Episode 4: An Introduction to Issues Surrounding the Book of Abraham

In this episode the panel is joined by Mormon Scholar Chris Smith to discuss the issues surrounding the Book of Abraham. Between critics and defenders, the Book of Abraham is probably the most contentious of all Mormon issues. To the uninitiated, these issues can quickly become technical and complicated and here we hope to unravel the mystery a bit. Topics discussed include the 19th century understand of Egyptology, Reformed Egyptian, the Egyptian and Hebrew languages, The Catalyst Theory, the Missing Papyri Theory,   the Anton Transcript, the Kirtland Egyptian Papers (KEP) and the theories of John Gee and Hugh Nibley.

Episode 4

63 comments on “Episode 4: An Introduction to Issues Surrounding the Book of Abraham”

  1. slvjm Reply

    I really enjoyed that. I have always had a question about the process. Do we know if Joseph used his seer stone when translating the papyrus?

  2. slvjm Reply

    I really enjoyed that. I have always had a question about the process. Do we know if Joseph used his seer stone when translating the papyrus?

  3. Junior Reply

    Great discussion. Chris talked about early understanding of egyptian glyphs being they represented ideas or large amounts of information. Does Chris or anyone else have references for this?

    • Robert Reply

      Does anybody have any theories as to why all this cool stuff(translations, Zelph, Seer Stones) all stopped with Joseph Smith? I mean does any current prophet even come close as to giving us any new theology besides what the prophet has given us??? I’m Mormon but things just look real fishy!  

  4. Junior Reply

    Great discussion. Chris talked about early understanding of egyptian glyphs being they represented ideas or large amounts of information. Does Chris or anyone else have references for this?

  5. Chris Reply

    Junior,

    You’ll want to check out Samuel Brown’s essay “Joseph Smith in Egypt: Babel, Hieroglyphs, and the Pure Language of Eden” in Church History 78, no. 1 (Mar 2009). Pages 42-47 discuss 19th century America’s understanding of hieroglyphics as mystical pictographs.

    slvjm,

    Wilford Woodruff mentioned Smith’s use of the Urim and Thummim in connection with the second stage of translation in 1842, but we have no evidence that Smith used a stone in the first stage of translation in 1835. For at least the first three verses, I’d wager that he did not. Watch for my paper in the JWHA Journal this Fall, which argues that in these verses Smith used the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar to match up symbols on the papyrus with the English meanings he had assigned them. This doesn’t seem like a process that would lend itself to use of a seer stone.

    John,

    I think to call me a “Mormon scholar” in the abstract for this interview might be misleading. I’m a never-Mo. Thanks for all your hard work on this!

    -Chris

  6. Chris Reply

    Junior,

    You’ll want to check out Samuel Brown’s essay “Joseph Smith in Egypt: Babel, Hieroglyphs, and the Pure Language of Eden” in Church History 78, no. 1 (Mar 2009). Pages 42-47 discuss 19th century America’s understanding of hieroglyphics as mystical pictographs.

    slvjm,

    Wilford Woodruff mentioned Smith’s use of the Urim and Thummim in connection with the second stage of translation in 1842, but we have no evidence that Smith used a stone in the first stage of translation in 1835. For at least the first three verses, I’d wager that he did not. Watch for my paper in the JWHA Journal this Fall, which argues that in these verses Smith used the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar to match up symbols on the papyrus with the English meanings he had assigned them. This doesn’t seem like a process that would lend itself to use of a seer stone.

    John,

    I think to call me a “Mormon scholar” in the abstract for this interview might be misleading. I’m a never-Mo. Thanks for all your hard work on this!

    -Chris

  7. Former Shady Acres Resident Reply

    What is interesting is the time that Smith took to “translate” the papyrus.

    While the church and it’s pack of mo’pologists froth at the mouth when bragging about how Smith produced the 500+ pages of the Book of Mormon in a few months, these dogs quickly whimper with their tail between their legs when questioned why it took Smith over seven years to produce the few pages of the Book of Abraham..

    Perhaps the seer stone was out of calibration or perhaps, Sidney wanted nothing to do with Smith pretending to translate a piece of authentic “non reformed” Egyptian text?

