Did Joseph Smith Correctly Translate Facsimile 3 In The Book Of Abraham?
The Conflict of Justice apologetic website is absolute nonsense and slams conventional Egyptology. John Gee is not going to endorse or adopt this apologetic garbage. If so, world authorities on Egyptology would combine and rebuke him, essentially strip him of his credentials and label him a heretic.
This is a sinister and notorious website! It throws anything and everything up in the air hoping something will stick. One might try this sort of thing with anything to make anything do what they want it to say. But this is not logic. It's not reasonable and it's not conventional Egyptology. This apologetic grossly misrepresents Egyptology and is a slam on the ancient Egyptians. Neither does it represent what Joseph Smith and his companions actually said and claimed. It's really nothing more than fantasy.
Conflict of Justice wrote:Joseph Smith:
“King Pharaoh, whose name is given in the characters above his head.”
Pharaoh’s Horus Name – Pharaoh was the title for the king’s household, not the king’s name, until later in Egypt’s history. Joseph Smith correctly dissociates “King Pharaoh” with the person’s name. So what is the name given in the characters above the head?
The hieroglyphs to the right of the head associates goddess Isis. But Joseph Smith was talking about characters above the head, not to the right of it. Joseph Smith even located the number “2” right in the middle of the character he was referring to. Does this symbol above the head indicate Pharoah’s name? Yes. This is the Horus sun disk. Now, if Joseph Smith were guessing, wouldn’t he have said the hieroglyphic writing was a name rather than the figure’s crown? How is a crown a name? But he is actually correct.
Each king of Egypt had a special “Horus” name–actually two Horus names: one that “designated the pharaoh as the god Horus on earth” and one that linked “pharaoh to the sun, divinity, eternity, earthly gold, and perhaps to Horus’ victory over Seth.” Now, we already saw how Osiris in Figure 1 wore a his crown as a “sign of his earthly rulership.” But astronomy was not just about earthly judgement. This was about judgement in the afterlife as well. The second Horus name is called the the Golden Horus Name and “typically featured the image of a Horus falcon perched above or beside the hieroglyph for gold.” The hieroglyph for gold is the character nebu, which is a half-disk with rays between two hills.
Compare the nebu character with the sun disk atop Isis’s head in figure 2. Perfect match! Joseph Smith was right. There is no falcon in the name, but that’s alright because the falcon was not needed to identify the gold sign nebu with Pharaoh. “The gold sign, without the Horus falcon, appeared in conjunction with the royal names from the time of Djer onwards.” The falcon represents “the final victory of Horus over Seth” and that was already ritualized in Facsimile 1.
It’s not surprising that the king’s Horus name was snuck into Isis’ crown by the artist of Facsimile 3. Egyptians did this kind of thing all the time. Illustrations and shapes were often arranged or drawn to spell out names.
Isis Represents Pharaoh – As the mother of Horus, Isis was the personification of Pharaoh’s throne and seat of power, as Gail Corrington explains:
“Isis was the incarnation of the pharaoh’s ‘throne’. As the throne symbolically ‘created’ or ‘gave birth to’ the pharaoh, so Isis, the incarnate throne, was the mother of the pharaoh.” (Gail Corrington)
Notice that Joseph Smith placed the number 2 at Isis’ crown, not Isis herself. It is totally appropriate to associate her crown with the Horus name of Pharaoh. We see Isis aiding in Abraham’s assumption of justice and dominion “by the politeness of the king,” in a similar way she gives birth to Pharaoh’s position as king. This suggests Pharaoh allowed Abraham to study astronomy and be ordained through Egyptian religious rites to gain the divine governing powers that were meant for Egyptian rulers, a politeness which Pharaohs were known to do for esteemed foreign visitors.
With reference to Fig. 2, the apologist attempts to get us to take our eye off the ball and our eyes off what Joseph Smith was actually identifying -- hieroglyphic characters and words, not a crown! The apologist knows there is no king’s name in the hieroglyphs “above his head”
, so an attempt is made to change Smith’s original interpretation. He points to the crown as if to imply it’s the characters above the head that Smith referred to. Then, the apologist attempts to symbolically justify Smith’s explanation by stating that crowns are worn by kings. So, there you have it, a king’s name is in the symbolism of wearing a crown.
But this approach is not consistent. Smith earlier mentioned a crown above the head of Fig.1 (“with a crown upon his head”)
, and stated specifically what that crown represented. He didn’t say “characters above his head”
, but a crown; therefore there is a marked difference between characters
, but the apologist ignores that and tries to find a way to produce a king. Notice how the apologist doesn’t offer a name even though the need for a name is consistent with Smith’s other translations: Shulem
. But we never get a king’s name from the apologist because there isn’t one!
The apologist thinks it’s justified to label the crown as the characters
because the “2”
(print numeral) is directly above the crown and therefore it refers to the crown and not the characters in the register above the head to the immediate right of the crown. But isn’t it obvious that the location where the “2”
is placed is for convenience, an aesthetic good fit?
It’s interesting to note that Joseph Smith was known to point at hieroglyphs on his papyri and claim they represented the very autograph of Abraham. He’s on record for doing that. The apologist certainly doesn’t want to bring that up or tie it together with what Smith was doing with Facsimile No. 3. I think the most important point to make in proving the apologist is wrong about identifying the crown as Smith’s characters is that Smith said essentially the same thing about Fig. 5, but in this example it’s the hand, not the head:
“represented by the characters above his hand”
Obviously there is no crown above the characters above the hand. No crown at all! Just characters, Egyptian text. And guess what? The name Shulem
is not found therein.
Conflict of Justice wrote:Does this symbol above the head indicate Pharaoh’s name? Yes.
No, it does not indicate a Pharaoh’s name, period. It is a crown, sacred regalia worn by Isis a goddess (not a king) -- nothing more. The crown does not represent or is indicative of the name of an Egyptian king. This apologetic assertion is nothing more than smoke and mirrors and is a flim-flam interpretation. A big deal is made of the placement of the “2”
being directly above the crown as if that is what Smith was looking at with consideration to the characters
rather than the actual hieroglyphic text to the right of the crown. The apologist is wrong and is simply trying to get readers to take their eye off the ball.
Why is the “2”
placed directly above the crown and not some other part of the lead printing plate?
Space is limited on the plate, and as I said previously, it’s obvious that the spot where the “2”
was placed is convenient and is a good fit. But more importantly, according to the Explanation, the numeral “2”
represents TWO things, not just one:
1. King Pharaoh
2. Name is given in the characters above his head
is placed in the best spot on the block to present the person and the hieroglyphic script above. The person just so happens to be wearing a crown although Smith doesn’t bother with those details as he did with the character in Fig. No. 1.
Bottom line: The “2”
represents the person below who is wearing a crown and the hieroglyphic text above the head.