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TABLE OF CONTENTS....* Please note page numbers refer to actual book used here as a guide only.
What Leading Christians Have Said About This Book Dr. Robert L. Summer……... iv
Dr. J. G, Tharpe................................................................................................. ......iv
1. Introduction....................................................................................................... .1
2. The Doctrine of Ruckmanism.............................................................................3
The Man Ruckman.
The Tenets of Ruckmanism..........................................................................................4
The King James Version is Given by Inspiration............................................................5
The King James Version is the Preserved Word of God................................................6
The King James Version is Infallible and Inerrant...........................................................7
The King James Version is Superior to Any Greek and Hebrew Text.............................9
The King James Version Contains Advanced Revelation or Advanced Light..................10
The Incidentals of the King James Version are God-given..............................................12
Ruckman - Where is Your Bible?..................................................................................14
Ruckmanism Appeals to Anti-Intellectualism..................................................................15
The Definition of Ruckmanism.......................................................................................16
3. The Demonic Origin of Ruckmanism....................................................................18
Ruckman's Out-of-Body Experience..............................................................................19
Ruckman's Admission of Being "Full of Demons"............................................................19
Ruckman's Admission that the Demons "Are" in Him.......................................................19
The Possibility that Ruckman is Unconverted...................................................................20
Merrill Unger's Statements on the Demonic Origin of False Doctrine................................20
An Exegesis of Timothy 4: 1............................................................................................21
4. The Deception of Ruckmanism...............................................................................26
Ruckman's First Deception..............................................................................................27
Ruckman's Second Deception.........................................................................................34
Ruckman's Third Deception.............................................................................................35
5. The Defeat of Ruckmanism.....................................................................................38
Ruckmanism Wrong on Salvation.....................................................................................38
Ruckmanism Wrong on Bible Prophecy............................................................................41
Ruckmanism Wrong on Other Points................................................................................42
Ruckmanism's Similarities to the Catholicism of the Inquisition...........................................44
Ruckmanism's Similarities to Other Errors.........................................................................45
What Is the Answer?........................................................................................................47
Not too Late to Save Souls..............................................................................................47
Preaching Against Sin.......................................................................................................48
The Power of the Holy Spirit............................................................................................49
1. Demons and Christians –
Quotations From Peter S. Ruckman's Tape on the Subject of Demonology.......................51
2. Preservation (by Rev. Gary Hudson, M.A.)..................................................................53
3. Ruckman's List of Nineteen Advanced Revelations.......................................................55
4. Why I Did Not Give These Ruckmanites One Thousand Dollars...................................56
5. Our Baptist Heritage....................................................................................................65
The "KJV only" controversy is probably the most important issue-facing fundamentalism at this hour. The issues are complex, but perhaps the simplest way to define the problem is as follows. There are three main groups in fundamentalism: (1) those who hold that the modern translations based on the texts of Westcott and Hort, are more reliable than the Textus Receptus and Masoretic Text, upon which the King James is based; (2) those who hold that the Textus Receptus and Masoretic Text, and therefore the King James translation, are the most reliable; (3) those who hold that the King James Version was given by inspiration of God. The third of these possibilities has come to be known as "Ruckmanism," because its chief proponent is Dr. Peter S. Ruckman, a well-known Bible teacher who holds and vigorously defends this view.
My personal position is that described in number (2). I believe that the King James Version is the most reliable translation in the English language today, because it is based on the superior Masoretic Text and Textus Receptus. Its translators were far better versed in the original languages, and the English language into which they were translating, than those committees which have produced modern translations such as the New American Standard Version, the New international Version, the Revised Standard Version the New King James Bible, the New Scofield Bible, the Living Bible, Good News for Modern Man, or any of the other translations or paraphrases based on the mutilated Westcott and Hort text.
I became convinced of the superiority of the Textus Receptus during a tour of the Sinai Peninsula in the summer of 1987. My wife and I were part of an expedition, which climbed Mount Sinai. After descending, we toured St. Catherine's Monastery, which is located at the foot of the mountain. I was struck by the queer and even satanic characteristics of this monastery. The skulls of monks from across the centuries are heaped in a large room. This heap of skulls is seven or eight feet high. The skeleton of one of the monks is chained to a door adjacent to this mound of skulls, left there as an ageless guard. Within the sanctuary at the monastery itself, ostrich eggs hang from the ceiling, lamps dimly illuminate the gloomy atmosphere, and strange drawings and unscriptural paintings decorate the entire edifice.
We were guided through this eerie church to the place where the Sinaiticus scroll had been kept by these monks across the centuries, until it was discovered by Tischendorf, taken to Germany, and ultimately sold to Great Britain. As I stood in front of the case where the Sinaiticus scroll had been kept prior to its being stolen by Tischendorf, I had the distinct impression that nothing in the way of spiritual light could come from this place. This impression led me to re-examine the facts concerning the Westcott
and Hort text, and to come to the conclusion that their use of the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus scrolls as a basis for their new Greek text was spurious. I have come to the conclusion that the Westcott and Hort text is a mutilation, and that the Masoretic Text and Textus Receptus, which are the basis of the King James Bible, are far superior. Therefore, I strongly defend the King James Bible as the most reliable translation of the Scriptures in the English language today.
It must be added, however, that godly Christians of the past have not been in complete agreement with me on this. R. A. Torrey, John R. Rice and others at times favored the Alexandrian text, based upon Sinaiticus and Vaticanus. I think they were wrong in doing so, but who can deny that men like Torrey and Rice were used of God? Thus, I conclude that men may disagree with me on this issue and still be powerful instruments of revival and soul winning. ] Those who follow the teachings of Peter S. Ruckman, on the other hand, vehemently denounce anyone who uses a modern translation, based on Westcott and Hort, even for reference. These extremists hold the third position, that the King James Bible was given by inspiration of God.
Gary Hudson has given a working definition of Ruckmanism:
The belief that the King James Version is absolutely inerrant, containing advanced revelation over the Greek and Hebrew from which it came, with the demand for one exact, inerrant version to preach and teach.1
To this definition, Robert L. Sumner adds:
Ruckman teaches that the KJV English translation is superior to any Greek text (including the Textus Receptus), that it corrects the errors in any Greek text, and that it is 'advanced revelation."2
I am in basic agreement with these defintions from Sumner and Hudson. Therefore, I conclude that any theoery which assigns divine origin to the King James Version, or which in any way includes the idea of inspiration or even preservation in its view of the production of the King James Version, is borrowing ideas from Ruckmanis. Ruckmanism teaches that the King James Version is given by inspiration, and even contains "advanced revelation," and corrects the Greek and the Hebrew upon which the translation was based.3
Ruckmanism takes the honors assigned to the original Greek and Hebrew and places them upon the King James translation. The honors of inspiration, preservation, inerrancy, and revelation are assigned to the King James Version rather than strictly to the Hebrew and Greek. Historic Christianity has never done this. It is a tenet of Ruckmanism.
In this book, I propose to deal at length with the doctrines of Ruckmanism, including the life of Ruckman, the tenets of Tuckmanism, and the reason for Ruckmanism. Furthermore, I intend to show the demonic origin of Ruckmanism in the life experiences of its chief proponent, Peter S. Ruckman. I also intend to deal with the deceptions of Ruckmanism, and where I believe these deceptions will lead. Then, I will expound the dangers of Ruckmanism, including such particular errors as "advanced light," salvation errors, and numerology. In this section I will also show the similarities between Ruckmanism and Inquisition Catholicism, the similarities bewteen Ruckmanism and the cults, and even the similarities between Ruckmanism and Westcott and Hort's ideas. Then, I will deal briefly with the destiny of Ruckmanism, and conclude with how Ruckmanism may be defeated.
1 Gary R. Hudson, Why I Left Ruckmanism (Collingswood, New Jersey: The Bible For Today, 1988 ), p.40.
2 Robert L. Sumner, book review of Why I Left Ruckmanism, in The Biblical Evangelist, February 1, 1989,pp.6-7.
3 Sumner, book review of Why I Left Ruckmanism, p.7.
The Doctrine of Ruckmanism
The Man Ruckman
Peter S. Ruckman, the founder and guiding light of Ruckmanism, was born in Topeka, Kansas in 1921. As a young person, he lived in a "dream world," attending many movies and spending hours alone reading.1 He graduated from Kansas State Agricultural College and the University of Alabama. As a college student he drank, smoked, and read pornography.2
In 1944 he entered the Army, expecting ot be killed in action.3 He met a non-Christian girl and they were married. They had a baby. Shortly thereafter Ruckman went into Officer Candidate School. He became an officer in the United States Army in the fall of 1944. He never saw action.4 When the war ended, Ruckman volunteered to go to Japan from the Philippines, rather than to return to his wife and child in the United States.5 It was in Japan that Ruckman turned from Western philosophy to Zen Buddhism. Having read Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and other Western philosophers, Ruckman came to the conclusion that the answers to life could not be found in these or other philosophers of the West. In his search for the meaning of life, he turned to Zen Buddhism, Theosophy, and Hindu literature.6
Ruckman became so involved in Zen Buddhism in Japan that it consumed much of his time and thought. Concerning this time, he says, "I lived like the devil."7 He talked Buddhism with the Japanese, studied Zen, yoga, and meditated until he attained a state of samadhi (nirvana). His soul flew out of his body and floated around the room.8 This out-of-body experience was interpreted by him as enlightenment. However, after his soul flew out of his body and floated around the room, Ruckman sank deeper into immorality. Thoughts of suicide constantly filled his mind.9 Ruckman himself now states that he had let in demons during the passive state of samadhi (nirvana), when his soul flew out of his body.10
Coming back from Japan, Ruckman wanted to stay in the Army. But since he had gone AWOL in Hawaii, he didn't re-enlist. Instead, he returned to the United States. Here is his own description of himself at this time, "I came back uneasled(sic), uneasy, unsettled, full of demons, intense, emotional, disturbed, philosophical, brooding, frustrated." 11 Describing the method by which he became demonized, Ruckman says:
I'd sit at night crosslegged with the Japanese around the stove. I want to talk music. They'd say, don’t talk music, Lieutenant. Talk Buddha. And I'd talk Buddha. I was ahead of some of them. I studied Zen. I studied the Sutras, studied yoga; sat cross- legged, concentrated on the object until all was blank. One night in the hotel room I had the experience of nirvana, which the Zen call samadhi, the dislocation of the spirit from the body, temporarily. When that happened I thought I'd attained what I was looking for. I had found the enlightenment. I had found the answer. It was an unforgettable experience. And yet, looking at my moral life following that experience, and my desire at times to commit suicide, I realize I had produced a passive state, which was an entrance for spirits. And the spirits that entered are not the spirits described in the Bible in speaking of the Holy Ghost and the Lord Jesus Christ.12
Thus, Ruckman plainly tells us that demons came into him, spirits that were "not the spirits described in the Bible in speaking of the Holy Ghost and the Lord Jesus Christ." He came back from the war "full of demons." During this period, Ruckman got fired from a job he held at a Pensacola, Florida radio station. He was drinking heavily. He got his wife a job in a dance band. He himself was a disc jockey in the daytime and played drums at night. Ruckman got so depressed that he got a gun to kill himself.13
It was at this point, on the verge of suicide, that Ruckman began to hear a series of voices. He himself interprets the voices as being the voice of God, for the most part. He thinks that he learned to distinguish the voice of God from the voice of demons through yoga. Concerning this experience,
I guess if you were as stupid and as superstitious as a psychiatrist, you might say I was hearing voices. But you don't pull that one on me, because in yoga and samadhi and nirvana you get rid of the voices before you contact. And you get to the place where you can discern the subconscious voice from the subliminal level coming through.14
After stealing the Bible, reading it briefly and tossing aside, Ruckman went to see a Catholic priest and began studying to join the Catholic church.
Getting drunk again, Ruckman heard a voice, which he thought, was the voice of God when he got back to his room. The voice said, "If you don't get saved tonight you're going to Hell." Ruckman interprets this as the voice of God, but he did not get saved that night. He is not in Hell. Therefore, the voice lied to him. I think that most Bible-believing Christians will agree that the voice, which spoke to him on this occasion, as well as the other occasions, was demonic. At the end of hearing this series of voices Ruckman says that he felt that he was losing his mind.15
About this time Ruckman got back together with his wife, from whom he had been estranged during the previous months. He says that the marriage trouble he had up to this was eighty percent his fault, but implies that after his "conversion" the problems were her fault.16
This brings us to the "conversion" itself. An evangelist came to the radio station where Ruckman was working to give a talk. The evangelist spoke to Ruckman briefly, and then led him in a prayer. The evangelist did not know of Ruckman's extensive use of alcohol, the occult, or the fact that his spirit had flown out of his body. The evangelist had led Ruckman in the brief prayer, he asked Ruckman if he was saved. Ruckman stated that he was saved, but later he said, "I felt like I was lying when I said it."17
Was Ruckman lying when he said he trusted Jesus? Is it possible that this man remains demonized to this day and has never been truly converted? Ruckman himself said, I realize I had produced a passive state which was the entrance for spirits. And the spirits that entered are not the spirits described in the Bible in speaking of the Holy Ghost and the Lord Jesus Christ.18
Why did Ruckman use the present tense (are) in describing the demons within him? Remember that this man is extremely intelligent and would not use the wrong verb tense without a good reason. Was the Holy Spirit prompting him to tell the truth that the spirits within him "are not" the spirits spoken of as the Holy Ghost or Jesus?
After this questionable "conversion" experience, Ruckman went on to develop at least four different plans of salvation, which he says he finds in the Bible.19 He says that in the Old Testament people were saved by faith plus works; he thinks that people in the church are saved by grace; he says that in the Tribulation people are saved by faith plus works; finally, he says that people are saved in the millennium by works alone. Of course the Scriptures teach that there is but one plan of salvation, that all saved people are saved by grace through faith. One wonders if Ruckman's faulty views on the subject of salvation may rest in the fact that his own "conversion" experience was so faulty that he himself said afterward, "I felt like I was lying" when he claimed salvation on March 14, 1949.
Ruckman went from this questionable conversion to Bob Jones University, where he earned a Ph.D. After several separations a final break was made with his wife in 1959. He remarried in 1972.20 A divorce occurred, ending his second marriage. He married a third time in 1989. Thus, he has three living wives. His writings concerning the King James Version have become increasingly exotic. He has increased his attacks on those who disagree with him to the point that he describes them all as being members of a cult. In his book The Alexandrian Cult, Part One, Ruckman goes so far as to say:
...every "recognized" church historian and Christian "scholar" is a member of a CULT. This cult is the Alexandrian Cult of North Africa, and its tenacles(sic) stretch from Origen (184-254 A.D.) to John R. Rice and the faculty members of every "recognized" Christian school in the world.31
The Tenets of Ruckmanism
The tenets of Ruckmanism can be summarized as follows: (1) The King James Version is given by inspiration. (2) The King James Version is the preserved Word of God. (3) The King James Version is infallible and inerrant. (4) The King James Version is superior to any Greek and Hebrew text, including the Greek and Hebrew texts from which the King James Version was translated.
(5) The King James Version contains advanced revelation or advanced light.
(6) The incidentals of the King James Version are also God-given, including
words in italics, chapter and verse numbers, the order of the books, and
fact that it was translated under a king named James.
(7) Failure to distinguish between the various editions of the King James Version.
(8) An appeal to anti-intellectualism.
The King James Version is Given by Inspiration
The first tenet of Ruckmanism, upon which all the other tenets rest, is the belief that the King James Version was given by inspiration of God. Ruckman is careful to say "inspiration"rather than "in- spired." Rather, he continually states that it is "given by inspiration." He bases this on II Timothy 3: 16.
Here's how Ruckman's logic works, taken from his latest magnum opus, The Christian's Handbook of Biblical Scholarship:
The Authorised Version says, "ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD." Question one: What does the word "scripture" mean? Question two: What does "given by inspiration" mean
Answer (from the Alexandrian Cult): "The word 'scripture' is a reference verbally inspired original autographs and therefore has no application to TRANS- -LATIONS or COPIES OF THE ORIGINALS. The word 'inspiration' means that the words written down on a sheet of paper were 'GOD-BREATHED' THE FIRST TIME THEY WERE WRITTEN DOWN: the verse was mistranslated and should have been 'All scripture WAS God-breathed.' "
There. That is the standard "historical position" of the Alexandrian Cult.
There are three things wrong with it that labels it as a Catholic HERESY.
1. The word "scripture" in the Bible is ALWAYS used of copies or translations
(Mark 12: 10; Acts 8: 32; Acts 17: 11; etc.), and never once is referring to "original autographs." Christ read the scriptures; the Bereans studied the scriptures (Acts 17: 11), the Ethiopian eunuch had them open on his lap (Acts 8: 32), and Christ rebuked people for not reading them (Matt. 21: 42). 2. The word "scripture" was defined in the context (2 Tim. 3: 15) as something that Timothy had known all of his life, and he didn't have ONE "original autograph" of Moses, Isaiah, David, Jeremiah, Malachi, Zephaniah, Samuel, Asaph, Ezekiel, or Daniel to go by.
The heretics TOOK A TEXT OUT OF THE CONTEXT. Why? Obviously because of "feelings of uncertainty" engendered by "textual and translational difficulties..." 3. Paul ascribes FOREKNOWLEDGE AND SPEECH to copies of the scripture (Rom. 9: 17; Gal. 3: 8), since he never had an original of Exodus 9: 16 or Genesis 22: 18 a day in his life.
Someone is lying again. They must be pros, because they never quit... With them it is not only a vocation, a calling, and a profession, but a "life-style." They take to it like a mallard takes to water.
Now, observe, in contrast to all of this, that we believe the Book we quote, and use it to prove what we believe. There is no tortuous circuit around the facts or the truth; we aren't quoting scriptures to prove that some lost pieces of paper were "given by inspiration of God." We are quoting the scriptures to prove that the some lost pieces of paper were "given by inspiration of God." We are quoting the scriptures to prove that the scriptures (as the scriptures use the term) were "given by inspiration of God." "ALL SCRIPTURE." If it is "SCRIPTURE"," God gave it; the method He used was by inspiration: HE BREATHED ON IT.
That is what put LIFE into the Scriptures (see Gen. 2: 7 and Ezek. 37: 1-14)....
Now, this explains why you will not find the expression "inspired word of God" or "the inspired words of God" or the "inspired Bible" anywhere in this textbook. We took the English translation "GIVEN BY INSPIRATION" to be the truth.22
The major thought of this passage from Ruckman is that the words "all Scripture" in II Timothy 3: 16 refer to every copy of the Scriptures ever made rather than to the original autographs. A careful examination of the above quoted passage from Ruckman reveals that this is a wholly arbitrary designation. Ruckman assigns "all Scripture" to every copy rather than the autographs. He does this without solid Biblical proof. Ruckman says that Timothy had "scriptures," and that therefore the "all scripture" refers to these copies as well.
But Ruckman's logic quickly breaks down when one realizes that Ruckman himself does not consider Alexandrian copies of the Bible as Scripture. Any "Bible " with an error in it is not Scripture. But why is a Bible with an error in it not Scripture? Simply because of the error. Therefore, it is perfectly proper to call an accurate copy of the originals "Scripture." This is far more reasonable than the position posited by Rickman. The Scriptures which Timothy and others read are called "scripture," because they were faithful to the original, not because these copies were given by inspiration.
By Ruckman's own omission of Bibles not faithful to the original, he admits that the only copies of the Scripture that are given by inspiration are those, which are accurate. But we must be careful to avoid Ruckmanism be distinguishing between the inspiration of the originals and the accuracy of copies. To claim that copies are given by inspiration is to make a claim not found in the Bible itself.
II Timothy 3: 16 does refer only to the original. The words "all scripture" do not refer to copies, but refer rather to all of the Bible, from Genesis to the end. All of these Scriptures (from Genesis to the end) were given by inspiration. The verse says nothing whatever about copies being given by inspiration. Thus, the first tenet of Ruckmanism rests not upon the Bible itself, but upon the twisted logic of Peter S. Ruckman.
But let Ruckman explain his position himself. He writes:
1. Major Premise: "The King James Bible says 'ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSTPIRATION OF GOD' " (2 Tim. 3: 16).
2. Minor Premise: "The verse I just quoted was SCRIPTURE" (2 Tim. 3: 16).
3. Conclusion: "The King James Bible was 'GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD' "
(2 Tim. 3: 16).23
Before analysing the above logical syllogism, one should carefully examine the conclusion: "The King James Bible was given by inspiration of God." If Ruckman's logic is correct, the King James Bible (rather than the original autographs alone) was God-breathed (given by inspiration).
Now, this conclusion can only be reached if the major and minor premises are correct. Are they? The logical fallacy is this: Ruckman assumes his conclusion in advance, and then builds his major and minor premises from his conclusion, rather than properly drawing the conclusion from the major and minor premises. In other words, Ruckman assumes that the King James Bible is given by inspiration, and then from that assumption "proves" this to be the Word of God. Therefore, we know that the Book of Mormon is the Word of God because the Book of Mormon says so." So much for the illogical logic of Ruckman!
If you think I have been unfair to Ruckman, listen again to his twisted logic, "We are quoting the scriptures to prove that the scriptures (as the scriptures use the term) were 'given by inspiration of God.'" Using this perversion of logic, a person could prove the Koran, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad-Gita, the rantings of Joseph Smith, the writings of Mary Baker Glover Patterson Eddy, or the "Divine Principle" of Sun Myung Moon to be the Word of God! They claim to be given by inspiration; therefore they are given by inspiration, because they say that they are! Ruckman's argument is exactly that: he says that the King James proves the inspiration of the King James. When he says "the scriptures," after all, he does mean the King James.
The fact is that II Timothy 3: 16 refers to the original, which were inspired (God-breathed). The originals alone were thus given by inspiration. That may not be enough for Ruckman, but it seemed to enough for the author called the "Word of God" because they are faithful to the original inspired copies. We do not need to have these original copies to have the Word of God. We have faithful copies. These faithful copies are every bit as much the Word of God as the originals, though they are the product of man's work, not the product of God's Spirit.
The King James Version is the work of man alone. The translators were human beings doing human work. They were not inspired in any theological sense of the word. There was nothing supernatural about what they translated or the act of their translating. They themselves would have been astonished that Ruckman claims "inspiration" for their translation!
No, it isn't that "the faculty members of every recognized Christian school in the world" are members of a cult, but that Ruckman and those who follow his teachings are rapidly separating themselves from mainstream fundamentalism and becoming a cult. And I predict that Ruckman and his cult will become increasingly twisted as time goes on. Notice that Ruckman already has four plans of salvation, as Dr. Curtis Hutson has pointed out.
Ruckman cranks out books by the dozens. He claims to be correcting a "cult" which has entrapped virtually "every recognized" fundamental school in the country. Ruckman wants his followers to stop buying books written by other fundamentalist educators. Ruckman himself wants to make all the money. Ruckman wants to be the only one selling books. His aims are gold and glory. He wants to be the only one upholding the truth and the only one making the money! This may sound harsh, but I think it is true, after reading scores of his books.
The King James Version is the Preserved Word of God
The next tenet of Ruckmanism is the idea that the King James Bible is the preserved Word of God. Unfortunately, some good men have borrowed this tenet of Ruckmanism without realizing its source. But buying one point of Ruckmanism opens the door to all the rest. Therefore, we must be careful not to say that the King James Bible is "the preserved Word of God."
The words "the Holy Bible, preserved in English" are often found in Ruckman's writings.24 Here I give an extended quote showing this tenet of Ruckmanism:
Let us reaffirm our own position lest there be any doubt in the reader's mind about our own profession: We profess to believe that the Authorized Version of the Holy Bible is God's word (and God's words) from cover to cover, preserved without proven error in the language in which God intended for us to have it.25 (Ruckman's emphasis.)
The passage used by Ruckmanites to prove preservation is found in Psalm 12, which I quote in part:
The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever (Psalm 12: 6-7).
