"The Book of Names" Mentioned in the Tablet of Carmel
To: The Universal House of Justice
Date: 23 March 2003
From: Research Department*
The “Book of Names” Mentioned in the Tablet of CarmelIn an email message of 4 February 2003 addressed to the Bahá’í World Centre, ... enquires about the “Book of Names” mentioned in the following passage from the Tablet of Carmel:
Ere long will God sail His Ark upon thee, and will manifest the people of Bahá who have been mentioned in the Book of Names.1... indicates that while he is familiar with Shoghi Effendi’s interpretation of this prophetic statement, contained in “Messages to America”, pages 32–33,2 he has been unable to discover exactly what the term “Book of Names” refers to. He enquires whether it might constitute a reference to the Kitáb-i-Asmá’ revealed by the Báb or to some other book or, indeed, whether it is “a philosophical-theological type of reference”. We provide the following response.
In relation to the passage cited above, the Research Department has located a number of references in the literature of the Faith that shed light on the significance of the “Ark” and that identify the “people of Bahá who have been mentioned in the Book of Names” with the Universal House of Justice. These references are assembled in a short compilation entitled “The People of Bahá Mentioned in the Book of Names”, which we attach for ...’s information.
The Research Department has not, however, been able to locate any authoritative interpretation of the specific term “Book of Names”. Although the term is capitalized in the English translation, we have, to date, not been able to find any statement in the Bahá’í Writings to suggest that it constitutes a reference to a particular book. It is suggested, therefore, that the “Book of Names” might well refer to the all-encompassing knowledge of God.
1 “Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas” (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1997), page 5.
2 “Messages to America: Selected Letters and Cablegrams Addressed to the Bahá’ís of North America, 1932–1946” (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Committee, 1947).