Discussions of Book of Mormon issues and evidences, plus other topics related to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

The Twin BOA Manuscripts: A Window into Creation of the Grammar and Alphabet of the Egyptian Language?

While I believe there is significant evidence showing that the twin manuscripts (Manuscript A and Manuscript B) of the Book of Abraham do not represent live dictation from Joseph Smith as he created new translated material (see my Interpreter article just published Friday and my "Twin Manuscripts" post),  there is still a good question that critics can ask: "If this is not a window into live dictation of a newly created 'translation,' then why would the scribes start their manuscripts at Abraham 1:4, exactly after the place where W.W. Phelps stopped in his Manuscript C?"

The argument is that the two scribes were continuing the live translation work that W.W. Phelps had already helped with. It would be strange, though, if Joseph had only been able to translate 3 verses during the months he had the papyri before the twin manuscripts are started sometime after Warren Parrish was hired on Oct. 29, 1835, probably in early November 1835. For a man who could dictate many hundreds of words per day when doing the Book of Mormon translation of reformed Egyptian, why would he slow to a frozen snail's pace for the Book of Abraham? The issue of translation pace is an important consideration we have discussed previously, but that doesn't deal with the question about why the twin manuscripts would start with verse 4 rather than verse 1.

I think it's fair to assume there's a connection between the twin manuscripts and the work that Phelps had done with Abraham 1:1-3 in Manuscript C. But what kind of connection?

If the twin manuscripts are simply copies for personal use, one would think the scribes would want to start at the beginning. But there's an important clue or two suggesting that the purpose of these documents was something much different than just making copies to read for their own benefit.

The twin manuscripts begin with a puzzling statement at the top that has no analog in Manuscript C: "sign of the fifth degree of the Second​  part." That label makes a clear reference to the Grammar and Alphabet of the Egyptian Language (the GAEL), W.W. Phelps' incomplete work, abounding in empty pages in a bound volume, that is split up into sections with titles based upon "degrees" and "parts"like "2nd part of the 3d degree." So the twin documents are explicitly linked somehow to the GAEL. Even more puzzling, when you go to the pages labeled with "Second part 5th Degree" (link is to the first of several pages in that section), you won't find the Egyptian (and non-Egyptian) characters there that are found in the margins of the twin manuscripts, and when you look at the "explanations" of the characters in that section, you won't find concepts that seem related to the translated text. There are some concepts that fit Abraham 1:1-3, and some of the cosmological material about planets and starts perhaps derived from Facsimile 2, but precious little related to Abraham 1:4 to 2:6. What's going on?

In fact, the characters in the margins of the twin manuscripts do not appear in the GAEL and certainly aren't defined there. Not a single one of the 19 Egyptian characters, character clusters, or contrived characters in the twin manuscripts appear in the GAEL. What's going on?

On the other hand, the characters and concepts in Phelps' writing of Abraham 1:1-3 in Manuscript C are present in the GAEL, with many variations and lots of variant meanings in the different "degrees."

Here's a hypothesis to consider (may be wrong, but I wish to consider it for now): The purpose of these three manuscripts, A, B, and C, was not creation of the Book of Abraham translation, but creation (or more specifically, further fleshing out) of the GAEL, whatever its purpose was. It may be that Phelps already had a good start in making the GAEL after working with Abraham 1:1-3 and assigning various characters to portions of the text, but more work was needed to take additional translated text from Joseph's prior translation work, and link it with additional characters that could be added with explanations and variants into his still highly incomplete effort. Phelps was now too busy to keep working on the intellectual pursuits related to the Book of Abraham/Egyptian (or "pure language"?) project, which is why Parrish was hired according to Bruce Van Orden in his outstanding book, We'll Sing and We'll Shout (the definitive biography of W.W. Phelps), so I propose that the two scribes teamed up to continue the work Phelps had begun, perhaps at his suggestion and/or under Joseph's direction, who shared an intellectual interest in Egyptian as well as Hebrew. Their first step may have been to explore possible relationships between characters (largely taken from Joseph Smith Papyrus XI) and the translation, so they copied more characters and the next portion of the translation intending to support the insertion of further explanations and speculations in the GAEL, but the project fizzled out before those additional steps occurred.

The copies and the treatment of characters would be a first step to help the team select concepts to fill in some of the many blank pages left in the GAEL. There was no need to copy Abraham 1:1-3 because Phelps had already explored that thoroughly. But the new characters (some concocted) never made it into the GAEL.

This may help answer the question about why these manuscripts began at verse 4. It is consistent with the abundant evidence that the translation already existed and was being copied. If so, the twin manuscripts are not so much a "window into the translation of the Book of Abraham" as they are a "window into the creation of the Grammar and Alphabet" -- from an already existing translation.

There is still the excellent question about the choice of Joseph Smith Papyrus XI for this GAEL-creation work. Doesn't that mean that this is the scroll Joseph translated and that the text is his translation of each of the handful of characters? Not necessarily. The whole concept of translating hundreds of words from a single character doesn't fit Joseph's statements and actions, as we've previously discussed and as I discuss in my recent publication at The Interpreter.

There are several possibilities on the source and nature of the translation that others have raised. For example, the translation may have been given by revelation as it was with the Book of Mormon and other scriptures, meaning that it wasn't based upon staring at a particular scroll or plate and translating in a conventional manner, but simply dictating translation through revelation. If so, Joseph and the scribes might not have known which characters from which scrolls (if any) had been the source of the revealed text. The papyri may even have been a catalyst rather than a source for the translation. Possible, I suppose. Alternatively, there may have been reasons to suspect a relationship between characters on the selected papyrus fragment and the Book of Abraham even if the Book of Abraham came from another source. Ed Goble, for example, proposes that the characters were used somehow as wordplays to key words or concepts in the text of another scroll and may have adorned the margins of the original BOA scroll as they do the three BOA manuscripts in question (see one of his articles here and a blog here). (While Ed has some very interesting points, I'm not convinced based on what I've been able to digest so far, and fear the relationships may be too convoluted to be practical.) Others have spoken about possible mnemonic relationships, etc., and then we have William Schryver's interesting theory about a reverse cipher being at play, though there are still many questions about that, in spite of the fascinating and valid points he has made.

We clearly need more information to understand what the early Saints were doing with the GAEL and how it was supposed to be used. But it's important to understand it was not the source for the Book of Abraham translation and in many ways appears to be a derivative of the translation, not a precursor. If the Book of Abraham Manuscripts A, B, and C were initially intended as tools to support creation of further entries in the GAEL, they would likewise be derivatives of the existing translation and would not necessarily give us any kind of window into Joseph's live translation work.

We don't know exactly how Joseph translated or even what he translated from, but many of us believe that the translation was through the power of God, a revelatory process, not an intellectual and relatively "conventional" translation effort based on a concocted alphabet applied one character at time to a text. We can also believe, with many reasons to support that belief, that the resulting text reflects ancient origins, complex as they may be, rather than merely a fanciful nineteenth-century perspective about mysterious papyri where a single character could be unraveled to give worlds of meaning. Understanding that the translation was the source of much of the strange work in the Kirtland Egyptian Papers rather than the fruit thereof is an important step in understanding these documents, and one of the reasons why I am frustrated with the editorial choices and biases reflected in related publication of The Joseph Smith Papers, Revelations and Translations, Volume 4: Book of Abraham and Related Manuscripts, edited by Robin Scott Jensen and Brian M. Hauglid (Salt Lake City, UT: Church Historian’s Press, 2018), the topic of my newly published review at The Interpreter.


This post is part of a recent series on the Book of Abraham, inspired by a frustrating presentation from the Maxwell Institute. Here are the related posts:

89 comments:

JoePeaceman said...


Jeff, as I read this and thought about what you’ve been showing us over the past few months, I realized that I've missed some of the significance. By showing that the GAEL and “Twin Manuscripts” were almost certainly created after the relevant portions of the BofA, you’ve also shown that the KEP are not the translation. No wonder Dan and co. were trying so hard to get out of it (love ya Dan, but you have to admit that you were arguing against the evidence, and yourself :), and some were trying to bury info.).
The BofA, with all of its profound ancient content, did not come from the characters in the margins of the manuscripts. So, where did the text come from? It obviously wasn’t fabricated. Too many accurate details for that.

I think you're right, there are interesting clues in the characters.

Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

“It obviously wasn’t fabricated.”

Now who’s making claims based on no evidence?

JoePeaceman said...

Anon,😊😍 OK/not-OK, etc. Hi. I’ve felt sorta bad that you’ve also started arguing with yourself. I’m glad you’re bringing fun back to the conversations, and even on topic! :) It seems you’re aware that the evidence indicates that it would be impossible to fabricate the BofA.
As with the BofM--for which there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of supporting facts and evidences (millions if we count the all important revealed evidences, lives changed for good, and testimonies), some of them being honestly undeniable (as you know, I really enjoy the connections between Indigenous Americans and Middle Eastern peoples (including a definite religious connection, and probable BofM symbolism, Geography, DNA, etc. etc. connections), others look at steel, compasses, the multitudes of fallen anachronisms, Bountiful, Nahom, words, names, personalities, discourses, doctrines, etc. etc. etc.---there is also abundant evidence for the BofA, including well over 100 ancient sources, not available to Joseph Smith, which confirm almost every extra-biblical detail in the BofA. They include Egyptian, Pagan, Jewish, Christian, Samaritan, Muslim, Mandaean, Falasha, and other sources. They are found on tablets, stones, scrolls, books, etc. describing: locations, sacrifices, gods, Egyptian influence in the Northern Ur, Abraham, Astronomy/Astrology, and so on.
Critics are relegated to sweeping dismissal (without real examination) by simple reference to Ritner's self analysis, spelling (exmormon argues “The Akkadian place is not "Olishem" but "Ulisum." Not quite the same…” I’d guess the better funded IRR (since they don’t come across as a possible hate group) has bigger words, but no more substance), and etc.
But, while Ritner might be OK at translating Egyptian, he seems to know very little about the rest and is generally wrong on the BofA, Church of Jesus Christ, and so on (probably because he relies on anti-Mormon coworkers for his research). And, the difference between Olishem and the recently discovered “Ulishem” (Professor Wood) (and quite probable Dan :)) is just as trivial as Nahom VS Nahim.
In addition, the context is what really matters. Right time, right place, correct ancient meanings and optional spellings -e.g In his Blog titled "The Plain of Olishem and the Field of Abram: LDS Book of Abraham, Chapter One" Egyptologist Val Sederholm points out that Ulishem implies a high place. This would be a cosmic center, the Omphalos with the 4 gods, and crocodile tree (as with the Maya also :)) representing a pagan Eden, with a spacious field (as if it were a world), where the battle between good and evil takes place, and ends in sacrifice (as with the BofM Cumorah/Ramah (ram=high, as in rameumptom, and you should know Moreh, after all these years of learning with Jeff, etc.). Val, in response to critics (Ritner, etc.) asks- “besides the accidental phonetic similarity, are we also dealing with an accidental thematic correspondence?...Exactly how does a book of 14 pages produce dozens upon dozens of linguistic, cultural, thematic, theological, and literary points of comparison to the Ancient Near Eastern record? The numbers are no exaggeration. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with no hesitation whatsoever, not even a hint of abatement, continues to post the canonical Book of Abraham on line and to print copies by the tens of thousands in scores of languages. There is a lot of explaining to do.

JoePeaceman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JoePeaceman said...

left some things out--😊😍
However, I've started reviewing Jeff's post and reading the links. I won't have time to finish today, but am excited to discuss Goble and Barney's BofA redactor, and the clues that the KEP may give to us (i.e. on topic stuff). My mind is open to new possibilities. In times past I've leaned toward a Jewish JRed. Where will it go? How did we get the BofA, etc.? I want to finish reading and hope that you will, too. You have over a decade of experience as a critic (full time?). Dan may not return, or might be focused on defending or editing his currently outdated videos....and we need a solid critic, one who thinks, but isn't afraid to stand by what he disbelieves, regardless of the evidence or consequences to others (or can't admit that he/she believes, in spite of evidence, never doubting his doubts). ;) πŸ˜‰ So, if we all read this time, it will be like going to class with a pencil and everything :), and there will be no need for us to stay on the porch with the straw puppies. 😜 I include myself.

Dan Vogel said...

I repeat a statement I made in another blog here because it deals with this subject and hasn't been noticed or commented on.

Jeff: I haven’t discovered the meaning of the reference to degree and part at the beginning of what you call the twin documents. It might make more sense if it said fifth degree of the sixth part. WWP’s first two characters come from the beginning of column 1 of JSP XI, which if you follow the five parts of the Alphabets would be the sixth part. However, not all five parts deal with Abraham. They seem to be groupings that made sense to them. They didn’t even copy the characters from the columns of JSP I in order the columns were arranged on the papyri. I don’t know where the character came from, but it’s possible the first part and its change to the second part refer to a different but similar document as the Alphabets and GAEL, where the characters or parts of them that appear in the margins of the twin documents were developed in a similar fashion.

The twin documents not only continued WWP’s three verses, but they continued using the characters from JSP XI. It seems to me that these characters were copied, along with the invented characters in the gaps, prior to being copied into the margins of the translation documents. It may be that the last two characters in the Alphabets, which are WWP’s first two characters, were transferred another booklet where they and the other characters were developed in five degrees similar to Ah-broam at the end of JS’s Alphabet.

