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A Source Study of “Instruction for Teachers and Believers”
(159:3; 1765-67)

by Matthew Block
copyright © 2001 by Matthew Block
All Rights Reserved

The Chart of Comparisons -- Weatherhead and The Urantia Book
Full Text of Jesus and Ourselves

Introductory Comments

This essay explores the relationship between one section of The Urantia Book’s “The Life and Teachings of Jesus”—section 3 of Paper 159—and a previously published book, Leslie D. Weatherhead’s Jesus and Ourselves,[1] which was clearly its main source. It is the first in a series of essays and books I am preparing which submit various sections and papers of Part IV to a new method of study, that of comparative analysis with their respective source texts. This approach has been made possible by the recent discovery that much of the content of hundreds of sections in Part IV was derived from a relatively small number of American and British books published between the 1880s and the 1930s. It is hoped that these source studies, which identify the source books and their authors and trace their textual parallelisms with material in Part IV, will contribute to a greatly enhanced understanding of “The Life and Teachings of Jesus,” both of its individual sections and as a whole.

My own eight-year-long experience in studying these sources and seeing how they were used, has allowed me to appreciate Part IV in a more acute way, not only as a portrait of Jesus’ life and teachings which is unsurpassed in spiritual power and narrative detail, but as a work of rare literary intelligence and skill. Having become familiar with Part IV’s major references and many of its minor ones, I am better able to distinguish the original from the derived elements of the narratives, and to perceive how ingeniously these elements were woven together. I now see “The Life and Teachings of Jesus” as a masterpiece of both originality and adaptative creativity. It is the product of a stunningly bold and independent writer who drew confidently and artfully from the work of scores of 19th and 20th century Christian writers, pooling their insights into a narrative that enlarges upon the Gospels and reframes the whole story of Jesus with an amazingly new and intriguing cosmic-theological explanation of his mission and ministry.

The fact that considerable portions of Part IV (as well as a large percentage of the rest of The Urantia Book) are composed of close and extensive paraphrases of then-recently published books, comes as a surprise even to longtime readers who have carefully read the Acknowledgment on p. 1343 and who consider themselves knowledgeable about the origin of the Jesus papers. Indeed, my pursuit and discovery of the sources has been accomplished as much by going against the grain of the available information as by following its leads. The Acknowledgment credits “the minds of the men of many races,” “more than two thousand human beings” who “have lived on earth from the days of Jesus down to the time of the inditing of these revelations” for providing “ideas and concepts ... and even some ... effective expressions” which have enabled the midwayer author to “create the most effective portraiture of Jesus’ life ....” Readers naturally infer from this that books, if used at all, played a minor role as sources of suitable concepts and expressions. These statements in the Acknowledgment, supplemented by recent documents stating that the Urantia Papers were hundreds of years in the planning,[2] ensure that virtually no one would guess that late 19th and early 20th century publications from the liberal Protestant, English-speaking world provided the lion’s share of direct sources from the post-New Testament era.

                For sixty-five years the vast and intricate connection between the Jesus papers and Anglo-American Protestant literature could have been investigated rather easily, in spite of the vaguely worded Acknowledgment. When “The Life and Teachings of Jesus” first appeared (in the mid 1930s, according to a first-hand account[3]) the source books I’ve found were readily available and widely read by Christian students and scholars in America and Britain. Why, then, has this connection only recently begun to be detailed? One can only surmise. Apparently, few if any of the Forumites were serious students of contemporary Christian literature, and if any of them were, they were handicapped by not being able to scrutinize the papers for long periods at a time or take them home for comparative study. By the time “The Life and Teachings of Jesus” was published as a component of The Urantia Book in 1955, the sources, which had been so popular earlier in the century, were eclipsed by the emergence in the Protestant world of neo-orthodoxy, a trend of thought which scorned liberalism’s concepts of Jesus, God, human nature, religion, modern culture, and the church, the very type of concepts which the author of Part IV so freely incorporated into the narratives.[4] Further, older Christian scholars in the third quarter of the 20th century, who still would have been able to recognize many of the sources, either had never heard of The Urantia Book or refused to take seriously an academically unaccredited book with revelatory claims.

