Clarence Snyder’s Bible
Clarence Snyder’s Bible
“This Bible was presented to Clarence Henry Snyder by his Mother on His sixth Birthday which is today “the” 26th day of December 1908 at 1280 E. 89th St. Cleveland, Ohio”
The Bible comes with a protective box. Inside the box, there is a description of the treatment that was performed in preservation of the book. The treatment was completed by the Northeast Document Conservation Center in October 2008.
Here is some background information about the Bible from a copy/pasted email written by Historian/Author Dick B. to the previous owner of the Bible:
- We just picked up the Bible downstairs and opened the box.
- This will be a long one with two preliminary comments: (a) I don’t know how or why you got this Bible. I think I know what it’s route might have been (from Grace Snyder to Mitch K. to whoever bought it from Mitch; but it has a label in the back indicating it was the property of Ed Andy—the oldtimer with the most time after Clarence died. Ed had the first AA museum in Lorain, Ohio. (b) You sure sent it to the right guy because, like you, I’m for transparency—something no longer in vogue. When Grace Snyder first heard me speak, she said she could hear Clarence talking through my mouth. I have spoken at several Snyder retreats, spent a week with Ken interviewing Grace and reviewing Clarence’s books and papers. Then I went to Danny Whitmore’s place and reviewed a large pile of Clarence Snyder papers that had reached Danny via the same type of circuitous route. Finally, Steve Foreman, Dale Morfitt, and Jack Rapp engaged me to work with them on the Clarence Snyder workbook; and these three long-time Snyder sponsees (and their wives) had heard me speak, headed up retreats, worked with Grace, and knew Clarence well.
- For sure, it was Clarence’s Bible. And, of course, it immediately dispels myths that Clarence was not interested in the Bible until he met Grace years later. The Bible contains the baptism record of Clarence six days after he was born.
- As I expected, there are pages and pages of annotations, check marks, bracketed sections. And many many of them are those that were popular with Dr. Bob and Clarence.
- The Bible contains a dictionary, index, and concordance; and even these are heavily marked and annotated.
- Frankly, I don’t know what to do with this Bible now that I have seen it. I know so much about Clarence, his biography, his three wives, his relationship with Bob and Anne, and the Snyder sponsees that almost every annotation brings important things to light.
- Not surprisingly, there are many items in the Old Testament including the Psalms that Clarence particularly favored. And lots lots more.
- The New Testament, Acts, and the Epistles are hallmarks of a Bible student. Again, not surprisingly, the sermon on the mount, 1 Corinthians 13, and James are well highlighted as are such items as the new birth in John 3, Mark 16, many verses on healing and forgiveness, Hebrews 11:6. In fact, you’d think you were reading one of my books on what early AAs read and believed.
- These days there is a growing body of unbelievers who are distorting history, labeling people as “conservatives,” “minority view people,” “conversionists,” “fundamentalists” and then raging on with their own brand of higher powers, spirituality, and all the rest. Nobody is going to change this; it’s rampant in our nation and in the world. But shedding the light and truth are becoming more and more important to those of us who want to know the facts, the history, the truth, and the power of God as early AAs understood them.
- I wanted to raise such questions as these: (a) Now that you have preserved and hopefully had the Bible photographed, are you going to publish it in the same manner as the “Holy Grail.” (b) If so, what are your plans. (c) If not, how will it be possible for historians like myself to get copies that can be studied, interpreted, quoted, and disseminated—for that is the only value of this for me.
- Clarence had his detractors such as Bob P. and Bill W. himself. But the man was a giant in A.A. Clarence grew A.A. from one group to 30 in a year. He took the best of A.A. as he saw it—the Bible, the Four Absolutes, the Big Book, and the Twelve Steps. And, as Sue Smith Windows personally told me, Clarence was “all for Dr. Bob.” He worked with him to the end of Bob’s life.
- At this point, there are many facets of A.A.—the younger years of both Bob and Bill (just now coming to light); the unique Akron program as published in DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers based on the reports of Frank Amos; the so called six “word-of-mouth” ideas Bill talked about—which did NOT come from the Oxford Group and have several versions; the Big Book publication; the depression years when Clarence, Sister Ignatia, Father Dowling, Father Ralph Pfau, Richmond Walker, Ed Webster, and even the AA of Akron pamphlets held sway, and then the AA Comes of Age period of the 1950’s and thereafter.
Pardon my excitement, but I’m blessed to have been honored with the opportunity to view this new treasure.
Aloha and God Bless, Dick
Richard G. Burns, J.D. (Dick B.)