It should be noted, however, that this Psalm has nothing whatever to do with preservation of the King James Bible. This can easily be proven by noticing the last few words of verse seven, "thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever." Now, the King James Bible was not written until over 2600 years after verse seven was given. This proves that verse seven can have nothing whatever to do with the King James Bible. Verse seven refers only to the preservation of the words of David, and the other words of God recorded in Hebrew in the Old Testament. This promise of preservation can refer only to the Old Testament Scriptures in Hebrew. God has preserved the Old Testament in Hebrew across the centuries.
But this promise has noting at all to do with the King James Version. How can anyone read into verse seven a translation, which was not made for more than 2600 years after this promise was given? Yet those who have adopted this tenet of Ruckmanism think they can maintain a distance from him and still hold to the preservation of the KJV. This is only wishful thinking. Holding one tenet of Ruckmanism paves the way to accepting all the others.
By assigning one of the divine honors to the KJV, you logically open the door to everything else. For instance, if the KJV is the preserved Word of God, then it must also be inerrant, infallible, given by inspiration, for it cannot be "preserved" unless these other characteristics are also true of it. Why open the door to this error at all? Why open a door, which must inevitably and logically lead to claiming that the KJV contains "advanced revelation"? If all the words are preserved, this must include italics as well as every other part of the translation. Since every word is preserved, the Holy Spirit is involved, and the KJV must then be considered inerrant. If it is inerrant, then it must logically contain advanced revelation in the italics and in every other place which is not supported in the Greek and Hebrew. Thus, claiming preservation for the KJV opens the door to claiming advanced revelation for it.
It is proper, instead, to claim the Masoretic Text and the Textus Receptus as "the preserved Word of God," rather than the KJV translation. This avoids opening the door even a crack for the entrance of Ruckmanism.
We believe that the Greek and Hebrew language Scriptures can be called "the preserved Word of God." When accurately translated into English or any other language, the historical accuracy and truth of the preserved Word of God passes into such translation.
Verbal inspiration (the very words) applies only to the original Scriptures. The Masoretic Text Hebrew and Textus Receptus Greek are the preserves Word of God. The KJV accurately carries over these preserved words into English.
Because of its high degree of accuracy, the KJV can be called "the preserved Word of God" in everyday speech. But we must never apply this term in a technical theological sense to any translation because attributing preservation in an absolute or divine sense to any translation paves the way to Ruckmanism, as we have shown above.
The King James Version is
Infallible and Inerrant
"Infallible" and "inerrant" are interchangeable words with essentially the same meaning. These words refer to the fact that the Bible contains no errors. When an orthodox Christian refers to the infallibility of the Bible, he is speaking of the Greek and Hebrew texts, not a translation. He is saying that the Greek and Hebrew texts are inerrant. This can be proven by several quotes from Ruckman:
When in doubt it is a good idea to throw all "reliable" translations out of the window and go to the infallible living words of the living Hod (by which he means the KJV).26
Again, Ruckman writes:
"The Bible" we use here is quite naturally the infallible, inerrant,
of the living God - the Authorized Version of 1611.27
It should be made clear that Ruckman means that the King James translation is without error. He says so specifically:
...we believe the A.V. is "WITHOUT ERROR," and that errors can be found in the ASV, NIV, NASV, RSV, NRSV, NEB, etc.28
Thus, it is a tenet of Ruckmanism to say that the King James translation is inerrant, that it contains no errors of any sort. If this tenet is proved false, then the whole logical base of Ruckmanism is in danger, and Ruckman knows it. That is why he goes to great lengths to prove that even typographical errors in various versions of the KJV are actually inerrant. His logic is so twisted, that it seems almost impossible that an intelligent man could employ it. But Ruckman does. For instance, Ruth 3: 15 was typeset incorrectly in one printing of the KJV, and corrected later. Ruckman actually defends both type settings as inerrant! But let him state this absurd position himself:
"She went into the city" has been corrected from "He went into the city" (Ruth 3: 15), which constituted no error for both of them went into the city, which is perfectly apparent to anyone who can read two-syllable words. (The silly faculty members at Bob Jones and Lynchburg who emphasize this discrepancy(sic) simply fail to read the context of the passage.)29
The verse (Ruth 3: 15) refers to Ruth going into a city. But Ruckman must defend both type settings, including the incorrect reading, "He." For if either typesetting is incorrect, Ruckman's idea of the inerrancy of the KJV translation is undermined, and the basis of his entire theory rests on a sandy foundation. Ruckman is forced to the asinine position of claiming both type settings ("He" and "She") as inerrant! In case you think I have misrepresented him, I quote this absurd idea from another of his books:
Our problem text today is from Ruth Chapter 3. This is one of the "last resorts" used by the Cult to prove a "contradiction" in the AV. The thinking behind this is that some editions of the AV had "SHE went into the city" while other said "HE went into the city"...Now the fact is, they BOTH "went into the city." Observe Ruth 3: 16 - Ruth's mother-in-law, Naomi, is IN THE CITY. Observe Ruth 4: 1 - Boaz had to go up into the "the gate." EITHER READING WOULD HAVE BEEN THE TRUTH OF GOD WITHOUT CONTRADICTION.30
This quotation shows that Ruckman, in effect, does not believe in verbal inspiration (at least not in any traditional sense). The point isn't whether "he" and "she" are interchangeable or not, the point is which word did God want?
The Bible teaches verbal inspiration, that God gave the very words. In the temptation in the wilderness, Jesus confronted the devil. The record of this event is given in Matthew 4: 4 :
But he answered and said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
Either Jesus was right, or He was wrong. I am convinced that Jesus was correct, that the very words of the Bible were given by God. Ruckman does not believe this. He teaches that the King James Version can give two different words, and that both of them are correct. He does not believe that the correct word was given by God. Ruckman's God speaks with a forked tongue. Ruckman's God cannot be trusted the first time He speaks. Ruckman's God may give a different word at a later time! I am afraid that this is a different God from the one I believe in! My Bible says, "Every word of God is pure" (Proverbs 30: 5).
If you believe that God chose the exact words to put into the Bible that He wanted, then either the "he" or the "she" was in error, and Ruckman is wrong in saying that the KJV is inerrant. True, the KJV is highly accurate, but in no sense can we accept Ruckman's absurd logic on Ruth 3: 15 and other passages and say that this translation is inerrant and infallible.
The King James Version is Superior to Any Greek and Hebrew Text
I was talking to a pastor not long ago who has accepted many of Ruckman's ideas. I told this pastor that Ruckmanism says the KJV is superior to any Greek text. The pastor told me, "You have to be careful in reading Ruckman. Ruckman is not referring to the Textus Receptus (from which the King James was translated). When Ruckman says that the King James is superior to the Greek, he's talking about the Westcott and Hort only." I wondered if this were true, so I made a careful study of Ruckman on this point.
The pastor was wrong. Ruckman plainly says in a number of places that the King James Version is superior to any Greek text. Ruckman even goes so far as to say that if he had the originals he would not teach them. Ruckman says, "If I had the original right here in my pulpit tonight I wouldn't teach them to you."31
In many places Ruckman teaches that the King James is superior to any Greek text, the Textus Receptus or any other Greek text. He is not referring to the Westcott and Hort mutilated text, but even to the reliable text from which the King James itself was translated. Read the following quotation from Ruckman which prove this to be his position:
The AV 1611 reading, here, is superior to any Greek text (emphasis his).32
This is his comment on John 4: 24. Here, the KJV states "God is a spirit." The Textus Receptus, from which the King James was translated, says, "Pneuma ho Theos." Ruckman defends the adding the article "a" so strongly that he says that following the Greek literally "is inaccurate."33 The KJV, thus, corrects the very Greek from which it was translated according to Ruckman!
Again Ruckman states:
The A.V. 1611 text is to be preferred over any Greek test, as it tells the truth of the matter...notice how the English text corrects the errors in the Greek text.34
Further on in this same book he states:
Reader desiring to see additional places where the A.V. 1611 text is superior to the Greek, should investigate Matthew 5: 44; 6: 33; 8: 29; 13: 51; 16: 3; 17: 21; 18: 11; 21: 44; 25: 13; Mark 1: 14; 9: 49; 15: 28; 16: 9-20; Luke 1: 28; 22; 20; 24: 12; 21: 4, and scores and scores of others.
Ruckman is so strong on this point that he claims the order of the books, as they are arranged in the KJV, shows the KJV to be superior ot the Greek and Hebrew:
That isn't the order of the Hebrew text. That isn't the order of the
Masoretic text... That's the order that God gave you in this Book that's
superior to the
original, brother. That isn't in the originals. That's in this Book. That's some "layout" of books you've got in the King James, isn't it? (Emphasis mine).36
Thus, Ruckman has plainly stated that the arrangement of the KJV makes it superior even to the texts it was translated from!
What Ruckman has done is to make the KJV English translation superior to even its own Greek text. The KJV English translation becomes, for Ruckmanites, the only authority for faith and practice. Even the Hebrew and Greek texts from which the King James was translated cannot be used to correct the KJV, which is moved into a place of supremacy over the very Greek text from which it was translated. This makes the next doctrine, advanced revelation, inevitable, since the KJV gives ideas, which are not in the Greek. Logically a person must believe that the King James Version contains advanced revelation, which cannot be found in the Greek and Hebrew texts. This is heresy. The view that the KJV is superior to the Greek and Hebrew opens the door to a heresy similar in its idea of advanced revelation to Mormonism, Christian Science, and Islam.
The King James Version Contains
Advanced Revelation or Advanced Light
The next step in Ruckmanism follows logically the idea that the KJV is superior to the Greek and Hebrew. The next step in this: the KJV contains advanced revelation. Notice how Ruckman comes to this conclusion in defending the translation of "churches" for "temples" in Acts 19: 37. The Greek word "hieron" is poorly translated as "churches" in the KJV. The word should be translated "temples" to be correct. But this obviously weak translation does not change Ruckman's view that the KJV is inerrant.
Defending the poor translation of "churches" for "temples" in Acts 19: 37, Ruckman writes:
Since the "majority of scholars" (i.e. textual critics) were never " serious students" of either Book, they could not possible "grab" the significance of "churches" for "temples," in Acts 19: 37. If it is left as "temples," all future application is nullified, for the pagan temples of Diana disappeared with the pagan idolatry of pagan Rome, but...!! But, if Rome were to exchange Diana for Mary, and Icons for Images, and "CHURCHES" for temples, then the reformation text would point a finger in the right direction clearly, and a direction that the Greek text is unable to indicate. Moral: “Mistakes in the A.V.1611 are advanced revelation!"37
Replying to this defence of the poor KJV translated by Ruckman, evangelist Gary Hudson has written"
By definition, the word cannot be translated as "churches," unless the Greek text had used "ecclesia," which, here is not the case. ALL of the Greek texts, Textus Receptus, Westcott and Hort, or otherwise, read "hieron" in Acts 19: 37. Faced with this real problem of the KJV English being at variance with its own Greek text, Ruckman forces his own private interpretation on the use of the word "churches," and concludes, "Mistakes in the A.V. 1611 are advanced revelation!" The "advanced revelation," however, is actually Ruckman's own historical interpretation about the use of the word "churches." This is the little game of making-up-the-rules-as-you-go-to-fit-your-own advantage! Such a tactic is at total variance to well-established, solid rules of Biblical interpretation. Why, whoever heard of such a thing as translation problems in the KJV being correction of its own Greek text BEFORE Peter Ruckman stepped on the scene! THIS is Ruckmanism! Such an idea is completely foreign to any born again Bible teacher or preacher before Ruckman.38
Ruckmanism is forced to defend the translation as "churches" in Acts 19: 37, because their theory demands a perfect KJV. But the Ruckmanite position also logically demands advanced revelation, since the KJV is different from the Greek and Hebrew, which it translates in several places. Logically, advanced revelation is needed to support the differences between the English translation in the KJV and the underlying Greek and Hebrew texts. Ruckman writes:
A short handbook, such as this, will not permit an exhaustive account of the marvellous undesigned "coincidences" which have slipped through the A.V. 1611 committees, unawares to them, and which give advanced light, and advanced revelation beyond the investigations of the greatest Bible students 300 years later.39 (Emphasis mine).
Ruckman goes so far as to say, on this page of the above quoted book, that two of his own commentaries shed more light than anything written by Keil, Delitzsch, Lange, or Clarke:
(The reader is referred to the two works on the "Bible Believer's Commentary," the Commentary on Genesis, 1969, and the Commentary on Revelation, 1970, by the same author. In these will be found the "light," from the A.V. text, that Keil, Delitzsch, Rosenmuller, Hengstenberg, Gesenius, Trench, Alford, Wuest, Weiss, Gregory, Von Soden, Tregelles, Tischendorf, A.T. Robertson, Deissman, Moulton, Milligan, Origen, Westcott & Hort, Lange, Clarke, and Bullinger were unable to find.) (Author's emphasis.) 40
So strong is Ruckman's commitment to the King James Bible as advanced revelation and advanced light that he sys, "Light to be found only in the Authorized Version text. No other bible (sic) contains it. No other translation, of any edition, or in any language (except German) contains this kind of
phenomena. If all you have is the 'original Greek,' you LOSE LIGHT."41 Thus, Ruckman actually implies that the use of the Greek and Hebrew causes a person to "lose light" that they get by using the KJV exclusively.
Again, Ruckman writes, "Observe here how the Authorized Infallible 1611 English gives new light on the text that is unavailable in HEBREW or GREEK, from any set of manuscripts published by anyone (Ruckman's emphasis)."42 In the same book he writes, "As usual, the highly scientific and advanced King James text 'sheds new light' on the Scripture..."43
Why is Ruckman's teaching that the KJV contains "advanced revelation and new light" important? The answer can be found in this quotation from The Monarch of the Books!, a Ruckman paperback, "The truth is God slammed the door of revelation shut in 389 B.C. and slammed it shut again in 1611."44 Ruckman declares that the Old Testament canon of Scripture closed in 389 B.C. and that there was "no more written revelation till 1st. Advent."45 He then states that "the King James text is the last and final statement that God has given to the world, and He has given it in the universal language of the 20th. century...the truth is that God slammed the door of revelation shut in 389 B.C. and slammed it shut again in 1611."46 This is extremely dangerous because Ruckman has opened the canon of Scripture until the year 1611.
No orthodox, Bible-believing scholar has ever said that God continued to give revelation after the New Testament was finished in about 96 A.D. (Ussher). Ruckman has done something no Christian scholar in history has done: he opens the canon of Scripture after 96 A.D. and states that the KJV, written one thousand five hundred years after the last New Testament book, gives, "advanced light and advanced revelation." 47
This places Ruckmanism in the same category as Islam, which says that the Holy Koran is advanced revelation, to be added to the Bible. The Muslims believe that "the door of revelation" was reopened in the seventh century after Christ, and that the Holy Koran is "advanced light and advanced revelation"
This places Ruckmanism in the same category as Mormonism, which says that the Book of Mormon is advanced revelation, to be added to the Bible. The Mormons believe that "the door of revelation" was reopened in the nineteenth century, and that the writings of Joseph Smith are "advanced light and advanced revelation"
This places Ruckmanism in the same category as Christian Science, which says that Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures is advanced revelation, to be added to the Bible. The Christian Scientists believe that "the door of revelation" was reopened at the turn of the century, and that the writings of Mary Baker Eddy are "advanced light and advanced revelation."
One of the well-known characteristics of a cult is added revelation, revealing something that isn't recorded in the Bible itself. Ruckman has followed this error by saying that God has stated something, which was not in the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. This opens the door to revelation and places
Ruckmanism in the same camp with other cults. I believe that Ruckmanism has already taken major steps toward separating from the main body of fundamentalism and will ultimately become a full-blown cult. It is true that there are good men who have borrowed ideas from Ruckman and are under the umbrella of Ruckmanism. Whether most of these men will be sucked into the developing cult of Ruckmanism remains to be seen. It is to be hoped that they will see the error of Ruckmanism in time to obey the Scriptures and "come out from among them." Separation from the cult of Ruckmanism is necessary.
Some men have seen the error of advanced revelation in Ruckmanism and have rejected it, while holding some of the other tenets characteristic of Ruckmanism, such as the preservation of the KJV, or the inerrancy of the KJV. These men may mean well, but they have unwittingly opened the door to advanced revelation, for the KJV cannot be "preserved" or "infallible" without logically containing advanced revelation. I fear that those men who hold a partial Ruckmanism (preservation or inerrancy of the KJV) have not seen that they have logically paved the way to acceptance of advanced revelation. Why? Because if the KJV is the preserved Word of God or is inerrant, this assigns to the KJV translation a supernatural origin which it does not deserve. The KJV is a purely human effort. When supernatural designations such as preservation or inerrancy are assigned to this purely human effort, the water is muddied, and the way is paved to f full-blown Ruckmanism which accepts the KJV as advanced revelation.
If the King James Version is preserved or inerrant, then the translation of the Greek word "hieron" as "churches" is an advanced revelation. Since "hieron," in its first-century context, must be translated:"temples," and only the word "ecclesia" can be translated as "church," then this translation as "churches" rather than "temples" is, of necessity, an advanced revelation, as Ruckman himself sees; this is the only logical conclusion possible if one accepts the KJV as the preserved Word of God or the inerrant/ infallible Word of God. Ruckman himself sees this logical conclusion when he refers to Acts 19:37 and says, "Mistakes (such as 'churches' for 'temples') in the A.V.1611 are advanced revelation!"48
Upholding the Ruckman position will lead to fantastic and extravagant claims for the KJV translation, such as Ruckman's statement, "If all you have is the 'original Greek' (pascha), you LOSE
LIGHT' " (Author's emphasis).49 He makes this statement defending the translation of "Easter" for "pascha" which should properly be translated "Passover" in Acts 12: 4. But notice that Ruckman claims that you "lose light" if all you have is the Greek!
Another absurd statement by Ruckman is in connection with Psalm 74: 8 where the word "synagogue" is used to translate the word "moade" which is properly translated as "congregation," but which the King James translates as "synagogue" although Jewish synagogues did not appear until 600 years after Psalm 74: 8 was written. Ruckman, claiming advanced light, makes this absolutely incredible and dangerous statement in defence of using the word "synagogue" instead of "congregation" in the KJV translation:
In Psalm 74: 8, the advanced revelation of 1611 sheds considerable light on the corrupt Hebrew manuscripts used by the Laodicean washouts, for all of them translated "the Hebrew text" as "meeting places" or "places of assembly." Using the highly scientific Elizabethan English of 1611 for light, we find that although "SYNAGOGUES" (Authorized Version) were not in operation until 600 years after the author of Psalm 74 was dead (the Inter- -Testamental Period), the author has reached out into A.D. 1990, where the SYNAGOGUES IN JERUSALEM WILL BE BURNED BY THE ANTICHRIST. Naturally, such a revelation is greatly obscured in the "original Hebrew text" (Author's emphasis).50
The first thing to note about this statement on Psalm 74: 8, is that he once again calls the KJV "advanced revelation." He says that the KJV "sheds considerable light on the corrupt Hebrew manuscripts." Next, he says that we should use the AV 1611 "for light." Then he says that the word "synagogues" to translate the word for "congregations" is prophetic revelation regarding the coming Tribulation period, when he states, "the author has reached out into A.D. 1990, where the synagogues in Jerusalem will be burned by the Antichrist." Needless to say, he has set a date for the Rapture, since the Antichrist's anti-Semitic activities will take place during the second half of the Tribulation period. We will discuss his date-setting regarding end-time events and the Second Coming of Christ later. Suffice it to say that Ruckman, as of the writing of this book, has set the date for the rapture as the spring of 1989.51 Finally he says that "such a revelation is greatly obscured in the 'original Hebrew text'." According to Ruckman, the Hebrew text obscures the "revelation" in the King James translation! If this hasn't boggled your mind, then I seriously doubt that your mind is capable of being boggled! I call this heresy!
The Incidentals of the King James
Version are God-given
The next tenet of Ruckmanism is that the very incidentals of the King James Version are God - -given, including word in italics, chapter and verse numbers, the order of the books, and the fact that it was translated under a king named James.
Ruckmanites tend to make extravagant claims for every particle and incidental of the KJV. THEY DO THIS BECAUSE THEIR POSITION RESTS UPON THE KJV being perfect. Therefore, if anything in the KJV is imperfect, it undermines their position.
Ruckman even goes so far as to say that the italics were "God-led," or in some way given by inspiration. Ruckman says:
The italics in the King James Bible are marked to show that the man who did the translating is an honest man...You say, "What about adding to the Word of God like that?" Well, when they add, they let you know where they added, so you wouldn't think it was the word right there...you say, "Do you believe God led them and guided them in that?" Yeah, I sure do. I sure do. As a matter of fact, I know He did, "How do you know that?" I read one time over there in 1 John 2 that if a man denies the Son, he denies the Father. Then I read if he confesses the Son, then he has the Father also, and notice half the verse was in italics. Half the verse! When the King James translators sat down and came to that verse, they wrote it in italics...You better watch that book! It comes along there, and speaks about talking in an unknown tongue, and somebody said, "That word, 'unknown,' isn't in the original." You mean, you haven't found the copy that's got it yet? You better watch that stuff. I believe the King James Bible is the word of God because of the instruments of its preservation, and because of the honesty of its preservation.52
Note here that he says that the very italics in the King James Bible are "God-led" and "God-guided." Thus he attributes inspiration to the very italics, which do not have the Greek Textus Receptus as a base.
In 1 Corinthians 14: 2, the KJV says, "For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God..." The word "unknown" is in italics in the KJV, showing that it was added by the translators and is not the translation of the original Greek. The word "unknown" was not translated from the original Greek, but was added by the translators to try to clarify (in their Minds) the passage. It also appears in verses 4, 13, 14, 19, and 27. To Ruckman, this italicized word, which is not a translation of the Greek, was "God-led" and "God-guided."53 In other words, the italics in the King James Bible, which are not even based upon the Greek, were given by inspiration of God according to Ruckman. Making such extravagant claims for the italics in the KJV is characteristic of Ruckmanism in general.
Ruckmanism also tends to make extravagant claims for the order of the books in the King James Bible. Ruckman says:
The order of books in the English is vastly superior to the order of books in the Hebrew Old Testament in any set published by anyone, for the Hebrew "original" so not preserve the premillennial order found in Jeremiah-Lamentation-Ezekiel.
In the Authorized Version, this order produced Jerusalem's destruction
by the Antichrist (Jer.), the great Tribulation (Lam.), and the Second
Advent (Ezek.). Lamentations has been EXTRACTED from the order in "the
original Hebrew." Again, the Authorized Version order of Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah-Esther-Job-Psalms
has been completely shattered by Daniel following Esther, Job following
Proverbs, and Chronicles following Ezra. The Authorized Version plainly
preserved the order of destruction and dispersion (A.D. 70-1918), return
rebuilding (A.D.1948-1988), rapture and replacement of a Gentile Bride with a Jewish Bride (A.D. 1918-1998), Daniel's Seventieth Week (A.D 1993-1999??), and the Second Advent (A.D. 2000). If you had the "originals," you would have failed to find LIGHT on the future of Israel. (Author's emphasis.)54
Thus, in Ruckman's mind, the re-arranging of the books of the Bible from the way they are presented in the Hebrew Scriptures presents "prophetic truth" in the King James arrangement of the books. His idea that the arrangement of the books of the Hebrew Bible in the King James gives prophetic light is queer at best. The danger of such speculation can be seen in the fact that Ruckman actually goes so far as to date the Second Advent of Jesus Christ at A.D. 2000, based upon these misguided calculations. No sensible scholar has ever espoused such an exotic view that the arrangement of the books of the Old Testament reveals prophetic truth.
Closely related to this view that the arrangement of the books presents new light in the KJV, is Ruckman's view on Biblical numbers. His book, titled Bible Numerics, goes to great lengths to show that the chapter and verse divisions of the King James Bible are God-given. For instance in dealing with the number 5, which Ruckman says refers to "unsheeted death any place you find it, any time, anywhere,"55 he says that Genesis 5: 5 is given that way to reveal the first human death. He states, "The first man that ever died, died in Genesis 5: 5, and don't tell me the King James translators planned that thing."56 Ruck- - man brushes aside the fact that Abel had already died in Genesis 4: 8 by stating, "You say, 'Well, Abel died.' He did not. He was killed! The first man that ever died on this planet died in the fifth verse of the fifth chapter of the King James Bible."57 Ruckman's idea that a man who has been killed hasn't really died is, to say the least, novel. Tell that to poor Mother Eve! "Your son isn't dead, he's only been killed. Stop crying!" But Ruckman rushes past this absurdity to proclaim some sort of "advanced revelation" through the two fives coming together in this verse in the King James Bible.
