My father knew I was interested in the Book of Mormon; he also knew that I was frustrated with the amount of nonsense -- bad reasoning, shoddy scholarship, gross overreaching -- that pervaded the books then available that tried to "prove" the Book of Mormon through archaeology.
Hugh Nibley's book did none of the things that had made me so unhappy with the others. Instead, he studied the text of the Book of Mormon closely, and treated it, not as something to be proven, but as something that was true.
The Book of Mormon, Nibley showed me, is not trying to prove its own genuineness, it's trying to get people to repent of their sins and accept the Atonement of Christ. But the culture is there -- it simply isn't explained or pointed out, because that wasn't the writers' purpose.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Orson Scott Card's latest MormonTimes.com column is a reflection on Hugh Nibley. As one who has read most of his work, I can appreciate what Card has to say about him: