The administrative angel Gabriel, his second in command, ruled the universe
while Michael, a.k.a. Jesus, was visiting this planet.
What? No, really, what?
If it is a setup, then first, there is the softball question.“Hello Stera team, I have a question. Is it possible to get a list posted with a summary, maybe in a PDF file, of all the scientific findings related to the Shroud?”
And Barrie nicely writes back. Try the SSG List from Dallas 2005.
Then comes the sales pitch. Maybe it is just a coincidence, the way it plays out. But it looks familiar, a way to maybe slip past moderation:
Dear Stera team, After having watched the History Channel documentary, The real face of Jesus, I left compelled to share the following information. I understand that the search for a theory of how the image came to be embedded in the Shroud is still ongoing. I would like to introduce the you guys to a paper that contains a theory as to how the image has come into existence. The link below wil lead you to a fascinating theory. This just might be the new way of looking at the shroud that could lead to greater understanding of it’s possible origin. You will not regret having taken the time to read the paper.http://www.ubthenews.com/topics/documents/Shroud.pdf
Put on your tinfoil hats. Folks, this is the pitch for the Urantia Book . . .
which includes an eight hundred page biography of the life and teachings of Jesus that claims to be given by the apostle Andrew’s guardian angel. The Urantia Book’s account of the resurrection is far more detailed than the New Testament, providing more appearances of Jesus to various believers.
Forgoing the full 800 pages (no I have not read it), I’ll opt for a summary from the website: Urantia News – Verifying History and Science in The Urantia Book:
The Urantia Book says the angels performed a time-accelerated elemental disintegration of Jesus’ body and this has intriguing correlations with the image found on the Shroud of Turin. It says that Jesus’ resurrected body was like that of angels and that his physical body still lay in the tomb after the resurrection and that the angels were given permission, upon request of an archangel, to cause the accelerated dissolution of his physical remains. This permission was requested and granted so that they would not have to witness the decay of his body. The correlations have primarily to do with the superficial nature of the image and current theories about corona discharge and nuclear medicine imaging . Additionally, there are intriguing correlations related to the Sudarium of Oviedo, a face napkin said to have covered Jesus’ face as part of the burial process.
It helps to understand that the UBers believe that Jesus was the name that the most senior angel, Michael, the ruler of Nebadon, used, temporarily, after the incarnation and before the resurrection. The administrative angel Gabriel, his second in command, ruled the universe while Michael, a.k.a. Jesus, was visiting this planet. He is currently using the name Michael, not Jesus.
I recall another criticism from a UBer. This time the topic was evolution. Someone who called himself Nautiusmaxi wrote to me, “When you mention Darwin you’re showing your ignorance as humans were not addressed in the Origin of the Species.” Maybe, it was suggested, Darwin knew that (according to Wikipedia):
According to The Urantia Book, multi-colored human races originated suddenly in one generation and in one family, producing brothers and sisters that variously turned blue, yellow, red, green, orange, and indigo when exposed to sunlight. Their offspring subsequently favored the parent color. Later, Adam and Eve produced a violet race. In the book’s account, the blue, yellow, and red races were considered “primary”, and the green, orange, and indigo “secondary”. The green and orange races were driven to extinction, and the rest mixed over time.
I have no problem with whatever someone chooses to believe. That is just as true if someone is a follower of Urantia Book, an Atheist or a member of any number of religions and religious cults with which I disagree. If they publish and promote on the internet, then I am entitled to criticize in the same venue.
Nautiusmaxi had said, why “insult people who just might be on your side.”
It’s not about sides. It is about truth and if the truth is ultimately that I was wrong and the shroud is a fake, then that is the side I’m on.
