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 Post subject: Book of Abraham and the Latest Apologetics
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 1:21 pm 
High Goddess of Atlantis
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OK, I think I missed something...

Last I heard, most well informed apologists embraced the CT (catalyst theory), or maybe the MT, (mnemonic theory). I thought all but a handful of apologists still believe the Book of Abraham was translated from the actual writings (or a copy of the writings) of Abraham.

Am I mistaken? Who is still holding onto the, what shall we call it, AOWT, (Abraham's own writing theory)?

Further, is it now trying to be shown that Abraham (or someone) attached his writings onto a burial document in Egypt? This makes no sense to me... Or is the "written in his own hand" going to be removed from the Book of Abraham intro?

I am so confused... :confused: Can someone give a brief little overview of the latest? (I don't mean all the details but a simple update)?

Thanks a bunch!

~td~

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 Post subject: Re: Book of Abraham and the Latest Apologetics
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 1:32 pm 
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I subscribe to the JDKD* theory.













*Joseph Didn't Know Dick


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 Post subject: Re: Book of Abraham and the Latest Apologetics
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 1:40 pm 
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silentkid wrote:
I subscribe to the JDKD* theory.


*Joseph Didn't Know Dick


OMG... this has kept me laughing for the last five minutes! :lol:

(I want to put about ten smilies here but Shades would be tempted to ban me. Well, not really but he may have a rise in blood pressure)! :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Book of Abraham and the Latest Apologetics
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 1:47 pm 
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The other day on MADB, David Bokovoy said that the BofA is Joseph Smith's reinterpretation of the papyri, not a translation of an ancient record. I would completely agree with that, except David believes the reinterpretation to have been inspired.

To me, that means the BofA is a 19th-century production. Game over.

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 Post subject: Re: Book of Abraham and the Latest Apologetics
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:00 pm 
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Hi Runtu,

Thanks, wow, I have never heard of th RT (Reinterpretation Theory) before. So does David think the actual writing on the papyri was Abraham's? Is he going along with Gee and the MST (missing scroll theory)?

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 Post subject: Re: Book of Abraham and the Latest Apologetics
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:04 pm 
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truth dancer wrote:
Hi Runtu,

Thanks, wow, I have never heard of th RT (Reinterpretation Theory) before. So does David think the actual writing on the papyri was Abraham's?


No, he doesn't think the papyri have anything to do with Abraham. In some ways, this is just the catalyst theory revisited.

Quote:
Is he going along with Gee and the MST (missing scroll theory)?


No, because he believes that, like section 7 of the D&C, this was a revelation, not a translation.

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 Post subject: Re: Book of Abraham and the Latest Apologetics
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:19 pm 
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Hi TD and Runtu (my two favorite posters),

What acronymical theory does Smith's Papyri alphabet fall under?

And, by the way, do you know where the original is or where a facsimile may be obtained?

I never seem to get a straight answer when I ask this.



inc.


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 Post subject: Re: Book of Abraham and the Latest Apologetics
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:24 pm 
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Inconceivable wrote:
Hi TD and Runtu (my two favorite posters),

What acronymical theory does Smith's Papyri alphabet fall under?


The most common acronym I've seen is GAEL (Grammar and Alphabet of the Egyptian Language). The GAEL plus the JSP (Joseph Smith Papyri) make up the Kirtland Egyptian Papers. But then Chris Smith is probably the guy to ask.

My understanding is that proponents of the "missing scroll' theory deny that the GAEL have anything to do with the Book of Abraham.

Quote:
And, by the way, do you know where the original is or where a facsimile may be obtained?


No idea. Again, Chris or Will might know.

Quote:
I never seem to get a straight answer when I ask this.

inc.


Well, I'm not sure how much help I am here.

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 Post subject: Re: Book of Abraham and the Latest Apologetics
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:33 pm 
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Seriously,

To see Smith's egyptian alphabet, wouldn't that be a simple pass/fail?

I mean, either it parallels the Rosetta Stone translation or it's ABLOC*?

Is this a fair assesment?







*a butt load of crap - theory


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 Post subject: Re: Book of Abraham and the Latest Apologetics
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:37 pm 
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Inconceivable wrote:
Seriously,

To see Smith's egyptian alphabet, wouldn't that be a simple pass/fail?