  8. Former Shady Acres Resident Reply

    What is interesting is the time that Smith took to “translate” the papyrus.

    While the church and it’s pack of mo’pologists froth at the mouth when bragging about how Smith produced the 500+ pages of the Book of Mormon in a few months, these dogs quickly whimper with their tail between their legs when questioned why it took Smith over seven years to produce the few pages of the Book of Abraham..

    Perhaps the seer stone was out of calibration or perhaps, Sidney wanted nothing to do with Smith pretending to translate a piece of authentic “non reformed” Egyptian text?

  9. Chris Reply

    Actually, John Gee claims that within a month or two of purchasing the papyri Joseph Smith had translated more than four times as much of the Book of Abraham as is presently extant. If Gee were right, that would put the pace of BoA translation more in the BoM’s neighborhood. (But Gee is not right, and misreports and/or overlooks the large amount of evidence that flies in the face of his conclusion. I’ve written a paper about that, too, which I hope to submit for publication soon.)

  10. Chris Reply

    Actually, John Gee claims that within a month or two of purchasing the papyri Joseph Smith had translated more than four times as much of the Book of Abraham as is presently extant. If Gee were right, that would put the pace of BoA translation more in the BoM’s neighborhood. (But Gee is not right, and misreports and/or overlooks the large amount of evidence that flies in the face of his conclusion. I’ve written a paper about that, too, which I hope to submit for publication soon.)

  11. Chris Reply

    Actually, John Gee claims that within a month or two of purchasing the papyri Joseph Smith had translated more than four times as much of the Book of Abraham as is presently extant. If Gee were right, that would put the pace of BoA translation more in the BoM’s neighborhood. (But Gee is not right, and misreports and/or overlooks the large amount of evidence that flies in the face of his conclusion. I’ve written a paper about that, too, which I hope to submit for publication soon.)

  12. Ray Reply

    Question for Chris, if possible… Some elderly members of my family went on an LDS tour of the holy lands, and one of the stops was in Egypt to visit the pyramids and, of course, the tomb where (they indicated) the BoA papyri was found. They took a picture of a wall painting that shows what looks like a person (woman?) wearing what appears to be robes and possibly an apron. They were quick to suggest on the tour that these were temple robes, and that the temple ceremony was being depicted. I wonder if I can get a neutral email address to send you the pict, to see what you think of it? Surely they’re not the first to see and make that LSD leaning biased interpretation. In the podcast you mentioned that there are papyri that show “temple scenes” (about min. 35 I think). What do you mean by that?

    I would love to get more detail on this… Thank you for the information! It was an excellent podcast!

  13. Ray Reply

    Question for Chris, if possible… Some elderly members of my family went on an LDS tour of the holy lands, and one of the stops was in Egypt to visit the pyramids and, of course, the tomb where (they indicated) the BoA papyri was found. They took a picture of a wall painting that shows what looks like a person (woman?) wearing what appears to be robes and possibly an apron. They were quick to suggest on the tour that these were temple robes, and that the temple ceremony was being depicted. I wonder if I can get a neutral email address to send you the pict, to see what you think of it? Surely they’re not the first to see and make that LSD leaning biased interpretation. In the podcast you mentioned that there are papyri that show “temple scenes” (about min. 35 I think). What do you mean by that?

    I would love to get more detail on this… Thank you for the information! It was an excellent podcast!

  14. Kari Reply

    Surely they’re not the first to see and make that LSD leaning biased interpretation.

    That’s the best Freudian slip I’ve seen in a long time. How much LSD does it take for one to come to believe that Egyptian hieroglyphs depict the Mormon temple ceremony?

    And Chris, we call Jan Shipps a Mormon scholar, and she’s also a never-mo. Only Mormons interpret that phrase to mean a scholar who is Mormon.

  15. Kari Reply

    Surely they’re not the first to see and make that LSD leaning biased interpretation.

    That’s the best Freudian slip I’ve seen in a long time. How much LSD does it take for one to come to believe that Egyptian hieroglyphs depict the Mormon temple ceremony?

