Episodes

Radio Free Mormon: 055: The Book Of Abraham – Missing Scrolls, Catalyst Theories, and Bad Apologetics Part 3

 

Today we explore

the Book of Abraham in Radio Free Mormon Style.  Bill Reel once again joins us and we proceed to lay out the following.

Today we explore the Book of Abraham in Radio Free Mormon Style.  Bill Reel once again joins us and we proceed to lay out the following.

– Brian Hauglid’s Constructive criticism of parts 1 & 2

– Kerry Muhlestein’s Ensign ArticleRobert Ritner’s criticism of the Book of Abraham Gospel Topic Essay

John Gee being asked about responding to Robert Ritner

– Correspondence with non-mormon Egyptologists including Kara Cooney

– And lastly Robin Scott Jensen’s comments which indicate the LDS Position is understood to be deeply problematic

 

REASONS THE MISSING SCROLL THEORY DOES NOT WORK:

– We know because of Abraham 1:12 and 1:14 itself points to Facsimile 1 and the very text in the papyri following it as the source text of the book of Abraham

– We know from the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar document that if we choose to be rational and logical the most reasonable interpretation of that document is that it represents Joseph Smith’s translation of The Book of Abraham.

– An early Egyptologist named Gustavus Seyffarth viewed the missing papyrus in 1856 and described only the Hor text and Facsimile 3. He gave no indication of another text on the scroll, and in fact explicitly denied that the scroll contained a record of Abraham.

– Klaus Baer predicted that the missing portion of the Hor text would be around sixty centimeters. Others who have attempted the estimate of the missing length agreed almost exactly with Baer’s estimate.

In the end a Missing Scroll theory is simply a Red Herring.  Why we know that a missing scroll does not matter?  We know where Joseph was translating and it was on the existing papyri. There is a set of documents that the church has always had in its possession commonly referred to as the “Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar” by Joseph Smith. Most of us remember hearing a little bit about it growing up in the church but not really knowing what it was. It was only briefly and rarely mentioned in church. With the discovery of the missing papyri in 1966, critics claim that these documents show a definite link between the papyri and the actual text of the Book of Abraham. The manuscript is in the handwriting of William W. Phelps and Warren Parrish, scribes to Joseph Smith, Jr. It is a bound book with handwriting on 34 pages with about 184 blank pages remaining throughout the book. There are characters in a left hand column with English explanations to the right. Original in LDS archives. There are 4 pages in Joseph Smith’s handwriting.

REASONS THE CATALYST THEORY DOES NOT WORK:

– The Times and Seasons with Joseph Smith as Editor along with Mormonism’s heading to the Pearl of Great Price in the past claimed the papyri was the writings of Abraham.

– The Times and Seasons with Joseph Smith as Editor along with Mormonism’s heading to the Pearl of Great Price in the past claimed it was written by Abraham’s  own hand.  If the Catalyst Theory is correct, then God must be responsible for misleading Smith about the identity of the author of the papyri characters.

– Joseph and his scribes wrote down the very symbols from the papyri we have along with a proposed meaning of those hieroglyphics and symbols in a document named Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar indicating strongly a literal translation.

–  Joseph Smith‘s translation and restoration of the facsimiles was incorrect. If the Catalyst Theory is correct, then God must be responsible for instructing Smith to incorrectly translate and restore the facsimiles.

–  The text of the Book of Abraham itself (1:12 and 1:14) declares that the source of the Book of Abraham has the Facsimile 1 fragment at its commencement, which is the Breathing Permit of Hor. If the Catalyst Theory is correct, then God must be responsible for instructing Smith to record verses in the Book of Abraham that incorrectly refer to the Facsimile 1 fragment.

–  The Small Sensen (Breathing Permit of Hor) characters are copied in order into the manuscripts where they are translated into the Book of Abraham. Therefore, Smith‘s own manuscripts indicate that the source of the Book of Abraham is the Small Sensen. If the Catalyst Theory is correct, then God must be responsible for misleading Smith to believe that the source of the Book of Abraham was the Small Sensen.

–  The Egyptian Alphabets end with two characters which appear in the manuscripts as the beginning of the Small Sensen and which translate into Abraham 1:1. Therefore, the Egyptian Alphabets indicate that the source of the Book of Abraham is the Small Sensen.  If the Catalyst Theory is correct, then God must be responsible for misleading Smith to believe that the source of the Book of Abraham was the Small Sensen.

