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1. William S. West, A Few Interesting Facts Respecting the Rise and Progress and Pretensions of the Mormons (Warren, Ohio: Self-published, 1837), 5.
2. Marc Coenen, “The Dating of the Papyri Joseph Smith I, X and XI, and Min Who Massacres His Enemies,” in Egyptian Religion: The Last Thousand Years, eds. Willy Clarysse et al. (Leuven, Belgium: Peeters, 1998): 1103-15. The title has been variously translated as “Book of Breathings,” “Breathing Permit,” “Document of Breathing,” and “Document of Fellowship.” See Dee Jay Nelson, The Joseph Smith Papyri: A Preliminary Translation of the Ta-shert-min & Ter Papyri (Salt Lake City: Modern Microfilm Company, 1968), 5; Klaus Baer, “The Breathing Permit of Hôr: A Translation of the Apparent Source of the Book of Abraham,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 3, no. 3 (Autumn 1968): 111, note 7; Marc Coenen, “An Introduction to the Document of Breathing Made by Isis, “Revue d’Egyptologie 49 (1998): 37-38; John Gee, “Some Puzzles from the Joseph Smith Papyri,” FARMS Review 20, no. 1 (2008): 135.
3. Robert K. Ritner, “The Breathing Permit of Hôr among the Joseph Smith Papyri,” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 62, no. 3 (2003): 170. Ritner’s line and column numbers are here omitted.
4. H. Donl Peterson, The Story of the Book of Abraham: Mummies, Manuscripts, and Mormonism (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1995), 78-80, 87, 167-77.
5. Oliver Cowdery, Letter to William Frye, December 22, 1835, in Oliver Cowdery Letterbook, 70, Huntington Library, San Marino, California.
6. Tshenmîn (t3-šr.t-mn)f is rendered as Semminis by Marc Coenen, “The Dating of the Papyri Joseph Smith,” 1104 note, and by John Gee, A Guide to the Joseph Smith Papyri (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 2000), 11. In light of criticism of these authors’ Greek-based transliterations by Ritner, “‘The Breathing Permit of Hor,‘” 167, we have opted to follow that of Baer, “The Breathing Permit of Hôr,” 111.
7. Ibid. Neferirnûb (nfr-ir.t-nwb)f is rendered as Noufianoub by Gee, A Guide to the Joseph Smith Papyri, 11.
8. John Gee, “Eyewitness, Hearsay, and Physical Evidence of the Joseph Smith Papyri,” in The Disciple as Witness: Essays on Latter-day Saint History and Doctrine in Honor of Richard Lloyd Anderson, edited by Stephen D. Ricks, Donald W. Parry, and Andrew H. Hedges (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 2000), 189. Amenhotep (imn-htp)m is rendered as Amenophis by Gee, A Guide to the Joseph Smith Papyri, 11.
9. Michael Dennis Rhodes, “A Translation and Commentary of the Joseph Smith Hypocephalus,” BYU Studies 17, no. 3 (Spring 1977): 263. Sheshonk (ššnq)m is rendered as Sesonchis by Gee, A Guide to the Joseph Smith Papyri, 11.
10. Peterson, The Story of the Book of Abraham, 7-9.
11. [Manuscript] History of the Church, 2:596, in Richard E. Turley, ed., Selected Collections from the Archives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, DVD, 2 vols. (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 2002), 1:1.
12. Baer, “The Breathing Permit of Hôr,” 127.
13. See also Grant S. Heward and Jerald Tanner, “The Source of the Book of Abraham Identified,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 3, no. 2 (Summer 1968): 92-98.
14. Jay M. Todd, The Saga of the Book of Abraham (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1969), 200-201, 216-17.
15. Jay M. Todd, “Egyptian Papyri Rediscovered,” Improvement Era 71, no. 1 (January 1968): 12-16.
16. Heward and Tanner, “The Source of the Book of Abraham,” 92-98.
17. Gee, A Guide to the Joseph Smith Papyri, 21-23; Gee, “Eyewitness, Hearsay, and Physical Evidence,” 188-89; Kevin L. Barney, “The Facsimiles and Semitic Adaptation of Existing Sources,” in Astronomy, Papyrus, and Covenant, Vol. 3 in STUDIES IN THE BOOK OF ABRAHAM, edited by John Gee and Brian Hauglid (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 2005), 124 note 61.