JoePeaceman said...


I’ve only made it to pg 7- “William J. Hamblin notes: Joseph Smith’s interpretations of the facsimiles are iconotropic . . . Is it an ancient, Abrahamic/Jewish iconotropic reinterpretation of Egyptian symbolism? Or is it purely early nineteenth century American iconotropy invented by Joseph Smith?”

But, I'm excited to read more. So far, I agree with most of it.
The evidence may indicate that that old man wasn’t Hor, and that the BofA was part of a bundle of documents collected to tell the story of Abraham. And, clearly, evidence indicates that the BofA manuscript is missing. Rejecting that is to reject the evidence. At least the evidence that I've seen.

I hope to have time to look into this further. : )

dan, quietly, just want to say, you’re still wrong :). I think you know that. I’ll try to respond to your replies later (on Jeff's last Blog post) but, here are a few things to ponder:

1-Joseph didn’t need a GAEL, others would.
2-Translation began circa July 3-6, GAEL began late July.
3-Joseph hadn’t yet studied Hebrew, Phelps had.
4-Several others were trying their hand at deciphering languages.
5-You have no explanation for signs of copying- 1 e.g: looking at handwriting, Royal could be read as regular, but would not be dictated as regular by President Smith, and corrected to royal.
6-The order of the GAEL was clearly taken from the BofA, and aligned to existing text.
Bethka was added on pg2, without a pause.
7-You claim that “definitions of each character were developed from simple to more complex and then to text.” This contradicts the evidence- e.g. they went back and added Bethka in the “simple” forms. It wasn’t a development working towards text, but "should have" been added.
8-The first degree is very similar to the 5th. It’s illogical to conclude that months of work produced such little change and then suddenly turned into the miraculous BofA.

9-You say it has nothing to do with the BofA, or little, or etc. It has nothing to do with translating the BofA, but is clearly influenced by the BofA throughout.

10-You agree that Hebrew, Katumin, the Bible, Josephus, etc. were translated first, and the GAEL was influenced by them. It’s illogical to reject the abundant evidence that the BofA was likewise translated first.

11- You have no comprehensible explanation for the GAEL. The simple solution is that it was created "to" an existing BofA, and not for it. It is clearly related, but does not represent the development of the BofA.

Still luv ya :)
And, there’s more….but I think we should move on, at least on this post :)

Anonymous said...

I would be very surprised if anyone reads your comments Joe. Pure drivel. Nonsense from top to bottom.

Dan Vogel said...

Joe here are my quiet and short responses:

1-Joseph didn’t need a GAEL, others would.

Exactly, JS made it for them, not for himself.

2-Translation began circa July 3-6, GAEL began late July.

Preliminary translation to identify mummies and authors of the two scrolls. Anything more than that is speculation. The earliest translation text is WWP’s Abr. 1:1-3 in what was the translation book, which was made about the same time as GAEL. The text is choppy indicating that it probably relies on the Alphabets and/or bound Grammar and that a dictated longer text did not precede it.

3-Joseph hadn’t yet studied Hebrew, Phelps had.

The knowledge of Hebrew in the GAEL is pre-Seixas and rudimentary. On what grounds could WWP produce the Alphabets and bound Grammar? The whole project presupposes revelation and that was JS’s role, not WWP’s.

4-Several others were trying their hand at deciphering languages.

No one besides JS succeeded in deciphering an unknown laguage.

5-You have no explanation for signs of copying- 1 e.g: looking at handwriting, Royal could be read as regular, but would not be dictated as regular by President Smith, and corrected to royal.

Royal doesn’t look like regular. On the contrary, someone dictating might say “regular descent directly from the loins of Ham” and want to change it to “royal descent.”

6-The order of the GAEL was clearly taken from the BofA, and aligned to existing text.
Bethka was added on pg2, without a pause.

7-You claim that “definitions of each character were developed from simple to more complex and then to text.” This contradicts the evidence- e.g. they went back and added Bethka in the “simple” forms. It wasn’t a development working towards text, but "should have" been added.

You don’t know the content of the sources very well or you wouldn’t say that. Bethka appears in the discussions on grammar, whereas the definitions of the characters appear in the Alphabets and Alphabet portions of the GAEL. The Alphabets are in the first degree, which was transferred too the first degree in the GAEL and then developed in the remaining four degrees. The fifth degree is the most elaborate and closest to the text, that is, when the material is used in the text. As I mentioned, parts 1 and 2 don’t deal with the BofA directly. In his dictation of the BofA in November 1835, JS drew on some of the material in the GAEL, although the characters were from other places than JSP XI.

8-The first degree is very similar to the 5th. It’s illogical to conclude that months of work produced such little change and then suddenly turned into the miraculous BofA.

You need to look at the development of each character, because often the character has a different meaning in the Alphabets and first degree in the GAEL but then becomes something new in the fifth.

Dan Vogel said...

9-You say it has nothing to do with the BofA, or little, or etc. It has nothing to do with translating the BofA, but is clearly influenced by the BofA throughout.

What does Katumin have to do with the BofA? What does part 2 have to do with Abraham? As I keep explaining, the only part borrowed for the BofA is the discussion of the Egyptian claim to priesthood and patriarchal governance, which is a problem because it didn’t originate with the BofA.

10-You agree that Hebrew, Katumin, the Bible, Josephus, etc. were translated first, and the GAEL was influenced by them. It’s illogical to reject the abundant evidence that the BofA was likewise translated first.

I have eight videos that say otherwise. While there was probably some overlap, everything fits smoothly with the general progression of Valuable Discovery > Alphabets > GAEL > Book of Abraham. When you put the Abraham first, everything becomes a mess, which necessitates the creation of several ad hoc speculations that are themselves more problematic than what is being rejected.

11- You have no comprehensible explanation for the GAEL. The simple solution is that it was created "to" an existing BofA, and not for it. It is clearly related, but does not represent the development of the BofA.

Attempting to assign the GAEL to WWP is incomprehensible. As I said, who can create such a thing without claiming revelation? Besides, WWP was working on the History of the Church in 1843 when it claimed JS was responsible for creating them with his scribes.

Anonymous said...

“dozens upon dozens of linguistic, cultural, thematic, theological, and literary points of comparison to the Ancient Near Eastern record“

Joe,

Why not list one of these dozens of “points of comparison” that you have compiled so they can be examined (and likely debunked)? And, though I shouldn’t need to ask but experience with you dictates that I do, please provide us with explanations as to how they relate.

JoePeaceman said...


I haven’t made it far in my reading of Edwin Goble, I really enjoyed some of it, but disagree with much. I don’t have a problem with the so called “Pure Revelation” theory, which implies that there was nothing about Abraham among the Egyptian material purchased in 1835. I know that, throughout History, God has worked through the cultures and ideas of imperfect humans. Many faithful believe that the Lord revealed the BofA directly, and the papyri were simply a stimulus. However, I still believe there is more evidence for the Missing Record theory. This evidence includes eyewitnesses and textual evidence and etc. I haven’t seen any serious rebuttal to this evidence, not by Dan and Co., or anyone else, but I haven’t read everything. If anyone has anything other than "what are the chances", I’d love to consider it, otherwise I’m left to believe that rejection of the missing scroll is based on conjecture. : )

JoePeaceman said...

Dan,❤πŸ’– my quiet replies :).

(Thanks Dan. I do appreciate your thoughts and agree with some things that you’ve said. I still hope the true scholar within you will have the courage to abandon the misleading theories of the Tanners, Ritner, Metcalfe? (sp?), etc. and any mistakes from your past. We can all move upward together. 😊 Yes, even anons.
Again, when I remember, I will put my new responses in (parentheses), and leave my previous comments numbered, or as you left them.)

1-Joseph didn’t need a GAEL, others would.
“Exactly, JS made it for them, not for himself.”
(If so, to do what? To impress Phelps by interrupting BofA translation for 5 months to repeatedly align the same words with concepts that would eventually surprise them all when they showed up in the BofA in the same order? Less Bethka of course which, fortunately, had been in the alphabet all along with a perfectly fitting BofA meaning and, since it just showed up in the dictated BofA, they went ahead and reverse translated that one word for 5 degrees back into the GAEL so it, too, could influence Joseph in creating future BofA copies-although, at this point, the meaning had luckily showed up in the BofA?

And, about this time, Oliver, has this idea to try to reverse translate. He takes verses from the previously translated Book of Mormon and tries to reverse them back into pure reformed Egyptian “Hebrew”. Still, even though they had actual Egyptian papyri, and even though Joseph had already translated some BofA material from it, no one thinks to have him give them a bit more of the BofA so they could have Phelps, the linguist, help to crack ancient Egyptian? Oliver, Joseph, and Parrish, are all much too busy trying to impress Phelps by having him do it all backwards?
Dan, the BofA-first model has a logical explanation for the time they put into the GAEL.
I know that truth and reason don’t generate funds from IRR, but I’m sure you can see it. They were no less intelligent than you or I. Clinging to this theory is not scholarship.
The evidence indicates that WWP at least guided this more mundane “research” but, either way, it seems you’re insisting that JS created it for others, unknowingly aligning it to a yet to be revealed BofA story, and was THEN the only one influenced by his own random work, and was fortunate enough to come up with a complex ancient record in the same order as the Abraham GAEL material. This isn’t reasonable. And the idea that no one would question any of this "is incomprehensible". Why would anyone put in all that time when JS could give them a BofA that they could all use as a type of Rosetta to hopefully decipher the pure language that they were already working on?
As I examine the evidence (in what little free time I have) it increasingly supports the idea that he did, in fact, give them the Book of Abraham first, even if in stages.)

JoePeaceman said...

Dan, before I respond to the rest, I think I’ll spend a little extra time here, on #1, 2, and ?, to help avoid repeating- Still hope we can all work together, and come up with an honest theory that will best explain all the evidence. :) As it is, it seems that you’re forcing concepts that defy logic and contradict what we know about the people involved. Only you can decide what your motivation is for sacrificing scholarship for whatever you’re trying to accomplish.
The evidence supports the idea that Cowdery, Phelps, and Parrish, were each seeking to translate, with Joseph. Joseph sincerely believed, and knew, that he personally had specific gifts (and there is abundant evidence that his translation gifts were very real). He recognized that others had gifts which differed from his own. Joseph, Paul, and etc. encouraged them to seek individual gifts from books, by study, and through faith, and thereby to receive testimonies, revelation, and knowledge of mysteries, and to commune with angels together, interpret, heal, etc. They were also to seek an enlightening, connecting, “pure language,” and believed this was related to ancient Hebrew and Egyptian. As you know (but don’t admit), during the learning phases of the restoration, others sought to be like Joseph, instead of developing gifts in their own unique ways: “SECTION 6 to Oliver Cowdery.”...Behold thou hast a gift...(so OC has a gift already--but seeks another). 25 And, behold, I grant unto you a gift...to translate, even as my servant Joseph....if you have good desires—a desire to lay up treasures for yourself in heaven—then shall you assist..” So, the Lord says go ahead, if you do it right. But, Oliver, who had received much, failed at this one, and so- SECTION 9 ...be content to write, for the time being, at the dictation of the translator, rather than to attempt to translate. 1–6, Other ancient records are yet to be translated...”

Phelps was considered a linguist, and was also interested in hidden languages and translating. He sent some unknown characters to Sally (his way of keeping a journal), which appear to have been reverse aligned to some of Joseph’s revealed “pure language”. He tried his hand at translating and his Blessings, like that of WP, included “...he shall have the desires of his heart in the gift that pertaineth to writing the law of God...The Lord will chasten him because he taketh honor to himself...have understanding in all sciences and languages…” . So, if he humbled himself, his unique gift would be understanding languages.

Evidently, around the time that the Egyptian papyri came to Kirtland, Cowdery was again trying to develop by “reverse translating” portions of the BofM back into an ancient original, closer to Adamic. JS had already translated the text (Jacob 5) and- quoting Matthew J. Grey- “Around 1835—probably a few months before he had actually studied Hebrew (OC attempted to reverse translate) Jacob 5:13 (“for it grieveth me that I should lose this tree & the fruit thereof”) was “fin Zemin ezmon E. Zer Oms. Ifs veris exzer ens. vonis vinesis,” ...For the two documents containing Cowdery’s reverse translation efforts see…” JSP Appendix 2, Characters Copied by Oliver Cowdery.

Hold those thoughts and I'll return....

JoePeaceman said...

K, I'm back for a bit...
Ok/Not-OK, 😊😍Anonymous, 6:36 PM, July 26, 2019

Says "Joe, Why not list one of these dozens of “points of comparison” that you have compiled so they can be examined (and likely debunked)?"

