contention

The prevalence of a spirit of contention amongst a people is a certain sign of deadness with respect to the things of religion. When men's spirits are hot with contention, they are cold to religion. - Jonathan Edwards

Monday, October 24, 2022

Translating the Rosetta stone


An exhibition on the Rosetta stone is underway at the British museum:

https://www.britishmuseum.org/exhibitions/hieroglyphs-unlocking-ancient-egypt

A curator explains that the text was written first in Greek, then translated into Demotic, and then into hieroglyphs. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klJBwnBHET8

I have a small replica of the Rosetta stone that I purchased at the British Museum many years ago. I keep it on my desk because it is reminiscent of the way that Mormon and Moroni abridged their record into "reformed Egyptian" because it was more compressed, even if less precise.

30 Behold, I speak unto you as though I spake from the dead; for I know that ye shall have my words.

31 Condemn me not because of mine imperfection, neither my father, because of his imperfection, neither them who have written before him; but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been.

32 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.

33 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.

34 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.

(Mormon 9:30–34)