Stories about 'Abdu'l-Bahá

Verses of Holy Books — reading versus understanding their inner significances

Mahmud's Diary
December 4, 1912
New York, NY

At the Kinney’s home in the afternoon, a number of Mr. Kinney’s students met the Master. Some came during the meeting and others after it. The Master spoke to them about understanding the holy Book:

The object of reading and reciting is to understand the inner significance of the verses and mysteries of the Book. Had reading sufficed, all the Jewish people should have acknowledged Christ but as they lacked understanding of the mysteries and the inner meanings, they were deprived of the bounty of believing in Him. They interpreted the book in a literal or outward manner and did not find the appearance of Christ to conform to their traditions, imitations and the prevailing customs of their people, so they denied and rejected Him. Hence, they remained heedless and ignorant of divine realities and mysteries.