CHAPTER 3

NAMES IN THE URANTIA PAPERS

The Urantia Papers offer a wide assortment of new words, designed to convey concepts and identifications not part of our historic vocabulary. New words were necessary to provide vehicles for sensible discussions. How would one designate the sphere on which flow the rivers which make glad the city of our God (Ps 46:4)?
 

Many names were borrowed directly from our historic traditions. The names Michael, Gabriel, Melchizedek, Lucifer, Satan, and Beelzebub all came directly out of the Bible, mostly with our traditional associations, but greatly expanded in conceptual meaning.
 

Many other names, if not represented in our traditions, were arbitrary, depending on selection by the Revelators. Some of the words are based on human prior concepts. For example, Salvington, the name used for the celestial sphere on which resides our Creator, and headquarters of this universe, is obviously related to English salvation. But it has been transformed into a place-name, borrowed from a descriptor of a human state. Use of the name invokes within us the concept of salvation each time we use it, certainly an appropriate designator for the home of our Creator. On the other hand Nebadon, the name used for our local universe, has no prior formulation or ready connection to recognized words.
 

The new words were not constructed through some supposed divine inspiration, but exhibit elements which any intelligent human mortal might devise strictly from imagination. In other words, the Revelators reduced nomenclatures to human levels, to conceptual utility we could readily grasp. The new names were designed to become useful and familiar vehicles for our convenience.
 

Here you might keep in mind that these verbal constructs were, by necessity, designed around this day and generation. They were employed to suit the conceptual framework of our present understanding. But they also probably were designed to be useful tools as the future conceptual range of the human race expands into higher spiritual levels. Many names were chosen to cause us to reach beyond the habits of our current religious attitudes and social views. In many cases, as with "Salvington," they create mental associations which uplift us both spiritually and cosmically.
 

We should also keep clearly in mind that names are not the things they represent. They are symbols of reality, but they are symbols only. They are mere images of reality, nothing more than representations. They are useful tools for us to make those realities accessible to thought, and for communication.
 

Therefore, they are symbols designed for us, for our convenience. They were not designed for the heavenly realms. We can gather some inkling of this from statements within The Urantia Papers.  
 

p.503 - Concept recorders. This second group of recorders are concerned with the preservation of concept pictures, idea patterns. This is a form of permanent recording unknown on the material realms, and by this method I could gain more knowledge in one hour of your time than you could gain in one hundred years of perusing ordinary written language.

 

Thus, our conceptual patterns, and symbolic representations, would be grossly inadequate to communication in the heavenly realms. As one man put it, these symbols are used "to apply to beings at universe levels far beyond the purview of such lingual provincialities."
 

Many of these new names and words can also be traced to origins in English, Greek, Latin and Hebrew. I shall illustrate.
 

Page 182: Satania has a headquarters world called Jerusem, and it is system number twenty-four in the constellation of Norlatiadek. Your constellation, Norlatiadek, consists of one hundred local systems and has a headquarters world called Edentia. Norlatiadek is number seventy in the universe of Nebadon. The local universe of Nebadon consists of one hundred constellations and has a capital known as Salvington. The universe of Nebadon is number eighty-four in the minor sector of Ensa.


The most painful of all such names is Satania. As seen in the quotation, it is used as the name for our local star administrative system. Satan is understood universally across the Judeo-Christian world as the devil, the one who now appears to destroy God's people. Would any person in his right mind use a word derived from the name for the most notorious and despised personality in Christian religious history as the designator for a local star system? Would a man, if he were the author of The Urantia Papers, borrow such a name? He would have lost all sensibility to do so. Would the Devil, if he were the origin of The Urantia Papers, bring such attention to himself? Such use could only repel everyone. Given that these names are arbitrary, devised at the whim of our planetary supervisors, why, then, did the Revelators use a word which was sure to bring strong adverse reaction from the Jewish and Christian communities?
 

If we credit the Revelators with intelligence and sensitivity to human cultural attitudes, the choice of this word could not have been accidental; it had to be intentional.
 

Several possibilities exist on the reasons behind this choice:  

  • To repel those irretrievably embedded in Christian mythologies. This would mean that if someone is unable to rise above the historic clichés of Christian theology, above the superstitious conceptual structures of that religion, within the context of the immediate world spiritual crisis, that individual would not be able to contribute constructively to the renovation of the earth.


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  • To cause devout persons to concentrate on the truths of the Revelation, not on its nomenclatures. This would remove minds who cannot perceive the value of the Revelation beyond its linguistic designators.


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  • As a reverse method to demonstrate that the Revelation did not come from evil sources. An evil spirit personality would not choose a word which would bring direct focus upon himself. This word certainly does.


