Concordant Antiquities

 Faithful Laborers





Adolph Ernst Knoch was born in Saint Louis, December 19


Working with his father, who was a school janitor, A.E. K. at the age of nine would sweep one floor before school every morning.

9 1885

The Knoch's move to Los Angeles area and reside on 38th Street in Vernon.

13 1886

Adolph received a Holy Bible in December from his brother Ulrich, older by ten years, and Addie, a sister. Inscribed was - "Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth."

14 1890

A.E.K. graduates from West Vernon grammar school. June 16

15 1893

A.E.K. graduates from Los Angeles High School June 27, at age 18.

One of A.E.K.'s high school teachers saw a literary potential in him and she suggested he read the great literature such as Shakespeare or the Bible. At that time Shakespeare was not available to him, but there was a family Bible. A.E.K. first read the Bible from a purely literary point of view.

During grade school and high school A.E.K. would do errands for his brother's print shop on Boyd Street, Commercial Printing House, largest in L.A. Soon after graduating from high school he began working full time there as "printer's devil" doing all the dirty work. Later he obtained his apprenticeship and eventually became superintendent.

It was about this time that he believed and became converted after reading the message of Jesus Christ. 18 1894

There was an elderly Scotsman, a Mr. Cornwall, who met A.E.K. on occasion and spoke with him about prophecy and the 2nd Coming. While printing he was given a circular to set, which advertised a series of lectures on these themes, and he became determined to hear them. The lecturer, Mr. McClure, of the Plymouth Brethren, took interest in A.E.K. and introduced him to books and magazines. One of the magazines was Things To Come to which A.E.K. subscribed before July 1894. And one of the books was Englishman's Greek Concordance.

A.E.K. was baptized into the "Open Brethren" group in the Los Angeles River. He became rather involved with these Brethren, reading their literature and participating in their services. A.E.K. said, "I was looked upon as one of their coming leaders." 19 1900

It was during these years that A.E.K. studied in a Greek course taught at the Los Angeles Bible institute.

25 1901

The American Standard Revised Version appeared this year. A.E.K. had awaited it, but was disappointed, the better renderings having been relegated to the margin.

According to several sources this is the year A.E.K. commenced that grand project that culminated thirty years later in the complete edition of the Sacred Scriptures. It was at this time that he began developing the Concordant Method for the making of a more accurate translation.

While attending a Plymouth Brethren meeting Mr. A. E. Knoch first met Miss Olive E. Hyde. This was about a year and a half before they married, and was close to the time the Brethren group split.

"Around the turn of the century he was teaching Greek to a small class at a local Y.M.C.A." (L.A. Times, Sept 20, 1953) 26 1903

A.E.K. parted with the Brethren about this time. Though Mr. Knoch had done some teaching for this group the same Mr. McClure who had formerly guided him into the Brethren now excommunicated A.E.K. finding the direction of his Scriptural inquiry incompatible.

He and Olive were married April 22, 1903, he being 28 years old, she was 27. One of the first homes they shared was one he built, 2817 East Sixth Street.

Seeing a problem in the traditional Greek grammars, and not willing to continue teaching something he wasn't himself sure about, A.E.K. gave up the class at the Y.M.C.A. and began cataloging the grammatical forms of the Greek as they are found in the Scriptures. 28 1906

February 26 A.E.K. submits On Baptism to Dr. Ethelbert W. Bullinger in England, editor of Things To Come.

April 2 Dr. Bullinger read A.E.K.'s manuscript and proposed to publish it in his magazine.

Through correspondence with E. W. Bullinger A.E.K. first heard of Vladimir Michael Gelesnoff. Mr Gelesnoff of Minneapolis saw in Things To Come an announcement about the coming series of articles on baptism written by an American, and wrote Dr. Bullinger seeking to get in touch with the American author.

November 5 Ernest Oliver Knoch is born in his father's house. 31 1907

In January the first part of On Baptism appeared.

32 1908

There were others coming into the same truth A.E.K. was discovering and both A.E.K. and Vladimir Gelesnof contributed to a small magazine begun in February called Grace and Glory, edited by Alan Burns, and which ran for eight issues.

33 1909

The last number appeared in March, 1909. It was felt that the magazine wasn't quite fitting the pattern necessary for the ministry envisioned.

In a letter dated August 12, Dr. Bullinger speaks of the card index A.E.K. was making for the Greek grammatical forms and of a specimen page of Ephesians that A.E.K. had sent. Dr. Bullinger requested all the translation materials A.E.K. was compiling so that they could be used in the making of the Companion Bible. A.E.K. begged Dr. Bullinger to make a translation himself but he declined considering it too great a task at his age.

A.E.K. and V.G. got together to create a magazine specially designed to fill the need in the ministry of correctly cutting the Word of Truth, and the first number of Unsearchable Riches appeared in October, 1909, from Minneapolis.

In the first editorial Brother Gelesnoff announced that Unsearchable Riches was being sent forth "in the interest of a rightly apportioned Word," and "is the result of several years' protracted thought and consideration." (U. R., Vol. I, page 1) There was an agreement made as to the focal area for each editor. Mr. Knoch was to concentrate on the Greek and Mr. Gelesnoff on the Hebrew, though this was not to be mutually exclusive. 34 1910

The groundwork was being laid for both portions of the Bible. The concordant method of translation to be used is affirmed to be the basis for recovery of truth, and this is outlined in the April, 1910 issue of the magazine: "A Plan to Recover the True Intent and Meaning of the Words Employed by the Holy Spirit."

A. E. Knoch and Leslie Cushman joined in purchasing 100 acres in San Jacinto Valley and the Knochs soon moved into their new stout brick home. This A.E.K. constructed to be their permanent residence. 35 1911

The Gelesnoffs seeking a more healthful climate move to California in April, and thus the Editorial office for the magazine is then located in San Diego.

36 1912

Because country living was adverse to his wife's health A.E.K. purchased a lot next to their old house in L.A. and then built with the help of Mr. Ditch, a relative and contractor, 2823 East Sixth Street. In August this is given as the address for the Editorial office for Unsearchable Riches. Mr. Gelesnoff had suffered a serious illness in the months just prior to this time, and subsequently A.E.K. began taking on more editorial responsibilities.

37 1913

The work on the Version was progressing and from time to time a tentative translation would appear in an article to help reveal the hidden truth. A Prospectus printed at this time advertised the "Concordant Version" which was to comprise all the Holy Scriptures (Hebrew and Greek). Romans was to be published first followed by the Prison Epistles. The Prospectus itself contains the first fifteen verses of Romans in provisional form.

The card index - which was the first concordance made to illustrate all the occurring forms of the Greek words in the New testament - was complete by this time and was being used in translating. 38 1914

The first book to be published from the office of Unsearchable Riches was The Mystery of the Gospel, by A. E. Knoch. This was first announced in the April issue, vol. 5, no. 4. Also available at this time were: by A.E.K. - On Baptism, The Divine Calendar, The Divine Mysteries, The Son of Man, and All in All; by V.G. - The Pathway of Faith, The Kingdom in the Old Testament, and The Problem of Evil; and by Alan Burns - The Ages.

In this year A.E.K. was holding Sunday meetings in Grant Hall, Mozart Theatre Building in Los Angeles.

By December Romans & Ephesians to 2 Thess. had appeared: the first experimental parts to be published as the Concordant Version. 39 1915

The two installments called A Tentative Test, Romans, which was first announced in August 1914, and Ephesians thru Second Thessalonians, which appeared four months later, were both  withdrawn in August 1915 because they failed to reach the quality that was desirable. Also in August the designation of the translation was changed from Concordant Version to Standard Version. A.E.K. adapted this title from A Standard Dictionary of the English Language (orig. pub. 1893, rev. 1913) which he had received as a gift. He was impressed with its method of appealing to the evidence in substantiating definitions by citing the usages of standard authors. The title Standard version was to reflect the usage of English standards in translating the Greek. At this time it was decided to return to the original plan of making "a version in readable English." The Tentative Test portions were somewhat more literal than what was to be later published. 40 1916

In the summer of 1916 A.E.K. began devising the method he would use in the making of the Greek-English interlinear portion of the New Testament. He wished to give the English reader access to the Originals and even made type imitating the appearance of the Greek in the ancient manuscripts. He had printed sheets prepared for the preliminary work on the Greek text that would also indicate all the variations of the ancient manuscripts, Codices Sinaiticus, Vaticanus and Alexandrinus. This work was done using photographic facsimiles (obtained in Europe) comparing them to Weymouth's Resultant Greek Text. Also on these sheets there was constructed a consistent super-literal English interlinear. This was done by transferring systematically underneath the Greek the evidence from the original analytical concordance A.E.K. had made in card-index form. From this preliminary work A.E.K. was able to begin translating anew and reach the level of accuracy and consistency desired. The Greek text was pasted lines cut out from Weymouth's printed text, and besides small particles of speech, the rest was handwritten. The work was several years in the making but it does represent the first complete New Testament, Concordant Version. 

October 31 witnessed the passing of the wife of V.G., Mrs. Ernestine Gelesnoff. She had attended to the subscription list and correspondence of the first years of U.R. 41 1917

After his brother, Ulrich, sold Commercial Printing House Adolph Knoch continued working there until the employees were required to purchase war bonds. He and Herman Vogel refused to contribute to the war-effort and were therefore fired. Mr. Vogel purchased Pacific Novelty Company which printed picture postcards, and expanded the operation into general letterpress. Unsearchable Riches was then printed there and, later on, the Version. Working a few months with Mr. Vogel was A.E.K.'s last employment before he devoted his full time to the Concordant work. 

