Evidence For

reformed Egyptian


Russell Littlecreek 

Caractors Document nn another man with both arms raised g238 foot foot k to be added Xa to be added 2 planks drill or reed Demotic owl Demotic owl to be added to be added ripple recumbent lion to be added ka p to be added owl 2 ripples to be added Demotic owl to be added mn to be added 10 2 planks stool aleph nn another to be added to be added to be added to be added p Demotic owl dot to be added nn 2 planks aleph X dot another p owl in Demotic owl in Demotic dot to be added to be added to be added 10 sail 3 ripples man striking with stick to be added to be added to be added to be added to be added foot swab to be added to be added mn to be added double door bolt to be added to be added to be added recumbant lion 2 planks Lamed Lamed cobra egg recumbant lion heart and windpipe land to be added to be added to be added 10 nn to be added g238 to be added p to be added to be added to be added out Aleph another dot to be added folded cloth owl in Demotic owl in Demotic to be added to be added to be added owl to be added basket with handle 10 drill or reed aleph folded cloth g238 10 another aleph to be added to be added again to be added to be added to be added s ibis that to be added ripple another Lamed ripple 2 planks drill or reed to be added ripple to be added aleph reed ripple Cartouche to be added ripple sn another Lamed ripple to be added 1 canal owl ripple 2 planks to be added drill or reed to be added ripple stool g238 to be added p ripple lotus to be added to be added dot dot to be added to be added to be added ripple to be added placenta 2 planks to be added ripple lotus to be added snake stool g238 p ripple drill or reed hrw to be added ripple ripple Lamed 2 planks drill or reed to be added to be added to be added to be added to be added to be added to be added owl to be added lotus to be added to be added to be added to be added to be added placenta ripple to be added to be added ripple 2 planks drill or reed nn ripple lotus to be added vulture nn another to be added 2 planks ripple lion's hindquarters seated man sickle dot owl 2 planks to be added k ripple Not Me! owl in Demotic recumbant lion recumbant lion to be added k swab

To see corresponding Egyptian Hieratic, Demotic, and Hieroglyphs, click on the Charactors Above!

What's New!Caractors reformatted to open quickly as html files! (May 5th, 2014)

Book of Mormon in reformed Egyptian

"Book of Mormon," in Reformed Egyptian

There are 152 references to Egyptian Hieratic and Egyptian Hieroglyphs. As of today, Monday, May 3rd, 2010, I have about 8+, more that I can add when I find the time.

Here are some rebuttals to common criticisms of the Caractors transcript

Critics say: "There are no corresponding egyptian symbols":

The Rebuttal: Critics ignore the obvious . . .

In the Ariel Crowley article, 94 citations (a large number!) are given to four major sources where recognized Egyptological Experts have not only defined Hieratic and Demotic symbols as having their place in Egyptian orthography but have specifically set forth how so. These same symbols also appear in the Anthon Transcript--and that's just the complicated ones. See Ariel Crowley - "The identification of Charactors as Egyptian".

As a human being and a scholar, should I believe the word of someone who says something doesn't exist? Or should I believe the fact of another person's demonstration of that thing occurring in real life? Of course, I will believe the latter. However, that necessitates that I be willing to look for such a demonstration in the first place, and in the second, to acknowledge that fact occurred. At present, I find no evidence that detractors of the authenticity of the Anthon Transcript have put forth the effort to do either one. In the case of the uninitiated and the theological professional, I would ascribe this to disinterest. Why disinterest? The reason being that, in this case, the witness of such demonstration requires a great deal of time, expense, and effort (in other words research). It is a truism that if you don't believe in something, you are only going to spend a little of your time and effort in disproving it rather than proving it.

Critics say: "Reformed Egyptian could not be shorter than Hebrew":

The Rebuttal: There are at least three ways reformed Egyptian can be shorter than Hebrew . . .

First, ancient Egyptian uses Bi-Literals (a single symbol that expresses two consonants) and Tri-Literals (a single symbol that express three consonants) where Hebrew does not.
Second, there are many cases where a single line or dot in Demotic stands for what would normally be a larger glyph. This saves space.
Third, there are more than a few cases where demotic charactors are ligatured together to create a complex glyph which has fewer parts than those glyphs from which it has incorporated.

Response to exmormon.org on reformed Egyptian

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Last Updated Monday, May 5th, 3:48 p.m. 2014

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 “Caractors” 101

Directions for Research: A Straight Forward Approach to the translation of reformed Egyptian

1) A beginning requires a premise. While the next two statements may seem at odds: 

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." Matthew 7:7

 And, as Mormon said:

"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 9:34

They are ameliorated by the fact that there are at least two kinds of truth in the Book of Mormon; Eternal truth and historical truth. "Jesus is the Christ" is an example of an eternal truth. It was true. It is true, and it will always be true. In order to translate reformed Egyptian one has to treat Mormon's statement as an historical truth. That is to say, when Mormon says "that none other people knoweth our language" he was talking about a fact that was true at the time but is not necessarily true today. If one does not accept this second premise, unless one has an urim and thummim, to the consternation of the faithful and the delight of the disbeliever, reformed Egyptian will forever remain a mystery. But, the point is, reformed Egyptian IS decipherable. 

