Notes and Mazandarani's "9 Styles of Revelation"edited by Jonah Winters
Tablet Study Outline:
Students in the Wilmette Institute's early "Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh" courses were asked to fill out a "Tablet Study Outline" for one Tablet read in each week. The Outlines I've posted online here were my own personal "grading keys." The full template of the Tablet Study Outline given to the students was:
TABLET STUDY OUTLINE NAME: UNIT #: COURSE: ------------------------------------------------- Name of Tablet in Arabic or Persian: Translation into English: Significance of Name: Aqdas was revealed in: __ Arabic __ Persian __ Both (check one) Name of Recipient: Reason for Revelation of the Tablet: Questions asked that are answered in Tablet (if known): Date of Revelation: Place of Revelation: Role of Amanuensis or Secretary (if any): Other Tablets revealed at about the same time: Tone, subject, and genre of the Tablet: Voice of Tablet: Outline Contents of Tablet (if possible): List the principal themes of the Tablet: Comment on the Tablet's relationship to any other tablets. In several paragraphs, record your personal responses to the Tablet. Brief biography or bio notes of the recipient(s) of the Tablet.
Tone, Subject, and Genre: Mazandarani's 9 styles
An aspect of Bahá'u'lláh's tablets to study is the style in which they were revealed. According to Adib Taherzadeh (Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh vol. 1, pages 42-43), "In the Súriy-i-Haykal (Súrih of the Temple) revealed in 'Akká, Bahá'u'lláh states that in this Dispensation the verses of God have been revealed in nine different styles or categories. A well-known Bahá'í scholar, Jináb-i-Fádil- i-Mázindarání, after careful study of the Writings, has enumerated these styles." The following is a slight adaptation of Mázandarání's nine categories:
In addition to Mázindarání's nine categories, one can identify the following five literary genres in which tablets fall:
Voice of Tablet:
Bahá'u'lláh revealed Tablets in a number of "voices," or perspectives. In various contexts He spoke as a Manifestation of God, as a human, as God Himself, or even in the voices of "characters," such as the Maiden of Heaven. Sometimes multiple voices appear in the same tablet, such as the dialogues between Bahá'u'lláh and the Maidens in the Ode of the Dove and the Tablet of the Holy Mariner.