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Home Book of Abraham Special Section Analyzing David Persuitte's ideas on the Joseph Smith Papyri

Analyzing David Persuitte's ideas on the Joseph Smith Papyri

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Research by Kerry A. Shirts

When I first read David Persuitte's book, "Joseph Smith and the Origins of the Book of Mormon," I was amazed at the detail he presented as an attempt at analyzing the "View of the Hebrews" as a source for the Book of Mormon. Here at last, I presumed was a serious attempt at dealing with the issue in apparent excellent detail. This was the vein of gold in his book that occupied my attention. When I read the book review by L Ara Norwood I realized how seriously incorrect Persuitte was.1 It wasn't until years later that I was referred again to Persuitte, only this time in order to read his "awesome critique" against the Book of Abraham. So I re-read it this time paying attention to this angle of attack which I had vaguely been aware of before. I must confess, my first impression of reading his stuff about the papyri the first time was minimal to be sure. This time I am simply unimpressed at all with Persuitte. He would have done far better to simply leave his Joseph Smith Papyri discussion out of his book. After all, it is about the Book of Mormon, and it is there that he has his strongest work, even though in the long run and overall his argument remains unconvincing, his argument about the papyri is simply cheating. I will take a hard stand on Persuitte with this because his research is done in a rather obvious dishonest manner. It can't be any plainer, and I'll show you just what I mean.

Persuitte claims that "The Book of Abraham provided the basis for the so-called 'Negro Doctrine' of the Utah church."2 This is simply ridiculous. I find it a most telling expose for anti-Mormons to pretend they know so much about a subject, when in fact, they know just enough to cheat, leaving out information that solidly refutes their uninspiring claims. Notice, Persuitte published his book in 1985, a full four years after Hugh Nibley published his book "Abraham in Egypt," in 1981. Why is this so significant? Simply because Hugh Nibley shows this idea is incorrect. Now, Persuitte certainly is aware of Nibley's writings as he at least bothers to notice them in his analysis while studiously and deliberately ignoring their arguments and analysis. Critics apparently feel it is enough to just accept the unsupported parroted claim that Nibley is unreliable. To slightly digress, Dr. Nibley in his earlier article, "As Things Stand" noted that a certain Mr. Turner was pontificating that the papyri "could turn sociological by undermining the scriptural basis for the Mormons' discrimination against Negroes." Nibley noted: "The scriptural basis of Mormon belief rests wholly on inspired English translations of the scriptures - not a single original version of any holy book is known to exist anywhere in the world today, and scholars have never been able to agree on what the ancient texts they do possess are trying to convey. In such a state of things nothing can take the place of an inspired translation as far as the LDS members are concerned, and no study of Egyptian or any other ancient texts could ever 'undermine the scriptural basis' for any Mormon belief."2 Persuitte would have done well to at least read this once also.

It is patently ludicrous for critics after 1981 to conclude what Persuitte does because Nibley demonstrated that the classification of people by race is "a concept utterly foreign to the ancient Orient," quoting T. Boehl. And in fact, the famous curse of Ham was the land being cursed, so that the curse of Ham "belongs to *whoever* oppresses Israel, whether Babylonians, Assyrians, Philistines, Phoenicians, or Canaanites, each of which in their time has been assigned by ancient and modern writers to the line of Ham."4

Gerhard von Rad puts it this way: "The literary classification of the racial groups given in the Table of the Nations [Genesis chapter 10] quite certainly derives from contemporary cartographical or listing schemes in which the nations were entered according to their historical or political relationships (and so not by language or race)..."5 Further we are told that "in the ancient records the blood of Ham is a mixture, always containing more white than black....and while Ham is the ancestor oh Pharaoh in Genesis 10:6-20, the line also includes the Philistines... the Hamites are as conspicuously Asiatic as African...the oldest African stocks as well, Libyans, Tehennu, Berber - were not only white, but often referred to as pale-skinned and red headed...there is no exclusive equation between Ham and Pharaoh, or between Ham and the Egyptians, or between the Egyptians and the blacks, or between any of the above and any particular curse. ***What was denied was recognition of patriarchal right to the priesthood made by a claim of matriarchal succession."*** (My emphasis)6

