Library Help

I’m searching for some information. I’m wondering if anyone can locate the 1953 and (also) the 1966 edition of Henrietta Mears’ What the Bible is All About.

My school’s library does not have the 1953 edition or the 1966 edition.

Here is my question: Does the 1953 edition and does the 1966 edition have the Four Spiritual Laws at the back or as an appendix, or something very, very close to the Four Spiritual Laws?

As many of you know, Billy Graham preached a gospel similar to the 4SL and also gave away millions of copies of Mears’ book, but it was not until about 1965 that Bill Bright published the Four Spiritual Laws. Since the 4SL is in the later editions of Mears, I’m wondering if Mears had this in 1966 and anything like it in the first edition from 1953.

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  • Kenny Johnson

    There are some used copies of the 1966 edition on the Amazon marketplace assuming the people are selling the edition listed by Amazon:

    If no one here has a copy to answer your questions, a fairly small investment could satisfy your question. 🙂

  • You could always call Hollywood Pres. I’m willing to bet that they have those enshrined in the library.

  • Leslie Jebaraj

    I have a copy published by BGEA in 1966, and it does not have the 4SL or Steps to Peace With God at the back or as an appendix or something close to that.

  • Aly H

    Scot, the managing editor at Regal Books/Gospel Light is Mark Weising, and I’m sure he’d be happy to help you track down the editions you’re looking for. Email me if you need his contact info.

  • Allen Browne

    Scot, I have a copy of Henrietta Mears that is:
    “Copyright 1953, 1954, 1960, 1966 by G/L Publications”
    It does NOT have the 4 Spiritual Laws (or anything like it) at the end.
    After Chapter 52 comes:
    – Teaching Suggestions (page 663)
    – Visual Teaching Aids (page 671)
    – Time Line–Genesis to Nehemiah (page 675).
    675 is the last page.

  • Deborah

    I have the 1966 edition and cannot find the 4 sp. laws. The only appendix-like features are some comments on how to teach, the use of visual aids, and a time line.

  • Susan Waldkirch

    Dr. McKnight,
    I checked the WorldCat, and it appears that there are only 3 libraries in the world that have the 1953 edition of this book, at least 3 libraries that are in the WorldCat database. They are:


    So if you corresponded with someone in those libraries, they could look it up for you.

  • scotmcknight

    Wow, Susan, thanks for this.

  • MikeK

    Susan beat me to the punch, but I was thinking that those locations are worthy of a road trip…

  • Susan Waldkirch

    Dr. McKnight, don’t thank me too much yet, because I checked the ISBN number that they published on the catalog record and it may be the 1981 edition—but the catalog record itself says 1953, so I guess you’ll have to check with them directly. If you’ve never used WorldCat, it’s a pretty nifty database and searches will show most of the academic and public libraries in the U.S. You should be able to access it through the academic library where you teach.

  • Alex R.

    Dr. McKnight, I am a student at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK. We have it here at the ORU library.

  • tom pratt

    Bright and CC were fully involved in right wing politics from the very beginning.

    I particularly remember an article Bright wrote in a magazine in his early days in the 40’s called the American Century, or something like that. He pitched his donors on the dangers of socialism.

    I did research as a theological grad student on Bright but I don’t have my notes. I’m writing from memory.

    He increased the intensity of the pitch during the McCarthy era. Like Graham, that’s how he made his name. There is no Bill Bright or Billy Graham without the cold war or without McCarthy.

    If you and lots of your educated followers don’t feel comfortable in current American evangelicalism, Bright did more than most to create that critically depleted cultural version of faith. I guess some would call his innovation ‘incarnation.’ :^)

    I was never a CC guy, but the way he broke it down helped influence lots of fundamentalist religious entrepreneurs throughout the 60’s and 70’s. Big influence, no doubt.

    Here’s the interesting part from the point of view of current American fundamentalism (evangelicalism).
    As far as I can tell, Bright lived a very simple lifestyle in keeping with what he thought was modest and appropriate for a Christian.

    Not exactly a recipe for stoking a modern economy, which seems to be one of the primary concerns of current American evangelicalism (fundamentalism).

    Go figure.

    But since you’ve raised the importance of feeling culturally at home in a recent post, he did come from a small town in Oklahoma. Billy Graham came from a small town in North Carolina.

    I’m speaking from outside at this point, but I’ve been fascinated over the years that the evangelical/fundamentalist community in America is still sort of fighting the civil war.

    Except this time the south wins decisively.

  • MatthewS
  • Damon Delillo

    I know that this is a rather old string of posts and you may have found your answer already. I couldn’t find a copy of the 1953 edition in our archives at Gospel Light. (the ’66 Billy Graham Evangelistic Association edition doesn’t reference the 4 Spiritual Laws). However–if you are looking for the influence that Henrietta Mears may have had on Bill Bright and the 4 Spiritual Laws I think that there is ample support for this in our archives. Mears was a prolific speaker and writer. We have nearly everything she wrote including extensive message outlines. There are several on evangelism that pre-date the 4 spiritual laws. I’d say a few days research would corroborate Mears influence on the 4 spiritual laws.

    I just set up a blog where we are releasing a significant amount of unpublished work by Mears at

    I recently posted an interview of Henrietta Mears that first ran in 1957 in Christian Life Magazine called “It’s the Life that Wins”. The entire article is about Mears’ perspective on evangelism. You can find that here: