The Good Book and The Big Book: A.A.’s Roots in the Bible

Alcoholics Anonymous History
A.A.’s Roots in the Bible

By Dick B.
© 2013 Anonymous. All rights reserved

A.A.’s Roots in the Bible

An astounding seventy-five to ninety-three percent of the early members of Alcoholics Anonymous recovered from their seemingly hopeless diseases of alcoholism. They did it by relying on God and by basing their relationship with Him on the principles of the Bible.

This comprehensive history discusses the biblical sources from which A.A.’s founders said they obtained their recovery ideas—focusing particularly on the Sermon on the Mount, 1 Corinthians 13, and the Book of James. For many A.A.s, the Bible was a standard of truth upon which they could depend for the power and guidance that they needed in their lives.

Author Dick B.—an active, recovered member of A.A..—with over 26 years of continuous sobriety–bible student, and a sponsor of over one hundred men in their recovery—here shows how a knowledge of A.A.’s Good Book roots can be used effectively to produce a high recovery rate in today’s Twelve Step programs.


Dick B. wrote The Good Book and The Big Book: A.A.’s Roots in the Bible to provide an accurate, comprehensive statement of the basic ideas and principles early AAs took from the Bible as they were developing their spiritual program of recovery and later the Big Book and the Twelve Steps. This title by Dick has stood the test of time. It is much in demand. It is now used in counselor training, Salvation Army programs, treatment programs, sober living facilities, A.A. meetings, spiritual retreats for AAs and their families, and in seminars and programs for people in recovery, whether in A.A., Al-Anon, or such groups as Overcomers, Alcoholics for Christ, and Alcoholics Victorious.


1. “Lest We Forget Early AAs and Their Bibles!”
Early A.A.’s Success Rate Compared to Today
The Historical Evidence of A.A.’s Good Book Roots
The Oxford Group-Shoemaker Impact
Bible Devotionals and Other Early A.A. Literature
The Purpose of Our Book

2. God!
The Frequency of Biblical Names for God
God is
A Loving God
A Special “god” for A.A.?
Whence Came “Higher Power?”
Bill Wilson’s Higher Power
“God As We Understood Him”
“A Power Greater Than Ourselves”

3. Biblical Impact on Big Book Language
Direct Quotes from the Bible
Recognizable Biblical Words and Concepts
A.A. Slogans and Watchwords with Biblical Roots
Two Other Biblical Concepts

4. The Parts Dr. Bob Found “Essential”
The Thirteenth Chapter of First Corinthians
The Book of James
The Sermon on the Mount

5. The Good Book and the Twelve Steps
Step One and Deflation at Depth
Step Two, Willingness, Belief, and Seeking
Step Three and the Decision to Surrender
Step Four and Self-examination
Step Five and Confession
Step Six, Conviction and Readiness to Change
Step Seven, Humble Submission and Rebirth
Step Eight, Willingness To Make Amends
Step Nine, Restitution
Step Ten and Daily Corrective Action
Step Eleven, Prayer, Guidance, Growth, Power
Step Twelve, Awakening, Witness, Practice of Principles

6. Keeping It Simple
The Original Six Steps
Simmered Down to the Last (Love and Service)

7. The Good Book and A.A. Today
Foreword by Bob Smith, Son of A.A. co-founder Dr. Bob and his wife, Anne.

“The Bible and the ‘Big Book’ of Alcoholics Anonymous are not mutually exclusive, as the author, Dick B., carefully shows. The A.A. book which has helped millions with their addictions is deeply indebted to, and profoundly influenced by, biblical language, images, and themes gleaned directly from the Bible or indirectly from Bible teachers like Rev. Samuel Shoemaker, E. Stanley Jones, and Oswald Chambers. A.A. has received much from biblical Christianity, and biblical Christians can receive much from Dick’s new book about spiritual growth and victorious living.”
Rev. Charles B. Puskas, Jr., Ph.D.
Author, An Introduction to the New Testament
“Dick’s exhaustive research gives us a clear picture of how Dr. Bob, Anne, Bill W., and the early A.A.s used the Good Book to help thousands recover”.
Ray G.
Archivist, Dr. Bob’s Home, Akron, Ohio
“We use Dick’s book in all our counselor training centers. It is an invaluable resource.”
Jean LaCour, Ph.D.
Dean, The N.E.T. Training Institute
“We’re excited to have this book for scholars of A.A. that explains A.A.’s roots in the Bible!”
Ozzie and Bonnie L.
Managers, The Wilson House, East Dorset, Vermont
“Anyone seeking to learn the spiritual roots of Alcoholics Anonymous will find Dick B.’s publication, The Good Book and the Big Book, an invaluable resource. Dick has done a monumental job of finding and documenting the prime sources of A.A.’s life-renewing power.”
John F. Seiberling
Former United States Congressman
Son of Henrietta Seiberling, an early A.A. “founder”
Paradise Research Publications, Inc.; 180 pp.; 6 x 9; perfect bound; 1998; $23.95; ISBN 1-885803-24-9

Dick B has published over 46 titles and 1400 articles on the history of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Christian Recovery Movement. His main website is His main blog is; and he can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in, Tumbler. Dick is Executive Director of International Christian Recovery Coalition

Dick B.
P.O. Box 837
Kihei, Hawaii
Ph/fax: (808)874-4876

Trademarks and Disclaimer: ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS®, A.A.®, and Big Book® are registered trademarks of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. Dick B.’s web site, Paradise Research Publications, Inc., and Good Book Publishing Company are neither endorsed nor approved by nor associated or affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.


About mauihistorian

Uses pen name Dick B.: Writer, Historian, Retired attorney, Bible student, CDAAC, and active and recovered A.A. member with over 25 years of continuous sobriety. Published 42 titles and over 650 articles on the history of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Christian Recovery Movement.
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