Reasons Given to Not Believe the LDS Church: Part Two – Reformed Egyptian

28 Nov

On another thread there is a man who has given a list of reasons why he doesn’t believe the LDS church to be truth.  While I have no desire to argue that particular point, I would like to address a few of the reasons he gives.  I do this from a logical perspective, having no direct evidence at this time.  My intent is not exactly to prove his reasons false, but faulty; or to show how they are not logically thought out and thus not reasonable in an argument.

To keep things short I will address only one point in each blog.

Now, speaking of reformed Egyptian, the argument is this:  No evidence has been found of Egyptian writing in ancient America, and thus this language doesn’t exist.

Let us consider just a few things.

First, it is not unheard of for a people to use the characters of the Egyptian language with the grammar of their native language.

Terryl Givens has suggested that the characters are early examples of Egyptian symbols being used “to transliterate Hebrew words and vice versa,” that Demotic is a “reformed Egyptian,” and that the mixing of a Semitic language with modified Egyptian characters is demonstrated in inscriptions of ancient Syria and Palestine.

By the Hand of Mormon: The American Scripture that Launched a New World Religion (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002) 132-33.

(I take this from Wikipedea, but it is from the book that the website references.)

Now let us look at the only place in which the term ‘Reformed Egyptian’ occurs in the book of Mormon.

Mormon 9: 32-34

“And now, behold, we have written this record according to our knowledge, in the characters which are called among us the reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech.

And if our plates had been sufficiently large we should have written in Hebrew; but the Hebrew hath been altered by us also; and if we could have written in Hebrew, behold, ye would have had no imperfection in our record.

But the Lord knoweth the things which we have written, and also that none other people knoweth our language; and because that none other people knoweth our language, therefore he hath prepared means for the interpretation thereof.”

Just consider first that, although the Nephites at this time called the characters reformed Egyptian, it is also stated that they had been altered by them, as had the Hebrew characters.

Also consider that Moroni tells us that no other people know their language.  This is significant.  If it was just an altered version of Egyptian than the arguments given against it would make more sense.  But it is a different language that is simply being written in characters that have been taken and altered from the Egyptian characters had by men a thousand years earlier.

Considering that there is really only one ancient American Language that anyone has any clue about, can anyone really say with any certainty that such an alteration of characters did not take place, and did not continue to take place over the 1500 years since the time of Moroni.

Let us also consider this:  The English language was originally written in a runic alphabet.

However, after Rome invaded people began to write it in the Latin alphabet.  Even then it is vastly different from modern English.

(First page of Beowulf)

If English can change so drastically over the course of 2000 years, why could not that Nephites have altered the characters of the Egyptian Alphabet so as to make them wholly unrecognizable as such to those living today?

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