Sunday, October 17, 2010

Overcoming the Myth that A.A.'s Big Book is the A.A. Bible

In their zeal to promote the newly published manuscript of one of the preparatory documents used to publish the Alcoholics Anonymous "Big Book" in 1939, one of the executives of the publisher is trumpeting the idea that somehow this manuscript has special value because the "Big Book is the Bible of A.A."

This ridiculous myth has been circulating long before the publisher's promotional use of it. But it simply puts another nail in the proposed coffin being prepared for Christians in the recovery arena.

Our many books establish clearly the wide use of the Holy Bible (King James Version) in the early Christian Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous founded in Akron in 1935.
At the time of A.A.'s founding and for some four years thereafter, A.A. pioneers had no Big Book, no Twelve Steps, no Twelve Traditions, and no meetings at all like those in A.A. today. What they did have, use, study, and quote was the Holy Bible that they often called "The Good Book."

For documentation, see Dick B., "The Good Book and The Big Book: A.A.'s Roots in the Bible"; "The James Club and the Original A.A. Program's Absolute Essentials"; "Good Morning!: Quiet Time, Morning Watch, Meditation, and Early A.A."; "The Conversion of Bill W."; and "The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous"

In his last major address to AAs in 1948, Dr. Bob pointed out the foregoing facts. He said the oldtimers felt that the answers to the problems were in the Good Book. He said they believed that the Bible segments--Book of James, Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, and 1 Corinthians 13 were "absolutely essential" to their program of recovery. And he concluded by saying that he did not write the Twelve Steps, nor did he have anything to do with writing them. Instead, he said, the basic ideas for these Steps came from their studies and efforts in the Bible between 1935 and 1938.

In other words, the "Big Book" is not; nor has it ever been, the "Bible of A.A." The Holy Bible--the "Good Book"--was the only Bible the AAs ever had or even have today. And their Big Book is filled with quotes from and references to the Holy Bible even though the attributions are missing.

For Christians and Bible students, it is vital for them to learn and know that the Alcoholics Anonymous to which they belong today, the Big Book they read today, the Twelve Steps which they "take" today are plainly and simply derived from the Holy Bible. Any story equating the Big Book with the Holy Bible is a confusing and deceptive means of promoting a non-A.A. book, or even the Big Book itself.

See Dick B., The Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 2010

God Bless, Dick B.

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