I mean, either it parallels the Rosetta Stone translation or it's ABLOCT?

Is this a fair assesment?

(a butt load of crap theory)


The apologists readily admit that the Egyptian Alphabet is, as you say, a butt load of crap. But they tell us that Joseph Smith had nothing to do with the GAEL, which was just Joseph's scribes trying their hand (unsuccessfully) at translating the Egyptian. If I understand the argument right, Chris Smith and Brent Metcalfe argue that the GAEL are the scribes' copies of Joseph's translation, which, if it's true, nullifies the missing scroll theory.

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 Post subject: Re: Book of Abraham and the Latest Apologetics
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:44 pm 
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To my knowledge, images of the entire collection of documents known as the Kirtland Egyptian Papers will accompany the forthcoming volume.

td:
Quote:
Last I heard, most well informed apologists embraced the CT (catalyst theory), or maybe the MT, (mnemonic theory).

I don't believe that has ever been the case. Of course, I'm not sure there has ever been a significant number of people who could have been characterized as "well informed apologists". But of those I've known, very very few bought into the "mnemonic device" theory. In fact, its original proponent apparently no longer considers it a tenable proposition.

Unfortunately, when you say "catalyst theory" you're making reference to something that manifests itself in very different ways. For example, I believe that the Book of Abraham was produced in the same fashion as the Book of Mormon and D&C 7, but I also remain persuaded that these papyri have a relationship to Ptolemaic Jewish thought and practices, and that an Abraham text did appear on the lost portion of papyrus (the extant portion representing only a mere fraction of the original whole). That, of course, differs from Bokovoy's thinking in a very significant way.

And that's about as much of an answer as you'll ever get from me on this particular message board ...

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 Post subject: Re: Book of Abraham and the Latest Apologetics
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:44 pm 
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Hello Truth Dancer,

Most of the LDS Apologists believe in the Missing Papyrus Theory for the Book of Abraham. The Following is from part an interview that the Chief LDS Apologist, Daniel C. Peterson gave, with PBS:


Quote:
The last one is -- and this has come up for a number of people who really were sort of shattered for a while -- is the problem of the Book of Abraham. Could you talk about that and your own understanding of it? ...

The Book of Abraham is a lesser-known text in the Mormon canon of Scripture. It's part of what's called the Pearl of Great Price, and it purports to be a document written by the hand of Abraham that was recovered by Joseph Smith, translated [from] a group of papyri that he recovered while living in Kirtland, Ohio. The papyri were lost for a long time, ... and eventually the papyri came back to the church, and people were saying, now this is a real chance to test Joseph Smith's claims as a translator, as a prophet: Do the papyri match up with what Joseph Smith gave us? And the answer is no; ... they don't, if you translate them in a conventional Egyptological way, give you the text of the Book of Abraham.

Now, there are several possible responses to that. The one that I personally find the most persuasive is we only have a small part of the collection. We have possibly about 11 or 12 percent of the papyri that belonged to that collection, ... so it's very possible that there was a text that would be translatable, even by a conventional Egyptologist, into the Book of Abraham, but we don't have it now. But even that seems to me not altogether necessary. We know that Joseph didn't translate in the way that a scholar would translate. He didn't know Egyptian, ... so he was getting it by revelation. That even opens up the possibility to me that even if Joseph thought he was getting it from the papyri, he may not have been. How would he have been able to know? I'm not saying he wasn't. My own preferred solution to this is to say that he was, and the papyrus is missing. ...

What they ought to be focusing on is the book itself, which I think is a remarkable thing. It has ties to the ancient world all over the place in very interesting ways, which I think Joseph wouldn't have come up with. ... I would defend it by saying, look, we've got this translation; let's look at the content of the book itself. Does it hold up? My argument would be yes, it does, and that that's where people ought to be focusing. The papyri were a deceptively clear indicator; in fact, they may not indicate anything. ...


( Link: http://www.pbs.org/Mormons/interviews/peterson.html , Bold Emphasis Mine. )



However, The Following is from what Egyptologist Professor, Robert K. Ritner, stated:


Quote:
The original width of the papyrus was correctly estimated by Baer as being about 150–55 cm, allowing for textual restorations and the now lost Facsimile 3.33

...