    And Chris, we call Jan Shipps a Mormon scholar, and she’s also a never-mo. Only Mormons interpret that phrase to mean a scholar who is Mormon.

  16. Chris Reply

    Thanks, Kari. I know that’s not what John intended, but I thought the clarification might be worthwhile anyway. It’s always annoyed me a little bit that there’s not a smoother, unambiguous way to say “historian of Mormonism”. Stupid Engrish.

    Ray,

    I assume the tomb you’re referring to is Tomb 33. Ross T. Christensen was the first to identify this as the tomb from which the JS mummies came. He made the identification based on some details in Oliver Cowdery’s account of Chandler’s account of Lebolo’s report of the tomb. In Jay Todd’s book The Saga of the Book of Abraham pages 64-69, you can read Dr. Lynn Hilton’s account of a visit to this Tomb, which is when the Egyptian tour guides first got wind of Mormon interest in it. Hilton consulted with one of the top government archaeologists, who said, “If we knew why you want to see Tomb 33, we might exploit the idea and get other tourists to come.” Hilton explained that he thought the tomb might be where the BoA papyrus was found. The archaeologist had never heard of the BoA before, and took a copy home to read. The next day he came back to Hilton and told him the BoA was “the grossest kind of nonsense.” Nonsense, maybe… but it sounds from your comment like that hasn’t stopped them from exploiting it to attract Mormon tourists! 😉

    Tomb 33, however, is not where the JS mummies really came from. As H. Donl Peterson wrote in The Story of the Book of Abraham (pages 54-63), Tomb 33 had already been excavated in the early 18th century and so did not need to be excavated by Lebolo. Peterson points to Tomb 32 as a more likely source, though it’s really not possible to know for sure. We simply don’t have enough information to make the determination.

    The “temple rituals” that appear on Egyptian papyri are of course Egyptian temple rituals, not Mormon ones.

    I’m not an Egyptologist, so I can’t guarantee I can identify your aproned figure. My expertise is more in the BoA’s 19th-century history. I get most of my Egyptological information about the papyri second-hand, from Egyptologists who have written on the subject. But I’d be interested in seeing your picture anyway. chris carroll smith at g mail is where you can send it, without the spaces of course.

  17. Chris Reply

    Thanks, Kari. I know that’s not what John intended, but I thought the clarification might be worthwhile anyway. It’s always annoyed me a little bit that there’s not a smoother, unambiguous way to say “historian of Mormonism”. Stupid Engrish.

    Ray,

    I assume the tomb you’re referring to is Tomb 33. Ross T. Christensen was the first to identify this as the tomb from which the JS mummies came. He made the identification based on some details in Oliver Cowdery’s account of Chandler’s account of Lebolo’s report of the tomb. In Jay Todd’s book The Saga of the Book of Abraham pages 64-69, you can read Dr. Lynn Hilton’s account of a visit to this Tomb, which is when the Egyptian tour guides first got wind of Mormon interest in it. Hilton consulted with one of the top government archaeologists, who said, “If we knew why you want to see Tomb 33, we might exploit the idea and get other tourists to come.” Hilton explained that he thought the tomb might be where the BoA papyrus was found. The archaeologist had never heard of the BoA before, and took a copy home to read. The next day he came back to Hilton and told him the BoA was “the grossest kind of nonsense.” Nonsense, maybe… but it sounds from your comment like that hasn’t stopped them from exploiting it to attract Mormon tourists! 😉

    Tomb 33, however, is not where the JS mummies really came from. As H. Donl Peterson wrote in The Story of the Book of Abraham (pages 54-63), Tomb 33 had already been excavated in the early 18th century and so did not need to be excavated by Lebolo. Peterson points to Tomb 32 as a more likely source, though it’s really not possible to know for sure. We simply don’t have enough information to make the determination.

    The “temple rituals” that appear on Egyptian papyri are of course Egyptian temple rituals, not Mormon ones.

    I’m not an Egyptologist, so I can’t guarantee I can identify your aproned figure. My expertise is more in the BoA’s 19th-century history. I get most of my Egyptological information about the papyri second-hand, from Egyptologists who have written on the subject. But I’d be interested in seeing your picture anyway. chris carroll smith at g mail is where you can send it, without the spaces of course.

