Roundtable Series on A.A.’s Biblical Roots

Dick B.

Roundtable Series on A.A.’s Biblical Roots

(November 2001) Part One

This was an AA History seminar/ conference In Hawaii

By Dick B.

Session One The Bible in Early Alcoholics Anonymous

Important References

• DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers (Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.,1980)
• The Runner’s Bible, by Nora Smith Holm (1915)
• The Holy Bible, King James Version
• Alcoholics Anonymous, 1st ed. (Works Publishing Company, 1939)
• Good Morning!: Quiet Time, Morning Watch, Meditation, and Early A.A., by Dick B.
• By the Power of God: A Guide to Early A.A. Groups and Forming Similar Groups Today, by Dick B.
• The Good Book and The Big Book: A.A.’s Roots in the Bible, by Dick B.
• Why Early A.A. Succeeded: The Good Book in Alcoholics Anonymous Yesterday and Today (A Bible Study Guide for AAs and other 12 Steppers), by Dick B.

[Except when otherwise indicated, the references are to Dick B., Why Early A.A. Succeeded: The Good Book in Alcoholics Anonymous Yesterday and Today.]

An Understanding of Almighty God, Yahweh, Our Creator

God exists

Genesis 1:1

Hebrews 11:6

God either is or he isn’t (Big Book, 3rd ed., p. 53; Shoemaker, Confident Faith, p. 187)

The Fool hath said in his heart. . . (Psalm 14:1), also, title by OG’s Beverley Nichols

Dr. Bob: If you are an atheist or agnostic, I feel sorry for you (Big Book, 3rd ed., 181)
God is our Creator:

Big Book (3rd ed.) so refers to Him 12 times (See Why Early A.A. Succeeded, p. 51)

For some Bible references to God as Creator (ibid., p. 51)

Our Creator offers us a relationship with Him (ibid., pp. 52-55)

Our Creator was, in the Good Book, clearly identified, known, and understood

Bill specifically referred to Almighty over 400 times in the 3rd ed. (ibid., pp. 55-6)

There is but one God (ibid., pp. 57, 70)

There is no other God like Him (ibid., pp. 71-2)

The Bible draws a clear line between idols and our Creator (Psalm 115)

God has a personal name - Yahweh–YHWH in the texts (ibid, pp. 61-6)

"This is my name for all time" (ibid., p. 65)

Correctly so translated in the Jerusalem Bible (ibid, p. 65)

There are many Bible verses that enable us understand Yahweh - Almighty God, Maker, is in heaven, Spirit, not a man, invisible, love, light–and many more (ibid., pp. 66-69)

Our Creator Communicates with Us in Many Ways

He speaks to us directly, through angels, through prophets, through His Son, by revelation, and by the Bible (References are in Why Early AA Succeeded, pp. 74 to 79)

The Bible IS the Word of God

It so states many times (ibid, pp. 84-6)
It tells us how we received it from God (ibid., pp. 86-7, 90-1)
It contains His will (ibid., pp. 91-2)
It is truth (ibid., pp. 92-3)
It directly offers us far far more than just sobriety: a new birth, everlasting life, an abundant life, the power of God, the ability to heal, victory, future rewards, wisdom, discerning of truth (ibid., pp. 93-8)
We often are so busy "listening" or "reading" that we miss the Bible’s point that the guidance of God is important to understanding. And so is study (ibid., pp. 99-100)

The Significance of Jesus Christ, the Son of God

Jesus is not merely a teacher, an examplar, or leader, but the Son of God (ibid., pp. 101-3)
Our possible relationship with God is established through His Son (ibid., pp. 109-10)
We receive the power of God through accepting His Son (ibid., pp. 111-15)
We become God’s kids through accepting His Son (ibid., p. 114)
Early AAs accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour (ibid., p. 106)
The Commandments of God tell us of His Will
God commands that His will shall be obeyed (ibid., p. 116)
Jesus is a prime source as to the will of God (ibid., p. 117)
God’s will effected through what Jesus Christ accomplished: Forgiveness of sins, healing, asking in Jesus’s name, gathering believers together, deliverance from the wrath to come (ibid., pp. 118-22)

Sin, Disobedience, Grace

Sin as disobedience of the commands of God (ibid., p. 123)
More on what the Bible says is sin (ibid., pp. 123, 27, 134)
God’s ways and man’s ways are different from each other (ibid., p. 124)
AAs accepted the sin problem and the need to get rid of it (ibid, p. 140)
The Grace of God–unearned favor from God–is the answer (ibid., pp. 125, 130-31)


God first loved; He commanded us to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves–the two great commandments as Jesus stated them (ibid., pp. 137-138)


Obedience is required (ibid., p. 148)
Obedience to God’s will (ibid., p. 143)
The Bible clarifies the difference between duty and choice (ibid., pp.144-45)

Deliverance, Release, Growth

Believers have been delivered (ibid., pp. 150-51; Colossians 1:13)
With deliverance comes release from our prisons: Fear, guilt, anxieties, cares, shame, insecurity, poverty, confusion, weakness, doubt, temptation, sickness, evil spirits, the devil’s fiery darts, oppression by the devil, everlasting release (ibid., pp. 154-70; The Runner’s Bible)
Our need to grow (prayer, changing thoughts, resisting the Devil, believing); ibid., pp 171, 172, 178, 181, 183

Temptation is not from God (ibid, p. 187)

God’s way: "It is written"

(ibid., p. 197)

Copyright © Dick B.


Back to Dick B. Index

In practicing our Traditions, Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. has neither endorsed nor are they affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous®, AA®, and the Big Book® are registered trademarks of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.