Are there Scripture Passages in the First Edition of Alcoholics Anonymous!

Letter to an AA Who Asks if the New First Edition Contains Scripture

Dick B.

© 2014. Anonymous. All rights reserved

[name removed to protect anonymity]

Wayne: Thank you very much for the letter and for your interest in the First Edition and Scripture. I think you should realize that the First Edition contains two unrelated parts. First, the personal stories are primarily the stories of the Akron AA Christian Fellowship pioneers and how they established their relationship with God. These stories were written and mostly completed before Wilson completed the chapters. The Wilson chapters imply that the pioneers “read the book,” “took the book down from the shelf” etc. But there was no book. The pioneers were not talking about the Twelve Steps or Wilson’s chapters. They were telling primarily how they found God, studied the Bible, prayed together, had quiet times, had very few “stories” or “meetings.” Were there references to Scripture and quotes. Answer: Yes. However, I would urge you to consider the following resources instead:

  1. The Dover Edition of the First Edition with the 27 page introduction by me. It is an exact replica, it is inexpensive, and the publisher wanted an explanation of the book. You can buy it on
  2. Pioneer Stories in Alcoholics Anonymous by Dick B. and Ken B. I’m sure its explanations and quotes will bless you; and it is brief. You can buy in on Amazon.
  3. Stick with the Winners! by Dick B. and Ken B. This is the companion book, and it shows how old school A.A. can be grounded on today’s Conference-approved literature if given the proper guides and quotes.

If you buy the Anniversary Edition as thousands may probably do, you won’t see the differences mentioned above. You won’t realize that the personal stories in the First Edition were almost totally removed from A.A. literature for many years, You may wind  up erroneously thinking that the pioneer stories are testimonies as to how Bill’s new version of the program—the Twelve Steps—correlates with the stories. And it doesn’t!

Please feel free to phone  me. And thanks again for writing.

God bless,

Dick B. 808 874 4876 – Maui, Hawaii

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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