In any case, while the inspirational purpose and value of “The Life and Teachings of Jesus” has been appreciated by its readers from the day the work was made available, its anatomy as an ingenious literary composition is only now coming to be explored. I am grateful for this opportunity to take one of the first steps into this previously uncharted territory and to share my findings with my fellow Urantia Book readers.    

Jesus and Ourselves and Leslie Weatherhead

Leslie D. Weatherhead’s Jesus and Ourselves: A Sequel to ‘The Transforming Friendship’ has been chosen as the subject of the first source study because its straightforward relationship with a single section in Part IV lends itself well for presentation in a magazine article. Several other source books are used in a more piecemeal fashion, their content being spread throughout a number of different sections, but Jesus and Ourselves is one of the books whose use is confined mainly, though not exclusively, to one section. Moreover, the book is the primary factor in the section. Many other sections in Part IV are dominated or determined by a single source book (either the New Testament or a modern source), but a considerable number of sections appear either to combine more than one source or to have used no direct source in biblical or modern literature. As with several other books which dominate a section or paper, material from Jesus and Ourselves is drawn in consecutive order; the culling and paraphrasing begins on the first page of the first chapter and proceeds more or less continuously from there. Because the writer of Part IV, in characteristic fashion, retains much of the source author’s wording, I was able to identify this book as a source within a few minutes of browsing through its pages. I found Jesus and Ourselves in November of 1996 at a secondhand book and record shop in Manchester, England while visiting Urantia Book-reading friends.

Jesus and Ourselves was published in 1930 as the sequel to Weatherhead’s first book, The Transforming Friendship: A Book about Jesus and Ourselves (1928). Its eighteen chapters are revisions of sermons Weatherhead preached to his congregation at Brunswick Wesleyan Church in Leeds, a city in the north of England. Many of the chapters were originally published in The Methodist Recorder and in The British Weekly. Weatherhead thanks his “Friday Night Fellowship,” a group made up largely of students from the University of Leeds “whose honest, fearless, and sincere thinking is constantly a stimulus and help to my own,” for discussing some of the chapters with him.[5]

Weatherhead’s central message, as he writes in the prologue, is that “Jesus can be to us in this twentieth century a real personal friend.”[6] He is emphatic in affirming that “Christianity is Christ. Christianity’s greatest appeal is Christ. The man who finds that Christianity gives him all he needs . . . knows that satisfaction is derived, not from any way in which organized Christianity is presented to him, not in the logic of the creeds, not in ritual or ceremony, but in the offer of a personal relation between the soul and Jesus Christ.”[7] Each chapter extols an aspect of the way of Jesus and encourages the reader to become inspired and transformed by this loving but inexorable Friend, so as to meet the trials of daily life in a more Christlike way. In common with other preachers of the past and present, Weatherhead uses Bible passages, anecdotes, poetry, humor, and contemporary research and literature to illustrate his themes. He credits his sources by name, and nowhere in the book does he claim, or lead the reader to suspect, that he’d received any of his ideas or insights by unusual means.

Leslie Dixon Weatherhead (1893-1976) was 37 years old and a Methodist minister when Jesus and Ourselves was published. In 1936 he moved to London to become the well-known minister of the City Temple, the only non-Anglican church in the City of London (London’s financial district). He reached the height of his fame as a preacher and writer in the 1950s, when he was characterized by the General Secretary of the British Council of Churches as “almost a household word in the English speaking Protestant world.”[8] One British scholar recently described Weatherhead as “a popular and controversial author, preacher, lecturer and counsellor who was a pioneer in relating psychology, religion and healing in the twentieth century.”[9] 

I have found no evidence that Weatherhead ever knew about the Urantia Papers or was connected with the Forum in any way. The only link I’ve been able to trace between Weatherhead and Dr. Sadler is that Weatherhead’s well-known 1929 book, Psychology in Service of the Soul, is listed, with nineteen other books, as a reference for Chapter 73 (“Religious Therapy”) of Sadler’s 1936 book, Theory and Practice of Psychiatry.

 159:3 an Adaptation

Assuming, then, that Jesus and Ourselves was written before, and in complete independence of, Part IV’s “Instruction for Teachers and Believers,” the latter text can be seen as the product of a conscious adaptation of the former. Indeed, the section appears to have been created as a vehicle for incorporating material from Weatherhead. The project which the author of 159:3 apparently set for him/herself was to draw material from Weatherhead’s 20th century book of sermons and convert it into a heretofore unrecorded (i.e. in human literature) instruction, “[s]ummarized and restated in modern phraseology,” given by Jesus himself during an evangelical tour of the Decapolis in the summer of A.D. 29.

From what I can tell, New Testament scholars are unaware of such a tour of the Decapolis, which occurred, according to The Urantia Book, between the Transfiguration and the period of his Perean ministry. Only in Mark 7:31 is mention made of Jesus passing through or near the Decapolis: “And again he went out from the borders of Tyre, and came through Sidon unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the borders of Decapolis.” The succeeding passages in Mark report an incident in which Jesus heals a deaf-mute (Mk 7:32-37), and then feeds four thousand people with seven loaves of bread and a few small fishes (Mk 8:1-9). But the preamble of Paper 159 (“The Decapolis Tour”) pointedly states: “Throughout this tour no miracles of healing or other extraordinary events occurred” (159:0; 1762).

The preamble also describes how the four-week-long Decapolis tour was organized: Jesus directed each of the apostles to pair off with one of the twelve evangelists, to lead twelve groups of missionaries who would labor in various cities and towns of the Decapolis and surrounding areas. Each group worked independently of the others and received occasional visits from Jesus. The first five sections of Paper 159 recount five episodes in which Jesus visits a different group and delivers a sermon, a discourse, or some other form of instruction, usually in response to a question from an apostle or a disciple.

Students of the New Testament recognize that sections 1 (“The Sermon on Forgiveness”) and 2 (“The Strange Preacher”) enlarge upon Gospel episodes and discourses, which Matthew and Mark record as having taken place in Capernaum.[10] Section 1 derives from Matt. 18:12-35 and 10:8, Mark 9:33-37, and Luke 9:46-48 and 15:4-7. Section 2's Gospel sources are Mark 9:38-41 and Luke 9:49-50. 

Sections 4 (“The Talk with Nathaniel”) and 5 (“The Positive Nature of Jesus’ Religion”), like section 3 (“Instruction for Teachers and Believers”), are adaptations of material from early 20th-century books regarding the modern use of the Bible and the teachings of Jesus. (Sections 4 and 5 will be treated in later source studies.) Section 6 (“The Return to Magadan”) provides details of the progress of the Decapolis tour which are intrinsic to the original narrative of Part IV.

Each of the three sections derived from modern sources frames the teachings of Jesus in a different way. Section 4 puts Jesus’ answer to Nathaniel’s question in quotation marks, giving the impression that a direct translation/transcription of his words has been provided. Section 5 discusses Jesus’ teachings in essay form, referring to Jesus in the third person. “Instruction for Teachers and Believers” employs the less commonly used device of presenting Jesus speaking in the first person but not in quotation-marked sentences. A few other sections in Part IV use this technique, e.g. 133:7.

How to Read the Parallels

To facilitate the comparative study of Jesus and Ourselves and “Instruction for Teachers and Believers,” a two-column chart displaying the parallels appears below. These are the parallels I’ve been able to determine as of February 2001, after three close readings of Weatherhead during which I found the obvious correlations first and the subtler or more oblique ones later.

