All the texts and teachings of the holy Testaments have intrinsic spiritual meanings. They are not to be taken literally. I, therefore, pray in your behalf that you may be given the power of understanding these inner real meanings of the Holy Scriptures and may become informed of the mysteries deposited in the words … so that you may attain eternal life and that your hearts may be attracted to the Kingdom of God. May your souls be illumined by the light of the Words of God, and may you become repositories of the mysteries of God, for no comfort is greater and no happiness is sweeter than spiritual comprehension of the divine teachings. If a man understands the real meaning of a poet’s verses such as those of Shakespeare, he is pleased and rejoiced. How much greater his joy and pleasure when he perceives the reality of the Holy Scriptures and becomes informed of the mysteries of the Kingdom!
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 459-460)
Among the inestimable bounties of the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh are the outpourings of His Most Exalted Pen, referred to as the Pen of the Most High, signifying, among other things, the Revealer of the Most Great Spirit. Never before in the history of religions, with the exception of the Bábí Dispensation, do we find that a Manifestation of God has left to posterity Tablets written in His own hand. But innumerable are the Tablets in the form of exhortations, prayers and meditations which Bahá’u’lláh has penned and which constitute the most precious part of Bahá’í Holy Writings.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh v 1, p. 34-35)
Bahá’u’lláh’s Writings were revealed partly in Persian and partly in Arabic. Shoghi Effendi, with his deep enlightenment and keen realization of the situation just described, initiated a new era in religious literature, for without delay, after 1922, but at great physical cost, he translated, within the very first century of his Great-Grandfather’s Revelation, a large number of His Writings into English, a language now widely diffused and almost universally spoken. The Faith of Bahá’u’lláh has spread rapidly to all parts of the world because Shoghi Effendi made the dissemination of Bahá’í literature an essential objective throughout the thirty-six years of his Guardianship, and contributed his matchless translations from the original texts, which in turn have been translated into hundreds of other languages. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had prepared him for this work by enabling him to master some European languages, English being his favourite.
(Ugo Giachery, Shoghi Effendi - Recollections, p. 29)
But great was my surprise to know how the ever-present Hand of the Master has removed so speedily all the difficulties in our way and how the light of His Divine Guidance caused the darkness of doubts, of fears and mistrust to vanish.
(Shoghi Effendi, Bahá’í Administration, p. 27)
Compared to other writings of this age, the Bahá’í Scriptures are as light compared to the reflection of light from surfaces more of less luminous or opaque. This essential quality of illumination, as distinct from the subject illuminated, and of vision, as distinct from the subject visioned, reveals anew the very sources of man’s spiritual being, and discloses, also, the predominant forces working to mold the character of the new day.
(Compilations, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. v)
How regrettable indeed that man should debar himself from the fruits of the tree of wisdom while his days and hours pass swiftly away. Please God, the hand of divine power may safeguard all mankind and direct their steps towards the horizon of true understanding.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 173)
O thou tree, developed in the garden of the Love of God! Be well watered with the abundant rain falling from the clouds of the Testament of God, that thou mayest bring forth fresh and ripe fruits which are beneficial to the hearts and souls.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 130)
O thou who art partaking of the Heavenly Food! Know thou verily the Divine Food is descending from heaven, but only those taste thereof who are directed to the light of guidance, and only those can enjoy it who are endowed with a sound taste. Otherwise every diseased soul disliketh the delicious and merciful food and this is because of the sickness which hath seized him, whereby the El-Zekkum  is sweet (to his taste) while he fleeth from the ripe fruit of the Tree of the Living and Pre-existent God—and there is no wonder in that.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 130-131)
[1 El-Zekkum—a thorny tree so called, which bears fruit like an almond, but extremely bitter. Therefore the tree symbolizes a very severe punishment and bitter remorse for the unbelievers.]
O wayfarer in the path of God! Take thou thy portion of the ocean of His grace, and deprive not thyself of the things that lie hidden in its depths. Be thou of them that have partaken of its treasures. A dewdrop out of this ocean would, if shed upon all that are in the heavens and on the earth, suffice to enrich them with the bounty of God, the Almighty, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. With the hands of renunciation draw forth from its life-giving waters, and sprinkle therewith all created things, that they may be cleansed from all man-made limitations and may approach the mighty seat of God, this hallowed and resplendent Spot.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 279-280)
One of the veils is literal interpretation. To penetrate the inner significances a mighty effort is needed.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Divine Philosophy, p. 29)
Promote ye the development of the cities of God and His countries, and glorify Him therein in the joyous accents of His well-favoured ones. In truth, the hearts of men are edified through the power of the tongue, even as houses and cities are built up by the hand and other means. We have assigned to every end a means for its accomplishment; avail yourselves thereof, and place your trust and confidence in God, the Omniscient, the All-Wise.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 77)
Seize ye, O loved ones of the All-Merciful, the chalice of eternal life proffered by the hand of the bountiful favours of your Lord, the Possessor of the entire creation, then drink ye deep therefrom. I swear by God, it will so enrapture you that ye shall arise to magnify His Name and proclaim His utterances amidst the peoples of the earth and shall conquer the cities of the hearts of men in the name of your Lord, the Almighty, the All-Praised.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 266-267)
The Peerless Beloved says! The way of freedom is opened. Hasten ye. The fountain of knowledge is gushing, drink ye.
(Compilations, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 132)
The Teachings of God are as healing balm, a medicine for the conscience of man. They clear the head, so that a man can breathe them in and delight in their sweet fragrance. They waken those who sleep. They bring awareness to the unheeding, and a portion to the outcast, and to the hopeless, hope.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 22)
The holy books are full of significance and must never be taken literally.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Divine Philosophy, p. 38)
Therefore, every believer must continually study the Sacred Writings and the instructions of the beloved Guardian, striving always to attain a new and better understanding of their import to him and to his society. He should pray fervently for divine guidance, wisdom and strength to do what is pleasing to God, and to serve Him at all times and to the best of his ability.
(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice, 5 June 1988)
Weigh not the Book of God with such standards and sciences as are current amongst you, for the Book itself is the unerring Balance established amongst men. In this most perfect Balance whatsoever the peoples and kindreds possess must be weighed, while the measure of its weight should be tested according to its own standard, did ye but know it.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 128)