I actually listed several in that comment :), you could start there. And, if you read it carefully, you'll see that the "dozens" part was a quote from Val Sederholm--

In addition, the context is what really matters. Right time, right place, correct ancient meanings and optional spellings -e.g In his Blog titled "The Plain of Olishem and the Field of Abram: LDS Book of Abraham, Chapter One" Egyptologist Val Sederholm points out that Ulishem implies a high place. This would be a cosmic center, the Omphalos with the 4 gods, and crocodile tree (as with the Maya also :)) representing a pagan Eden, with a spacious field (as if it were a world), where the battle between good and evil takes place, and ends in sacrifice (as with the BofM Cumorah/Ramah (ram=high, as in rameumptom, and you should know Moreh, after all these years of learning with Jeff, etc.). Val, in response to critics (Ritner, etc.) asks- “besides the accidental phonetic similarity, are we also dealing with an accidental thematic correspondence?...Exactly how does a book of 14 pages produce dozens upon dozens of linguistic, cultural, thematic, theological, and literary points of comparison to the Ancient Near Eastern record? The numbers are no exaggeration. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with no hesitation whatsoever, not even a hint of abatement, continues to post the canonical Book of Abraham on line and to print copies by the tens of thousands in scores of languages. There is a lot of explaining to do.



If you don't see how they relate, you should try reading the BofM and BofA :). If you can't do that anymore, I'll try to return to respond to this: "...provide us with explanations as to how they relate."


For starters, all of this would already be understood if you had diligently studied the Books of Mormon and Abraham (but, if you had, you probably wouldn't be doing this ;) luv ya anon):

"This would be a cosmic center, the Omphalos with the 4 gods, and crocodile tree (as with the Maya also :)) representing a pagan Eden, with a spacious field (as if it were a world), where the battle between good and evil takes place, and ends in sacrifice (as with the BofM Cumorah/Ramah (ram=high, as in rameumptom)"

I'll try to return to explain the relationship that Joseph Smith couldn't have been making up, no one could in the 19th Century : )... It was Nibley who opened our minds to all of this. He was a giant, regardless of what you and Dan say. 😊


Unknown said...

πŸ‘πŸ‘

Unknown said...

Love your comments and deeply researched analysis.Very insightful.

JoePeaceman said...

Dan ��❤,

Now, let’s add that to what we already know, and then present a more likely outline, which we can test against the evidence, and complete with a much “better explanation” vs tired critical scholarship:

Some of this is based on Gee’s timeline, yours, etc.

Joseph began translating July 3-6.
The idea that they recorded none of this isn't reasonable. So, it makes sense that the 2 scribes at least recorded portions of the BofA and BofJ. You acknowledge that Joseph was capable of translating many pages in a day, as shown by other translations. You also say you’re OK with a July translation, but force yourself to reject early July, in spite of the record and that it doesn’t make sense that he’d read through enough of the text to find that both Abraham and Joseph had purportedly written on them, and the scribes wouldn't record that, especially since they are quoting and referring to Abraham in the GAEL, Blessings, and D&C, all before your translation session in Nov.

July 14 JS goes to Cleavland.


Someone, at an unknown point, painstakingly copied many lines of varied Egyptian characters and then recorded what they thought was a partial translation of them in ‘Valuable Discovery”, etc. which briefly speaks of princess Katumin. This isn’t Joseph’s reported July 3-6 translation, since it doesn’t mention Abraham or Joseph. It also isn’t his style to copy multiple characters and give a translation. And, I think we can all agree that actual Egyptian characters were never dictated by Joseph or anyone, only copied from the papyri which he had access to. But, since the alphabets and GEAL contain variants of the name Katumin, we can assume this was before July 19 (even though this is not certain, since her name, etc. could have been elsewhere on the papyri that Joseph had already translated, and this could be a first reverse attempt....but let’s go with it...).

Joseph’s History records:
July 19 “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....”

Note- Dan, it seems that the scribe’s comment of “translating an alphabet” and your comment asking “who else would translate, only Joseph received revelation?” (not an exact quote, but gist) are your primary evidence that Joseph was solely responsible for the GAEL. However, note that they were translating the Alphabet, but arranging a grammar. If the scribe's "grammar" is accurately referring to the GAEL, and if you’re right that the Alphabets were created first, then Joseph was only a scribe during this development part of the project, AND they arranged the GAEL "to" an existing BofA. As you also know, his scribes sometimes used the word “translating” for activities that we wouldn’t think of as being translation. The Alphabet project is clearly not all revelation, and others did try to receive and give revelation, and Joseph trusted them.

Ultimately, assuming Joseph was there for the GAEL "arranging" to the BofA,the Alphabets were still developed with Joseph as scribe, and by someone with a more mundane knowledge of Hebrew, which was likely beyond Joseph’s knowledge. The Alphabets also contain elements of the BofA, katumin, and etc. which were already translated, and so the use of Katumin adds to the evidence that this was a reverse translation aligned to texts that were translated before July 19.

So, there is no valid evidence showing that the GAEL came before the BofA. There is no valid evidence that the extant GAEL was developed progressively to the BofA, since they added Bethka’s “simple” BofA element later and BofA concepts existed first.

JoePeaceman said...


This wouldn’t fit but, in summary on July 19- The Alphabets and GAEL, degrees 1-5, (at least) contain concepts taken from the BofA as shown by references to: Abraham, Land of Chaldees, possessor of greater knowledge, follower of righteousness, fathers, false gods of Elkener, Zibnah (the white god), and son on, Noah blessing Ham, transgressions of Ham, blessing fell upon Shem from under the hand of Noah, back to Adam, right to priesthood, governed according to the pattern or order given to the patriarchs, Egypt underwater discovered by a woman, Eve, virgins, Pharaoh, Katumin, Onitas, father of faithful, first right, seeing greater happiness, traveling to land of Canaan, creation, women sought to settle her sons in that land, she being the daughter of Ham, etc.
Much of this is repeated in each degree, and the fact that Bethka “should have” been added in each degree is also repeated (so didn’t just show up), but was already in the Alphabets, and “should have been” in the GAEL in the appropriate spot to align it with preexisting Abrahamic text. This, with everything else, shows that at least some of the BofA had been translated by Joseph before he….goes to Michigan to visit Church members.
That was in early August. While he is gone, Phelps publishes the first edition of the D&C, which uses code words from the BofA. In September and October, Cowdery has been assigned to record Blessings. He adds references and quotes from the BofA and the BofJ in Blessings, as you report in your videos (claiming that they hadn’t yet reported the priesthood restoration and saw the papyri as a vehicle to establish priesthood, even though they had already reported this 5 years earlier).

Sept. 11 WWP notes that no translation work had been done for a long time. This seems to indicate that GAEL/Alphabet (sometimes used interchangeably?) Degrees 5-1 had already been translated and arranged, and Phelps was waiting for more original BofA text before continuing.

October 1, JS is doing “research” for the Egyptian Alphabet with Cowdery and Phelps. I’d say that he was examining (by translation) papyri for additional material to add to the GAEL and alphabets “...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.” So, astronomy was revealed, and apparently recorded.
Oct. 7 “this afternoon recommenced translating the ancient records (Diary of JS). Again, more than is on any of our extant manuscripts could be translated in a day. This predates your November date for the Twin Manuscripts. It’s illogical to claim that these multiple translation sessions (July 3-6, July 19?, Oct. 7) produced nothing more than Abr. 1:1-3, when the GAEL contains excerpts from much of the twin manuscripts..

October 29 Parrish is hired as a Scribe.
The GAEL began on about pg 19-22 with the 1st degree and works forward to pg. 1 with the 5th degree.
I’d say, at some point, after the end of October, they start the 5th degree 2nd part on pg. 23. This is where the astronomy sections begin, and Parrish’s handwriting starts on pg. 25, discussing Kli flos Isis, Kolob’s motion measured in cubits, etc.

19 Nov. JS records that he spent the day in translating. This, or any session following (Nov. 20, 24, or 25.) could be where Parrish reported “I have set by his side and penned down the translation of the Egyptian Hieroglyphicks as he claimed to receive it by direct inspiration of Heaven.” This doesn’t sound like it was translating or arranging from the GAEL. And, if I’m allowed to speculate, I’d say that, if Joseph used the GAEL to translate, Parrish, as an angry critic (over accusations of dishonesty in the Bank failure), would have jumped on that in the letter quoted above.

Anonymous said...

Luv ya Joe - deep down you know that war of words warrior from the pre-existence is ashamed you switch sides

JoePeaceman said...

Dan πŸ’–❤, had to take a break again, but now that we have that to discuss, I can give shorter responses to your replies, which are much appreciated :):

2-Translation began circa July 3-6, GAEL began late July.
Preliminary translation to identify mummies and authors of the two scrolls.
(Says Dan. But what evidence is there other than that? He wouldn’t have 2 scribes to record a few names. He would have to read significant portions of papyri to identify authors.)

Anything more than that is speculation.

(Without evidence, anything less than actual translation is forcing the illogical to support preconceptions. He had already read some of the text with Chandler, and began translation in early July, this agrees with the record and makes sense throughout.)

The earliest translation text is WWP’s Abr. 1:1-3 in what was the translation book, which was made about the same time as GAEL.

(You also say the earliest translated text was “Valuable Discovery,” and that this influenced the KEP, but there is much more from the BofA in the KEP. Phelps' copy of Abr. 1:1-3 is, likely, the earliest surviving BofA text, but that doesn’t prove it’s the earliest created text. It seems closely related to the GAEL project. Either way, the evidence indicates that Abr. 1:1-3 was written before the GAEL. )

The text is choppy indicating that it probably relies on the Alphabets and/or bound Grammar and that a dictated longer text did not precede it.

(Argument from so called “choppiness” is among C. Smith’s best evidence for GAEL dependence, but that's “incomprehensible” to me. Gee has shown that Abr. 1:1-3 follows ancient patterns.
Also, Jeff has carefully shown that the BofA came first. However, since Chris Smith’s ideas were referenced in the JSPP, I’ll review and try to return. At least you’re confident enough to be here testing your theories with everyday people : ). I respect that, and doubt Chris Smith will do the same.)


3-Joseph hadn’t yet studied Hebrew, Phelps had.

The knowledge of Hebrew in the GAEL is pre-Seixas and rudimentary.

(It’s likely pre-Seixas, according to the evidence. Gee may be wrong about this, but his “BofA-first” argument doesn’t collapse on it, as you claim. Phelps had been discoursing on Hebrew for years. JS began with the alphabet later. True, he could have known what “Bethel” meant BUT, Beth in the GAEL gives a more Kabbalistic meaning, same with Aleph and, even Jeff didn’t know that Iota was associated with “seeing.”

The translation method, and 19th C. knowledge of languages in the GAEL are not Smith’s. There's a chance that the heated debate over Hebrew pronunciation in the School began because Joseph was using Phelps' “Beth” and Pratt, was insisting that the books seemed to prefer “Baith”). However, if Samuel Brown is right (up to pg. 41 of “Joseph (Smith) in Egypt” but plan to return), the GAEL translation project was based on more of a Kabbalistic approach. JS translated in a very different way.)

You say-- “On what grounds could WWP produce the Alphabets and bound Grammar? The whole project presupposes revelation and that was JS’s role, not WWP’s.”

(As explained, JS was not the only person seeking revelation. See #1 :). your videos are founded on the mistaken assumption that WWP wouldn’t seek revelation. The evidence shows that this critical foundation isn't true. Evidence shows that Joseph taught all to seek revelation, etc.and to take the lead in areas where he didn’t feel gifted. Phelps still viewed himself as a translator years later.


So, that adds to BofA-first evidence. I'll try to finish ASAP, and I hope we will soon be able to return to examining the text for signs of antiquity.

The BofA is the pearl. :) The GAEL is just details.

Unknown said...

Love your comments and deeply researched analysis.Very insightful.

Anonymous said...

Joe Peaceman, do you truly believe that God would speak gibberish like this (from the ever-silly Book of Abraham)?

And the Lord said unto me: The planet which is the lesser light, lesser than that which is to rule the day, even the night, is above or greater than that upon which thou standest in point of reckoning, for it moveth in order more slow; this is in order because it standeth above the earth upon which thou standest, therefore the reckoning of its time is not so many as to its number of days, and of months, and of years.

Also, you do realize the Pure Language is a fiction, right?

— OK

Dan Vogel said...

JoePeaceman: “And, clearly, evidence indicates that the BofA manuscript is missing.”

We all know it’s missing, but was it there? If only the scribes would have copied the characters in the margins from the correct part of the scroll there may have been plenty of evidence despite it being gone.

1-Joseph didn’t need a GAEL, others would.
“Exactly, JS made it for them, not for himself.”

“(If so, to do what? To impress Phelps by interrupting BofA translation for 5 months to repeatedly align the same words with concepts that would eventually surprise them all when they showed up in the BofA in the same order?”

Actually, it was partly for them and partly for himself. He was using the delay to brainstorm and develop each character in five degrees with the last being the most elaborate, which he would then use in his translation. So the development was from simple to elaborate.

JS also provided Harris with a transcription of characters and possibly a translation that he knew the learned would not be able to read or verify. Yet Harris interpreted it as proof Js was wiser than the learned. That’s the kind of mentality JS was working with. People who thought they were clever but really weren’t. WWP was the same way. The pure language characters and definitions were similar to Harris’s BofM characters. These were characters added to definitions JS had given in 1832. This was transferred to the Egyptian project as evidence of JS’s gift.

“Less Bethka of course which, fortunately, had been in the alphabet all along with a perfectly fitting BofA meaning and, since it just showed up in the dictated BofA, they went ahead and reverse translated that one word for 5 degrees back into the GAEL so it, too, could influence Joseph in creating future BofA copies-although, at this point, the meaning had luckily showed up in the BofA?”