On the right column is the complete, sequential text of “Instruction for Teachers and Believers.” A small numeral precedes each of the section’s fourteen paragraphs. An underlined numeral (e.g. 2) indicates a paragraph which, in the original 1955 printing of The Urantia Book and in all subsequent editions, is separated from its preceding paragraph by more than one line.

On the left column are the passages from Jesus and Ourselves and, in a few cases, from the Bible and The Urantia Book which parallel segments of “Instruction for Teachers and Believers.” Passages from the Bible and The Urantia Book are printed in smaller type to distinguish them visually from the Weatherhead material. Certain portions of the Jesus and Ourselves excerpts are also printed in smaller type when of secondary importance to the grasping of the parallels. The passages from The Urantia Book are identified both by paper, section and paragraph (e.g. 141:7.10 means Paper 141, section 7, paragraph 10) and by their Urantia Foundation-edition page numbers. The page numbers given at the end of each Weatherhead passage are from the 1930 Epworth Press edition.

In presenting the Weatherhead passages, I’ve usually excerpted not only the sentences that directly parallel material in 159:3 but enough of the paragraphs in which they occur so that the reader is provided with more context. In each parallel row I have tried to align the segment of 159:3 with the line in the Weatherhead paragraph where the direct parallel begins. It was impossible to do this with perfect exactitude, however, so the reader should study the left and right passages in the parallel row to judge for him/herself where the exact parallel occurs.

Because Jesus and Ourselves was used so consecutively, the left column of the parallel chart reads more or less coherently. It would profit the reader to read this column from top to bottom before studying the parallel rows, to get the gist of Weatherhead’s discourses and a sense of his writing style. (Note: The notation [cont’d] means that the successive passages from Jesus and Ourselves follow each other directly in the book, without intervening words or sentences. The notation [cont’d from above] means the same thing, except that the consecutive textual passages from Weatherhead are separated from each other in the left column by one or more other passages.)

The chart features only the portions of the Weatherhead text that were chosen by the author of 159:3 for incorporation into the section, but a full understanding of the author’s selective use of Jesus and Ourselves can be had only by reading the entire book, to study the portions that were not used as well. Therefore, the full text of Jesus and Ourselves has been made available on The Urantia Book Fellowship’s Web site:

As you study the parallels, reading each parallel row from left to right, observe how artfully the adaptation was done. Notice not only the similarities between the parallel pairs but the deviations. See how the author variously condenses, revises, refines, supplements, and even does word plays on the Weatherhead passages. Observe how some of the parallels are more conceptual than verbal. Notice, too, how a couple are purely verbal and not conceptual, i.e. they hinge on shared words alone. Then, after focusing on all these details, appreciate the adaptative work as a whole. Observe how the author, while having scrupulously adhered to the general train and sequence of Weatherhead’s text, has invested the derived material with a distinctly different character.

The Chart of Comparisons -- Weatherhead and The Urantia Book (PDF format)


                The following notes are provided to stimulate further study and discussion.

                (1)  “Summarized and restated.” Jesus’ instruction for teachers and believers is prefaced by the words: “Summarized and restated in modern phraseology, Jesus taught:…” After reviewing the parallels, we see that an equally apt, if more cumbersome, introduction would be: “Summarized (with slight revisions and supplementation), and already stated in modern phraseology, Weatherhead taught: …”

The phrase “Summarized and restated in modern phraseology” or variations thereof (e.g. “Put into the words of today, in substance Jesus said …”[11]) precede several discourses of Jesus (e.g. 130:2, 4; 132:1-3; 133:5-6; 144:7;150:3; 151:3; 155:5; 156:5; 178:1). Rodan’s addresses in Paper 160 are similarly introduced. My findings indicate that in about three-quarters of the cases, the discourse that follows such a preface is based on a modern text, much as 159:3 is based on Jesus and Ourselves. The preface can thus be read, in most instances, as a message signifying that the passages to follow are mainly derived from a recently published book.

