Various editions of US & Britain
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WCG Edition Cover (1960's & 70's)

A History and Comparison of
the Various Editions of
 The United States and  Britain in Prophecy 

By: Herbert W. Armstrong (1892-1986)

by Nyal Bartch

PCG Edition Cover

Mr. Armstrong first came into the truth [1] about the location of the modern tribes of Israel in 1927 during an intensive three-year period of Bible study. He wrote his findings down in an 300 page manuscript that he sent to the headquarters of the Church of God, Seventh Day in Stanberry, Missouri. Andrew Dugger, the head of the church at that time, wrote back six months later to inform Mr. Armstrong that he indeed was correct on his findings, but that they really had no use for the information. [2] After Mr. Armstrong started his own church (the Radio Church of God, later renamed the Worldwide Church of God) in 1933 he set out to start publishing his literature. The Plain Truth Magazine got started in February of 1934 and in 1938 a two-part article [3] entitled "The Truth About Israel" was published. In March of 1941 that same article was published as the first edition of the Bible Study Quarterly. [4] Starting with the August 1940 edition of the Plain Truth, a new five-part [5] article entitled "The United States in Prophecy" was published. In September of 1942 the first edition of "The United States in Prophecy" in booklet form went to the presses (because of unavoidable delays the first print run didn't get finished until November). The initial planned run was 5,000 copies, but the requests were so high, it had to be upped to 15,000. [6] In March of 1944, not even a year and a half later another 25,000 copies of the booklet needed to be printed. [7] As you can see, it was extremely popular right off the bat! In 1945, the forth edition of the booklet was published.

In June of 1967 the booklet was greatly expanded upon [8] (went from 7 to 14 chapters with a great deal of added material) and renamed to "The United States and British Commonwealth In Prophecy". The next update to the book was in 1972 when Mr. Armstrong set out to correct some errors [9] on dates and times he had written into the 1967 edition. During the brief "liberalization era" of the Church in the mid 70's, the book was reduced to a small, ineffective booklet by those who'd taken charge at headquarters. When Mr. Armstrong took back control of the Church in 1978, he immediately reinstated the full-length edition of the book [10] and then later that year he sent the book to be published as a hardback for distribution to stores nation-wide. [11] It was also right around this time that the book went through it's final rename to "The United States and Britain in Prophecy" (circa 1976-1978). Also starting in 1978 the book was published serially [12] in the Plain Truth Magazine. In 1980 we have the eighth and final edition [13] [14] of the book at a length of 184 pages. From the 1940's to 1986 when Mr. Armstrong died there were over five million requests for this book. This alone should give you some insight as to how important it is. In 1987 the Tkach administration of WCG reduced the book down to a 53-page booklet and then finally took it out of production permanently in 1991. In 1994 the Philadelphia Church of God (which was formed in 1989 as an offshoot from WCG) started reproducing and sending out the 1945 edition of the booklet (since it was never copyrighted by WCG) with a few minor updates and changes. You can, as a matter of fact, still order it from them.

The two major editions of the booklet (1945 & 1980) are widely available on the Internet. Although the 1980 edition is still technically under copyright [15] you can find it on a number of websites. The fair use clause of the US Copyright law (Title 17, Section 107) states that for the purpose of comment, teaching, scholarship or research such material may be used. I feel that the publishing Mr. Armstrong's works on the Internet fits within this law perfectly. The easiest way to tell the two versions apart (as nearly all the websites entitle them the same) is to look at the table of contents and see how many chapters there are. The 1980 edition has 14 while the 1945 edition has only 7. Below I have listed all the sites I know of carrying either edition. Also below I have the three versions hosted right here in plain ASCII text for easy viewing and downloading. You have the option of viewing each separately or all three side-by-side.

All three versions hosted here in ASCII text format:
| 1945 Edition | 1980 Edition | 1994 PCG Reproduction |
| compare all three: side-by-side |


Sites containing the 1980 edition: (This is the version pulled directly from the HWA Compendium CD, a CD that many of the HWA texts you'll find on the web are based from.) (PDF format) and Britain in Prophecy.pdf (Listen to it as a book on tape.)

Sites containing the 1945 (or PCG's reproduction) edition: (This zip archive contains MS Word, RTF and text versions of the booklet.)

Sites containing the Truth About Israel Bible Study Quarterly:
WCG Edition Cover (1980)

You may also want to check out the following booklets produced by post WCG churches:

UCG - The United States and Britian in Bible Prophecy     GCG - America and Britian in Prophecy     LCG - What's Ahead for America and Britain?     GTAEA - Europe and America in Prophecy

I would also really suggest taking a look at this book that precedes Mr. Armstrong's by a number of years:

J.H. Allen - Judah's Sceptre and Joseph's Birthright

Back to British-Israelism

Sources of information:
 *  The forward written by Gerald Flurry to "The United States and Britain in Prophecy" published by the Philadelphia Church of God in 1994
 *  Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong, Volumes 1 & 2
 *  Combined Article Index of The Plain Truth Magazine, The Good News Magazine and Tomorrow’s World Magazine - Compiled by Donald H. Tiger

 [1]  Right off to dispel any misunderstanding, it is very likely that Mr. Armstrong came to the understanding of the truth of British-Israelism in part by reading J.H. Allen's and G.G. Rupert's material. This was in addition to his many hours of intensive reading and studying of the Bible. It is well known that Mr. Armstrong spent a good amount of time in the Portland Public Library during these 3 years of study, and there he would of had access many BI authors work. Some say that he plagiarized J.H. Allen when writing his booklet, I do not believe this to be true. I have found no evidence that Mr. Armstrong intentionally plagiarized anyone while writing his books.
 [2]  Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong Volume 1; Ch.20, Pp.361-363 (hard cover edition)
 [3]  Plain Truth: May 1938 & Jul 1938 Issues
 [4]  Feb 14, 1941 Co-Worker Letter
 [5]  Plain Truth: Aug 1940, Nov 1940, May 1941, Sep 1941 & Mar 1942 Issues
 [6]  Nov 6, 1942 Co-Worker Letter
 [7]  Mar 9, 1944 Co-Worker Letter
 [8]  Jun 21, 1967 Co-Worker Letter
 [9]  February 1972 Tomorrow's World Personal
 [10]  July, 25 1978 Co-Worker Letter
 [11]  Sep 25, 1978 Co-Worker Letter
 [12]  Plain Truth: Oct 1978, Dec 1978, Jan 1979, Feb 1979, Mar 1979, Apr 1979, May 1979, Jun 1979 & Aug 1979 Issues (Note: I do not yet have these issues of the Plain Truth available for download, I will post them as soon as they are available.)
 [13]  Print History - copyright page of the 1985 printing of the book
 [14]  Some printings have an additional 1954 copyright date... I have not been able to find out any information about this date, so I'm not sure if it's a misprint of 1945 or what, if you have any information, please e-mail me.
 [15]  See my WCG vs. PCG page for information on the court battle the Philadelphia Church of God is in over copyright issues regarding Mr. Armstrong's book "Mystery of the Ages" and some of his other works including US&BiP.

In accordance with Sec 107 of Chapter 1 of Title 17 of US Copyright law, this material is distributed without charge or other commercial interest for the purposes of comment, teaching, scholarship and research. The statute explicitly declares that such Fair Use "is not an infringement of copyright".

Site ©Copyright 2000-2002 Nyal Bartch.