Historical Predynastic Egypt vs. Book of Abraham False Narrative

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Shulem
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Re: Radio Free Mormon

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RFM wrote: Radio Free Mormon Podcast

The Church itself acknowledges that there is nothing in the papyri that has anything to do with the text of the Book of Abraham, there’s no mention of the Book of Abraham on the papyri and they are completely separate and different things.

<snip>

Joseph Smith must have thought he was translating and looking at the characters and coming up with the Book of Abraham but actually he was not translating. Joseph Smith was wrong about the fact he was translating, Joseph Smith thought he was translating the characters while at the same time God is beaming down or revealing to him a text that is inspired that has nothing to do with the characters that Joseph Smith thinks that he is translating.

<snip>

But it was the catalyst that allowed Joseph Smith to receive the inspired text from God that is the Book of Abraham even though Joseph smith thought he was translating the scrolls into the Book of Abraham. What this ends up saying is that Joseph Smith was wrong, his scribes were wrong, everybody associated with his translation of the Book of Abraham were wrong. All the Presidents and leaders of the church for over a hundred years who have continued to repeat what Joseph Smith taught and how he presented it as a direct translation of the writings of Abraham were wrong, but finally, finally now in the latter part of the 20th century when this idea was first conceived, we got it right.

It could be argued that critics simply don’t have the right spirit of the Book of Abraham and are viewing matters from the wrong perspective. The Catalyst Theory provides a means to an end in which Smith’s mind was stimulated through inspiration to restore the lost story of Abraham regardless of being in error about how he translated. Smith claimed divine revelation was responsible in bringing forth the Book of Abraham whereby through him the the story is retold and revivified. It could be argued that if Smith continued his ministry beyond 1844 he would have come to fully understand how he translated and would have explained new understanding to the church, line upon line, precept upon precept.

Bottom line, this thread (Historical Predynastic Egypt vs. Book of Abraham False Narrative) destroys the Catalyst Theory & the Book of Abraham in one fell swoop as well as the apologetic argument from my former days. The way I see it, the only way to take out the Catalyst Theory is to apply the knowledge in this thread which fully exposes how the Book of Abraham is not historical or genuine. RFM, Bill Reel, BYP, and Dan Vogel cannot win the argument over the long run until they endorse and apply the principles explained in *this* thread. It is the key to ending all arguments once and for all.

Book of Abraham Apologist Paul Osborne wrote:
Could Joseph Smith Be In Error?

THE CRITIC’S QUESTION

Did Joseph Smith really believe that a funerary scroll contained the actual autographed writing of Abraham?

PAUL’S ANSWER

Yes. All indications show that the prophet and his assistants believed the funerary papyrus was an autograph.


THE CRITIC’S QUESTION

If Joseph Smith didn’t believe the papyrus was the genuine article, could he have extracted the story of Abraham from it by the power of God?

PAUL’S ANSWER

No. If the papyrus was thought to be only funerary literature there would be no expectation in receiving a revelation about Abraham’s sojourn in Egypt.


THE CRITIC’S QUESTION

How do you square with the fact that the prophet incorrectly thought the roll was genuine when in fact it was not?

PAUL’S ANSWER

It was necessary that the prophet become excited in a spirit of revelation which readied his mind to receive the story of Abraham from the papyrus in order to reveal the Abrahamic account. If the prophet had known the true nature of the papyri, he could not have thought to translate it just as St. Peter would not have tried to go out on the water to greet his Master if he knew beforehand that he would sink (Matt 14:26-31), and neither would Moses have lifted his rod if he didn’t believe the waters would divide (Ex 14:16). Had not the prophet’s assistants believed the papyrus was an original autograph, how hardly could they have supported the translation process.

Joseph Smith was not uninspired just because he was in error about the true nature of the papyrus any more than Christ himself who apparently wasn’t concerned about the reality of germs when he said, “to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man” (Matt 15:20), when in fact unclean hands can spread disease and sicken the body. Who would have thought that unwashed hands could microscopically infect the body before modern doctors learned about germs and bacteria? Jesus used the dirty hand argument merely to express a difference between physical and spiritual traditions − making a point in doctrine, albeit it was based on wrong thinking from a literal point of view.

