The Book's Origin
The origin of The Urantia Book is one of its most interesting and misunderstood features. So let’s talk about a few things 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 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: Several pages of extraordinary information began mysteriously appearing in 1925 in the presence of a sleeping individual. Some have speculated as to the identity of the sleeping individual, but the fact is his or her true identity was never disclosed. A small group was formed that read the pages and began writing down questions. In a few days, more pages appeared with the answers. And this back and forth continued for about 10 years until the manuscript contained about 2000 pages.
After the book was completed, it was placed in the custody of a few 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 English translation of 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. But this is far from the truth as you will discover when you look it over.
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 a lump of 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.