2) If reformed Egyptian is not a mystery, it will conform to the mundane laws of languages. All languages follow rules and traditions. Egyptian and Hebrew are two of the most stable languages over extremely long periods of time. Their changes are traceable and contiguous. And, for the most part we can readily see how glyphs changed or didn't change and the script changed.

3) Translation of reformed Egyptian is not impossible... but it is complicated!

There are a number of points to consider in attempting to translate reformed Egyptian into a proof that two kinds of people will believe. First, since it is called reformed Egyptian, one can assume that a starting point would be Egyptian. From BOM reference sources (give sources here) this would place one's study of Egyptian language corollaries at 600 B.C.E. or before, because that's the time that Lehi left Jerusalem. What one means by "Egyptian language corollaries" further complicates matters. Is one talking about Egyptian Hieroglyphs? (of which CCER lists about 6000) or, is one talking about Egyptian Hieratic? (A script version of Hieroglyphics mainly used in religious documents at the time) Or perhaps one is talking about Demotic, an even more shorthand condensed script version of Hieroglyphics which was used mainly for business documents at the time. Or, (yes there's more) is one talking about "Abnormal Hieratic?" (which one could think of as perhaps a regional dialect of hieratic.) This is further complicated by three other considerations. Second, Since Nephi speaks of his family being Jews at this time, and the BOM says that the language was altered. (Give references here) One needs to ask oneself, What were the Jews speaking and writing out of Jerusalem at the time? There is a class of documents (two of which I know--give references) which combine Egyptian and (Paleo?) Hebrew. and, Third, How much was the writing system altered by the passage of a thousand years of evolving and conflicting cultures in the Americas --if even it were altered at all? and, Fourth, Is reformed Egyptian some combination of all three of the above?

The next set of factors involve "proof" and the Egyptology vetting process--which is used to satisfy the first set of believers--the Egyptologist. A proof consists of a glyph by glyph translation of a document where each glyph can be matched with a referent whose definition the academic community has accepted. You submit your translation to a journal and your expert peers review it and suggest changes if need be. Then it's published for everyone to see. The second set are those people who are willing to look up the published material for themselves. This is further complicated by the "Archae" in Archaeology. While the word means study of the ancient or old, it also brings to mind the study of the arcane and the esoteric. Archaeologists/Egyptologists must have the time, the energy and the inclination to pursue their "brainchildren". They usually don't have the time to explore anything besides those. How much more true is this for skeptics who actively disbelieve? If a translation of reformed Egyptian in the Caractors document is going to happen, it will be by someone who is willing to put the time and effort into it because they believe. The last thing depends on you. Are you going to take someone else's word for it? Or are you going to find out for yourself?

A review of some basic principles of Egyptian writing will help us to better understand the nature and place of these glyphs in history and research




Glyphs-Simple and Compound

Hieroglyphic, Hieratic, Abnormal Hieratic, and Demotic

Horror Vacui

Ligaturization-Simple and True




A second Anthon Transcript

By Martin Harris's account of his meeting with Professor Charles Anthon, we know there was a second transcript. Here is his account.

"I went to the city of New York and
presented the characters which had been translated, with the translation thereof to Professor Anthony (sic), a gentleman celebrated for his literary attainments;-Professor Anthony (sic) stated that the translation was correct, more so than any he had before seen translated from the Egyptian. I then showed him those which were not yet translated, and he said that they were Egyptian, Chaldeac, Assyriac, and Arabac [Arabic] , and he said that they were true characters. He gave me a certificate certifying to the people of Palmyra that they were true characters, and that the translation of such of them as had been translated was also correct. "Times and Seasons," III, 773.

What makes a second reformed Egyptian transcript important? If it was not yet translated, it probably came from the Book of Mormon. If it were translated, it probably came from the 116 pages which were lost. If it came from the Book of Mormon, the translation would be made easier by being able to compare it with the English text.

Another source of reformed Egyptian

Two scholarly papers reference another source of reformed Egyptian.

One is from the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, Volume 8, Issue 1, from the article: "New Light: 'Anthon Transcript' Writing Found?" "He also referred to similar characters that are displayed in a book of family reminiscences of the life of Frederick G. Williams, a Presiding Bishop in the early LDS Church.5 A small feature in the book that came from Williams's papers showed a few more signs said to have been copied from the gold plates. ..."

The other is from a paper written by Carl Hugh Jones, "The Anthon Transcript and Two Mesoamerican Cylinder Seals": Newsletter and Proceedings of the Society for Early Historical Archaeology 122 (Sept. 1970): 1-8.