33 Baer, p. 127, n. 113. There is no justification for
Gee’s unsubstantiated attempt to more than double this
figure to “320 cm (about 10 feet)” in Gee, A Guide to
the Joseph Smith Papyri, pp. 10 and 12–13. Gee presumably
wishes to allow space for a supposedly “lost
hieratic text” of The Book of Abraham; his figure
derives from the average length of a manufactured
(blank) Ptolemaic papyrus roll—not comparable, individual
documents cut from such a roll.


( Link: http://www.bookofabraham.com/ritner_article.pdf )



Here are some other Links for some more information about this important Topic:



SOLVING THE MYSTERY OF THE JOSEPH SMITH PAPYRI:
http://www.utlm.org/newsletters/no82.htm


Chapter 5 - Do Papyri Fragments=Book of Abraham?:
http://www.bookofabraham.com/boamathie/BOA_5.html


Conventional Translation Denies All Evidence:
http://web.archive.org/web/200710280536 ... /id622.htm


The Book of Abraham II:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=656


Has John Gee Pulled Another Fast One?:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3650


Why Nibley and Gee cannot be trusted:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3715


A General FYI on missing papyrus and such:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3942


Book of Abraham/Papyri/Long article:
http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Abraha ... ng_article


Book of Abraham/Size of missing papyrus:
http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Abraha ... ng_papyrus


New Book of Abraham Thread on MAD:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8646

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Last edited by Brackite on Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:58 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Book of Abraham and the Latest Apologetics
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:50 pm 
God
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Runtu wrote:
Inconceivable wrote:
Seriously,

To see Smith's egyptian alphabet, wouldn't that be a simple pass/fail?

I mean, either it parallels the Rosetta Stone translation or it's ABLOCT?

Is this a fair assesment?

(a butt load of crap theory)


The apologists readily admit that the Egyptian Alphabet is, as you say, a butt load of crap. But they tell us that Joseph Smith had nothing to do with the GAEL, which was just Joseph's scribes trying their hand (unsuccessfully) at translating the Egyptian. If I understand the argument right, Chris Smith and Brent Metcalfe argue that the GAEL are the scribes' copies of Joseph's translation, which, if it's true, nullifies the missing scroll theory.

No. You're confused on some important points. The "GAEL" is not the same as "KEPA" which are different from the "KEPE" which are different from the "JSP".

You're currently confusing the GAEL with the KEPA. [Head spins around 360 degrees ...]

Look, I've always maintained that this is not a topic for the faint of heart, nor for those who want everything to be tied up in a neat simple box. The KEP are a box of sometimes related, and yet often very unrelated documents dating back to 1835.

No one left any notes about what they represented.

That's what people are trying to figure out.

I will only claim that the initial conclusions were largely incorrect. Very incorrect in many ways.

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 Post subject: Re: Book of Abraham and the Latest Apologetics
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:53 pm 
I wish I knew how to build up and sustain an interest in this subject. These days it interests me as much as wanting to know whether the Book of Mormon is "history". Nevertheless I'm a bit fascinated at times at all the quibbling.

Book of Mormon: Not history.

Book of Abraham: Joseph Smith's invention.

Nothing could be clearer. Nothing.


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 Post subject: Re: Book of Abraham and the Latest Apologetics
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:00 pm 
God
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William Schryver wrote:
No. You're confused on some important points. The "GAEL" is not the same as "KEPA" which are different from the "KEPE" which are different from the "JSP".

You're currently confusing the GAEL with the KEPA. [Head spins around 360 degrees ...]

Look, I've always maintained that this is not a topic for the faint of heart, nor for those who want everything to be tied up in a neat simple box. The KEP are a box of sometimes related, and yet often very unrelated documents dating back to 1835.

No one left any notes about what they represented.

That's what people are trying to figure out.

I will only claim that the initial conclusions were largely incorrect. Very incorrect in many ways.


Thanks for the correction. This is not an area that I've spent a lot of time with, obviously. I'll defer to those who have, such as Chris, Brent, and Will.

