from volume 56, number 3 of Unsearchable Riches magazine)
As told in his own Words
EDITORS NOTE: In 1945, A.E.K. wrote this short survey of the earlier phases of his life in faith. This, it seems, was the only occasion when he tells of his own spiritual background.
When I left school I determined to study the best books thoroughly. As I had no funds to buy a set of Shakespeare, I began with an old Bible that was lying around. I started with Genesis, but my progress was very slow as I had made up my mind that a superficial reading was useless. I must get the sense. I intended to major in astronomy at the university, and, when I came to the sentence He made the stars also, I was quite overwhelmed by the simplicity and grandeur of the statement. I realized that I would not live long enough to exhaust the fullness of that one assertion. So I skipped to the epistle to the Romans. Why, I do not know. I could not make a better choice today, after half a century of study. There I was amazed to find things that I did not remember hearing in Sunday School. I believed and was saved. I have not had time for studying Shakespeare yet.
The PLYMOUTH BRETHREN
Being much alive to the things of God, I spoke to others, especially to an elderly Scotchman who was very enthusiastic about the coming of the Lord. In the printing office where I worked I was given a circular to set, which advertised a series of meetings on this subject. I was much interested and never missed a meeting. The lecturer was one of the so-called Plymouth Brethren or Open Brethren. In response to his urging I was baptized in the Los Angeles river. I was allowed to take the Lords supper with them each Sunday. I read their literature, The Witness magazine, C.H.M. (Mackintosh), especially books on prophecy and many tracts. I listened to long series of lectures on the Tabernacle in the Wilderness and the Seven Churches of Asia. I eagerly swallowed all that I could get and was initiated into the differences between the various divisions among the Brethren themselves, as I was looked upon as one of their coming leaders.
THE NEWBERRY BIBLE
They introduced me to the Newberry Bible, which has extensive marginalia correcting the inconsistencies of the Authorized Version. I wore out several copies of it. The best books that I got through the Brethren were Wigrams concordances. These opened my eyes to the contradictions and discordant renderings in our version. I then determined to go by the original alone, so I bought a copy of Griesbachs Greek testament. This I carried constantly. I made a special cover to keep it from going to pieces. Till this point I had been a loyal Brethren. Now trouble began. I soon saw that they were concerned to defend what they called the truth, while I wanted Gods Word. I was silenced, and was not even allowed to quote the Scriptures in a Bible reading. Because I had fellowship with others outside their circle, I was put out. It was a great blessing in disguise.
THINGS TO COME
Among the magazines commended to me by the Brethren (by mistake) was
Things to Come, which, at first, was the organ of prophetic conferences in
London. Through it I became acquainted with Sir Robert Andersons writings,
especially Human Destiny and The Silence of God. In the introduction to
the former, Sir Robert requests anyone who had a better solution to the problem to let him
know. I wrote and called his attention to the great truth of the reconciliation of all
(Col.1:20) and the significance of the eonian times. But he was already too old to change.
UNSEARCHABLE RICHES BEGUN
After accepting On Baptism, Dr. Bullinger changed his
position to accord with it. This is the backbone of what is generally called
Bullingerism. I am thankful to seethat it is spreading among thoughtful Bible
students. Before he started the Companion Bible, he wrote to me saying that he
had heard that I was contemplating a new version, and asked what my plans were. I sent him
a page with a version in one column and notes in the other, like that in the Companion
Bible, and begged him to make a new translation. But he considered that too great a task
at his age.
A. E. Knoch
Forward to Part Four
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