There is nothing evil in seeing the funerary papyrus as a tool of expressionism to help create spiritual interpretations. Human error is not necessarily evil! Truth can mix with error, existing together to teach correct principles and ideals. Case in point, Jesus saying that dirty hands don’t defile a man, this being correct in a spiritual sense but wrong from a physical point of view. We therefore see that truth and error can work together in harmony for the purpose of making something known within a certain sphere.

Truth can be known even in the midst of error. For example: We know that Isaac was in error when he bestowed the firstborn blessing upon his son Jacob, thinking that he was actually Esau (Gen 27). God wrought power in Isaac who gave the blessing even though Isaac was fooled by his wife and younger son. Does this void the blessing? Heavens no! Does this make Isaac an uninspired fool? Heavens no! Isaac worked with the knowledge he had and bestowed the blessing. But, we might wonder, how was this sacred act sanctioned by God when Isaac was deceived? Isaac trembled when he learned the truth! We may reason that Isaac’s deception was not an issue in which God was determined to expose, but God left Isaac in a state of mental error. The blessing was what mattered and the blessing was true.

So it was with Joseph Smith who through error saw spiritually something greater than what was naturally before him. The translation he gave is no less true than Isaac’s blessing.

Suppose there was a story in the Bible of a prophet who claimed that an old clay document having strange characters contained the lost Book of Isaac. Let’s suppose this prophet translated the tablets through inspiration of God, although it was unknown to him that the document had nothing to do with the patriarch Isaac or his life’s story. Now, suppose this prophet prepared a manuscript and placed the unknown characters in registers on the left side of each page. Then he offers explanations of what the characters represented in effort to produce the Book of Isaac.

Who can say that something can’t be revealed when concentrating on an unrelated symbol or character? A spiritual translator can receive direct revelation from God as a story unfolds within his mind. In this case, ancient writing helps to stimulate the mind into a state of supernatural concentration while the Spirit of God breathes new scripture.

Suppose the See-er deeply stares at the character through a hole in a seer stone — concentrate — look — stare some more, and inspired thoughts flow. Behold, the Book of Isaac comes forth! The clay tablets and the writing on them are only a representation of the original document. Thus, it was used to stimulate thought, transcending the literal meaning of the characters, a revelation was given. Revelations, dreams, visions, and the like often use abstract symbolism and transform it into concrete ideology, as we have plenty of examples in scripture, i.e.: Ezekiel, Daniel, John the Revelator, etc. I see no reason to invalidate this kind of spiritual translating, because with God all things are possible.

A conventional translation will prove the prophet was wrong but a true nonconventional interpretation will prove the prophet was correct. Joseph Smith translated the original papyrus (lost in antiquity) using a nonrelated (funerary) papyrus as a proxy. In short, the papyrus served as a catalyst to open the door to things that pertain to the mysteries of godliness.


UNSUGARCOATED FACTS:

1. Isaac had the Holy Ghost
2. Isaac smelled what he thought was his first son
3. Isaac believed he was laying his hands on Esau
4. Isaac believed a lie while speaking by the power of the Spirit
5. Isaac pronounced the name of “Esau” on Jacob’s head
6. Isaac blessed Jacob with the word of the Lord under the influence of the Holy Ghost
7. Isaac trembled when he learned the truth after the blessing was given

A. Therefore, we know that the Lord will allow a prophet to believe a lie even when the Holy Ghost pronounces inspired blessings by the mouth of that prophet.

B. We know that a prophet can think something that is not true and still operate under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost.

C. We know that a prophet is not always able to discern the truth and can be lied to even when a lie is for the purpose of doing a righteous deed.

D. We know that a prophet can lay his hands upon a man’s head and think he is another person.

What about Joseph Smith?

