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REVIEW BY ROBERT F. SMITH OF TWO BOOKS ON REFORMED EGYPTIAN BY DANIEL DELEANU

REVIEW BY ROBERT F. SMITH OF TWO BOOKS ON REFORMED EGYPTIAN BY DANIEL DELEANU

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Published by Robert F. Smith
In a number of recent publications, Daniel Deleanu has claimed the successful decipherment of "reformed Egptian" and of the Anthon Transcript, both of which are connected with the Book of Mormon. This is a review of two of those recent books.
In a number of recent publications, Daniel Deleanu has claimed the successful decipherment of "reformed Egptian" and of the Anthon Transcript, both of which are connected with the Book of Mormon. This is a review of two of those recent books.

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Published by: Robert F. Smith on Mar 23, 2014
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REVIEW BY ROBERT F. SMITH, March 2014 Deleanu, Daniel,
Reformed Egyptian and Its Decipherment 
 (Toronto: LogoStar Press, 2012); 117pp. ISBN 978-1-300-36566-2 Daniel Deleanu,
Reformed Egyptian Grammar 
, vol. I:
Morphology 
 (Toronto: LogoStar Press, 2012); 153pp. ISBN 978-1-300-34311-0
These are the only two of Daniel Deleanu’s books which I have
 thus far been able to find and read (I found them at the LDS Church History Library in SLC). They provide an adequate explanation of his method and the results of his failed attempt to decipher Reformed Egyptian and the so-
called “Anthon Transcript.”
 Reading between the lines of his books, it is clear that Deleanu began by scanning the Anthon Transcript (AT), selecting a set of characters from it which resemble (to a greater or lesser degree) Latin letters, and attempted to read the AT. Despite the fact that no coherent message either in English or Hebrew was obtained thereby, he simply went on to present his conclusions in several books. In so doing, he discussed the theoretical basis of his decipherment, and the implications for Book of Mormon studies (even throwing in some apologetics). He reported in his
Decipherment 
 book (5) that
“Reformed Egyptian
1
 uses an alphabetic script. The task of its decipherment has been accomplished by employing the
 Anthon Transcript 
 
as a sort of ‘map legend’ for the signs/characters . . . .”
He footnoted (n. 1) that
“Reformed Egyptian designates both
the language in which the Book of Mormon was originally written and its Script, as mentioned therein (Mormon 9:32-35).
 What he means by that is that, through a tortuous evolutionary sequence (from Proto-Sinaitic writing and its source in ancient Egyptian rebus script, and via Paleo-Hebrew), one ends up with an essentially Hebraic script and language: Reformed Egyptian is not Egyptian at all, but rather Hebrew written in a sort of evolved Paleo-Hebrew and Latin script!! The Anthon Transcript itself (6) is
not “a quote,” since it does not contain enough “recurrent sign
groups,
 
and is “not an abjad, . . .”
 Moreover, a
“source . . . of equal value . . . is the so
-called
Ferrini Lead Fragment 
,” which
(8)
was inscribed “in a combination of Aramaic and Reformed Egyptian, . . .”
 That fragment (9)
has been his “Rosetta Stone” in decipherment of “the original language . . . of the Book of Mormon.” This was done “on purely onomasiological principles,” i.e., “an
a
priori
” and “heuristic
modus operandi 
,” in which
 (10, n. 2)
, following Roland Barthes, the AT evinces “’a colourless
writing freed from all bondage to a pre-
ordained state of language’” (citing Barthes,
Writing Degree  Zero
, 82), “with which we have associated the Anthon Transcript, a writing that later on turns into ‘a
dreamed-of language whose freshness, by a kind of ideal anticipation, might portray the perfection of
some Adamic world where language would no longer be alienated’” (citing Barthes, 94).
Indeed (11)
, “the onomasiological
 
analysis proper” employs “a quasi
-deconstructionist method
borrowed from Jacques Derrida.” He goes on in that vein for several pages, but does happily provide
 
a good deal of substantive discussion and examples elsewhere when it comes to showing what his conclusions are. He explains that (13)
the “graphic forms” of “Hieratic, Demotic, and Coptic” “were all ‘reformed’,”
which is probably a true statement. However, his examples and conclusions elsewhere show almost no knowledge of ancient Egyptian, and his books on this issue (the decipherment of the AT) might just as well have never even concerned themselves with Egyptian. Egyptian is apparently irrelevant for his purposes. Just so (14),
the
 Anthon Transcript 
, . . contains all true signs which the
Weltgeist-Wortgeist 
 pair needs for the ontological representation of the world of the Book of Mormon, and all its philological properties are given in it
a priori 
.”
 Along with the Ferrini Lead Fragment he also employs other questionable documents, such as (24) the Los Lunas Stone (Decalogue Rock) at Hidden Mountain, NM, as an instance of the evolution of Reformed Egyptian script. He states (25) that the Los Lunas Stone cannot be a fake (26), because Paleo-Hebrew script was unknown until the 20
th
 century -- which is a completely false statement (it has been in use all along among the Samaritans). He also covers the (34)
evolution “from Paleo
-
Hebrew to Reformed Egyptian,” of which the Spangler Nodule “represents the first step.” He cites a Ben Urrutia SEHA paper o
n that Nodule. In comparing signs in the AT to those known elsewhere, Deleanu (34-55,66-68) tends to free associate signs from any and every available script, no matter from where or when, and no matter whether authentic or fake, including the Jordan Lead Codices, Sinaia Lead Plates, the Tartaria Tablets, Alaska Script, Brahmi, Devanagri, Tibetan, etc. He wisely observes that (72-73) translation problems/inaccuracies in Book of Mormon and Bible are often based on human error, citing Joel M. Hoffman,
 And God Said: How Translations Conceal the
Bible’s Original Meaning
 (NY: Thomas Dunne Books, 2010). As an example, he sees Book of Mormon
“elephant” as a peccary, the “horse” as a wild burro (which
he believes is native to the Americas). He has a chart (78, and on page 13 of his
Reformed Egyptian Grammar 
, I) of the entire Reformed Egyptian alphabet, which he says is written from left to right. In that chart (68), he presents Reformed Egyptian in two different alphabets, minuscule (lower case) and majuscule (capital letters).

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