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Posted by: baura ( )
Date: April 25, 2015 11:03PM

[I'm reposting this since the online Vygus dictionary has been updated. I've adapted it to use the updated version--baura]

There has been a lot of talk about whether or not Joseph Smith thought he was translating the "sen-sen" papyrus. The evidence is, I think, air-tight that he did, but apologists have gone to great lengths to claim he didn't. Countering their claims takes a lot of time and effort and goes deep into the documentary record.

Similarly with facsimile No. 1. Here it has to to do totally with Joseph Smith's interpretation of images in the picture. Egyptologists give it one interpretation and Joseph Smith another.

However, in facsimile No. 3, there is a simple, air-tight case against Joseph Smith. It avoids any discussion of "missing scrolls," or "scribes" trying (on their own) to reverse engineer a translation, or interpretations of pictures. It has to do entirely with translation of hieroglyphic Egyptian texts THAT ARE RIGHT THERE IN THE PUBLISHED BOOK OF ABRAHAM.

Although Facsimile No. 1 has no actual Egyptian writing on it, Facsimile 3 is full of copied hieroglyphs. The copying is not that great since it was done by someone who was totally unfamiliar with the script and from a 1900-year-old document. Many of the glyphs are unreadable but enough are legible that it presents problems for the supporters of Joseph Smith.

figure 5 in Facsimile No. 3 is described by Joseph Smith as

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

Now this is interesting for two reasons. First Joseph Smith tells us this person's name and title. But more important is that, second, he says this is what the "characters above his hand" represents. The characters above his hand are Egyptian hieroglyphs which are 100% legible to Egyptologists today.

This is not some papyrus that must be LINKED to Joseph Smith, this is Joseph Smith's finished translation with the original hieroglyphic text identified by Joseph Smith, himself.

Here is what the "characters above his hand" actually say:

"Osiris Hor, justified for eternity."

Nothing about "Shulem" or "principle waiter" or any "king."

But, you don't have to take my word for it. You can find the separate hieroglyphs and their translation in any good Egyptian-English dictionary. Just for fun let's use Mark Vygus's 2500-page Egyptian dictionary that is available free online in pdf form:

http://www.pyramidtextsonline.com/documents/VygusDictionaryApril2015.pdf

Since you've probably never used a hieroglyphic dictionary I'll walk you through the translation. It's very basic.

The two columns of characters above the hand of fig. 5 begin at the top of the left-most column. There is a horizontal glyph of an eye and two vertical glyphs under it. This is the name "Osiris." You can find it in the Vygus dictionary on page 63, where it is the 11th item on the page. It shows an eye, a chair, and a "pennant." The eye and chair form the name "Osiris," and the "pennant" is the symbol for "god" (pronounced "netcher" more or less.)

Next is a glyph that is a profile of a hawk. This is the name "Hor" ("Horus" in the Greek version we are more familiar with). It can be found in the Vygus dictionary on page 565, as the thirteenth item on the page.

This finished out the left-most column. The top of the next column has two vertical glyphs that spell out "true of voice" or "justified." One was "justified" in the Egyptian afterlife if one was declared "true of voice." It uses two glyphs, a feather and an oar. The feather stands for "true" or "truth" (maa) in ancient Egyptian. notice that figure 4, in front of fig. 5, has this same feather glyph on her (it's a her, not a him) head. This is the goddess of truth Maat ("truth is a bad translation of the Egyptian concept of Maat, but for now it will have to do). The second glyph is an oar, and gives the word "voice" (khru). Together they form the standard epitaph in Egyptian: "true of voice." This word/phrase can be found in the Vygus dictionary on page 773. It is the 4th item on the page.

Next is a horizontal glyph which represents a mouth. It is the preposition "r" which in Egyptian means "for" or "in respect to." You can find it in the Vygus dictionary on page 70. It is the 15th item on the page.

Finally is the word "djet" which means "eternity." It is formed from a cobra and a semi-circle which represents a loaf of bread. It is found in the Vygus dictionary on page 821 as either the bottom item on the page or the 6th from bottom item.

There you have it. You have now read part of the canonized Mormon scripture that 99.99 percent of Mormons haven't read. Feel free to share your new-found scriptural knowledge with your Mormon friends and acquaintances.

Oh, and if anyone doubts that Joseph Smith's translation of the glyphs over Fig. 5's hand doesn't jibe with modern Egyptology, you can refer them to F.A.I.R., the Mormon apologetic site where it says:

"Joseph Smith provides the following identifications for three of the figures in the facsimile:

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

"What is notable in these particular identifications is that Joseph isn't simply assigning an identify to each figure, but is indicating that characters located near each figure confirm the assignments. Egyptologists note that the characters have an entirely different meaning."

http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Abraham/Joseph_Smith_Papyri/Facsimiles/Facsimile_3

Notice that F.A.I.R. admits that (1) Joseph Smith is indicating the actual "characters near each figure that confirm the assignments" and that (2) "Egyptologists note that the characters have an entirely different meaning."

Now you know one of those "entirely different meanings."