1. Joseph Smith had the Holy Ghost
2. Joseph Smith sensed what he thought was 4,000 year old papyri
3. Joseph Smith believed he had in his hands a genuine Abrahamic papyrus
4. Joseph Smith believed false rumors about the papyrus while speaking by the power of the Spirit
5. Joseph Smith pronounced the name of “Abraham” on Hor’s papyrus
6. Joseph Smith blessed the church with the Book of Abraham under the influence of the Spirit
7. Joseph Smith would have trembled had he lived to learn the truth

A. Therefore, we know that the Lord will allow a prophet to believe a false rumor even though the Holy Ghost gives inspired translations through that prophet.

B. We know that a prophet can think something that is not true and still operate under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost.

C. We know that a prophet is not always able to discern the truth and can be fooled even for the purpose of doing a righteous deed.

D. We know that a prophet can hold Roman funerary papyrus in his hands and think it is 4,000 years old

Last edited by Shulem on Thu May 25, 2023 10:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Catalyst Theory

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Book of Abraham Apologist Paul Osborne wrote:
Translating the Hieroglyphic Text

An amazing prophecy that uses mere words as a medium to convey hidden meanings comes from the book of Daniel. I refer specifically to the foreign writing on the wall that was interpreted by Daniel the prophet in chapter five. I’ll dispense with a narration of the story and get straight to the point. By revelation, Daniel was able to expound an entire concept with just one word! All it took was a single word to hide an important message which could only be deciphered by someone having a gift from God. The king’s astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers, failed to interpret the writing on the wall for the troubled king; but Daniel stood the test and correctly interpreted the signs. To some degree, we can compare this with the makings of the Joseph Smith Egyptian Alphabet & Grammar − the prophet was able to produce a lot of information from just one Egyptian hieroglyph.

Daniel interprets the handwriting on the wall:

MENE = God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it
TEKEL = Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting
PERES = Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians

In the Book of Mormon a prophet named Aminadi interpreted writing that was on the wall of the Nephite temple (Alma 10:2). These examples show us how God works in mysterious ways, including Joseph Smith’s translation of the papyrus. This adds some measure of comfort for those who seek a parallel with Joseph Smith’s translation of the Book of Abraham, however, based on what we know the Joseph Smith’s translation was truly unique.

The critics think the prophet was being sly when he copied some hieroglyphic characters from Fragment No. 11, placing them into the damaged sections of the Hypocephalus (Facsimile No. 2). The prophet did this because the original characters were smudged off the papyrus, forever missing. Some of these characters were drawn upside down in the register. Manuscript pages (Kirtland Papers) showing the early construction of the Book of Abraham also contain characters from fragment No.11. Amazingly, whole paragraphs of the story of Abraham were generated though the use of a single hieroglyphic sign copied from the papyrus!

Why wasn’t the papyrus translated like Egyptologists do today? How did Joseph Smith translate the text of the Egyptian papyrus? These questions can bewilder anyone who doesn’t think outside the box. But, this need not be. There are answers to all of the questions regarding the Book of Abraham saga.

The characters upon the papyrus in conventional form are of little importance. But, when they were interpreted through the use of a seer stone, they were transformed into the “Egyptian Alphabet & Grammar” which tells the story of the Book of Abraham. Joseph Smith practiced this unique art of interpreting a language by transmutation in which the nature of the characters taken from the papyrus were transformed. The characters he read and transcribed were derived from the hieroglyphs on the papyrus through the process of revelation. This is a gift of a seer (see-er), which means one who SEES through the Urim and Thummim or peeps through the holes of a seer stone. Revelation flowed and the story unfolded before the prophet’s eyes, but the characters on the papyrus served only as a catalyst through which the Book of Abraham was produced. This translation process operates in another sphere, a different level of thinking. Abraham and Joseph Smith looked into a Urim & Thummim and beheld wonderful things. The Egyptian language was a backdrop for a greater picture − something that many fail to accept, let alone recognize.
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Re: Radio Free Mormon

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Shulem wrote:
Thu May 25, 2023 10:18 pm
Bottom line, this thread (Historical Predynastic Egypt vs. Book of Abraham False Narrative) destroys the Catalyst Theory & the Book of Abraham in one fell swoop as well as the apologetic argument from my former days. The way I see it, the only way to take out the Catalyst Theory is to apply the knowledge in this thread which fully exposes how the Book of Abraham is not historical or genuine. RFM, Bill Reel, BYP, and Dan Vogel cannot win the argument over the long run until they endorse and apply the principles explained in *this* thread. It is the key to ending all arguments once and for all.

