The Book of James Influence on Alcoholics Anonymous

Dale Allison notes:

Alcoholic Anonymous is one of the most remarkable movements of modern times. Countless individuals throughout the world have benefitted from the 12 Steps Program and its many offshoots — Narcotics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, etc. And without for the most part knowing it, beneficiaries owe a large debt of gratitude to James. For this NT letter was of key importance to the founders of A.A., who stressed again and again that ‘faith without works is dead’. Indeed, the book of James was so popular among early members of A.A. that some wanted their fellowship to be called ‘The James Club’. Furthermore, Jas 5:16—’confess your sins to one another’—directly inspired the famous and effective strategy of requiring members, when meeting together in small groups, to share honestly their failing with one another.[1]

  1. Jr, Dale C. Allison. James (ICC): A Critical and Exegetical Commentary (International Critical Commentary). Cri Int edition. Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2013, 109  ↩

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