Urantia Book Index

Computer Analysis of Printings of The Urantia Book:
Publisher's Changes, 1955-1999

by Merritt Horn
January 2001

Changes in 0:0.0 through 42:5.1

        I.     Summary of Conclusions for the Impatient Reader
        II.    Scope of Analysis
        III.   Editorial Philosophy
        IV.   Critical Apparatus
                A.        Classification of Editorial Intent for Changes in the Text
                B.        Classification of Errors
                C.        Abbreviations; editions of The Urantia Book
        V.    Changes in Urantia Foundation editions of The Urantia Book (1955-1999)
                        Changes in 0:0.0 through 42:5.1
                        Changes in 42:6.7 through 69:3.9
                        Changes in 71:7.2 through 110:5.2
                        Changes in 117:7.4 through 196:3.29
1)             0:1.19;  p.3 ¶11              Change type: M1
1st:                                   5. Absolute perfection in no direction, relative perfection in all other manifestations.
        2nd - 15th, CD:         5. Absolute perfection in no direction, relative  perfection in all manifestations.
        The original phraseology is incorrect because the reference to other manifestations requires the existence of one or more additional manifestations to which this other is being contrasted.  Inasmuch as this particular phase of perfection exists in only one manifestation—relative perfection—there are no additional types which require or permit the use of other in this context.
        There was a T5 error in the 1955 text—other was inserted into the text during one of the pre-publication transcriptions by accidentally repeating the pattern of use found immediately before and after this sentence.
)               3:1.12;  p.46 ¶4              Change type: C2
        1st - 6th:                            ...with the power of choice (concerning Himself)...
7th - 15th, CD:          ...with the power of choice (concerning himself)...
        Because there are four additional changes of this type in Urantia Foundation printings, and a large number of  similar changes in the Uversa Press and Michael Foundation editions, it is necessary to examine this issue in some detail.
        Although pronouns referring to Deity are usually not capitalized (see, for example, himself later in the subject paragraph), after extensive computer-aided analysis of the entire text of The Urantia Book, it has been found (without known exception) that the capitalization of pronouns referring to Deity is consistent with the guidelines found in the three editions of the Chicago Manual available during the period from 1927 to 1955*:
                                “Capitalize nouns and adjectives used to designate the Supreme Being, or any member of the Christian Trinity†; and all pronouns referring to the same when not closely preceded or followed by a distinct reference to the Deity:
                                ...‘Trust Him who rules all things’ (but: ‘When God had worked six days, he rested on the seventh.’)”
                        [*§72 of 9th CM ed.; §28 of 10th CM ed.; §29 of 11th CM ed.  †11th CM ed. adds “, the Virgin Mary” here.]
        Even if, for argument’s sake, it was appropriate to “modernize” the text of The Urantia Book to keep its style current, the changes under discussion are not supported by later editions of the Chicago Manual either.  The 12th CM ed., the standard from 1969 until 1982 (the time period during which these changes were made), is equally explicit:
        “7.77  Pronouns referring to [Deity personalities] are today seldom capitalized except in instances where capitalization offers a simple way to avoid ambiguity:
Trust in Him.
God gives man what He wills.
God in his mercy
Jesus and his disciples”
        Although the revelators did not have to be slaves to the mandates of the Chicago Manual, it was, by all reports, the stylistic authority used by those responsible for the preparation of the first edition when questions of  “capitalization and punctuation” arose.  Anyone attempting to “correct” the text is required to justify a suggested departure from the guidelines used in the process of preparing the text for its first publication; the relevant part of those guidelines being, in this instance, “Choose your authority and stick to it.”
        The 1955 text is correct.
)               11:7.7;  p.125 ¶1            Change type: S5
        1st:                                   The relatively quiet zone between the space levels,...,are enormous...
2nd - 15th, CD:         The relatively quiet zones between the space levels,...,are enormous...
        The plural, found in all editions after 1955, agrees with the verb are, and is otherwise consistent with the general sense of the paragraph.
        There was a T1 (dropped keystroke) error in the 1955 text; zones is correct.
)               12:4.15;  p.134 ¶4          Change type: P2
        1st:                                   ...next to the domains of the seven superuniverses, seem to be...