You see guys, MATH does not lie or skew the facts, but people lie and distort truth to fit their own paradigms. Math is math and always adds up perfectly the same way every time without fail. It is the numbers that tell the truth, always.

You guys are not going to be able to deal with the Catalyst Theory until you embrace the numbers and do a little counting. Can you boys count? Can you? Prove it!

1,2,3,4,5, etc.
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Re: Radio Free Mormon

Post by Marcus »

Shulem wrote:
Thu May 25, 2023 10:18 pm
Bottom line, this thread (Historical Predynastic Egypt vs. Book of Abraham False Narrative) destroys the Catalyst Theory & the Book of Abraham in one fell swoop as well as the apologetic argument from my former days. The way I see it, the only way to take out the Catalyst Theory is to apply the knowledge in this thread which fully exposes how the Book of Abraham is not historical or genuine. RFM, Bill Reel, BYP, and Dan Vogel cannot win the argument over the long run until they endorse and apply the principles explained in *this* thread. It is the key to ending all arguments once and for all.
To me, using the Catalyst Theory to justify mis-using an artifact by ascribing fake non-history to it is no different than that heartlander group that still uses known fake artifacts to promote their ideas. Why is one okay to the Peter Pans of the mopologetic world, and not the other?
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Re: Radio Free Mormon

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Marcus wrote:
Fri May 26, 2023 6:28 pm
To me, using the Catalyst Theory to justify mis-using an artifact by ascribing fake non-history to it is no different than that heartlander group that still uses known fake artifacts to promote their ideas. Why is one okay to the Peter Pans of the mopologetic world, and not the other?

The Heartlanders haven’t a leg to stand on or a proper narrow neck in which to hang their story on any more than the Mesoamericans. Both try to justify their models based on a work of fiction (Book of Mormon). They draw their conclusion that the book is a genuine historical record rather than a work of fiction to inspire the mind to believe in Christ and accept Joseph Smith as a prophet.

But the Community of Christ (RLDS) see things rather differently and has basically learned how to apply the Catalyst Theory to the Book of Mormon wherein the book for their community is given to “reaffirm the Book of Mormon as a divinely inspired record” but they also make it quite clear that they “do not attempt to mandate the degree of belief or use” in the book and allow the members to think whatever they want concerning historicity just so long as they accept it as inspired scripture. The Catalyst Theory and Book of Mormon go hand in hand in the Community of Christ.

But the Book of Abraham for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is regarded as a genuine historical record detailing how Egypt was first established and when. Therefore, the Catalyst Theory cannot save the Book of Abraham for today’s church when mathematics is given its just due as I have shown in this thread.

I hope you see the big picture and appreciate my work in this matter.
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Re: Radio Free Mormon

Post by Marcus »

Shulem wrote:
Fri May 26, 2023 8:40 pm
Marcus wrote:
Fri May 26, 2023 6:28 pm
To me, using the Catalyst Theory to justify mis-using an artifact by ascribing fake non-history to it is no different than that heartlander group that still uses known fake artifacts to promote their ideas. Why is one okay to the Peter Pans of the mopologetic world, and not the other?

The Heartlanders haven’t a leg to stand on or a proper narrow neck in which to hang their story on any more than the Mesoamericans. Both try to justify their models based on a work of fiction (Book of Mormon). They draw their conclusion that the book is a genuine historical record rather than a work of fiction to inspire the mind to believe in Christ and accept Joseph Smith as a prophet.

But the Community of Christ (RLDS) see things rather differently and has basically learned how to apply the Catalyst Theory to the Book of Mormon wherein the book for their community is given to “reaffirm the Book of Mormon as a divinely inspired record” but they also make it quite clear that they “do not attempt to mandate the degree of belief or use” in the book and allow the members to think whatever they want concerning historicity just so long as they accept it as inspired scripture. The Catalyst Theory and Book of Mormon go hand in hand in the Community of Christ.