  18. Noel Reply

    Hi Chris
    I read something that you are doing a PHd with Bushman. Just curious as to what you might think your topic will be.

  19. Noel Reply

    Hi Chris
    I read something that you are doing a PHd with Bushman. Just curious as to what you might think your topic will be.

  20. Noel Reply

    Hi Chris
    I read something that you are doing a PHd with Bushman. Just curious as to what you might think your topic will be.

  21. Chris Reply

    Hi Noel, I’m thinking about placing Mormon dispensationalism in historical context. I’ve also thought about working on Mormonism and Pentecostalism, or looking at how the political and economic views of early Mormon dissenters compare to those of Joseph Smith and the faithful members. But there’s still time to decide, so I’m not fretting about it too much yet.

  22. Chris Reply

    Hi Noel, I’m thinking about placing Mormon dispensationalism in historical context. I’ve also thought about working on Mormonism and Pentecostalism, or looking at how the political and economic views of early Mormon dissenters compare to those of Joseph Smith and the faithful members. But there’s still time to decide, so I’m not fretting about it too much yet.

  23. Chris Reply

    Hi Noel, I’m thinking about placing Mormon dispensationalism in historical context. I’ve also thought about working on Mormonism and Pentecostalism, or looking at how the political and economic views of early Mormon dissenters compare to those of Joseph Smith and the faithful members. But there’s still time to decide, so I’m not fretting about it too much yet.

  24. Ray Reply

    Chris,

    Thank you for that information! I had the pict on a hard drive that crashed, but I know the original still exists on this couple’s PC. I’ll get it and send it.

    Thanks!
    Ray

  25. Ray Reply

    Chris,

    Thank you for that information! I had the pict on a hard drive that crashed, but I know the original still exists on this couple’s PC. I’ll get it and send it.

    Thanks!
    Ray

  26. Ray Reply

    Chris, I sent that picture to you. Any comments appreciated! The couple in question are convinced it is a representation of the the temple ceremony/robes.

  27. Ray Reply

    Chris, I sent that picture to you. Any comments appreciated! The couple in question are convinced it is a representation of the the temple ceremony/robes.

  28. Mike Michaels Reply

    I am publicly chastizing any and all members of the panel who presumed that a non-Mormon engaged in legitimate academic study of Mormon history would do so for parochial, “anti-Mormon” evangelical reasons – especially so far into an interview when the guest went out of his way to present his knowledge in a non-threatening manner. The question posed to the guest calling into question his motives, while worded politely, revealed the provincial, persecution complex mentality commonly found in Mormon culture. Shame on the panelist who asked such a question. If it was posed in the interest of full disclosure it should have been done at the very beginning. What a cheap shot.

    Frankly, that spoiled the interview for me. The guest deserves a formal apology.

    If Mormonism is going to have any credibility whatsoever it must be capable and willing to withstand and undergo academic scrutiny. The accusation behind that question reveals that Mormons question the motive of any scrutiny – even when they shouldn’t. That’s disgraceful behavior.

  29. John Reply

    Mike:

    I think the intent of the quest was to pose the most common objections given to such work. Often, the panel will voice the usual counter arguments to allow the guest to respond. I appreciate your zeal though.

  30. John Reply

    Mike:

    I think the intent of the quest was to pose the most common objections given to such work. Often, the panel will voice the usual counter arguments to allow the guest to respond. I appreciate your zeal though.

  31. Oz Reply

    Guys, that was a great interview, and thank you for asking good questions and having Chris restate or define the terms or theories that he was talking about. That is very helpful to a novice listener like me. I thought Chris’s responses were clear and presented in a very respectful manner.

    Over all it was very engaging and interesting. Good Job!