        2nd - 15th, CD:         ...next to the domains of the seven superuniverses seem to be...
        While the comma in question may be unnecessary, it may nevertheless assist the reader in phrasing an otherwise unwieldy sentence.
        The 1955 text is correct.
)               12:4.16;  p.134 ¶5          Change type: D1
        1st, 2nd, 11th - 15th, CD:           ...is a complement or equilibrant of gravity.
        3rd - 10th:                                 ...is a complement or equilibrant of gravity   [missing period]
        This is one of the minor errors that entered the database when the original plates were first discarded.
        The 1955 text is correct.
)               29:4.27;  p.328 ¶3          Change type: S6
        1st - 9th, 12th - 14th, CD:   Together with their co-workers, the dissociators,...
        10th, 11th, 15th:                         Together with their coworkers, the dissociators,...
        Neither form is found in Webster’s; the OED contains only the hyphenated form.  The Chicago Manual’s 9th - 11th editions use co-worker as an explicit example of a general rule regarding certain prefixes.  The CM’s 10th reads as follows:
“221.  Prefixes when joined to roots do not retain the hyphen except in combination with words beginning with their terminal vowel, or with w or y:
        The relevant rule in CM’s 11th edition (1969) appears to allow coworker by glossing over the case of prefixes formed with initial w roots, but its 13th edition (1982) again specifically prescribes the hyphenated form (Table 6.1, p.180).
        The 1955 text is correct.
)               30:3.12;  p.340 ¶1          Change type: S4
        1st - 9th, 12th - 14th, CD:   ...beings enroute elsewhere who pause...
        10th, 11th, 15th:                         ...beings en route elsewhere who pause...              
        Although the original may be understandable, it is incorrect French and is not the form that has been adopted into English (according to Webster’s, the OED, and the Chicago Manual).  A simple dropped space-key explains the original.
        There was a T1 (dropped keystroke) error in the 1955 text.
)               35:6.3;  p.391 ¶1            Change type: P2
        1st, 12th - 14th:                  ...at the universe headquarters, as he frequently is,...
        2nd - 11th, 15th, CD:...at the universe headquarters as he frequently is,...
        The comma after headquarters is required to enclose, with the following comma, the parenthetical phrase “as he frequently is.”
        The 1955 text is correct.
)               36:3.6;  p.400 ¶1            Change type: S1 or S3
        1st:                                   ...subsequently add any thing new or supplemental...
        2nd - 15th, CD:         ...subsequently add anything new or supplemental...
        The compound word was probably the author’s choice in this case.  The sentence simply does not read well if, to test an alternative hypothesis, the assumption is made that the two-word format was chosen by the author for emphasis (which, to this editor, is the only discernible rationale for the two-word form).
        A T2 (extra keystroke) error was present here in the 1955 text.
)               37:8.3;  p.413 ¶6            Change type: M2
        1st:                                   ...the secondary Universe Circuit Supervisor stationed in...
        2nd - 15th, CD:         ...the tertiary Universe Circuit Supervisor stationed in...
        While both a secondary and a tertiary Circuit Supervisor are assigned to the supervision of a single local universe’s circuits, only the tertiary Circuit Supervisor is stationed within the local universe—the secondary Circuit Supervisor is located on the superuniverse headquarters (See 24:1.5-7).  Therefore, if Andovontia is “stationed in our local universe” he would be a tertiary Universe Circuit Supervisor.
        The differences between the words appear to rule out typing or proofing errors as the source of this problem, leaving this editor’s “last resort” explanation:  Sometime prior to publication, but when the handwritten manuscript was no longer available as an authoritative reference, someone noticed what appeared to be an internal inconsistency (ascribed, presumably, to an earlier human error), and an E1 change (erroneous “correction”) was made to the text.
        The 1955 text is incorrect.  This editor’s best explanation, at present, is an E1 change (tertiary to secondary) made prior to publication to correct what was believed to be an earlier human error.
)               40:7.2;  p.449 ¶0            Change type: S5
        1st - 6th:                            ...When you and your Adjusters are finally and forever fused,...
        7th - 15th, CD:          ...When you and your Adjuster are finally and forever fused,...
        The original, plural form is correct, not only because the referent of every other instance of you and your in this paragraph is plural (the ascending Sons of God; planetary sons; sons of ascension potential, etc.), but more importantly, the grammar of the sentence requires a plural: “When you and your Adjusters are finally and forever fused,...then in fact have you become the ascending sons of God.”
