Wednesday, July 23, 2014

For those Confused with "Secondary Intent" in the Sensen "Text" Characters: This is the Same as "Semitic" Adaptation of Facsimile Pictures. There is no Difference in Principal.

Some people may be confused with what I have called variously Secondary Intent or Dual Meaning or Doble Entendre in the characters typically thought of as text in the columns and in the Sensen Text.  This is exactly the same as when Kevin Barney or Jonathan Moyer says that a picture in a Facsimile of the Book of Abraham is "Adapted" for use in a Semitic context.  In my case, I show adaptation of characters that were thought of previously to only be elements text, but are rather more like little pictures that represent something when "adapted."  They were lifted from the Hor Papyrus and used in some other document entirely.  There is no difference in the concept between what I call secondary intent and what has been called Adaptation.  Many of you may already be fans of Barney's theory on Adaptation.  So, it may not be a foreign concept to you.  It is exactly the same.  These little pictures became effectively puns when they were re-used, when recycled in another context, and lined up with other content, to be merely decorative.

Let's concentrate on the Facsimiles of the Book of Abraham to try to illustrate what I mean, since that is what you are probably most familiar with.  To an Egyptologist Figure 1 is Khnum in Facsimile 2.  Barney would say that it was adapted to be Kolob.  That adds a secondary intent when something was originally Khnum to the Egyptians.  To an Egyptologist, Facsimile 1, Figure 2 is Osiris.  Barney would say this was adapted to be Abraham.  Do you see the Secondary Intent?

Now, for same principle in the Sensen Papyrus in the so-called text.  The Egyptian Alphabet in the KEP says that the reed symbol is ChalsidonHiash, the land of the Chaldees.  To an Egyptologist, it is the reed symbol, the Uniliteral I character in the Egyptian phonetic alphabet, a piece of a word, not a pictograph.  But the KEP treats it as a pictograph.  A reverse-engineering of the KEP name shows that the ChalsidonHiash name is actually identical to Karduniash, a well-known and ancient place-name for Southern Babylonia, the land of the Chaldees.  And it was also known as Kiengi, Land of Reeds, showing the pictographic use of the reed symbol to represent a place.  Wala.  Secondary Intent, the same as with the Facsimile pictures.  This character was adapted by the same ancient person to represent the Land of the Chaldees that also adapted the symbol of Osiris to represent Abraham.  It is the same exact concept.  It was not used as an element of text by the person Barney calls J-red [i.e. the hypothetical "Jewish Redactor," who to me is one or more Egyptian Syncretist/Magician(s), although a Jew is within the realm of strong possibilities] .  It was used as a pictograph, the same way that J-red used Osiris to represent Abraham in the picture.

There isn't really all that much that is new here except for actually following through and not having special, artificial exceptions for these characters (where one would believe that the principles of interpretation of these characters are somehow different than for the ones that are pictures in the Facsimiles).  If we are not allowing ourselves to be told that these principles ONLY apply to the pictures in the Facsimiles, then we actually break through the barrier.  I have applied these same principles to characters in the text and in the columns that nobody else wanted to defend apologetically, and have allowed Joseph Smith's words to actually mean what they plainly say in the KEP.

In their conception, some people wanted to have J-red ONLY adapt the Facsimile pictures, but they wanted to be able to write off and toss out all the translations for the characters in the text and in the columns.  I say just treat them the same as the rest.  That's where I say that other people have made a big mistake.  That's where I say that I have real results in reverse-engineering the KEP that contains translations for these very characters that everyone else wanted to write off and give up on.  I am just taking Barney's and Moyer's principles to their logical conclusion by applying them to the KEP and to the Sensen so-called "text" characters also.  Why didn't anybody do this decades ago?  Because they are so hung up with the idea that the Egyptologists are saying that the Sensen Text is nothing but text and cannot be used any other way.  They allowed the Egyptologists to convince them there was no secondary intent, when the KEP demands secondary intent, just like the explanations for the facsimiles.  But the Semitic Adaptation Theory for the facsimiles is not Egpytological either.  It requires that apologists open their minds to something outside of standard Egyptological assumptions.  So why not go one step further and solve the problem of the KEP and the Sensen so-called "text" characters with the very principles we already know?

The Egyptian Alphabet English Text in the KEP has always made the same exact claims as the Facsimile explanations text, that it represents explanations of characters.  If we are going to verify Joseph Smith's claims, we ought to pay attention to how he says the characters were used in this Secondary Intent, and actually test the claim to see if we can actually show that it is so.  And we can.  These symbols were used pictographically by these people that had the System of Interpretation that they used, not as text.  That doesn't make the original (Egyptological) intent wrong.  It just makes it the original intent, not the secondary one.