  32. Chris Reply

    Hi Mike,

    Most of the panelists know me reasonably well from the message boards, and don’t really believe that I’m an anti-Mormon out to destroy the Church. I’m pretty sure they’re just making an effort to make sure that a faithful/orthodox Mormon perspective is represented and that the hard questions get asked. I thought their questions about my motives were kind of funny, actually, because I know they were asked in a sort of tongue-in-cheek way. 😉

    I do appreciate you chiming in in my defense, however. You’re right; it can be frustrating to have people automatically question my motives. On the other hand, I recognize that the information I present can be threatening, and so I try not to let the instinctively defensive reactions bother me. The nice thing about being asked such questions is that once an accusation is on the table and I have the opportunity to respond to it, we can usually get past it and move forward with the conversation in a constructive way.

    Those who are interesting in my answer to Ray’s inquiry, by the way, may view it here.

  33. Chris Reply

    Hi Mike,

    Most of the panelists know me reasonably well from the message boards, and don’t really believe that I’m an anti-Mormon out to destroy the Church. I’m pretty sure they’re just making an effort to make sure that a faithful/orthodox Mormon perspective is represented and that the hard questions get asked. I thought their questions about my motives were kind of funny, actually, because I know they were asked in a sort of tongue-in-cheek way. 😉

    I do appreciate you chiming in in my defense, however. You’re right; it can be frustrating to have people automatically question my motives. On the other hand, I recognize that the information I present can be threatening, and so I try not to let the instinctively defensive reactions bother me. The nice thing about being asked such questions is that once an accusation is on the table and I have the opportunity to respond to it, we can usually get past it and move forward with the conversation in a constructive way.

    Those who are interesting in my answer to Ray’s inquiry, by the way, may view it here.

  34. Swearing Elder Reply

    With all the doubts/questions I had through the years, how did the BofA never get on my radar? I think most Mormons, even those with doubts, know very little, if anything, about the BofA. Great podcast!

  35. Swearing Elder Reply

    With all the doubts/questions I had through the years, how did the BofA never get on my radar? I think most Mormons, even those with doubts, know very little, if anything, about the BofA. Great podcast!

  36. Swearing Elder Reply

    With all the doubts/questions I had through the years, how did the BofA never get on my radar? I think most Mormons, even those with doubts, know very little, if anything, about the BofA. Great podcast!

  37. Glenn Reply

    Great podcast. Chris, I am getting to this one a few months late. I first heard you on Ep 43, “Outside Looking In” — it was great to hear you get in to the nuts and bolts of this topic, which has been troubling to me for a long time. I appreciate your Fowler-stage-five-faith-based approach to symbolic belief, and having learned more about you in Ep 43 before this podcast, I understood your own history of faith and where you were coming from on this (so motives were never in question to me). I’m impressed with your depth of knowledge and manner of delivery. Bravo. I hope to hear more from you in the future. Good luck with your dissertation on mormonism (I started, but never finished mine…) Cheers.

  38. Glenn Reply

    Great podcast. Chris, I am getting to this one a few months late. I first heard you on Ep 43, “Outside Looking In” — it was great to hear you get in to the nuts and bolts of this topic, which has been troubling to me for a long time. I appreciate your Fowler-stage-five-faith-based approach to symbolic belief, and having learned more about you in Ep 43 before this podcast, I understood your own history of faith and where you were coming from on this (so motives were never in question to me). I’m impressed with your depth of knowledge and manner of delivery. Bravo. I hope to hear more from you in the future. Good luck with your dissertation on mormonism (I started, but never finished mine…) Cheers.

  39. Glenn Reply

    Great podcast. Chris, I am getting to this one a few months late. I first heard you on Ep 43, “Outside Looking In” — it was great to hear you get in to the nuts and bolts of this topic, which has been troubling to me for a long time. I appreciate your Fowler-stage-five-faith-based approach to symbolic belief, and having learned more about you in Ep 43 before this podcast, I understood your own history of faith and where you were coming from on this (so motives were never in question to me). I’m impressed with your depth of knowledge and manner of delivery. Bravo. I hope to hear more from you in the future. Good luck with your dissertation on mormonism (I started, but never finished mine…) Cheers.

  40. Vin Reply

    Great podcast. I appreciated Chris’s analysis.

