Friday, January 02, 2015

Bill Wilson’s 1943 Affirmation of His Born Again Status: His Inscription "Yours in Christ" [Updated 1/2/15]


Bill Wilson’s 1943 Affirmation of His Born Again Status:

His Inscription “Yours in Christ” [updated 1/2/15]

 

By Dick B., with Ken B.
© 2014, 2015 Anonymous. All rights reserved

 

Born again

 

Bill Wilson said in his autobiography:

 

For sure, I’d been born again.

[Bill W., My First 40 Years (Center City, Minn.: Hazelden, 2000), 147.

For more examples of this language, see Dick B., The Conversion of Bill W., 110 (http://www.dickb.com/theconversionofbillw.shtml)]

 

After Ebby’s visit to Bill prior to Bill’s decision for Christ at Calvary Mission, Bill Wilson wrote of Ebby:

 

The man was transformed; there was no denying he had been reborn.

[“Bill Wilson’s Original Manuscript,” see lines 935-942, an unpublished manuscript located at Bill and Lois Wilson’s home called “Stepping Stones” in New York.

For more on this, see, for example: Dick B., The Conversion of Bill W., xv, 47. 49]

 

After Bill Wilson made his own decision for Christ at the rail at Calvary Mission in New York about December 7, 1934, he told his wife Lois about his experience that evening. Speaking of Bill’s experience at Calvary Mission in a speech she gave in Texas, Lois stated:

 

And he [Bill W.] went up, and really, in very great sincerity, did hand over his life to Christ.

[“Lois Remembers: Searcy, Ebby, Bill & Early Days.” Recorded in Dallas, Texas, June 29, 1973, Moore, OK: Sooner Cassette, Side 1.

For more on this, see, for example: Dick B. The Conversion of Bill W., 61]

 

Lois Wilson wrote in her autobiography:

 

Although my joy and faith in his rebirth continued, I missed his companionship.

[(L.B.W.), Lois Remembers: Memoirs of the Co-founder of Al-Anon and Wife of the Co-Founder of Alcoholics Anonymous (New York: Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., 1979), 98.

For more on this, see, for example: Dick B., The Conversion of Bill W., 114]

 

Even author Mel B., the man who dubs himself a casual historian, concluded:

 

His [Bill W.’s] was clearly a kind of “born again” experience, . . .

[Mel B., New Wine: The Spiritual Roots of the Twelve Step Miracle (Center City, Minn.: Hazelden, 1991), 88]

 

In John 3:7 (KJV), Jesus said to Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:

 

Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

 

In 1 Peter 1:23 (KJV), the Apostle Peter wrote:

 

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.

 

In Christ

 

In January 13, 1943, Bill Wilson signed his full name “Bill Wilson” in an inscription in a first edition Big Book he gave to his friend, Dr. Jesse M. Bader. A photo of the inscription was sent to me (Dick B.) by Ken R. I have it in my archives and have shown it at A.A. History conferences. You may see a picture of the page in Alcoholics Anonymous on which Bill Wilson wrote the inscription including “Yours in Christ” to Dr. Bader, as published by PBA Galleries in conjunction with the auction of this book [Sale 389: Rare Books & Manuscripts (#389) 09/25/2008 1:00 PM PDT], here:

 

http://mcaf.ee/ql4yt [accessed 1/2/2015]

 

Ken R. also posted the following message on the web:


“I just purchased a First Edition, Third printing Big Book inscribed on the front free endpaper,

 

“To my friend Dr. Jesse M. Bader,
            Yours in Christ, Bill Wilson, 1/13/43.”

Jesse Moren Bader (1886-1963) was a noted evangelist, ecumenist and global leader. He
founded the global, ecumenical, World Communion Sunday which was launched on October 6, 1940 and continues on the first Sunday in October each year.

This is the first time I've ever seen Bill W. inscribe anything "Yours in Christ" and it's also notable that he signed his full name. He apparently stopped signing his full last name about the time the Traditions were coming out.

Sincerely,
Ken R.”

 

And here is the detailed information PBA Galleries provided about this particular copy of the first edition of Alcoholics Anonymous in conjunction with the auction:

 

PBA Galleries (Auctioneers & Appraisers)

 

Sale 389: Rare Books & Manuscripts (#389) 09/25/2008  1:00 PM PDT CLOSED!

 

Lot 3 of 145:

Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How More Than Six Thousand Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism

 

Lot closed – Sale Price: $13,200

 

Heading:         (Alcoholics Anonymous)

Author:            [Wilson, William (Bill W.)]

Place:               New York

Publisher:        Works Publishing Co.

Date:               1942

Description:     viii, [2], 400 pp. 9x6, original blue cloth, spine lettered in gilt, original jacket. First Edition, Third printing. Presentation copy inscribed on the front free endpaper, "To my friend Dr. Jesse M. Bader, Yours in Christ, Bill Wilson, 1/13/43." Jesse Moren Bader (1886-1963) was a noted evangelist, ecumenist and global leader. He founded the global, ecumenical, World Communion Sunday which was launched on October 6, 1940 and continues on the first Sunday in October each year. There were 5000 copies of this third printing published in June, 1942.

Lot Amendments

Condition:

Jacket chipped and worn, lacking top 2½" of spine strip and some of adjacent front panel, repairs on verso; volume spine head bumped, shelf wear, darkening along front endpaper gutter, else very good in good jacket.

 

Item number:197329

 


 

Shortened link: http://mcaf.ee/ql4yt [accessed 1/2/2015]

 

 

Some Examples of the Phrase “in Christ” in the King James Version of the Bible

 

In 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV), the Apostle Paul wrote:

 

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. [emphasis added]

 

In Romans 8:1 (KJV), the Apostle Paul wrote:

 

There is therefore no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. [emphasis added]

 

Here are a couple of other examples of this phrase:

 

2 Corinthians 2:17 (KJV): “in the sight of God speak we in Christ” [emphasis added]

 

1 Peter 5:14 (KJV): “Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen” [emphasis added]

 

Appendix

Additional Examples of Verses in the King James Version

in Which the Phrase “In Christ” Occurs

 

Rom 16:7: Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.

 

1 Cor 1:2: Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

 

1 Cor 1:30: But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

 

1 Cor 3:1:  And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

 

2 Cor 5:17: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

 

Gal 1:22: And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ:

 

Eph 1:1: Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

 

Phil 1:1: Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

 

Phil 4:21: Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you.

 

Col 1:2: To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

1 Thess 2:14: For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:

 

1 Thess 4:16: For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

 

1 Pet 5:14: Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

 

Gloria Deo