Sir Alan Gardiner notes that the Libyans were known as "...the white-skinned, red-haired, and blue-eyed people..."7 He further notes that the "Libu" was first known during Merenptah's reign (1220 B.C.), as they invaded the land. But two peoples were distinguished in earlier times, "the Tjehnyu and the Tjemhu, of whom the former were perhaps originally identical in both race and culture with the Egyptians of the western Delta, though they were always definitely regarded as foreigners."8 The "New Interpreter's Bible" notes that "Ham serves as progenitor of the peoples (thirty in all) within the Egyptian political and commercial orbit, including sections of Africa, Arabia, and Mesoptamia. The inclusion of the latter (who are Semitic) may be attributed to similar sounding names, Cush in Africa and the Kassites, who ruled in the Mesoptamian region during 1600 to 1200 B.C. Canaan may be included here because it came under Egyptian control in 1500 - 1200 B.C."9 This can easily be seen reflected in the languages spoken by the first Pharaohs of Egypt, commonly called "Egyptian" which is classified today by linguists "as a member of the Afro-Asian or Hamito-Semitic family, a group that also includes Semitic, Berber, Cushitic, and Chadic (Hausa)."10

What the Book of Abraham tells is that the woman who discovered Egypt, set her son up on the throne, and in Egypt was a Matriarchal succession of power, while Abraham came through the Patriarchal side, and *that* is what Pharaoh was denied, since his rule came from his *mother*. It has absolutely *nothing* to do with negroes because they are black as Persuitte so incorrectly proclaims.11 As usual, it is the scriptures which are correct, while our critics miss the point. Rudolf Anthes noted the downplay of Maat (the Goddess of truth, justice, etc., in ancient Egypt) and suggests this is because "the aspiration of the King to speak as ruler with the authority of a king,"... it points to the unmistakable prehistoric rivalry between the two [Patriarchy and Matriarchy], and the fact that it is mentioned at all in the Pyramid Texts is clear indication that the woman had the prior right to rule."12 This is precisely the picture the Book of Abraham gives us, with the woman discovering the land, and then setting up her son as ruler, (Abr. 1:23-26). Pharaoh's problem by a careful reading of the Book of Abraham is that "he claimed it [the priesthood] through the wrong line, "that lineage by which he could not have the right of Priesthood" (Abr 1:27). What was wrong with that? Simply this: it was not the patriarchal but the matriarchal line he was following. He traced his descent as well as throne to the daughter of Ham, the daughter of Egyptus (1:23), this woman being the one who discovered the land under water and settled her sons in it (1:24). Her eldest son became the ruling Pharaoh, ruling after the manner of the patriarchal order (1:25), which the king ernestly sought to imitate. "Thus the government of Egypt was carried on under the fiction of being patriarchal while the actual line was matriarchal, the Queen being 'the Wife of the God and bearer of the royal lineage.' In all of which there is no mention of race, though enemies of the Church have declared with a shock and outrage that these passages are proof of Mormon discrimination against blacks."13 In reality, "Pharaoh finds himself in "the male line of Ham [which] had become rebellious, while the female line was not patriarchal." In fact the ancient Jewish tradition persistently noted that the priestly succession of Ham "was made void through the transgression of his male descendants, Cainan, Cush, Nimrod, all of whom broke the covenant and forfeited the priesthood by laying unworthy claims to it."14