Bethka in Alphabets “perfectly fitting” the BofA? It’s only similar in a general way.

BofA: “it was needful for me to obtain another place of residence, and seeing there was greater happiness and peace and rest, for me, ...”

GAEL (5th degree): “Bethka the greatest place of happiness exceeding extending beyond any thing”

Alphabet (JS): “Bethcha an other place of residence or an a more fruitful Garden or larger place of hapiness greater hapiness 5 times”

It is difficult to imagine the texts developing with Abraham first.

Dan Vogel said...

JoePeaceman: “And, about this time, Oliver, has this idea to try to reverse translate. He takes verses from the previously translated Book of Mormon and tries to reverse them back into pure reformed Egyptian “Hebrew”

Cowdery had the idea to reverse translate the BofM into reformed Egyptian? Where does that come from? I have no idea what you are talking about here.

“Evidently, around the time that the Egyptian papyri came to Kirtland, Cowdery was again trying to develop by “reverse translating” portions of the BofM back into an ancient original, closer to Adamic.”

Don’t know what you are talking about.

“JS had already translated the text (Jacob 5) and- quoting Matthew J. Grey- “Around 1835—probably a few months before he had actually studied Hebrew (OC attempted to reverse translate) Jacob 5:13 (“for it grieveth me that I should lose this tree & the fruit thereof”) was “fin Zemin ezmon E. Zer Oms. Ifs veris exzer ens. vonis vinesis,” ...For the two documents containing Cowdery’s reverse translation efforts see…” JSP Appendix 2, Characters Copied by Oliver Cowdery.”

It’s complicated but Cowdery’s document probably dates to about 1828-1830. It was taken by him when he left New York on the Indian Mission in October 1830. In Ohio, it was copied by FGW and carried by him to Missouri. However, the characters and fake transliteration do not support the theory that he was attempting a reverse translation. Assuming it was Cowdery because it’s in his handwriting is probably wrong.

Dan Vogel said...

JoePeaceman: “"The Plain of Olishem and the Field of Abram: LDS Book of Abraham, Chapter One" Egyptologist Val Sederholm points out that Ulishem implies a high place.”

Plain or high place? Not following you here.

“This would be a cosmic center, the Omphalos with the 4 gods, and crocodile tree (as with the Maya also :)) representing a pagan Eden, with a spacious field (as if it were a world), where the battle between good and evil takes place, and ends in sacrifice (as with the BofM Cumorah/Ramah (ram=high, as in rameumptom,”

Don’t know what the BofM has to do with the BofA. Four gods and crocodile came from Fac. 1, so I think JS was stuck with that part no matter what parallels you find. Everything can be seen as a battle between good and evil. Human sacrifice in the BofA is a problem, but Fac. 1 and the story of Abraham and Isaac strongly suggested it to JS.

Olishem doesn’t impress me because it is nothing but the name game. It only takes statistics and a little imagination, especially when you are only looking for something like LSM and there are hundreds of names on the cuneiform tablets. The location Gee has suggested for Olishem requires moving Ur to northern Mesopotamia instead of the favored southern region.

“I'll try to return to explain the relationship that Joseph Smith couldn't have been making up, no one could in the 19th Century : )... It was Nibley who opened our minds to all of this. He was a giant, regardless of what you and Dan say”

The apologists build up a golden calf of wild connections and pseudo-scholarship to themselves and then proclaim JS could not have seen or known it, when the truth is their Mormon scholarship is only recognized by themselves.

Anonymous said...

“And, if you read it carefully, you'll see that the ‘dozens’ part was a quote from Val Sederholm”

Quotation marks. Ever heard of ‘em? They indicate where you are quoting someone else’s ideas. They aren’t just for looks. . .

Anonymous said...

“all of this would already be understood if you had diligently studied the Books of Mormon and Abraham”

I have most of my life. I don’t see the connections you’re trying to make. How about explaining your ideas in your own words rather than just throwing out improperly quoted quotes? As I’ve told you before, just because you think something makes sense doesn’t mean a) that it does, or b) that its significance is readily apparent to all. Maybe instead of repeatedly telling Dan that he’s wrong (with no supporting evidence) try observing his writing style and attempt to emulate it. If, as you have stated, your goal is to become a better person, start with your communication style. Copying and pasting quotes over and over again doesn’t help—it only shows your obstinance and inability to think outside of your own box. Luv ya!!!

Dan Vogel said...

JoePeaceman: “Joseph began translating July 3-6. The idea that they recorded none of this isn't reasonable. So, it makes sense that the 2 scribes at least recorded portions of the BofA and BofJ.”

There is no evidence that the record of Joseph was translated beyond identifying the author. How exactly that was done or if it produced a written text is unknown. he same is true for the record of Abraham for this period.

“You acknowledge that Joseph was capable of translating many pages in a day, as shown by other translations.”

Just because JS was capable doesn’t mean he did.

“You also say you’re OK with a July translation, but force yourself to reject early July, in spite of the record”

I date the only record we have of Abr. 1:1-3 to late July because it is linked to the GAEL and that was begun in late July according to the HC. I’m not contradicting any record.

“and that it doesn’t make sense that he’d read through enough of the text to find that both Abraham and Joseph had purportedly written on them, and the scribes wouldn't record that, especially since they are quoting and referring to Abraham in the GAEL, Blessings, and D&C, all before your translation session in Nov.”

JS must have identified the scrolls before he purchased them. So we’re talking about a man who once said he examined Fox’s Book of Martyrs through the Urim and Thummin and you don’t think he could pretend to know the authors of the papyri without actually translating them?

Early July was probably taken up with the Valuable Discovery notebooks and other copies of fragments and preliminary observations.

“Someone, at an unknown point, painstakingly copied many lines of varied Egyptian characters and then recorded what they thought was a partial translation of them in ‘Valuable Discovery”, etc. which briefly speaks of princess Katumin. This isn’t Joseph’s reported July 3-6 translation, since it doesn’t mention Abraham or Joseph.”

The Valuable Discovery notebooks were made before the Alphabets, and the Alphabets were made before the GAEL, and the GAEL was begun about the time WWP wrote Abr. 1:1-3. So we can be certain that VD was translated at the earliest phase of the project.

“It also isn’t his style to copy multiple characters and give a translation.”

You can’t say that. JS had no definable style that he couldn’t change. He never had an actual ancient record before that he could give his scribes to copy.

Dan Vogel said...

JoePeaceman: “And, I think we can all agree that actual Egyptian characters were never dictated by Joseph or anyone, only copied from the papyri which he had access to.”

Except for the six groups of invented characters that were used to fill the holes in the papyri. Who else could be the author of those?

“But, since the alphabets and GEAL contain variants of the name Katumin, we can assume this was before July 19 (even though this is not certain, since her name, etc. could have been elsewhere on the papyri that Joseph had already translated, and this could be a first reverse attempt....but let’s go with it...).”

Listen carefully. The use of Katumin in the GAEL can’t tell you a before-date, only an after-date. Katumin comes from a specific character, a character that JS, OC, and WWP struggled to get right. The Katumin character appears in the group of hieratic characters translated in the VD notebooks. Some of these characters appear in part 1 of the Alphaberts, where the Katumin character is written several ways by JS, written over by WWP, and copied by OC. It was copied by WWP in GAEL without any change. There is no need to speculate about anything else. We have the documents were they are stuggling with the Katumin character and the order of its development is fairly clear.

“Note- Dan, it seems that the scribe’s comment of “translating an alphabet” and your comment asking “who else would translate, only Joseph received revelation?” (not an exact quote, but gist) are your primary evidence that Joseph was solely responsible for the GAEL. However, note that they were translating the Alphabet, but arranging a grammar.”

Arranging doesn’t exclude translating. JS’s 1 Oct. 1835 journal indicates that JS was working on the “Alphabet” when the “system of astronomy was unfolded,” which means the GAEL. Who else could be responsible for the cosmology in the GAEL and on what basis? The history says JS was responsible for the GAEL, not WWP or OC.

“If the scribe's "grammar" is accurately referring to the GAEL, and if you’re right that the Alphabets were created first, then Joseph was only a scribe during this development part of the project, AND they arranged the GAEL "to" an existing BofA.”

This doesn’t follow at all. Only a small part of the GAEL is a grammar, while the bulk of it is a continuation of the Alphabet. The heading on the pages of the GAEL say “Alphabet.” So both the Alphabets and GAEL were translations.

“As you also know, his scribes sometimes used the word “translating” for activities that we wouldn’t think of as being translation.”

JS used “translation” to refer to revelation. The word wasn’t just thrown out arbitrarily as you suggest.

“The Alphabet project is clearly not all revelation, and others did try to receive and give revelation, and Joseph trusted them.”

This is all assertion based on apologetic theories that are no longer credible.

Anonymous said...

I just thought of a better explanation that may make more sense to you. Quotation marks indicate where someone else’s thoughts begin and end—they aren’t eyelash emojis.

Dan Vogel said...

JoePeaceman: 2-Translation began circa July 3-6, GAEL began late July.
Preliminary translation to identify mummies and authors of the two scrolls.

“(Says Dan. But what evidence is there other than that? He wouldn’t have 2 scribes to record a few names. He would have to read significant portions of papyri to identify authors.)

Anything more than that is speculation.”

JS must have identified the authors of the papyri before he purchased them. (See above)

3-Joseph hadn’t yet studied Hebrew, Phelps had.

The knowledge of Hebrew in the GAEL is pre-Seixas and rudimentary.

Nothing you say overcomes this.

“(As explained, JS was not the only person seeking revelation. See #1 :). your videos are founded on the mistaken assumption that WWP wouldn’t seek revelation. The evidence shows that this critical foundation isn't true. Evidence shows that Joseph taught all to seek revelation, etc.and to take the lead in areas where he didn’t feel gifted. Phelps still viewed himself as a translator years later.”

WWP was probably responsible or helped compose the statement in the HC that assigned authorship of the Alphabets and GAEL to JS. Therefore WWP would probably disagree with your theory. I have dealt with Gee’s attempt to pin responsibility on WWP with very bad evidence.

JoePeaceman said...

So, had to go mid thought, I’m getting behind, I might catch up if I stop supplying evidence and go with “says Joe and there’s no evidence that will change what Joe says, anything else is incomprehensible” : ), but, alas, evidence comes in handy for me….
we were on-

“On what grounds could WWP produce the Alphabets and bound Grammar? The whole project presupposes revelation and that was JS’s role, not WWP’s.”

(AND, in addition to others receiving revelation, seeking to translate AND even documented reverse translation; there is something else that may be happening here. If Brown is right, the GAEL translation project was likely a 19th C. science research effort, based on more mainstream thinking (vs JS’ method) about how the ancients communicated through writing. The idea seems to be that, a person gifted as a linguist, would read/translate by looking at a character and, from its shape, and from a connection with the cosmos (or perhaps the Platonic Form?), and so on, they could discern degrees of meaning. Of course, with JS providing a BofA Rosetta, WWP had a headstart on cracking the pure language.


4-Several others were trying their hand at deciphering languages.

No one besides JS succeeded in deciphering an unknown laguage.
(see #1. It may be that only Joseph was successful, but this is not evidence that they didn’t try nor does it validate your need to insert Joseph into everything, as needed)

5-You have no explanation for signs of copying- 1 e.g: looking at handwriting, Royal could be read as regular, but would not be dictated as regular by President Smith, and corrected to royal.

Royal doesn’t look like regular. On the contrary, someone dictating might say “regular descent directly from the loins of Ham” and want to change it to “royal descent.”

(Dan, good thing I don’t LOL, because that’s silly. Look at the first “Royal” in the GAEL, Phelps y could easily be mistaken for a g, the o could be e, and, if reading quickly, could easily come out as “regalr”. The idea that JS originally planned to have them from a “regular” descent is interesting, since the GAEL, which you still insist came first (in spite of all the evidence) speaks of the royal descent of Ham from degree 1-5, and there’s no mention of regular anywhere.

6-The order of the GAEL was clearly taken from the BofA, and aligned to existing text.
Bethka was added on pg2, without a pause.
(I didn’t see a response to this...)

7-You claim that “definitions of each character were developed from simple to more complex and then to text.” This contradicts the evidence- e.g. they went back and added Bethka in the “simple” forms. It wasn’t a development working towards text, but "should have" been added.

You don’t know the content of the sources very well or you wouldn’t say that. Bethka appears in the discussions on grammar, whereas the definitions of the characters appear in the Alphabets and Alphabet portions of the GAEL. The Alphabets are in the first degree, which was transferred too the first degree in the GAEL and then developed in the remaining four degrees. The fifth degree is the most elaborate and closest to the text, that is, when the material is used in the text. As I mentioned, parts 1 and 2 don’t deal with the BofA directly. In his dictation of the BofA in November 1835, JS drew on some of the material in the GAEL, although the characters were from other places than JSP XI.

(This wasn’t a response to 7 was it? They went back and added Bethka in degrees 1-5. If they had progressed towards creating BofA text, why regress with Bethka and add simple forms of it? I’ll return to this.)
Have a great day : ), and Dan, I've learned that truth is best found when we are willing to change our opinions in the face of evidence. I'm perfectly willing to do that, if you would kindly share... : )

Anonymous said...