In June it was announced that Revelation would be the first part to be issued saying "there is a growing interest in this book in the present world crisis."

Intensive work was being done preparing for the scheduled publication of the first part of The Sacred Scriptures. "Though the first part is only a small portion of the whole it has involved an unbelievable amount of preliminary labor, which will gradually grow less as the parts are published. Every word in the interlinear of The Unveiling had to be fixed in its occurrences in all the other books as well, for all must be consistent." (U. R., Vol. X, page 5)

42 1918

In establishing his Greek text A.E.K. wished to give the full evidence of the three oldest manuscripts that contain the New Testament almost complete. Printed editions were being relied upon for this evidence until it was discovered that there were errors in these printed editions. Photographic facsimiles of the original manuscripts were needed to complete the work. Copies of the two older manuscripts, Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, were unobtainable in America. Alexander Thompson of Edinburgh, Scotland, was asked to see if he could find them in Great Britain. Being expert in Greek and having expressed intense interest in the making of the version he was also asked to collate these two manuscripts with a copy of Weymouth's Greek text. He noted the various editors of the manuscripts and their every variation. His work of collating spanned the years 1918-1924. He also offered many valuable suggestions for improvement in the English translation though this was not required of him. He did this latter voluntarily when he found time apart from the tedious job of comparing the Greek texts. 43 1919

A.E.K. often referred to himself as "the compiler," and was generally responsible for the work. However, there were several other helpers who did substantial work in the long and involved process of compiling the version. George L. Rogers, Edward H. Clayton and Earl Taber can be mentioned among those who helped in the compilation of the Concordant Version. George L. Rogers, from Almont, Mich., had had formal training in the Greek language and was listed on the letterheads as the Greek verb expert. Edward H. Clayton, of Sheffield, England, taught himself Greek and Hebrew, and offered many valuable suggestions for the translation. Earl Taber spent many hours collating the Greek text and conferred regularly with the compiler.

In February it was announced (U.R., Vol. X, number 3) that Standard Version was no longer to be the title of the version. Thomas Nelson and Sons publishers persuaded A.E.K. to not use this title in view of their own American Standard Edition of the Revised Version.

In April Vladimir Gelesnoff published his second book Paul's Epistle to the Galatians, reprinted from articles appearing in Unsearchable Riches. (His first book, The Words and Work of God and Man, came out in December, 1914.)

Three editions of The Unveiling of Jesus Christ appeared in August: "Greek with sublinear, Version and notes," "Version with notes," and "Version only." Thus appeared the first section of The Concordant Version of the Sacred Scriptures. 44 1920

The plan to publish a "special" edition of the Unveiling, without notes, was forecast in February (U.R., Vol. XIX, page 100). This edition was prepared for the use of the International Bible Students Association (U.R., Vol. XIX, page 8). The Watch Tower, June 15, 1920, carried a short article describing THE CONCORDANT NEW TESTAMENT. The first 500 copies of this special edition were received by July 9, at the headquarters of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society in Brooklyn, New York. It is stated (U.R., Vol. XVIII, page 327) that the W. T. B. & T. S.  had ordered ten thousand copies of each part of the Concordant Version by the time the second part was ready for publication. 45 1921

In February Ephesians to Philemon, the 2nd installment, was published and it was about this time that J. F. Rutherford had the order for the Concordant Version parts cancelled. He stated in a letter dated Nov. 25th, 1927, that his reason for cancelling was his discovery of certain unacceptable doctrines regarding "universal reconciliation" advocated by the Concordant Publishing Concern.

Vladimir Michael Gelesnoff was laid to rest October third, after prolonged illness. He began his teaching ministry in New York. "After the repeated urgings and solicitations of many friends in various parts of the country he was prevailed on to undertake the publication of a magazine." (U.R., Vol. XIII, page 68) In a letter he asked A.E.K. to suggest a name for the new publication. "We suggested 'From glory to Glory,' but were glad to withdraw it for 'Unsearchable Riches.'" A.E.K. stated in his biography of Mr. Gelesnoff that while staying in San Diego "he found the true God Who is responsible for all that exists in His universe, and Who does not seek to shift the blame to the shoulders of any of His creatures." "Mr. Gelesnoff's findings were published in a popular tract, The Problem of Evil." This new understanding found its way into Unsearchable Riches with the effect of creating a lessening in the total number of subscribers. But eventually it could be said: "The great truth of the ultimate salvation and vivification of all mankind, and the reconciliation of the universe, for which he had dared all, was gradually established on such a firm scriptural basis that it could not be shaken."

Romans to Galatians of the Concordant Version was published in December. 46

Reprinted, with some minor editiing, from Concordant Antiquities, parts one through six,
originally distributed with the Concordant Newsletter in 1975-1976.

This publication may be reproduced for personal use

(all other rights reserved by copyright holder).