Persuitte tells us further that "Joseph Smith claimed that the word 'Egypt' was derived from a Chaldean word 'Egyptus'. But the ancient Egyptians never called their land 'Egypt', nor is the word of Chaldean origin."15 Again, Persuitte irresponsibly brings this idea up since Hugh Nibley dealt with it before Persuitte, so either Persuitte is being dishonest here or is just plain sloppy in his research. It is interesting that Stephen Thompson brings up the same issue of Egyptus again in 1995, also dishonestly (well, it's a bit kinder than saying he is being blatantly lazy as a researcher isn't it?) ignoring Nibley's discussion, which Thompson cannot pretend to be ignorant of.16 Interesting that in light of the many times Thompson uses Nibley's "Abraham in Egypt" in order to make points against it, (cf. footnote 9 below) on this Egyptus issue he ignores it all together, obviously because Nibley's analysis is the most complete of any in print on this idea. More telling is Thompson's reaction to a question concerning Nibley's research. In the tape recorded version of his Sunstone Lecture on the Book of Abraham, later printed into his "Dialogue" article, Thompson said, and I quote: "Nibley's stuff is bullshit." In light of the high selectivity and deliberate attempt at making Nibley look so bad, ignoring him when he makes a point against what Thompson says, or using him in order for Thompson to supposedly demolish, what are we to think when a supposed professional Egyptologist stoops to such chicancery? More telling still, what are we to think when Thompson accepts what the high school teacher Charles M. Larson writes, rather than far superior and more serious scholars such as Nibley? Just because Thompson does not agree with Nibley on many points (who among us agree 100% with anyone else anyway?), does this make it all right to abuse the man and misuse his arguments? Is this professionalism? I would find it rather hard to believe that Thompson is not aware that Egyptologists find Charles Larson to be a mere twinkie at anything Egyptian, (he certainly is with Mormon History as John Gee has demonstrated)17 while they find Nibley's work quite serious, even though slanted with a Mormon bent, his work is *still serious and an attempt at being scientific*! But on with Persuitte's argument.

Egyptus is all wrong according to our critic. It is? How would Persuitte know since he fails to consider Nibley's research into this? Until the critics begin to realize how seriously Mormon scholars are about understanding our own scriptures, they will never, worlds without end, convince us they are correct, while we are wrong, by ignoring Mormon scholarship on the very issues our critics bring up!

Egyptus we very necessarily have to understand is the *Chaldean* name for the land as the Book of Abraham says. "Egyptus, which in the Chaldean signifies Egypt." (Abr 1:23). Persuitte says that "the ancient Egyptians never called their land Egypt..."18 This is irrelevant as the Book of Abraham is not saying they ever did. The name "Egypt" was first applied to the land by the Canaanites ("in the Chaldean"), making its first known appearance in Ugaritic as 'H.kpt,' that being an adaptation of the old Egyptian name for Memphis, 'Ht-ka-ptah' which the Egyptians did *not* apply to the land as a whole, but only to the city. It was the 'Chaldeans' who gave it to the land."19 The Book of Abraham notes that the Egyptians, like Pharaoh also, were a mixed stock being "partakers of the blood of the Canaanites." (Abr 1:21-22). In fact, with no real boundaries to stop them, the Canaanites "at all times filtered into Egypt by the oldest road in the world" a recurrent menace throughout Egypt's history.20 We are told that examination of Canaanite skulls have "an array of cranial characteristics surprisingly similar to those of ancient Egypt."21 We know that the Canaanites used various language scripts including Egyptian Hieroglyphics in order to write.22 So who were they? The "Third millenium Semitic inhabitants of Syria-Palestine and their second millenium descendants."23

Had Persuitte persued Nibley's information further as well as the Egyptologists research, he also would have found that there is evidence that the land of Egypt did get its name from a woman. Herakleides noted that "it was first a woman named Aegyptia who established her son and introduced weaving. Because of her, the Egyptians set up an image of Athena, as Ephorus says in his work on Europa."24 "From Isocrates... we learn that a granddaughter of Zeus, being the mother of both Busiris of Egypt and his brother, the terrible Antaeus...was, they say the first woman to rule, after whom the country was named."25 Diodorus tells us that "the Royal line of the Nile family after which the river is named, was formerly called Aegyptos."26

Nibley has also demonstrated how Egyptus actually does mean "forbidden," to the complete chagrine of the critics to the point that they will not even bring his study up! Persuitte and Thompson are both excellent examples of this. When we look at the word "Egyptus" we note the "Canaanite" or common old Semitic combination of g-p-t (the vowels change constantly, but the root meaning of the consonant combination always remains the same) designates something forbidden.