The next incidental of the KJV claimed as God-given by Ruckman is the very name of the King of England at the time of the translation, King James. Notice that Ruckman actually indicates that the King James Bible could not have been written until a king named James was on the throne of Britain.
It's a strange Book. And the more you study it, the stranger it gets (referring to the KJV). For example: This book here at the beginning of it says, "To the most high and mighty Prince James, defender of the faith." Now some of you don't have that dedicatory in your Bible; you ought to have it though. "To the most high and mighty Prince James...by the grace of God..." Do you know where the word James comes from? Do any of you fellows know what the Greek word or the Hebrew word for James is? It's not an English word. It's Jacob. God waited until He had a king on the English throne with the name James and then put that thing in there: "To the most high and mighty Prince Jacob." Why Jacob was a prince in Israel. This is a Jewish book. Every writer in it is a Jew. God
wouldn't turn out a perfect Book when Elizabeth was on the throne or when George was on the throne. He had to get James, and there is no power in a Bible unless it is the word of a KING (Ecc. 8: 4). (Author's emphasis).58
Notice here that Ruckman here is actually claiming inspiration for the KJV translators' preface to the Authorized Version. He says, "God waited until He had a king on the English throne with the name James and then put that thing in there." So, some Ruckmanites will follow Ruckman and claim inspiration for the translators' preface to the 1611, a preface which was made up by them and not based upon any Greek or Hebrew text whatever. Here, we see Ruckman adding to the Word of God. One wonders what fantastic doctrines will be invented in the future and based upon the "preface" to the King James Bible rather than the Word of God. Notice that Ruckman has already said they had to have a king named James, and has taken as his basis the preface. No telling what other fantastic doctrine may come out of the preface to the King James Bible in the future.
Ruckman - Where Is Your Bible?
Ruckman fails to distinguish between the various editions of the King James Version. As a result of this, he falls into the same trap that he accuses others of falling into. In effect, Ruckman himself has no Bible (that is, Ruckman does not have the perfect English Bible which he demands of others).
This can easily be shown by studying his booklet, Differences in the King James Version Edition.59 On page 5 of this booklet he writes, "...we documented their findings throughout the editions from 1611 to 1852, with the standard edition being produced in 1769."60 On page 7 he writes, "The typographical errors of the 1613 edition were brought right back into line with 1611. Samples of these are: 'We said unto them' back to 'We said unto him' (Genesis 42: 31)."61 On page 13 he has still another edition, "...a pure text was arrived at in 1813, which conformed to the original intent of the AV translators."62 On page 14, still another edition is brought out, "...on the 28th of April, 1850 they completed their work."63 On page 18 he lists seven copies of the KJV (1611, 1613, 1644, 1664, 1701, 1769, and 1850).64 He says that these revisions "result in a purified book."65 Yet on page 19 Ruckman says, "At this writing it is the Standard Edition Octavo Reference Bible of 1852...":66 He says that this is "the AV as it stands before him at this writing."67 So, Ruckman actually has at least eight editions of the KJV to deal with. Which one is the Word of God, Dr. Ruckman? When did the Word of God appear? So, an honest reader will see that Ruckman has been caught in his own trap. Ruckman's "perfect" KJV does not exist.
One Ruckmanite, realizing this dilemma, declares the 1769 edition to be the Word of God by faith. This astonishing admission is made David Reese, pastor of the Victory Baptist Church, Millbrook, Alabama:
...Which 1611 edition it is that differs from our present edition is unknown. Did the text delivered by the translators to the printer contain these variations from our present edition? No one knows it did since that text is not available.68
Again, Reese says, "Since the original text of 1611 is not available, the whole issue revolves around different editions..."69 These admissions by Reese prove that Ruckmanism is a house built on a foundation of sand. Ruckman continually abuses those who appeal to the "original Hebrew and Greek" for not having the "originals." Yet Ruckman himself has no originals! Ruckman says that II Timothy 3: 16 cannot refer to the originals, since no originals exist. But the same argument can be used against Ruckmanism itself: since the Ruckmanites have no original text, II Timothy 3: 16 cannot refer to their "originals " either.
Since the "originals" of the King James Bible were lost after being turned over to the printer (who made copies with errors), a constant series of revisions were needed (according to Ruckman 70), which places Ruckmanism in the same place he accuses us of being. Ruckman has no originals!
This places a Ruckmanite like David Reese in the logically embarrassing position of having to affirm the 1769 edition as the inerrant Scripture by faith alone:
There is no way the critics of the King James Bible can prove that the edition we have today is not the accurate translation of the text of God's inspired words in the English language. The critic may point out a difference between the 1611 edition (PRINTED in 1611) and the 1769 edition, but what does it mean? It certainly does not mean that the edition in our hand is in error, Why could we not believe that the present edition is the accurate text?...Of course the present day edition (usually called the 1769 edition), is the Book...71
Reese is right in saying that the critics cannot prove the edition we have today is not the accurate translation of the text, but he does not point out that He cannot prove that it is the exact words of the 1611! The burden of proof lies with Reese, for this is the basis, the very foundation, of Ruckmanism itself. The foundation has proved to be made of sand.
Ruckman himself unwittingly points out this weakness in his theory:
On the twenty-fifth of March, 1848, the Board of Managers in charge of pre-
-serving the purity of the original text of 1611 met for the purpose of further revision, and on the twenty-eighth of April, 1850, they completed their work.
Reese claims that the Word of God appeared in 1769. Ruckman says that the Word of God appeared in 1850. Which one is right? And what proof do either of them offer? Another question: Where was the Word of God between 1611 and either 1850 or 1769? Neither Reese nor Ruckman are able to answer these questions with anything approaching a rational answer. Neither of them have the "original" manuscripts of the KJV. Neither of them know where these originals are.
After brushing aside the fact that his entire theory rest on a sandy foundation Ruckman makes this astonishing statement, "Naturally, any edition of the AV is vastly superior to the 'originals'."73
Ruckman says that the KJV is superior to the original Greek and Hebrew, because the original Greek and Hebrew do not exist per se. Yet Ruckman says that "any edition" of the KJV is superior to these originals even though no original of the KJV exists. This unveils Ruckmanism for what it is: a dirty trick and a satanic lie.
Ruckmanism Appeals to
Ruckmanism constantly panders to anti-intellectualism. Again and again Ruckman blasts scholarship, and appeals to men who have never studied Greek or Hebrew, even going so far as to say that more light can be gained from the English alone than from studies of the Biblical languages. This has a strong appeal to someone who has not been to college or seminary. Many Ruckmanites respond to this, though some have a theological education. The general appeal is to anti-intellectualism, anti-theological education, and laziness, however. Ruckman rants and raves against scholars as though scholarship itself were wrong. The following quote is typical:
NO GREEK OR HEBREW SCHOLAR IN AMERICA OR EUROPE FOR 200 YEARS HAS BEEN ABLE TO GIVE ANY LIGHT ON THE SCRIPTURES THAT WASN'T ALREADY IN THE ENGLISH TEXT. Vertical studies done into one word to prove something that has already been proven in the English Text is neither light nor illumination. It is the confirmation of a text that ILLUMINATES without grammatical studies...WHY THESE SILLY ASSES COULDN'T PROVE IT WITH ANY GREEK TEXT.74
This is a good illustration of the anti-intellectual, "know-nothing" belligerency that characterizes Ruckman in general.
Ruckman attacks all other Bible scholars for the purpose of elevating himself as the only one who is worth hearing. He doesn't want his followers to buy anyone else's books but his, so he alone can make all the money and get all the glory. To do this, Ruckman caters to the anti-intellectualism of his followers on the one hand, and presents himself as the greatest scholar in the world on the other. Ruckman brags about reading a book every day, and presents himself as a man who understands virtually every branch of science, theology, language etc. It is characteristic of Ruckman to present himself as an authority in all fields. Yet the following illustration shows this man to be woefully lacking in basic knowledge in at least one important area of science:
That isn't all; there are only seven colors. If a man has red, yellow, and blue, the primaries, orange, green, and purple, the secondaries, and black, he can make or mix any color there is. You say, "What about white?' White is absence of color. Hence we refer down south to "white" people and "colored" people. This is the scientifically correct and accurate terminology. Accurately, scientifically, white is the absence of color.75
Actually, black is the absence of color. White is the mixture of all colors. When you shine a beam of white light through a prism, it divides the light up into a rainbow of the various colors from which it was made. On the other hand, if you look out into the sky at night, between the stars, where there in no color, it is black. Thus, Ruckman the cartoonist and artist does not know this basic fact, a fact which should be known by an artist of his stature. In fact, his not knowing this is inexcusable.
The Definition of Ruckmanism
Gary Hudson has given a good working definition of Ruckmanism:
The belief that the King James Version is absolutely inerrant, containing advanced revelation over the Greek and Hebrew from which it came, with the demand for one exact, inerrant version to preach and teach.76
I would want to add to that some of the elements, which appear on page 4 of this book as "the tenets of Ruckmanism." Combining these I formulate this definition:
Ruckmanism is the belief that the King James Version is given by inspiration of God and is the preserved, infallible, and inerrant Word of God, superior to any Greek and Hebrew text, including the originals, containing advanced revelation in its translation and in such incidentals as the italics, chapter and verse numbers, and order of the books; the basis fo Ruckmanism is its insistence upon the AV 1611 over the nonexistent original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts; insistence upon portions of Ruckmanism, while rejecting other points, results in partial-Ruckmanism, an inconsistent position, which logically opens the door to full Ruckmanism.
1 Peter S. Ruckman, Dr. Ruckman's Testimony (Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Book-store, n.d.), tape 1.
16 Ruckman, Dr. Ruckman's Testimony, tape 2.
17 Ruckman, Dr. Ruckman's Testimony, tape 2.
18 Ruckman, Dr. Ruckman's Testimony, tape 1.
19 Curtis Hutson, "Ruckman's Various Plans of Salvation and Other Rabid Ramblings," Sword of the Lord, February 3, 1989, pp.1, 18-22.
20 Peter S. Ruckman, Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage (Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore 1980), ii.
21 Peter S. Ruckman, The Alexandrian Cult, Part One (Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1978) p.6.
22 Peter S. Ruckman, The Christian's Handbook of Biblical Scholarship (Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1988), pp. 262-263. 23 Ruckman, The Christian’s Handbook of Biblical Scholarship, pp. 271-272. 24 Peter S. Ruckman, Problem Texts (Pensacola, Florida: Pensacola Bible Institute Press 1980) p. 268.
25 Ruckman, Problem Texts, pp. 66-67.
26 Peter S. Ruckman, The Alexandrian Cult, Part Five (Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1980), p. 28.
27 Peter S. Ruckman, Bible Numerics (Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1981), iii (in preface).
28 Peter S. Ruckman, The Alexandrian Cult, Part Eight (Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1981), p. 15
29 Peter S. Ruckman, Differences in the King James Version (Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1983),
30 Peter S. Ruckman, The Alexandrian Cult, Part Four (Pensacola, Florida:
Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1980), p. 15.
31 Peter S. Ruckman, A Survey of the Authorized Version (Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, revised edition 1983), p. 13
32 Peter S. Ruckman, The Christian's Handbook of Manuscript Evidence (Palatka, Florida: Pensacola Bible Press, 1970), p. 118.
34 Ruckman, The Christian's Handbook of Manuscript Evidence, p. 124.
35 Ruckman, The Christian's Handbook of Manuscript Evidence, p. 127.
36 Ruckman, A Survey of the Authorized Version, p. 18.
37 Ruckman, The Christian's Handbook of Manuscript Evidence, p. 126.
38 Gary R. Hudson, Why I left Ruckmanism (Collingswood, New Jersey: The Bible For Today, 1988). p 17.
39 Ruckman, The Christian's Handbook of Manuscript Evidence, p. 127.
40 Ibid. 41 Ruckman, The Christian's Handbook of Biblical Scholarship, p. 336. 42 Ruckman, Problem Texts, p. 46.
43 Ruckman, Problem Texts, p. 73
44 Peter S. Ruckman, The Monarch of the Books! (Pensacola, Florida:
Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1980 ), p. 9.
45 Ruckman, The Monarch of the Books! p. 8
46 Ruckman, The Monarch of the Books! p. 9
47 Ruckman, The Christian's Handbook of Manuscript Evidence, p. 127.
48 Ruckman, The Christian's Handbook of Manuscript Evidence, p. 126.
49 Ruckman, The Christian's Handbook of Biblical Scholarship, p. 336.
50 Ruckman, The Christian's Handbook of Biblical Scholarship, p. 333.
51 Peter S. Ruckman, "Zero Hour Approaches," Bible Believers' Bulletin, February 1989, p. 9.
52 Peter S. Ruckman, Why I believe the King James Version is the Word of God (Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1988), p. 13.
54 Peter S. Ruckman The Christian's Handbook of Biblical Scholarship, p. 334.
55 Ruckman, Bible Numerics, p. 15.
58 Ruckman, A Survey of the Authorized Version, p. 16
59 Ruckman, Differences in the King James Version Editions.
60 Ruckman, Differences in the King James Version Editions, p. 5.
61 Ruckman, Differences in the King James Version Editions, p. 7
62 Ruckman, Differences in the King James Version Editions, p. 13.
63 Ruckman, Differences in the King James Version Editions, p. 14.
64 Ruckman, Differences in the King James Version Editions, p. 18.
65 Ruckman, Differences in the King James Version Editions, p. 18.
66 Ruckman, Differences in the King James Version Editions p. 19.
68 Dave Reese, Newsletter #10, in Gary R. Hudson, Why I Left Ruckmanism, p. 32 69 Reese, Newsletter #6, in Hudson, Why I Left Ruckmanism, p. 31.
70 Ruckman says that the 1813 revision was done to "restore the originals," Differences in the King James Version Editions, p. 13.
71 Reese, Newsletter #7, in Hudson, Why I Left Ruckmanism, pp. 31-32.
72 Ruckman, Differences in the King James Version Editions, pp. 13-14.
73 Ruckman, Differences in the King James Version Editions, p. 18.
74 Ruckman, The Alexandrian Cult, Part Eight, pp. 29-30.
75 Ruckman, Bible Numerics, p. 25.
76 Hudson, Why I Left Ruckmanism, p. 40.
The Demonic Origin of Ruckmanism
Dr. Robert L. Sumner, cult expert and editor of The Biblical Evangelist, has pointed out that "no fundamentalist before mi-1950 ever claimed inerrancy for a translation."1 I have a standing offer of one thousand dollars for anyone who can document any Baptist or Protestant scholar who held that the KJV translation was given by inspiration before 1950. No one has claimed this offer.
Why did this view come out after the fifties? The answer comes by realizing that it was in the early fifties that the Revised Standard Version, and other modern translations based on the corrupt text of Westcott and Hort, gained popularity. No serious challenge to the authority of the King James Bible existed prior to the fifties. But after the Revised Standard Version, a flood of translations based on the corrupted Westcott and Hort text has made serious inroads into the territory once claimed by the KJV alone.
The proliferation of Westcott-and-Hort-based translation since 1950 has produced a reaction. The most extreme part of that reaction is Ruckmanism. The more reasoned and scholarly part is exemplified by the Dean Burgon Society, which rejects the Westcott and Hort text, accepts the Textus Receptus and the KJV as a reliable translation of it, but does not claim inspiration for the KJV.
On the other hand, Ruckman tries to hide the fact that his position is new, that it did not exist prior to 1950. Ruckmanites in general follow Ruckman in quoting great Christian leaders of the past in support of their position, although these leaders actually were not Ruckmanites at all. For instance, Ruckman claims Billy Graham as a Ruckmanite. He quotes Billy Graham as saying, "Father, I cannot understand many thing about this book. I cannot come intellectually all the way, but I accept it BY FAITH to be the AUTHORITATIVE, INSPIRED WORD of the living God."2 Ruckman claims that Billy Graham was kneeling "on" a King James Bible when he said this.3 He strongly infers that Graham accepted a Ruckmanite position concerning the KJV at this time, an inference he repeats in another of his books when he says, "Even Billy Graham began with the King James Bible and he still preaches it when he wants and expects 'results'..."4 Of course, all Ruckman can do is infer that Billy Graham was at one time a Ruckmanite. He cannot give one shred of documentary proof that Billy Graham ever believed that the KJV is given by inspiration, contains advanced revelation, or any of the other tenets of Ruckmanism.
Using this same technique, Ruckman claims Lee Roberson, 5. W. B. Riley, Billy Sunday, and Charles Haddon Spurgeon6 (though, in another book he claims that Spurgeon preached from the RV in 1891 and was killed by God as a result the next year!7 This statement will seem ridiculous to anyone familiar with the long history of physical illness endured by Spurgeon. It is remarkable that he lived as long as he did).
It is a habit of Ruckmanites, we think learned from Ruckman himself, to claim great Christian leaders of the past without quoting them in context or citing any real proof that they held a Ruckmanite view concerning the inspiration of the KJV translation. Sometimes Ruckman goes so far that he can be documented as falsifying the facts. For instance, he claims that J. Frank Norris "never recommended the ASV a time in his life, although it was in print before he founded his seminary."8 Yet Robert L. Sumner has quoted Norris as saying, "The two oldest manuscripts, the mostly authoritative and reliable of the original Scriptures, are the Sinaiticus and Alexandrian...9 Sumner points out that this statement by Norris was made during a debate, stenographically recorded, so that Norris said "Alexandrian" rather than "vaticanus," in the heat of the debate. But surely this shows that Ruckman's claim that Norris was a Ruckmanite is false. We do not agree with Norris' statement that the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus are the "most authoritative and reliable" manuscripts, but his statement proves him not to have been a Ruckmanite.
In other books, Ruckman claims Billy Sunday, Mordecai Ham and Sam Jones.10 Of course, none of these men can honestly be claimed, because none of them was a Ruckmanite, none of them believed that the KJV was given by inspiration, contained advanced revelation, was preserved etc.
Ruckman even goes so far, in his frantic search for people of another generation who held his position, that he actually claims Dr. John R. Rice's mother as a Ruckmanite.11 But the biggest mistake was in claiming Bob Jones' mother. He writes, "No intelligent person believes what Ruckman believes: you are quite in error...Bob Jone's mother believed it."12 This was a mistake, because Bob Jones' mother is still alive. She turned 100 last year, but is still quite capable of stating that she is not a Ruckmanite at the time of this writing. So, Ruckman's use of great figures of the past to bolster his position is dishonest. The people he names did not believe that the King James Version was given by inspiration, contained advanced revelation, was preserved, pickled, or smoked! The people he quotes and claims believed the Bible, but they did not believe the errors of Ruckmanism concerning that Bible.
No, prior to the 1950's, no one was a Ruckmanite, no one believed that the KJV translation was given through the agency of the Holy Spirit. This error of Ruckmanism came about as a result of the turbulence of the 1950's, in which the mutilated Westcott and Hort text was used by a variety of translators to produce inferior Bibles. This error of Ruckmanism is an extremist reaction; an attempt to thwart the flood of wrongly translated Scriptures. Ruckman may have been well meaning when he started, but he has gone so far that he actually dishonours and discredits the very KJV he is trying to uphold. Ruckman
has become what the French call an "agent provocateur" (agent who provokes). This term is used by the French to describe a Communist infiltrator who is put into a place of importance as a secret agent and then makes the thing that he is defending look ridiculous by defending it in the extreme, or by stirring up other trouble.
Ruckman and those who follow his teachings are "agents provocateur." They have been brought in by the devil to defend the KJV so extremely that, in the end, they do the cause of the KJV more harm than good. The devil does not like the KJV because he knows it to be the most reliable translation of the Scriptures available today in the English language. The devil wants to discredit and destroy the witness of the KJV. The devil is using Ruckman and his followers to make a new generation of preachers, men who are not extremists, look askance at the KJV.
Ruckman's Out-of-Body Experience
We must not be unfair to Ruckman. We must only quote what he himself has said. We must not go too far in interpreting his statements. But, in examining carefully Ruckman's "testimony tape" we find strong statements to support the position that Ruckman was demonized, and the idea that he may even now be demonically led.
Using these testimony tapes as a source, we find how Satan recruited Ruckman as an agent provocateur, a troublemaker who will ultimately turn thousands away from the KJV.
Ruckman gives an experience in which his soul flew out of his body, and demons entered him. Keep in mind that these are Ruckman's own words on the subject:
One night in the hotel room I had the experience of nirvana, which the Zen call samadhi, the dislocation of the spirit from the body...and yet, looking at my moral life following that experience, and my desire at times to commit suicide, I realize I had produced a passive state that was an entrance for spirits. And the spirits that entered are not the spirits described in the Bible in speaking of the Holy Ghost and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Note first that Ruckman tells us his soul flew out of his body during this experience of samadhi. Note secondly that he tells us that this "passive state was an entrance for spirits." This hair-raising experience of samadhi made his mind so passive that he says it provided an opportunity for the entrance of "spirits." Note thirdly that he specifically tells us that the "spirits" that entered him were not the Holy Spirit or the spirit of Jesus. These are Ruckman's own words. We have commented on them at face value.
Ruckman's Admission of Being "Full of Demons"
In another place in his "testimony tape" Ruckman says that he came back from the war "uneasy, unsettled, full of demons..."14 So, Ruckman has plainly told us that he was "full of demons" prior to 1949. Furthermore, he gives us a series of experiences where voices talked to him, which I have expanded upon in Chapter 2. These voices and demons were never dealt with, according to Ruckman's own "testimony tape."
Ruckman's Admission that the Demons "Are" in Him
Careful attention should be given, we think, to this statement by Ruckman:
I realized I had produced a passive state, which was an entrance for spirits. And the spirits that entered are not the spirits described in the Bible in speaking of the Holy Ghost and of the Lord Jesus Christ (Author's emphasis).15
Ruckman is an extremely intelligent man, with a Ph.D. from Bob Jones University. It does not seem plausible that his use of the present tense ("are not") to describe the indwelling of demonic spirits could be a mistake of English. Added to this, is Ruckman's admission in 1976 that demons enter him every day. He actually said, "You can't get through a day without getting infested...(with) a number of demons." Then he states, "I'll tell you how I handle "em (demons)." So, as recently as 1976, Dr Ruckman said that demons entered him every day and he had to "handle 'em." This is a clear admission that Peter S. Ruckman is presently demonized. (See Appendix 1 of this book for a full treatment of this subject.)
The Possibility that Ruckman is Unconverted
This brings us to the possibility that Ruckman was never scripturally born again. Ruckman himself says that when he told the man who led him in the sinner's prayer that he was saved, "I felt like I was lying."16 If it is true that Ruckman was lying and did not trust in Jesus, this would explain how he could still be demonized. Of course, on the other hand, even a born again Christian can be strongly deceived by the demonic.
In either event, the strong testimony of Ruckman's own tapes on this subject indicates him to be directly influenced by demons. This could explain such strange teachings as Ruckman's four plans of salvation.17
It is not necessary to know whether he is saved or lost for us to ascertain from his own words that he has been led astray by demons, and that Ruckmanism itself is a doctrine of demons.
