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Acrobat 1

Clarification of Terms 1

Copy 2

Course in Miracles Society 2

E-Text 2

Facsimile 2


Foundation for Inner Peace 2

Foxit 3

Gifts of God 3


Manual 3

Manuscript 3

Notes 3

Nun’s Version 3


Psychotherapy 3

Reader 3

Schucman 3

Skutch 4

Song of Prayer 4

Special Messages 4

Text 4

Thetford 4

Thetford Transcript 4

Urtext 4

Use of Terms 4

Volume 4

Wapnick 5

Whitmore 5

Workbook 5






This refers to Adobe Acrobat Reader or Adobe Acrobat Professional.  The former is available as a free download, the latter is rather pricey.  These programs are used to read files in PDF format. The documentation and tutorials assume the use of Acrobat Reader version 8.  One of these is pretty much required for the use of the primary source documents which are all in PDF format.

Clarification of Terms

This is the fourth volume of ACIM in the abridged FIP editions.  Originally it was called “Use of Terms”


Everyone knows what a “copy” is and the problem with that word is that all the versions and editions we’re dealing with are “copies” of something which precedes them.  The original Shorthand Notes are Helen Schucman’s handwritten “copy” of what she heard from “The Voice.”  What we have is an nth generation photo“copy” of that. All the various typed and printed editions we deal with here are “copies” of those Notes made at one time or another which have various degrees of accuracy and completeness.  The word is therefore not very useful to specify any particular sort of document since it loosely applies to all of them.

Course in Miracles Society (CIMS)

Founded early in 2000 with a shared idea of getting the Hugh Lynn Cayce version into print, it was incorporated as a “charitable corporation.”  The original Board consisted of Gene Ward Smith, Doug Thompson, Peggy Howland, Tom Fox, Carmen Cameron, Reja-Joy Steadman.  Tom Whitmore, while involved in the founding, chose not to become a member of the Board initially due to his role as the corporation’s attorney.  CIMS published the Hugh Lynn Cayce version in 2000 as “Jesus’ Course in Miracles or “JCIM.”  Over time Whitmore became a member of the Board, and all but Smith and Howland resigned.  Others have joined and left the Board over the years but recently Gene Ward Smith, the President of the Board, commented that “A Course in Miracles Society is Tom Whitmore.”  While Whitmore published his “Original Edition” under the imprint of the Course in Miracles Society, that organization is no longer what it once was.  The two remaining original members of the Board, its President Gene Ward Smith and its Secretary, Peggy Howland told me they were not involved in the publication of the “Original Edition.”  It would seem then that the “Original Edition” is associated with the membership and Board of A Course in Miracles Society in name only and the organization has become a synonym for Tom Whitmore.


The term “e-text” as used here originates with Project Gutenberg which undertakes to take public domain printed books and convert them into machine searchable computer text files which are then distributed on the net.  The result of this conversion is called an “e-text.”  Its primary attribute is that it can be searched for character strings.  In the Scholar’s Toolbox it distinguishes the searchable copies of a manuscript from the photographic facsimile copies which are not searchable.


By and large this refers to a photographic copy of a paper document; in short, a photocopy.  It can be a printed object on paper or a digital computer picture file.  Because it is a photograph and is not encoded as ASCII text, it is not machine searchable for words and character strings.  Its value is that elements of an original document, such as handwritten markup and cross outs are visible.  Also, being a “photocopy” it is not subject to inadvertent human copying mistakes or any typos not present in the original document itself.  However, as the number of generations from the original increases, the legibility declines.


See below.

Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP)

Judith Skutch’s non-profit foundation which has been publishing abridged versions of ACIM since 1976.


An alternative to the Acrobat PDF viewer.  It is free and has a number of advantages as compared to Acrobat Reader.  Unfortunately, as tested here, the free version does not permit tiling of multiple PDF files and doesn’t seem able to handle the largest files in the Scholar’s Toolbox.

Gifts of God

The seventh volume of ACIM.


This refers to the Hugh Lynn Cayce version of A Course in Miracles which is an abridgement of the original dictation prepared by the Scribes in 1972.


The third volume of ACIM.  The full name is “Manual for Teachers.”


As used in the documentation here, a manuscript is a handwritten or typed paper document representing either the original writing or an edited copy prepared by the Scribes.


This is a short form of the “Shorthand Notebooks” which is the first written form of ACIM.  See “Shorthand Notes”

Nun’s Version

Following the last major editing of ACIM which involved either of the Scribes in 1973-74, a Nun retyped the editing draft, which is where this term comes from.  It was this “version” which was first published in 1975 in the Criswell Edition as photo-reduced photocopies.  It was this version with some corrections which was first typeset for the first large-scale printing by FIP in 1976.


Portable Document Format developed by Adobe Inc.


The fifth volume of ACIM.


This generally mean Adobe Acrobat Reader or any software used to read and display PDF format files.


Helen Schucman, one of the two scribes of ACIM.

Shorthand Notes

Often called just “The Notes” this refers to the first written form of ACIM, Schucman’s shorthand steno pads or “notebooks” in which she took down the dictation from the “Voice” in handwriting which includes a good deal of shorthand.


Currently Judith Skutch Whitson, an early promoter and publisher of ACIM.

Song of Prayer

The sixth volume of ACIM

Special Messages

In the manuscript files some pages are marked “Special Messages” and generally these involve personal remarks and are not part of the ACIM canon.  In a few cases, some of these pages were included as part of the HLC version and do not appear to be “personal” at all.  Possibly these pages were simply mislabeled.


The first volume of ACIM.  The word can also refer to almost anything rendered in any kind of writing.  ACIM’s two Scribes were both teachers, university professors who taught “courses” which would have “text-books” as well as “workbooks” and even “manuals for teachers” at times.  The academic metaphors in the descriptions of ACIM volumes are obvious.


William Thetford, one of the two Scribes of the Course

Thetford Transcript

According to many sources, including William Thetford, during the period when Schucman was taking the Course down by hand, she’d read her Notes aloud to him and he’d type up what she dictated and then read it back to her to confirm accuracy.  The resulting typed document is what is called the Thetford Transcript.  In the early typed manuscripts which have become available, it is uncertain if any of those are photocopies of that first transcript of the Notes or copies of later edited retypings.


From the German, meaning “pre-text” or “original text.”  One collection of early typed manuscripts at the USCO is labeled “Urtext of a Course in Miracles and Related Material” and it is this manuscript collection which is collectively known as the “ACIM Urtext.”  It has also been equated with the Thetford Transcript but there is significant uncertainty as to how much if any of the Urtext material really is that original Thetford Transcript and how much is a later, edited retyping.

Use of Terms

The fourth volume of ACIM which was renamed “Clarification of Terms”


Generically a collection of bound pages, it is used to refer to the “canonical volumes” of ACIM, which range from 3 to seven, depending on which edition one checks, and also used to refer to the “22 Volumes of Unpublished Writings of Helen Schucman.


Kenneth Wapnick met the Scribes, Schucman and Thetford in 1973 and assisted Schucman in editing ACIM.  Due to his personal association with the Scribes and on-going self-promotion as “The Official Teacher” of ACIM, Wapnick is widely recognized as an authority on the Course’s history.


An Omaha Nebraska lawyer who is the publisher and editor of a unique interpretive edition of ACIM known as “Original Edition  He sometimes identifies himself as “A Course in Miracles Society.”


The second volume of ACIM.  It’s full name is “Workbook for Students.”