In Arabic the commonest meaning of the consonants g-p-t is "to conceal, cover over, tuck, crouch, usually with the basic idea of concealing with the hand; thus:

*kafata* - conceal, forbid

*kabata* - conceal out of shame

*qabada* - cover, shrink from

*qabut* - our word capuchin, all enveloping cloak, modesty, shame

*khabith* - impure, taboo

*khafata* - holy silence, secret

*khafada* - lower the voice, abash, humble

*hafitha* - to keep secret

Hebrew or Aramaic is more of the same:

*kabah* - cover or hide

*qafdah* - shrinking, horror

*qafats* - draw together, close

*khaba* - wrap or hide

In Babylonian and Assyrian "khpt" means hidden or forbidden

In the Egyptian Book of the Dead the "khebt-chamber" is the forbidden place where all is hidden. In fact the suggested name "Ht-ka-ptah", is the *secret* name of Memphis, which can be the hiding place of Ptah.

Before all however, comes "Kh.b.t", the hidden marsh where Isis bore and nursed the infant Horus - the most secret place in the world and the only place where Seth could not find him; the nest hidden in the bullrushes was the most forbidden place on earth. "So we have no shortage of candidates for the original form of 'Egypt' which signifies that which is forbidden. (Abr 1:23).27 Interestingly, Stephen Thompson claimed this word was an anachronism in the Book of Abraham and "does not mean forbidden in any language." But of course, you honestly didn't expect to see him use Nibley here, and so its no surprise to see that, of course, his studied silence on Nibley is... well, so characteristic of those with preconceived agendas.28 That I conclude thusly is for a very simple reason. Thompson *does* use Nibley's "Abraham in Egypt" elsewhere in his paper, (pp. 146, 151, 153) but studiously ignores it in this case, because he apparently feels it necessary to build up as many supposed anachronisms in the Book of Abraham as he can and thus refute its historicity. He establishes this only at the expense of the evidence directly refuting his claims.

And now we are beginning to see why the critics brush so lightly over Hugh Nibley's research, to be sure, not to mention that vast majority of other LDS scholarly works, such as Michael Dennis Rhodes which Persuitte also ignores, but to which we will have occassion to return.

Persuitte amazed me no end when he brought up the Right Reverend Spaulding's attack on the Book of Abraham, in 1912. What amused me is that this scenic silliness Persuitte resurrects was already handled by Hugh Nibley, the main researcher who has done the most complete analysis on this issue. Persuitte comments that Nibley's study is merely "full of fanciful conjectures" and drops it at that, while other bonafide Egyptologists, such as Klaus Baer of the University of Chicago, hailed it as compulsory reading for budding Egyptologists!29 Indeed, "what Nibley considered 'frankly skirmishing and sparring for time, Klaus Baer consider to be 's delight and [something that] should be compulsory reading for budding Egyptologists.'"30 So while Persuitte lacks the scholarly acumen to deal with the 1912 issues, and merely tosses off with a quick flick of his hand, this supposed material of "fanciful conjectures" is described by another Egyptologist as "a serious scientific attempt to make full use of Egyptological literature..."31 In fact, Persuitte's flawed commentary leaves the impression that Nibley's work is essentially useless, while there have been, on the other hand, non-LDS Egyptologists who have used Nibley's material in respected Egyptological journals.32

Instead, Persuitte is content to use Grant Heward, who has been described by at least one Egyptologist as "amateur" and "polemical" with "several gross errors."33 In fact, Hugh Nibley decimated Heward in his article "Getting Ready to Begin" in BYU Studies, which, of course, Persuitte is deafeningly silent! More to the point, Stan Larson has acknowledged that Nibley "rightly criticized the inadequacies of Heward's translation of Egyptian..."34 Now to those in the know, Stan Larson is not exactly active in the Hugh Nibley fan club! So why Persuitte is utilizing Heward's work in 1985, when it was dealt the death blow in 1968, is, quite frankly beyond me. At least Stephen Thompson didn't make this mistake, although he does use the very faulty Ed Ashment.35 Why Persuitte is persuing the Spaulding material of 1912 in 1985, when it also was dealt the death blow in 1968, is, also beyond me. Stephen Thompson does follow Persuitte in this regard, much to the damage of his professionalism, as he knows better.36

