“King Pharaoh, whose name is given in the characters above his head”

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Shulem
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Baptismal Interview

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MISSIONARY: Here’s a special little book written by an actual Egyptologist that explains how the papyrus Joseph Smith had was really the Book of Abraham written in Egyptian hieroglyphs.

INVESTIGATOR: Cool. Does it answer the question about Facsimile 3 and how King Pharaoh’s name is in the writing when it’s really not?

MISSIONARY: Well, I don’t think it goes into a lot of detail or answers all the questions. But it provides everything you need to know about the papyrus. It gives a real good description of the papyri and who wrote them. It’s all in there.

INVESTIGATOR: Does this book tell us the name of the king written in the characters of Facsimile 3?

MISSIONARY: I don’t know for sure on that. I’m pretty sure his other book “AN INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF Abraham” gets into more details. It’s written by a world-famous Egyptologist and he’s written a lot of stuff on this subject.

INVESTIGATOR: Cool, I think this is interesting. Hey, look, it says here that men dressed up as women. Is that why King Pharaoh is a woman in Facsimile 3? It still doesn’t explain the missing name. You mean it’s okay for men to dress in drag in your church?

MISSIONARY: The Church teaches that we are supposed to dress appropriately according to our sex.

INVESTIGATOR: Well, I can see that Joseph Smith was not telling the truth about King Pharaoh and the name in the characters. And I don’t think Egyptian kings dressed up like women. I don’t believe it. Do you?

MISSIONARY: I know that Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Abraham even though we don’t understand everything about it.

INVESTIGATOR: Well, that’s all well and good but I don’t believe Facsimile 3 and there is no way that’s right. Is that going to be a problem with getting baptized?

MISSIONARY: We need to get back with our Mission President on that one. In the meantime keep praying to know the truth for yourself and Heavenly Father will bless you.
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Baptismal Interview

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MISSIONARY: Hey, it’s good to be back and we’re excited about your upcoming baptism and joining the Church. Have you had a chance to pray to Heavenly Father about your concerns regarding the Book of Abraham?

INVESTIGATOR: I have, and I feel okay about the story told in the chapters even though it doesn’t make a lot of sense from what I’ve read about ancient Egypt. But it’s pretty cool.

MISSIONARY: That’s okay, nobody can say they understand everything and some things are mysterious. Have you worked out your issue about Facsimile 3?

INVESTIGATOR: I prayed about it but that didn’t change anything. I know that Joseph Smith was not telling the truth when he said there is a king’s name in the characters and it’s not really Pharaoh. It’s a goddess who lives in Egyptian heaven.

MISSIONARY: But you know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that’s what counts, right?

INVESTIGATOR: I feel pretty good about Joseph Smith being a prophet and giving us a true Christian message that I’ve read in the Book of Mormon. But I think he lied about the Facsimile 3. That’s not a king’s name and he said it was. That’s just not true. I could never believe it.

MISSIONARY: Well, is that a problem with getting baptized?

INVESTIGATOR: Just so long as I don’t have to believe it and am free to tell others that I know it’s not true then I don’t have a problem. Nobody was perfect and I like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Maybe Joseph Smith really believed it but he was just wrong. I’m sure your church will want to know about that and can fix the error in the Explanations.

MISSIONARY: I know that the Book of Abraham is true. Through faith everything will work out. We need to get back with our Mission President and find out how he wants us to proceed. Please keep reading and praying about the scriptures and we’ll check back next week.
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Baptismal Interview

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MISSIONARY: Hey, these lessons have been a real good thing and we’ve been truly blessed sharing the gospel with you. But we’ve been instructed to let you know that because of your rather curt objection to Joseph Smith’s revelations of the Book of Abraham, we have a definite problem with your baptismal candidacy. It seems that right now you’re not ready for baptism into the Church but we hope that will change in the near future once you fully accept Joseph Smith.

INVESTIGATOR: You mean to tell me I can’t get baptized? Just because I object to Joseph Smith’s errors involving Facsimile 3 and would voice those concerns to others at Church?