Having said all that. I don’t put any stock in the Urantia Book. Here is some fair use quoting from the book:
At ten minutes past three o’clock, as the resurrected Jesus fraternized with the assembled morontia personalities from the seven mansion worlds of Satania, the chief of archangels—the angels of the resurrection—approached Gabriel and asked for the mortal body of Jesus. Said the chief of the archangels: "We may not participate in the morontia resurrection of the bestowal experience of Michael our sovereign, but we would have his mortal remains put in our custody for immediate dissolution. We do not propose to employ our technique of dematerialization; we merely wish to invoke the process of accelerated time. It is enough that we have seen the Sovereign live and die on Urantia; the hosts of heaven would be spared the memory of enduring the sight of the slow decay of the human form of the Creator and Upholder of a universe. In the name of the celestial intelligences of all Nebadon, I ask for a mandate giving me the custody of the mortal body of Jesus of Nazareth and empowering us to proceed with its immediate dissolution."
And when Gabriel had conferred with the senior Most High of Edentia, the archangel spokesman for the celestial hosts was given permission to make such disposition of the physical remains of Jesus as he might determine.
After the chief of archangels had been granted this request, he summoned to his assistance many of his fellows, together with a numerous host of the representatives of all orders of celestial personalities, and then, with the aid of the Urantia midwayers, proceeded to take possession of Jesus’ physical body. This body of death was a purely material creation; it was physical and literal; it could not be removed from the tomb as the morontia form of the resurrection had been able to escape the sealed sepulchre. By the aid of certain morontia auxiliary personalities, the morontia form can be made at one time as of the spirit so that it can become indifferent to ordinary matter, while at another time it can become discernible and contactable to material beings, such as the mortals of the realm.
As they made ready to remove the body of Jesus from the tomb preparatory to according it the dignified and reverent disposal of near-instantaneous dissolution, it was assigned the secondary Urantia midwayers to roll away the stones from the entrance of the tomb. The larger of these two stones was a huge circular affair, much like a millstone, and it moved in a groove chiseled out of the rock, so that it could be rolled back and forth to open or close the tomb. When the watching Jewish guards and the Roman soldiers, in the dim light of the morning, saw this huge stone begin to roll away from the entrance of the tomb, apparently of its own accord—without any visible means to account for such motion—they were seized with fear and panic, and they fled in haste from the scene. The Jews fled to their homes, afterward going back to report these doings to their captain at the temple. The Romans fled to the fortress of Antonia and reported what they had seen to the centurion as soon as he arrived on duty.
The Jewish leaders began the sordid business of supposedly getting rid of Jesus by offering bribes to the traitorous Judas, and now, when confronted with this embarrassing situation, instead of thinking of punishing the guards who deserted their post, they resorted to bribing these guards and the Roman soldiers. They paid each of these twenty men a sum of money and instructed them to say to all: "While we slept during the nighttime, his disciples came upon us and took away the body." And the Jewish leaders made solemn promises to the soldiers to defend them before Pilate in case it should ever come to the governor’s knowledge that they had accepted a bribe.
The Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus has been based on the fact of the "empty tomb." It was indeed a fact that the tomb was empty, but this is not the truth of the resurrection. The tomb was truly empty when the first believers arrived, and this fact, associated with that of the undoubted resurrection of the Master, led to the formulation of a belief which was not true: the teaching that the material and mortal body of Jesus was raised from the grave. Truth having to do with spiritual realities and eternal values cannot always be built up by a combination of apparent facts. Although individual facts may be materially true, it does not follow that the association of a group of facts must necessarily lead to truthful spiritual conclusions.
The tomb of Joseph was empty, not because the body of Jesus had been rehabilitated or resurrected, but because the celestial hosts had been granted their request to afford it a special and unique dissolution, a return of the "dust to dust," without the intervention of the delays of time and without the operation of the ordinary and visible processes of mortal decay and material corruption.
he mortal remains of Jesus underwent the same natural process of elemental disintegration as characterizes all human bodies on earth except that, in point of time, this natural mode of dissolution was greatly accelerated, hastened to that point where it became well-nigh instantaneous.
The true evidences of the resurrection of Michael are spiritual in nature, albeit this teaching is corroborated by the testimony of many mortals of the realm who met, recognized, and communed with the resurrected morontia Master. He became a part of the personal experience of almost one thousand human beings before he finally took leave of Urantia.