One of Persuitte's conclusions is dealing with facsimile #2 in the Book of Abraham, where Persuitte after a thrifty paragraph claims "Joseph's interpretation of the scenes it represents is erroneous."37

Erroneous? And this after not even dealing with anything of the facsimile! And, of course, in classical anti-Mormon fashion, for make no mistake about it, Persuitte's book "is an anti-Mormon book,"38 Persuitte deliberately ignores Micheal Dennis Rhodes work on the Hypocephalus.39 This is bad enough, but that Persuitte ignores virtually *everything* done on the hypocephalus by LDS scholars is simply inexcusable. Typical, but inexcusable.40

What is drastically in need in a study such as Persuitte's, is honesty. It is redundantly boring, even academically apathetic for Persuitte to proclaim that Hugh Nibley's "Improvement Era" articles, "A New Look at the Pearl of Great Price" from 1968-1970, are "full of fanciful conjectures about the relationship of the papyri to the Book of Abraham, never included a translation of them."41 Was this Nibley's goal in this particular set of articles though? What was Nibley's thesis in these articles? His approach was to deal with one thing at a time, beginning with the Spaulding affair of 1912, and he carried out the work from Jan. 1968-Aug. 1968. In April 1968, Nibley noted in big bold boxes that he had already begun writing these articles before 1968. Persuitte should have been aware of this, though it is doubtful if he's read Nibley's study. Nibley says these articles "were never meant as an examination of the new evidence, though they do provide a necessary approach to it."42

And this is the entire problem, which is falsely created by critics dealing with the research of Hugh Nibley. They critique his articles here as not dealing with the issue of the papyri, when they were not meant to be dealing with that particular problem, DUH! The critics need to read more and talk less before always trying to find warts and bad breath with every aspect of LDS scholarship. This was the exact *same* problem that Thomas Stuart Ferguson had with that series of articles. Ferguson expressed in a letter to James Boynack that "Nibley's 'Era' articles on the Book of Abraham aren't worth a tinker...because he could not, he dared not, he did not, face the true issue: 'Could Joseph Smith translate Egyptian?' I clipped every one of his articles and have them in a single file and I have reviewed them - looking in vain for that issue."43

So we have Ferguson on the one hand being dissatisfied, and Persuitte on the other hand calling Nibley's work "fanciful conjectures...never including a translation..." But *THE* real issue with these articles, is simple. What *WAS* Nibley writing about? One can take a look at anything in print and destroy its argument if one ignores what the writing is about and instead look for something else, which obviously will *not* be in the writing. So what? It is most interesting that Persuitte (I leave Ferguson now) never brings up the book that Hugh Nibley *DID* deal with the translation! How utterly weird. Complain that one set of articles did not deal with the issue Persuitte was looking for and then ignore the book that does deal with the issue?! One looks in vain in the pages of Persuitte for anything about Nibley's book, "The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri," printed in 1976. Again Persuitte studiously ignores the sources while building all sorts of cute if irrelevant strawmen to make his case, and then destroy that straw, (burn, baby burn!) in order to bolster an already sagging, helpless image of true scholarly fecundity. Persuitte lacks the scholarly acumen to deal with Hugh Nibley's writings, let alone anything else about the Joseph Smith Papyri.

Finally, the ridiculous conclusion that demonstrates above all else in this research, that we are dealing with wishful thinking is that Persuitte claims, while ignoring Nibley's analysis, which Persuitte labels "fanciful conjectures", that if the Book of Abraham Egyptian has been translated incorrectly (it hasn't, but to be sure, Persuitte demonstrates a determined effort at knowing nothing concerning Hugh Nibley's excellent article, nay the standard article on this subject "The Kirtland Egyptian Papers" either) then this also proves the Book of Mormon false.44 Nibley demonstrated in March of 1968 that the two books were not translated the same at all. But then, critics seem to assume that it is irrelevant what Mormon scholars find and demonstrate, the critics will continue presenting their own theories, even if they are totally eclipsed with contradictions and refutations anyway, because the Mormons are bias, while critics are objective. So the sorry saga of idiocy presented as scholarship continues with such unbelievable errors that to laugh is now deemed a lot of work to go through. Critics have never before been honest enough to look into the full issue with all sides being fairly presented. They have yet to show why we *should* accept their conclusions, when they are clearly based on inadequate and deliberately distorted use of sources, both LDS and non-LDS. Until they get serious, we will always have grist for the mill to demonstrate to the world why we remain Mormon in spite of critics' vaunted learning to deceive. If they cannot defeat Mormonism with honest analysis, the critics have absolutely *nothing* to offer in return.