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  • The word Satan in Arabic means "to be remote," as from the truth. In Hebrew it means "an opponent" or "an adversary." This star system went into rebellion; as a result it became adversarial to God, and to his plans. Application of the name by our Revelators makes the designation literal, descriptive of the misfortune brought on by the rebel system administrators. This star system will be forever remembered as a rebel system in the annals of the universe. Eventually, as time flows through the ages, the darkness of that memory will evolve into images of the stage on which Michael of Nebadon set his saving acts. He is the great Creator who brought salvation to a wayward segment of his creation.


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  • If Salvington invokes images of salvation, then does Satania invoke images of rebellion. Both words will condition future generations to these conceptual connections. This conceptual invocation will affect their attitudes about spiritual realities, and about system administrative relationships in the heavenly realms.

Thus, we should be able to recognize the possible multiple reasons for this choice of name for our star system. The authors of The Urantia Papers used a word which would be descriptive for us, in our language. This means we were not given a universe name, recognized throughout the space realms as the name of this system, but rather a name suited to our present planetary condition, and remindful to future generations of our rebellious history.
 

As an indication of Christian confusion consider that the word Satan became a catch-all for several different rebel celestial personalities. Some of these are noted in the Bible, but the generations blurred their respective roles. Lucifer is a Latin word for the Hebrew Hillel ben Shachar, Isa 14:12, which literally is "Day Star, Son of Dawn." In translation of the Hebrew texts, the seventy Jewish scribes who gave us the Septuagint chose the nearest Greek equivalent word. They used "Eusphorus," which meant "Light Bearer." Lucifer was the Latin equivalent, introduced into Bible translations by the Church fathers of the early first millennium AD. Lucifer means "Light Bringer."
 

(The Latin lucere means "to shine" and is found in English "lucid." The English "bear" is derived from an old Indo-European root found in Sanskrit bhar, Greek pher, and Latin fer.)
 

Lucifer was our system administrator, not the Prince (or god) of this world described by both Jesus, John 14:30, and Paul, II Cor 4:4. Our rebel world Prince has a name different from the system administrator, but Christian theology lumped them into one personality -- Satan. By necessity, the Revelators used the familiar terms Lucifer and Satan to differentiate among rebel personalities.
 

This Satania illustration shows the method used by the authors of The Urantia Papers to name the many different space realms and headquarter spheres. As another example Jerusem, the name for our system capital, appears almost like a perversion of Jerusalem. Jeru, the same initial form, is used in both names. The final sem is superficially similar to salem.
 

Examination of the word Jerusalem reveals that it is composed of two elements, Jeru + salem (3384 + 7999)(1). Salem is the anglicized form of the Hebrew shalom = "peace." Many Hebrew scholars believe jeru comes from a verb root which means "to throw, cast, or shoot." In Hos 6:3 it is used in the sense of "throwing water" = "rain." Literally Jerusalem would mean "throwing or casting peace." Jerusalem should be the wellspring of peace upon earth. How truly unfortunate it was the source of so much hatred and animosity.
 

The word sem (8034) can also be found easily in Hebrew, where it is an "appellation through the idea of definite and conspicuous position." It implies a "mark or memorial of individuality," hence "honor, authority, or renown." It is the origin of the word Semite. The word Jerusem might mean "throwing honor," or "casting forth renown," or, in another sense, "establishing authority."
 

Thus, more careful investigation shows that the name Jerusem is a legitimate construct from Hebrew, and that the authors of The Urantia Papers were intimately familiar with the pattern of name formations in that ancient language. No human mortal associated with the process of the revelation of the Papers recognized these name constructs.
 

Edentia is another example. It is obviously related to Eden, but again the literal significance is not recognized by conventional attitudes. Eden (5731, 5727) in Hebrew means a place of luxury or delight. It is a generic term, not a specific designation for an historic geographical locale. The Garden of Eden was so named after the beauty and pleasure of its design, not as an indicator of a unique place. Our application to the geographical location was the only method we had for identifying that unique spot. Therefore, Edentia is merely an Anglicized appellative designating resplendent beauty and spiritual glory. Once again we see how the Revelators used their intimate knowledge of Hebrew to arrive at another name which invokes images derived from the basic roots of that ancient language.
 

Now consider the name Urantia. It comes directly from Greek uranos = "heavenly." (3772) This word was used repeatedly by Paul in his letters. Gal 1:8 -- "But if we, or an angel from  

uranou, preach any other gospel . . ." Eph 1:10 -- ". . . both which are in uranois, and which are on earth." And so on. The form Urantia again has an anglicized ending in the "-tia" which is found in many names when borrowed from other languages.
 