        The change to the text was probably made because of the confusion caused by the enclosed, parenthetical phrase, “when you two are made one,...”
        The 1955 text is correct.
)               41:1.1;  p.456 ¶0            Change type: P2
        1st - 10th, 12th - 15th, CD:Within the domain of this Paradise Son of God the Supreme...
        11th:                                         Within the domain of this Paradise Son of God, the Supreme...
        By indicating the end of the initial adverbial phrase, a comma here does greatly assist the reader.  If present in the original manuscript, a simple dropped keystroke (T1) error would have produced the 1955 text.
        A probable instance of a T1 error in the 1955 edition.
)               41:4.4;  p.460 ¶1            Change type: M2
        1st:                                   ...having become sixty thousand times as dense as your sun.
        2nd - 15th, CD:         ...having become forty thousand times as dense as your sun.
        Textual consistency and current scientific estimates of our sun’s density both support the change to “forty thousand.”  The first paragraph of this section states that our sun is about 1.5 times the density of water, or about 0.054 pounds per cubic inch, and 40,000 times this is about 2,160 pounds per cubic inch; the current scientific estimate of the sun’s density is 1.4 times the density of water; 40,000 times that is roughly 2,035 pounds per cubic inch.
        There are two possible explanations for the appearance of this error in the 1955 text:
        1)  It is this editor’s opinion that the number in question was written as a numeral in the manuscript (40,000 not forty thousand), and that the error was caused by a simple keystroke error (T3) in which 6 was mis-keyed for 4, creating 60,000 instead of 40,000.  When the text was formatted for printing, the numerals were changed to words, and an error that formerly consisted of one digit was transformed into an incorrect word.  There is no direct evidence in support of this theory, but the formatting of words and numbers for printing is not a revelatory issue; it is a matter of style, and is covered extensively in the Chicago Manual.  The proper formatting of words and numbers is precisely the type of editorial decision that the revelators could give to the humans preparing the form of the text for printing without giving those humans any authority to change any of the content of the text.)  If this theory is correct, this is a simple T3 (incorrect keystroke) error, disguised by the later change in formatting of the number.  (The problem at 43:1.6 appears to have had an identical origin, and 42:5.1 is very closely related.)
        2) The appearance of “sixty thousand” in the 1955 text could be due to an E1 error: a well-meaning but erroneous re-calculation of the underlying math—60,000 is 1.5 times 40,000—which means that the near-by sun is 60,000 times the density of water, though it is only 40,000 times as dense as our sun.
        The 1955 text is incorrect;  it should read forty thousand.  There are two likely causes; this editor favors a T3 (incorrect keystroke) error based on the theory that the manuscript contained numerals rather than written-out numbers. Alternatively, an E1 change (forty to sixty) was made prior to 1955 to correct what was believed to be an earlier human error.
)               42:5.1;  p.474 ¶5            Change type: S4
        1st:                                   ...ten octaves up are the X rays, followed by the Y rays of radium.
        2nd - 15th, CD:         ...ten octaves up are the X rays, followed by the gamma rays of radium.
        From external reference to physics, and multiple internal cross-references (see for example 42:5.7), gamma is clearly intended here.  As to the origin of the Y in the 1955 text, it is likely that the Greek letter ( (gamma) was mistakenly transposed into Y at some point in the preparation of the original edition (probably at the time of the first typing from the original manuscript) either because of a faulty inference from the immediately preceding X, from an unfamiliarity with the Greek alphabet, or simply because there was no better way to represent the character on a standard typewriter.
        Even though a typesetter would have been able to place the letter ( on the page, the later decision to replace that letter with gamma is clear, reasonable, and consistent with the usage found elsewhere throughout The Urantia Book.

        The 1955 text was incorrect; Y should have been (.  The error type is best classified as T3 (incorrect keystroke), although it should be understood that the technology available for any transcriptions prior to typesetting did not have a mechanism for representing the correct character.

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