    For perspective, I’m an active, if not more liberal, LDS member, and I comprehend the messiness of the Book of Abraham’s origins. I remain, at the moment, unconvinced by most the apologetic attempts to clean these major problems up. I guess I’m somehow able to dismiss that cognitive dissonance because I believe in the doctrines contained within the scripture. Mired in fog/apparent fraud/weirdness though its origins may be, I feel the divinity of the religious principles.

  41. Vin Reply

    Great podcast. I appreciated Chris’s analysis.

    For perspective, I’m an active, if not more liberal, LDS member, and I comprehend the messiness of the Book of Abraham’s origins. I remain, at the moment, unconvinced by most the apologetic attempts to clean these major problems up. I guess I’m somehow able to dismiss that cognitive dissonance because I believe in the doctrines contained within the scripture. Mired in fog/apparent fraud/weirdness though its origins may be, I feel the divinity of the religious principles.

  42. Mister IT Reply

    Chris and all:

    Christian Researcher, Richard B. Stout, has done extensive research correlating the alleged “Reformed Egyptian” characters on the plates that the Book of Mormon were “translated” from to Ancient Irish. The following questions and supporting evidence summarize and build his case:

    Q: According to Mormon History were the Anthon Transcript characters copied from the alleged Golden Plates?
    A: Yes. We have documented evidence from Martin Harris, David Whitmer, and Joseph Smith that they were.

    Q: Can a correlation between the Anthon Transcript characters and Egyptian Hieroglyphs be established?
    A: No. Anthon was NOT a qualified “expert” and modern Egyptologists can find NO correlation.

    Q: Can a correlation between the Anthon Transcript characters and the Detroit Manuscript characters be established?
    A: Yes. There are character for character matches.

    Q: Since it has been established that the Detroit Manuscript characters are ancient Irish (thus resulting in near-complete translation of the document) what are the Anthon Transcript characters?
    A: Ancient Irish.

    Thus the following question/challenge/problem remains for Mormon Scholars:
    If you accept Martin Harris’s assertion that the characters on the Anthon Transcript were copied from the Golden Plates, then how you explain why the Golden Plates were written in Ancient Irish rather than ‘Reformed Egyptian’ as Joseph Smith claimed?”‘

    source = http://www.concernedchristians.com/index.php?option=com_fireboard&Itemid=42&func=view&id=77439&catid=520

    • Zèle Chyrème Reply

      Well, here you have a great opportunity for an LDS President to receive a revelation adding a form of British-Israelism to the Mormon doctrinal mix. ^^

  43. Mister IT Reply

    Chris and all:

    Christian Researcher, Richard B. Stout, has done extensive research correlating the alleged “Reformed Egyptian” characters on the plates that the Book of Mormon were “translated” from to Ancient Irish. The following questions and supporting evidence summarize and build his case:

    Q: According to Mormon History were the Anthon Transcript characters copied from the alleged Golden Plates?
    A: Yes. We have documented evidence from Martin Harris, David Whitmer, and Joseph Smith that they were.

    Q: Can a correlation between the Anthon Transcript characters and Egyptian Hieroglyphs be established?
    A: No. Anthon was NOT a qualified “expert” and modern Egyptologists can find NO correlation.

    Q: Can a correlation between the Anthon Transcript characters and the Detroit Manuscript characters be established?
    A: Yes. There are character for character matches.

    Q: Since it has been established that the Detroit Manuscript characters are ancient Irish (thus resulting in near-complete translation of the document) what are the Anthon Transcript characters?
    A: Ancient Irish.

    Thus the following question/challenge/problem remains for Mormon Scholars:
    If you accept Martin Harris’s assertion that the characters on the Anthon Transcript were copied from the Golden Plates, then how you explain why the Golden Plates were written in Ancient Irish rather than ‘Reformed Egyptian’ as Joseph Smith claimed?”‘

    source = http://www.concernedchristians.com/index.php?option=com_fireboard&Itemid=42&func=view&id=77439&catid=520

  44. Mister IT Reply

    Chris and all:

    Christian Researcher, Richard B. Stout, has done extensive research correlating the alleged “Reformed Egyptian” characters on the plates that the Book of Mormon were “translated” from to Ancient Irish. The following questions and supporting evidence summarize and build his case:

    Q: According to Mormon History were the Anthon Transcript characters copied from the alleged Golden Plates?
    A: Yes. We have documented evidence from Martin Harris, David Whitmer, and Joseph Smith that they were.