Merrill Unger's Statements on the Demonic Origin
of False Doctrine
Dr. Merrill F. Unger, late professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, in his landmark book, Demons in the World Today, said this, "One of the most subtle roles of demons is the perverting of revealed truth...this is Satan's attempt to retain some degree of control over those who come to a saving knowledge of Christ. Doctrinal error obscures revelation and gives Satan and demonic forces a toehold."18
Unger goes on to say:
Since departures from the faith were called "doctrines of demons" by Paul (1 Timothy 4: 1-6), it stands to reason that all false religions are demon-inspired. Before pointing to demonism as the source of doctrinal error, the apostle had just summarized the essential verities of the Christian fait (1 Timothy 3: 16).19
Ruckmanism is a perversion of truth concerning the Scriptures. Therefore we can say that it fits
Unger's criteria when he states that the role of "demons is the perverting of revealed truth." As we shall show later in this book, the demonically induced error of Ruckmanism concerning the KJV does give "Satan and demonic forces a toehold" wherever the tenets of Ruckmanism are espoused. Farther on in this same landmark book, Unger goes on to say:
Demonism is the key to the plague of cultism. Christ-dishonoring cults that parade under the banner of Christianity issue from the activities of seducing spirits, producing doctrines of demons (1 Timothy 4: 1,2) and so deceiving and dividing God's people (1 John 4: 1-6). False teachers and prophets are not even primarily to blame. Behind the human agent, who is visible, is the demon agent who is invisible. It is the invisible demon spirit who encourages the errors that produce disunity. Christians too often forget this fact and get their eyes off the real enemy. The results are seen in the animosities and ill-will that prevail among many Christians because they are shackled by doctrinal errors that set them off in some small sect and remove them from the pure stream of the historical biblical faith (Jude 3).20
In another of Unger's definitive books on the subject of demons, Biblical Demonology, he writes:
...(the Holy Spirit) is opposed, in His beneficent ministrations, by Satan "the spirit of error" (1John 4: 6), the arch-enemy of truth and the great deceiver, who, with his demon-helpers, is the source of all false inspiration. But since Satan is a mere creature, and, unlike the
Holy Spirit, neither infinite nor omnipresent, he requires the aid of an innumerable host of wicked, deluding spirits to carry on effectively his vast program of doctrinal corruption and deception. As the "Spirit of truth" inspires the genuine prophets and teachers of God (1 Cor.12: 3), so the "spirit of error, " and his spirit-satellites, energize the "many false prophets" who "are gone out into the world" (1 John 4: 1). Hence the Apostle John, like the Apostle Paul, traces error to its real source in satanic and demonic activity, rather than in the human agent.21
Thus, Ruckman himself is not the source of the errors, which he espouses and promotes. Demons are the source, and his errors can be traced to their "real source in satanic and demonic activity, rather than in the human agent."22
The primary object of the demonic is to attack the Bible. As Unger says:
It is not surprising, therefore, in the light of these facts, to find Satanic and demonic assault directed particularly and relentlessly against the Word of God, nor is it amazing to discover that attack against the citadel of revealed truth is, perhaps, the most conspicuous and potent role played by demons.23
It can easily be ascertained, by reading Ruckman's books that he attacks the Word of God, given by inspiration of God in Hebrew and Greek. Again and again, Ruckman makes statements like this: "The AV 1611 reading here, is superior to any Greek text" (Author's emphasis).24 This is a direct attack on the Word of God, given by inspiration in Greek. It attacks the Greek text while feigning allegiance to the Bible. It is actually an attack on God's Word, given by inspiration in Greek. So, Ruckmanism really attacks the Bible while pretending to defend it. Why did the Greek need to be corrected in the first place, since it was God's Word? Ruckman goes so far as to write a whole chapter titled "Correcting the Greek with the English" in The Christian's Handbook of Manuscript Evidence. This is a direct assault, a demonic attack against the Word of God, given by inspiration in Greek.
Only yesterday I received a letter from a Ruckmanite pastor in the Midwest. This pastor has followed Ruckman's demonic reasoning. The pastor wrote in defence of "Easter" over "Passover" in Acts 12: 4 by saying, "To translate 'pascha' as 'Passover' literally would be a doctrinal heresy. The Lord God saw fit to alter and purify the Greek by the translation..."25
Of course this is a direct attack on the divinely inspired Greek text. It is an attack on the Word of God. The pastor says that the divinely inspired Word of God in the Greek text needed to be "purified" by the translation. This is heresy. This is an attack on the Bible as given by God in Greek. This is a doctrine of demons. The pastor, following Ruckman's reasoning, believes that the writer of Acts was led into "doctrinal heresy" by the Holy Spirit when he wrote down the word "pasha." This doctrinal heresy
had to be corrected 1600 years later by the KJV translators. What absolute, unadulterated perversion! It is a direct attack on the God-inspired Greek text.
I answered the pastor in this way:
Now, dealing specifically with your point of "Easter" in Acts 12: 4. Your view is impossible. You say "to translate 'pascha' as 'Passover' would be a doctrinal heresy. The Lord God saw fit to alter and purify the Greek by the translation of Acts 12: 4 as is." This is demonic foolishness at its worst. What you are saying is that the Holy Spirit led Luke to write down the wrong word in Greek in Acts 12: 4, so that for one thousand six hundred years people were led astray when they read the Greek word "Passover." (1) The Holy Spirit did not lead Luke to use the wrong Greek word. (2) Acts 12: 4 in the Greek text was not a doctrinal heresy until corrected by the King James translation 1600 years later. (3) The Holy Spirit did not commit any error at all in guiding Luke to write "pascha."
The passage simply tells us that Herod made up his mind after the Passover to bring Peter forth. It doesn't refer to his arrest of Peter, but to his decision. So, in general, it was after the Passover that this decision was made. You do not need to read something else into the passage to extrapolate a reason for your fantastic idea that the Holy Spirit had to inspire KJV translators to correct the Greek! Luke was not a "doctrinal heretic" had to inspire KJV translators to correct the Greek! Luke was not a "doctrinal heretic" but I am very much afraid that you are. You need to get out of Ruckmanism altogether.26
An Exegesis of 1 Timothy 4: 1
The Bible predicts, plainly and clearly, that a great deal of demonic activity will take place in regard to the perversion of Christian doctrine prior to the Second Coming of Christ and the end of the age. Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, writes:
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron...(1 Timothy 4: 1-2)
In examining these verses, we should note that Paul is telling us that "the Spirit speaketh expressly." This refers to the Holy Spirit, as He was inspiring the words of the apostle. John Gill states that "the author of this prophecy is the Spirit of God."27
Next, we are told that the Holy Spirit is speaking "expressly." That is, the Holy Spirit is making a special attempt at plainness, so that there will be no possibility of misinterpreting what is being said.
"It was not by mere hints, and symbols, and shadowy images of the future; it was in an open and plain manner - in so many words."28 The emphatic statement, from the Holy Spirit Himself, was meant to draw Timothy's attention as well as ours to the message about to be delivered. What the Holy Spirit was about to say is of extreme importance, so He speaks "expressly" to draw particular attention to the important subject at hand. The Greek word translated "expressly" is "rhetos," which means "distinctly."29 So, what the Holy Spirit is about to say is to be given quite distinctly and emphatically. Unger translates it, "distinctly asserts."30
The Spirit begins by indicating a certain time in history: "...in the latter times." This phrase refers to the end of this dispensation, as Merrill Unger declares:
The "latter times" are the closing days of the gospel dispensation, as the professing Church lapses more and more into the prophesied lukewarm Laodicean condition (Rev.3: 14 -22). Departing from the faith, neglecting and rejecting God's truth, the dupes of Satan will devote their attention to misleading spirits and pernicious doctrines instituted by demons.31
Theologian Henry Thiessen is in agreement with Unger when he lists 1Timothy 4: 1-3 with other passages describing "the conditions that are predicted as existing just prior to His return."32 In assigning the basic prophecy here to the end times, just prior to the Second Coming of Christ, Unger and Thiessen are in agreement with Lewis Sperry Chafer, who wrote, "A special departure from the faith is forecast for the
last days of the Church on the earth. It is recorded in 1 Timothy 4: 1-3."33
The specific activity spoken of in this prophecy is departure from the faith: "some shall depart from the faith." This means that they will depart from sound doctrine. The Greek word translated "depart" is "apostesontai," from which the English word "apostatize" is derived. So we are told that a great apostasy from sound doctrine will occur at the end of the church age. Clarke points out that this apostasy may come to a person who holds all the essentials or fundamentals of the Christian faith:
A man may hold all the truths of Christianity, and yet render them of none effect by holding other doctrines which counteract their influence; or he may apostatise by denying some essential doctrine, though he bring in nothing heterodox.34
We pause here to say that Ruckman, though holding the fundamentals of Christianity, has brought in another doctrine, which counteracts "their influence." In this way, Ruckmanism maintains the fundamentals of Christianity and yet apostatises by adding the false doctrine that the KJV is given by inspiration, is the preserved Word of God, and contains advanced revelation. These false teachings of Ruckmanism, when added to the fundamentals of the Christian faith, become apostasy because their addition opens the door to advanced revelation, future doctrinal deviations, and is an attack on the Word of God, given by inspiration in Greek and Hebrew. Ruckmanism is apostate precisely because it attacks the Word of God, given by God in Hebrew and Greek. Ruckmanism corrects the God-breathed words with a translation. This is apostasy.
The passage goes on to say that the end-time apostates will be characterized, not only by their departure from the faith, but also by "giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." Rather than listening to the Holy Spirit, the apostate is led astray by demonic spirits. Calvin rightly says that these spirits are similar to the "lying spirit in the mouth of false prophets to deceive (those) who deserve to be deceived (1 Kings 22: 21-23)...That is why John says, "Try the spirits whether they are of God."35
Unger points out the way in which false doctrine comes about: "The false teacher first departs from the truth, next he listens to and co-operates with 'deluding spirits.' This is how 'doctrines of demons' are born."36
1Timothy 4: 1 ends by saying that the end of the age will be characterized by the proliferation of "doctrines of devils." Lewis Sperry Chafer states that "the deviation from the revealed truth will, no doubt, be in manifold ways."37 Two specific "doctrines of devils" are given in this passage, but they are merely two illustrations of the many false doctrines, which are predicted for the end-times. Unger agrees that the two cases in the passage are illustrations of the many "doctrines of devils" at the end of time, when he says that doctrines of devils "appear in manifold perversions of pure Christianity...as spiritual monstrosities."38 To an unjaundiced eye Ruckmanism, with its insistence that the God-breathed Hebrew and Greek Bible must be corrected by an English translation, must indeed appear as a "perversion" and as a "spiritual monstrosity."
Finally, the passage tells us that the apostate teacher will speak "lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron." Two characteristics of the various apostasies of the end-times are that they are (1) lies and (2) hypocritical. As applied to Ruckmanism, the idea that the KJV is given by inspiration is indeed a lie. We think that Ruckman himself, because of his fine education and strong intellect, probably (at least in the beginning) knew perfectly well that what he was saying regarding the KJV as given by inspiration and being inerrant was untrue. We believe that Ruckman, at least in the beginning, was entirely hypocritical in maintaining a position he knew to be untenable. He may now, however, have become so demonically deluded that he believes his position to be true.
The passage ends by telling us that the apostate teachers' conscience will be "seared with a hot iron." If Ruckman has become deluded to the point of believing his own fantastic teaching, it may be said of him that his own conscience has been cauterized to the point that he no longer feels convicted for propagating false doctrine.
Luther points out that the apostasy predicted in this passage is of a stubborn nature, which refuses to repent:
The nature of this departure (the apostasy predicted in 1Timothy 4: 1-2) from the faith is that it is a stubborn departure. More than this, there is a resistance to sound doctrine, just as heretics do...They strive and they battle so that the church is abused and destroyed as they set themselves up.39
This is an almost perfect description of those who adhere strongly to Ruckmanism. They are stubborn, they resist sound doctrine, they strive and they battle so that the church is abused and destroyed as they set themselves up. Luther has perfectly described the type of personality that finds Ruckmanism appealing. They make themselves out to be great teachers at the expense of all others. They divide churches and break fellowship with other fundamentalists. They fight and destroy over their pet doctrine that the King James Bibles was given by inspiration, is preserved, inerrant, and contains advanced revelation.
Here is the way the demonic deception of Ruckmanism works, as pointed out by Gary Hudson. He shows the four steps followed by those who are deceived into Ruckmanism:
Step #1: The "A.V. 1611" English is superior to the Westcott and Hort Greek.
Step #2: The "A.V. 1611" is superior to all Greek texts...
Step #3: The "A.V. 1611" English corrects the "errors" in any Greek text.
Step #4: The "A.V. 1611" has "advanced revelation."40
The preacher being sucked into Ruckmanism has become dissatisfied with modern translations. He begins to read Ruckmanite literature, and discovers that the Westcott and Hort Greek text is mutilated and is not as reliable as the King James Bible. But instead of getting sound literature, such as that published by the Dean Burgon Society, which shows that the Greek text behind the King James Bible is superior to the mutilated text of Westcott and Hort, the Ruckmanite literature leads the pastor slowly away from Greek and Hebrew altogether into the world of the A.V. 1611 English Bible only. Subtly, then, the demonic teaching of Ruckmanism begins with a truth: the KJV text is superior to other, modern translations. But the Ruckmanite literature does not explain he reason for this, namely that the King James Bible is based on superior Hebrew and Greek texts. Instead, the Ruckmanite literature leads the preacher to phase 2, where he begins to think that the KJV is superior to any Greek text. This appeals especially to pastors who have never studied the Greek or Hebrew. It is appealing because it does not require mental effort or deeper study to say that the 1611 is superior to any Greek text.
Now the pastor is trapped in the deception of Ruckmanism. He will now agree that the A.V.1611 corrects the errors in any Greek text, including the Greek text from which the KJV was translated. As incredible as it seems, the preacher's mind is now so clouded by this doctrine of demons that he will actually defend this almost unbelievable false doctrine. Once the devil has led the preacher to say that the KJV was given by inspiration, rather than the Greek and Hebrew, the trap has been sprung, and the preacher has been caught in the heresy of Ruckmanism, a doctrine of devils. When the preacher looks only to the King James English translation, rather than the Greek and Hebrew from which it came (or in preference to them), then the preacher is forced to defend the KJV as infallible, preserved, inerrant, an exact equivalent of the Greek and Hebrew, and other things which are not true of the KJV or any other translation.
The final point of this doctrine of demons is step 4, "The A.V.1611 has advanced revelation." All of the deceptions by the demonic are designed to lead to this final position, for it is here that heresy takes full bloom. Here the Ruckmanite stands shoulder to shoulder with the Mohammedans and the Mormon. The Ruckmanite now says that God has added to His revelation. The Ruckmanite now must say this. The first three steps in this doctrine of demons lead him inexorably and inescapably in to this damnable heresy. Here is why: when the preacher finally sees (too late, he's trapped) that the KJV translation differs from the Greek and Hebrew that it is translated from in a few places he must now defend the English over the Hebrew and Greek. You see, the preacher has to say that the KJV is right and the Greek is wrong. Therefore, the preacher must now affirm that the KJV contains advanced revelation. There is no other possible place to wind up once the door has been opened to this doctrine of demons.
That is why partial Ruckmanism is so dangerous. By opening the door to Ruckmanism, the way is paved for the person to be sucked to the bottom of this filthy, demonic doctrine. When a good man says that the KJV is preserved or errorless, he tempts God, and opens the door to defending everything in the KJV. If the KJV has no errors, it must not be a human work. It must be given by inspiration. Therefore, it must have advanced revelation.
Every drug addict can tell you about demonic deception by experience. The demons tell them to take just a little cocaine, just a little heroin, just a little opium. The first few "hits" of the drug are pleasant. They don't feel "hooked." But suddenly, after a number of such pleasant drug experiences, they are hooked and there is no way out. This "hooking" is so sudden, so unexpected, that hundreds of thousands of young people are trapped by drugs every year who never expected to be trapped. In the same way, hundreds of our fundamental preachers have been trapped in the heresy of Ruckmanism, and must now defend a false doctrine which has so clouded their minds that their ministries suffer and thousands are deceived.
Ruckman himself was trapped through this process, we are convinced. He began by disliking the modern translations, and wound up defending the horrible false doctrine of advanced revelation. Now he rages into the night like a poor, lost drug addict. He is trapped with no way to escape. Such will be the fate of all who follow his perverted teaching.
1 Robert L. Sumner, "Was J. Frank Norris a Member of the Alexandrian Cult?" in The Biblical Evangelist, January 1, 1989, p. 11.
2 Peter S. Ruckman, Why I Believe the King James Version is the Word of God (Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1988), p. 31.
4 Peter S. Ruckman, The Monarch of the Books! (Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 2nd printing, 1980),p. 11.
5 Ruckman, The Monarch of the Books!, p. 24.
6 Peter S. Ruckman, The Alexandrian Cult, Part Five (Pensacola Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1980), p.11.
7 Peter S. Ruckman, The Alexandrian Cult, Part Eight (Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1981), p. 2.
8 Ruckman, The Alexandrian Cult, Part Five, p. 11.
9 Sumner, "Was J. Frank Norris...," p. 11
10 Peter S. Ruckman, Problem Texts ( Pensacola, Florida: Pensacola Bible Institute Press, 1980), p. 267.
11 Ruckman, Problem Texts, p. 59.
12 Ruckman, The Alexandrian Cult, Part Six (Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1981), p. 30.
13 Peter S. Ruckman, Dr. Ruckman's Testimony (Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, n.d.), tape 1.
16 Ruckman, Dr. Ruckman's Testimony, tape 2.
17 Curtis Hutson, "Ruckman's Various Plans of Salvation and Other Rabid Ramblings," Sword of the Lord, February 3, 1989, pp. 1, 18-22.
18 Merrill F. Unger, Demons in the World Today (Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, 1971), pp. 147-148.
19 Unger, Demons in the World Today, p. 153.
20 Unger, Demons in the World Today, pp. 171-172.
21 Merrill F. Unger, Biblical Demonology (Wheaton, Illinois: Scripture Press, 1952, 5th edition 1963), p. 166.
23 Unger, Biblical Demonology, p. 165.
24 Peter S. Ruckman, The Christian’s Handbook of Manuscript Evidence (Palatka, Florida: Pensacola Bible Press, 1970), p. 118.
25 Personal correspondence of Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr., March 7, 1989.
26 Personal correspondence of Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr., March 9, 1989.
27 John Gill, An Exposition of the New Testament, 2 vols. (London: William Hill Collingridge, 1853), vol. 2. p. 605.
28 Albert Barnes, Thessalonians, Timothy, Titus and Philemon, vol 24 in Notes on the New Testament, Explanatory and Practical (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 9th printing 1971), p. 158.
29 James Strong, A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek New Testament with their Renderings in the King James Version, in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon Press, first edition 1894, 44th printing 1986), p. 85.
30 Unger, Demons in the World Today, p. 154.
31 Unger, Biblical Demonology, pp. 167-168.
32 Henry C. Thiessen, Introductory Lectures in Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, Michigan: W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., first edition 1949, 15th printing 1974), p. 474.
33 Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, 8 vols. (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Seminary Press, first edition 1947, 5th printing 1957), vol. 2, p. 117.
34 Adam Clarke, The Epistles and Revelation, vol. 6 of The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: The Text in the Authorized Translation: with a Commentary and Critical Notes (New York: Phillips & Hunt, 1883), p. 342.
35 John Calvin, The Second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians and the Epistles to Timothy, Titus and Philemon, trans. T. A. Smail, in Calvin's Commentaries (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1964), p. 237.
36 Unger, Demons in the World Today, p. 155.
37 Chafer, Systematic Theology, vol. 2, p. 118.
38 Unger, Demons in the World Today, p. 155.
39 Martin Luther, Commentaries on 1 Corinthians 7, 1 Corinthians 15, Lectures on 1 Timothy, vol. 28 on Luther's Works, ed. Hilton C. Oswald (St. Louis: Condordia Publishing House, 1973), p. 308.
40 Gary R. Hudson, Why I Left Ruckmanism (Collingswood, New Jersey: The Bible For Today, 1988), pp. 13-16.
The Deception of Ruckmanism
The King James Bible is the finest translation in the English language. We say this for three reasons. First, the KJV is superior because it has superior text. The Masoretic Text in Hebrew and Textus Receptus in Greek are far superior to the mutilated Westcott and Hort text used in the modern translations. Dean Burgon, Edward Hills, and other scholars have shown that the Hebrew and Greek texts from which the King James is translated are better than the Hebrew and Greek texts used today, because these modern texts are based on mutilations from the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus manuscripts, and other fragments which, though older, are less reliable than the ones used by the KJV translators. Secondly, the KJV is superior because it had superior translators. The men who translated the King James Version were some of the greatest Biblical linguists that the world has ever known. Their knowledge far surpassed, in the main, the linguistic knowledge of the translators of the modern versions. Coupled with this is the fact that the King James translators knew English backwards and forwards. Many of the modern translators have a poor knowledge of English, particularly English style. For this reason many passages in the NASV, for instance, have been labelled "wooden" because the English style is poor. Many of the men who translated the NASV had a poor knowledge of English, though they may have had a good knowledge of Hebrew and Greek. Thirdly, the King James Version is superior because they used a superior translating technique. They did not use "dynamic equivalence" as the NIV, the Living Bible, and other modern translations do. Wherever possible the King James translators gave the literal meaning.
Very few words are poorly translated in the KJV. "Easter," "churches," "synagogues," and some of the italics, and a few other inconsistencies are about all we can find poorly translated in the KJV. This puts the Authorized Version miles ahead of any of the modern translations. Dr. D.A.Waite, president of the Dean Burgon Society, has found over 3300 places where the NIV is translated incorrectly, but the KJV is right.1
It is perfectly proper, in a colloquial manner, to call the King James Version the Word of God. This is not to say that the KJV is "breathed out" by God. When we say that the King James is the Word of God, we are not saying that it is given by inspiration, but rather that it is an accurate translation in English. This is true in thousands of verses, with only a minute number of human errors, none of which affect Christian doctrine.
When we call the King James Version "the Word of God in English," this statement actually corrects Ruckmanism, if understood properly. Ruckman teaches that the KJV is given by inspiration, coming down from heaven so to speak, God giving the very words in English. However, the very words were given by God only in Hebrew and Greek, not in English. Translating is a strictly human process. The English word "translate" comes from "translatus" which means "a carrying over from one language to another." Thus, the KJV accurately carries over the words from Greek and Hebrew into English, with only a minute number of human errors, none of which affect doctrine, or even the main sense of the passage in which they appear. Because of the high degree of accuracy of the KJV, higher than any other translation in English a thousand times over, it is perfectly proper, in nontechnical language, to call the KJV "the Word of God."
In technical language, the term should be reserved for the Greek and Hebrew, and "translation" should be used to describe the KJV. But this usage should be reserved only for technical scholarly papers. Since the KJV is so highly accurate in "carrying over" the words of the Greek and Hebrew into English, we can honestly call the KJV "the Word of God."
Peter S. Ruckman, on the other hand, holds that we cannot call the KJV "the Word of God" unless this translation is completely without error or weakness. But Ruckman has made up the rules. Why can't we simply say that the KJV is the Word of God everywhere that it is translated correctly, which is virtually every word, with only a handful of exceptions? Why does the translation have to be completely errorless before we can say that all of the places that are translated correctly are the Word of God?
In fact, we may be so bold as to say that verses in the NASV, NIV, or even the RSV, which are translated correctly are the Word of God. Any verse correctly translated from an undistorted Greek text is the Word of God in the nontechnical sense. The problem that we have with these modern translations is that so many verses are mistranslated, and so many passages are based on a bad text that it becomes virtually impossible for us to call the entire book the Word of God in any meaningful sense.
On the other hand, the number of weaknesses in the KJV is so small (only a handful out of countless thousands of verses) that it is proper to call the KJV "the Word of God in English." No preacher should be afraid to use this term when holding up a King James Bible.
Ruckman distributes a book called Dear Dr. Ruckman: Where Is Your Bible? A written Dispute with Dr. John R. Rice.2 It is a series of letters by a man named Herbert F. Evans and answers by Dr. Rice. We could easily make a similar little booklet titled, "Dear Dr. Ruckman: Where Is Your Bible?" For Ruckman himself has no original copies, and can find no original copies of the King James Version. The manuscripts that were made by the translators and delivered to the printers in 1611 no longer exist. They have been destroyed or lost. So, Dr. Ruckman has no original Bible, no basis to say that the
KJV is perfect. Yet, even though Ruckman has no original manuscripts, and the KJV has gone through many revisions with changes in spelling and even in words, Ruckman still holds up his KJV and says, "This is the Word of God." He does this without knowing where the originals are and in spite of the fact that he says the KJV has gone through at least seven revisions, where spelling, punctuation, and even words were changed.