Joe,

In this “it doesn’t make sense that he’d read through enough of the text to find that both Abraham and Joseph had purportedly written on them” you’re making a huge and incorrect assumption. None, repeat, none of the papyri mention Abraham nor Joseph, nor were they written by either one of them. We know this because we have the actual, physical original funerary documents. To assume that Joseph had read enough of the text to discover that they were written by either one or both of them is preposterous.

Another large and seemingly incorrect assumption (though there’s not iron clad proof that it is incorrect) is “Joseph was only a scribe during this development part of the project, AND they arranged the GAEL ‘to’ an existing BofA.” Translating an alphabet and arranging a grammar does not presuppose an existing text. Translation implies creation of new text—grammar first. The text and narrative of Abraham is then woven from the details of the grammar. As Dan has repeatedly pointed out—the grammar was Joseph’s chance to try out his ideas. He followed a similar workshopping pattern with his family in the creation of the BoM, although he had no scribes to help him out then—it was all verbal. Your assumptions are critical flaws in your logic, and your theories then crumble for lack of a foundation.

Anonymous said...

I see it's another typical Monday night in the Joe and Dan echo chamber. Nothing to see here, move along.
Sorry, I was mid thought when I wrote that, walked away for an hour, returned to the sentence and then tripped over my own tangent. Smoking too much Peaceman, I guess. Manufactured with pride by GAEL.

Anonymous said...

“No one besides JS succeeded in deciphering an unknown laguage.“

You have no evidence that Joseph did. In fact, the opposite is true based on the evidence. Compare what was written on the papyri to what Joseph translated—evidence points to a completely new creation, not a translation. You may see it as inspired and coming from God. Others see it as a complete fabrication drawing on already present ideas and information. The “translation” clearly has nothing to do with the actual text on the papyri.

Anonymous said...

If you guys have not figured it out, this ad nauseam will continue until everyone quits responding, including Dan. When everyone quits responding, Joe's argument from repetition will be complete and he will self declare evidentiary victory. Congratulations on your inevitable victory Joe!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sealioning

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:31 - That is why Joe and Jeff are insisting there is a missing text. However, this does not help them with the facsimiles' translation, to which their response is: do not trust non-LDS (and now even some LDS) experts.

You see anon, if you concur with the Egyptology community consensus without going to Egyptology school for 15 years first, you are exercising faith in Egyptology. Even if you did go to school for 15 years, you would just be exercising faith in your schooling. So you see, Jeff and Joe have faith in the BoA and at the same time know it is true, while you anon only have faith that that it is not. Make sense?

Dan Vogel said...

JoePeaceman: “If Brown is right, the GAEL translation project was likely a 19th C. science research effort, based on more mainstream thinking (vs JS’ method) about how the ancients communicated through writing.”

Nonsense. There’s no way to take the BofA and either shrink or expand meanings without claiming revelation. It’s not scientifically done. If it were, you could understand the process they were using. Besides, most of the Alphabets and bound Grammar don’t have anything to do with the BofA.

“WWP had a headstart on cracking the pure language.”

More likely, WWP got the sample of pure language from JS, with whom he was living at the time.

4-Several others were trying their hand at deciphering languages.

“No one besides JS succeeded in deciphering an unknown laguage.
(see #1. It may be that only Joseph was successful, but this is not evidence that they didn’t try nor does it validate your need to insert Joseph into everything, as needed)”

Well, where’s the evidence that they tried and failed with the BofA? It is based on Nibley’s wild and unfounded assertion that JS’s scribes were trying to outdo him in 1837. Pure fantasy.

5- ... Royal doesn’t look like regular. On the contrary, someone dictating might say “regular descent directly from the loins of Ham” and want to change it to “royal descent.”

“(Dan, good thing I don’t LOL, because that’s silly. Look at the first “Royal” in the GAEL, Phelps y could easily be mistaken for a g, the o could be e, and, if reading quickly, could easily come out as “regalr”. The idea that JS originally planned to have them from a “regular” descent is interesting, since the GAEL, which you still insist came first (in spite of all the evidence) speaks of the royal descent of Ham from degree 1-5, and there’s no mention of regular anywhere.”

I disagree. There is no “er” or “r” at the end; hence, it’s difficult to make your case. It appears JS was making a comment about directness of descent, as opposed to through marriage: “the daughters of Onitah–one of the regular royal discent directly from the loins of Ham.” In such case, “regular” was appropriate. A quick check on Google books shows that the phrase was used in his day:

“he speaks of the party to which he professes to have belonged himself, as the true pure, the only honest, patriotic party, derived by regular descent, from father to son, from the time of the virtuous Romans!” (Debates in Congress – 1829 - Volume 6; Volume 50 - Page 71).

6-The order of the GAEL was clearly taken from the BofA, and aligned to existing text.
Bethka was added on pg2, without a pause.

(I didn’t see a response to this...)

I have answered this multiple times without adequate response from you or Jeff.

7-You claim that “definitions of each character were developed from simple to more complex and then to text.” This contradicts the evidence- e.g. they went back and added Bethka in the “simple” forms. It wasn’t a development working towards text, but "should have" been added.

“(This wasn’t a response to 7 was it? They went back and added Bethka in degrees 1-5. If they had progressed towards creating BofA text, why regress with Bethka and add simple forms of it? I’ll return to this.)”

Joe, let me try to be clearer. Bethka in the GAEL doesn’t contradict what I said about the development of the characters from simple in the Alphabets, to more complex in the GAEL. In the GAEL, Bethka only appears in the discussions on grammar and in the first degree. Therefore it is not an example of a character that was developed in each of the degrees.

Dan Vogel said...

Vogel: “No one besides JS succeeded in deciphering an unknown laguage.“

Anon.: "You have no evidence that Joseph did. In fact, the opposite is true based on the evidence. Compare what was written on the papyri to what Joseph translated—evidence points to a completely new creation, not a translation. You may see it as inspired and coming from God. Others see it as a complete fabrication drawing on already present ideas and information. The “translation” clearly has nothing to do with the actual text on the papyri"

Of course, I don't believe JS translated. He allegedly translated, or he was the only one to produce a fake translation.

Dan Vogel said...

Anonymous said...
If you guys have not figured it out, this ad nauseam will continue until everyone quits responding, including Dan. When everyone quits responding, Joe's argument from repetition will be complete and he will self declare evidentiary victory. Congratulations on your inevitable victory Joe!

I was hoping through this discussion not to win but to teach. I hope Jeff and Joe and those reading along have learned something. If so, I'm happy.

Anonymous said...

I for one think you're doing great. As you said, Joe will continue to repeat himself, without explanation, until you tire of responding. It's sometimes fun to see what kooky idea he's going to come up with next. I also enjoy his brand of unjustified smugness--it makes me smile.

Anonymous said...

Though, hoping Jeff or Joe will learn anything is much to optimistic. They both already know they are they wrong.

JoePeaceman said...


I have a lot of catching up to do…..haven’t been able to return to Goble, etc. but really want to explore the possibilities, evidence for and against a missing manuscript, etc.

Thanks Dan and Anon OK/not-OK. I have learned much, and appreciate your thoughts. I’ve been super duper busy but have thought about u and Jeff etc. and even Anon, but only a little ; ).
I’m wondering if a new approach might help us learn even more. :)

As I’ve said, Dan is one of the best and most knowledgeable critics, and I respect the fact that he has taken time to present a critical point of view. Most Critics don’t have to put effort into defending their claims, their audiences don’t require it and typically accept what they say without question. Dan has a different audience here. I’m not important, but I do question everything, and hold fast to the truths that I find. Perhaps I represent the intended audiences of both sides. I’m still developing my opinions on the Kirtland Egyptian Papers. I’ve not been very interested in them in years past, as I don’t feel that the method of translating the BofA is crucial to its truthfulness. However, understanding the KEP helps me understand some details of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. :)


JoePeaceman said...

Here’s where I think we are so far. I’m sure there is disagreement. I look forward to clear evidence and will step closer to truth as it is assessed:
Starting with my point #10, where we at least somewhat agree-

Evidence that the account of Katumin in the Valuable Discovery document was translated before the EA/GAEL:

1- An account of Katumin is recorded in the Valuable Discovery documents. Egyptian characters are associated with it. Katumin is also mentioned in the EA/GAEL, with what appears to be one of the associated characters written 3-4 different ways in EAJS. It’s logical to conclude that the Valuable Discovery was “translated” first.

2- Elements from the Katumin translation are in the EA/GAEL e.g.: Kahtoumun The name of a royal family, in the female line”


Critics’ agree and provide evidence:

Quoting critical expert, Dan- “The Valuable Discovery notebooks were made before the Alphabets, and the Alphabets were made before the GAEL….So we can be certain that VD was translated at the earliest phase of the project.”
“Listen carefully. The use of Katumin in the GAEL can’t tell you a before-date, only an after-date. Katumin... translated in the VD notebooks. Some of these characters appear in part 1 of the Alphaberts, where the Katumin character is written several ways by JS, written over by WWP, and copied by OC. It was copied by WWP in GAEL without any change. There is no need to speculate about anything else. We have the documents were they are stuggling with the Katumin character and the order of its development is fairly clear.” :)

JoePeaceman said...


Evidence that the BofA was at least partially translated before the EA/GAEL was created, and that “the order of its development is fairly clear” (or, the same reasoning (and justifiable smugness ;)) which lead us to conclude that katumin came first, are also there showing that the BofA came first):

1-As with Katumin, variants of the name Abraham and elements from the BofA story are in the EA/GAEL, and retrofitted to Egyptian characters, Hebrew, and etc.:

FROM the EA:
a. Bethka Another place of Residence Ki-ah-bram, Ki-ah-bra-oam- Zub-sool-oan; Ahbra
oam Signifies father of the faithful; The first right The elder; A follower of
rightiousness...same sound— One who possesses great Knowledge, Fourth degree— same
sound— A follower of righteousness, a possessor of greater knowledge. Fifth degree—
Ah-bra-oam. The father of many nations, a prince of peace, one who keeps the
commandments of God, a patriarch, a rightful heir, a high priest.”


2- Translation of the BofA/J began July 3-6 with 2 scribes recording the translation.

3- The header for the “Manuscript History of the Church” circa July 20 entry says- “Translating the Book of Abraham &c.” This supports that BofA translation was ongoing, and preceded “&c”.

4- The “&c” was “The remainder of this month, I was continually engaged in translating an alphabet to the Book of Abraham, and arrangeing a grammar of the Egyptian language as practiced by the ancients.”

a.They couldn’t translate the EA to BofA text if it didn’t exist, and it did exist, as
exhibited in the EA and GAEL.

5- The GAEL and later manuscripts were clearly aligned to, influenced by, or copied from, the previously translated BofA text, and not the other way around:

See Jeff’s previous articles for evidence- starting with this one and working back :)


6- It’s illogical to suggest, as critics do, that JS translated enough Papyri to know who the authors were, but his two scribes, pens in hand, didn’t record any of that, and then they all spent many months developing a largely unrelated GAEL (when his associates knew he could translate a BofA and use it to reverse translate), which luckily had material that could be used to create a BofA.


JoePeaceman said...


7- The EA and GAEL contain complex details of the BofA text showing a knowledge of where the cosmic journey is headed e.g.-

There are many examples, I’ll give 2:

Evidence indicates that, during what Joseph’s Journal calls “research”, they jumped around translating papyri, assessing content, etc. Initially, they found that Abraham is in the land of his father’s and, since his father Terah (and others) are trying to remove him, he sees that it’s needful to obtain another place of residence, and desiring the right of priesthood, which would go from his seed to all nations, and "seeing" greater peace, etc. he "sees" that it’s needful to obtain a happier place and so on.

- GAEL says: Beth “man’s first residence; Iota saw; fathers; Iota saw; Bethka greatest place of happiness,” etc. matching the order of the manuscript.

One more example: The family conflict is due to the fact that Terah has been led away by idolatry, and the rivalry becomes King vs Abraham (non-Shemite Nimrod-Pharaoh etc. vs Abraham) for good reason. The GAEL sheds light in broken sentences, which would only make sense if they were borrowed from the original manuscript and retrofitted to the EA/GAEL.

Pharaoh had a legitimate claim, as he was righteous. He also claimed “Royal” (not regular :)) lineage through his ancestor who was blessed by the hand of Noah-in his days (importantly)-and who apparently became a son of Noah and received some of the blessings that father Ham lost. Interestingly, it appears that some of this was accidentally edited out of the BofA due to a scribal error from the original. The fact that JS didn’t notice this is further evidence that he didn’t really know the story line, but was translating an ancient record.

The GAEL (clearly based on the original but digressing in an attempt to decipher the pure language, encode, or etc.) says- Abraham, a father of many nations a prince of peace, & one who keeps the commandments of God. A patriarch a rightful heir, a highpriest; Coming down from the beginniug— right by birth— and also by blessing, and by promise; a father of many nations; ...coming from Adam. Kings or right over Patriarchal right by appointment….Kah tou mun, a distinction of Royal <​female​> lineage...from her whom Egypt was discovered while it was under water, who was the daughter of Ham...a true descendant from Ham, the son of Noah, and inheritor of the Kingly blessings from under the hand of Noah, but not according to the priestly blessing, because of the transgressions of Ham, which blessing fell upon Shem from under the hand of Noah; the right of the priesthood,...by promise, begining at Abraham signifying the promises made to Abraham saying through thy fruits, or the seed of thy loins, the gospel shall be preached, unto all the seed meaning from Noah and unto all the kindreds of the earth;" <OK? U ok with that...got the end-quote? ": )"



JoePeaceman said...