18. Michael D. Rhodes, The Hor Book of Breathings: A Translation and Commentary, Vol. 2 in STUDIES IN THE BOOK OF ABRAHAM, edited by John Gee and Brian Hauglid (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 2002), 27-28.
19. Oliver Cowdery, Letter to Frye, December 22, 1835, expected the completed translation to fill “large volumes.” This expectation was apparently influenced by a belief that Egyptian script was an extremely compact (“comprehensive”) form of writing in which a single character might be translated by dozens or even hundreds of English words. This is the understanding outlined in a nineteenth-century Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar (EAG) that seems to have been produced under Smith’s direction. Advocates of the “missing papyrus theory” however, have contested both this interpretation of the EAG and Smith’s role in its production. Missing papyrus theorists assume that the Book of Abraham is a more or less Egyptologically correct translation of a now-lost hieratic or hieroglyphic text, and thus (by implication) that the proportion of Egyptian to English text would not have been exceptional. See Hugh W. Nibley, “The Meaning of the Kirtland Egyptian Papers,” BYU Studies 11, no. 4 (Summer 1971): 350-99; Christopher C. Smith, “The Dependence of Abraham 1:1-3 on the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar,” John Whitmer Historical Association Journal 29 (2009): 43-47.
20. Gee, “Some Puzzles,” 120-21; Friedhelm Hoffmann, “Die Länge Des P. Spiegelberg,” in Acta Demotica: Acts of Fifth International Conference for Demotists (Pisa, Italy: Giardini Editori e Stampatori, 1994), 145-55.
21. He adds, “The actual value permitted for all intents and purposes lies higher. I might have recommended over 3 cm.” See Hoffmann, “Die Länge Des P. Spiegelberg,” 150. Quotations from Hoffmann are Christopher Smith’s translation from the German.
22. The effective thickness will be larger than the physical thickness of the papyrus, since air, debris, embalming salve, inhomogeneities, etc. may all intervene between windings and increase the radial distance between them. Furthermore, since the moisture content of papyrus drops over time and the parenchyma cell matrix decays from ultraviolet radiation and other forces of erosion, the extant papyrus fragments may be substantially thinner today than they were two millennia ago. The effective thickness more properly characterizes the radial increment between windings for the ancient scroll in its wound-up state.
23. We are grateful to Glenn N. Rowe for his assistance in viewing the papyri on November 23, 2009.
24. Edward H. Ashment, “Joseph Smith’s Identification of Abraham in Papyrus JS 1, the Breathing Permit of Hôr,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 33, no. 4 (Winter 2000): 121-26; Jay M. Todd, “New Light on Joseph Smith’s Egyptian Papyri,” Improvement Era 71, no. 2 (February 1968): 40-41 and insert.
25. We were not allowed to photograph the papyri during the visit, so here we have superimposed the tracings onto scaled images of the papyri. The slight mismatches in some areas are due to photographic distortion. We are grateful to Brent L. Metcalfe for providing these photographs, which we believe to be the originals on which the Improvement Era sepia images were based. The uncropped photographs of pJS 1.2 and 1.3 contain rulers with distinctive tick marks precisely matching the tick marks on the rulers in the Improvement Era images. However, the rulers in the uncropped photographs are in different locations than those shown in the sepias, suggesting that they were repositioned sometime later in the production process. The uncropped photograph of pJS 1.1, unlike the Improvement Era sepia, does not contain a ruler. The Improvement Era prints appear to be photographs of photographs. Measurements taken from the rulers in the Improvement Era images do not precisely match the originals.
26. It is possible that the horizontal reference lines are off by a degree or two with respect to the direction of roll. Errors in winding length due to visual misalignment go like SIN(Φ) (a very small number for small angles), where Φ is the angle between the reference line and the roll direction. These errors strongly cancel when the windings are subtracted; hence, they are expected to lie well beneath the specified accuracy of our measurements.