Endnotes

1. L. Ara Norwood, reviewing Persuitte in "FARMS Review of Books on the Book of Mormon," Vol. 2, 1990, pp. 187-204.

2. David Persuitte, "Joseph Smith and the Origins of the Book of Mormon," McFarland & Co., 1985, p. 214.

3. Hugh Nibley, "As Things Stand at the Moment," "BYU Studies," 9/1(Autumn 1968): p. 70-71.

4. Hugh Nibley, "Abraham in Egypt," Deseret Books, 1981, p. 213. "The stock representations by the Egyptians of 'the four races' (Egyptian, Asiatic, Black, European-Berber) have, according to Brugsch, 'completely lost... any special significance' by the New Kingdom. 'The old names still appear on the monuments, but rarely and without the slightest indication of race distinction.'" p. 218. See also Cheikh Anta Diop, "Civilization or Barbarism," Lawrence Hill Books, 2nd ed., 1991, p. 94.

5. Gerhard Von Rad, "Theologie des Alten Testaments; BD I, Die Theologie der geschichtlichen Uberlieferungen Israels," 2 vols., trans. by D.M.G. Stalker, "Old Testament Theology," Harper & Row, 1962, vol. 1, p. 161.

6. Nibley, "Ab. in Eg.," p. 219f. Cf. Nibley, "The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri," Deseret Books, 1976, p. 14, a book Persuitte studiously ignores, much to his deteriment as we shall see.

7. Sir Alan Gardiner, "Egypt of the Pharaohs," Oxford Univ. Press, first paperback, 1964, p. 35.

8. Gardiner, "Ibid.," p. 35.

9. "The New Interpreter's Bible," 12 vols., Abingdon Press, 1994, vol. 1, p. 408.

10. Michael A. Hoffman, "Egypt Before the Pharaohs," Barnes & Noble, 1993, p. 290f. Cf. George Steindorf & Keith C. Seele, "When Egypt Ruled the East," Univ. of Chicago Press, 2nd ed., 1957, Ch. VI.

11. Persuitte, "Ibid.," pp. 215-219.

12. Nibley, "Ab in Eg," p. 187.

13. Nibley, "Ibid.," pp. 133f. Cf. comments on page 190.

14. Nibley, "Ibid.," p. 189.

15. Persuitte, "Ibid.," p. 216.

16. Stephen Thompson, "Egyptology and the Book of Abraham," in "Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought," Spring 1995, pp. 155f. Thompson is more than aware of Nibley's work as he cites his "Abraham in Egypt" in footnote 13 on page 146 along with Nibley's study on the Three facsimiles as well as in footnote 20, on page 147, footnote 38 on page 151, footnote 50 on page 153. Thompson merrily picks and chooses his sources to bolster his view as does Persuitte.

17. John Gee, review of Charles Larson in "FARMS Review of Books on the Book of Mormon," Vol. 4, 1992, pp. 93-117. See also John Sorenson and Michael Dennis Rhodes review, same issue, pp. 117-126.

18. Persuitte, p. 216.

19. Nibley, "Ab in Eg," p. 188 quoting William F. Albright, "Yahweh and the Gods of Canaan."

20. Nibley, "Ibid.," p. 188. Cf. Sir Alan Gardiner, "Ibid.," p. 36. Also Steindorf & Seele, "Ibid.," Chapter VI. See also William F. Albright, "From the Stone Age to Christianity," Doubleday, 1957, pp. 11ff.