Critics agree that the EA/GAEL project does not represent the BofA translation.

Quoting leading critical expert Dan: “Alphabets and Grammar ... mostly...don’t have anything to do with the BofA. Part 1 of these works deal with the Amenhotep papyrus and princess Katumin, not Abraham. Part 2 begins with the pure language and evolves into defining characters from the columns flanking Fac. 1. Again, while it deals with the Book of Breathings, it has nothing to do with JS’s translation of the BofA.
So it is quite apparent to me you do not have the knowledge to comment so confidently on this subject and perhaps should question your own bias.”

And, “...it deals with the Book of Breathings, it has nothing to do with JS’s translation of the BofA.”

And: “...the GAEL was begun about the time WWP wrote Abr. 1:1-3.”

Critics also disagree, but the contra evidence (as far as I recall) is generally insistence that they are right, and others are wrong. : ) If I’m mistaken on that please refresh my memory, thanks.
(e.g. Dan to Blake: Believe as you like. I’m totally confident in my evidence and its power to convince the unbiased mind. There is 0 evidence for a pre-existing manuscript. The types of changes FGW and WP made are definitive and Jeff’s attempts to escape them are laughable.")


I agree, that the EA/GAEL project does not represent an attempt to translate the BofA, nor was it an attempt to translate the VD or the Pure Language Document. Evidence indicates that all 3 of these were already translated. (For the sake of moving the discussion, I'll say, they were at least partially translated, if not as far as the evidence provided by so called "apologists" indicates (Gee, etc.).

But, I disagree with the claim that the EA/GAEL has nothing to do with the BofA:

JoePeaceman said...


But, I disagree with the claim that the EA/GAEL has nothing to do with the BofA, in fact, those unbiased persons who've read both will quickly see that they are very much related, and that the EA/GAEL is repeatedly arranged "to" portions of a preexisting BofA manuscript (even more than portions of preexisting VD and Pure Language documents):


Beth man’s first residence; saw; fathers; saw; Bethka the greatest place of happiness; Zubzooloan; Ahbrahaam, a father of many nations a prince of peace, & one who keeps the commandments of God. A patriarch a rightful heir, a highpriest; Coming down from the beginniug— right by birth— and also by blessing, and by promise; a father of many nations; a prince of peace; one who keeps the commandment of God; a patriarch; a rightful heir; a high priest; The first man, or Adam coming from Adam. Kings or right over Patriarchal right by appointment….Kah tou mun, a distinction of Royal <​female​> lineage ...from her whom Egypt was discovered while it was under water, who was the daughter of Ham...a true desendant from Ham, the son of Noah, and inheritor of the Kingly blessings from under the hand of Noah, but not according to the priestly blessing, because of the transgressions of Ham, which blessing fell upon Shem from under the hand of Noah; ...Iota having seen; The land of Egypt which was first discovered by a woman <​wh[i]le underwater​>, and afterwards settled by her Sons she being a daughter of Ham...land by enriched by being overflown low marshy ground; Patriarchal government; ...or order given to the patriarchs or fathers; ...a people living under the law<​s​> of the gospel; A priestly government; ...In the reign of Adam; in the days of the first patriarchs; in the days of Noah; in the blessings of Noah; in the blessings of the children of Noah; in the first blessings of men; ...going up to the altar to worship; From the beginning of the creation until now; Abraham...sent by commandment into the Land of Canaan; Having preached the gospel unto the heathen, was forewarned of God to go down into Ah=meh= strah, or Egypt, and preach the gospel ...chronology of the patriarchs the right of the priesthood,...by promise, begining at Abraham signifying the promises made to Abraham saying through thy fruits, or the seed of thy loins, the gospel shall be preached, unto all the seed meaning from Noah and unto all the kindreds of the earth; Ah=brah broam— <​The​> Father of the faithful. The first right— The elder; Kolob in the first degree, It signifies the first great grand governing fixed Star which is the fartherest that ever has been discovered by the fathers which was discovered by Methuselar and also by Abraham



JoePeaceman said...

K, I’m back, u only have me for a couple more hours today, so enjoy : )...😊❤πŸ’–

If we are to answer the questions that Jeff has raised in this post, we should first courageously stand up on the ground that he has already established, or at least openly look at what he has already shown us:
As indicated above (with additional evidence added to what we he has been discussing for over a month- including in comments), BofA text, VD text, and Pure Language text, were all created before the EA/GAEL.

Critics have tried to contradict the evidence supplied by Jeff, which shows that the twin manuscripts (created circa Oct.-Nov. 1835), don’t represent Joseph’s original dictation and were copied from an original. Critical thoughts are much appreciated, but they don’t agree with or best explain the evidence, including evidence presented by critics on their websites, etc.


For examples of responses to Jeff, etc.:

1- Jeff has explained that, given context, it’s not likely that JS dictated “royal lineage” but both scribes wrote “regular lineage” and quickly corrected with an inline “royal.”
After a check of WWP’s handwriting, I agreed, it’s more likely that the reader mistook the royal "o" for an "e" and "y" for a “g”, etc. and after quickly reading “regular” from the original, they realized that didn’t fit the context in any way and corrected before moving on. Dan Vogel found an instance where someone said “regular lineage” in the 19th Century. However, the context is "royal lineage" throughout (including the GAEL) and, in context with all the evidence, the fact that someone said it in the 19th C. doesn’t best explain the evidence and correction in this case.

2- Jeff has shown that Bethka “should have” been added to the GAEL and was added to the GAEL to align it to the previously translated BofA. Dan argues that we need to explain why it was left out, and why it was added.
This is not valid evidence.
We don’t have to know what distracted them. And, we’ve already explained that it was clearly inserted to align it to the previously translated BofA.
On the other hand, critics haven't supplied a logical reason for it being left out and then inserted. Dan also agrees that “...the GAEL was begun about the time WWP wrote Abr. 1:1-3.” Dan, continuing to argue that it was “about the” same time but to contradict all of the evidence that it was clearly before is beneath you :). Before but near the same time, or long before doesn’t matter in this case, only before.

JoePeaceman said...

❤πŸ’–πŸ˜Š3- Jeff and others have shown that Williams’ long dittography is evidence that Williams was copying from a previously translated BofA text. Dan agrees, but insists that Williams returned much later to make a personal copy of WP additional information and, instead, copied the same paragraph from the WWP/WP manuscript. Again, this isn’t the best explanation for the context of the evidence. It appears to be an attempt to maintain the productivity of critical claims. The evidence already indicates that they were copying from an original. And, even without that, textual evidence shows that it’s very unlikely that FW copied from WP:

One example is that FW left “me”out of the dittography, continued with “Abraham” and then inserted “me” in the wrong spot. This would be difficult while copying from WP, since “me” is the line end, and he’d have to jump down and left to the next line to copy Abraham first.
Also, Williams wrote “Sarai” in twin manuscript copy and he writes “Sarah” in the dittography. The “i” on the WWP/WP copy is clearly visible, and if FW were copying this he would see Sarai. But, after examining the handwriting of WWP (Scribe during July translation sessions) a final “i” could easily be read as final “h”. WWP frequently leaves the dot off his i, or writes them lightly. He also occasionally writes final i with a flat upstroke, which almost looks like an h. See “Za Ki GAEL pg 1. If preceded by Sara, this would easily be mistaken for the final h in Sarah.

There is much other evidence BUT, in hopes of moving on, I will point out that Dan has already argued that the twin manuscripts are not personal copies, as evidenced by their neglect of Abr. 1:1-3. Therefore there would be no need for Williams to return weeks later to mistakenly copy the paragraph, indenting, and then not, and then indenting where the dittography ended, as if he recognized his mistake after a few lines.

AND, Logically, the best explanation for the EA/GAEL project is that it was retrofitted to the previously created English BofA text, English VD text, and English Pure Language text. This fits the evidence and, as critics say about this (while stretching to exclude the BofA in spite of it having the most evidence for being previously translated) (words in [] are mine :)) “The [BofA, Pure Language, and] Valuable Discovery notebooks were made before the Alphabets, and the Alphabets were made before the GAEL….So we can be certain that [the BofA, Pure Language, and] VD was translated at the earliest phase of the project.”

“There is no need to speculate about anything else. We have the documents....and the order of its development is...clear..."


JoePeaceman said...

Again, I really appreciate the time that Dan has put in trying to “teach” us. Dan represents the best of Critics, and his ideas influence, and are influenced by other critical leaders (e.g.s: Metcalfe (who doesn’t want to be held responsible for lives affected), Ritner (who also may believe he’s directing the Church’s 14 million inferiors, case always closed to disagreement :)), Dehlin, Palmer, etc.) He also influences (willingly or not) groups that attack the Church of Jesus Christ by occupation (e.g.s IRR, RFM, MormonThink, etc.)
I can see that most critics, in spite of the evidence, insist that they are right to be critical, but I don’t know if they understand what motivates them to seek to do so.

Anyway, until valid contra evidence is presented, I think we may safely assume that “There is [abundant] evidence for a pre-existing manuscript,” and that “The Alphabets and Grammar ...have [almost everything] to do with the BofA.” And, then we can ask, why it is that “...these works deal with the Amenhotep papyrus and princess Katumin [AND] Abraham…[and] the pure language and evolves into defining characters from the columns flanking Fac. 1. Again, while it deals with the Book of Breathings, it has nothing to do with JS’s translation of the BofA”?

I answer that (gotta love Aquinas :)) as Jeff points out, clearly the BofA was translated first, as were the Pure language text, and the Katumin text (btw: Katumin is a solid Egyptian name- Ka=something like soul. tu= something like one. Min= the god Min or Khnum (so she’s one with Kolob? OK, you’re orbiting Kolob so should be an expert on that?>> : ), and hopefully someone sticks around to discuss Kolob and astronomy, just gotta get past the critical roadblocks :)).

Critics insist that the EA/GAEL “...has nothing to do with JS’s translation of the BofA.”
The “abhorrent” apologists agree, does not represent the translation of the BofA. However, the author (probably WWP) of the History appears to indicate that the EA/GAEL was a translation of some sort, or was meant to assist in translation, or both.
I can think of no reason for any of the previously translated texts to be included in the EA/GAEL, unless the EA/GAEL was a retrofit translation attempt at creating a Rosetta-like key, or grammar (wow, it’s right in the title, should have guessed ;)) .

So, since we all agree with Dan that “There is no need to speculate about anything else”, I’m giong to move on…. : ) (if anyone feels I’ve skipped over pertinent contradictory evidence, please point it out):

JoePeaceman said...

oops, looking through Dan’s responses and 2 things may need attention before moving on.

Perhaps he feels he has addressed Bethka with: “Bethka...Whatever reason you come up with doesn’t matter. ...They were not inserted until after Bethka was moved in the fifth degree. If you are going to argue that Bethka in the fifth degree was moved so that it would align with Abr. 1:1-2, Bethka has to actually be there before the translation…. The fact that it was moved makes it entirely possible for it to have been done after the translation….it would have to have been done correctly when the GAEL was first written…”

One more time, just to clear it up, I answer- I don’t really understand but we have demonstrated that the BofA came first, and then the EA/GAEL. Beth, Iota, Bethka, etc. were clearly aligned to the previously translated BofA text. Bethka was described in the EA as: :

“Egyptian alphabet first degree Second part
“...Beth mans first residence…”
“Bethcha another place of residence...​larger place of hapiness greater hapiness…”

When aligning it to previously translated text WWP writes:
“Beth man’s first residence” and crosses it out, favoring a broader
“Beth place of happiness, ...& rest” Note: “Beth” means house, birthplace, etc. in Hebrew. This was already known by Phelps. JS hadn’t yet begun studying the Hebrew alphabet.
Then-
“Iata— see, saw seeing… (again, Hebrew alphabet, but a complex combination)
“ Zub zool— oan— The first born, or the first man or fathers or fathers” etc.

Then..he continues looking at the previously translated BofA and “arranging” the GAEL to it, and oops, something was missed-
“Bethka the greatest place of happiness exceeding extending beyond any thing This should be inserted between Iota and Zub zool oan

BofA text was
“1 In the land of the Chaldeans, at the residince of my fathers, I, 2Abraham, 1saw, that it was needful for me to obtain another place of residence, and seeing there was greater happiness and peace and rest, for me, ...”
AND, the 2 and 1 are aligned to the specific Egyptian characters from the GAEL that are dissected into Beth, Iota, Zubzooloan, etc. and then Bethka.
I can’t see a way out Dan. But am willing to consider a clear argument (perhaps the shapes or something?).

So, yes, the translation was completed before it was moved AND before the GAEL was created "to" the BofA. Clearly the terms “should have been” and “aught to” tell us that it wasn’t done correctly but “should have” been there to match the BofA.

Anonymous said...

“I can think of no reason for any of the previously translated texts to be included in the EA/GAEL, unless the EA/GAEL was a retrofit translation attempt at creating a Rosetta-like key, or grammar”

You should spend more time thinking then. Answer one simple question. If the grammar was created after the BoA, why did Joseph need to aid in translating it? In other words why did he say he was aiding in translating a translation?

