INTRODUCING THE URANTIA BOOK
We proposed that The Urantia Book is a new revelation about God, Jesus, the heavens, man’s history and his destiny. It is not the infallible word of God. It is not a new sacred writing that should be idolized, nor should it supplant The Bible. But it certainly clarifies many of The Bible’s stories and teachings such that we call it “The Teacher’s Edition to the Bible.” For the benefit of our visitors who are becoming familiar with the book, we provide a little background of the origin of the book, its contents, and how best to approach it based on our own experience.
The Book’s Origin
We provide this very brief overview of the origin of the book to prepare you for what you may read about the book if you Google it. We encourage you not to be discouraged by what you find. Most critics of the book have never really read it. They derive their opinion based on fear, selfishness and the commentaries and opinions of others. Parts of it are so complex that we wonder if a non-spirit oriented mind would put forth the effort needed to comprehend the message.
As has happened with The Bible, some of the readers of The Urantia Book add to the confusion by distorting and/or misrepresenting the information. Some have turned it into a new “Bible” and some claim to be its prophets. For these reasons, we encourage any who are interested in giving the book a fair review to read it for themselves. Just as The Bible is best understood by the person who actually reads it, so is it for those who want to understand The Urantia Book. Each one must formulate his own opinion and allow the Spirit of Truth to bear witness as to what is or is not true or beneficial. As The Bible often states, let the reader use discernment. So shall we.
The Urantia Book is said to have been authored by over 20 different celestial personalities of various levels of existence, intelligence and experience. They each write about matters within their own realms of activity. The book was not “channeled” as most people view channeling. Rather it is a direct creation of these beings.
There is much controversy about how it came to be. The actual factual manner of its delivery is not clear and probably beyond the human mind’s ability to truly comprehend. But, the short version goes something like this: Small portions of the book began mysteriously appearing in 1925 in the presence of a sleeping individual, and continued until 1935. The identity of the sleeping individual was never disclosed. After the book was completed, it was placed in the custody of a small group of individuals who were given the commission to maintain the original text inviolate. They formed a non-profit organization, The Urantia Foundation, and eventually copyrighted and published the book in 1955. They also began translating it into different languages.
As can happen with any religious organization, a schism occurred and the breakaway group challenged the copyright of the Foundation. As a result, the book is now in the public domain because no human, living or dead, has claimed authorship. And as occurred with The Bible, there was subsequently formed many sects, fellowships, and “new age” cults who are proponents of the book. Accordingly, the book is viewed by many as new age propaganda.
The origin of the book is the most difficult part of the whole book to accept. The way we have resolved this conflict is to ignore the skepticism of its authorship and go directly to its contents. It is the content that will establish its value and its truthfulness, not the identity of its authors, the manner of delivery, or the behavior of some of its adherents.
Nevertheless, these matters cannot be ignored. There are real challenges facing anyone who desires to give the book a fair reading. But, to us, it is worth the effort. To some the book may appear to be coal, but to us it is a pure clear diamond. If one can get past the superficial obstacles and let the book speak for itself, we believe those courageous and determined individuals will be greatly impressed and exceedingly blessed for their efforts.
The Book's Contents
The Urantia Book consists of about 2,000 pages of straight text (no pictures), with 4 divisions of 196 little books, called “Papers.” It contains so much information that it can be overwhelming. Ordinarily, when reading a new book, one would start at the beginning and read through to the end. That method is not always productive with this book, and not, in our opinion, the best way to approach it, as anyone who has attempted this approach has come to realize. Within a very short time, sometimes within the first few pages, the complexity of the writing can overwhelm and discourage a new reader. But perhaps we can help.
Our first observation is that The Urantia Book is written from heaven downward, the way a celestial personality would present a revelation. But we have found that humans must approach the book from man upward. So, in our opinion, the best place to start is the last part of the book – Part IV - The Life and Teachings of Jesus. ’ See John 14:6 where Jesus is said to be the way, the truth and the life. Thus finding truth begins with finding Jesus.
Christians will have a much better opportunity to experience the guidance of the Spirit of Truth if they are able to compare what they read to what they have already accepted in the New Testament. Nevertheless, curiosity about the whole book must be satisfied. For that reason, we feel that a brief overview of the contents of the book may satisfy the initial curiosity about Parts I, II and III, and allow the reader to get to the most important part of the book, Part IV.
The book begins with a Foreword – an introduction to the book and its principal terminology. First, we are told that “Urantia” is the name the heavens call “Earth.” So when Urantia is used, it is referring to our planet. Then it explains that since there is much confusion about the words “God,” “divinity” and “deity,” they will provide some definitions and background information. But it warns that due to the difficulty in expressing heavenly matters in a human language, much of what they write will be approximations of truth – their best efforts to communicate enlarged concepts to the human mind. Then it gives a synopsis of the universe:
Urantia is one of the inhabited planets in the Local Universe of Nebadon. Nebadon is one of the Local Universes that make up the SuperUniverse of Orvonton. The Capital of Orvonton is Uversa, the place where the commission to prepare the Urantia Book originated. Orvonton is one of seven SuperUniverses that circle around the Central Universe of Havona. In the center of Havona is the stationary Isle of Paradise, the geographic center of infinity and the dwelling place of the Eternal Father. Then there is the developing and as yet uninhabited universes of outer space. All of these universes make up what is called “The Grand Universe.”
