Friday, January 14, 2011
Mormonism Has Issues Part 4
Just a small little post before I go to bed. I'll be busy this weekend so I want to give you readers a little something. And little it will be.
Book of Abraham.
If I had known what I know now about the BoA back when I was a TBM it would have really shaken my faith. Wouldn't have pushed me over, but it would've been a big step in that direction, possibly could've been the initial step to the process. Alas, I didn't know much accept a few things about the papyrus supposedly being found, but there are parts missing so it's okay, and blablabla.
But it's a lot more than that. However, I have to be up in 7 hours, so as I said I am keeping this short, and it deserves more justice than this but I've been thinking about the BoA today, for no reasons really, and so ... why not post. So I'll list off a couple issues, and I may some time later, months and months, come back with some good source material.
The problems with the 'boa' starts long before the book itself. Firstly, Joseph Smith interpreted ancient hieroglyphs wrong. As was common for his age, and for the uneducated nowadays, he thought the symbols represented meanings, or words, or phrases. He believed this for the Book of Mormon. I believe in the Seasons and Times he even had the hieroglyphs from the 'boa' listed with his translations next to them for the populace to read. It is my understanding that the paper has pictures of some of the parts we have found and listed next to them is his 'translation.' Being that he thought they were words and phrases his translations often were much longer than the hieroglyph sections.
But Egyptian hieroglyphs, in particular, are not words and phrases, but phonetics. They represent sounds, forming words. Ever learn yourself any Latin? Some of the phrases are lengthy and only translate to maybe three words in English. The amount of letters used is often much more than used in English. This is a quick generalization, doesn't carry over all languages, but old languages generally took a lot of time cause they didn't have a 'tight' language to write. Egyptian hieroglyphs are an example of this. I have the Egyptian alphabet on papyrus framed on my wall. It's all sounds, and modern-day writings are much easier to accomplish than the small picture to make a 'ph' sound.
So first, Joseph Smith had the whole process wrong. Second, the scrolls were found later. Joseph Smith hadn't been interested in the mummies at first, possibly felt obligated to go see them, and then to find another ancient writing like so many before. He then took a long time to translate the 'boa' and never even got to the Book of Joseph of Egypt. It probably never even crossed his mind that those scrolls might actually be translated at some point.
But they were. Cause they eventually were found, and could be known to be found because not only could the hieroglyphs be put alongside examples written on paper or in the Seasons and Times, but the pictures were found. One favorite story I find is that scholars had said that the sacrificial picture was supposed to have a priest grabbing the dudes 'phallis' or dick, for whatever reason, and it was a burial writing, like a eulogy or something. Everyone who was cool was getting them back in Egypt. Even when I was young I had issues believing the pots under the table were gods when I knew that they potted organs and things for burial. It just looked like it was supposed to be a burial picture. Scholars also said that the heads were wrong.
Sure enough, pictures found, and there's holes in it. One on the head of the priest, and down to where he was giving the dead guy a hand. So Joseph filled in the pics with what was 'supposed' to be there. The same head as the other guy, and his hand, not around his shaft!, but around a knife trying to stab poor Abraham. Please tell me I'm wrong at any point, about any of this.
But some of the scrolls were missing, and it's my understanding it could be anywhere from 3 to 15 feet. So Joseph could have used those parts. ER! Wrong, he put some examples in the local paper. The scrolls were a catalyst for his revelations. Isn't this just a fancy, spiritually-supporting way of saying that the scrolls helped his creative juices in making it all up?
Also, lastly, no one ever said that he translated it correctly. As to why the 'boa' isn't in the Articles of Faith, because as far as we can tell, it has NOT been translated correctly. The scholars said he didn't come anywhere close, and the church even tries to get their own scholars to say so, who also said that Joseph did not translate the scrolls, and if he thought he did then he was wrong.
So there you have it. 1 - Joseph Smith had an old-school idea of translating and was wrong. 2 - We have examples of his translations. 3 - We have the book and facsimiles, the end product. 4 - We find the scrolls to compare with modern knowledge of translation. 5 - Nothing lines up. 6 - BYU professors won't even try to line it up. 7 - Church essentially buries the whole thing.
As has been said before, within the church you never get to the meat, it's always the milk or honey. I love you all, goodnight.