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 Post subject: Re: Book of Abraham and the Latest Apologetics
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:00 pm 
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Thanks for the links, Brackite,

Seems there is always a reference to something that has been lost or otherwise misplaced.

You wonder why it is nearly always the important stuff and not the inconsequencial musings of a lowly uninspired scribe.


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 Post subject: Re: Book of Abraham and the Latest Apologetics
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:03 pm 
God
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Brackite wrote:
Hello Truth dancer,

Most LDS Apologists believe in the Missing Papyrus theory for the Book of Abraham. The Following is from part an interview that the Chief LDS Apologist, Daniel C. Peterson gave with PBS.


Quote:
The last one is -- and this has come up for a number of people who really were sort of shattered for a while -- is the problem of the Book of Abraham. Could you talk about that and your own understanding of it? ...

The Book of Abraham is a lesser-known text in the Mormon canon of Scripture. It's part of what's called the Pearl of Great Price, and it purports to be a document written by the hand of Abraham that was recovered by Joseph Smith, translated [from] a group of papyri that he recovered while living in Kirtland, Ohio. The papyri were lost for a long time, ... and eventually the papyri came back to the church, and people were saying, now this is a real chance to test Joseph Smith's claims as a translator, as a prophet: Do the papyri match up with what Joseph Smith gave us? And the answer is no; ... they don't, if you translate them in a conventional Egyptological way, give you the text of the Book of Abraham.

Now, there are several possible responses to that. The one that I personally find the most persuasive is we only have a small part of the collection. We have possibly about 11 or 12 percent of the papyri that belonged to that collection, ... so it's very possible that there was a text that would be translatable, even by a conventional Egyptologist, into the Book of Abraham, but we don't have it now. But even that seems to me not altogether necessary. We know that Joseph didn't translate in the way that a scholar would translate. He didn't know Egyptian, ... so he was getting it by revelation. That even opens up the possibility to me that even if Joseph thought he was getting it from the papyri, he may not have been. How would he have been able to know? I'm not saying he wasn't. My own preferred solution to this is to say that he was, and the papyrus is missing. ...

What they ought to be focusing on is the book itself, which I think is a remarkable thing. It has ties to the ancient world all over the place in very interesting ways, which I think Joseph wouldn't have come up with. ... I would defend it by saying, look, we've got this translation; let's look at the content of the book itself. Does it hold up? My argument would be yes, it does, and that that's where people ought to be focusing. The papyri were a deceptively clear indicator; in fact, they may not indicate anything. ...


( Link: http://www.pbs.org/Mormons/interviews/peterson.html , Bold Emphasis Mine. )



However, The Following is from what Egyptologist Professor, Robert K. Ritner stated:


Quote:
The original width of the papyrus was correctly estimated by Baer as being about 150–55 cm, allowing for textual restorations and the now lost Facsimile 3.33

...

33 Baer, p. 127, n. 113. There is no justification for
Gee’s unsubstantiated attempt to more than double this
figure to “320 cm (about 10 feet)” in Gee, A Guide to
the Joseph Smith Papyri, pp. 10 and 12–13. Gee presumably
wishes to allow space for a supposedly “lost
hieratic text” of The Book of Abraham; his figure
derives from the average length of a manufactured
(blank) Ptolemaic papyrus roll—not comparable, individual
documents cut from such a roll.


( Link: http://www.bookofabraham.com/ritner_article.pdf )



Here are some other Links for some more information about this important Topic:



SOLVING THE MYSTERY OF THE JOSEPH SMITH PAPYRI:
http://www.utlm.org/newsletters/no82.htm


Chapter 5 - Do Papyri Fragments=Book of Abraham?:
http://www.bookofabraham.com/boamathie/BOA_5.html


Conventional Translation Denies All Evidence:
http://web.archive.org/web/200710280536 ... /id622.htm


The Book of Abraham II:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=656


Has John Gee Pulled Another Fast One?:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3650


Why Nibley and Gee cannot be trusted:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3715


A General FYI on missing papyrus and such:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3942


Book of Abraham/Papyri/Long article:
http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Abraha ... ng_article


Book of Abraham/Size of missing papyrus:
http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Abraha ... ng_papyrus


New Book of Abraham Thread on MAD:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8646

Great job, moderator by harmony. Do not use real names of posters who do not use their real names as their nickname! You provided a long list of message board threads from mostly hostile venues which you apparently believe represent the final arbiter of the "facts" concerning the Book of Abraham controversy. All those "experts". So little time.