To help you get a visual of The Grand Universe, at the end of this article, we share with you a link to a beautiful video created by another reader of The Urantia Book.
Next, the Foreword provides an explanation of the true meaning of the words “God,” “divinity,” “deity” and related matters. This part is extremely complex reading. Some of it can only be read one sentence at a time and you will have to ponder that one sentence before you can read the next one. We are in the process of preparing some information that may help in understanding the Foreword and we will share it when it is complete.
Here is a breakdown of the remaining parts of the book.
• Part I - The Central and SuperUniverses - is a discussion and introduction to the Father, the Eternal Son, the Infinite Spirit, Paradise, the Central and Superuniverses, and the spirit personalities who dwell therein.
• Part II - The Local Universe - is a discussion and introduction to our own Local Universe and the personalities that dwell therein, including a discussion of the rebellion of Lucifer.
• Part III - The History of Urantia - is a discussion and introduction to our planet and how it developed, including a discussion of the default of Adam and Eve.
• Part IV - The Life and Teachings of Jesus - is a detailed account of the life and ministry of Jesus, from birth to resurrection – every year, as recounted by personalities that were present on our planet at the time – firsthand eyewitnesses.
Approaching the Book
In the detailed Table of Contents, you may see many subjects that grab your interest. Some people are immediately drawn to the information about the Universal Father (Paper 1), the Eternal Son (Paper 2), or Isle of Paradise (Paper 11). Others are drawn to the Lucifer Rebellion (Papers 53 and 54) or the Adam and Eve story (Papers 73 -76). So you may want to skip through the book to read sections that grab your interest. But once you have satisfied your immediate curiosity about Parts I, II and III, you should move to Part IV and read it from beginning to end.
Part IV is the starting point from where you will gain the most benefit. When you complete this Part, you will have a first-class understanding of Jesus and the New Testament writings. You will understand Christianity, the reason for its divisions, and how it can be unified. You will find peace with the planet and will understand why Jesus’ message is good news. And you will be fully equipped as an “ambassador substituting for Christ.” (2 Corinthians 5:18-20)
During your reading, you will come across phrases and names and titles that you do not understand. Do not fret over those things. Continue reading. You will still be able to get the gist and a basic understanding of the material. When you complete Part IV, you might want to go to Part II, then Part III, then Part I, and then finally, at the end, read the Foreword. Many of the concepts in the Foreword are interesting, but the definitions have more meaning once you have read the book first. Strange, but true. And after you have read the book in its entirety in this jagged pattern, then you should start again from Part I and read each Paper in order from 1 to 196. This will take some time but after you finish the second reading, the matters will fall into place and you will have the beginning of a working knowledge of the universe.
The more often you are able to read the book, the greater your comprehension. Listening to audio recordings of the Papers and reviewing visual aids is also very helpful. We provide links to the audio files and certain visual aids below. And in time, matters that once seemed like a foreign language will become practically second nature. Yes, it takes time to truly understand The Urantia Book. We have been reading it, off and on, for over 20 years and are still discovering and expanding our understanding of the vast Grand Universe and the majestic personalities who dwell therein.
Please note that we are not the caretakers or publishers of the book. We are simply lovers and followers of Jesus Christ who followed his counsel to ‘keep asking, keep seeking and keep knocking’ (Matthew 7:7-8) and who have made it our life’s work to know ‘what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.’ (Ephesians 3:18-19) Our primary ministry is, and continues to be, to uplift the spiritual conversation worldwide and to reintroduce the actual, authentic, plain and open teachings of Jesus Christ as taught in The Bible, and now as expounded in The Urantia Book.
We also want to assert that while we have a great appreciation for The Urantia Book, we do not believe everyone is ready to receive it at this time. Many minds are not ready for this revelation and will be stumbled, like an infant trying to tackle a steak. There is nothing wrong with the steak, but an infant does not have the teeth to chew nor the stomach to digest a steak. In fact, if he tries to eat it, he will likely choke and possibly die. For this reason, we recommend that spiritual babes first try to gain a good working knowledge of The Bible before tackling The Urantia Book, or at the very least, get the assistance of a more experienced reader to help you maneuver the more difficult portions. We will provide further information, tools, and guidance in this regard to help bridge the understanding of The Bible and The Urantia Book and show their harmony.
Finally, as mentioned above, for those who would like to see an excellent artist’s rendering of The Grand Universe as described in the book, here is a link to a beautiful video, Journey Through the Universe. As you learn more and more about the universe, this video will have greater meaning. (Note: There is sound accompanying these videos.):
And we share with you a video produced by two readers of the book that provides a lovely introduction to the book.
And we provide a link where you can read online or listen to the The Urantia Book.
We welcome comments and questions about the book and its relation to The Bible as we develop this section. We are here for all lovers of God and lovers of truth, and we will make ourselves available in whatever way we can.
Your Family in the Faith,