But the Book of Abraham for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is regarded as a genuine historical record detailing how Egypt was first established and when. Therefore, the Catalyst Theory cannot save the Book of Abraham for today’s church when mathematics is given its just due as I have shown in this thread.

I hope you see the big picture and appreciate my work in this matter.
Thank you, shulem! You are too kind to take my questions seriously and give me such complete answers. I see your point about the CoC approach, they have resolved some issues by letting go of the historicity. But yes, I see that trying to use a catalyst theory while holding on to historicity just cannot work, as you have very well shown.

Thank you, again!
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Re: Radio Free Mormon

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Shulem wrote:
Fri May 26, 2023 8:40 pm
But the Community of Christ (RLDS) see things rather differently and has basically learned how to apply the Catalyst Theory to the Book of Mormon wherein the book for their community is given to “reaffirm the Book of Mormon as a divinely inspired record” but they also make it quite clear that they “do not attempt to mandate the degree of belief or use” in the book and allow the members to think whatever they want concerning historicity just so long as they accept it as inspired scripture. The Catalyst Theory and Book of Mormon go hand in hand in the Community of Christ.
How does the Community of Christ deal with the racist parts of the Book of Abraham?
Cry Heaven and let loose the Penguins of Peace
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Re: Radio Free Mormon

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Marcus wrote:
Fri May 26, 2023 9:40 pm
Thank you, shulem! You are too kind to take my questions seriously and give me such complete answers. I see your point about the CoC approach, they have resolved some issues by letting go of the historicity. But yes, I see that trying to use a catalyst theory while holding on to historicity just cannot work, as you have very well shown.

Thank you, again!

And thank you for being here, Marcus!

What’s interesting to note is that the Book of Mormon origin story of Lehi in Jerusalem is based on correct dating whereby the persons of the story fit within a real world setting whereby actual events took place as confirmed by contemporary sources that are scientifically confirmed. Jerusalem was a real place in 600 BC and Smith got that part right from the get-go. However, the story of Lehi and his family in Jerusalem and departing into the wilderness is fiction or pseudepigraphal in nature. The person of Lehi and his departure from Jerusalem cannot be verified by contemporary sources. But with that said, the story is based in a legitimate timeframe that properly corresponds with world events that actually occurred in Jerusalem circa 600 BC. So, the Book of Mormon origin story can be encircled under blanket protection of the Catalyst Theory in accepting it as scripture from a spiritual point of view.

The Book of Abraham does not enjoy the luxury of certain protections afforded by the Catalyst Theory because its origin story is based outside the timeline of real-world events and attempts to take history and redate it to suit its own purposes. The Book of Abraham follows the false timeline of the Jewish Bible whereby we have a clear example of religious history vs. scientific history backed by legitimate contemporary sources. The mythical origin stories of the Bible and Book of Abraham are false -- they are not genuine historical events but are the creative musings of spiritual writers composing stories to promote religion. There is no scientific argument to back the Book of Abraham origin story as being genuine and historic -- in fact, the opposite is the case. This is why this thread is so important in demonstrating how the Catalyst Theory does not work with the Book of Abraham.

Critics who fail to see this and implement it in their arguments will have a hard time arguing against the Catalyst Theory. I could dance all around the Book of Abraham and defend it using the Catalyst Theory and win the argument so long as nobody challenges the origin story from a scientific point of view. Bring on RFM, Reel, BYP, and Vogel and I will do circles around them and beat them up so long as they ignorantly fail to use the ultimate trump card which I have thoroughly explained in this thread.

I don’t know what it takes to wake those guys up. They are sleeping at the wheel. I would love to argue for the Book of Abraham against all of them using the Catalyst Theory. It would be fun beating them all up at the same time!