MISSIONARY: Yes, that’s what we’ve been told. Until such time that you are in full compliance with the prophetic mantle in which Joseph Smith held and his complete honestly in his message and testimony, you can’t join the Church. Our Mission President requires that one must demonstrate faith that the prophet was honest in all his dealings. Our 13th Article of Faith reads…

INVESTIGATOR: It seems to me that baptism in your church is based primarily on having a testimony of Joseph Smith rather than Jesus Christ. I thought faith in Jesus Christ is what trumps everything but you’re telling me that my objections to Smith’s revelations about Facsimile 3 are preventing me from being baptized in the name of Jesus?

MISSIONARY: It doesn’t have to be that way if you can just pray about it and get a good feeling about the Book of Abraham like you did the Book of Mormon. Then we could proceed with your baptism but until we get that issue resolved we have to delay your baptism. That’s what our Mission President has decided.

INVESTIGATOR: Hey, you guys are cool guys and I like you a lot and I think your Book of Mormon is a great book because it helps people be better Christians. The gospel message is in that book! But I can see that baptism into your Church is more about pledging devotion to Joseph Smith rather than Jesus Christ and putting Smith on a pedestal. I’m not willing to do that. You tell your Mission President that I withdraw my request to be baptized.
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Red or Blue?

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The baptismal interview conversations between missionaries and a potential convert demonstrate how a conscientious objector willing to voice an opinion against the validity of the Explanation of Facsimile No. 3 is enough to prevent one from being baptized into the Church. It’s reasonable to think that it wasn’t the objection in and of itself or the lack of confidence in the prophet’s answer in that instance, but the actual willingness to publicly make an objection. Perhaps the Mission President is aware of circumstances in that ward that would disfavor a new convert that could prove disruptive to the regular flow of testimonial obedience in all things. So, in a real sense, belief in the Explanation of Facsimile No. 3 or the commitment to remain silent about it could be considered a requisite in order to join the Church. This serves as an example to show that Church is more interested in maintaining obedience and servitude to the institution rather than uncovering and correcting a gross error found within its own doctrinal discourse. This really is quite telling. The Church is not necessarily about proclaiming truth but about proclaiming its claims of having the truth. These are two very different things in and of themselves. One dishes out red pills and the other deals only in blue pills.

Wikipedia wrote: The terms “red pill” and “blue pill” refer to a choice between the willingness to learn a potentially unsettling or life-changing truth by taking the red pill or remaining in contented ignorance with the blue pill. The terms refer to a scene in the 1999 film The Matrix.

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Honest & True

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We believe in being Honest: King Pharaoh, whose name is given in the characters above his head

We believe in being True: Prince of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, as written above the hand


. . . . If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy wrote:The Definition of Lying and Deception

A lie is an untruthful assertion. The speaker intends to cause belief in the truth of a statement that the speaker believes to be false. Hence, a lie involves an intention to deceive.

Either Joseph Smith believed himself to be telling the truth or he did not. If he believed what he said was true, he was wrong.
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Fourth Down

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Typical Book of Abraham apologetics employed by professionals and novices alike generally use a basic tactic to take our attention off the ball. What is the ball? The ball is the Book of Abraham itself and the carrier is none other than the translator, Joseph Smith. The star of their team attempts to carry that ball down field in hopes of scoring a touchdown. There are a number of ways to tackle him and bring him to the ground to prevent that score. In fact, there are many great plays to prevent him from gaining a first down and shut him down early, every single time. But the apologists will employ the three d’s in order to get us to take our eye off the ball and break our concentration on tackling Smith to the ground. They want you to forget it’s 4th down again and time for their team to punt.

What are those three d’s that the Smith team is so famous for deploying? Well, they come with a lot of irrelevant information (time off the clock) that serve no purpose in advancing the ball downfield and there are usually so many footnotes (punts) that it would take more than 60 minutes (game over) just to check them out.

DISTRACT
DIVERT
DEFLECT

Apologists for the Book of Abraham can be just as dishonest as their ball carrier in attempting to make their plays using the above tricks. They are often very feisty in doing so and show no remorse for their dishonest ways. Rather than admit that their team fouls and cheats, they try and find ways to cover their errors and act like nothing is wrong. The three d’s are a means to that end.
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Daniel C. Peterson, Weak Sauce

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Daniel C. Peterson, not many years ago authored a clip in the Deseret News in defense of the Book of Abraham. It’s really, really, weak sauce. But it deserves attention so I’ll bring it up in this thread.

How could Joseph know all of this?