In classical Greek mythology this same word led to Urania, the Muse of Astronomy, of the heavens, and the name for the goddess, Aphrodite, denoting her gift of spiritual love. If we take the literal significance of the Greek word = "heavenly," this planet has a unique and highly honored role in the distant reaches of the future.
 

From these examples we can surmise that the Revelators were blending words from the linguistic sources of our historic culture to provide a wide spectrum of names.
 

Page 1: Your world, Urantia, is one of many similar inhabited planets which comprise the local universe of Nebadon. This universe, together with similar creations, makes up the superuniverse of Orvonton, from whose capital, Uversa, our commission hails. Orvonton is one of the seven evolutionary superuniverses of time and space which circle the never-beginning, never-ending creation of divine perfection -- the central universe of Havona. At the heart of this eternal and central universe is the stationary Isle of Paradise, the geographic center of infinity and the dwelling place of the eternal God.


 

Havona sounds suspiciously like heaven. Were the authors of The Urantia Papers once again short of imagination in devising such a word, or did they reach beyond superficial recognition of sound, and shallow spiritual views, to offer deeper instruction?
 

The modern English heaven derives from an Old English hefen, but otherwise has no known Teutonic parallels. The German himmel is thought to have an entirely different origin. As the Oxford English Dictionary states, "the ulterior etymology (of heaven) is unknown." If we examine Hebrew word roots, we find that the verb hawa = "to form or mold," has an imperative hawaneh = "Formed! or Molded!(2)" With a "w" to "v" phonetic shift this could easily be the origin of the word "havana." It is found as an ancient place name in various regions of our planet, such as Havana, Cuba. This may also be the origin of the Havona of The Urantia Papers. It suggests a forming or molding by God of an original and eternal central universe surrounding the Isle of Paradise.
 

Another troublesome example is morontia, the name for the semi-spiritual levels which compose a creative realm between the purely physical and the purely spiritual. When we leave this world we will resurrect in morontia bodies. These are the celestial bodies discussed by Paul in I Cor 15:40. This word may derive from Hebrew moor, = "to alter" or "change." See Strong's Exhaustive Concordance Hebrew dictionary number 4171. Use of this word is found in Hos 4:7, ameer = "I will change," Ps 106:20, morou = "they changed," Job 20:18, t'mooratow = "the restoration," and so on. The word morontia again is merely an anglicized form of the Hebrew word. But again, the Revelators reached into the Hebrew language to derive a conceptual term heretofore unknown to us.
 

These brief illustrations provide some idea of how names for places are used in The Urantia Papers.
 

Now consider personalities. At first glance, many of these names also seem to be pure artifice.
 

Page 335: IV. THE SONS OF GOD.

 

    A. Descending Sons.

            1. Creator Sons -- Michaels.

            2. Magisterial Sons -- Avonals.

            3. Trinity Teacher Sons -- Daynals.

            4. Melchizedek Sons.

            5. Vorondadek Sons.

            6. Lanonandek Sons.

            7. Life Carrier Sons.
 

Melchizedek is composed of two Hebrew words, melchi = "my King," and zedek = "righteousness," which, when joined together, mean "King of Righteousness." (4428 + 6664) Refer Hebrews 7:2. In this manner the name carries a devout designation. But the names Vorondadek and Lanonandek have no known historic origin. They are words formed arbitrarily after the style of Melchizedek, with the "-dek" ending. This phoneme was borrowed to be suggestive of the rank of those celestial beings but, again, it was designed for us mortals, at this place and time. These are not the designators of those celestial personalities at their level of existence. The "-dek" ending denotes divinely created Sons, brought into existence by a Creator Son. They help administer a local universe, and are either Constellation, System, or Planetary Sovereigns. The "-dek" endings denote classes of beings, not individuals.
 

The name Michael is also identifiable in Hebrew, literally = "Who is like God?," (4310+3588+410(3)), but the words Avonal and Daynal again have no identifiable historic meaning. Again, a phoneme extension was used to be suggestive of their heavenly rank. These order of beings are all of Paradise origin, and are classified under the Divine Sons of God.
 

Through the "-al" and "-dek" phoneme endings we have ready identifiers of heavenly function and rank. Other endings are used for other classes of beings.
 

Page 610: The last act of Michael before leaving Urantia was to offer mercy to Caligastia and Daligastia, but they spurned his tender proffer. Caligastia, your apostate Planetary Prince, is still free on Urantia to prosecute his nefarious designs, but he has absolutely no power to enter the minds of men, neither can he draw near to their souls to tempt or corrupt them unless they really desire to be cursed with his wicked presence.

