What Is The Urantia Book?
The Urantia Book is a portrait of total reality that identifies itself as the fifth epochal revelation to our planet; the authors state that the mission of Jesus to our world was the fourth such revelation. The book was originally received as 196 separate but related papers in the 1930’s. At a later date, an index was added and the Urantia papers were published as the Urantia Book. The authors identify themselves as celestial personalities who function at various levels of the universe’s spiritual government.
The papers begin by describing reality at the highest level, that of the infinite and eternal God, the source of all reality. From this high place, the narrative descends step by step, level by level until it reaches the lowest level of reality, the time-space universe where we “live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28) At our level, the authors discuss our origins, our present status and our eternal destiny as well as that of the entire time-space universe.
About the last third of the book, 76 papers, is about the life experiences and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Most of the familiar Bible stories and Jesus’ parables are contained in these papers, as well as some episodes from Jesus’ early life that are not in the Bible. While the papers do address the divine nature of Jesus, they provide a more complete picture of the human nature of Jesus than is found in the Bible.
While the papers are not Christian writings or a follow-up to the Bible, the Urantia papers do support some of the major theological concepts of Christianity and do contain numerous quotes from the Bible. And together with Christians, the authors of these papers confirm the primacy of Jesus’ teaching that we should love God with our whole being and our neighbors as ourselves.
While the authors of the Urantia papers refer to them as a revelation, the term must be defined as it refers to these papers. The authors state that they have used the thoughts of over 2000 people—in some cases paraphrased from books—to tell their story. So information and concepts in portions of the papers parallel our present knowledge, while in other places they present totally new knowledge. Certainly, the Urantia papers cannot be called “the Word of God.” While far beyond us spiritually and intellectually, the authors are not perfect or absolute beings; only God fits that description.
It seems doubtful that any other book provides such a balanced and comprehensive view of reality. Many readers feel that the papers represent the best integration of religion, philosophy, and science in print. The Urantia papers discuss both material and spiritual realities and define the relationship between the two realms. According to the authors, the two levels of reality are related aspects of God’s nature: “in him all things consist.” (Col 1:17) The scientist studies the laws that govern the material universe; the religionist discovers and worships a God of personal attributes. True science and genuine religion are complementary, not antagonistic. But the authors inform us that the lawgiver, the source of all reality, is also the personal God who loves each and every one of his children as an individual. And to show this love and help us find him, God has sent a part of himself to live in each of us and guide us on the pathways of true spiritual progress. “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s spirit dwells in you?” (1 Cor 3:16)
The Spiritual Fellowship