Oh, you do provide Mr. Ritner's overused quote, which is really irrelevant, since Baer was only estimating the total width of the scroll if all it contained was the Sensen text and the two facsimiles (#1 and #3). Besides, if Ritner wants to dispute Gee's calculations about the length of the scroll (which now place the total length of the scroll not at 320cm, but rather 1200cm!), as based on the lacunae, his argument is not with Gee, but rather with Hoffman, whose widely-accepted calculations Gee is using.

Also, you still didn't answer my one question to you from the other thread. Why is that? Could it be because all you really understand about the debate is how to cut and paste links to message board threads? :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Book of Abraham and the Latest Apologetics
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:06 pm 
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On this thread, definitely the truth is found in the fine print, the really fine print.

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 Post subject: Re: Book of Abraham and the Latest Apologetics
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:13 pm 
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Inconceivable wrote:
Thanks for the links, Brackite,

Seems there is always a reference to something that has been lost or otherwise misplaced.

You wonder why it is nearly always the important stuff and not the inconsequencial musings of a lowly uninspired scribe.

The papyri were lost because Emma refused to part with them, and her stepson (after Emma's death) divided the damn things up and got what he could for them from the highest bidders.

The KEP, such as they are, survived precisely because W. W. Phelps apparently valued them. Even at that, they were ignored and ultimately all-but-forgotten for decades until Andrew Jenson looked at them long to catalog them, then they were ignored and all-but-forgotten until fragments of the papyri turned up in 1967.

No one commenced any serious formal study of the KEP until 2005.

No one except Metcalfe could have! (And whoever else had copies of his photos.)

No one had access to the originals, nor to quality images of them. That's why, contrary to the often-repeated suggestions that the final judgment has already been made, the fact is that the trial has barely begun.

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 Post subject: Re: Book of Abraham and the Latest Apologetics
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:41 pm 
High Goddess of Atlantis
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I swear I get more confused as time goes by...

Quote:
No one except Metcalfe could have! (And whoever else had copies of his photos.)


Doesn't the LDS church have the originals? Since they claim to be in possession of one of the most spectacular finds in modern history, (the actual writings of Abraham, or something along those lines) why would they not have allowed the Smithsonian to take a gander at them?

And, of course there are others who have similar copies as those in Brent's possession, and the LDS church could have certainly given copies to LDS experts right?

Quote:
No one had access to the originals,


Are you suggesting the leaders of the LDS church can't view the originals? Are the originals missing? Didn't Nibley do some work with them thirty or forty years ago?

~td~

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 Post subject: The Book of Joseph/The Book of the Dead
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:50 pm 
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The LDS Apologist, Jeff Lindsay believes that the Book of the Dead was not thought to have been the Book of Joseph, by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. Here is what the LDS Apologist, Jeff Lindsay stated:

Quote:
While concurring that the Book of Breathings does not contain red characters and does not appear to be "beautifully written" or "perfectly preserved," the argument is offered that the description of a scroll having red ink only applies to only one of two scrolls, and that the scroll with the red ink was the Book of Joseph, not the Book of Abraham. However, the description of the original scrolls makes no distinction between the Book of Abraham and the Book of Joseph. To say that Oliver was "giving pride of place" to only one record while seeming to describe both is unconvincing to me. Furthermore, other eyewitnesses, as noted above, described the papyrus records containing the writings of Abraham and Joseph in much the same terms, mentioning red and black ink, giving no hint that the two records looked different.


( Link: http://www.jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/FQ_Abraham.shtml , Bold Emphasis Mine. )



However in the Year of 1841, Eyewitness William I. Appleby stated:

Quote:
"there is a perceptible difference between the writings [of Abraham and Joseph]. Joseph appears to have been the best scribe"

(http://www.buchabraham.mormonismus-onli ... onance.htm)




The Book of the Dead was what Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery thought and believed to be the Book of Joseph.

Here is a Link to more evidence and information on this interesting Topic:

http://pacumenispages.yuku.com/topic/70 ... tml?page=4

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