“Instruction for Teachers and Believers” is composed primarily of material drawn from ten of Weatherhead’s eighteen chapters—Chapters 1, 2, 3, 5, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17, and 18—and the course of the instruction parallels the sequence of these chapters. The risk of threading together bits of material drawn from various chapters is that the resulting text might lack coherence. In the case of 159:3, a degree of discontinuity is indeed apparent. Paragraphs 2 to 5, deriving from Weatherhead’s similarly themed first and second chapters (“Jesus’ Respect for Our Personality” and “Jesus’ Concern for Our Self-Respect”), flow easily; there is a natural connection between the sentences in each paragraph and between the paragraphs themselves. But from paragraph 6 to the end of the instruction, the points seem more randomly presented. Paragraph 9, for instance, embraces material from three different chapters, and the transition between sentences is not always smooth. Such rough transitions characterize other sections in The Urantia Book which condense and combine material from diverse chapters, e.g. several sections in Papers 99 to 103.

 Nevertheless, 159:3 does have an overall consistency and a unified voice. The section’s  multifaceted nature may be readily accounted for as the representation of a wide-ranging evening discussion during which Jesus “gave expression to the principles which should guide those who preach truth ....”

(2)  The voice of Jesus.  Weatherhead’s exuberant testimonies about Jesus are transformed into instructions given by Jesus.  To accomplish this change of voice and perspective, the author distills Weatherhead’s discourses into a series of pithy injunctions and assertions expressed with masterful authority: “Always respect the personality of man…,” “Do not appeal to fear, pity, or mere sentiment…,” “Make not the mistake of…,” “Take care that you do not…,” “Tell my children that…,” “You shall not.…,”  “Teach all believers that…,” etc. One obvious advantage of such a distillation is its effective brevity; the taut, pointed prose makes the points themselves more memorable. One drawback is the loss of nuance and context. Weatherhead’s illustrations of his themes, none of which appear in 159:3, are helpful and often humorous; he candidly recognizes how difficult it can be for us to follow the way of Jesus and offers inspiring examples of people doing so in modern life. It would not be accurate, therefore, to characterize The Urantia Book’s gleaning of Weatherhead as separating the wheat from the chaff, or as appropriating only the “best” or “highest” of his insights. The case is rather that Weatherhead’s illustrations are unnecessary to Part IV as a whole; “The Life and Teachings of Jesus” is already rich with examples of people experiencing the challenges and blessings of Jesus’ teachings.

The conversion to the voice of Jesus is effected by other means as well. In several cases a simple shift from the third person to the first is all that is necessary. For example, Weatherhead’s “Jesus will stop at nothing to give a man back his self-respect” is changed to “I will stop at nothing to restore self-respect to those who have lost it….”

Another means is to shift the time sense, with Jesus prophesying to his students about the more advanced mentality of future generations (i.e. Weatherhead’s generation). Paragraph 6’s “Sometime the children of the kingdom will realize….” and paragraph 10’s “Future generations shall know….” both correlate with statements made by Weatherhead about the difference between ancient and contemporary ways of thinking. Where Weatherhead looks back to the ancient past, Jesus projects into the future.

Another time-related modification occurs in paragraph 4, where Weatherhead’s modern-sounding word, “unemployment,” is changed to the less period-specific “idleness.” Similarly, Weatherhead’s observation in paragraph 8, “[T]here are thousands of wistful, lovable people in our Churches,” is universalized to “The world is filled with hungry souls....”

One of the more puzzling results of the conversion is that Jesus expresses New Testament sayings not known to have been made by him during his ministry. For example, in paragraph 2 Jesus says, “Remember that I have said: ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock.…’” This saying, as Bible students know, occurs only in the Book of Revelation and is attributed to Jesus after his resurrection. Nor is it recorded in the papers that precede Paper 159. This lack of an earlier citation does not rule out that Jesus had previously used the saying, of course. Another example is in paragraph 8 where Jesus says, “There is but one struggle for those who enter the kingdom, and that is to fight the good fight of faith.” “Fight the good fight of faith” occurs in Paul’s letter to Timothy and is commonly thought to be original with Paul. But the incorporation of post-Jesus New Testament passages is by no means unique to 159:3. Both Ganid’s “Our Religion” (131:10; 1453-54) and Jesus’ “Lesson on Self-Mastery” (142:2; 1609-10), for instance, borrow heavily from such passages.

