The Interpreter Published “Joseph Knew First: Moses, The Egyptian Son”

The Interpreter published my article “Joseph Knew First: Moses, The Egyptian Son” on their website on the 10th of May, 2018 (https://www.mormoninterpreter.com/joseph-knew-first-moses-the-egyptian-son/). Here is the origin story for the article:

Origin

The idea behind this article came from two unique events. First, I took an Egyptian history class from Dr. John Gee, who inspired me to start learning hieroglyphs (unfortunately, I never was motivated enough to get very far). Second, I attended a fireside by Dr. Royal Skousen, who spoke about the Book of Mormon critical text project. The idea that struck a chord with me was Dr. Skousen’s emphasis on a collaborative effort (collaborating with all sorts of people, even students) to identify apparent errors in the text of the current Book of Mormon. I was so jazzed that I went straight home to the Book of Mormon on a mission to look for apparent errors.

That next week as I was reading in 2 Nephi 3:17, I noticed something odd in the phrase “I will raise up a Moses.” The indefinite article “a” before Moses seemed an odd insertion there. I immediately thought that this might be evidence of the original Egyptian language of the Book of Mormon coming through the English translation, a vestige of an original Egyptian pun on the name of Moses and it’s meaning of  thougchild. I thought of this possible error being a remnant of the translation process based on Dr. Gee’s article, “La Trahison des Clercs.”

It was thrilling to contact Dr. Skousen and have a summary of our correspondence published in the addenda material of the Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon Part Six available in https://interpreterfoundation.org/books/atv/p6/. (see page 553 of 627.) I also started a paper discussing this odd phrase, but I got stuck on the approach of trying to prove that parts of 2  Nephi 3 may have originally been in Egyptian. I was, and still am, woefully unqualified to do this type of study, so the paper languished for years (I started it in 2005). Egyptian was only one of a handful of problems with this original approach. Needless to say, I didn’t come up with another approach until 2016, which turned into the current paper published by The Interpreter.

 

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