 

The name Caligastia can be identified in an antique English word, caliginous. It derives from the same Latin word; it means misty, dim, murky, obscure, and dark. This certainly is an appropriate appellation for the fallen Planetary Prince, who now works in the swamps of those human minds who have given themselves to him.
 

Daligastia is merely an altered form of Caligastia, just as Vorondadek and Lanondadek are phonemic borrowings from Melchizedek, and Avonal and Daynal are phonemic borrowings from Michael.
 

Now consider the names for the four-and-twenty counselors (elders) John described in Revelation 4:4, and so on.
 

Page 513: These twenty-four counselors have been recruited from the eight Urantia races, and the last of this group were assembled at the time of the resurrection roll call of Michael, nineteen hundred years ago. This Urantia advisory council is made up of the following members:

1. Onagar, the master mind of the pre-Planetary Prince age, who directed his fellows in the worship of "The Breath Giver."

2. Mansant, the great teacher of the post-Planetary Prince age on Urantia, who pointed his fellows to the veneration of "The Great Light."

3. Onamonalonton, a far-distant leader of the red man and the one who directed this race from the worship of many gods to the veneration of "The Great Spirit."

4. Orlandof, a prince of the blue men and their leader in the recognition of the divinity of "The Supreme Chief."

5. Porshunta, the oracle of the extinct orange race and the leader of this people in the worship of "The Great Teacher."

6. Singlangton, the first of the yellow men to teach and lead his people in the worship of "One Truth" instead of many. Thousands of years ago the yellow man knew of the one God.

7. Fantad, the deliverer of the green men from darkness and their leader in the worship of "The One Source of Life."

8. Orvonon, the enlightener of the indigo races and their leader in the onetime service of "The God of Gods."

9. Adam, the discredited but rehabilitated planetary father of Urantia, a Material Son of God who was relegated to the likeness of mortal flesh, but who survived and was subsequently elevated to this position by the decree of Michael.

10. Eve, the mother of the violet race of Urantia, who suffered the penalty of default with her mate and was also rehabilitated with him and assigned to serve with this group of mortal survivors.

11. Enoch, the first of the mortals of Urantia to fuse with the Thought Adjuster during the mortal life in the flesh.

12. Moses, the emancipator of a remnant of the submerged violet race and the instigator of the revival of the worship of the Universal Father under the name of "The God of Israel."

13. Elijah, a translated soul of brilliant spiritual achievement during the post-Material Son age.

14. Machiventa Melchizedek, the only Son of this order to bestow himself upon the Urantia races. While still numbered as a Melchizedek, he has become "forever a minister of the Most Highs," eternally assuming the assignment of service as a mortal ascender, having sojourned on Urantia in the likeness of mortal flesh at Salem in the days of Abraham. This Melchizedek has latterly been proclaimed vicegerent Planetary Prince of Urantia with headquarters on Jerusem and authority to act in behalf of Michael, who is actually the Planetary Prince of the world whereon he experienced his terminal bestowal in human form. Notwithstanding this, Urantia is still supervised by successive resident governors general, members of the four and twenty counselors.

15. John the Baptist, the forerunner of Michael's mission on Urantia and, in the flesh, distant cousin of the Son of Man.

16. 1-2-3 the First, the leader of the loyal midway creatures in the service of Gabriel at the time of the Caligastia betrayal, elevated to this position by Michael soon after his entrance upon unconditioned sovereignty.

These selected personalities are exempt from the ascension regime for the time being, on Gabriel's request, and we have no idea how long they may serve in this capacity.

Seats numbers 17, 18, 19, and 20 are not permanently occupied. They are temporarily filled by the unanimous consent of the sixteen permanent members, being kept open for later assignment to ascending mortals from the present post-bestowal Son age on Urantia.

Numbers 21, 22, 23, and 24 are likewise temporarily filled while being held in reserve for the great teachers of other and subsequent ages which undoubtedly will follow the present age. Eras of the Magisterial Sons and Teacher Sons and the ages of light and life are to be anticipated on Urantia, regardless of unexpected visitations of divine Sons which may or may not occur.


This list of Counselor names cannot be removed from the possibility that, except for the known historic ones, again are designed to support twentieth-century notions of the various groups. We know the names of Adam and Eve are not the originals, but favor our common nomenclature. Refer to my book on The Legacy of Adam and Eve. The names "Onagar," "Orlandof," "Singlangton," and others exhibit this patronization to current western cultural attitudes.
 

Another example is Grandfanda, the name of the first human mortal from the realms of time to achieve Havona and Paradise. Obviously, the name is based on the western common term "Grandfather."
 