In other words, yes, on a surface, mundane level, factually speaking, the Sensen Papyrus is just a "regular old funerary papyrus" that Hugh Nibley showed to be an Endowment.  But it's characters in the text were also used as pictures by other people later on, to go along as section markers with the Book of Abraham text.  It is true that the hieratic characters look like cursive scribbles to us and not a lot like pictures.  But if you study the rest of my posts carefully in this blog, you will see that I have successfully demonstrated in depth in a number of instances the pictographic intent of these characters, and I am not just "puffing" in the sense of trying to make my theory sound good with extravagant statements.  I actually have real demonstrations of what I am talking about, and I challenge the reader to study them out.  They are documented for your eyes to see.

Here are some examples of what I'm talking about with Secondary Intent in Egyptian:

One statue from the reign of Ramesses II is an ideal example of the application of the rebus principle to sculpture. This statue is clearly composed of three primary parts: the pharaoh as a child, a large falcon representing Re, and a sculpted sedge plant.  Less obvious is the fact these three sections of the statue represent phonograms, which combine to read “Ramesses”: a visual pun on the name of the king. Wilson notes that it would be unusual to see the king depicted as a child, and that the plant at first seems incongruous, but once the symbols are understood, the full meaning of the sculpture falls into place.  Beyond a simple reading of the signs, this sort of depiction displays a certain playfulness on the part of its creators that would have been entirely lost on a viewer without knowledge of the language.There are also complete texts that demonstrate this unexpectedly humorous aspect of Egyptian culture. One example is a hymn to Sobek, the crocodile god, from the Temple of Esna. The inscription is composed of a long series of crocodile hieroglyphs. This would not be possible in a system of writing with a one-to-one correspondence of ideogram to meaning, where a picture of a crocodile would represent only a crocodile. In Egyptian writing, a pictograph of a crocodile could be read to mean “divine”, “time”, “one who seizes” and a number of other terms, often conceptually related.  Other artists took advantage of this ability of hieroglyphs, creating texts that could be read either vertically or horizontally with a different meaning in each direction. (

Similarly, our text in the Sensen Papyrus has a different meaning when viewed as a set of pictographs, each representing a separate theme, rather than a text that reads in regular Egyptian.  It certainly does read that regular way, but it has secondary intent, not dissimilar to these other examples above.  It is not exactly the same, but it is very similar.  And it has external dependencies required for it to be given context.  Joseph Smith's notebook acts as a "key," and it is likely that ancient interpreters would have had a similar type of document for interpretive context.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Jonathan Moyer's 2003 article: "The Jewish Origin of the Book of Abraham"

And here is a reference to the article on the web archive in case it is ever taken down:

Now I seriously do not know who to give credit for for the Semitic Adaptation Theory.  Did Kevin Barney follow in the steps of Jonathan Moyer, or did Jonathan Moyer get the idea from Kevin Barney, or did they work together at certain points on this theory?  Am I to give credit to both?  Who is the original originator of the theory?  Jonathan Moyer even mentions an "Egyptian Jewish Redactor" who Kevin Barney refers to as "J-red"or "Jewish Redactor" in his material.  It's kind of like, who invented the Mesoamerican theory for Book of Mormon Lands and the Mesoamerican Cumorah theory?  I wouldn't know who to give credit to.  Certainly it is fair to say that Barney's take on the Semitic Adaptation Theory is more developed.

As I was browsing the blog Mormanity and Jeff Lindsay's other site in the sections/posts about Book of Abraham material, I came across Jonathan Moyer's article.  Somehow I either read this many years ago and forgot about it, or just never encountered it before.  I have a fog in my mind about this article.  I can't remember whether I have seen it before or not for sure, but its odd that its existence slipped my mind if so.  His position is very similar to Kevin Barney's about Semitic Adaptation, and therefore has a lot in common with mine.  He also agrees with a lot that I have pointed out about the Magical Papyri Tradition in Greco-Roman Egypt.  His position is very similar in a lot of ways to what I have been talking about.  But similar to Kevin Barney, he ONLY is applying these principles to the Facsimiles of the Book of Abraham.  Once again, I say these same exact principles apply to the characters that are usually thought of as text in the Sensen Papyrus.  These characters are treated pictographically, the same as the characters in the Facsimiles.  The Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar represent the explanations for the pictographic usage of the characters in the columns and text of the Sensen Papyrus, just as Joseph Smith's explanations for the pictures in the Facsimiles.