If Ruckman can hold up a KJV which has gone through so many changes and for which there are no originals and call it "the Word of God," why shouldn't the rest of us be able to do this? I believe that God breathed every word of the original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. These originals were lost, but so were Ruckman's KJV originals, so we come out in the same place exactly! The Hebrew and Greek manuscripts have come down to us in the Masoretic Text and Textus Receptus. The KJV "carries over" the words of the Hebrew and Greek accurately into English with only a handful of errors in doctrinally unimportant places. I can hold up the King James Bible and say, "This is the Word of God in English," and do this honestly in everyday nontechnical language.
Now Ruckman insists that we must not call the King James the Word of God unless we use the words "without error." But here, Ruckman has made up the rules. Any passage that is correctly translated from reliable manuscripts is the Word of God. The idea that the entire translation must not have a single error or mistranslation before we can call it the Word of God is a rule made up by Ruckman himself and those who follow his teaching. But we have shown that this is a rule unnecessary for sensible, deep-thinking people, people who have gone beyond a Sunday School mentality and simplistic thinking on these questions.
Ruckman's First Deception
Ruckmanism rests upon three main deceptions. The first of these deceptions was given by Ruckman, in his own words:
What benefit could the devil have in your life by convincing you the King James Bible is the Word of God from cover to cover without proven error? Tell me what benefit the devil would receive from that.3
We can say that this is a deception because the devil does obtain benefit from Ruckman saying that the KJV has no "proven error." I will now give the benefits that the devil does get if someone says that the KJV is "without proven error."
The first benefit the devil receives by saying that the KJV is "without proven error" is that it leads to the need to defend poorly translated words, such as "Easter" for "Passover" and "churches for "temples." It leads to advanced revelation, because the person who says that the KJV is "without proven error" must defend these poor translations. As one Ruckmanite pastor wrote me, "The AV translation of 'Easter' is an advanced revelation above the Greek and/or Hebrew."4 The pastor is driven to this absurd
and heretical position of claiming advanced revelation for the KJV because he has swallowed Ruckman's idea that the KJV is "without proven error."
Ruckman himself is driven to an insane defence of both "he" and "she" as these two words appeared in different editions of the KJV in Ruth 3: 15. Ruckman defends both "he" and "she" as correct, God-breathed truth! Listen to him defend both words as given by inspiration:
Our problem text today is from Ruth Chapter 3. This is one of the "last resorts" used by the Cult to prove a "contradiction" in the AV. The thinking behind this is that some editions of the AV had "SHE went into the city" while others said "HE went into the city"...Now the fact is, they BOTH "went into the city." Observe Ruth 3: 16 - Ruth's mother-in-law, Naomi, is INTHE CITY. Observe Ruth 4: 1 - Boaz had to go into the city to get to "the gate." EITHER READING WOULD HAVE BEEN THE TRUTH OF GOD WITHOUT CONTRADICTION.5
Fundamentalists have always held that God picked certain words to reveal His truth. But Ruckmanites, in order to defend their absurd view that the KJV was given by inspiration, must give up the cherished view of fundamentalists that God picked certain words and gave them in the Bible. Now, as the last quote defending "he" and "she" proves, Ruckmanism tells us that the words themselves were not God-breathed, but that various words can be given. In other words, Ruckmanism teaches that there is no sure Word. In fact, a future edition of the KJV may have yet another word, perhaps "they.": By Ruckman's theory all three words, "he," "she," and "they," would be given by God, so we would have no idea who went to the city! The idea that God picked certain words in giving the Bible is destroyed by Ruckmanism. This is a very definite benefit to the devil, who has always attacked the Word of God.
Notice that the devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness and said, "If thou be the Son of God, command these stones to be made bread" (Matthew 4: 3). And Jesus answered by saying, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Mat- -thew 4: 4). Yes, Jesus said that "every word in the Bible proceeded "out of the mouth of God."
Ruckman attacks that by saying that other words can proceed out of God's mouth later in a advanced revelation, words which contradict the original words, words which Jesus never saw. Thus, Ruckmanism attacks the divinely inspired Greek and Hebrew Bible. Ruckmanism attacks the Bible that Jesus read, adds words to it, claims it to be unreliable, in need of correction from an English translation, made one thousand six hundred years after Jesus lived, and which was never read by Jesus Himself.
The second benefit the devil receives is by moving those who formerly held to the need for a literal translation into a position of defending dynamic equivalence (a position formerly held only by the neo-orthodox and liberals). Now, fundamentalists who hold to some or all of the tenets of Ruckmanism are forced to hold a dynamic equivalent translation rather than a literal translation for such words as "Easter."
Knowing that the Greek word "pascha" cannot literally be translated as "Easter," these Ruckmanites must adopt a dynamic equivalent theory to maintain their view that the KJV is "without error." The dynamic equivalent theory is exactly what makes the NIV a weak translation. This theory says that a translation does not have to carry over the words of the original, but rather should carry over the thoughts or ideas. In the end, the Ruckmanite gives up the fundamentalist position that the Greek and Hebrew words should be translated literally and adopts the liberal view that the "ideas" and "thoughts" are all that count, not the words. Thus, the devil has received the benefit of bringing Ruckmanites out of fundamentalism into liberalism on this matter of not taking the Hebrew and Greek Bible words seriously.
When you say that "Easter" is the dynamic equivalent, or that it carries the right thought for "pascha," you have adopted the liberals' idea that it is the "thoughts" rather than the words that are important. You have adopted a liberal view of the Bible without knowing it! The same is true of "churches" and "temples." If you say that "churches" is a close enough translation of "hieron," or if you say that it conveys the "idea," you have adopted a liberal view of the Bible. You are saying that the "ideas" and not the "words" are what is important. I have fought this type of liberalism for years. It is neo-orthodoxy; if is liberalism; it is heresy. The word "pascha" must be translated "Passover." No dynamic equivalent or thought form can twist the meaning to "Easter." Liberalism has come in through the back door if you accept dynamic equivalence or thought forms. These words have a definite meaning, and must be translated literally. "Pascha" means "Passover." "Hieron" means "temples." Fundamentalists must not accept liberal dynamic equivalent thought forms, but must stick to hard, literal translations of the God-given Hebrew and Greek words.
Thus, the second benefit the devil gets from claiming that the KJV is "without error" is that it opens the door to a liberal view of the Bible. Now this is exactly what happened to our first mother. The Scripture tells us that the devil tempted her, asking, "Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" (Genesis 3: 1). Our first mother answered, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die" (Genesis 3: 2-3). Notice that Eve added the words "neither shall ye touch it." We find this by reading what God actually said in Genesis 2: 17. God simply said, "Thou shalt not eat of it." Eve added the words, "neither shall ye touch it." Doubtlessly she thought that she was giving the dynamic equivalent, the thoughts of what God had told her husband. She gave the dynamic equivalent, the thought form, of "stay away from the tree." But she did not give the exact words that God spoke. By not giving the exact words that God spoke, she gave place to the devil, and ultimately brought sin and death upon herself by doing so.
O, let us flee from the dynamic equivalence theory of our first mother! Let us run swiftly away from the thought that we can give the ideas without giving the exact words. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
The Ruckmanite view of Scripture is Satan's view. Satan sees the Scripture as changing, moving, things being added to it. That is why he adds the Book of Mormon. That is why he adds the Koran. That is why he adds Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. That is why he adds "he" and "she," "Easter" for "Passover," and "churches" for "temples." This is Satan's view of the Bible. Add to it. Take the dynamic equivalents, the thought forms, not the words, seriously. But God's view of the Bible is that the very Hebrew and Greek words were breathed out of His mouth onto the scroll, through the human agency of the prophets and apostles (II Timothy 3: 16; II Peter 1: 21).
So, the devil receives the benefit of downgrading the words of the Bible, given in Greek and Hebrew, and, secondly, the devil receives the benefit of moving Ruckmanites from the fundamentalist position to the liberal dynamic equivalent position concerning the Scriptures.
Thirdly, the devil receives the benefit of forcing those who hold Ruckmanism to defend poorly translated words in the King James Bible with fantastic theories and exotic interpretations. Notice Ruckman's own exotic and fantastic defence of the word "Easter" in Acts 12: 4. Ruckman writes:
" 'AFTER EASTER' (vs 4). The Holy Spirit has thrust Himself into the AV committee of 1611 and said, 'WRITE...!' Easter was a Roman Holiday which Herod observed as religiously as any Babylonian priest observed it 1000 years before Christ was born. The feast of the Passover matched this pagan feast every few years, and since Herod was a Roman the Holy Spirit has pointed out for you the
Catholic Feast which Rome substituted for the Passover!...When in doubt, throw 100% of the "blameless" scholars out! 0-U-T! OUT!6
Note several things about this defence of "Easter." First, Ruckman claims that the Holy Spirit "thrust Himself" into the AV committee of 1611 and said "Write." He claims that the Holy Spirit told the translation committee to write "Easter" in Acts 12: 4. Thus, the KJV translation is not a human work, but was given through inspiration. As we have shown, this view that a translation is given by inspiration was unheard of throughout two millennia of church history until Ruckmanism reared its head after 1950. We offer on thousand dollars to anyone who can cite a single Baptist or Protestant scholar who held the view that a translation was given through inspiration, and who held this view prior to 1950. No one has collected the money, because no one believed this fantastic theory for 2000 years, until Ruckmanism became a full-blown doctrine, led by Peter Ruckman and a few others.
Next, notice that Ruckman says that the Holy Spirit told the translation committee to write "Easter" instead of "Passover" to correct Roman Catholics. And Gary Hudson points out:
...WAS "Easter," the Anglo-Saxon festival of Spring, known to anyone at the time of Acts 12? Even though, as Ruckman rightly argues the goddess of "Easter" was the ancient "Ishtar" from Babylonian paganism, THERE WAS STILL NO SUCH "EASTER" FESTIVAL KNOWN TO ANYONE AT THE TIME OF ACTS 12 FOR HEROD TO ATTEND! ESPECIALLY, THERE WAS NO SUCH FESTIVAL HELD IN CONJUNCTION WITH "THE DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD," THE JEWISH PASSOVER!17
Why would a Jew or an early Christian even think of an "Easter" celebration which did not take place in the Holy Land at this time, and which no one even knew about? So, we see that Ruckmanism drives a person to adopt fantastic theories to support their view that the KJV is "without proven error." In fact, in
these places such as Acts 12: 4, there is proven error in the translation. So, the Ruckmanite must adopt a
fantastic theory to disprove any "proven error." This leads, as we have shown, to advanced revelation, which is the only logical position one is left with once he has defended the poor translation as inerrant.
Fourthly, believing that the KJV is "without proven error" benefits the devil by taking the Ruckmanite away from the Greek and Hebrew Bible. Like the Mormon and the Moslem, the Ruckmanite no longer looks to the God-inspired Hebrew and Greek text. He now looks to a translation alone. This removes the Ruckmanite from the words that were actually given by God. He now has a wall of separation between him and the Word of God as originally given. This is particularly dangerous for pastors, because the pastor needs to check carefully on the meaning of words, as he prepares his Bible studies and sermons. All pastors should be able to at least use the helps in ascertaining the meaning of Hebrew and Greek words, helps such as Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, Wilson's Old Testament Word Studies, and Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words. These helps are quite simple to master, and put the pastor in direct contact with the inspired Hebrew and Greek text.
But Ruckmanism makes exegesis from Hebrew and Greek unnecessary. The pastor no longer checks his Greek Testament, no longer uses the helps, no longer purchases books that will shed light on his Testament. Now, all the pastor needs is a fancy English dictionary. He can look up the variations of any English word he wants and no longer has to consult the Greek or Hebrew at all. If any reader thinks this is stretching the imagination, he should talk to a Ruckmanite pastor. That is exactly what they do. They consult an English dictionary to exegete the Bible. As fantastic as it sounds, this is precisely what is done by Ruckmanite pastors. They ought to be studying their Hebrew and Greek Bibles with the simple helps available to all pastors. Instead, they are trying to figure out what God meant with an English dictionary! This may appeal to their laziness, but it certainly does not add to their knowledge of God's Word.
Fifthly, the devil receives benefit from believing that the KJV is "without proven error" by driving fundamentalism into evangelicalism.. Thousands of intelligent young men will leave Ruckmanite churches and be influenced by soft evangelicalism, with its better scholarship. We are already seeing this. These young men take a few courses, realize that Ruckmanism is anti-intellectual and untrue, and so reject the King James Bible, reject fundamentalism, and become new evangelicals. A backlash against Ruckmanism
drives thousands of young men into evangelicalism, young men who are lost to the cause of fundamentalism forever because of the ignorant rantings of Ruckmanite pastors and Ruckmanite Bible school teachers.
Since Ruckmanism is an indefensible position to a person with a logical mind, a defence of Ruckmanism by local church pastors and Bible school teachers will drive the best young man out of fundamentalism altogether. They will be driven to use Westcott and Hort, modern translations, methods of Macarthur, and other new evangelical errors. That is a definite benefit for the devil.
Sixthly, accepting the KJV as being "without proven error" will give the devil a benefit of causing thousands in the next generation to abandon the Authorized Version altogether. Closely related to the
fifth benefit the devil will receive, this sixth benefit arises from the fact that bright and intelligent young people will see through the fantastic and intellectually unsupportable arguments of Ruckmanism, but will not be given a reason to preach the KJV. Thus, they will abandon the KJV by the thousands. The devil will receive the benefit of using Ruckmanism to turn people away from the KJV, which is the finest and strongest translation of God's Word in the English language. Thousands will turn away from the King James Bible as they reject Ruckmanism. That is the sixth benefit the devil will receive from Ruckmanites holding that the KJV is "without proven error."
The seventh benefit the devil receives is that Ruckmanism divides churches, fellowships, and denominations. Ruckmanism is extremely divisive. In this, it resembles early Pentecostalism, where churches and fellowships were divided over the tongues question because the "tongues people" insisted so strongly that everyone speak in tongues or they would break fellowship with them. This is what Ruckmanites do. They break fellowship with those who do not follow them in their theory. We have seen this again and again. The editor of one Ruckmanite paper, The Flaming Torch, will not even receive mail, which I send to him. He has broken fellowship with me, and will not even speak to me, because I do not follow his fantastic theory on the Bible. This same man has taken his church out of the Baptist Bible Fellowship in a similar breaking of fellowship because certain BBF leaders would not follow him in his Ruckmanism, and on other peripheral matters.
Brad Weniger, a Ruckmanite pastor in Northern California, insinuated himself into a position of authority in the California Baptist Bible Fellowship. Soon after doing so, Weniger began agitating for Ruckmanism. When the bulk of the California churches would not follow his Ruckmanite views, Weniger pulled out of BBF and strongly urged all others who "believed their Bibles" to leave with him. This man harmed the BBF work in northern California, setting it back for years. Such divisive actions are typical of those who adhere to the Ruckmanite heresy. The word "heresy" literally means "a party spirit" or "divisive group." So, these people do not separate themselves for any decent reason. As true heretics, they divide from normal Christians and attack those who do not agree to the details of their heresy.
Ruckmanism can split local churches if not checked, because of this "party spirit." If the pastor does not go along with the Ruckmanites, they will drive him out if they have strength enough to do so. If they do not have the strength to drive out the pastor, they will very likely split a group who agree with them off from the church to begin a new Ruckmanite church.
This is what Brad Weniger did in northern California. He took a group of BBF churches and formed a "KJV fellowship. " The motivation behind Weniger's split was Ruckmanism.
Writing in The Flaming Torch in December 1988, Weniger said:
As my current terms of office in the BBF expire, I refused to stand for re-election or to be identified with the BBF in the future. However, before my adversaries within the BBF begin their celebration of what is tantamount to an early Christmas, I will guide you on a sobering tour of the spiritual morgue wherein lies the corpse of the BBF, victim of the terminal diseases of com -promise, cronyism, cultism, and connectionism.
The autopsy reveals that just before the end, a courageous, but hopeless, struggle occurred as the heart of Bible-conviction ceased to beat. The death-rattle in the throat made the final words of "autonomy, autonomy" sound very much like "Anything goes!"
The victim might have been spared had the editor of "the official voice of the fellowship" not been guilty of "micro-journalism" on vital issues and of silence regarding his cronies' indiscretions. The malpractice of electing to sell subscriptions rather than diagnosing the disease resulted in the victim's death.
The cadaver's veins are full of the poison injected by over-educated fools, paid perverters of God's Word in the classrooms of "approved colleges," who
in cultic fashion "correct" the King James Bible while promoting the NIV, NASV, the NKJV, Arian first-cousins to the New World Translation of the Watchtower Society. A possible last-minute transfusion of the inerrant KJV -1611 was rejected as "fanatical."
Regular examination, preventive medicine, and even heroic measures in the end may have saved the BBF had the Bylaws not required several committees to first deliberate while precedent prohibited individual intervention. In the final analysis, the BBF was "committed to death."
Although brain-death is undeniable, the slick prodding, probing, and poking by the leadership makes the corpse of the BBF move, jump, and jerk about in ghoulish fashion. A large group of the gullible and confused swallow the lie that this proves that what is obviously dead is really alive. However, growing numbers are being driven away by the smell.
I apologize for failing to write this letter sooner. However, I had entertained illus -ions of helping others to see the light. I now declare myself to be non-alligned(sic)
and independent, and I urge Bible-believing pastors and missionaries to boldly come out of the BBF.
Dr. Brad Weniger
Former President - Calif. BBF
Former Chairman - BBF N. Calif.8
I so not feel that it is necessary to comment at great length on this vitriolic, mean-spirited letter. Suffice it to say that Weniger has wrongly called the Baptist Bible Fellowship a "cadaver." He has wrongly said that the "approved colleges" are cult-like and promote such translations as the NIV, NASV, and other translations based on Westcott and Hort's mutilated text. None of the Baptist Bible Fellowship colleges do this.
Weniger's Ruckmanism can be seen in his statement, "A possible last-minute transfusion of the inerrant KJV-1611 was rejected as "fanatical"...I urge Bible-believing pastors and missionaries to boldly come out of the BBF." This is a statement typical of Ruckmanites. They call themselves "Bible- -believers." They say that the rest of us belong to the "Alexandrian cult," even if we preach out of King James Bible, if we do not believe that the King James Bible was given by inspiration, is inerrant, preserved,
etc. Even if we say that the Masoretic Text and Textus Receptus, from which the King James was translated, are the inerrant Word of God, and that the King James Version is the most accurate translation available in English, Ruckmanites like Weniger still say that we are "Bible-deniers" and members of "the Alexandrian cult." They are the only "Bible-believers." So, Weniger urged "Bible-believing pastors and missionaries to boldly come out of the BBF." Unfortunately, a number of Ruckmanite and partial Ruckmanite pastors followed him, harming BBF work in northern California. This is an example of the divisive nature of Ruckmanism.
Here are Brad Weniger's "suggestion to those who wish to take a stand against the corruption within the BBF." Weniger wrote, in the December 1988 issue of The Flaming Torch:
1. If you feel that there is hope for your local fellowship, urge them to pass specific resolutions and demand immediate change from the national leadership.
2. If immediate change is not forthcoming from the national leadership, influence your local fellowship to disassociate and become non-aligned (sic) and independent.
3. If the local fellowship does not wish to take this action as a body, separate individually first, and then attempt to influence other individuals to do likewise.
4. Write to the national officers and agencies and clearly state your reasons
5. Send your letter to several publications, which are sympathetic.
6. Encourage other individuals wo write letters and have them published.
7. Contact BBFI missionaries and urge them to separate.
8. Support missionaries that are willing to take a courageous stand, since they will undoubtedly lose the support of denominationalists.
9. Pray that pastors and missionaries will see the light, but do not attack them personally if they are still deciding their course of action.
10. Pray that you will remain tender, and not bitter, toward the things of God, and press on with your individual ministry. Fellowship is spontaneous, and those of us who agree will find each other in the future. There will be some great meetings devoid of political compromise.9
These "suggestions" are a direct call for missionaries and churches to "separate" from the Baptist Bible Fellowship. He goes so far as to say that if the local fellowship does not wish to separate, "separate individually first, and then attempt to influence other individuals to do likewise." This shows the sneaky character and divisive motivation of these Ruckmanite "splitters."
Don Edwards and David Hahn, co-editors of The Flaming Torch, the Ruckmanite publication which published the above letter and suggestions by Brad Weniger, printed this "editor's note" at the end of Weniger's list of suggestion:
I commend Pastor Brad Weniger for his BIBLE stand. Many of you preachers reading this ought to do the same thing. If your name or the name of your church is allowed to be listed in the next BBF directory (coming out next Spring) you are listed with Bible Perverters, Liars, Questionable Financial Dealings, Men Who Use Gutter Language, Pseudo-Fundamentalists, Pseudo-Baptists Who Accept Alien Baptism - all of which are bragged on in the BBF Convention Paper, etc. Now is the time to take your stand by writing Springfield and requesting your name and your church's name to be removed from the next Directory. How could a
REAL BIBLE BELIEVER do otherwise? We will print your letters as space permits in future issues of the TORCH.10
Notice first that Edwards and Hahn, Ruckmanite editors of The Glaming Torch, commend Weniger "for BIBLE stand." By this, they mean his stand for a Ruckmanite position concerning Scripture, and for his typically Ruckmanite divisiveness and meanness. Next, they call those who remain in the Baptist Bible Fellowship "Bible Perverters, Liars Men who use Gutter Language, Pseudo-Baptists etc." They do not list any proof whatever that these charges are true of men faithful to the BBF, they are simply name-calling, offering no proof whatever. This also is typical of Ruckman and those who follow his teachings.
A pastor may say that he did not learn his doctrine or way of acting from Ruckman. Perhaps he didn't. Perhaps he learned it from a preacher a few miles away. And the preacher a few miles away learned it from a man in another town. And the man in the other town learned it from a fellow in Oklahoma. But the fellow in Oklahoma learned it from Ruckman! So, Weniger, Hahn, Edwards, and the men who follow them learned their doctrine in one way or another from Peter S. Ruckman. It may have been second-, third-, or fourth-hand, but the source of their doctrine and divisive action is the man who behaves just as they do: Ruckman of Pensacola!
Notice that Edwards and Hahn end their "editor's note" by saying that pastors should have their names removed from the BBF directory because "How could a real Bible-believer do otherwise?" Of course, by "Bible-believer," they mean a Ruckmanite, a man who believes that the KJV was given by inspiration and has advanced revelation and light. Their mean spirit and their divisiveness also have their root in the heresy of Ruckmanism. They had no real reason to leave BBF. The vast majority of BBF churches are sound on doctrine. Only a handful could be classified as slipping toward evangelicalism. None could be considered liberal on doctrine. None of the BBF colleges have any liberalism whatever. They teach all of the fundamentals of the Christian faith. Their professors are thoroughly orthodox, Bible-believing men. I make this statement after careful investigation. So, we find that the divisiveness of Weniger, Hahn, and Edwards has no real basis in anything but their Ruckmanism.
The eighth benefit the devil receives from acceptance of the KJV as being " without proven error" is that Ruckmanism becomes a counterfeit for revival.
Those of us old enough to remember the Pentecostalism of the 1940's and early 1950's will recall how divisive they were on the issue of tongues. You could not have a Pentecostal in your church without them dividing the church on the tongues question. The Ruckmanites have a similar spirit of divisiveness.
But there is another similarity between Pentecostalism and Ruckmanism, namely that it is a counterfeit for revival. The Pentecostals said that their tongues experience was revival. They said that the tongues experience was the thing that was needed to bring life to the churches. But they were wrong. The tongues teaching did not bring revival.
Now, we find that the Ruckmanites, in a manner similar to the Pentecostals, tell us that their view on the Bible will bring revival. Brad Weniger said this in his Flaming Torch letter, "A possible last-minute transfusion of the inerrant KJV-1611 was rejected."11 He was saying here that the so-called "corpse of the BBF" could be revived by a transfusion of Ruckmanite teaching on the KJV 1611. In other words, revival would come by accepting Ruckmanism!