Here are quotes from that source: "After One Hundred Years". After the dedicatory prayer, singing and administration of the Lords Supper, Don Carlos Smith and President Cowdery arouse and bore their testimonies. President Williams then arose and testified that while President Rigdon was making his first prayer an angel entered the window and took his seat between Father Smith and himself and remained there during the prayer.4 Heber C. Kimball related it thus: "During the ceremonies of the dedication an angel appeared and sat near Joseph Smith Sen., and Frederick G. Williams, so that they had a fair view of his person. He was tall, had black eyes and white hair and stooped shoulders and his garment was whole, extending to near his ankles, on his feet he had sandals. He was sent as a messenger to accept of the dedication. 5 Frederick had in his pocket a piece of paper which he carried to take notes on. On this he wrote in pencil: "John the Beloved"--then a space followed and a few lines written in another language. A large space followed and then at the bottom of the page he wrote the following revelation: "The course that Lehi traveled from the city of Jerusalem to the place where he and his family took ship: They traveled nearly south, southeast direction until they came to the nineteenth degree of north latitude. Then nearly east to the Sea of Arabia; then south, southeast direction and landed on the continent of South America in Chili, thirty degrees south latitude." Returning home, he transcribed the revelation in ink on another sheet of paper. Rebecca kept these papers with his other notes until her death. Their son, Ezra, loaned them to the Church Historians Office in Salt Lake City in the 1860's where they have lain these many years, known only to historians, to be brought to light and published for the first time. 5a "After 100 Years", Nancy C Williams, pp 101-102.

4 History of the Church. Vol. II, p. 427

5 Whitney's Life of Heber C. Kimball, p. 103.

5a The original, written in pencil was shown to the author by a Historian, in the early 1930's and was the only one she had seen until February 29, 1949, when she was shown the film and the letter from which it was taken--and received with others a wonderful manifestation that it was indeed a revelation given to Frederick G. Williams for his and his family. The original, written in pencil, cannot be found at this meeting.

Dot dot dot dot. . .

Contrary to claims that the "Caractors" document was made up of simple numbers and letters, we are presented with a difficult puzzle to solve precisely because certain characters can represent more than one hieroglyph. This is especially true for the "dot", and the "slash".

There are at least four possible uses for a dot, three occur in Egyptian of the time and one occurs in Hebrew.

Land.jpg The four dots in "Earth" or"land" can stand for grains of sand. ("Caractors" Row 4, Figure 5.) Note the usage of four dots was more common in old Egyptian, and in new Egyptian the land hieroglyph has three dots.

Second, glyphs such as Circular threshing floor covered with grain "Circular threshing floor covered with grain" ; or as shown in hieratic, O50 Example occasionally have a single dot placed in the middle of the figure to represent what might be one complicated part or many small parts of a glyph within that figure. In the case of O50, one dot represents many small grains. If the meaning of such a glyph is in itself not apparent, we usually extrapolate the meaning from its context.

Third, the dot is used quite often in Demotic as shorthand for a number of glyphs. We can see at least 2 examples of this on page 13 lines 15 and 24, where Spiegelberg elucidates the Demotic alphabet in "Demotische Grammatik" there respectively, it could be used for, a papyrus rolled up, tied and sealed or two slash marks.

Fourth, the Hebrews sometimes used a dot to separate words. See Siloem Inscription

Hieratic Egyptian used in Ancient Israel Link

Inscribed potsherds (ostraca) from the eighth and seventh centuries B.C.E. (Before Common Era, or B.C.), found in both Israel and Judah, provide evidence for writing in the tenth century B.C.E. "These ostraca contain Hebrew characters as well as signs and numerals in hieratics-a cursive form of Egyptian hieroglyphics. "Curiously, these hieratic signs do not appear in contemporaneous documents of Israel's neighbors, even though Egypt's relations with Philistia and Phoenicia in the ninth and tenth centuries B.C.E. were much closer than those with Israel. "Moreover, no eighth- or seventh-century Egyptian parallels have been found for many of the signs on the Hebrew ostraca." (Cow Town or Royal Capitol? Evidence For Iron Age Jerusalem, Nadav Na'aman, Biblical Archaeological Review, July/August 1997, p. 45).


Caractors in columns

Caractors in columns

Reformed Greek On A Gold Scroll

Reformed Greek

Caractors Font for Researchers


Additional Reformed Egyptian Sources

Reformed Egyptian

Hieratic Egyptian used in Israel

Jewish and Other Semitic Texts Written in Egyptian Characters

Ariel Crowley -The Anthon Transcript

72 Languages

Book of Mormon anachronisms:Reformed Egyptian

Ancient Egyptian Language Discussion List

Easy 3D Cover Creator

Easy Banner Creator

Wrapped Corn Husk Dolls (My new eBook)

See the cover of the Book of Mormon in Reformed Egyptian

Find some "Caractors" in a "beginners" Hieratic text

Copyright August 2004 by Russell Littlecreek

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