21. Nibley, "Ab in Eg," p. 188.

22. William F. Albright, "Ibid.," p. 76.

23. Nibley, "Ibid.," p. 188.

24. Nibley, "Ibid.," p. 193.

25. Nibley, "Ibid.," pp. 193f.

26. Nibley, "Ibid.," p. 194.

27. Nibley, "Ibid.," p. 196f.

28. Thompson, "Ibid.," p. 155.

29. Persuitte, "Ibid.," p. 259 for quote, p. 218 for bringing up Spaulding. The Egyptologist who described Nibley's "Improvement Era" articles was none other than Klaus Baer, the very Egyptologist which critics love to use against the Joseph Smith Papyri!

30. John Gee, Review of Charles Larson, in "FARMS Review of Books on the Book of Mormon," vol. 4, 1992, pp. 97f.

31. Gee, "Ibid.," p. 98.

32. Gee, "Ibid.," p. 98, note 17.

33. Persuitte uses Heward from p. 259-264. The Egyptologist who says Heward is amateur with several gross errors is Dieter Mueller, in "Annual Egyptological Bibliography 1968", see Gee, "Ibid.," p. 98, note 17.

34. Stan Larson, "Quest For the Gold Plates," Freethinkers Press, 1996, p. 126, note 76. Nibley's article destroying Heward was "Getting Ready to Begin: An Editorial," in "BYU Studies," 9, Autumn 1968, pp. 245ff. Cf. Nibley, "A New Look at the Pearl of Great Price," in "Improvement Era," April 1968 boxed sections.

35. Stephen Thompson, "Ibid.," on using Ashment, p. 144, note 5, p. 148, p.154, note 58. For reviews of Ashment and his weird warping of sources, and succulent silliness, John Gee, in "Review of Books on the Book of Mormon," Vol. 6, #1, 1994, pp. 79-120; "RBBM," vol. 7, #1, 1995, pp. 19-84, discussing Ed Ashment and the Egyptian magical papyri.

36. Thompson, "Ibid.," p. 143. Now it is studiously ludicrous for Thompson to ignore Nibley's "Improvement Era" articles 1968-1970, as anyone who is faintly familiar with them knows Nibley destroyed the arguments of 1912. Thompson is just mad because Nibley comes to different conclusions than he does. Mad? Yes, mad, as he labels Nibley's research as "bullshit", now pray tell, that ain't exactly rubbing shoulders with your buddy is it?

37. Persuitte, "Ibid.," p. 265.

38. L. Ara Norwood, reviewing Persuitte in "FARMS Review of Books on the Book of Mormon," Vol. 2, 1990, p. 187.

39. Micheal Dennis Rhodes, "A Translation and Commentary of the Joseph Smith Hypocephalus," in "BYU Studies," Autumn 1977.

40. Persuitte ignores Kirk Holland Vestal & Arthur Wallace, "The Firm Foundation of Mormonism," LL Co., 1981, ch. 18; James R. Harris, "Understanding Facsimile 2 of the Book of Abraham, pp. 83-104; Ed Ashment, "The Facsimiles of the Book of Abraham," in "Sunstone," IV (1979), pp. 33-48; Hugh Nibley, "The Facsimiles of the Book of Abraham," in "Sunstone," IV (1979), pp. 49f; James R. Harris, "The Book of Abraham Facsimiles," in R. Millet and K. Jackson, eds., "Studies in Scripture," vol. 2, "The Pearl of Great Price," 1985, pp. 247-86; Hugh Nibley, "The Three Facsimiles from the Book of Abraham," FARMS, no date; Hugh Nibley, "Abraham in Egypt," Deseret Books, 1981; Hugh Nibley, "Approach to Facsimile No. 2," Lecture at Washington, D.C., 1985 in FARMS Archives; Hugh Nibley, "It Takes All Kinds," No date, FARMS Archives; Blake T. Ostler, "Abraham: An Egyptian Connection," Setp. 2, 1981, FARMS Archives; Eugene Seaich, "Ancient Texts and Mormonism," Mormon Miscellaneous, 1983, Appendix, pp. 104-114, among others constantly ignored.

41. Persuitte, "Ibid.," p. 259.

42. Nibley, "New Look at the Pearl of Great Price," in "Improvement Era," April 1968.

43. As quoted in Stan Larson, "Ibid.," p. 115.

44. Persuitte, "Ibid.," pp. 267f.

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