But Ruckmanism does not bring New Testament revival. True, there may be some souls won in Ruckmanite churches. We are not denying that. True also that there may be an excitement derived from blasting others and promoting Ruckmanite teachings. But this excitement has an animal-like quality to it, a carnal, fleshly tinge to it. It does not have the spiritual qualities of the revivals described in the Book of Acts, in the accounts of Whitefield and Wesley, the reports of the Great Awakenings, or the old-time revivals of Sam Jones, R. A. Torrey, J. Frank Norris, John R. Rice Bob Jones and other godly men who had real revival in the past.
No, we think that Ruckmanism is a counterfeit for real revival. It is a counterfeit as Pentecostalism is a counterfeit. It does not offer the refreshing, soul-satisfying, Christ-exalting experience of true Bible revival.
It should be noted that many of the old - fashioned revivalists would be classified by the Ruckmanites as members of the Alexandrian Cult because they used the Revised Version, based on Westcott and Hort's mutilated Greek manuscript. We think it is unfortunate that R. A. Torrey, John R. Rice, and J. Frank Norris sometimes referred to the Revised Version. We think they should not have done so. But who can deny the R. A. Torrey had real, soul-stirring revivals? Who can deny that Dr. Rice and Dr. Norris held revivals that shook whole cities, where thousands came to Christ, prayer meetings that sometimes went all night, where the power of God fell, sinners were converted and backslidden Christians got right with God?
What Ruckmanite can match Norris, Rice or Torrey? Yet Norris, Rice and
Torrey were wrong in using the Revised Version at times. This shows that
God can bring revival in spite of a wrong translation if our hearts are
right with Him. But those who have the right translation but whose hearts
are full of meanness, bitterness, divisiveness and hatred, will not have
the sweet spirit of revival that moves individuals, towns, cities, and
Oh, how we need revival today! But revival will not come through Pentecostal fanaticism, and revival will not come through Ruckmanite fanaticism. Revival can only come when Christians pray, seek God's face, give up their wicked ways, give up their meanness, give up their selfishness and personal sins, beg Him for mercy until the blessed Holy Spirit comes in power.
The great Welsh revival began when a group of teenagers met to pray, and a young girl stood up in their midst and said softly, "Oh, I do love Jesus." That was all she said. The fire fell. The waves of revival went around the world, with thousands converted, reaching as far away as Shanghai and Los Angeles.
So, if we do love Jesus, revival will come. The problem that we have is that we do not love Jesus enough. That is the problem of Ruckmanism. There is love for a splinter group, love for a particular man-made doctrine, love that resembles a party spirit, love built around a dry doctrine (and a false one at that). But this cannot bring revival, because revival comes when we love Jesus. Revival does not come when we love a doctrine. Thus, Ruckmanism is a counterfeit for real revival.
Instead of preaching for revival, the Ruckmanite now preaches for Ruckmanism. Instead of preaching so that people will love Jesus, the Ruckmanite now preaches so that people will love his doctrine concerning the A.V.1611. The devil is pleased, because preaching a dry doctrine (and a false one at that) never brings revival. It did not bring revival to the Pentecostals, and it will not bring revival to the fundamentalists.
Ruckman said, "What benefit would the devil have in your life by convincing you the King James Bible was the Word of God from cover to cover without proven error? Tell me what benefit the devil would receive from that." We have shown eight benefits the devil receives from claiming more for the KJV than ought to be claimed, for claiming that it is "without proven error," which leads to advanced revelation as we have shown. Eight benefits arise from such a Ruckmanite position:
1. A Ruckmanite view of the KJV leads to a need to defend poorly translated words in the few [places where they arise.
2. A Ruckmanite view of the KJV moves you from a literal translation to dynamic equivalence, from a word-for-word translation from Greek and Hebrew to a liberal view that "the ideas" are all that need to be translated. So you are moved to a view similar to that of the liberal.
3. A Ruckmanite view of the KJV forces you to adopt fantastic theories and exotic interpretations to defend your position.
4. A Ruckmanite view of the KJV takes you away from the Greek and the Hebrew Bible. In fact, it is an attack on the God-inspired Greek and Hebrew Bible!
5. A Ruckmanite view of the KJV will drive fundamentalism into evangelicalism.
6. A Ruckmanite view of the KJV will cause the next generation to abandon the
Authorized Version altogether and go to less reliable translations.
7. A Ruckmanite view of the KJV divides churches, fellowships and denominations.
8. A Ruckmanite view of the KJV is a counterfeit for revival, a counterfeit so strong that the Ruckmanite will not experience anything like the revivals of the past.
Those are eight of the benefits that the devil receives from a man espousing Ruckman's view. So we have answered Ruckman's question, "Tell me what benefit the devil would receive from that." We have showed that the devil will receive at least eight benefits listed above, and perhaps others we have not considered.
In a tape called "How God Opened My Eyes to the King James Version" Ruckman makes this statement:
I want to talk to you about how God opened my eyes. And when I say how God opened my eyes, I want to have you understand clearly and emphatically that either God opened my eyes or the devil deceived me. And before this testimony is over, you're going to find there's no middle ground.12
So, Ruckman himself admits the possibility that the devil deceived him. Surely no thinking person would believe that God opened his eyes! Yet on one point we agree with Ruckman. He says, "either God opened my eyes of the devil deceived me...there's no middle ground." That much is true. There is no middle ground. And we are convinced that it was the devil who deceived him.
On this same tape Ruckman asks this question, "Who taught me what I believe?"13 My answer: the devil taught you what you believe.
Ruckman's Second Deception
Ruckman's second deception comes in the form of a question. He says, " Where is my Bible?" On this point, Ruckman deceives many, because he comes our shooting and it looks like he's really on to something, unless you examine his teaching very carefully.
Here is Ruckman's deceptive idea: he teaches that there is no original Greek text available, therefore the person who appeals to the Greek has no Bible, no real authority. Attacking Dr. John R. Rice on this subject, Ruckman says, "I've got ads back there piled up of the Sword of the Lord: 'Learn the original Greek text'! See what the original Greek text says'! There isn't a man who ever lived on this earth that ever saw the original Greek text and if you saw the original Greek text, you couldn't tell what it said anyway."14 Regarding this statement, Ruckman says, "When it comes to out and out lying there isn't a Communist in the party from 1850 to 1980 that ever out-lied Rice’s Sword of the Lord on that one.15
So, Ruckman says that we cannot appeal to the "original" Hebrew and Greek as our final authority, because these original copies do not exist. He makes this quite clear in many places, with such statements as these: "No man has ever studied the original Greek text. No man can understand something he has never read nor seen nor heard."16
But Ruckman's logic on this point of the lost originals crumbles when we realize that Ruckman himself has no originals.
Ruckman says that the KJV is authoritative because we have it, but we do not have the original Greek and Hebrew. But is he right? The fact is, plain and simple, that there is no original copy of the King James Bible. The original text of the King James Bible, which was delivered to the typesetters, has been lost. RUCKMAN HAS NO ORIGINAL TEXT!
Now you tell me who's the fool? Why do we need to take the King James translation as our final authority rather than the Hebrew and Greek when there is no more of an original for the KJV than there is for these Hebrew and Greek texts?
Since Ruckman has no originals himself, he's no better off than those of us who appeal to the Hebrew and Greek.
Ruckman admits that the King James Version has gone through seven revisions. Any fool can pick up a copy of the KJV as originally printed (now published by Thomas Nelson). Taking a look at this KJV Bible will show anyone that there have been a great many changes, primarily in spelling.
In his book Differences in the King James Version Editions, Ruckman unwittingly shows that edition after edition of the KJV had to be "corrected." Now why did each of these editions have to be corrected if each of them was the inerrant Word of God in English as Ruckman claims? How can an edition that needs to be corrected be called inerrant? So Ruckman admits logically that ALL EDITIONS OF THE KING JAMES BIBLE THAT HAD TO BE CORRECTED WERE NOT INERRANT. After all, how could something that needs to be corrected be without error? So the English-speaking people did not have an inerrant King James Bible from the time it was printed until the final "corrections" were made. Ruckman himself is not sure when this final "correct" edition came out. In some places he seems to say that it came out in 1769. In other places he indicates 1813 or 1852. No one can say. Ruckman has no originals. Ruckman has no Bible. We do have a "preserved" Word of God.
The fact is that we do have a Bible. We do have a "preserved" Word of God. It is the Textus Receptus Greek and Masoretic Text Hebrew. This is the preserved, inerrant Word of God.
Why can't Ruckman accept this? Why does Ruckman insist upon applying Psalm 12: 6-7 to a translation? This text says:
The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever
Here is Ruckman's interpretation of this verse:
I believe the King James Bible is the Word of God because of the promise
God made of preserving His Word. God Almighty said he'd preserve that book and He'd preserve that book for ever.17
As much as Ruckman would hate to admit it, God Almighty never said that He'd preserve the King James forever. This promise in Psalm 12: 7 refers to the Hebrew text, which God has masterfully preserved down through the centuries. In Israel, my wife and I visited the Shrine of the Book, a special museum in Jerusalem. In this building are kept the Dead Sea Scrolls, scrolls that were discovered in 1947. These Old Testament Scrolls were preserved from before the time of Christ. Yes, God has preserved His Word. He has preserved the Hebrew Bible! But Psalm 12: 7 says nothing about preserving God's Word in the King James. The King James would not even be written for another two thousand six hundred years after the promise of preserving the Hebrew Bible was made in Psalm 12: 7. God has faithfully preserved His Word -------------------------------------------------
in the Masoretic Text Hebrew. This was the Bible Jesus read and loved. This is the Bible God promised to preserve and did preserve. The Dead Sea Scrolls prove that God faithfully preserved the Hebrew Bible across the centuries, and that what we have today in the Masoretic Text is the same as the originals.
Ruckman says that it is wrong to call the KJV "the Bible" if one believes that the Hebrew and Greek, rather than the translation, were given by inspiration. He says, "If he claims to quote the Bible, and then says it is a book that no one can quote because no one has seen it, he is a LIAR."18 But Ruckman himself does this! No one has seen the original KJV, the copy handed over to the printer. So, if Ruckman
claims to quote the Bible, which he has never seen, Ruckman is a liar, by his own definition.
Ruckman says that we cannot call the King James Bible "the Word of God" unless we believe as he does. He says, "I am sick and tired of a fellow standing where I am standing, and waving a book around he doesn't believe, and telling a bunch of Christians, 'this is the Word of God,' when the dirty lying scum doesn't believe it!"19 According to Ruckman, one must believe that the KJV is preserved, inerrant, contains advanced revelation, etc. before one can call it "the Word of God."
Again, Ruckman quotes Dr W. A. Criswell, "The preacher who starts with the Word of God in his hands (how do you have it in your hands if it's the original manuscripts?")."20 So, Ruckman says that Criswell cannot claim that a preacher has the Word of God in his hand if that preacher believes that the Hebrew and Greek were given by inspiration rather than the KJV text.
But is Ruckman right on this? Writing in the Baptist Bible Tribune, editor Dr. James O. Combs writes:
Every accurate translation of the Holy Scriptures in any of these 1907 languages "not only contains the Word of God, but IS the Word of God." As in English, so in every language, when accurately translated, the Bible may be held up before a congregation and declared to be the "Word of God." Such is the supernatural and universal quality of divine truth. God is no respecter of persons (or languages) when it comes to His worldwide message to all peoples of the earth.21
I agree with this quotation. It is true that every "accurate translation" is properly called "the Word of God." But the translation, whether in English or in any other language, must be based upon the reliable Masoretic Text and Textus Receptus. As we have said, it is perfectly proper to call the King James Version "the Word of God" because it is an accurate translation of the Textus Receptus and Masoretic Text. Yes, the KJV is translated poorly in a handful of places. But any preacher consulting a few simple books can discover these places. The preacher does not have to be a great Greek scholar to learn about Acts 12: 4, Ruth 3: 15, etc. As we have said, these poor translations in the KJV are only a handful. Any preacher can find them. So, with the exception of this tiny number of poorly translated words, it is perfectly proper to call the KJV "the Word of God in English." This is a colloquial expression which means that we believe the KJV to be an accurate translation of the Textus Receptus and the Masoretic Text. This means that the KJV translates, or "carries over" accurately the Word of God from Hebrew and Greek into English.
Ruckman is deceptive in saying that we must have an original copy of the Greek and Hebrew Bible before claiming them. This is a deception, because Ruckman himself has no "original" KJV, and because the KJV had to go through seven revisions, so that what we have as the KJV today is not the same as the "lost" originals. No, Ruckman has no Bible, in the same sense that he says we don't. And Ruckman's Bible is not preserved. No, the Hebrew text was preserved, as claimed in Psalm 12:7
But those of us who believe the King James Bible while not holding to Ruckmanism may strongly say that we have "the Word of God" because the King James Bible is an accurate rendering of the Hebrew and Greek into English. We do not need to make fantastic claims for this translation, however. We do not need to say that it is given by inspiration, or that it contains advanced light, or that it is preserved, etc. All we need say is that it accurately translates or "carries over" the words of Hebrew and Greek into English. This we say. Thus we are able to proclaim that the King James Bible is the Word of God in English.
Ruckman's Third Deception
Ruckman's third deception is that if you reject the modern translations you must accept Ruckmanism. That is to say, if you reject the modern translation (all of which are based on Westcott and Hort's corrupt Greek text) then you have no recourse other than to accept Ruckman's ideas that the King James Bible is given by inspiration, contains advanced light, etc. He makes this quite clear in several places.
Ruckman is correct when he says, "The born again, God-called minister should wave 'modern scholarship' aside exactly as he would turn down a plate of rotten eggs."22 Yes, the Bible-believing pastor should turn down modern scholarship, as it refers to Westcott and Hort's mutilated manuscript (which is the basis for the Living Bible, the RSV, the NIV, the NASV, and all the other Bible perversions). A pastor should know enough not to accept any modern translation, because all of them are based on this
so - called "modern scholarship," which Ruckman correctly tells us should be turned down like "a plate of rotten eggs."
But then Ruckman makes the mistake of saying that once the modern translations are turned down we have no choice but to accept his idea that the KJV is given by inspiration contains advance revelation, and so forth. Ruckman completely shoots down the belief that we can uphold the Textus Receptus and Masoretic Text. He thinks this position is ungrounded, and says so quite strongly:
Now, facing the "last ditch stand," the apostate Fundamentalist has only one recourse left in order to get rid of the hated King James Bible: he must go along with the revived interest in the GREEK Receptus from which it came and then correct it from the Receptus. This is the last fort in which the Girl Scouts will "take their bold stand" before the Rapture. They will take it. They will reassemble their little broken dollies and smashed down playhouses; they will pick up their busted beads and plastic toys and boldly and bravely step forward in the forefront of the "troops," in the thickest part of the "battle," and declare that they have arrived in time to rescue us poor, dumb, stupid "red legs" who have been out here under the bombardment for 360 year. They will take a "bold, uncompromising" stand for the "original Greek," - which is exactly what they have been doing since Origen - only this time they will make an "adjustment": they will get rid of the Authorized Holy Bible with a Greek Syrian Receptus text instead of an Alexandrian anti-Receptus text.23
Ruckman here tells us that appealing to the Greek and Hebrew texts is a "last ditch stand" taken by "apostate fundamentalists" because they "hate" the King James Bible! Absurd! We take this position because it is the only sensible position, and we take this position because every reliable scholar in history has taken a similar position.
Ruckman himself quotes Dr. Edward Hills and Dean John William Burgon favourably. He considers these men great scholars and uses their quotations constantly to uphold his position that the Westcott and Hort text is unreliable. But neither Dr. Hills nor Dean Burgon agreed with Ruckman. Both of them rejected Westcott and Hort. But, they did not agree with Ruckman because both Burgon and Hills appealed to the Greek and Hebrew. And neither of these men believed that the KJV is given by inspiration. Both of them appealed to the Greek and Hebrew of the Textus Receptus and Masoretic Text. Now notice what Dean Burgon said on this subject:
...the new Greek Text of Drs. Westcott and Hort, which, beyond all controversy,
is more hopelessly remote from the inspired original than any which has yet appeared.24
This quotation reveals two things. First, Burgon was in agreement with Ruckman that the Westcott and Hort new Greek text was unreliable. But, secondly, this quotation reveals that Dean Burgon considered the original Greek text to be inspired, for he called it "the inspired original." Now anyone who reads Ruckman knows that he downgrades the originals. Here Dean Burgon parts ways with Ruckman, and makes an appeal to "the inspired original." Burgon does not appeal to the KJV as given by inspiration. SO, DEAN BURGON WAS IN NO SENSE A RUCKMANITE. DEAN BURGON DID NOT BELIEVE THAT THE KING JAMES VERSION WAS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION.
Next, consider the following quotation from Dr. Edward Hill:
...the Reformation Text (Textus Receptus) is the true text of the Greek New
Testament... Consistently Christian principles, therefore, do lead to the adoption of the King James Version as the standard English Bible. This does not mean, however, that minor improvements may not be made in this venerable translation. Certain obsolete expressions may no doubt be modern - - ized, certain infelicitous renderings bettered.25
This quotation shows that Dr. Hills was in basic agreement with Ruckman's
position that the new Westcott and Hort Greek text was not as reliable
as the old Textus Receptus. But Dr. Hills parts ways with Ruckman by then
stating that "minor improvements" may be made on the King James Version
and "certain infelicitous (unhappy) renderings bettered." With this we
are in complete agreement. Hills suggest that in a very small number of
places a more happy rendering of the Greek and Hebrew in English can be
made. In other words Dr. Hills thinks that "Passover" for Easter," and
"temples" for "churches" can improve the King James. So, this quotation
from Dr. Hills proves that he was in no sense a Ruckmanite. DR. HILLS DID
NOT BELIEVE THAT THE KING JAMES VERSION WAS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OR THAT
IT WAS INERRANT. DR. HILLS DID NOT AGREE WITH
What Peter Ruckman does with Burgon and Hills is really deceptive. He quotes them as though they agreed with him, which they did not. Yes, they agreed with him that the Westcott and Hort mutilated
text should not be used. But Ruckman does not mention that Burgon and Hills disagreed with him. He does not tell us that neither of these men believed that the King James Version was given by inspiration or that it was inerrant, etc.
I REJECT WESTCOTT AND HORT. I ACCEPT THE TEXTUS RECEPTUS AND THE MASORETIC TEXT AS THE INSPIRED WORD OF GOD. BUT I TOTALLY REJECT RUCKMAN'S IDEA THAT THE KING JAMES TRANSLATION IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION. THUS, THE BELIEFS OF DR. HILLS AND DEAN BURGON ARE FAR CLOSER TO MINE THAN THEY ARE TO RUCKMANISM.
1 Personal conversation with Dr. D. A. Waite.
2 Herbert F. Evans, Dear Dr.John: Where Is My Bible? A Written Dispute with Dr.John R. Rice (Harlingen, Texas: Wonderful Word Publishers, 1976).
3 Peter S. Ruckman, How God Opened My Eyes to the King James Version (Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, n.d.), tape 3, side 1.
4 Personal correspondence of Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr., March 7, 1989.
5 Peter S. Ruckman, The Alexandrian Cult, Part Four (Pensacola, Florida: Bible Paptist Bookstore 1980), p.15.
6 Peter S. Ruckman, Acts,in The Bible Believer's Commentary (Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1974),
7 Gary R. Hudsom, Why I Left Ruckmanism (Collingswood, New Jersey: The Bible For Today, 1988), pp.66-67.
8 Brad Weniger, "President of California BBF Quits Fellowship and Urges Others to do Likewise," The Flaming
Torch, December 1988, p. 2.
9 Brad Weniger, "Suggestions to Those Who Wish to Take a Stand Against the Corruption within the BBF,"
The Flaming Torch, December 1988, p. 2.
10 Don Edwards and David E. Hahn, Editor's Note, The Flaming Torch, December 1988, p. 2.
11 Weniger, "President of California BBF Quits...," p. 2.
12 Ruckman, How God Opened My Eyes to the King James Version, tape 1, side 1.
13 Ruckman, How God Opened My Eyes to the King James Version, tape 1, side 2.
14 Peter S. Ruckman, Why I Believe the King James Version is the Word of God (Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist
Bookstore, 1988), p. 23.
15 Ruckman, The Alexandrian Cult, Part Four, p. 13.
17 Ruckman, Why I Believe the King James Version is the Word of God, p. 8.
18 Peter S. Ruckman, The Alexandrian Cult, Part Seven (Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1981,) p. 16.
19 Ruckman, Why I Believe the King James Version is the Word of God, pp. 31-32.
20 Ruckman, Why I Believe the King James Version is the Word of God, p. 30.
21 James O. Combs, "Bible Printed in 1,907 Languages," Baptist Bible Tribune, February 22, 1989, p.29.
22 Peter S. Ruckman, The Christian's Handbook of Manuscript Evidence (Palatka, Florida: Pensacola Bible
Press, 1970), p. 169.
23 Peter S. Ruckman, Problem Texts (Pensacola, Florida: Pensacola Bible Institute Press, 1980), p. 402.
24 John William Burgon, The Revision Revised (Paradise, Pennsylvania: Conservative Classics, n.d., now reprinted by The Bible For Today, Collingswood, New Jersey), p. 125.
25 Edward F. Hills, The King James Version Defended! A Christian View of the New Testament Manuscripts (Des Moines, Iowa: The Christian Research Press, 1956), pp. 133, 142.
The Defeat of Ruckmanism
Martin Luther, the man who defied Roman Catholicism and started the Reformation, said this concerning the Greek New Testament:
The apostles themselves considered it necessary to put the New Testament into Greek and to bind it fast to that language. No doubt they did so in order to preserve it for us safely and soundly as in a sacred ark.1
Yes, the New Testament is bound to the Greek language. Yes, the apostles "did so in order to preserve it for us safely and soundly..." We must not rip the New Testament away from its Greek roots. We must not trade the Greek New Testament for an English translation, regardless of how accurate that translation is.
It should be remembered that Martin Luther himself made a very accurate translation of the Greek New Testament into German. Ruckman refers to Luther's German translation of the Greek Testament like this: "A German missionary has a trustworthy translation in Luther's translation of the Receptus.2 In another book, he speaks even more highly of Luther's translation saying "God has a book in German."3 This is Ruckman's description of Luther's translation into German. YET MARTIN LUTHER DID NOT AGREE WITH PETER RUCKMAN. LUTHER SAID THAT IT WAS "NECESSARY" TO BIND THE NEW TESTAMENT TO THE GREEK LANGUAGE! LUThER DID NOT EVEN BELIEVE THAT HIS TRANSLATION INTO GERMAN WAS EQUAL WITH THE GOD-BREATHED GREEK NEW TESTAMENT! LUTHER WAS NO RUCKMANITE!
Ruckmanism needs to be stopped in its tracks. This teaching needs to be defeated. It is not the historic teaching of Baptists, nor is it the historic teaching of the Reformation. Ruckmanism is a new doctrine, which was never heard before 1950. We suggest several reasons why Ruckmanism must be defeated.
Ruckmanism Wrong on Salvation
First, Ruckmanism must be defeated because it has already produced grave errors concerning salvation. We must be careful to say that the King James Bible itself does not teach these errors. But, because Ruckman has erred concerning the KJV, it has opened the way for him to go into other errors, including errors on the great subject of salvation. These errors on matters like salvation show that Ruckman has drunk from a demonic cup.
Dr. Curtis Hutson, editor of Sword of the Lord, points out that Dr. Ruckman teaches four different plans of salvation.4 First, Ruckman teaches that salvation is by "blood plus works" in the Old Testament. He says that "Noah got saved by building a boat, and Abraham got saved by believing he would have as many children as the stars."5 Second, Ruckman teaches that man is saved "by works without faith in the Millennium.6 Third, Ruckman teaches that man is saved "by faith and works in the Tribulation."7 He states, "Therefore in the Tribulation the gospel is 'endure to the end.' If people do not 'endure to the end,' if they take the mark of the beast and do not give glory to God, they lose their salvation and go to hell."8 Commenting on this, Hutson writes:
Here is yet another of Ruckman's plans of salvation - the so-called "gospel of endurance." What a contradiction to terms! The word Gospel means "good news." It is certainly not good news to know that one must endure to the end in order to be saved...He gives several reasons why a person can supposedly lose his salvation during the Tribulation. Here are some of those reasons: "He is not spiritually circumcised, he is not in the body of Christ, his soul is 'stuck to his body.' " Whatever in the world that means! Your guess is as good as mine.9
Of course, Ruckman teaches salvation by grace in this age.
