Study Guide to the AA Big Book

Study Guide For Those Who Have Difficulty With the Word 'God'

Study Guide cover
Study Guide to the AA Big Book. Ken W.

A long-time member of Alcoholics Anonymous has written a Study Guide to the book Alcoholics Anonymous -- also known as the Big Book -- which is dedicated to those who want recovery from alcoholism, but have difficulty with the word "God."

Ken W., a member of A.A. for more than 50 years, explains why he decided to write his Study Guide and why he has made it available for free to anyone who wants to use it:

"I got sober in 1951, stayed sober thus far, but had a lot of problems with the "God Stuff" in the process. On retirement, I had a chance to get back into the basic AA text to see what it had to say and where it conflicted with what "spokemen for traditional god-clubs" said "God was supposed to be" - their version.

"The result was a rather lengthy manuscript (533 pages) using only the basic text of AA as an authority, intended to "walk someone like myself" through the first 164 pages. Sort of "a sponsor in print" ... to point out what is there - on this particular issue. It is obviously not for everyone."

"There are many who are offended when what they believe is found to be in conflict with what the AA Big Book actually says. (see page 34 of "As Bill Sees It")."

"Should you choose to follow this Study Guide, you will be presented ideas which this author has found to be consistent with the basic text of AA.

However, some of those ideas go beyond the limitations many traditional religions have in their interpretation of the word "God" and what that word means for them. Readers who are open minded (see Appendix II) may discover new thinking about "a power greater than yourself."

"The three-letter word "God" is generally used to communicate a concept of infinite knowledge and power.

Concepts, other than those utilized by traditional religion, do exist. One fundamental idea of God, based upon the basic text of AA, (see page 55), is being offered in this Study Guide. Some individual alcoholics may find the approach is useful in their personal recovery."

"I would like to make my material available - to anyone interested. I am not trying to "sell" anything that was freely given to me and joyfully accepted to produce over 50 years of being reasonably happy, joyous and free. Supposedly "God's Will for Me" according to page 133."

-- Ken W.

Anyone interested in this new Study Guide can read it online, download the file, or print the book from

Update - Ken W. is now deceased. His "Big Book Study Guide" website continues to be maintained by Alcoholism expert BuddyT as a public service.

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