(Professor Hugh Nibley)
Professor Hugh Nibley was a veritable genius, a real Renaissance man competent in Music, Art, History and Science. He had a photographic memory and often quoted ancient texts verbatim in their original languages during his lectures. The former dean of the Harvard Divinity School, George MacRae, once remarked after hearing him lecture, “It is obscene for a man to know that much!”
Nibley was famous for his research into ancient documents dealing with religious practices and lifestyles and their relationship to modern religion. He became fluent in 12 languages because he had to, as the texts he was studying had yet to be translated into English. This list includes Hebrew, Greek, Egyptian, Classical Latin, Coptic, Arabic, Russian, German, French, Dutch, Italian, and Spanish. He also studied Old Bulgarian, Old English, and Old Norse.
Nibley’s rigorous defense of Latter-Day Saint scriptures earned him a worldwide reputation as a scholar. Nibley was praised by Evangelical scholars Mosser and Owen for his ability to draw upon respected historical, archaeological, and linguistic sources to provide strong support for Latter-day Saint beliefs.