Another result of the conversion is a significant theological shift, as Weatherhead’s “Jesus-centrism” gives way to Jesus’ emphasis on the Thought Adjuster. As stated in his preface and indicated by the book and chapter titles, Weatherhead’s sole inspirational focus is Jesus. In 159:3, even though the discussion at Edrei takes place after the Transfiguration, Jesus presents himself as “your teacher” and not as the focus of worship or as a model for living. Rather, in paragraphs 2, 6, 8, and 12 he points to the indwelling divine spirit as the individual’s guiding light. Further, in paragraph 9, Weatherhead’s comment that Christianity is “a transforming friendship with Jesus” is counterpointed by Jesus’ assertion that “In preaching the gospel of the kingdom, you are simply teaching friendship with God.”

(3) The Art of Culling and Paraphrasing. At first glance, the 17-page parallel chart appears to be nothing more than an exhibit of plagiarism. But a closer analysis of the parallels reveals that the author of 159:3, far from being either a lazy plagiarist or a mere workmanlike paraphraser, practiced a rare editorial art that required high intelligence, creative imagination, discrimination, and discipline.

Though ignoring standard citation procedures, the author does appear to have conscientiously followed a self-prescribed set of rules of restatement. These rules seem to have entailed the scrupulous adherence to the trend and substance of the source text while, at the same time, revising, supplementing and otherwise adjusting the culled material when deemed necessary. As the author explains in the Acknowledgment: “Although I have sought to adjust the verbal expression the better to conform to our concept of the real meaning and the true import of the Master’s life and teachings, as far as possible, I have adhered to the actual human concept and thought pattern in all my narratives.”[12]

In most of the paraphrases adhering and adjusting go hand in hand and it is usually impossible to identify a pure example of either. But a provisional distinction will be made here for the purpose of analysis.

(a) Adherence. Though nearly every sentence in 159:3 derives from passages from Jesus and Ourselves, there is not a single case of a word-for-word lifting of an entire sentence. Rather the author has, in several cases, borrowed clauses and other word-clusters. Some examples are: “righteous cause,” “psychic force,” “mental superiority,” “pride, conceit, and [or] arrogance,” “restore … self-respect,” “sails are to a ship,” “infectious … power,” “false sympathy.”

More obliquely, a single shared word serves to mark a parallel, as for example the “victory”/“victories” coupling in paragraph 2, the “generation”/“generations” coupling in paragraph 10, and the “obligation”/“obligations” pairing in paragraph 7.

The conscientious attempt to import Weatherhead’s words results, in a couple of cases, in a complex parallel in which two different passages from Weatherhead supply components of the corresponding Urantia Book passage. For example, in paragraph 10, the second half of the sentence “We proclaim a message of good news which is infectious in its transforming power” is constructed from two widely separated passages in Jesus and Ourselves. Other artful combinations occur when a passage from Weatherhead is joined with a passage from the Bible to construct The Urantia Book’s corresponding sentence, as in paragraph 10’s “and in their hearts are constrained to rejoice evermore.

The few cases of verbal infelicities in 159:3 result from this attempt to preserve and combine Weatherhead’s words, as in the redundancy of “I am equally and relentlessly inexorable” in paragraph 9, and the oxymoronic “ordinary catastrophes of nature” in paragraph 13.

A case of structural and conceptual adherence combined with verbal adjustment occurs in paragraph 9: Weatherhead’s “He is not only a Physician who can use a tender touch, but a Surgeon who can, and may have to use cold steel” is counterparted with “I am not only tender of their feelings and patient with their frailties, but … I am also ruthless with sin.”

