“…however eloquent a translation of the divine verses may be, it can never be compared with the original…”

What follows is my provisional translation (in other words, not official or authorized; see here for more) of a passage from a Tablet of ʻAbduʼl-Bahá published in Muḥáḍirát, vol. 1, pp. 157–8.

Thou hadst asked about the translation of the blessed verses. Translations must be of the utmost clarity and eloquence, but however eloquent a translation of the divine verses may be, it can never be compared with the original, inasmuch as one set of words hath issued forth from the mouth of God, whilst the other proceedeth from the pen of man. Immeasurable is the difference between them!

A typescript of the Persian text of this passage appears below.

در خصوص ترجمۀ آیات مبارکه سؤال نموده بودید. ترجمه باید در نهایت فصاحت و بلاغت باشد ولی هر قدر ترجمه فصیح باشد، قیاس به اصل نمی‌شود کرد، زیرا آن الفاظ از فم مطهّر صادر و این الفاظ از قلم بشر صادر؛ فرقی بی‌منتهی در میان.