Professor Peterson is not an Egyptologist and he isn’t claiming any special privilege or right in authoring his apologetic article on those grounds. His enthusiastic endeavor is more or less based on anyone’s right to submit an article for everyone’s consideration. Fair enough, he has every right to contribute to the cause. I’m only interested in what he said about Facsimile No. 3. Mr. Peterson seems to think the Book of Abraham is no problem in the Deseret News. But this thread here at Discuss Mormonism shows there is a very, very, serious problem. Isn’t that right, Dan? Can we at least agree on that point?

Daniel C. Peterson, Jul 26, 2012 wrote:The 10th-century Muslim scholar al-Tabari says that "the seven heavens were opened to Abraham, up to and including the throne (of God)." Facsimile 3 shows an Egyptian scene bearing the explanation, "Abraham is reasoning upon the principles of Astronomy, in the king's court." Similarly, Josephus tells of Abraham's teaching astronomy in Egypt, and the fourth-century Christian historian Eusebius preserves an even earlier account specifying that Abraham taught astronomy to both Egypt's priests and Pharaoh himself.

Wow, seven heavens were opened to Abraham according to Islam! What else is new? And yes, pretty much everyone who knows anything about what Joseph Smith said regarding astronomy also knows that Smith was busy reading Josephus as well as the Adam Clarke Commentary where he picked up on those matters. Right, Dan?

So, Professor Peterson mentions the “king’s court” as supposedly depicted in Facsimile No. 3. What else would Mr. Peterson like to tell us about that so-called court and what is occurring therein? How about the writing above the persons? Care to read the writing? How about the king’s name? Care to explain how a Cartouche is missing and there is no king’s name in a king’s court?

Dan, you’re out of your element. Please, just leave that to John Gee. Send him my way if you want. I will be more than happy to confront John Gee and take the issue up with him, right here on Discuss Mormonism. You’re welcome to join in too. We can have a friendly conversation as we discuss the king’s name in Facsimile No. 3 until the cows jump over the moon.
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Informed critics are fighting back and won’t stand for Mormon mistranslations!

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Egyptians 2 wrote:
19 Now therefore ye are no more illiterate and vile, but fellowcitizens with the Egyptians, and of the household of Ra;

20 And are built upon the foundation of the kings of Egypt, Osiris of Facsimile 3 himself being the chief corner stone;

21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in Ra.

Amen.
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Re: “King Pharaoh, whose name is given in the characters above his head”

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From now on and hereafter all Book of Abraham criticisms are BUILT UPON THE FOUNDATION that Joseph Smith incorrectly identified Isis as the king of Egypt and claimed that King Pharaoh’s name was written in the characters above her.

This is square one in which the apologists must address.

This is the DOOR.

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Re: “King Pharaoh, whose name is given in the characters above his head”

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Dear Professor Peterson,

You are welcome to come to Discuss Mormonism and tell me about all the amazing things you think Joseph Smith couldn’t have known had he not really been translating Egyptian. We can discuss the Crocodile-God bullseye of Facsimile No. 1 and how it relates to the rest of the scene. I will be glad to discuss with you exactly what’s going on in that iconic Egyptian scene. Let’s be professional about it, shall we? Your many years of experience in knowing about these things combined with my many years of experience should prove an effective combination. Then, I will steer everything back to the king’s name and how the goddess Isis and that Crocodile-God honor the god sitting upon the throne in Facsimile No. 3.

Dan, you may also tell me all about Shinehah and Olishem. I will give you all the time to explain these things to me, take all the time you need. Then I will explain them back to you and tie it all into the king’s missing name in Facsimile No. 3 and we will see just how much Joseph really didn’t know. You see, everything will fall into place once we realize there is no king’s name in the writing and that the writing in that register and in the other labels are nothing more or less than the writing in which Smith wrote the chapters. It came out of thin air -- from his mind, just like the Book of Moses. How do you feel about that? Does that make you feel like perhaps you’ve been told a wild story or led astray?

Let’s welcome Daniel C. Peterson here at Discuss Mormonism with opens arms and a smile on our face. Come, let’s discuss the Book of Abraham and reason together. You are welcome to bring Dr. Gee and Dr. Muhlestein here as well or you may consult with them behind the scenes. Whatever you prefer. But you should know that Book of Abraham apologetics is never going to be the same again. A new bar has been set.

Shulem
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