Wednesday, October 8, 2014

More Helpful Graphics/Illustrations

Every once in a while, I come across graphics/illustrations that people put together that I find helpful.  Even though some of them are created by critics, they are still helpful to make certain points, and I see no reason to re-create something that someone else has already created.

The following graphics that were part of a document put out by some person, apparently a critic, calling himself "TruthSeeeker2013."  But they are useful.

Here is a current URL to the document to show the source:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/tz1iy4q7w39wvor/The%20Book%20of%20Abraham%20Criticisms%20Defenses%20and%20Implications.pdf

The document by Mr. Truth Seeker basically re-hashes the same-old-same-old as Charles M. Larson's By His Own Hand on Papyrus.  I recommend Larson's book to know the facts of the matter about the papyri and the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar documents and so forth.  It does a better job in its presentation of actual basic facts, which is a lot more than could be said for the standard apologetic materials coming from the John Gees of the world that try to evade the basic facts.  But I do not recommend By His Own Hand on Papyrus for its ultimate conclusions.  Larson's book was reviewed by an LDS Egyptologist (Steven E. Thompson) who has not partaken from the standard apologetic of the missing papyrus theory, and he agrees that Larson's presentation in the book gives us some good basic facts.  We don't need to side with Larson on his conclusions, that Joseph could not translate and that our only good option is to abandon Mormonism and go join creedal Christianity.  That is an absurd claim.

Similarly as for the document by the anonymous "Truth Seeker," I do not recommend it either for its conclusions.  I only recommend it for its presentations of certain basic facts that we must embrace.  Again, as I have said over and over on this blog.  Just because we come to the same conclusions about certain basic facts of a matter that critics come to, our interpretations of the ultimate significance of these facts are not shared at all.  Even the Church's own statement on the Book of Abraham that was put up only a few months ago now accepts some of the facts as they are, but I do not agree with the idea that only the catalyst or revelation theories are options.  It is true that the Church's statement opened the door to theories other than the missing papyrus theory.  But it basically said that it is not very worthwhile to try to vindicate Joseph Smith's translations of the Egyptian material.  I have voiced my disappointment in the Church's statement before that theories like mine were not taken into account in the preparation of the statement.  Also, as I said before, to some degree, I lay that responsibility at the feet of apologists who had the power to help get the word out about lesser-known theories, and who knew about lesser-known theories, but who would not.

Anyhow, to summarize, as I have said before, to present graphics/illustrations that have been created by others for use in their documents doesn't mean that I agree with the ultimate conclusions of their claims or anything like that.  It only means that the illustrations were good.  Illustrations like these save me time to have to create things like this, and I have no issues with recycling good illustrations.

Here is a graphic showing the various copies of the Egyptian Alphabet:


Here are the various Book of Abraham Manuscripts with the Sensen characters in the margins:


Here are images of the 11 Rediscovered Papyri fragments:


Here is an illustration showing evidence for other missing papyri or sections of papyri:


A reasonable Egyptological restoration of Facsimile #1:


Joseph Smith's Facsimile #2 restoration with missing sections that were filled in highlighted in red:


A reasonable comparative restoration of Facsimile #2 from other hypocephali:


Here is an illustration that shows the portions of other papyri that Joseph Smith used to reconstruct Facsimile #2 (mostly from sections of the Sensen Papyrus):


Sensen Characters on BOA Manuscripts:


Here is another illustration where the Sensen characters copied on the BOA Manuscripts are matched up with the ones on the papyrus:
 

Characters from Egyptian Alphabet matched with characters from the columns surrounding Facsimile #1:


Abraham 1:1 matched with Reed Character that is Chalsidonhiash:


Another Illustration showing the reed symbol translated:


While the following illustration is related to the ones above, it is not from the same document, and probably not created by the same person, but still helpful:

(Source: http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm165/dartagnanx/Slide1-2.jpg)