Many other names within The Urantia Papers could be discussed, but would require extensive effort and time. Perhaps this brief review will help those who encounter for the first time, what seem to be, unusual or suspicious names in The Urantia Papers.


 

SOME TECHNICAL NOTES

Many of the names in The Urantia Papers carry phonemic elements which were borrowed directly from English, and not other languages. Salvington has the "-ton" phoneme which is from Anglo-Saxon (Old English) "-tun." This was the ancient pronunciation of the word we know today as "town." Longton was Long Town. Somerton was Somer Town, and so on. The phoneme "-ing" was also from old Teutonic usage, found in Old English. It formed nouns of action from verbs, such as "reading," "speaking," and so on. The root "Sal" comes from Latin "salvare" = "to save." We find it in such words as salvage, salvable, and the now nearly obsolete salve = "healing." The last has been reduced to merely indicating a healing ointment. Thus "Salvington" is the "Town of the Healing," or the "Town of the Saving." Save itself comes from "salve"; it means to rescue or protect.
 

The ending "-don" has a far more intriguing history. It is found in The Urantia Papers in Nebadon, Splandon, Andon, Amadon, and abaddon.
 

The prefix "Neba" may be borrowed from a Latin word which means mist or fog, but in the luminous form, found in the English "nebulosity." This was then borrowed by astronomers to describe luminous dusty stellar congregations which appeared in their telescopes, and hence our English word nebula. This certainly is an appropriate application for the stellar congregation which makes our local universe. Here the Revelators have reached into an English word derived from Latin to assimilate a conceptual image.
 

The "-don" phoneme is spread everywhere in the English language, inherited or borrowed from Celtic, Teutonic and Romance languages. It is most obvious in the Spanish Dons, formerly a title of high rank and nobility, but now used commonly for male address. It is also found in the English Dons, senior professors in their universities. A thousand years ago it was used also in English countries to denote senior rank, as in Dan Chaucer, pronounced as Don. In Portugal the Don shifted phonetically to Dom. In France certain Catholic religious orders had senior members known as Doms. This same form is found in Latin Dominus, meaning Lord or Master. Linguistic scholars believe the Spanish and Portuguese Don and Dom came from Latin, but the weight of the evidence speaks to a much more ancient origin with the Latin merely reflecting that source now lost in antiquity. In the Teutonic languages it was used in kingdom, bishopdom, and earldom. It is also found in such constructions as Christendom, and our freedom, wisdom, and so on. These forms denote rulership, authority, or acquisition of superior powers and abilities. It was transformed into dome, as the spherical top of a pretentious building, and in doom, our modern memory of the ancient meaning of judgment.

Some idea of the antiquity of this word and its inflectional variations may be found in Hebrew, where today, it still means literally "to judge." The name Daniel, "Judged by God," carries

this form. The root word don means "He Judges." The Hebrew female dona mean "She Judges" and was taken to the Spanish Doa and Portuguese Dona. This fundamental word can be traced back into ancient Greek and Near East mythology where it denoted a superior being, and superior groups of people. The Semitic word for Lord, Adon, derives from this form, as do the Deans of modern universities.
 

It ultimately goes back to an ancient Semitic language used everywhere across our planet in the most remote antiquity, and was the foundation of the formal names for Adam and Eve.
 

The "An" in Andon also has origins in the misty haze of the past. It is found in Sumerian and Egyptian mythology where it denoted the Father god.
 

Splandon invokes images of splendor.
 

From this brief survey we can see that the Revelators were retrieving ancient name forms from our cultural heritage, from Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and English to blend them in the Revelation. They were salvaging folk memories of the past to carry forward into the new world.
 

In my linguistic studies I found that modern English has an amazing reversion to many ancient Semitic language elements. From this linguistic evolution I deduce that many of the old Semitic forms will be further resurrected in the future to eventually create a common world language. This process will return us to the conditions this planet knew in the most remote antiquity when:
 

The whole earth was of one language and one speech, Gen 11:1.

 

In this manner the Revelators were using our cultural heritage to condition our cultural future.
 

1. The numbers in the text are references to the definition numbers of Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. For Hebrew words they refer to his Hebrew dictionary. For Greek words they refer to his Greek dictionary. I offer them for the convenience of those readers who may wish to pursue these derivations further. Although Strong was not a primary source for biblical etymologies his work has been of invaluable help to countless biblical students.

 

2. Derivation of these forms may be found in 201 Hebrew Verbs, by Abraham S. Halkin, Barron's Educational Series, Woodbury, NY, 1970.

 

3. More thorough discussion of the Michael name may be found in Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, F. Brown, S. R. Driver, and C. A. Briggs, Oxford University Press.