Sanctorian wrote:MG already had his ass handed to him. I doubt he’ll respond to Shulem even though this is his thread.
If you go back and look at my original questions you will see that I was interested in the provenance of this statement:
The above translation is given as far as we have any right to give at the present time.
The statement was in the hand of Willard Richards, Joseph's scribe. As a result of reading here:
I had a question or two in my mind. I asked those questions. I am enjoying Shulem's response. And I thank him for digging up some information and posting it.
I've already stated elsewhere on another thread recently my thoughts in regards to the BofA. I think I was rather transparent. I'm not sure why there is any "ass" to hand back to me. I never put it out there in the first place.
My approach also parallels that which has been stated by Professor Gee:
Those interested in these sorts of questions should constantly bear in mind that the historical evidence is limited and that limitations on the evidence often preclude definitive answers, or sometimes any answers, to the types of questions that we ask. Scholarship can be useful but is often incapable of answering particular questions. But faith does not require everything to be proved. Ironically, the relationship between the Joseph Smith Papyri and the Book of Abraham is a situation in which both believers and detractors must rely on their faith.
Since, for the most part, Latter-day Saints and Egyptologists agree that the preserved portions of the Joseph Smith Papyri do not contain the Book of Abraham, there is the possibility of detente between the two because scholarship cannot tell what was or was not on the missing papyri. Egyptologists could stick to what is knowable from the remains, and Latter-day Saints could trust God about the origins of the Book of Abraham. Our trust (or faith) in God becomes, for those fortunate enough to possess it, “the basis of what we hope for, the evidence of things unseen” (Hebrews 11:1, my translation). Those who have it require no other proof. Those who have chosen not to trust God will not “be persuaded, though one rose from the dead” (Luke 16:31). If we had the papyrus from which the Book of Abraham was translated—and I testify that we do not—the critics would not believe it; and most of them could not read it anyway. One of the ironies of the Joseph Smith Papyri is that critics (and even some Egyptologists), who are quick to point out what the papyri are not, are otherwise uninterested in what they contain. They could be a laundry list, a get-well card, or the greatest piece of literature ever written; it does not matter so long as they are not the Book of Abraham, so long as they are not scripture, so long as they do not contain the words of God, so long as they are not conveyed by a prophet of God. Here, though, is another great irony. The Rosetta Stone ends with a passage that directs that it be written “on a stone stele in the writing of words of god (hieroglyphs), the writing of letters (Demotic), and the script of the foreigners (Greek).” For the Egyptians, hieroglyphs are literally the “words of God.” For the Egyptians, the Joseph Smith Papyri contain the words of God, conveyed by a prophet of God, just as for Latter-day Saints, the Book of Abraham contains the words of God, conveyed by a prophet of God.
As I've also stated many times on this board, I am just a regular guy. I am no John Gee or Robert Ritner, even though I've read some of their stuff along with some other experts in the field. There is a LOT of stuff to wade through in regards to the BofA. So I, along with others here who also expressed an interest, am interested in Shulem's response to my questions. For him and others that are simply out to get some "troll meat" and/or kick some ass, fine. But that's not why I asked the questions in the first place. I have a natural curiosity for looking at different points of view and information from as many sources as I can.
And that's a sin?
Anyway, thanks again Shulem for the time you're taking to respond...even though it appears that your motivations may be a bit less than what I would consider to be civil/respectful.
Be that as it may...
I look forward to reading your further commentary, etc.