Dating the Text of The Urantia Book

Developing the validity and credibility of The Urantia Book through corroboration of its statements about science and history must take into account the timing of two types of developments. The one type of development is when a supermajority opinion forms on a particular scientific or historic issue about which The Urantia Book makes statements. A development of this type must then be compared to the period of time during which the information in The Urantia Book was finalized.

When determining whether information in The Urantia Book came in advance of cultural acceptance, account must be taken of when the information in The Urantia Book was a settled issue. Obviously, the material in a book must become a settled issue before the printing process is started.

Many of the advances in the sciences and scholarship that corroborate information in The Urantia Book have come after its publication date of October 12, 1955. But much of the science and scholarship that corroborates information in The Urantia Book was developed prior to that date. There is solid evidence that the printing plates for The Urantia Book were completed almost ten years prior to the book’s publication, suggesting that publication was strategically delayed so that some of this information could be included in the text in a way that would keep the focus on the context of the information rather than the issue of the information being presented “ahead of its time.”

If our interest is in weighing the evidence that suggests that the authorship of The Urantia Book is as the book claims, angelic, then in all fairness we must inquire as to when the text was finalized, not merely when the book rolled off the press and was bound into a book. Because the provision of information in advance of human discovery weighs in favor of the validity and credibility of The Urantia Book, our inquiry must go deeper than merely the publication date.

The Urantia Book was printed by R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company in Chicago, Illinois. On June 28, 1941 this company submitted to Wilfred Kellogg for approval a contract for creating the printing plates. On September 11, 1941 Wilfred Kellogg signed a contract with R. R. Donnelley & Sons for typesetting The Urantia Book.

By 1946 the plates were complete and held for safekeeping in the R. R. Donnelley & Sons vault.

On January 11, 1950 the Urantia Foundation was established and lists as one of its original assets the printing plates, having been given title to them by Wilfred Kellogg.

On February 11, 1955 the Urantia Foundation made formal arrangements with R. R. Donnelley & Sons to start publication of The Urantia Book.

Links to the source material that verifies this information are provided below. Other people have done early histories of The Urantia Book. Notwithstanding the variety of opinions on various topics related to the early history of The Urantia Book, there seems to be a general consensus regarding the above referenced dates.

The events associated with the creation of the printing plates are documented by business receipts, letters, and interviews conducted with the people directly involved. The owners of R. R. Donnelley & Sons were not otherwise associated with the emerging Urantia Book readership and standard business practices are in evidence.

If anyone should ever find credible information that calls these dates into question, please present this information for consideration and inclusion in this research.

Source material:

A History of the Urantia Papers by Larry Mullins copyright 2000, Penumbra Press, "

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