1- In Ur of the Chaldees, which would require them to travel about 3,000 km if they followed the trade routes where they could find food, water, and lodging, or 2000 km if they had a big enough caravan to carry all of their supplies for an off-road overland beeline. (not to mention that there was no Chaldea yet).

2- To unknown non-Egyptian gods.

3- For no apparent reason except that Abraham's father was pissed off that his son wasn't worshiping those unknown non-Egyptian gods.

4- On an Egyptian embalming couch, in and Egyptian embalming scene, surrounded by Egyptian embalming imagery.

But it doesn't matter because Muhlestein shifts gears midway through his article in the same way the essays do. First he tries to lube the argument up with something that looks like evidential support, but then he abandons all of that and tells you not to worry about evidence because warm fuzzies are a better way to get to the truth anyway.

I have heard people speculate that someday the church will de-canonize the BoA or the facsimiles but it can't because, even though they aware of what a huge ugly scab it is, to do so would be a blatant admission that their apologists are nothing more than paid propagandists.

Oh, and here's another apologetic doozie. You know how the real Hill Cumorah isn't in the right place so they made up another Hill Cumorah that no one can locate? Some apologists are now talking about "Abraham's Ur" which would place it near Ulisum in Syria, rather than the Book of Abraham's Plain of Olishem, which the BoA says is near Ur, about 1600 km away. And, of course, there's no evidence for it. But it sure would be convenient.
“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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Not Buying It
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Re: The Return of the Book of Abraham

Post by Not Buying It » Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:58 am

Anyone else notice how for someone trying desperately to convince us that we can't trust we can't trust academics, he goes out of his way a couple of times to emphasize his academic credentials? "While I was at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), studying Egyptology...", "As a graduate student in Egyptology...". He's saying "Yeah, you can't trust academics, but I know what I'm talking about because I'm an academic".
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

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