Moyer states:

It is to this anonymous Egyptian Jewish redactor that we must look as the ultimate author of the explanations of the Facsimiles. These explanations did not originate with the prophet Joseph Smith; they are the products of the creative interpretative ability of Egyptian Judaism. This is clearly indicated by their consistency with patterns of ancient thought demonstrated above. Joseph Smith did not mistakenly identify Osiris as Abraham-he was restoring ancient Jewish records that had maintained such idiomatic equivalencies. Nor was Joseph Smith erroneously translating Egyptian-he was restoring ancient Jewish records that had appropriated Egyptian imagery from common funerary documents. As we have seen with other works emanating from Egyptian Jewry, the Jews opted for this seemingly syncretistic methodology in order to make their own works understandable to others in Egypt. No doubt they also did this in order to demonstrate the greater antiquity and superiority of their own tradition. Perhaps this was part of their own attempt to bring all truths, from whatever source, together into one great whole.

As we have seen, Egyptian Jews also equated their great patriarchal figures of the past with various Egyptian deities. They freely reassigned identities, and did not feel bound by standard Egyptian rules of interpretation. They certainly would have felt more constrained to preserve the essence of their own records, even if allowing for a certain interpretative elasticity in their appropriation of Egyptian elements.

Again, I am agreed with Moyer and Barney that we must look to the Redactor(s)/Interpreter(s) for the explanations of the Facsimiles.  They were not authored by Joseph Smith, but the English text that Joseph Smith created in the explanations for the figures is a representation of either something that this person or these persons wrote, or a representation in English of what was in their mind(s).  To me, this redactor or interpreter (or should the world be plural?) was an Egyptian Syncretist-Magician Priest of the Magical Papyri Tradition instead of being a Jew.  I mean, he/they could have been a Jew, but there was nothing stopping him from being just a Syncretist that was a regular old Egyptian that appropriated Jewish material.  Moyer says that he/they did not feel constrained by Egyptian rules of interpretation.  Well, since the Egyptian Syncretist-Magicians of the Greco-Roman era (of the Magical Papyri Tradition) were Egyptian, then just what were the Egyptian rules of interpretation?  Are the conventional assumptions of the Egyptian rules of interpretation just something that Egyptologists made up from lack of understanding?  Not that the rules that they understand are wrong, but what if the limits that they put on those rules are artificial.  What if there is a lot more to it?  Do the methods or rules of interpretation of the Egyptian Syncretist-Magicians of the Greco-Roman era actually represent a more ancient tradition that is actually more in line with what ALL Egyptians were doing with their documents since the beginning?  And is Joseph Smith actually showing us something that is actually the more correct understanding that fits within a paradigm that is actually a more correct ancient worldview than Egyptological assumptions?

But again, I must say, yet again for emphasis, it is not just the Facsimiles that are interpreted this way.  The same exact thing is true for the pictographic usage of the characters from the columns and the so-called "text" of the Sensen Papyrus.  These are translated in the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar, and the contents of that document is ancient.  It is a representation of something that was in someone's mind, or was once in a document of some sort.

However, I disagree with Moyer on the issue of this being ancient pseudepigrapha.  Moyer seems to agree with Blake Ostler and David Bokovoy that it is pseudepigraphic.  It seems that according to Moyer, Ostler was the originator of the pseudepigrapha theory for the Book of Abraham.

Anyhow, if anybody knows how to contact Brother Moyer, I would like to contact him.  Thank you.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Connection of Mehen and the Phaistos Disk to the Hieratic Uniliteral W (Rope Coil) as Abraham

As I was pondering tonight upon the connection between Senet, Mehen and the Phaistos Disk, I realized that both the Phaistos Disk and Mehen are spirals.  I just realized that they are the same form as the symbol for Abraham in the Sensen Papyrus "text," which the Hieratic W symbol, the rope coil, which is also a spiral.

The Phaistos Disk as a Game connected to Senet, Mehen and Facsimile #2

It turns out that an article appeared in the online journal Popular Archaeology, that I was unaware of until now.  It was posted there in December of 2012.  An author named Peter Aleff makes the proposal that the Phaistos disk is a game much like Senet or Mehen.  He is the author of the book Solomon's Sky: The Religious Board Game on the Phaistos Disk.  Researchers continue to try to translate the characters on the disk.  The author in question shows evidence that the disk is a STAR CHART mapping the northern sky.  I have already noted the connections between the game Mehen and Facsimle #2 of the Book of Abraham in previous posts.  Now, the Phaistos disk is clearly connected to Facsimile #2.  I argue that the center of Facsimile #2 of the Book of Abraham represents not only Kolob, but also the North Star from a geocentric point of view.  The cosmology of the Phaistos disk has the same geocentric cosmology of the ancients.

He connects the game of Senet to the Greek labyrinth.  That makes some sense to me.

And then this too:

This other author tries to connect the Phaistos Disk directly with Mehen, not directly with Senet.  Either way it works for me.