(b) Adjustment. Every parallel row offers an opportunity to appreciate the author’s linguistic nimbleness and  versatility in paraphrasing.

In a few cases, the paraphrase is made by a simple substitution of synonyms, as when Weatherhead’s “depicted him as the Man of Sorrows” is replaced by “portray your teacher as a man of sorrows” in paragraph 10. More often the adjustments are more creative, and in a couple of cases playfully so, as in paragraph 1, where Weatherhead’s “Jesus never crushed men’s minds by the sheer weight of argument” is revised to “Man’s mind is not to be crushed by the mere weight of logic,” and in paragraph 8, where “sought with burning eyes and weary feet” is modified to “seek … with yearning hearts and weary feet.”

An instance of brilliant punning occurs in paragraph 8 as well, where Weatherhead’s image of thousands of churchgoers wistfully “walk[ing] up the aisle to the Communion table” is changed to “hungry souls who famish in the very presence of the bread of life.”

The author is as comfortable and skilled in condensing as in elaborating. Examples of condensing are found in paragraph 7, where Weatherhead’s musings on the states of mind of the worldling and the kingdom believer are distilled to “To those who live quite wholly within either realm, there is little conflict or no confusion…,” and in paragraph 9, where his discussion of the appeal of the religion of Jesus to both sexes is summarized as “both will find that which most truly satisfies their characteristic longings and ideals.”

An example of elaborating occurs in paragraph 3, where Weatherhead’s “do praise him for other qualities he possesses” is restated more formally as “remember also to accord generous recognition for the most praiseworthy things in their lives.”

(4) Supplementations and Departures. The vast majority of the paraphrases pivot on the Weatherhead passages in such a way that the revision manages to preserve his original point. In these cases, any supplementations that occur act as grace notes to enrich Weatherhead’s observations. For instance, in the right column of paragraph 1, “or overawed by shrewd eloquence” is appended to the Weatherhead-paralleling clause, “Man’s mind is not to be crushed by the mere weight of logic.”  In paragraph 3, a similar appending occurs: “It is the purpose of this gospel to restore self-respect to those who have lost it and to restrain it in those who have it.”

In this section, only one sentence introduces a thematic supplementation—“Make your appeals directly to the divine spirit that dwells within the minds of men” (paragraph 1). Up to this point in the paragraph, the author has followed Weatherhead’s points about where and how not to make one’s appeals; but when Weatherhead fails to suggest exactly where to make the appeals, The Urantia Book fills the void, and in doing so, refers back to similar statements made in previous papers about the indwelling spirit to which Jesus directly appealed. Indeed, Part IV’s references to the Thought Adjuster occur as thematic supplements in many sections which draw from modern source books, whose authors have vaguer notions about our spiritual endowments.

The only case in 159:3 of a direct and contrary departure from Weatherhead’s line of thinking is in paragraph 4. Here, Weatherhead accepts unemployment as a sad fact of life which sometimes can only be remedied by unemployment compensation (see endnote 13). In the right column, Jesus entertains no such possibility, insisting rather that one’s brethren should be admonished “to keep busy at their chosen tasks” and instructing the kingdom believer to “put forth every effort to secure work for those who find themselves without employment.” The first clause has a dubious parallel in Weatherhead’s prescription, “If you are a cobbler, be the very best cobbler you can be.” The second clause is reminiscent of Jesus’ unceasing effort, during the Mediterranean tour, to find a job for the oldest son of a recently widowed woman with five children (132:6.2; 1465). One is led to wonder how literally Jesus’ instruction to the kingdom believer to “put forth every effort to secure work for those who find themselves without employment” is to be taken. Is this instruction meant to be understood as applying only to Jesus’ contemporaries or to modern believers as well, many of whom live in first-world countries where job placement counselors have long been part of the economic landscape?

