Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Phelph's "Pure Language" Sample and its Relationship to the Kirtland Egyptian Papers: Why Some KEP Researchers have let the Tail Wag the Dog

(Source: http://i278.photobucket.com/albums/kk110/schryver1960/EA%20Characters/Phelps-Letter-Comparison.jpg)

(Source: http://i278.photobucket.com/albums/kk110/schryver1960/EA%20Characters/Second-Part-Chars.jpg)

(Source: http://i278.photobucket.com/albums/kk110/schryver1960/EA%20Characters/EA-WP-EA-JS-Comparison.jpg)

The credit for the above images goes to William Schryver.  He provided them to show the similarities between the characters in the Letter of W. W. Phelps to his wife, and the characters in the KEP/Egyptian Alphabet.

Chris Smith talks about it here:

http://chriscarrollsmith.blogspot.com/2009/10/specimen-of-some-of-pure-language.html

This is related to this document:

http://josephsmithpapers.org/paperSummary/sample-of-pure-language-between-circa-4-and-circa-20-march-1832

A SAMPLE of pure language
given by Joseph the Seer as copied by Br Johnson

Question What is the name of God in pure Language
Answer Awman.
Q The meaning of the pure word Aman
A It is the being which made all things in all its parts.
Q What is the name of the Son of God.
A The Son Awman.
Q What is the Son Awman.
A It is the greatest of all the parts of Awman which is the godhead the first born.
Q What is man.
A This signifies Sons Awman. the human family the children of men the greatest parts of Awman Sons the Son Awman
Q What are Angels called in pure language.
A Awman Angls men
Q What are the meaning of these words.
A Awman’s Ministering servants Sanctified who are sent forth from heaven to minister for or to Sons Awmen the greatest part of Awman Son. Sons Awmen Son Awmen Awman


Anyway, Phelps translations of the characters are clearly based on Joseph Smith's earlier revelation on the "parts of God."  Brigham Young also gave an account of this revelation which is found in the Journal of Discourses.

Because of the correspondences of the meanings of the translations, between the KEP and the Phelps letter, KEP researchers in the Church have come up with pretty wild explanations, ranging from Phelps being the mastermind of the KEP project, to the whole KEP being an attempt to get back to a "pure language."

Both propositions are wrong in my opinion, not only because of the scribes controversy where it is clear that Phelps was JUST a scribe, but also because the KEP version is NOT an attempt at matching up the characters with words in the Adamic language, but in other language items that are not all of the same language family, the entire set of which Joseph Smith was calling "Egyptian."  The research prior in this blog shows that there are a number of things that are called Egyptian that are not specifically Ancient Egyptian that we would think of, but are of other language families.  Whatever the "technical" name of the language(s) is/are in the KEP, it is NOT Adamic.  If it were the Adamic or pure language in the KEP, then the pronunciations in the words would match with Phelph's Adamic pronunciations, which they do not.  On the other hand, the Phelps letter that also shows these same "letters" or characters from this part of the Egyptian Alphabet ARE his attempt at matching them up with Adamic pronunciations.  So, rather than the KEP showing an attempt to get back to some pure language and equating Egyptian to Adamic as some KEP researchers would have you believe, what is really happening is that Phelps has used characters from the Egyptian Alphabet to match them up with words in Adamic in his letter ONLY.

In other words, it is the PHELPS LETTER which is the attempt to line these characters up with words in the Adamic, NOT the KEP version.  So, some KEP scholars like Samuel Brown and William Schryver would tell you that this shows evidence that the KEP itself was an attempt to get back to a pure language because of the Phelps letter evidence, which is an unjustifiable assumption.  That is the tail wagging the dog, because you cannot generalize like this about the KEP just because Phelps was doing an exercise in Adamic in one letter with words that he got from Joseph Smith, and matching them up with the characters in the Egyptian Alphabet that have the same basic meaning.  In other words, the KEP is an exercise to get to the bottom of meanings of Egyptian characters.  The Phelps letter shows a different but linked idea for Adamic.  Therefore, the Phelps letter is an exercise in the pure language.  The KEP is NOT.  Because, as we have shown, the numerals in the KEP are Indo-European (Indo-Iranian) with Sino-Tibetan in the mix, making them close to the Himalayan language family.  The word Chalsidonhiash is Karduniash, which is a word from Kassite.  While neither of these languages are technically Egyptian, and we have yet to figure out exactly what they have to do with Egyptians, they are NOT Adamic.