Lesson 26 - The Way of the "Intellectuals"


Lesson 26 - The Way of the "Intellectuals"

Manual Title

An Approach to the Book of Mormon

Publication Type




Year of Publication



Nibley, Hugh W. (Primary)




The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Place Published

Salt Lake City

Terms of use

Items in the BMC Archive are made publicly available for non-commercial, private use. Inclusion within the BMC Archive does not imply endorsement. Items do not represent the official views of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or of Book of Mormon Central.

Bibliographic Citation

Nibley, Hugh W. "Lesson 26 - The Way of the "Intellectuals"" In An Approach to the Book of Mormon, 299-314. Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1957.


The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls has brought to light the dual nature of ancient Judaism, in which “the official and urban Judaism” is pitted against the more pious Jews “intent on going back to the most authentic sources of Jewish religion . . . in contrast to the rest of backsliding Israel.” (Moscati.) The official Judaism is the work of “intellectuals” who are not, however, what they say they are, namely seekers after truth, but rather ambitious men eager to gain influence and followers. The Book of Mormon presents a searching study of these people and their ways. There is the devout Sherem, loudly proclaiming his loyalty to the Church and his desire to save it from those who believe without intellectual proof. There is Alma, who represents the rebellion of youth against the teachings of the fathers. There is Nehor, the Great Liberal, proclaiming that the Church should be popular and democratic, but insisting that he as an intellectual be given special respect and remuneration. There is Amlici, whose motive was power and whose tool was intellectual appeal. There is Korihor, the typical Sophist. There is Gadianton whose criminal ambitions where masked by intellectual respectability. For the Old World an exceedingly enlightening tract on the ways of the intellectuals is Justin Martyr’s debate with Trypho, and also an interesting commentary on the Book of Mormon intellectuals whose origin is traced directly back to the “Jews at Jerusalem.”

Table of Contents


An Approach to the Book of Mormon
Nibley, Hugh W.

30 Lessons

Lesson 1 - Introduction
Nibley, Hugh W. | pp. 1-12
Lesson 2 - A Time for Re-Examination
Nibley, Hugh W. | pp. 13-25
Lesson 3 - An Auspicious Beginning
Nibley, Hugh W. | pp. 26-37
Lesson 4 - Lehi as a Representative Man
Nibley, Hugh W. | pp. 38-46
Lesson 5 - Lehi's Affairs, 1. The Jews and the Caravan Trade
Nibley, Hugh W. | pp. 47-57
Lesson 6 - Lehi's Affairs, 2. Lehi and the Arabs
Nibley, Hugh W. | pp. 58-69
Lesson 7 - Lehi's Affairs, 3. Dealings with Egypt
Nibley, Hugh W. | pp. 70-78
Lesson 8 - Politics in Jerusalem
Nibley, Hugh W. | pp. 79-91
Lesson 9: Escapade in Jerusalem
Nibley, Hugh W. | pp. 92-101
Lesson 10 - Portrait of Laban
Nibley, Hugh W. | pp. 102-112
Lesson 11 - The Flight into the Wilderness
Nibley, Hugh W. | pp. 113-121
Lesson 12 - The Pioneer Tradition and the True Church
Nibley, Hugh W. | pp. 122-132
Lesson 13 - Churches in the Wilderness
Nibley, Hugh W. | pp. 133-142
Lesson 14 - Unwelcome Voices from the Dust
Nibley, Hugh W. | pp. 143-153
Lesson 15 - Qumran and the Waters of Mormon
Nibley, Hugh W. | pp. 154-163
Lesson 16 - The Apocrypha and the Book of Mormon
Nibley, Hugh W. | pp. 164-177
Lesson 17 - A Strange Order of Battle
Nibley, Hugh W. | pp. 178-189
Lesson 18 - Life in the Desert, 1. Man versus Nature
Nibley, Hugh W. | pp. 190-201
Lesson 19 - Life in the Desert, 2. Man versus Man
Nibley, Hugh W. | pp. 202-216
Lesson 20 - Life in the Desert, 3. Lehi's Dream
Nibley, Hugh W. | pp. 217-228
Lesson 21 - Life in the Desert, Lehi the Poet — A Desert Idyll
Nibley, Hugh W. | pp. 229-241
Lesson 22 - Proper Names in the Book of Mormon
Nibley, Hugh W. | pp. 242-255
Lesson 23 - Old World Ritual in the New World
Nibley, Hugh W. | pp. 256-270
Lesson 24 - Ezekiel 37:15-23 as Evidence for the Book of Mormon
Nibley, Hugh W. | pp. 271-287
Lesson 25 - Some Test Cases from the Book of Ether
Nibley, Hugh W. | pp. 288-298
Lesson 26 - The Way of the "Intellectuals"
Nibley, Hugh W. | pp. 299-314
Lesson 27 - The Way of the Wicked
Nibley, Hugh W. | pp. 315-335
Lesson 28 - The Nature of Book of Mormon Society
Nibley, Hugh W. | pp. 336-350
Lesson 29 - Strategy for Survival
Nibley, Hugh W. | pp. 351-365
Appendix 1 - The Archaeological Problem
Nibley, Hugh W. | pp. 366-377

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