BW Marks of Identification

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The marks of identification of Brethren literature may be of interest. From now on with the list of writers appended hereto it will be much easier for others than it has been for me. There are, of course, the particular styles of binding used by the various publishers. The publisher would also be the best indication of probability, although the Open Brethren publishers include books by non-Brethren writers.

Certain terminology typically used by Brethren in their spoken and written ministry frequently helps to identify a book. The word "ministry" itself is one of those terms. For indigenous missionary endeavor the term "pioneer work" is frequently found. Thus, one would be justified in suspecting a book like J.J. Rouse's Pioneer Work in Canada, or Russel Besley's book, simply titled Ministry, as being Brethren. "Lecture" is a word found in many titles, as well as "reading." Many of William Kelly's titles begin with "Lectures on..." or "Readings at...". "Notes" is frequently found as an initial title word. C.H. Mackintosh's famous Notes on the Pentateuch is one of the most widely distributed of the Brethren writings. A recent advertisement indicated that it had gone into twenty-five printings. It has been translated into Spanish. "Papers" is another term encountered. A number of Ironside's pamphlet publications have been collected together into two volumes of Miscellaneous Papers.

Within the books themselves certain expressions are frequently used, and may even appear in titles, such as "gathered to, or in, or unto, the name of the Lord Jesus Christ" (Ironside, Sketches, p. 7); "principles of gathering" (ibid., p. 9); "the breaking of bread" (the cup and the wine being seldom mentioned, although they are used). The local group of believers is referred to as "the assembly," "the Lord's people," or simply "believers," and the meeting place is either a "hall" or a "chapel." The word "church" is used with reference to the doctrine, as in such titles as Arthur G. Clarke's New Testament Principles and William Hoste's The True Church, What Is It? but the building in which Brethren meet is not called a church. Their leaders are never designated "Reverend." Candidates for the mission field are "commended" by their local assembly, which is a sort of approval without which one could not expect to receive support.

Go to Periodical Characteristics next please.