Talk:Pearl of Great Price (Mormonism)

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Article split[edit]

Copied from the article about the parable, which formerly included this article: --euyyn 14:46, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Church's reponse[edit]

(Church response to this finding, sympathetically worded, really needs to be included to be npov.)

Joseph Smith claimed he translated the books of Abraham and Moses from Egyptian papyri in his possession. At the time, scholars were not able to translate ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, so the claim could be neither substantiated nor invalidated. However, the Rosetta Stone, which was found in 1799 but not successfully used in a translation until 1822 (see Jean-Francois Champollion) has allowed modern archaeologists to translate the papyri, showing that the original "source" text for the Book of Abraham is actually the "Book of Breathings", an Egyptian funerary text made for a man named Hor. It is a Pagan text consisting primarily of the names of Egyptian gods and goddesses.
Also, if any of this is based on the mid-January New Yorker magazine article on Mormon history, then we should cite the source.
The situation is actually a bit more complicated than the article suggests. The documents were lost for decades (they were thought to have been burned up in an accidental fire), then discovered in the '60s. I'm not sure if the Rosetta Stone was involved, but in any case the rediscovered documents were translated, and they were the Book of Breathings. To the best of my knowledge, there has been no official church "response." LDS apologists have a variety of explanations that can be found in various places on the Net. —Eric

I don't think a church's reponse be needed in order to NPOV-include this. If what you tell is true, then it's just a fact that scholars translated it, and it corresponded to that egyptian book. It's matter saying, also, that the papyrus the scholars translated was the found one. I don't know if the LDS church continues claiming that the found papyrus was the lost one (specially after the good translation). If this is not confirmed, we can only assert that the church claimed to have found the original (actually, was the LDS who claimed that?).--Euyyn 08:40, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC) No, it was not the LDS Church. It was a non-Mormon teacher of Egyptian History,Culture, Arabic, etc., Dr. Aziz Atiya, who found the papyri in the 1980s. He had seen them as facsimile drawings in LDS publications, so that when he found the originals, he knew what they were. His biography is at: <http://www.lib.utah.edu/portal/site/marriottlibrary/menuitem.350f2794f84fb3b29cf87354d1e916b9/?vgnextoid=28ea8f892c29d110VgnVCM1000001c9e619bRCRD> --Pearson 20:36 22Aug2010

Confusing paragraph[edit]

It's hard for me to understand this paragraph:

The original contents of the book were slightly different, reproducing material found in the Doctrine and Covenants and a poem entitled "Oh Say What is Truth?" (which is now found in the LDS hymnal). In 1878 some material from the Book of Moses was added. The Pearl of Great Price was canonized in 1888. In 1902 the material reproduced in the Doctrine and Covenants was removed. Two other documents, now found as D&C 137 and 138, were added to the Pearl of Great Price in 1976 and moved to their current location in 1979.

"... contents of the book..." - which book? Peral of Great Price? Because we have talked about the Book of Abraham 2 paras earlier and both The Book of Moses and The Book of Abraham in the previous paragraph. If it refers to the PoGP (I dunno), it would be worth writing 'contents of the Pearl of Great Price'

If it refers to the PoGP, it continues saying the original contents were slightly different, but some material from D&C + a poem is completely different from what we say it's its present content (i.e., five sections: Abraham, Moses, etc). If it refers to another book, then I'm completely lost.

"The PoGP was canonized in 1888." - I have no problems with this: it's only I would like to know more about the Mormon process of canonization (nowadays, back in 1888, ...). Have we got any material about that? If so, we should link to it. If not, we should create the article (or simply red-link to it).

"To other docs were added and moved away." - So... when was the current content added?? Was it there always, in addition with the D&C material and the poem? --euyyn 15:06, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Someone recently made this chnange to the paragraph above - I find it similarly confusing:

The book was first composed in Britain in 1851, where the American church newspapers in which these texts were first published had never been available to the faithful; missonaries there found the need to fill in this gap with a short collection that could be printed for an affordable price. The original contents of the book were slightly different, reproducing material found in the Doctrine and Covenants (which was also hard to come by in Britain at the time) and a poem entitled "Oh Say What is Truth?" ...

I am not sure exactly what this is trying to say. --Trödel 13:55, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:PearlOfGreatPrice1888.jpg[edit]

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The origin of the Pearl of Great Price[edit]

I recently added a paragraph on the origin of the Pearl of Great Price. The paragraph was reverted. Before we get into a reversion war, I would like to know what the problem is with my paragraph. I'm happy to put it wherever deemed appropriate. But the origin should be noted, correct. Also, the fact that it was, according to scholars, mis-translated should also be noted, correct? I think these facts are important to the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sigiheri (talkcontribs) 14:30, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

What you wrote pertains exclusively to the Book of Abraham, which is just one of the books in the Pearl of Great Price. The book also contains the Book of Moses, Joseph Smith—Matthew, Joseph Smith—History and the Articles of Faith, none of which have anything to do with what you added to the lead. (I actually though it might be some sort of vandalism, since you referred to "Adam Smith" rather than "Joseph Smith".) Good Ol’factory (talk) 14:35, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
Very fair. Thank you for your response. I am thinking that the origin of the Pearl of Great Price should be included in the article. Perhaps I could start with the Book of Abraham and then others could note the origins of the other books. What do you think?Sigiheri (talk) 09:54, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
I think such topics are more appropriately dealt with in the articles about the individual books. Book of Abraham contains a detailed explanation of the book's origin. The origin of the "Pearl of Great Price" is really quite basic—an LDS Church leader decided to take a bunch of texts and publish them under this name. Good Ol’factory (talk) 10:31, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
I agree with you. Thanks for taking the time to explain.Sigiheri (talk) 12:36, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Alleged translation[edit]

@Good Olfactory: I understand you took issue with my addition of the modifier "alleged" in the sentence pertaining to Smith's "translation". Outside of the Mormon church, there is no source I am aware of that says Smith actually translated anything. Therefore, the word "translation" is inaccurate. Would you prefer to substitute it with "rendition" or "version"? It's either that or it needs a) a modifier or b) an external non-Mormon source validating it is a "translation" of the hieroglyph on the papyrii. Trinacrialucente (talk) 08:20, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

I reworded the phrase as follows: instead of reading "Smith's alleged translation of the papyri describes ...", it now says "The text that Smith produced describes ...". I didn't take issue with the addition of "alleged" per se--it was accurate enough in the modern context and meaning of the word. But I made the change for two reasons: (1) because past experience indicates that using "alleged" in article text in all sorts of contexts can result in disputes; and (2) Smith generally used the word "translate" and "translation" in a looser sense as it was understood in the early-1800s, which might be better stated as "rendered" or "conveyed". The early-2000s meaning of the word is now considerably more specific in meaning, suggesting a formal linguistic conversion, almost mechanical, or at least supported by actual linguistic knowledge, from language A to language B. Smith never claimed to have a linguistic understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphs—he always stated that his translations were produced by the gift and power of God, so it's not quite what modern readers understand the word to mean. So, it may be best to just avoid the use of the word where possible to avoid confusion. Good Ol’factory (talk) 08:31, 29 November 2015 (UTC)