JoePeaceman said...

😊Thanks for asking Anon. I can tell you're thinking and, when properly applied, thinking/feeling will lead you to truth :), but not if you're not open to it :). Hopefully you still are.

It’s a good question-If Joseph had already translated the VD, Pure Language, and BofA texts, why did he have to help with creating the EA/GAEL?
I think Joseph’s involvement is a separate question, and relates more to what the EA/GAEL was intended to be, and how he interacted with other leaders in 1835. I was headed in that general direction. There was one more thing to discuss, but I can't remember what that was at the moment.

Until then:
SUMMARY:

The evidence indicates that Jeff, Gee, Nibley, Kerry (Muhlestein is a rough spell), abhorrent apologists, and so on, were, and are, correct to believe the BofA was at least partially translated before applicable portions of the EA/GAEL were developed. The BofA, Pure Language, Valuable Discovery, etc. influenced and helped create the EA/GAEL.
As the JSPP editors put it: "That the characters in the Egyptian alphabet presented here were copied from more than one source suggests that what is termed an “Egyptian alphabet” may have been part of a comprehensive project that synthesized characters from various source texts." Evidence shows that this should also be applied to the English source texts, not just the characters.

The contrary evidence, which we have considered together, hasn't overturned the abundant evidence showing that the BofA came first. 1 example: "choppiness" doesn’t indicate dependence. We haven’t been able to truly define “choppiness” but it seems to exist beyond Abr. 1:1-2 and experience teaches me that having a rough draft for Abr. 1:1-2 would make it less "choppy," not more. And, Abr. 1:1-2 follows a pattern that exists in other ancient texts, especially from Abraham’s approximate time.

Anonymous said...

You still haven’t answered the question. You yourself provided the quote:

“Joseph’s History records:
July 19 ‘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....’”

“The contrary evidence, which we have considered together, hasn't overturned the abundant evidence showing that the BofA came first.”

Except for the quote you provided from Joseph’s journal above. The “evidence” you have provided is mostly assumptions based on your own bias. He is translating the alphabet. If the text had already been translated in the BoA, why the need to translate it again?

JoePeaceman said...

😊❤Anon asked an excellent question about Joseph’s involvement with the KEP. I've been busy but--before we continue to discuss the evidence presented by Jeff and others supporting that the BofA was translated first, that the BofA. is ancient, that there is missing BofA papyri as well as manuscript, and so on--I think it’s a good idea to PAUSE and, in a BofA context, discuss a basic tenet held by many Critics of the Church of Jesus Christ.

One area where many stumble, and sell their sealings for a mess of worldly respect, or etc is the place where doubt tells us that everything done by a prophet is revelation and, since Peter, Paul, Mary, Abraham, Isaiah, President Nelson, and Joseph had a so called “direct line to Heaven”, their beliefs, about the world around them, should exhibit nothing contrary to ours. Of course, we know it’s not a fair assumption, even Jesus grew in wisdom, but we cling, in justifying our fall.


In that light, pulling ourselves from presentism and prejudice, what are the KEP? Of course, we don’t know, but we have clues and evidence.
Whether we are comfortable with it or not, JS demonstrated a miraculous gift for translating ancient scripture into English. For millions of educated 21st C individuals, who those have withstood the tests and attacks of time. Others wished for this gift and Joseph encouraged them to seek. D&C 6&9 are clear evidence of this. There is also evidence for reverse translation efforts prior to the GAEL. We’ve discussed Oliver’s attempt to translate the English of Jacob 5 back into an ancient language. He signed this “by Oliver” so it’s likely by Oliver.
This effort was ongoing but, evidently, by 1835 they may have been exploring Paul’s teachings that each had unique gifts. Joseph’s gift apparently only worked in the Lord’s way, and only with legitimate religious documents. He could not translate just any Egyptian, Kinderhook, Greek, Hebrew, or etc. through the stones, and, at this time, especially not through more mundane mental processes. (The fact that he may have tried and failed shows that he was sincere in his seeking to know how things worked.) He could translate scriptures, and the evidence shows that he began helping, or working with, others to explore different avenues for development.
Parrish, Phelps, and Cowdery were each interested in translating, and Phelps and Cowdery are known to have tried methods which differed from Joseph’s.

JoePeaceman said...

😊❤

Phelps was impressed that JS translated without a GAEL as he wrote in the 1833 Star:
“The book of Mormon, as a revelation from God, possesses some advantage over the old scripture: it has not been tinctured by the wisdom of man...-It was translated by the gift and power of God, by an unlearned man, through the aid of a pair of Interpreters”
But not all could translate this way, OC was assigned to record and reinterpret blessings. In September he added portions of the previously translated/revealed books of Abraham and Joseph, and, perhaps a bit miffed, added that he was supposed to translate next to Joseph and could do this with his superior intelligence. This isn’t Joseph’s “unfolding” by direct inspiration from Heaven through Urim and Thummim.

Phelps was also blessed with a different gift. If he would humble himself “...because he taketh honor to himself…have understanding in all sciences and languages…”
Phelps already believed that -“Hebrew “was nearer the pure language, with which Adam gave names, than any other since used by man.” 1832 Star

So, this isn’t all from Joseph’s direct line to God. Others are involved, clearly, and they are seeking out of the best books, developing a gift in all sciences and languages…” studying Hebrew under Seixas a few weeks after the GAEL project failed. The note in the History about translating an alphabet is, as Dan points out, most likely written from Phelps' point of view, and it only implies that Joseph was involved, not that it's a project for him, by him, and of his previous methods. Again, as Dan points out, this project is for others, they already have BofA text. They're trying to create a Grammar for another purpose.

JoePeaceman said...


So, what kind of translation was translating an Egyptian Alphabet to a previously revealed BofA?

I suggested a 19th C. science research effort, based on more mainstream thinking (vs JS’ method) about how the ancients communicated through writing.”

Dan said: “Nonsense. There’s no way to take the BofA and either shrink or expand meanings without claiming revelation. It’s not scientifically done. If it were, you could understand the process they were using. Besides, most of the Alphabets and bound Grammar don’t have anything to do with the BofA.”

Critics tend to mix things up. Especially with the BofA. Ritner, for example, based on enthroned false assumptions, has closed his mind to conversations of the evidence, seen by millions, supporting the belief that Joseph translated the BofA by revelation. If I remember correctly, Ritner also writes against us, implying that disagreement with him by us (or our Church), is dishonest because he has closed all cases. Phelps’ use of the GAEL in a letter can only be a statement by Joseph that he read Egyptian by conventional means when translating the BofA.

The evidence indicates that the BofA was translated by Joseph through revelation. The GAEL, however, is different. Again, Phelps was instructed to seek understanding in “ all sciences and languages…”

JoePeaceman said...

πŸ˜ŠπŸ’–❤True science is in a state of constant change, and in the 19th C. people saw Egyptian differently. This doesn't make them charlatans or pious frauds. Champollion had recently begun to crack the code building on the science of Kircher, Jesuit scholar.

Ritner, in his article published, apparently with permission, by peers at Lighthouse Ministry, implies that 19th C. people still believed in Kircher, and that JS was translating like that. Eyewitness accounts inform us that Joseph translated the BofA by revelation. But, I’m not sure with the GAEL, maybe it was more like Kircher, maybe Ritner is right about something? Since Ritner’s ability to read Egyptian makes him an expert in almost every field ;) (especially our Church History), let's take a look:

Quoting Wiki on Kircher: he was a "...polymath published around 40 major works and “...claimed to have deciphered the hieroglyphic writing...some commentators regard him as the (true) founder of Egyptology. A scientific star in his day [Budge ripped on him as a charlatan, and Ritner seems to agree?]...In the late 20th century, however, the aesthetic qualities of his work again began to be appreciated...described Kircher as "a giant among...scholars", and "one of the last thinkers who could rightfully claim all knowledge as his domain"..."many of Kircher's actual ideas today seem wildly off-base, if not simply bizarre,"... he was "a man of awe-inspiring erudition and inventiveness," whose work was read "by the smartest minds of the time ...Horapollon...hieroglyphics were "picture writing" and that future translators should look for symbolic meaning in the pictures...Kircher helped pioneer Egyptology as a field of serious study…. He learned Coptic...published the first grammar of that language...published four volumes of "translations" of hieroglyphs..."none of them even remotely fitted the original texts".

More from always neutral WIKI (unless it’s those Mormons ) : ) “In Oedipus Aegyptiacus, Kircher argued under the impression of the Hieroglyphica that ancient Egyptian was the language spoken by Adam and Eve...symbols which "cannot be translated by words, but expressed only by marks, characters and figures."...translate simple hieroglyphic texts now known to read as ḏd Wsr ("Osiris says") as "The treachery of Typhon ends at the throne of Isis; the moisture of nature is guarded by the vigilance of Anubis"[16]...Wallis Budge: Many writers pretended to have found the key to the hieroglyphics, and many more professed, with a shameless impudence which is hard to understand in these days, to translate the contents of the texts into a modern tongue. Foremost among such pretenders must be mentioned Athanasius Kircher…...are utter nonsense,...data which he collected were later consulted by Champollion in his successful efforts to decode the script. According to Joseph MacDonnell, it was "because of Kircher's work that scientists knew what to look for when interpreting the Rosetta stone".[18]... example of syncretic and eclectic scholarship...)

hold that thought, I'll return ASAP-- luv ya'll : )

Anonymous said...

“The evidence indicates that the BofA was translated by Joseph through revelation. The GAEL, however, is different.”

So you’re now saying that the text that appears in both locations was translated by traditional means, and not by revelation?

JoePeaceman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JoePeaceman said...


Anon Ok 😊
I think we’d be shooting beyond the mark if we tried to trap the BofA translation into the same box as the EA\GAEL. What I’m saying is,“The evidence indicates that the BofA was translated by Joseph through revelation. The GAEL, however, is different.”
Since others desired to translate like or with Joseph, but had failed, it’s likely that they tried to create a Grammar and Alphabet of the Egyptian language, to facilitate the others, not Joseph. As we’ve pointed out, Joseph didn’t need an EA/GAEL Apparently, Phelps referred to part of this “arranging” process as translation, but the History also calls it “research”. Dan argues that they tried to order some Egyptian characters by shape. Evidently, they also arranged Semitic alphabet meanings “to” the previously translated BofA and, as Dan points out, they attempted to expand and simplify meanings of phrases, which were clearly taken from previously translated texts, especially the BofA (not sure if Dan was able to admit that last part yet, hopefully he’s openly thinking, but the BofA was clearly the key text).

Translation of the EA could have been, for example, Phelps’ trying to receive revelation, but,
evidence indicates that the EA was more of a study of shapes, and etc., where they took known Semitic letters, previously translated texts, etc. and, with fallible minds, logically associated them, trying to develop a grammar.
I know Sir Robert would probably bravely run away from our open GAEL conversations (while humbly rushing in to pontificate and tread on higher matters of faith (our faith) since “Faced by [his] solid phalanx of PhD’s, Mormons [will be] properly overawed.” :), and I’m respectfully feeling that, btw) but If he were to be here and allow questioning (even though his case is closed), he might be able to see that his proposal (Joseph produced the “elaborate [BofA] account from a few Egyptian signs”) is still as impossible as it was in the 1960s when Nibley discussed it. However, the EA\GAEL does appear to have been a more scholarly work, maybe even something a little closer to the operating system of Ritner’s “discredited” founder of Egyptology.

And, to avoid being sued I should probably say I added the [words in brackets] for clarity : ). Quotes from Ritner’s “The Breathing Permit of Hor” Among the Joseph Smith Papyri”.

JoePeaceman said...

πŸ’–πŸ˜Š❤ or anyone :)

Evidence that the BofA translation was different from the EA\GAEL “translation”.


1- Joseph’s traditional method of translating brought us the Books of Moses, Mormon, Abraham, etc.
Each is unique but clearly contain scripture rooted in antiquity. They have withstood the tests of time. The BofM, for example, has changed millions of lives for the better In spite of that, over the past 2 centuries, countless critics, scholars, preachers, middle school bullies, hate groups, and even playwrights, etc have wasted their energies mocking and trying to destroy it and, especially, what it represents. It stands firmly against the best of the best of critics, and a varied and ever growing body of evidence continues to sustain it as a most powerful witness of Christ (if not the most powerful witness).

The BofA is also a translation into English of ancient scripture which testifies of Christ. As Val Sederholm points out (discussing Olishem): “...besides the accidental phonetic similarity, are we also dealing with an accidental thematic correspondence?...Exactly how does a book of 14 pages produce dozens upon dozens of linguistic, cultural, thematic, theological, and literary points of comparison to the Ancient Near Eastern record? The numbers are no exaggeration. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with no hesitation whatsoever, not even a hint of abatement, continues to post the canonical Book of Abraham on line and to print copies by the tens of thousands in scores of languages. There is a lot of explaining to do.” “ "< :) OK?

The Grammar, as such, has not withstood the test of time.
Jeff and others have supplied sufficient evidence showing that the BofA was at least partially translated before the extant KEP manuscripts and GAEL were created. The EA\GAEL contains phrases or elements from the English BofA, Valuable Document (likely), scroll of Hor, Phelps' Pure language, and etc. It also has Hebrew and shows an attempt to align concepts from the BofA to the known meaning of Hebrew. They may have also ordered Egyptian and other characters by shape. These could be called translations, but are clearly not Joseph’s revelatory method. There is nothing wrong with trying to figure out Egyptian (or whatever) using the science of the times, if they did... : )

Evidence to the contrary?

