News from Antiquity By Daniel C. Peterson
Evidence supporting the book of Abraham continues to turn up in a wide variety of sources.
Here we have DCP in 1994 acting as if he's an Egyptologist and carefully crafting his sentences in a manner that leads his readers down a rabbit whole of deception. Peterson remains wishy-washy about WHEN Abraham was in Egypt or WHICH king's throne he happened to sit on which is absolutely rediculous according to Ritner. There is no way in hell Abraham sat on the throne of a 12th Dynasty king and that is when the Bible dates him to have lived! So let's see where he goes in trying to make the Explanations of Facsimile No. 1 appear authentic and as if it accurately reflects the antiquity from which they represent.
Peterson leads his readers to believe that Smith identifying the crocodile with pharaoh's god is evidence of his ability to understand what is going on in the vignette of Facsimile No. 1, as if this single correct identification lends credence to the rest of Smith's controversial Explanations:
DCP wrote:One noteworthy element of the religious situation portrayed in the book of Abraham is the identification of a crocodile as “the idolatrous god of Pharaoh.” (Facsimile 1, fig. 9.) Although this may have seemed strange in Joseph Smith’s day, discoveries in other ancient texts confirm this representation. Unas or Wenis, for example, was the last king of the fifth dynasty (circa 2356–2323 B.C.), and his pyramid still stands at Saqqara, south of modern Cairo. Utterance 317 of Unas’s Pyramid Texts includes the following: “The King Appears as the Crocodile-God Sobk,” and “Unas has come today from the overflowing flood; Unas is Sobk, green-plumed, wakeful, alert. … Unas arises as Sobk, son of Neith.” One scholar observes that “the god Sobk is … viewed as a manifestation of Horus, the god most closely identified with the kingship of Egypt” during the Egyptian Middle Kingdom era (circa 2040–1640 B.C.), which includes the time period that tradition indicates as Abraham’s lifetime.
Intriguingly, Middle Kingdom Egypt saw a great deal of activity in the large oasis to the southwest of modern Cairo known as the Faiyum. Crocodiles were common there, and Sobk (or Sobek) was the chief local deity. The last king of the twelfth dynasty, which may include the period of Abraham’s life, even adopted the name of the crocodile god, calling himself Nefru-sobk (“Beautiful is Sobk”), and five pharaohs of the next dynasty, the thirteenth, took the name Sebek-hotpe (“Sobk is content”).
So, NOW that we know Smith got his cues from the Adam Clarke Commentary, how does this reduce the impact of DCP's example of Smith correctly identifying the crocodile as evidence to show Smith was inspired? It completely eliminates the evidence that Smith was supposedly inspired and simply goes to show that Smith was well read.
So what do you think of those apples, Peterson?
This question is not just thrown in Peterson's direction but to all the LDS apologists who have tendered Smith's explanation of the crocodile in their various apologetic arguments as evidence that Smith got something right. Sure, Smith got something right all right, no argument there -- but we now know that he got it right with a little help from his friends to include the Adam Clarke Commentary. The only other thing Smith got somewhat right in Facsimile No. 1 (although the names are all wrong) is that the four figures below the bed were symbols of Egyptian gods. Everyone knows that Egypt had a rather large pantheon and believed in many gods so it's no big stretch to credit Smith in getting that much right. And he kept within bounds of the ancient theme of 4 winds or 4 directions -- he gets half a point for that too. Way to go Smith! You can count to 4! You must be a prophet!