Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Not of God?

I stopped believing in the infallibility of the leaders. I stopped attending the temple. I then stopped attending church on a regular basis. I stopped reading all the church publications.  I then stopped paying tithing.  Leaving was a process for me, not an event.

Part of me wanted to still believe. Part of me wanted to one day return, because I knew nothing else.  Then I saw a video on the Book of Abraham.  After that, I knew there was no going back. I knew it was all a fraud. I could not live a fraud.

Do you know what it means to publish peer reviewed articles and books?  "Peer Review is a process that journals use to ensure the articles they publish represent the best scholarship currently available. When an article is submitted to a peer reviewed journal, the editors send it out to other scholars in the same field (the author's peers) to get their opinion on the quality of the scholarship, its relevance to the field, its appropriateness for the journal, etc.
Publications that don't use peer review (Time, Cosmo, Salon) just rely on the judgement of the editors whether an article is up to snuff or not. That's why you can't count on them for solid, scientific scholarship.

The mormon scholars do not use peer reviews to  establish articles, opinions, facts, etc. they publish on DNA, archaeology, BofM or PofGP research they publish.  Why is this important? Because it then cannot be verified or substantiated.  

"Robert K. Ritner is currently Professor of Egyptology at the Oriental Instituteof the University of Chicago and was from 1991-1996 the first Marilyn M. Simpson Assistant Professor of Egyptology at Yale University. Dr. Ritner specializes in Roman, Hellenistic, Late and Third Intermediate Period (Libyan and Nubian) Egypt and is the author of the book The Mechanics of Ancient Egyptian Magical Practice, and over 100 publications on Egyptian religion, magic, medicine, language and literature, as well as social and political history. He has lectured extensively on each of these topics throughout the United States, Europe and Egypt. In association with The Field Museum of Chicago, Dr. Ritner was the academic advisor to two recent British Museum exhibits “Cleopatra of Egypt: From History to Myth,” and “Eternal Egypt,” and he has served as consultant and lecturer for the travelling Cairo Museum exhibit “Quest for Immortality: Treasures of Ancient Egypt.”

Why do I care about Robert Ritner's credentials?  Because he has this to say about the Book of Abraham:  Now, for the first time, the surviving papyri have been translated into English in their entirety. In analyzing and translating the ancient texts, Robert K. Ritner, foremost American scholar of Egyptology, has determined that they were prepared for deceased men and women in Thebes during the Greco-Roman period. They have nothing to do with Abraham, Joseph, or a planet called Kolob, as Smith had claimed.

He also has this to say, "“Except for those willfully blind,” writes Professor Ritner of the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute, “the case is closed.” In his new book, The Joseph Smith Egyptian Papyri: A Complete Edition, he also accuses two scholars of Egyptology at Mormon-owned Brigham Young University of borrowing and distorting his own writings in trying to defend Smith’s interpretations as authentically translated Egyptian."

So it remains, if the Book of Abraham is not a translation from Joseph Smith, then how can he possibly be a prophet of god?

1 comment:

Denise said...

I love your logic. It makes perfect sense. I also like this quote that seems to fit this post.... "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." -the Buddah.

Anything you are going to commit the core of your life to must be scrutinized using all tools available to you, especially experts in the field.