Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Bible Sources of A.A.'s Basic Ideas

The Good Book and The Big Book: A.A.'s Roots in the Bible has been the most popular title by A.A. historian Dick B. It was written after the author had devoted about nine years to discovering the various roots of Alcoholics Anonymous. He began with the question: Did A.A. come from the Bible? Dr. Bob had said its basic ideas did. And then came the various ways in which biblical ideas reached the fellowship. The clearest was the regular study of the Book of James, Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, and 1 Corinthians 13. And after identifying the various sources of A.A.'s blbical language and ideas, Dick studied James, Jesus' Sermon, and 1 Corinthians 13 - comparing each with language in the Big Book and Twelve Steps that directly or indirectly was the basis for A.A. ideas. His first book on the subject, then, was The Good Book and The Big Book: A.A.'s Roots in the Bible But Dick did his specific comparative study in the book The James Club and The Original A.A. Program's Absolute Essentials Then, there were additional substantial biblical influences that found their way to A.A. through the principles and practices of the Oxford Group. Then the teachings of Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr., who was the chief American lieutenant of the Oxford Group. See New Light on Alcoholism: God, Sam Shoemaker, and A.A. Two other, major contributors of biblical ideas to the A.A. scene were the many Christian and Bible-oriented books that Dr. Bob read and circulated among AAs and their families. More important, probably, were the writings of his wife Anne Ripley Smith in her journal. See Anne Smith's Journal 1933-1939 From that journal, Anne-each morning-would share from the Bible and from her journal with AAs, their families, and their children. She frequently quoted the Bible to them - as Dr. Bob himself did.

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