To realize how far Ruckman has gone off on these matters, consider this statement by Dr. Hutson:
More of Ruckman's rabid ramblings are found on page 450 of his commentary on
Revelation. Here he says, "People who have accepted the 'mark of the beast' can only get rid of this 'sore' one way - Jewish proselyte water baptism of Acts 2..."10
Commenting on this statement, Dr. Hutson writes:
According to Ruckman, a man can receive the mark of the beast during the Tribulation and then later get rid of this "sore" by receiving "Jewish proselyte water baptism." If that be the case, then many would receive the mark of the beast so as to get along with the Antichrist and then at the last moment run down to the river and get baptized and be cleansed of what Peter Ruckman calls the "sore."11
All of this shows how far Ruckman has already gone astray since he believed the false teaching that the King James Bible was given by inspiration and contains advanced revelation.
On March 20, 1989 Dr. Ruckman sent me a copy of a letter he wrote to Dr. Hutson concerning Hutson's above-quoted article. On page two of this letter Ruckman says this:
If you want to pretend that Faith and Works are "exclusive" or "mutually exclusive" in EVERY AGE, by using Ephesians 2. I suggest your(sic) read Hebrews 11. It is works on every line, with the works based on faith. There is nothing "Mutually exclusive" about Noah building a boat, or Samson beating up Philistines, or Baraks(sic) work or Jephthahs(sic) work or those hosts whose WORKS complimented their faith. James puts them together and in Revelation(sic) 14, 12, and 22 you will find they SUPPLEMENT the (sic) salvation of Tribulation saints: they are not even "partway" exclusive. You simply slammed Ephesians 2 down on the whole Bible. It won't work, Hutson. Better give Ezekiel 14: 14 and 20 another look.12
Now, Ruckman reveals a basic lack of understanding concerning the plan of salvation. He says, "I suggest you read Hebrews 11. It is works on every line." What blindness! It is FAITH on every line! Take, for example, Noah. Remember that Ruckman believes, "Noah got saved by building a boat." But the Bible says, in Hebrews 11, "By faith Noah...prepared an ark" (Hebrews 11: 7). So, Noah was saved by faith, a faith which moved him to build an ark. Also, in Genesis 6: 8, we read, "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord." These verses plainly tell us that Noah was saved by grace through faith. It was only after Noah was saved that God revealed to the coming judgment of the flood. So Noah was not saved by building a boat. Noah was saved long before he ever even thought about building the ark! Such blindness causes one to question whether Dr. Ruckman has any insight on the new birth. It is, we think, further evidence that Dr Ruckman himself may not have passed from death unto life.
Again, Ruckman tells Dr. Hutson to "give Ezekiel 14: 14 and 20 another look" in the letter he wrote to Dr. Hutson on March 20, 1989. He says that Ezekiel 14: 14 and 20 show a different plan of salvation in the Old Testament. But he is wrong again. These verses do not say that Noah, Daniel, and Job were saved by living righteous lives. Instead, these verses declare that the city of Jerusalem could not be saved by these righteous men living in it. So, these two verses are not talking about the salvation of men, but rather, the verses are talking about the salvation of a city. The verses are simply saying that the city of Jerusalem could not be saved by these righteous men living in it. The verses say nothing whatever about how these three men became righteous.
Regarding the Millennium, the thousand - year reign of Christ on earth,
Ruckman teaches that people will be saved by "works alone in the Millennium."13
On this same page he tells the reader to study Revelation 12, 14 and 22.
I did just that. Revelation 12 refers to the Jewish remnant who "keep the
commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Revelation
12: 17). Ruckman thinks that this shows they are saved by keeping the commandments,
but there's not a shred of evidence to say that they are saved this way.
We are simply told that they do obey God's rules and testify for Jesus.
In fact, verse 11 of chapter 12 tells us exactly how they were saved: "by
the Blood of the Lamb"! So, this Jewish remnant overcome the devil are
saved the same way we are saved, by the blood of Jesus. After they are
saved their hearts are so tender that they want to obey God. Out of their
tender-hearted love for God they obey Him and testify for Jesus. But they
have already been saved the same way we are saved:
by the blood of the Lamb." Then, in chapter 14, this same remnant is described, "these are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb withersoever he goeth. These are redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in
their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God" (Revelation 14: 4-5).
Ruckman seems to think that this shows they are saved by keeping commandments. But this is only a decription of their sweet Christian life after they were saved. Revelation 14: 1 tells us how they were saved, by "having his Father's name written in their foreheads." So, this Jewish remnant is saved the same way we are saved, by having the veil removed from their hearts, by having their minds and hearts redeemed from darkness by God, by being born again. After they are born again, they naturally desire to "walk in the newness of life" (Romans 6: 4). But they are not saved by any works whatever.
Then in Revelation 14: 12, it says, "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the
commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." The same answer applies here: these saints were saved by trusting Jesus. That is implied. Now because they love Jesus they want to keep His commandments, they want to obey Him because He has saved them. It is astonishing that Ruckman does not know this simple Bible teaching, that we are saved by faith in Jesus, and that then our hearts are made tender toward Jesus and we want to obey Him. We may not obey Him perfectly. We may stumble and fall and even sin at times. But the heart of a Christian desires to obey Jesus, to obey God. That is all that is described here regarding these saints. This passage does not teach that they are saved by works at all.
The same thing is true of Revelation 22. Here, we suppose, Ruckman is referring to verse 14, which says, "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city."? We agree that the KJV translation is correct on this verse. but who are those that "do his commandments"? The answer is given to us by Jesus, "He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing" (John 15: 5). No one can "do his commandments" unless they have come to rest in Jesus first, unless they are born again first, because Jesus said, "without me ye can do nothing." So, a person must come to abide and rest in Jesus. Then he is given the grace and strength to obey God. He may not always perfectly obey God. He may sometimes stumble and fall, and even sin. But, because Jesus lives in his heart, he can rise up and obey God in a way lost people can never do.
So, Revelation 22; 14 does not teach salvation by works. It simply says that saved people, who live a God-honoring life because they have a new nature, are the only people who will go to Heaven. The chapter says nothing whatever about being saved by works in the Millennium.
Ruckman has written a strange tract titled, "Notice! Very Important - What to Do in Case You Miss the Rapture!" Ruckman gives three points. He says in point one, "Don't panic" if you miss the rapture. In point two he says, "Whatever you do, don't take any marks or prints in your forehead or in your hands." But point three is where his false ideas on salvation come in:
Start working your way to Heaven immediately. In the Tribulation a man must keep the commandments (Rev.14: 12) and keep them "to the end" (Matt. 24: 13). If he doesn't, he loses his salvation (Heb.6: 1-6) and burns in Hell (Heb.10: 26-34). You always believed in works before the Rapture or you would have trusted Christ to save you by grace through faith (Eph.2: 8,9). Now that the Rapture is over, there is no more salvation by grace through faith and you will be given an opportunity to show what a really fine moral character you are. Get to work.14
Gary Hudson comments on this tract by correctly saying that if someone obeyed Ruckman on this point, it "would send any body to Hell on either side of the rapture!"15 It is patently ridiculous to make Hebrews 6: 1-6 refer to people in the Tribulation. Whatever these verses mean, they cannot be stretched to refer to the Tribulation period alone. We commonly hold that this passage refers to people who came to the edge of salvation but were never born again. Ruckman's interpretation of this as a reference to people falling away in the Tribulation is unknown among preachers or Bible teachers, not believed by anyone with an enlightened mind. What utter blasphemy to say, "Start working your way to Heaven immediately." What insanity to say, "Don't panic." We hope that no one in the Tribulation actually finds this tract. We believe that if people in the Tribulation find this tract it will be used by Satan to send them to Hell.
People in the Tribulation should panic. They should realize that they are "sinners in the hands of an angry God." They should seek Christ and trust Him alone to wash their sins away in His blood. They should realize that their only hope of being saved and overcoming Satan in the awful Tribulation is through the Blood of Christ: "And they overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb" (Revelation 12: 11).
Ruckman's salvation error concerning Old Testament Christians is revealed in this quote:
Every saint in the Old Testament was "outside of Christ" not in Him. None were "chosen in Christ" - none of them were spiritually born again or spiritually resurrected, and yet all of them WILLINGLY OBEYED GOD IN FAITH FROM AN UNREGENERATE NATURE.16
This statement is patently ridiculous. Hebrews chapter 11 lists eighteen people or groups who were saved in the Old Testament "by faith." Faith is used as a synonym for the new birth in this passage, which says, "Without faith it in impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Hebrew 11: 6). That is why the apostle Paul says, "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law" (Romans 3: 28). Again, Paul says, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5: 1). So, eighteen times in Hebrews 11 we are told that Old Testament believers were saved by faith, which proves they were all born again. How could they have saving faith without being
Then, another proof that Ruckman is wrong in saying Old Testament believers were not born again is found in John 3, where Jesus spoke to Nicodemus. It should be remembered that Jesus was speaking to this man long before Pentecost. Jesus was speaking to Nicodemus under the Old testament dispensation. And Jesus says to this Old Testament man, Nicodemus "Ye must be born again" (John 3: 7). How wrong Jesus would have been to tell a man to be born again if he couldn't.
In John 3: 10 we read:
Jesus answered and said unto him Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
This text shows that Nicodemus was a leader in Israel, a man living in the Old Testament dispensation. It also shows that Jesus expected such a man to know about the new birth. In other words, Jesus was saying to Nicodemus that any "master" or Bible teacher in the Old Testament should know about the new birth without Jesus having to tell him. Jesus said in John 3: 10, that an Old Testament man who knew the Bible should also already know about the new birth. Jesus expected Old Testament people to be born again without Him having to tell them. If this is not true, Nicodemus could have turned to Jesus and said words to this effect: "How do you expect me to know about the new birth? Why do you tell me I must be born again? I am living before Pentecost. I am living in the Old Testament period. You have no right to tell me I must be born again and that I should already know about this matter." But Nicodemus did not answer Him. He was speechless. He knew the Old Testament Scriptures well enough to realize that Jesus was right. He should have already known about the new birth. In fact, he should have already been born again!
Ruckman wrongly ways that these Old Testament Christians obeyed God "from an unregenerate nature." What utter foolishness! Paul describes an unregenerated nature in the epistle to the Ephesians. Paul says first that an unregenerated person is "dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2: 1). He repeats this statement in verse 5, where he says, "we were dead in sins." Whatever else this may mean, it certainly indicates that an unregenerated person, a person who has not been born again, has no power to obey God. Then, in Ephesians 4: 18, Paul describes an unregenerated, lost person's nature:
Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.
This reveals that God's grace must come to a person before they can obey Him. A person must be born again before they have the ability to please God. Jesus knocks at the door of every sinner's heart. But they must open the door and let Him in before they can live a life that is pleasing to God. Ruckman is therefore wrong to say that people in the Old Testament, "obeyed God in faith from an unregenerate nature." No one can obey God or have real faith until they are born again. The Bible plainly says, "they that are in the flesh cannot please God" (Romans 8: 8). How can Old Testament people, people living "in the flesh," please God when we are plainly told that they can't?
We wonder if Ruckman himself misunderstands how Old Testament Christians were saved out of a false conversion on his own part. Perhaps Ruckman himself is attempting to obey God "from an unregenerate nature." Perhaps that is why Ruckman said, after he prayed the sinner's prayer, "I felt like I was lying." Perhaps he was lying when he said he trusted Jesus. This much is certain: Peter S. Ruckman has been deluded and tricked on the doctrine of salvation.
Ruckmanism must be defeated because it has produced a wrong doctrine on the central subject of salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone. Ruckmanism has gone wrong at the very gate of Christianity, the gate of salvation.
Ruckmanism Wrong on Bible Prophecy
Secondly, Ruckmanism must be defeated because it has already produced grave errors concerning Bible prophecy. Again, we must be careful to say that the King James Bible itself does not teach these errors. But, we believe, because Peter Ruckman has erred in saying that the KJV is given by inspiration and contains advanced light, it has opened the way for him to go into other errors, including errors on the important subject of Bible prophecy. These errors on the matter of Bible prophecy also show that Ruckman has drunk from a demonic cup.
In February, 1989, Peter S. Ruckman wrote a one-and-a-half page article in his Bible Believer's Bulletin titled "Zero Hour Approaches." He said, "Zero hour now approaches for the body of Christ, and the countdown has begun.17
Dr. Ruckman begins by saying that he disagrees with Edgar C. Whisenant, the man who dated the rapture during the Feast of Trumpets in September, 1988. Ruckman says, "I rejected Whisenant's system en toto."18 But does he? By reading the full article, we find that he actually does not reject Whisenant's
date-setting, but in fact endorses something quite similar to it. Ruckman says:
If the calendar is right (thus giving himself an "out" in case he is wrong) the Advent is in 2000 or 1996. In either case, no Rapture would take place in 1988. The Rapture would take place in 1993 if the four years' difference in calendars is not figured, and it would take place in 1989 if the difference is taken into consideration.19
He goes on to say that he might possibly be slightly off but that he feels "the Rapture will take place the 14th of May, 1989. This means you have less than five months to settle your affairs and do what you are going to do for the Lord."20 He gives himself a way out by saying, "you might have longer than that."21 But he concludes by giving us only thirty years before the Second Coming of Christ in any event:
At any rate, the zero hour approaches. Date-setting now is being reduced to 1995 for the Advent, 1996 for the Advent, 2000 for the Advent, at the very latest, 2029. You haven't got thirty years to live no matter how you figure before the body is caught out, for the man who figures 2029 for the Advent figured a forty year period preceding that which would include the Rapture, thirty-three years testing, and seven years to Tribulation. Countdown: 70, 75, 80, 90, 95, 100! "HERE I COME, READY OR NOT!"22
By the time you read this, May 14, 1989 will have already passed, and Ruckman will have been proved wrong on his main guess. I am writing this on the evening of March 28, 1989, seven weeks before May 14. But I am so sure Ruckman is wrong that I boldly write this evening that the rapture will not occur on the 14th of May, 1989 as Ruckman predicts.
Whisenant dated the time of the rapture, Ruckman is dating the time of the Advent (the Second Coming of Christ). Ruckman then back dates seven years to give his date of the rapture.
All of this date-setting would be corrected by a simple, childlike acceptance of what Jesus said in Mark 12: 32. Here our Lord said, "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." Certainly Peter S. Ruckman does not know something that even Jesus, the Son of God, did not know!
Thus, Ruckman has joined other heretics, including early Seventh-Day
Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Edgar Whisenant, kooks and cultists, who
set dates for the Second Coming of Christ. I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT A THINKING
PERSON WILL WANT TO FOLLOW A MAN WHO SETS A DATE FOR THE SECOND COMING
OF CHRIST! I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT A THINKING PERSON WILL WANT TO FOLLOW
PETER RUCKMAN ON EITHER HIS DATE-SETTING OR HIS VIEW THAT THE KING JAMES
VERSION IS PRESERVED OR GIVEN BY INSPIRATION.
Ruckmanism Wrong on Other Points
First, Ruckman is wrong on his idea of the human soul. Ruckman says:
The problem is the word "soul," But since there isn't one pre- millennial, soul-winning, fundamentalist who knows what a soul is (see the entire library of books published by Eerdmans, Baker, Zondervan, and the Sword of the Lord before 1970)...23
Notice that Dr. Ruckman states that not a single fundamentalist author knows what a soul is. Then he goes on to say:
The soul in the Bible is an invisible BODILY SHAPE. In the Old Testament, the soul is almost synonymous with the body, for it is STUCK TO IT till death.24
Here Ruckman says strangely that the soul has a "bodily shape." Furthermore he says that it is "stuck to" the body. This fanciful understanding of the soul is expounded by Ruckman in another passage;
The spiritual circumcision of the believer's SOUL literally cut loose from the inside of his fleshly body at the time of his new birth.25
Furthermore, Ruckman makes himself the only living expert on what a soul is. You have already seen that he says that "there isn't one" fundamentalist who knows what a soul is. He then states:
The AV text, here, is great revelation on all Greek and Hebrew scholarship
and the "new light" which it throws on the first experience in New Testament salvation (John 3: 3,5) is far superior to what any "verbally inspired original thing-a-mabobs" might reveal if anyone found them. Light rejected becomes lightening. If you had the original manuscripts, you couldn't find what a soul was, no matter how educated you were, because the key for "finding out" had nothing to do with the Hebrew or Greek...26
So, Ruckman says that the Greek and Hebrew Bible does not explain what a soul is, but the "new light" of the KJV is needed on this subject. It should be noted that no one but Ruckman has put out this theory concerning the soul, as having a bodily shape and being stuck to the inside of the body, then cut loose at the new birth!
We wonder if Ruckman has somehow confused the new birth with his own experience, where his soul flew out of his body (was cut loose from his body, so to speak) during his demonic experience of samadhi (a Buddhist experience sometimes known as nirvana). It is true that Ruckman stated that his own soul was cut loose from the body during this demonic experience.27 Did this strange experience color his thinking regarding the new birth?
Secondly, Ruckman is wrong on the subject of devils and demons. In one place, he writes, "Demons as winged creatures ranging in size from those of flies and mosquitos to eagles and vultures.28 He follows up this odd statement, as to the "size" of spiritual beings, by saying that the King James Version sheds new light on the subject of demonology:
The demons are "devils" anywhere you find them in the Authorized Version. This gives much advanced light on the "original" (Greek, daimones), which is so obscure that all the Laodicean washouts cannot even translate it. ..cannot find "the devil" (Mark 5: 16) and "devils" (Mark 5: 12). This light can only be found in the original English: it is not found in ANY Greek text.29
So, Dr Ruckman tells us that we need "advanced light" from the KJV translation to know that demons are devils. This sounds like a lot of claptrap to me, since the English word "devils" was synonymous with the word "demons" today when the KJV was translated. This can be shown by quoting a stanza from Martin Luther's great hymn, "A mighty Fortress is Our God," one line of which reads, "And though this world with devils filled, should threaten to undo us, We will no fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us." Obviously in this stanza of Luther's hymn, "devils" was used for "demons." This is simply the old-fashioned way of talking about demons.
But notice one last thing about the above quotation from Dr. Ruckman. He says, "This light can only be found in the original English..." Here Dr. Ruckman is being what he calls "a naughty boy." Dr. Ruckman knows perfectly well that there is no "original" of the King James Bible. Naughty, naughty! Mustn't lie about "originals" of the King James Bible ! Papa caught you! There is no "original" KJV English Bible. The "originals" of the KJV were lost, and bad boy Ruckman knows it!
Thirdly, Ruckman is wrong on the subject of two worldwide floods. In his book, The Unknown Bible, Ruckman states that II Peter 3: 5-6 refers to a flood which "took place in Genesis 1: 2."30 Thus, he says that this flood spoken of in II Peter 3 refers to a "flood" that occurred at the judgment of the earth, when Satan was cast out of Heaven, and that it has nothing to do with Noah's flood.
Virtually every Bible scholar, past and present, disagrees with Ruckman, but that does not bother him He says
Now who could get a message so simple all muddled up? Answer: Every major fundamental Bible scholar and teacher in the United States, without exception. If you were to ask Henry Morris what the verses refer to he'd say Noah's flood: ditto Harry Rimmer, Clarence Larkin, J. Vernon MrGee, Swindle(sic), MacArthur, Bob Jones III,...the Scofield Board of Editors...31
Thus, to Ruckman, everyone from Clarence Larkin to Bob Jones III, and the Scofield Board of Editors, is wrong! Only Ruckman is right! And where does Ruckman get this "light" that virtually no other person has? Let him tell us: "The original Hebrew had nothing to do with Genesis 1: 1-3 at all. It only muddied the issue. Hebrew is of no help at all in understanding the passage,"32
Thus, RUCKMAN ACCUSES GOD OF MUDDYING THE ISSUE. After all, it was God who gave Genesis 1: 1-3 in Hebrew in the first place. So, if all the Hebrew did was to "muddy the issue," then it is God's fault for giving the Hebrew in such a "muddied" fashion. Clearly, Ruckman is blaming God for giving a muddy Hebrew Bible, which confused people for nearly three thousand years, since it was given through Moses. Mankind had to wait for nearly three thousand years to have the "muddied" Hebrew Bible corrected and straightened out by the King James translation!
No, it is Ruckman's mind which is "muddied." The Bible never speaks of two worldwide floods. This is a pure Ruckmanite invention, and, as we have seen, this false teaching of two floods is directly based on Ruckman's view of the KJV as advanced revelation.
Ruckman wants to put down "every major fundamental Bible scholar and teacher in the United States, without one exception" on this subject SO THAT HE ALONE WILL BE THE GREAT TEACHER, SO THAT HE ALONE CAN MAKE THE MONEY FROM HIS COMMENTARIES, WHICH HE CONSIDERS TO BE THE ONLY RELIABLE COMMENTARIES IN THE WORLD ON THESE SUBJECTS. RUCKMAN ALONE WANTS TO MAKE THE MONEY OFF OF HIS BOOKS.
Fourthly, Ruckman is wrong in saying that angels are 33-year-old males with no wings. Yes, you heard it right: Ruckman writes that the Bible teaches "angels as 33 year old males without wings."33 He calls this one of the "list of what the entire body of 'qualified authorities' (Evangelicals and Conservatives foremost) missed when they turned off the 50,000 watt searchlight of the Holy Bible and lit the birthday cake candles of Hebrew and Greek scholarship."34 He says that this is one of the "Bible revelations they missed" by going to the Hebrew and Greek rather than believing in advanced revelation in the KJV translation.
Fifthly, Ruckman is wrong in saying "...all women in the church age receiving 33 year old male bodies at the rapture."35 If this were true, people would not know each other in Heaven. If this were true, husbands and wives would not be able to recognize each other. To prove this absurd point, Ruckman lists Romans 8: 29. But this verse has nothing whatever to do with our physical bodies. The passage refers to God foreknowing the believer and predetermining that he be conformed to Jesus Christ. This is done through justification and glorification, according to the next verse, verse 30. So Romans 8: 29 has nothing to do with resurrected bodies of women being those of 33-year-old males! Then, he lists Philippians 3:21. But this verse merely teaches that our resurrected bodies will be "like" the glorious resurrected body of
our Lord Jesus Christ. The verse says nothing whatever about it being a male body, or about is being 33 years old. The word "like" in this verse simply means that our bodies will be similar to Jesus' resurrected body. No sex change is implied in this verse! Next, Ruckman lists 1John 3: 1-2. But this verse simply says, "we shall be like him." So, it teaches the same thing as Philippians 3: 21, that our bodies will be "like" Jesus' glorified body. This passage does not teach that our bodies will be those of 33-year-old males. It simply teaches that our resurrected bodies will be of the same type as Jesus' resurrected body. It means that our resurrected bodies will have the same characteristics and properties as His resurrected body. The verse nowhere teaches that all women will be "sex-changed" into males and that all of us will be 33 years old. This is more nonsense which comes from Ruckman's view that the KJV English translation has advanced light over the Hebrew and Greek.
Sixthly, while Ruckman himself claims to be a Baptist and does not hold to an Anglican church government, some of Ruckman's followers seem to be moving in that direction. Several Ruckmanite pastors now call themselves "bishop." The Open Bible Baptist Church of Apopka, Florida has on its letterhead the words, "Standing on the King James Bible AV 1611."36 In a letter written on this letterhead to evangelist Gary Hudson, the pastor signs his name "R. E. Stokes, Bishop."37
If one believes that the King James translation is itself given by inspiration of God, has no errors, is preserved, and therefore must contain advanced light, then it seems natural that other Baptist pastors will move in the direction of this man and start calling themselves "bishops." It also seems natural that an Episcopal-type (Anglican) church government will take over many of these Ruckmanite Baptist churches in the future. We understand that a number of Ruckmanites are now claiming that the prologue to the King James Bible, printed at the front of many editions of the KJV, was given by inspiration as much as the Bible itself. There is no telling where this may lead! We think that new revelations may be found in this "prologue" which could bring out doctrines and practices even more grotesque than a pastor calling himself a "bishop."