27. This is guaranteed by the right-left symmetry of the procedure, provided that all points are weighted equally in determining the agreement.
28. Hugh Nibley, “A New Look at the Pearl of Great Price: Part 5, Facsimile No 1,” Improvement Era 71, no. 9 (September 1968): 72; Gee, “Eyewitness, Hearsay, and Physical Evidence,” 188-89.
29. Edward H. Ashment, “The Facsimiles of the Book of Abraham: A Reappraisal,” Sunstone 4, no. 5-6 (December 1979): 34-36.
30. We suspect that this length is anomalous for reasons discussed in the “Outlier” section of this paper.
31. Ashment, “Joseph Smith’s Identification of Abraham,” 123, 125. See also Nibley, “Meaning of the Kirtland Egyptian Papers,” 384. Baer drew a contrary conclusion in “The Breathing Permit of Hôr,” 129, but only because he did not have access to a crucial portion of the manuscript evidence.
32. Baer, “The Breathing Permit of Hôr,” 129-30.
33. Ashment, “Joseph Smith’s Identification of Abraham,” 121-26.
34. “A Glance at the Mormons,” The Friend: A Religious and Literary Journal 13, no. 43 (July 25, 1840): 342.
35. Josiah Quincy, Figures of the Past: From the Leaves of Old Journals (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1883), 386; Franklin, “The State of Deseret,” Warsaw Signal 6, no. 31 (March 30, 1850).
36. The fragments were reportedly preserved under glass on the above-cited occasions, so if Joseph’s handling of pJS 1.2 caused the damage in this area, it was probably at some other time, either prior to framing or after removal from the frame.
37. Hartmut Stegemann, “Methods for the Reconstruction of Scrolls from Scattered Fragments,” in Archaeology and History in the Dead Sea Scrolls: The New York University Conference in Memory of Yigael Yadin, edited by Lawrence H. Schiffman, JSOT/ASOR MONOGRAPH SERIES (Sheffield, England: JSOT Press, 1990), 195.
38. Klaus Baer, “The Breathing Permit of Hôr: A Translation of the Apparent Source of the Book of Abraham,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 3, no. 3 (Autumn 1968): 112, 127 note 17, 113.
39. We are happy to make our data available to anyone interested in verifying our results.
40. Oliver Cowdery, Letter to Frye, December 22, 1835; W. W. Phelps, Letter to Sally Phelps, July 20, 1835, Journal History, Turley, Selected Collections, 2:1.
41. Quincy, Figures of the Past, 386; “A Glance at the Mormons,” 342; Henry Caswall, The City of the Mormons; or, Three Days at Nauvoo, in 1842, 2d ed. (London: J. G. F. & J. Rivington, 1843), 22-23.
42. Since only the now-lost inner portion of the Hôr document was still intact as a scroll at the time, what Charlotte saw could not have been longer than about two feet. Her use of the term “manuscript” to describe the papyrus suggests that she evaluated the scroll’s length relative to typical nineteenth-century paper manuscripts, rather than to typical Ptolemaic papyrus scrolls. Charlotte Ann Haven, Letter to Mary Tufton Haven, February 19, 1843, published as Charlotte Haven, “A Girl’s Letters from Nauvoo,” Overland Monthly [second series] 16, no. 96 (December 1890): 624.
43. John A. Tvedtnes, “The Use of Mnemonic Devices in Oral Traditions, as Exemplified by the Book of Abraham and the Hor Sensen Papyrus,” Newsletter and Proceedings of the SEHA 120 (April 1970): 2-10; Karl Sandberg, “Knowing Brother Joseph Again: The Book of Abraham and Joseph Smith as Translator,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 22, no. 4 (Winter 1989): 17-37; Todd, Saga of the Book of Abraham, 288; Charles M. Larson, By His Own Hand upon Papyrus: A New Look at the Joseph Smith Papyri, rev. ed. (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Institute for Religious Research, 1992).
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