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Hugh Nibley Observed

Hugh Nibley Observed

Edited by Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, Shirley S. Ricks,
and Stephen T. Whitlock
Foreword by John W. Welch

Published by The Interpreter Foundation, Orem Utah
in cooperation with Eborn Books, Salt Lake City, Utah
and in collaboration with Book of Mormon Central and FAIR




Audio Book

Multiple Formats

Extracts from Hugh Nibley Observed in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship

Reviews of Hugh Nibley Observed

More about Hugh Nibley

I have always been furiously active in the Church, but I have also been a nonconformist and have never held any office of rank in anything. . . . While I have been commended for some things, they were never the things which I considered most important—that was entirely a little understanding between me and my Heavenly Father which I have thoroughly enjoyed, though no one else knows anything about it.

—Hugh Nibley

Hugh W. Nibley (1910–2005) was arguably the most brilliant Latter-day Saint scholar of the 20th century, with wide-ranging interests in scripture, history, and social issues. The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley comprise nineteen weighty volumes. But he was also one of the most enigmatic observers of the Church.

In this volume readers will discover that the personal stories and perspectives behind the scholarship are sometimes even more captivating than his brilliant and witty intellectual breakthroughs. This comprehensive three-part collection of essays sheds fascinating new light on Hugh Nibley as a scholar and a man.

Part 1, entitled “Portraits,” contains the first collection of observations—a “spiritual” portrait of Hugh Nibley by his close friend and colleague John W. “Jack” Welch, a description of the physical portrait by Rebecca Everett hanging in the Hugh Nibley Ancient Studies room at Brigham Young University, and a biographical portrait by Hugh himself.

Part 2, “Nibley, the Scholar,” contains expanded and updated versions of the almost forgotten audio and video recordings of the BYU Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship lecture series celebrating the centennial of Nibley’s birth in 2010. An additional set of chapters on Nibley’s scholarship rounds out this collection.

Part 3, “Nibley, the Man,” includes tributes given by family members and others at Nibley’s funeral service. A series of entertaining personal stories, reminiscences, and folklore accounts concludes the volume.


  • Introduction – Jeffrey M. Bradshaw
  • Appreciation – Stephen T. Whitlock

Part 1: Portraits

  • Foreword: A Doorkeeper in the House of the Lord – John W. Welch
  • About the Portrait of Hugh Nibley – Rebecca Fechser Everett
  • An Intellectual Autobiography: Some High and Low Points – Hugh W. Nibley

Part 2: Nibley, the Scholar
Nibley Centennial Lecture Series

  • Nibley’s Early Education – Zina Nibley Petersen
  • Graduate School through BYU – Alex Nibley
  • Hugh Nibley and Joseph Smith – Richard Lyman Bushman
  • Hugh Nibley and the Church – Robert L. Millet
  • Nibley as an Apologist – Daniel C. Peterson
  • Nibley and the Environment – Terry B. Ball
  • Hugh Nibley and the Bible: “Look! And I Looked” – Ann N. Madsen
  • Nibley and Folklore – William A. Wilson
  • Beyond Scholarship: Scenes behind the Nibley Written Legacy – John W. Welch
  • Hugh Nibley and Classical Scholarship – Eric D. Huntsman
  • “Words, Words, Words”: Hugh Nibley on the Book of Mormon – Marilyn Arnold
  • Hugh Nibley, Mentor to the Saints – C. Wilfred Griggs
  • Nibley, Egyptology, and the Book of Abraham – Michael D. Rhodes

The Scholarship of Hugh Nibley

  • Hugh Nibley: A Prodigy, an Enigma, and a Symbol – Truman G. Madsen
  • The Influence of Hugh Nibley: His Presence in the University – Robert K. Thomas
  • Hugh Nibley: Scholar of the Spirit, Missionary of the Mind – Gary P. Gillum
  • Matthew Black and Mircea Eliade Meet Hugh Nibley – Gordon C. Thomasson
  • Hugh Nibley and the Book of Mormon – John W. Welch
  • Editing Hugh Nibley: The Man and His Legacy – Shirley S. Ricks
  • “A Stranger in a Strange Land”: Hugh Nibley as an Egyptologist – John Gee
  • Joseph or Jung? – William J. Hamblin

Part 3: Nibley, the Man
Selected Tributes at the Passing of Hugh Nibley

  • A Brighter Light – Zina Nibley Petersen
  • Memories of a Special Occasion – Rebecca Nibley
  • Remarks – Alex Nibley
  • In Memoriam HWN – Michael Draper Nibley
  • Called in a Council of the Prophets: The Mission of Hugh Nibley – Thomas Hugh Nibley
  • Remembering My Father – Christina Nibley Mincek
  • A Tribute to My Father – Paul Sloan Nibley
  • Hugh Nibley’s Articles of Faith – John W. Welch
  • Funeral Service for Hugh W. Nibley – Dallin H. Oaks
  • The Woman behind the Man: A Look into the Life of Hugh Nibley’s Widow – David Johnson
  • A Mighty Kauri Has Fallen: Hugh Winder Nibley (1910–2005) – Louis Midgley

Personal Stories, Perspectives, and Reminiscences

  • The BYU Folklore of Hugh W. Nibley – Jane D. Brady
  • Hugh Nibley, World’s Worst Politician – Alex Nibley
  • Hugh Nibley and Me – Don Norton
  • Reminiscences of Nibley – Stephen D. Ricks
  • Hugh Winder Nibley: The Man, the Scholar, the Legacy – Gary P. Gillum

Jeffrey M. Bradshaw is a Senior Research Scientist at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition. He has written studies on temple themes and the ancient Near East as well as commentaries on the Book of Moses and Genesis 1–11. Jeff and Kathleen have four children and fifteen grandchildren.

Shirley S. Ricks is a senior editor at BYU’s Religious Studies Center. As an editor at FARMS and the Maxwell Institute, she edited several volumes in the Collected Works of Hugh Nibley. She and her husband, Stephen, have six children, twenty grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Stephen T. Whitlock is a semi-retired cybersecurity professional with over thirty years of experience. He has served in a variety of Church callings, including teaching early morning seminary for twelve years. He and his wife, Diane, have two children and seven grandchildren.

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