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Old 12-10-2016, 11:03 AM   #1
Joined: Feb 2016
From: United States
Posts: 70
O Joy of Joys! Paragraph Numbers!

Maybe this is something that's not a big deal to some of you, but for years I've owned a complete collection of the English translations of Baha'u'llah's works (as of 2001) all bound in one volume. It's a wonderful thing to own, but I've found it difficult to use with quotes I find online because all of the page numbers are different than the official, individually published works. Recently, however, I stumbled on a newer version of the Gleanings (from 2005 I think) published separately from the other works. Lo and behold, each paragraph of every section is numbered in the margin!

I can't begin to explain how excited I was to see this! Now I can refer to each individual gleaning by it's number and paragraph when I want to quote something. It makes things much, much easier for studying since now I can easily remember where a quote or topic comes from. I can even look it up in my complete collection of Baha'u'llahs works and find it there with little work. This really makes my day! For some reason my mind simply does not latch onto page numbers the same way. Raised Christian, I am used to chapter and verse references to scripture. Referring to the Gleanings by section and paragraph number just seems natural.

At the same time, I'm a little dismayed. The widespread use of page numbers in English language quotes still makes it extremely difficult to find things in the larger compilation of Baha'u'llah's works that I have. I also wonder how on earth someone who wants to compare quotes in different languages manages to do things. I'm sure all of the holy writings--not just the Gleanings--would be much easier to use in a cross-cultural context with common paragraph numbers.

Is the transition to the use of paragraph numbers in Baha'i publications something that has happened frequently in recent years? I haven't updated my personal collection of Baha'i writings in a long time, so I simply don't know. If so, I wonder how a simple person such as myself could encourage the use of paragraph numbers in quotes on a large scale. I really believe this is something that could simplify the teaching of the Baha'i writings!

I don't know why this made such an impression on me, but I thought I'd mention it. Any thoughts?

Last edited by Scribe; 12-10-2016 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 12-10-2016, 11:27 AM   #2
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BlinkeyBill's Avatar
Joined: Oct 2011
From: Quilimari,Chile
Posts: 4,213
Yes you bring up an important matter.
Simplify yes..............An important matter
Old 12-10-2016, 11:56 AM   #3
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Joined: Mar 2013
From: Edwardsville, Illinois, USA
Posts: 492
I agree, we need paragraph numbers. They started providing those with the U.S. editions of the Kitab-i-Aqdas, and with the more recent Gems of Divine Mysteries, Tabernacle of Unity and Summons of the Lord of Hosts, and are used in some other translations I think.

I also have the bound "compete works" original edition from 1993, and I had to hand number paragraphs in the the Kitab-i-Iqan in order to match up with my wife's Chinese translation published in Taiwan, which also has paragraph numbers. I guess if I get some extra time I could do that with the other books, but in some cases, it's hard to know what constitutes a new paragraph.

We ought to have chapter and verse eventually, but paragraph numbers are a good start.

Last edited by Jcc; 12-10-2016 at 12:01 PM.
Old 12-11-2016, 04:06 PM   #4
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Joined: Oct 2013
From: United States
Posts: 1,208
I agree, paragraph numbers are by far the best.

However, in the era of computer tools, fortunately it is extremely easy to source quotes using Ocean software, or even via Google or other search engines. And so I believe that referring to the source volume is probably now more than sufficient.
Old 12-12-2016, 07:14 AM   #5
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Walrus's Avatar
Joined: Jun 2014
From: Wisconsin
Posts: 888
Now we can sound more epic quoting scriptures!! Huzzah!! (Quoting scriptures with numbers always just sounds better to me )

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joy, joys, numbers, paragraph

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