RESOURCES: Book Of Abraham conundrum simplified – http://mormondiscussionpodcast.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2017/04/My-Concerns-Book-of-Abraham-1.pdf

Brian Hauglid on Mormon Discussion – https://mormondiscussionpodcast.org/2015/01/brian-hauglid-the-book-of-abraham/

MormonThink Translation and Historicity Issues – http://www.mormonthink.com/essays-book-of-abraham.htm

MormonThink Book of Abraham – http://www.mormonthink.com/book-of-abraham-issues.htm

Episode Links: Muhlestein lying about Abraham on the Lion Couch – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLbFpWlVLx8

John Gee acknowledging he will hold back facts if they could hurt faith – https://www.fairmormon.org/blog/2018/11/06/fairmormon-conference-podcast-17-john-gee-selling-our-birthright-for-a-mess-of-pottage-the-historical-authenticity-of-the-book-of-abraham

Brian Hauglid commenting about his shifted view – https://www.facebook.com/dan.vogel.35/posts/1398006876998582?hc_location=ufi

Robin Scott Jensen on the Book of Abraham – http://www.ldsperspectives.com/2018/11/07/book-of-abraham/ The Best Evidence for the Book of Abraham: Abraham in the Prayer Position – https://archive.org/details/egyptianhierogly01budguoft/page/n103 Dan Vogel’s Videos on the Book of Abraham Pt 1 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtJT_xjIgdM

Dan Vogel’s Videos on the Book of Abraham Pt 2 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcuCf5R7rF4

Dan Vogel’s Videos on the Book of Abraham Pt 3 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEVSEL3K5OE

Dan Vogel’s Videos on the Book of Abraham Pt 4 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64_kNhrwZfA

Dan Vogel’s Videos on the Book of Abraham Pt 5 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CySUdq2fNdQ

Dan Vogel’s Videos on the Book of Abraham Pt 6 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I47ibkJ4QrE

Dan Vogel’s Videos on the Book of Abraham Pt 7 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_7haq-PdjU

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6 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 055: The Book Of Abraham – Missing Scrolls, Catalyst Theories, and Bad Apologetics Part 3

  1. 41 minutes in, you accidentally prove the Book of Abraham is true.

    You say that the love potion merely uses the name Abraham, and others, to make a woman to submit to a man’s sexual desire. You then say this is not the Book of Abraham. WRONG! This is EXACTLY what the Book of Abraham is.

    Joseph’s created the Book of Abraham in order to strengthen his position as prophet. Why? So he could get power. The most famous example of that power is the power to make women submit to his lusts. In the book of Abraham and other texts, Joseph invoked the names of Abraham, God, Jesus, Moses, Nephi, and anybody else he could think of, in order to make people fall under his spell. And it worked!

    So the Book of Abraham is EXACTLY the same as the love spell. The connection is proven. Therefore it is true. See you in church.

  2. PS. forgot the “/s” and smiley :)(

    Great podcast as always. (Yeah, I know, I should send money more often. It’s on my to do list.)

  3. I love you guys but this episode was a mess!

    IMO, way too many sound effects and they often crossed the line into mocking and scorn.

    This should have been the best episode in the series but it ended up being the worst.

    I would love to see a remix version devoid of sound effects entirely. The content is just too important to be treated like this.

    Also, going forward, please try to do a better job of giving full citations for the audio clips in the shows. In some cases I did not know who was talking or what the context or source was so I could track it down and verify it. I know that you always do a great job of providing links on the episode page, but it can be tricky connecting the dots sometimes.

    Keep up the great work guys. This was just a little misstep, nothing more. I’m looking forward to Part 4 – please do it!

  4. Yeah, what’s up with the sound effects? It worked on RadioLab because it was new. It really doesn’t work with Glenn and infants on thrones because it’s a pathetic and a much lesser copy cat. Here it dumbs down a potentially intelligent discussion I’ve been yearning for. It was actually juvenile and catty. No more of that please, as it seemed like a nerd laughing at his own joke, and we’re forced to listen on, wondering where the humor is.

  5. The argument can be simplified when it comes to the missing scroll theory . Show me one instance where JS got any Egyptian translation correct? Since no evidence exists the possibility of a missing scroll is completely irrelevant. JS made up the descriptions associated with the 3 facsimiles, any other supposed translation can only be prove to be made up as well. Why are we so eager to dismiss the obvious but hold out hope that the unseen will actually end up being correct?

    All of Josephs props need to have an element that can never be seen or know. The Book of Abraham an example of a missing element coming to light and destroying all that JS claimed to to be.

  6. I am under the impression that the word Abraham is on a version of a lion couch, however it was actually written in Greek? Is that anyone else’s understanding?

    This after looking up a footnote and following the link only to find that only an LDS scholar has discovered. No public mention of the Greek writing so that just the claim itself should codify the believer.

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