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Accusatory Questions

The Jews were enemies of the Egyptians. How could they even think of using an Egyptian script to write sacred scriptures?

by Jeff Lindsay

The Hebrews lived for 400 years in Egypt and were strongly influenced by Egyptian culture in later history as well. Israel and Egypt were not enemies all the time. There was extensive trade and communication between the two in past times, including in Lehi's day. Israel looked to Egypt for protection at one point, and hundreds of years later, we find Joseph and Mary fleeing to Egypt for safety. Using an Egyptian writing system for its particular advantages is hardly unreasonable. By the same token, you should not be surprised to find that Chinese computer programmers and scientists have long been using Western scripts because of the advantages it offers, in spite of China's historical animosity toward the West. You should not be surprised to find English and Norwegian peoples using the Roman script for all of their writings, even if they had once been enemies of the Roman Empire, had later rebelled against the Roman Catholic Church, and later in WW II were enemies of Italy.

Could Hebrews write sacred texts in Egyptian scripts? If space was at a premium, certainly. In fact, it is possible that the brass plates mentioned in the Book of Mormon, the special engraved writings containing a number of Old Testament writings and the family record for at least some descendants of Joseph, was started by Joseph himself. Having spent most of his life in Egypt, he may have used an Egyptian script for his own writings, and his descendants may have maintained that tradition during their time in Egypt and beyond.

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