Any brief summary cannot do justice to the profound insights, original concepts, and innovative character that distinguish The Urantia Book from everything else in print. The book provides intensely moving insights that could transform human life and inspire all men and women on our planet, Urantia. The central message is that all human beings are one family, the sons and daughters of one God, the Universal Father.
The authors instruct us on the origin, history, and destiny of mankind and on our relationship with God. They also present a unique and compelling portrayal of the life and teachings of Jesus, open new vistas of time and eternity, and reveal new concepts of Man’s ever-ascending adventure of finding the Universal Father in our friendly and carefully administered universe. The views of science, philosophy, and religion presented in The Urantia Book are perhaps the clearest and most concise integration of these subjects available to contemporary man.
Among the many thousands of people who have purchased, read, and studied The Urantia Book, there is no question that it can make a significant contribution to the religious and philosophic thinking of all peoples. It truly has the potential to reshape world destiny. Over and over, people from around the world have discovered that the truths of The Urantia Book have profoundly impressed them and changed their lives—inspiring them and stimulating them to new levels of spiritual growth and enlightened living.
The authors of The Urantia Book do not describe or advocate a new organized religion. They build on the religious heritage of the past and present, encouraging a personal, living religion based on faith and on service to one’s fellows. This spiritual awakening would launch a new and improved era of human relationships, so that we can realize social brotherhood on our planet and achieve lasting peace and good will through the spiritual transformation of each individual and all mankind.
In response to questions regarding the origins of The Urantia Book, our best source of information is the book itself. The papers of Parts I, II, and III were completed in 1934 and 1935 as stated on the last page of each section. The book gives no specific date of completion for Part IV. There are no additional or unpublished parts to the book. The section “The Titles of the Papers,” pages vii through xii, list the authors of each paper primarily by their order of being. Different sections throughout the book describe these orders; you may want to refer to “The Table of Contents” to find the appropriate sections. The Acknowledgment on pages 16-17 and section 8 beginning on page 1341 refer to the human sources for the book’s contents. The limits of revelation are presented on pages 1007, 1008, and 1109. You may also wish to refer to the last full paragraph on page 865 for an explanation of the role of the midwayers and to pages 1208-9 and 1258 for references to the human subject involved in the revelation.
Much speculation exists about the physical origins of The Urantia Book. Information about the specific role of individuals involved and the exact mechanics of how the book was transmitted was wisely withheld from us to circumvent undue regard for the individuals and the book’s origins. We do know, however that in the early 20th century, a physician practicing in Chicago became the head of a group known as the Contact Commission. This small group was the focal point for the production of, and the primary custodian for, the final text of The Urantia Book. They were sworn not to disclose details about the transactions in order to preclude future generations from venerating the participants. Because of its revelatory nature, the book stands on its own merit, nature, and content. The true value of The Urantia Book lies not so much in its origins as in the spiritually significant content of its message.
As the contents of The Urantia Book were being transcribed, the Urantia Papers were read to, and questions were requested from ‘The Forum,’ a group that had been meeting regularly for discussions at the doctor’s house. The answers to these questions were then incorporated into the papers. These early readers formed the first core group of believers in the revelation and became committed to the mission of bringing the teachings of The Urantia Book to all of mankind.
The Urantia Book was published by Urantia Foundation in 1955. The authors of the individual papers are identified as various orders of celestial beings. The book asserts that it is the first epochal revelation to mankind since the coming of Christ to our planet. The section “The Titles of the Papers,” pages vii through xii, lists the authors of each paper primarily by their order of being. Different sections throughout the book describe these orders; you may want to refer to “The Table of Contents” to find the appropriate sections. The Acknowledgment on pages 16-17 and section 8 beginning on page 1341 refer to the human sources for the book’s contents. The limits of revelation are presented on pages 1007, 1008, and 1109. You may also wish to refer to the last full paragraph on page 865 for an explanation of the role of the midwayers and to pages 1208-9 and 1258 for references to the human subject involved in the revelation.
According to the authors of The Urantia Book, “Urantia” is the name of our planet. The book recounts a stimulating story about human life on our planet and combines and integrates many intriguing insights into science, philosophy, history, and religion, thereby providing a unified view of reality. The book portrays the history of our planet from the time it began, while telling us how life evolved and how human society developed. It blends these ideas with information about our planet’s destiny and how it relates to the cosmos, while revealing profound insights into the nature of God and describing His plans for us as individuals and as the human race. Physical Details: Part III of the book, “The History of Urantia,” begins on page 651. The author describes the Andronover nebula and the origin of our solar system, then states that the actual history of our planet began 1,000,000,000 year ago, when it had attained approximately its present size. At about that time, our planet was given the name “Urantia” [p. 660, par 3].
The Urantia Book does not advocate a new religion. Rather the teachings of The Urantia Book are intended to build upon the spiritual truths that exist in all the religions of the world and add an expanded view of Deity and the cosmos that is commensurate with modern day thought. The book’s viewpoint builds upon the religious heritage of the past and present; it is designed to act as a leavening ingredient for the thinking and belief systems of the modern day world.
There is no church or ordained hierarchy associated with the book and its teachings. There are groups and associations of readers all around the world who come together to study the book and its teachings and to fraternize with one another. However there is no official interpretation of the book and no authoritative body that dictates to the readers. Any formal organizations of readers usually exist for the purposes of coordinating and communicating to its members on reader activity, fostering the study of the book, disseminating the teachings, and keeping people in touch with one another.
Many people who read and believe in The Urantia Book, no matter which religion or denomination they come from, find that it takes nothing away from the essence of their existing spiritual beliefs. Although it may challenge their belief in some of the traditional theology and dogmas of their religions, many have said that having become a reader of The Urantia Book has made them a better Christian, or a better Muslim, Buddhist, or Jew. Many remain active in their churches and traditional religions.