Readers of An Approach to the Book of Mormon, the sixth volume in the Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, will find erudite and sometimes unexpected insights into this book of scripture--as evidenced by this excerpt from the preface to the 1964 edition. (p.xii-xiii)
When in 1946 this writer composed a little treatise called ''Lehi in the Desert'' from limited materials then available in Utah, he had never knowingly set eyes on a real Arab. Within the last five years Aneze tribesmen and citizens of Mecca, including even guides to the Holy Places, have been his students, in Provo, of all places, while Utah has suddenly been enriched with a magnificent Arabic library, thanks to the inspired efforts of Professor Aziz Atiya of the University of Utah.
As if it were not enough for the mountain to come to Mohammed, those sons of the desert who came to Provo found themselves taking a required class in the Book of Mormon from the compiler of this manual. Naturally he was more than curious to see how these young men would react to the Book of Mormon treatment of desert themes, and invited and even required them to report frankly on their impressions.
To date, with only one exception, no fault has been found with Nephi on technical grounds. The one exception deserves the attention of all would-be critics of the Book of Mormon.