(5) Human Sources. In the introduction to this article it was mentioned that “a relatively small number” of books appear to have been used in preparing “The Life and Teachings of Jesus.” Is there a discrepancy, then, with the author’s claim that “over two thousand human beings” provided source material? Not necessarily. Jesus and Ourselves is the conduit of several source authors besides Weatherhead himself. Among those cited by Weatherhead in the passages used in 159:3 include: William McDougall, a Scottish psychologist well-respected at the time; a Professor Drummond (probably liberal Christian professor Henry Drummond, author of the influential Natural Law in the Spiritual World); Samuel Rutherford; the Apostle Paul; Fearon Halliday; and Weatherhead’s mentor, Dr. W. R. Maltby. Other source books similarly cite ancient and contemporary God-knowing men and women whose insights are faithfully and creatively brought to bear in the pages of Part IV.


[1] Leslie D. Weatherhead, M.A., Jesus and Ourselves: A Sequel to ‘The Transforming Friendship’ (London: The Epworth Press, 1930).
[2] From “100 Years of Revelation—A Historic Perspective: The 50th Anniversary Commemorative History of Urantia Foundation” (compiled by Barbara Newsom, Carolyn Kendall, and Urantia Foundation staff): “On February 11, 1924, Machiventa Melchizedek announced to the contact group the plan to initiate the Urantia Papers. This was the first time the Contact Commission learned of the project, although the Revelatory Commission had been planning The Urantia Book since the Middle Ages” (p. 6).
[3] From a copy of the original, unpaginated manuscript of Dr. William S. Sadler’s “History of the Urantia Movement”: “The first three parts [of the Urantia Papers] were completed and certified to us in A.D. 1934. The Jesus Papers were not so delivered to us until 1935.” This statement, assigning 1934 as the year Part III was completed, disagrees with The Urantia Book’s own statement, on p. 1319, that Part III was “indited . . . in the year A.D. 1935 of Urantia time.” In any case, Sadler indicates that Part IV appeared one year after the first three parts.
[4] Kenneth Cauthen provides an excellent introduction to the history and themes of American religious liberalism in his The Impact of American Religious Liberalism (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1962). 
[5] Page 9.
[6] Page 19.
[8] Kenneth Slack in a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, 30 September 1958. Quote found in December 2000 in an article by Dr. Lynne Price of the University of Birmingham describing the Leslie Weatherhead Collection. The Internet site on which the article appeared was deactivated in  January or February 2001.
[9]Ibid., Dr. Lynne Price.
[10] Matt 17:24: “And when they were come to Capernaum ....” Mk 9:33: “And they came to Capernaum.”
[11] 130:7.3; 1439.
[12] 121:8.12; 1343. Italics are mine.
13 Commenting on Britain’s Depression-era policy of unemployment compensation, Weatherhead states: “A lot of fun has been made in regard to ‘the dole,’ and probably in many cases it has been misused. But I do plead with Christian people not to regard it as a kind of national charity, but rather to regard it as a retaining fee paid to worthy men and women whom society would be glad to use but for the rottenness of the economic conditions prevailing, for which in a sense we are all responsible. . . .” (45).
14 The website describes Keswick as an annual two-week convention that provides and promotes “[d]epth of insight into the Bible, depth of insight into human nature and the commitment to pass on those insights with clarity, compassion and power.” The convention is held at Keswick, Cumbria, in the heart of England’s lake district. The year 2001 marks its 125th year of operation.
15 Compare “Future generations shall know also the radiance of our joy, the buoyance of our good will, and the inspiration of our good humor” with a similarly constructed sentence in Weatherhead: “Jesus fills [life] with the sunshine of His glory, the radiance of His abiding presence, and the strength of His ineffable peace” (143).
16 130:7.3; 1439.
17 121:8.12; 1343. Italics are mine.
Matthew Block has been studying The Urantia Book for twenty-five years. His first book, The Sources of The Urantia Book: Papers 99-103, is due out soon. Information about his past work and forthcoming publications is available at