Texts, Sacred, Numbers and Classifications ofLights of Irfan, Volume 10, pages 349-350
Wilmette, IL: Irfan Colloquia, 2009
1. From Lights of Irfan vol. 10, 2009
2. Letter from Steve Cooney to the Universal House of Justice, 2001-06-18In the June 13 press release from the Bahai World News Service about the Summons of the Lord of Hosts is an attempt to quantify the size of Bahá'u'lláh's Revelation:
"The collected volume represents only a fraction of Bahá'u'lláh's output during his 40-year ministry, when He revealed thousands of tablets which altogether represent a volume more than 70 times the size of the Qur'an and more than 15 times the size of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible." www.bahaiworldnews.org/story.cfm?storyid=163.Some time ago I wrote the Department of Secretariat:
Over the years there has been periodic reporting of the collection and classification of the Sacred Texts. In 1983 the "Seven Year Plan 1979-1986 Statistical Report" published at Ridvan 1983 reported that:Yesterday I received this reply by electronic mail. I thought you would be interested. It shows that since 1983 the number of documents bearing on the Revelation has more than doubled from 60,000 to approx 138,000. Also the classification system has become more sophisticated. It is difficult to compare the 1983 and 2002 figures directly but in the nearly two decade time frame a lot more documents have been acquired. And clearly a lot more authentication work remains to be done.
3. Response from the Universal House of Justice to Steve Cooney, 2002Your email letter dated 18 June 2001, requesting statistical information relating to the collection and classification of the Sacred Texts, which are housed in the Bahá'í World Centre Archival collection, was received, and we are to reply as follows. We apologize for the lengthy delay in responding to you.
The Bahá'í International Archives holds significantly more Tablets and Bahá'í Holy Writings in its collection now than it did in 1983. For your ease of reference, we provide the following information as an explanation to the data presented in this document. The Archival collection held at the World Centre is divided into three categories, and between these three groups there are varying degrees of overlap. They are as follows:
In light of the information provided above, we are able to inform you that there are some 7,169 original and photocopies of original Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, 15,815 by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, and 17,118 letters of Shoghi Effendi. In addition, there are some 98,000 copies of other such Tablets and letters, many of which have not as yet been authenticated.
With regard to the Writings of the Báb, the Archival collection holds approximately 135 original Tablets, and 55 photocopies. We are unable to provide you with any figures for transcribed copies of His Writings since there is not yet a computer inventory of them.
Department of the Secretariat