Anonymous said...

Evidence:

The remainder of this month, I was continually engaged in translating an alphabet to the Book of Abraham.

It wasn’t a passing thing. He didn’t say he was helping others in their attempts to translate. Again—why the need to translate an already translated text? You still haven’t answered the question.

You associate the preposition “to” with creation. That’s a large assumption, and one not born out by the evidence. You have expressed some familiarity with computer programming. In programming, you often create & define variables that the program can refer to as it runs. You are creating variables “to” your program, but the program isn’t necessarily created, indeed the first line of script often isn’t even started when variables are defined. Think of the alphabet & grammar in a similar fashion. The BoA needn’t have been created for a grammar “to” it to be created.

Anonymous said...

“The BofM, for example, has changed millions of lives for the better“

Billions in other religions can make the same claim about their religion. This is not evidence for the BoM, it’s evidence for the role of religion and morality.

Anonymous said...

“It stands firmly against the best of the best of critics.”

This is your opinion. To most outside of Mormondom, it has long since been toppled.

JoePeaceman said...

Thanks, Anon
The History implies that Joseph worked with others on the EA\GAEL during the last 11 days of July. But, in my opinion, that’s not evidence that the EA\GAEL was revealed by Joseph. It’s actually additional evidence that they were working on something more secular. Revelation works differently.


I’m not sure what else you're saying but Phelps and Richards weren’t computer programmers so they probably weren’t thinking as we do. Most critics want to read the History as 2 different methods of translating the BofA.
Of course, Dan doesn’t read it that way because he knows the documents better than other critics and understands that the GAEL wasn’t used to translate the BofA.

But, to answer your question again— JS translated the BofA into English. Then, they tried to “translate” an alphabet to the BofA. This was something different. Under “Rosetta Stone” it says “How did Champollion decipher hieroglyphs? Champollion could read both Greek and coptic. (JS, WWP, OC, etc. could read English and WWP knew a little Hebrew, and they understood that the languages were related.) ‘Rosetta Stone” continues “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 evidence indicates that Joseph translated parts of the BofA into English first, and then worked with others to try to do something that some call ‘reverse engineering” or “reverse translating”. Phelps/Richards evidently used the term “translating”. They were two different kinds of translation.

FROM FAIR- “The KEP...that they represent a likely attempt to "reverse engineer" the translation by matching Egyptian characters from the papyri to the revealed text in an attempt to create a dictionary of the Egyptian language.”
And- Nibley “...took the view that the KEP represent either a preliminary "studying it out" stage in the process, or a (failed) attempt to reverse engineer the English translation so as to decipher the Egyptian language. In other words, the English text of the Book of Abraham was received by revelation as opposed to a purely mechanical process.”

JoePeaceman said...


“It stands firmly against the best of the best of critics.”

This is your opinion. To most outside of Mormondom, it has long since been toppled.

(That's their opinion, because they haven't actually toppled it, and can't supply evidence to support that claim. : )


“The BofM, for example, has changed millions of lives for the better“

Billions in other religions can make the same claim about their religion.

(If the BofM has improved billions of lives, even better. : )

Anonymous said...

“That's their opinion, because they haven't actually toppled it, and can't supply evidence to support that claim. : )“

Flat earthers also ignore evidence that disproves their belief system—doesn’t mean it hasn’t been disproven.

Anonymous said...

“Phelps/Richards evidently used the term ‘translating.’”

The quote above is from Joseph’s journal wherein he called the process “translation” referring to the grammar. Why would he refer to his work as translation if he had already done it for the BoA?

The quote says he translated the alphabet and organized the grammar. This suggests two different activities. When in Joseph’s religious exploits did he refer to his gift of translation as anything but creation of religious text through revelation?

“Then, they tried to ‘translate’ an alphabet to the BofA. This was something different.”

Different how? The relevant texts are the same between the two documents.

“I’m not sure what else you're saying but Phelps and Richards weren’t computer programmers”

You’re right—computers weren’t even invented then. What a silly analogy. I’m embarrassed.

JoePeaceman said...

Ok, so perhaps Dan has seen the light of BofA first: ). Anons generally just want to feel they’ve won something, while losing everything… I’m moving on : ) to other questions, after explaining one more time 😊.maybe we can learn more together

I can’t ignore that which doesn’t exist. There is no evidence that topples the BofM. :)

The quote I gave was from the History written in first person, typically after the fact, as Dan and I discussed. Dan argues that Phelps influenced Richards/Bullocks’ views.

Again, the evidence indicates that the BofA, Valuable Document, etc were translated first. The BofA was clearly translated by Joseph and by revelation. The EA translation was reverse engineering or reverse translation. Look at the EA/GAEL and you can see that it’s a completely different process vs BofA translation. The Greek text on the Rosetta Stone had been translated. The demotic was reverse translated from knowing what it said already. They were each translations or decipherment or unfolding or whatever we want to call it. But they were two different things. Champollion and Young wouldn’t be famous if they simply translated what the rock said in Greek and left it at that.
The “translation” of an alphabet is something different than the translation of a text.
Look at the EA/GAEL. 😊

JoePeaceman said...

I think we can agree that the papyri currently owned by the Church were not the source of the BofA text.
ABRAHAM
Generally, questions about the BofA can be summarized with 2 groups of 4:
Important questions
-Is it of God and thus relevant to my family, sealing, etc.? Best if we ask God on that. :)
-
Is it from an ANCIENT text or texts? Yes, over 100 unavailable (to JS) sources show that.

Evidence to the contrary-- Critics aren’t impressed.

TRANSLATION questions
-Hasn’t the source been translated and found to have nothing about Abraham? No, we clearly don’t have the apparent source. There are 2 leading theories on this. a. It was given by pure revelation. I don’t have a problem with this, but I currently feel that the evidence supports-- b. The source was among the purchased papyri, and is now missing.

Best EVIDENCE for a missing source-
a. eyewitnesses described a source that we no longer have.

Critical evidence supplied against a missing source- What is your best?


What are the KEP? Jeff has answered.

What about facsimiles? After we understand the source we will be prepared to learn about facs. 😊

Anonymous said...

Are we taking bets on whether Joe will ever actual answer the anon's question regarding JS using the word translation in reference to the grammar in JS's own journal?

Anonymous said...

“Are we taking bets on whether Joe will ever actual answer the anon's question regarding JS using the word translation in reference to the grammar in JS's own journal?”

“I’m moving on : ) to other questions”

Appears that the answer is no—we will not be getting an answer.

Anonymous said...

“The quote I gave was from the History written in first person, typically after the fact, as Dan and I discussed.”

So you’re throwing your own quote under the bus as being unreliable? What about the all-important “to” contained in it that proves the BoA was translated first (or I suppose we are to assume that’s the one word in the quote that was correct)?

“Again, the evidence indicates that the BofA, Valuable Document, etc were translated first.”

What evidence? You just impugned your best evidence.

“Champollion and Young wouldn’t be famous if they simply translated what the rock said in Greek and left it at that.”

Joseph and his cohorts weren’t using an intermediary language to create the translation. I’m not sure how this relates. The processes weren’t the same.

“Best EVIDENCE for a missing source-
a. eyewitnesses described a source that we no longer have.”

This logic always confuses me. For the sake of argument, let’s suppose there is a missing text that was the source. Why are we to assume that the translation of that source is any more on point than the translations of known sources? We have proof of attempted translations with the known source documents and they are incorrect. We know that Joseph, for the most part, didn’t even refer to the writing on the gold plates to create the BoM. Why is it important that there be a missing source if the relationship between the source document and the translated text is irrelevant?

JoePeaceman said...

Anons Y'all are some of the best Critics :). I love you but it seems you or I have missed something. I was thinking Dan, etc. and I were discussing a quote from the History of the Church, written by W. Richards. Dan argues that Richards was influenced by Phelps. Dan has been wrong before, but there’s no evidence that this quote doesn’t accurately represent Phelps’ point of view about what JS was doing. It might even represent Joseph’s point of view.
Also, there’s evidence that Joseph, Richards, Phelps, etc. applied the terms “translating,”translation”, “unfolding”, etc. to more than a single event, method, or practice. We’ve discussed Oliver’s attempts to “translate” by pondering, and additions to Blessings, reverse translation of Jacob 5, and etc. We’ve also discussed that JS studied Hebrew, Greek, etc. The JSPP editors say: “JS and other church members, as encouraged by an 1833 revelation, also sought to acquire conventional translation skill through the academic study of other languages, including Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and German.”
Ultimately, none of that matters. A boat load of evidence has been supplied to support that the BofA came first.
It’s a bit silly to try to spin their attempt to translate an alphabet into evidence that he didn’t translate the BofA first, especially since the alphabet decoding project was clearly based on previously translated texts and, therefore, the alphabet project lends further support to the idea that the BofA came first.

And, if I haven’t answered the question about the use of the word “translating” I think you’re going to have to restate it. It seems pretty clear to me that they were trying to crack an Egyptian alphabet. The question is similar to asking why Champollion would try to translate the Demotic on the Rosetta Stone if he already knew what the Rosetta Stone said, because he had translated the Greek and etc.
😊

JoePeaceman said...


I feel ready to move on. We have a sufficient understanding of the KEP and the evidence is quite clear. But, I hate to leave y’all behind. So, since you’re such awesome Critics 😊 I’ll do my best to agree with what it seems you’re saying:

Evidence that the BofA was translated first and the EA/Gael “translation” was a different type of project: See the past month of conversations,Jeff’s blogs, Dan’s evidence that the EA has nothing to do with the BofA translation and etc. etc. etc. :)

Critical evidence to the contrary: Best- they insist that they’re right, and they always are, regardless of the evidence. Also, : ) they’ve asked why Joseph would have to translate an alphabet. And, after translating the BofA, Joseph engaged in “research” on translating an “Egyptian” alphabet to the BofA, to be used in more secular ways. He also studied the Hebrew alphabet, and etc. This proves he didn’t translate the BofA first, or at all, and we don’t really even have a BofA because he had to study and learn and grow in wisdom and stature and God didn’t just hand him omniscience and so he tried to translate an alphabet and couldn’t have produced a BofA from that :).

JoePeaceman said...

Yay!, you won : ) (regardless of truth ;)), and I’m so excited that we are moving on to more important questions…. because, if we’ve been paying attention for the past month we know the BofA came first :). And, for those still spinning that one—-well, critics just disbelieve….;) 😁
❤️❤️πŸ’ƒπŸΌ

“Best EVIDENCE for a missing source-
a. eyewitnesses described a source that we no longer have.”

b. Critical evidence showing that there isn’t any missing source:

Anons say- “This logic always confuses me…” yada yada, hmmmm….no evidence provided?

But, why be bothered with such things? We all know that Joseph couldn’t speak Hebrew in 1835, (and was even corrected by Pratt in 1836), and they weren’t successful at cracking the Egytpian alphabet, therefore we don’t need to worry about anything else and we can’t be held responsible for the lives we’ve helped destroy.
😁, So, since it appears that the evidence supports a missing manuscript, are you ready to move on?

What is the best evidence against the BofA?
😐I’m open to considering.

JoePeaceman said...

And, if the best is that they didn’t crack the alphabet, then I’ll be happy to discuss that 😊but not if you’re just trying to get out of admitting that the BofA cane first. That could go on forever, depending on how stubborn you are 🌻

Anonymous said...

Joe,

First I’d like to know the relevance of jumping down that rabbit hole. What difference does it make if there is a missing text (see my questions above)?

“I’m open to considering.”

Riiiiiiight.

JoePeaceman said...

My answer to the question was that we don’t have a known source for anything JS translated by revelation. We have the books though. And I’ll try to return to discuss your BofA questions (astronomy and…?seems there was something else) but I still have other questions.
Not sure what rabbit hole you speak of 😊
The difference is in the answers to how we got the BofA 😊and how the facsimiles relate

JoePeaceman said...

For example, it helps answer the questions Jeff’s reader asked. Of course it would be nice to have the source, but my interest isnt in proving the BofA as much as understanding the process. It seems the Lord arranges things so that we aren’t forced to believe anything, and it’s rather convenient for critics that the RLDS library burned and the museum and etc. 😊

JoePeaceman said...

And, I’m going to move this to Jeff’s next blog, where open minds are πŸ‘‹❤️❤️

Anonymous said...

God is always making things convenient for the critics. I wonder why God would do that?

JoePeaceman said...

I don’t always understand God, but I do know that He loves us, and assume that He loves you (perhaps because He sees beyond the hateful exterior and down into your heart?), therefore He wants you to have a chance. ❤️

Anonymous said...

“we don’t have a known source for anything JS translated by revelation“

So the canonized facsimiles weren’t translated by revelation? Does your bishop know you reject canonized scripture as uninspired?

Anonymous said...

Joe - Maybe God is always making things convenient for the your critics the same way he tests faith by planting dinosaurs and fossil records to deceive people into think evolution What is this "hateful exterior" you speak of? Please elaborate.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:04 - Maybe the facsimiles are like the chapter headings, not considered canonized.