Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Clarifications on the Idea of Secondary Intent for the Sensen Papyrus as an Abecedarium

From the beginning of this blog, I have used phrases like Secondary Intent for the Sensen Papyrus, Ancient Context, and Ancient Interpreters and so forth.  My point was never to say that something was encoded IN the papyrus.  Nobody ever intentionally created a second level of understanding IN the papyrus itself for anything, or so it seems.

I have always stated, like in my previous post, that it is the way this papyrus was used by people that employed its symbols that was the important thing, and that this was an ancient practice transmitted by Joseph Smith, knowledge from ancient times transmitted to us by him.  He and his scribes didn't make it up, and it is not a modern thing, contrary to theories like that from William Schryver and John Gee, that put all responsibility on W. W. Phelps and others.

If there was ever any Secondary Intent FOR the Papyrus, or rather another purpose the papyrus was used FOR, it may have been the idea of a custom Alphabet, to begin with (i.e. a sign list, rather than text with a "message").  Again, please read this carefully:  this is NOT built IN to the papyrus.  This is something people were using it FOR, which may be alien to the original idea the papyrus was designed for.  This is something that people started doing with it a long time after it was written.

In certain parts of this blog, I have stated how the word Sensen itself was associated with the idea of an Alphabet.  The word Sensen is the idea of two bulls coming together and becoming one.  Sensen was the day when both the Sun and the Moon were seen in the sky during the day, the two bulls in the sky.  And so, furthermore, how this applies to alphabets is this.  The oldest Alphabets/Abjads and Zodiacs started with a bull (Aleph as an Ox or Aries the Ram) and end with a bull (Tav as a mark indicating ownership of cattle, or the cross mark indicating the Ecliptic crossing the Celestial Equator at the time of the Spring Equinox in Taurus the bull in the early time period of the Earliest Zodiacs/Constellation Lists/Calendars).  Some Zodiacs were Lunar calendars, and some were Solar.  In the case of the Sensen, the god Khonsu in the text is prominent, and he was the moon.  There may have been an association with the Lunar Zodiac.  And so, Zodiacs were a series of symbols or characters in the sky going in a circle, and the two bulls meet one another, where the series of symbols begin and end.  This is why Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.  The two bulls are where it begins and ends.  In Egypt, the god Khonsu was the god of the sign lists, the god of the Lunar Zodiac (Constellation-based Calendar), the god of the two bulls.  This goes back to the earliest time periods of the earliest Alphabets and Abjads having been created as Zodiacs and Calendars, and certain lists of characters being used as Abecedaria (documents where people would practice writing ancient alphabets to learn them).  And so, from its creation, it is possible, that Ancient Egyptians used the writing of a document like the Sensen as an Abecederium.  And by this, I mean that not only do its characters "say" something (the Egyptian Endowment as Nibley showed), but they are ALSO a convenient grouping or list of Egyptian characters that people would use to practice writing out their ABC's in ancient times in Egyptian, because it was a relatively short document.

And so, by calling it Sensen, it is possible that they were cluing people in on this usage of it.  It is true that it does indeed "translate" the way Hugh Nibley and other Egyptologists showed us it does.  But if it had a second type of usage, it was this:  a custom abecedarium employed in a derivative document.  And so, since it became used as a sign list (i.e. one of the "orderings" for the Egyptian Alphabet, or one of the ways that Egyptian characters are listed together, its characters became useful for other things.

If you haven't understood my reasoning for going into studies about ancient Alphabets like the Proto-Sinaitic, which was a Semitic Adaptation of Egyptian characters in a different context than the characters started out with, this is a summary of my reasoning for it.  If you have not understood previously why I was fixated on trying to demonstrate that the Proto-Sinaitic was invented as a Zodiac or Calendar originally, this was my reasoning.  Because the tradition of Alphabets is the tradition behind the Sensen.  This is why Joseph Smith called it the Egyptian Alphabet.

And so, employing these characters as symbols for use in codes was one of them that they came to be used for in the Alexandria area in Greco-Roman times.  And so, I am not saying that a code is built into the characters of this papyrus.  I'm saying that these symbols in this papyrus became useful to people to employ as symbols for use in codes that have nothing to do with the original idea for this papyrus.  In order to assign specific meanings to them, they had to create documents where special meanings were applied to these symbols that are not the general meanings of them, but were for specific usages in specific codes.  One of these codes where they applied specific meanings for these characters was in a religious context for the story of Abraham.  It was some people in Alexandria that appear to have done this, because they knew the story of Abraham somehow.

So no, this is not the original document that contained the Book of Abraham that came down from the pen of Abraham.  This is a thing that contains symbols that somebody ended up using to represent his story, and this was used this way in some missing ancient document from ancient times.  It is in the Kirtland Egyptian Papers that Joseph Smith and his scribes were demonstrating the usage of the Sensen Papyrus characters in a code for Abraham, a reconstitution of this ancient information.  It's not that they generally translate this way.  It's that some ancient person from Alexandria or someplace like that used them this way.  And through reverse engineering, we can show that these translations are actually encodings, not regular Egyptian translations.  Nevertheless, they do have associations with the regular meanings of the Egyptian characters, and they were selected for use in these encodings deliberately.

People get so disappointed that the Sensen Papyrus either doesn't translate literally to the Book of Abraham, or that they don't find a code IN the Book of Breathings FOR the Book of Abraham.  Both of those things are the wrong things to be looking for in the first place.  The Sensen Papyus merely provides the symbols that were used for codes that were external to the Sensen Papyrus in other documents to begin with, a missing, derived document or documents.  And the Kirtland Egyptian Papers is a document that manifests the definitions for one of those codes.  Nevertheless, meaningful associations can be found between the definitions in the Kirtland Egyptian Papers and the regular Egyptian meanings of the symbols.

What is the difference between proposed "missing" documents and a Missing Papyrus proposed by regular Mormon Apologists?  A big one.  I say we have in the Church all the essential papyri that Joseph Smith had in his hands.  Mormon Apologists try to invent a missing papyrus that Joseph Smith never had.  When I say there are missing documents, I mean to say that back in ancient times, some document or documentss existed that no longer exist, but that the Kirtland Egyptian Papers manifest some of the information in these, information restored into modern speech.