    Q: Can a correlation between the Anthon Transcript characters and Egyptian Hieroglyphs be established?
    A: No. Anthon was NOT a qualified “expert” and modern Egyptologists can find NO correlation.

    Q: Can a correlation between the Anthon Transcript characters and the Detroit Manuscript characters be established?
    A: Yes. There are character for character matches.

    Q: Since it has been established that the Detroit Manuscript characters are ancient Irish (thus resulting in near-complete translation of the document) what are the Anthon Transcript characters?
    A: Ancient Irish.

    Thus the following question/challenge/problem remains for Mormon Scholars:
    If you accept Martin Harris’s assertion that the characters on the Anthon Transcript were copied from the Golden Plates, then how you explain why the Golden Plates were written in Ancient Irish rather than ‘Reformed Egyptian’ as Joseph Smith claimed?”‘

    source = http://www.concernedchristians.com/index.php?option=com_fireboard&Itemid=42&func=view&id=77439&catid=520

  45. Christopher Smith Reply

    Hi Mister IT,

    The Anthon transcript has been compared to a number of known languages. I don’t find the Irish comparison any more compelling than the other proposals. Also, it’s not entirely true to say that Egyptologists can find no correlation to the Anthon characters. Ariel L. Crowley did a 4-part series in the 1942-1944 Improvement Era in which he demonstrated the similarity of the Anthon characters to Demotic (which certainly qualifies as “Reformed Egyptian”). He presented these findings to a non-Mormon Egyptologist, who agreed with his findings but thought there was a greater similarity to the less cursive Meroitic script. The Anthon characters don’t form intelligible sentences when interpreted as Demotic or Meroitic, but the fact that a comparison can be made suggests that the transcript cannot be as easily dismissed as one might expect.

    Peace,

    -Chris

  46. Christopher Smith Reply

    Hi Mister IT,

    The Anthon transcript has been compared to a number of known languages. I don’t find the Irish comparison any more compelling than the other proposals. Also, it’s not entirely true to say that Egyptologists can find no correlation to the Anthon characters. Ariel L. Crowley did a 4-part series in the 1942-1944 Improvement Era in which he demonstrated the similarity of the Anthon characters to Demotic (which certainly qualifies as “Reformed Egyptian”). He presented these findings to a non-Mormon Egyptologist, who agreed with his findings but thought there was a greater similarity to the less cursive Meroitic script. The Anthon characters don’t form intelligible sentences when interpreted as Demotic or Meroitic, but the fact that a comparison can be made suggests that the transcript cannot be as easily dismissed as one might expect.

    Peace,

    -Chris

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  48. Buffalo Reply

    Fascinating story, thanks for sharing!

    This just cements my theory that all good looking guys are gay.

  49. Anonymous Reply

    Michael,  

    Thank you so much.

    I greatly admire how hard you have fought to leave no good thing behind and appreciate where it has left you.  In particular, with your sympathies for loved ones who remain faithful

               “It is this pain that echos into their perception of eternity, and I feel that.”

    and your “parting shot” of a life philosophy:

              “Follow the data, live with a big heart, be good to people.”

    and your outlook:

              ” I am excited to see the life that is produced by living [this] … I don’t 
                know where I want to be in the next 3, 10, 50 years, what an 
                awesome exciting life to be in a constant process of discovery … ”

    Greg.
     
    Terrific job.  With such a light touch and impeccable timing you helped bring this all together… like a great base player in a jazz duo… and with so many precious injections,such as

               “…to think about a group that is being regarded as high risk… I… I don’t 
                 even know where to sort of go with that… OK so…”

    Thanks again…

    JT

  50. Martin Reply

    Michael – Thank you for all that you have lived to have gotten to this point in your intellectual, emotional and spiritual evolution. Your thoughts just helped to shed light on my own journey in this hour plus with you.  That is truly the Ph.D. coming out in you!

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