PS. I’m being provocative. ;)
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Re: Radio Free Mormon

Post by Marcus »

Shulem wrote:
Sat May 27, 2023 12:38 pm
Marcus wrote:
Fri May 26, 2023 9:40 pm
Thank you, shulem! You are too kind to take my questions seriously and give me such complete answers. I see your point about the CoC approach, they have resolved some issues by letting go of the historicity. But yes, I see that trying to use a catalyst theory while holding on to historicity just cannot work, as you have very well shown.

Thank you, again!

And thank you for being here, Marcus!

What’s interesting to note is that the Book of Mormon origin story of Lehi in Jerusalem is based on correct dating whereby the persons of the story fit within a real world setting whereby actual events took place as confirmed by contemporary sources that are scientifically confirmed. Jerusalem was a real place in 600 BC and Smith got that part right from the get-go. However, the story of Lehi and his family in Jerusalem and departing into the wilderness is fiction or pseudepigraphal in nature. The person of Lehi and his departure from Jerusalem cannot be verified by contemporary sources. But with that said, the story is based in a legitimate timeframe that properly corresponds with world events that actually occurred in Jerusalem circa 600 BC. So, the Book of Mormon origin story can be encircled under blanket protection of the Catalyst Theory in accepting it as scripture from a spiritual point of view.

The Book of Abraham does not enjoy the luxury of certain protections afforded by the Catalyst Theory because its origin story is based outside the timeline of real-world events and attempts to take history and redate it to suit its own purposes. The Book of Abraham follows the false timeline of the Jewish Bible whereby we have a clear example of religious history vs. scientific history backed by legitimate contemporary sources. The mythical origin stories of the Bible and Book of Abraham are false -- they are not genuine historical events but are the creative musings of spiritual writers composing stories to promote religion. There is no scientific argument to back the Book of Abraham origin story as being genuine and historic -- in fact, the opposite is the case. This is why this thread is so important in demonstrating how the Catalyst Theory does not work with the Book of Abraham.


Critics who fail to see this and implement it in their arguments will have a hard time arguing against the Catalyst Theory. I could dance all around the Book of Abraham and defend it using the Catalyst Theory and win the argument so long as nobody challenges the origin story from a scientific point of view. Bring on RFM, Reel, BYP, and Vogel and I will do circles around them and beat them up so long as they ignorantly fail to use the ultimate trump card which I have thoroughly explained in this thread.

I don’t know what it takes to wake those guys up. They are sleeping at the wheel. I would love to argue for the Book of Abraham against all of them using the Catalyst Theory. It would be fun beating them all up at the same time!

PS. I’m being provocative. ;)
Please, continue being provocative!!!!!!

I don't know if I've told you this before, but you write really, really well. The bolded paragraphs above are a very persuasive and concise argument against Book of Abraham, and they paint an incredibly clear picture of the issues. Have you considered submitting your arguments to a journal? The above would be the perfect abstract leading into a paper. (just as an experiment, it would be fascinating to see how, say, the journal of B of M Studies might respond. :roll: in my opinion, the historical society journal associated with the CofC would definitely like it. )
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Re: Radio Free Mormon

Post by Shulem »

Marcus wrote:
Sat May 27, 2023 7:33 pm
I don't know if I've told you this before, but you write really, really well. The bolded paragraphs above are a very persuasive and concise argument against Book of Abraham, and they paint an incredibly clear picture of the issues. Have you considered submitting your arguments to a journal? The above would be the perfect abstract leading into a paper. (just as an experiment, it would be fascinating to see how, say, the journal of B of M Studies might respond. :roll: in my opinion, the historical society journal associated with the CofC would definitely like it. )

I really appreciate your generous remarks towards my ability to present an argument from a logical point of view and take into consideration the spiritual point of view that religion craves. I want to be fair and look at the whole picture in proper perspective.
This board provides the perfect place and sound board in which to make my case. I extend my personal thanks to Dr. Shades for providing this board which offers the perfect arena in which we can express ourselves and present our arguments.

I wish to express appreciation to the moderators for allowing me to use a little red ink from time to time. THANK YOU for giving me that pass. I appreciate it and it serves to demonstrate how the spirit of the law is what counts. Dr. Shades and his moderators (clones) rock!

:)

Philoooooo, where are youuuuuuu?

:D
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