Nibley’s latest – “An Approach to the Book of Abraham”

Book Cover

Book Cover

In case you missed it, the inexhaustible Hugh Nibley is still hard at work churning out volume after volume of incredibly insightful reading material on a host of subjects relevant to the Church.  As I heard one person remark, “Hugh Nibley wouldn’t let a little thing like death slow him down!”

Indeed, the presses are playing catch up.  The Maxwell Institute is now able to bring together more of Nibley’s early writings on the Book of Abraham and the Joseph Smith Papyri.  Most, if not all, of these essays have been published before, but now are brought together in a single volume.

This book, published in May 2009, is entitled “An Approach to the Book of Abraham,” and is volume 18 in his Collected Works series.  Here is a brief description:

The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley contains Nibley’s early work on the Book of Abraham and the Joseph Smith Papyri. The volume contains diverse essays, including his three-year series of lengthy articles from the Improvement Era, “A New Look at the Pearl of Great Price.” According to Nibley, “Until now, no one has done much more than play around with the bedizening treasury of the Pearl of Great Price. They would not, we could not make of the Book of Abraham an object of serious study. The time has come to change all that.”

Produced at a breathtaking pace and originally published in a wide variety of places, Nibley’s work remains basic reading for anyone interested in the Book of Abraham.

This new volume is available from Amazon, Deseret Book, and a number of other book stores.


  1. Posted June 12, 2009 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    I love reading Hugh Nibley. I can never get over how much information that man was able to store in that mind of his. His vast wealth of knowledge allowed him to make connections and see things that the average person would miss. This would probably be a great read.

  2. Posted June 12, 2009 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Looks like I can submit my Christmas list to my wife now. Can’t wait to dive into this book!!

    Death sure hasn’t slowed Hugh Nibley!

  3. Floyd the Wonderdog
    Posted June 13, 2009 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    I remember reading the serialized version of “A New Look at the Pearl of Great Price” sitting in the ward library when my mom served as librarian. I was 11 at the time and thought it was great.

  4. Posted June 13, 2009 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    I read through this book the day it came out! Rushed down to Deseret Book and picked me up a copy! Great book. Nibley certainly had some powerful insights into the Pearl of Great Price and some equally powerful refutation of criticisms against the Book of Abraham – particularly against the scholars involved in the 1912 fiasco. And while some of Nibley’s work is now dated, much of it is still a delight to read and has something valuable to offer to modern investigators and scholars. (I’m thinking of his analysis of Facsimile 1, for example.) As Professor Gee noted in the introduction to this volume, Nibley’s work is not just a museum piece. He really did lay the foundation for modern LDS scholarship in regards to the Book of Abraham, besides other areas, and is a must read.

    I believe it was Klaus Baer who first recommended Nibley’s research back in the 60′s to Jerald Tanner, no less. Something along the lines of his work was a must read for those wishing to contribute to the discussion/debate around the Joseph Smith Papyri. Such is still true today!

  5. Lee
    Posted June 15, 2009 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    I’m sure this will be great, but personally, I can hardly wait for the release of One Eternal Round next year in celebration of the 100-year anniversary of his birth.

  6. Posted June 16, 2009 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Lee -

    True dat! One Eternal Round, to borrow the popular teenage colloquialism, is going to be “epic”.


  7. Bethany Klick
    Posted June 18, 2009 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    I find that reading the pearl of great price in sync with genesis is very insightful. I found it an excercise in comprhensive studying to find all of the differences between teh two. It was also interesting to find the correlations between biblical prophets’ descriptions of the creation of the world, and the scientific theory of how the world was created. My theory for it is that if we can make a model of the earth’s crust and it’s layers, God could create it the same way originally.

  8. Dana Prescott
    Posted September 22, 2009 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    I happened upon this site as I was looking for a particular writing of Hugh Nibley.
    I am glad I found it!!
    I so wish I could find an article by him that I read in a “Work and the Family” class I took at BYU. The article was about the garden of Eden and how wise and wonderful Eve was for the decision she made. Unfortunately I shared it with someone and never got it back.
    Can anyone help me find it?

  9. Terry
    Posted December 12, 2009 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Dana, it sounds like you’re referring to “Patriarchy and Matriarchy”–and I agree, it’s incredible. In fact, I think it’s one of his best. You can read it online at

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