The exact circumstances of the origin of The Urantia Book are unknown. The book and its publishers do not name a human author. Instead, it is written as if directly presented by numerous celestial beings appointed to the task of providing an "epochal" religious revelation. As early as 1911, William S. Sadler and his wife Lena Sadler, physicians in Chicago and well known in the community, are said to have been approached by a neighbor who was concerned because she would occasionally find her husband in a deep sleep and breathing abnormally. She reported that she was unable to wake him at these times. The Sadlers came to observe the episodes, and over time, the individual produced verbal communications that claimed to be from "student visitor" spiritual beings. This changed sometime in early 1925 with a "voluminous handwritten document," which from then on became the regular method of purported communication. The individual was never identified publicly but has been described as "a hard-boiled business man, member of the board of trade and stock exchange."
The Urantia Book is 2,097 pages long and consists of an introductory foreword followed by 196 "papers" divided into four parts:
Part I, titled "The Central and Superuniverse", addresses what the authors consider the highest levels of creation, including the eternal and infinite "Universal Father", his Trinity associates, and the "Isle of Paradise".
Part II, "The Local Universe", describes the origin, administration, and personalities of the local universe of "Nebadon", the part of the cosmos where Earth resides. It presents narratives on the inhabitants of local universes and their work as it is coordinated with a scheme of spiritual ascension and progression of different orders of beings, including humans, angels, and others.
Part III, "The History of Urantia", compiles a broad history of the Earth, presenting a purported explanation of the origin, evolution, and destiny of the world and its inhabitants. Topics include Adam and Eve, Melchizedek, essays on the concept of the Thought Adjuster, "Religion in Human Experience", and "Personality Survival".
Part IV, "The Life and Teachings of Jesus", is the largest part at 775 pages, and is often noted as the most accessible and most impressive, narrating a detailed biography of Jesus that includes his childhood, teenage years, family life, and public ministry, as well as the events that led to his crucifixion, death, and resurrection. It continues with papers about appearances after he rose, Pentecost, and, finally, "The Faith of Jesus".
What is The Urantia Book?