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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: April 25, 2015 11:22PM


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Posted by: wine country girl ( )
Date: April 26, 2015 12:44AM


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Posted by: anon90 ( )
Date: April 26, 2015 01:26AM

Excellent. The Book of Abraham wasn't some pious bit of "translating" or some mental issue where Joseph Smith honestly thought he was translating through the power of God. There is intent to deceive when he restored the damaged parts of the papyri with characters from other sources. And when you take what we know about the Book of Abraham and then read what Charles Anthon said about the whole Anthon Transcript thing,

"It consisted of all kinds of crooked characters disposed in columns, and had evidently been prepared by some person who had before him at the time a book containing various alphabets. Greek and Hebrew letters, crosses and flourishes, Roman letters inverted or placed sideways, were arranged in perpendicular columns, and the whole ended in a rude delineation of a circle divided into various compartments, decked with various strange marks, and evidently copied after the Mexican Calendar given by Humboldt, but copied in such a way as not to betray the source whence it was derived."

Anthon wrote that in 1834, before the Book of Abraham was produced. His opinion was not influenced by the Book of Abraham fraud. There is a pattern of similar pre-meditated deception with the Anthon Transcript and later the Book of Abraham. The case against Joseph Smith is about as air tight as you can get.

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Posted by: lr2014 ( )
Date: April 26, 2015 02:19AM

Also of interest is the account given Josiah Quincy( former congressman and Harvard Univ.Pres and Boston Mayor) who along with his cousin Charles Francis Adams (son of the 6th Pres. of the US John Quincy Adams) visited Nauvoo in the spring of 1844 and met with Joseph Smith who showed them the Egyptian artifacts and claimed"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." Figures of the Past From the Leaves of Old Journals, 3rded (Boston, 1883), pp. 376-400. Anyway,great point made by the OP Baura.

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Posted by: seekyr ( )
Date: April 26, 2015 09:22AM

So glad you had a reason to re-post this as I missed the original. This is fascinating!

Sort of embarrassing too.

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Posted by: Human ( )
Date: December 10, 2015 01:48PM

Topped to go along with Baura's comment to post titled "No Translations, No Artifacts = Fraud etc...

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Posted by: smirkorama ( )
Date: December 12, 2015 05:16AM

I like being an anti MORmON except for one thing - in a convoluted way it links me to the worst anti MORmONS that there are -MORmON Leaders. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1car5aCGE6E

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Posted by: SL Cabbie ( )
Date: December 12, 2015 06:50AM

But Charles M. Larsen--who was fired from a teaching position in Utah County for his authorship of this volume--has done a pretty thorough job of shredding JS's claims about the Chandler papyrus.

http://www.amazon.com/His-Own-Hand-Upon-Papyrus/dp/0962096326

Larson also presented at the 2009 Exmormon Conference here (I missed that one, alas). Here's the audio stream:

http://exmormonfoundation.org/files/media/2009Conference/low/2009Exmo_Saturday_Morning_CharlesLarsen_low.m3u

And I just checked and I see have my copy of this video, still in the shrink wrap. A group of us got together at watched it at UVU when it first came out.

http://mit.irr.org/lost-book-of-abraham-investigating-remarkable-mormon-claim

Free copies are available, and I see someone has also put it on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcyzkd_m6KE

Back when the video came out, I noted here it was a real howler to see some of the most credible Egyptologists try to maintain a straight face when they were discussing the BOA.

The really preposterous thing I saw happen at the screening was when a faithful Zoobie, who had seen the video, was dismayed that Hugh Nibley hadn't been featured.

"When you think of physics, you think of Einstein, right? And when you think of languages, you think of Nibley, right?"

Only in Happy Valley... And somewhere upstairs I have copy of a FAIR handout on the subject. They expressed their dismay that several of world's leading Egyptologists had "demeaned" themselves by attacking the "sacred beliefs" of another religion. They claimed they would've thought such an act would be beneath the dignity of such distinguished individuals.

Anyway, years ago I did take an Egyptology class, and the professor, a delightful Polish woman, made a cryptic remark and then said, "This is Utah, I better not."

I e-mailed her asking if she was referring to the BOA, and she acknowledged that was the case. I can't fault her judgment; the class was offered through Continuing Education at a location in Murry, and there a number of BYU students enrolled.

I salute those who have engaged in translating the BOA; I predict there will be unaminity in their conclusions that JS pulled the whole thing out of his hind end.

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Posted by: baura ( )
Date: December 12, 2015 07:11AM

SL Cabbie Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> Only in Happy Valley... And somewhere upstairs I
> have copy of a FAIR handout on the subject. They
> expressed their dismay that several of world's
> leading Egyptologists had "demeaned" themselves by
> attacking the "sacred beliefs" of another
> religion. They claimed they would've thought such
> an act would be beneath the dignity of such
> distinguished individuals.

I'm reminded of a passage in Martin Gardiner's delightful book
about scientific crackpots "Fads and Fallacies in the Name of
Science." He wrote, of the typical crackpot's approach to real
scientists, "If they ignore him, he takes this to mean his
arguments are unanswerable. If they retaliate in kind, this
strengthens his delusion that he is battling scoundrels."

When a religion makes real-world claims that cross over into
the realm of science and scholarship, then it must be willing
for those claims to be scrutinized by the scientific, scholarly
community. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

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