Q: Five Questions Re: The Urantia Book, The Bible, and Jesus
A: Following are several questions submitted in one request from a Christian inquirer. Two of our Truthbook team (L) and (M) have given their answers in reply.
Q: How is Jesus in The Urantia Book different from Jesus in the Bible?
One reply from both L and M: The revelation of Jesus’ life and teachings in The Urantia Book, while not all that different in essential points from the Bible, is a greatly expanded and detailed account of that life and those teachings. It is really what one could call a true “biography” of the Master.
In the Bible, the life of Jesus is presented in four different ways, not all of which are consistent; additionally, as anyone can discover from researching the history of the Bible, Jesus’ words and actions as presented in the current Bible have been, in many instances, altered and adjusted over the centuries to fit with Christian theological thought.
The Urantia Book biography of Jesus is a seamless narration preserved by spiritual eyewitnesses to his life…preserved until this time in earth’s history when it can make the biggest impact on the world going forward. All the missing years, all the sermons, the discourses, and the riveting events of his life and ministry are fully covered in Part IV of The Urantia Book. If you love Jesus in the Bible, discovering Jesus in The Urantia Book can only enhance an deepen your appreciation of his matchless life and his sterling personality.
Q: Who is Jesus to you?
L: I didn’t understand Jesus before I became a student of The Urantia Book and, in fact, it was my desire to know Jesus better that led me to become a reader of the book 35 years ago. To me, Jesus is Lord. He’s the maker and administrator of this world. He’s my guide as a human being and he’s my nearest goal when I become a spirit being. He’s who I turn to when I need help or comfort or wisdom or advice. His spirit is here to help me discern and sift truth from error. I trust Jesus.
M: I knew Jesus from my early childhood as a Catholic, and he always seemed to me to be quite real; however, I also found that the Church was full of inconsistencies regarding Jesus and his words, and I had a hard time separating Jesus from the hypocrisy I experienced. I left the church in my 20s, but I never abandoned Jesus completely. Once I freed myself from the authority of the church, I started to see Jesus differently, and when I discovered The Urantia Book many years later, I was thrilled and deeply moved to rediscover the Jesus that I always loved as a child, and SO much more. Today, Jesus is once again my friend, my companion, my brother, and my Divine pathway to the Father. I believe in him and trust him, and I love him.
Q: Do you believe him to be the son of God who died for mankind’s sins?
L: I believe Jesus to be a Son of God of a special order–The Urantia Book guides us away from the tendency to believe that our race or religion, or in this case, world, is the most important one and that its aspects are superior to any others. Jesus came for all the peoples of this world, not just Christians, of which there were none until some time after he died. He also came for all the worlds of his dominion–we’re not the only one but we are nearly the most barbaric and that’s partly the reason he chose to come to this place. So yes, “a” Son of God, a divine being, and a creator. And forever, Jesus will also bear the name: Son of Man owing to his incarnation as a divine being into the fleshly tabernacle of a helpless baby in Nazareth
Did he come to die for mankind’s sins? Again, among students of The Urantia Book, the answer to that would be a pretty unanimous no. We hold God the Father in too high regard to relegate him to human purposes and emotions. God is not vindictive, retributive, jealous, or any of the other human-like attributes he’s so often described as having. God is love and does not condemn his children, neither the divine ones nor the mortal ones, to pain and suffering and sacrifice. Jesus understood this and tried to teach it to a world that didn’t understand him or his heavenly Father.
M: I do believe Jesus to be a divine Son of God. As pointed out above, The Urantia Book teaches us that Jesus is one of many Sons, just as there are many inhabited worlds, and many universe systems throughout God’s vast creation. Jesus did indeed come to our earth—he chose us especially—and he did die here, but I do not believe that he died as a punishment from God, or as a sacrificial lamb to atone for mankind’s sins. His mission was to establish the kingdom of God in the hearts of mankind, to proclaim the good news of the Fatherhood of God and the resultant brotherhood of mankind, and to live and die as a true man among men (and women).
Jesus was to portray to mortal eyes the love of the infinite and invisible God who is his, and our, Father. The fact that he died in such a cruel way was not the will of God,as some sort of ransom for a sinful humanity, but as the consequence of the fears and prejudices of the times in which he lived. His new religion of the spirit was terribly threatening to the religions of authority of his day and time. He was killed by men—not by God. But he did die a “natural” death, and as a result, he did complete that part of his mission, to resurrect victoriously on the 3rd day. He showed all mortals of all worlds in his universe how to live as a “son of God.”
Q: Do you follow the teachings of The Urantia Book only?
L: Basically, students of The Urantia Book are individuals coming from all manner of background; they do their own thing. Some feel they’re escaping organized religion and seek refuge in the teachings of TUB. Others are grateful for their religious heritage and continue on in it. Some have no tradition of religious belief before finding TUB. There are Urantia Book readers who are pastors, ministers, priests, nuns, rabbis, preachers of every Christian denomination, Jews, Muslims, Hindus… The teachings of TUB are not “a” religion; they clarify, augment, emphasize and uplift what is best “in” religion. There are no rules for readers/students/believers–it’s a book; it’s a superlative education; we read it and are edified and uplifted by it.
M: The Urantia Book is unique in that it contains many, many truths gleaned from many different established religions, as well as higher thought from numerous human sources, and at the same time, encourages us to develop what Jesus called the religion of personal spiritual experience; it is this revealed teaching that inspires me to find the best in any religion, and to nurture and grow that personal experiential relationship with God in whatever I do. So, in that sense, I do follow the teachings of The Urantia Book, but the experience leaves me free to follow the truth wherever I find it.
Q: What is your viewpoint on the King James Bible?
L: Students of The Urantia Book have no orthodox viewpoint. Some readers are Bible scholars. Some readers hardly know the Bible at all. Personally, I like the King James better than any of the more modern versions, but I think you’re asking do Urantia Book readers view the Bible as the infallible word of God and the answer to that would be a pretty unanimous no although most Urantia Book readers appreciate and take comfort in the Bible.
M: I personally prefer the New Jerusalem Bible, which is in common, everyday language. To me, other Bibles are difficult to read because the language is so stilted. I never had much interest in the Bible before I found The Urantia Book, but now I use it pretty regularly as a reference work. Jesus quoted scripture quite often in his life, and I have read many of those parts of the Bible. I do not believe it is inerrant, but like Jesus, I do find much in it that is quite valuable and worthwhile.