Ruckmanism is poison. I don't see how any sane person would want to follow a man who believes that the soul has a physical, bodily shape, a man who says that demons have different sizes, a man who teaches two worldwide floods, a man who accuses God of muddying the issue, a man who says that all angels will be 33-year-old males and that all women will be resurrected as men, a man who has some followers who now call themselves "bishops"! No, these hideous distortions of doctrine and practice show that Ruckman is not qualified to lead anyone. They show that Ruckman is teaching "doctrines of devils," that he is a man who has been led astray because of his own ego and desire to make money from his books, which he claims to be the only reliable commentaries in the world.
Ruckmanism's Similarities to the
Catholicism of the Inquisition
Ruckmanism must be defeated because of the particular errors which we have already listed in this chapter. But now for a moment consider the fact that Ruckmanism has deep similarities to some of the most twisted errors in history.
First, there is a clear similarity between Ruckmanism and Inquisition Catholicism. This may seem an odd statement when first considered, because Ruckman and his followers tend to be properly anti - - Catholic. But on closer examination a real parallel exists between what Ruckman believes and what the Roman Catholics of the Inquisition believed concerning the Bible.
In the medieval Roman Catholic church, the Latin Vulgate came to have pre-eminence over the Hebrew and Greek texts. Two groups emerged: those who favored the Hebrew and Greek, and those who said that the Latin Vulgate alone was needed.
After the Council (of Trent, c. 1545-1563), the debate continued at Salamanca, led by the Augustinian friar and poet Luis de Leon (1527-1591). Fray Luis, whose ancestors were Jews, was part of a distinguished lineage of Spanish philosophers and theologians at Salamanca. His group favored the use of Hebrew and Greek in interpreting problem passages in the Vulgate. The other group, much in the majority, opposed the use of Hebrew. The anti- -Hebraists argued that the Jews had corrupted the original texts, that Hebrew was a nuisance to study, that Hebrew should be abolished in Biblical studies, and that linguistic exegesis would only lead to controversy and the undermining
of church authority. The Hebraists claimed that the Vulgate was not always well translated and that it often came off poorly when compared with texts in the
original language. Furthermore, there were good grounds for trusting the ancient Jewish texts: neither Christ nor Jerome nor Augustine had ever accused the Jews of corrupting the Old Testament.
Fray Luis's arguments were sound, but the political atmosphere after Trent was not with him. The problem was not Biblical literalism but the Scholastic monopoly over theological discourse. Use of languages other than Latin was seen as a threat to the unique meaning of Scripture rather than as a means of defending it. When Luis himself prepared a Spanish translation and commentary on Solomon's Song of Songs, he was incarcerated for five years by the Inquisition of Valladolid... one of his primary accusers Fray Leon de Castro (said): "The general congregation holds that nothing may be changed that disagrees with the Latin edition of the Vulgate, be it a single period, a single little conclusion or a single clause, a single word or expression, a single syllable or one iota..."38
This extended quotation shows us the strong similarities between Inquisition Catholicism and the mind-set of Ruckmanism Not only did the Inquisition Catholics reject the Greek and Hebrew, but they actually said that the Vulgate was superior to the original languages, just like Ruckmanism! The translation into Latin was superior to the original Greek and Hebrew, according to these Inquisition Catholics. One Tridentine Catholic of that same period wrote, "I believe that much more would be achieved if we would rid ourselves of old doubts and impose a perpetual silence so that we do not go around saying 'here it says this in Hebrew, there it says that in Greek,' which only weakens and disarms the authority of the Vulgate edition..."39 It doesn't take a genius to see the parallels between this Inquisition Catholic's thinking and the teaching of Peter S. Ruckman. It should be remembered that Ruckman took a series of conversion courses from a Roman Catholic priest.40 We wonder how many ideas of Ruckman, consciously or unconsciously, may actually have their roots in Catholicism. The parallel is quite strong.
We need to move away from Ruckman's Roman Catholic Inquisition view of the KJV 1611 translation (i.e. Vulgate) being superior to the original Hebrew and Greek.
During the Inquisition, the Catholics put a man in jail for saying that the Hebrew and Greek was superior to a translation If the Ruckmanites ever gain control, we think they would do something quite similar to those of us who say that our Hebrew and Greek Bibles are superior to any translation. Ruckmanism, we believe, has the same source as the Catholicism of the Inquisition: Satan.
Ruckmanism's Similarities to Other Errors
Ruckman's idea of "advanced revelation" in the KJV translation, in the italicized words, the arrangement of the books and, as some of his followers say, even in the prologue written to King James, is very dangerous. We have tried to show, again and again, that holding to a "preserved" or "errorless" KJV leads a person logically to a place of being forced to say that there are "advanced revelations" in the translation, since there are a few places where it disagrees with the Hebrew and Greek from which it was translated. The idea of "advanced revelation" which gives knowledge that cannot be found in the Hebrew and Greek Bible is extremely dangerous.
We think the idea of advance revelation in a translation is dangerous because it is the original error of our first mother. She added the "advanced revelation" of "neither shall ye touch it" (Genesis 3: 3) to what God had originally said (Genesis 2: 17). God had not told them, "neither shall ye touch it." Eve added this "advanced revelation." The sin of adding to the Word of God opened the way for Eve to be further tempted, and to finally sin. All of this came about because she listened to the devil and added "advanced revelation" to the Word of God.
It is interesting that the Bible begins, in this way, by warning us not to add any "advanced revelations" to the Word of God. It is also interesting that the Bible ends with a warning not to add "advanced revelations" to God's Word:
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book (Revelation 22: 18).
I would not want to be a Ruckmanite I would not want to add a single word to the God-breathed Hebrew and Greek texts. I would not want to run the risk of experiencing the judgment of God which we are warned will come to those who add anything to the Hebrew and Greek God-breathed text. I would not want to risk having to go through the Great Tribulation because I added anything to the Hebrew and Greek. That would be a risk too great for me to take.
So, I will continue to preach the King James Bible as the most accurate translation of the Textus Receptus Greek and the Masoretic Text Hebrew, but I will not claim that the King James Version is preserved, inerrant, or that it has advanced revelation. I will simply state that it is an accurate translation with a few minor mistakes. I will not defend these few mistakes as advanced revelation, a thing I must do if I claim that the King James is preserved or inerrant. I will simply say that the King James Version is the most accurate translation of the best Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. I will not add to the Word of God.
As you know, many of the cults add to the Word of God. In this, they resemble Ruckmanism. The Mormons add the Book of Mormon to God's revelation. The Christian Scientists add Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures to God's revelation. The Muslims add the Koran to God's revelation. the Unification Church (Moonies) adds The Divine Principle to God's revelation. I do not want to follow them by adding even one word to the God-breathed Hebrew and Greek Bible.
The Pentecostals and charismatics add to the Word of God through visions, voices and tongues. They have "advanced revelation" that the rest of us simple folks don't know about. Every preacher knows how they divide churches, because they think they know something the rest of us don't know. In this, they resemble Ruckmanites. The Ruckmanite, like the Pentecostal and charismatic, thinks he has advanced light or an advanced revelation. As a result, the Ruckmanite, like the charismatic and Pentecostal, is puffed up with pride because he thinks he knows something that a normal Christian does not know. This puffing up with pride brings division in churches, fellowships, dividing friend from friend.
Strangely, Ruckmanism even resembles the ideas of Westcott and Hort on at least one point. Westcott and Hort were the men who came up with the new, mutilated version of the Greek Scriptures. They rejected the Textus Receptus, from which the King James Version was translated. I say that these men resemble Ruckman in at least one way: Westcott and Hort said that the Greek and Hebrew of the Textus Receptus and Masoretic Text were not enough. They felt that they needed more light. The motivation behind them creating a new Greek text is similar to Ruckman's motivation in throwing out the Hebrew and Greek Bible and replacing it with a translation. The least we can say is that Dr. Ruckman's inner motivations appear to be quite similar to those of Westcott and Hort: i.e., he wishes to replace the Hebrew and Greek Bible (Masoretic Text and Textus Receptus) with something else which has greater light.
We may also say that Ruckmanism has some similarities with Communism. The Communists come into a country and disturb everything. When there is complete chaos in the society, they themselves take over. We have seen Ruckmanites do this in many places. Their desire is to take over and control churches, fellowships, and even fundamentalism itself. We think that this desire for control flows from Dr. Ruckman himself, a man who clearly wishes to be the ONLY Bible scholar in fundamentalism.
We think it is perfectly proper to point out the similarities between Ruckmanism and medieval Catholicism, the cults, Pentecostalism, Westcott and Hort, and Marxism. Satan uses similar tactics, which may be traced through each one of these demonic systems, tactics which are also found in Ruckmanism. This connection we call THE RUCKMAN CONSPIRACY.
What is the Answer?
The defeat of Ruckmanism will not come, in my judgment, in any other way than through revival. Ruckmanism is, after all, a substitute for revival.
People have seen that our churches are barren, the power is gone. They have turned this way and that seeking for answers. Some have become charismatics; others have become Ruckmanites; others have left fundamentalism and melted slowly into evangelicalism. However, none of these movements have brought revival and they will not being revival.
No nation in history has been more blessed than America. Again and again God has come to our aid. We became the greatest nation on earth because God was with us. But these blessings are ending. We are now under a curse. Abortion has stained our land with the blood of more than twenty million innocent children. America is drenched in their blood. The churches have been largely silent. Few have picketed abortion clinics. Few have been willing to go to jail to protest this massacre, this blight, this national sin of America. Few have prayed for God to remove heathen members of the Supreme Court.
Now AIDS is running rampant through our society. More have died from AIDS than were killed in Viet Nam. Millions more will be struck down by this modern plague. I believe it to be a direct judgment of God on us for allowing twenty million children to be murdered in their mothers' wombs by abortion.
At this hour, fundamentalist pastors should be standing up filled with holy power to proclaim righteousness and judgment to a Christ-denying nation. Revival should attend their preaching. Instead, fundamentalist preachers themselves have fallen into sin, have become discouraged, and are leaving the ministry in alarming numbers. Sadly, we must say that there may be revival here and there, but fundamentalism as a movement is not experiencing revival today.
In the milieu of Laodicean lukewarmness, we have to ask ourselves how long it will be before God judges our nation. Will America fall to Communism? Yes, in my judgment, it will. I see no reason why it shouldn't, and no present hope for the salvation of our nation. We seem to have gone too far into liberalism in the denominations to experience a revival that would save us. The charismatics think they have revival already, although they are sadly lacking in the true power of God, when compared to any classic revival in history. The evangelicals have become too timid to preach against sin (which is necessary for a revival to be promoted) and too lazy in prayer to rend the heavens and bring down God's blessings.
In my judgment, the last hope for America was in a revival of fundamentalism. But, sadly, we must say that a large portion of fundamentalism is now melting into evangelism, while a smaller portion has become dog fighting, church-splitting Ruckmanite heretics. It seems too late to have a revival even within fundamentalism of a magnitude that would save our nation. I think it is probably too late to save America.
They mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy (II Chronicles 36: 16).
As this verse was true of God's ancient kingdom, so it is true of America.
The next verse will also come to pass in our nation - not long from now:
Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maid, old man, or him that stooped for age: He gave them all into his hand (II Chronicles 36: 17).
Not only will America be turned over to the enemy, but our churches will be burned, as happened in God's ancient land:
And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof (II Chronicles 36: 19).
I can see in my mind the burning of great church buildings across our nation when God gives up on us, when His wrath descends on us, when judgment comes to America.
Not too Late to Save Souls
While it seems far too late to save our beloved nation, it is certainly not too late to save the lost. It is not too late to get people into Heaven who ought to be in Hell.
How can we have revival in our fundamental churches? God knows, and you know, how desperately we need such a revival. Real revival will awaken God's people and stir them to great soul- -winning activity. Evangelism and soul-winning will flow out of any real revival of Christians. The Bible says, "Wilt thou not revive us again, that thy people may rejoice in thee?" (Psalm 85: 6). When God's people get revived, they weep for joy and, then, they will weep for the lost. "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him" (Psalm 126: 6).
I have said that we must realize that revival is the rekindling and awakening of Christians, resulting in the conversion of the lost. Now I say that revival comes through prayer. "Of course," someone will say, "I already know that!" But do you? I myself must admit that I have only recently begun to see the full depths of what it means to really pray for revival and God's blessings.
Everyone seems to be aware that there are problems among fundamental churches today. For some reason, these churches are not growing as they once did. During the 1970's fundamental
Baptist churches were attracting attention by their phenomenal rate of growth. But this seems to be in the past. Many are now saying that Pentecostals are growing faster than fundamental Baptists.
What is the reason for this? Some are saying that the Baptists have "lost their momentum." Others are saying that the Pentecostals have something to offer that we don't have. Still others seem to indicate that work with the Religious Right has drained our energy away from soul winning, and that is the problem. I even heard one man say that if we started preaching verse-by -verse sermons, as the Bible study people have done for years, we would suddenly begin to grow again.
I for one do not think that any of those reasons are behind the fact that fundamental Baptists have slowed down here so much in our growth rate. "Loss of momentum" seems to be a sociological rather than Biblical way of explaining our lack of power. Intimating that the Pentecostals have something to offer that we don't is ridiculous. The average Pentecostal or charismatic I meet here in southern California is as confused and powerless as Jim Baker or Jimmy Swaggart.
But the most ludicrous answer is turning to verse-to-verse Bible teaching. This has not made the Bible study movement grow in the last fifty years. If it did not bring revival or cause them to grow, why should any thinking person believe that it will make us grow or be revived? Besides, I think fundamental Baptists have done a superb job of teaching the Bible through the Sunday School. No, the above reasons will not explain the loss of growth among fundamental Baptists.
I for one think that the problem lies in a completely different area - the prayer meeting, as well as the private prayer of pastors and others in the churches. One national survey revealed that less than five percent of the graduates of Bible-believing colleges and seminaries have any prayer life at all! Most of our fundamental churches have dreary, half-dead prayer meetings, or have changed the midweek prayer meeting into a Bible study where perhaps only one or two dry prayers are uttered. When the pastor prays on Sunday morning, his prayer, almost without exception, has no anointing from the Holy Spirit upon it , no weeping over sinners, no power to bring God's help to those in the seats before him; It is rather a lifeless part of the Baptist ritual and liturgy in most cases, sadly.
Dr. John R. Rice correctly said, "Prayerlessness is a terrible sin...for the child of God, it is identical with backsliding. Prayerless is another name for unbelief...my greatest sin, and yours, is prayerlessness. My failures are all prayer failures."41 I believe that Dr. Rice hit the nail on the head! The greatest sin of our fundamental churches is our prayerlessness. I also believe that if we would return to prayer, God would give us power and growth.
No amount of verse-by-verse teaching will bring health and life to our churches unless we have a renovated and revived prayer meeting. No amount of "going back to basics" will help us win souls if our prayer meetings remain dead and dull. No copying of Pentecostal music, choruses, or anything else will bring us life. Copying the ideas of Peter S. Ruckman will not bring life, but only confusion, strife, and bitterness. The answer is a renovation and revival of our prayer meetings and our private prayers.
I would strongly suggest a pastor to lengthen his prayer time to an hour each day. Read Dr. Rice's book, Prayer: Asking and Receiving. Read the life of Praying Hyde. If you have already read it, read it again. Read the life of George Mueller. Read the autobiography of Charles G. Finney. Read the section on prayer meetings in How to Work for Christ by R. A. Torrey. Get your own prayer life straightened out. Then go to work on the midweek prayer service in your church, until it is a real prayer service, with 45 minutes to a full hour of real praying. Nothing short of this will bring revival. Revival comes through prayer.
Preaching Against Sin
The second great factor, next to prayer, in bringing about revival is strong preaching against sin. I do not mean preaching against the "principle" of sin, I mean actual naming of sin and preaching against these sins from the pulpit. This is not fashionable in our day. Many have followed Billy Graham, who said, "I preach against the principle of sin, not against individual sins." But this is a silly statement. How can one preach against "the principle" of something without giving examples, making plain what one is talking about, and using vivid illustrations?
I am convinced that so-called expository preaching is one of the main reasons for the spiritual dryness of our day. We must get back to preaching like Charles Spurgeon, who always preached textual sermons aimed at getting people saved. We glibly call Spurgeon "the Prince of Preachers" and then reject his method for the dry-as-dust so-called "expository preaching" which has been learned second- hand from people who have never experienced revival in the entire history of their movement!
The most important thing I have ever read on the subject of preaching is "How to Preach the Gospel." This is Chapter 12 of Revival Lectures by Charles G. Finney. Oh, how I wish that Bible believing pastors across the land would read this chapter again and again throughout their ministry (along with Chapter 10 and 11 of this remarkable book). It would be helpful to read and meditate on these three chapters once a year for the rest of a man's life, in my judgment.
And one other thing. Pastors should do personal work. When people come forward at the invitation, the pastor should make time to go over the plan of salvation with them. He should use such tools as R. A. Torrey's Vest Pocket Companion to make sure those who come forward are not resting in a false hope. The Vest Pocket Companion is available from Sword of the Lord in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This work should not be delegated nearly as much as it often is. Shockingly, it has even been eliminated in some churches. The pastor will find his own heart revived and converts added to his church as he does personal work with the lost who come forward at his invitation. Too often the pastor is more interested in eating a big lunch than in faithfully explaining the gospel and leading individuals to Christ who have come forward. This should be changed if we wish to have revival.
The Power of the Holy Spirit
How desperately we need power today! With all of our fancy churches, great choirs, tremendous budgets, and huge crowds, we have lost the fire and power of God. Our churches lie fallow, because the fire is gone. Dr. John R. Rice correctly said: "Oh, the church of Jesus Christ has lost her glory! Ichabod, 'the glory is departed,' is written over the doors of our stately houses of worship. Our churches, in the language of Scripture, have miscarrying wombs and dry breasts. Preachers have largely become pleasing palaverers, and not powerful prophets"42
Dr. Rice goes on to point out, in this great book The Power of Pentecost, how different present-day Christianity is from that of times when God poured out great revivals He says, "We have fallen! We have fallen! The trouble with modern Christianity is that it lacks the breath of Heaven, the power of God, the holy anointing, the supernatural enabling, that is the mark of New Testament Christianity!"43
None of what I have said up to this point will be of any good unless we get a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit in our lives. No fundamentalist is going to be able to pray with great power unless he is filled afresh with the Holy Spirit. No Bible-believing pastor or evangelist will be able to preach against sin with any resulting revival unless he gets filled afresh with the power of God's Holy Spirit. No Christian will be able to lead many souls to Christ, get them converted and then ge them into the church, unless he is filled afresh with the Holy Spirit.
All the great revivalists of the past were filled with the Holy Spirit, as Dr. Rice points out in his book The Power of Pentecost. Every Christian should have this book and read it again and again. Chapter 14 is titled, "How Great Soul Winners Were Filled With the Holy Spirit." In this chapter Dr. Rice tells us how D. L. Moody was filled with power. He tells of the Holy Spirit filling Billy Sunday, J. Wilbur Chapman, Charles G. Finney, Charles H. Spurgeon, and Evan Roberts,, the principal leader of the mighty Welsh Revival. He gives brief testimonies of many other great soulwinners who claimed to be definitely filled with the Holy Spirit. Every Christian in America should read carefully (and reread from time to time) this section of Dr. Rice's book.
Crowds may be manufactured by techniques of "church growth." But real Heaven-sent, earth-shaking, nation-saving revival can only come through protracted, serious prayer, preaching against sin, and new fillings of the Holy Spirit. Evan a slight attempt in these areas will change any pastor. As Raven-hill has said:
No preacher is going to skip the pulpit with the "good news" that his church won the top honors in the interchurch bowling league if he has come from the closet of prayer with eternity blazing in his eyes. No man is going to fear devils or deacons if he has heard the word of the Lord in the secret place of the Most High.44
Are you sure you are converted? Have you trusted Jesus Christ alone to save you by faith? Are you sure that you have "passed from death unto life"? If no, why not copy the following letter and send it to me?
Dr. R. L. Hymers. Jr.
P.O. Box 15308
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Dear Dr. Hymers:
I confess myself to be a guilty sinner who deserves eternal punishment. I cannot do anything by myself to stop the wrath of God from falling on me. Church membership, religious acts, becoming a good person trying to live the Christian life, believing Bible doctrine, or making Jesus my Lord will not save me. I come as a helpless sinner and rest in Jesus alone to save me and atone for my sins with His Blood.
If you sign this decision page, why not tear it out of the book, Xerox it, or copy it and send to Dr. Hymers?
1 Martin Luther, What Luther Says: an Anthology, compiled by Ewald M. Plass (St. Louis, Missouri: Concordia Publishing House, 1959), vol. 1, p. 67.
2 Peter S. Ruckman, The Alexandrian Cult, Part Eight (Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1981), p. 15.
3 Peter S. Ruckman, The Alexandrian Cult, Part Seven (Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1981), p. 12.
4 Curtis Hutson, "Ruckman's Various Plans of Salvation and Other Rabid Ramblings," Sword of the Lord, February 3, 1989, p. 1. 5 Ibid. 6 Ibid. 7 Ibid. 8 Ibid. 9 Ibid.
10 Hutson, "Ruckman's Various Plans...," p. 21. 11 Ibid.
12 Peter S. Ruckman, letter to Curtis Hutson, March 20, 1989, in personal files of Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.
13 Peter S. Ruckman, The Unknown Bible (Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1984), p. 99.
14 Peter S. Ruckman, Notice! Very Important - What to do if You Miss the Rapture (Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, n.d.).
15 Gary R. Hudson, Why I Left Ruckmanism (Collingswood, New Jersey: The Bible For Today, 1988), p. 126.
16 Peter S. Ruckman, The Alexandrian Cult, Part Four (Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1980, p. 18.
17 Peter S. Ruckman, "Zero Hour Approaches," Bible Believers' Bulletin, February 1989, p. 6. 18 Ibid.
19 Ruckman, "Zero Hour Approaches," p. 9. 20 Ibid. 21 Ibid. 22 Ibid.
23 Peter S. Ruckman Problem Texts (Pensacola, Florida: Pensacola Bible Institue Press, 1980), p. 145.
25 Ruckman, The Unknown Bible, p. 99.
26 Ruckman, Problem Texts, p.145.
27 Peter S. Ruckman, Dr. Ruckman's Testimony (Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, n.d.), tape 1
28 Ruckman, The Unknown Bible, p. 99.
29 Peter S. Ruckman, The Christian's Handbook of Biblical Scholarship (Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1988) p. 334.
30 Ruckman, The Unknown Bible, p. 67. 31 Ibid. 32 Ibid., p. 68. 33 Ibid., p, 98. 34 Ibid. 35 Ibid., pp. 98-99.
36 Hudson, Why I Left Ruckmanism, p. 95. 37 Ibid.
38 David C. Lindberg and Ronald L. Numbers, eds., God and Nature: Historical Essays on the Encounter Between Christianity and Science (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1986), pp. 86-87.
39 Lindberg and Numbers, God and Nature, note 32, pp. 106-107.
40 Ruckman, Dr. Ruckman's Testimony, tape 2.
41John R. Rice, Prayer: Asking and Receiving Murfreesboro, TN: Sword of the Lord, 1949), p. 15.
42 Ibid., p. 32.
43 Ibid., p. 32.
44 Leonard Ravenhill, Revival God's Way (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1983), p.86.
Demons and Christians -
Quotations from Peter S. Ruckman's Tape on the
Subject of Demonology
We have just listened to a tape by Peter S. Ruckman on the subject of demons, titled, "Demons and Christians." We found several mind-boggling statements by Ruckman. We divide these statements into three headings.
` Demons and Radio Waves
First, Ruckman makes a strong comparison between radio and television waves and demons.
They call it electric or magnetic waves. What does that mean? That means, right now, while I'm talking to you, there are things in the air, in this room, and they're going through your head and the head of the person in front of you, and the person behind you , and right through the seat and through the floor...So you have in this room spirits, at work in this room, and you have 'em going through this room.
Why, did you ever stop and think of this, how many radio stations ` are going through your head right now, AM stations, FM stations. I forgot the television, the channels going through your head. And the cable vision, going through your head.1
Ruckman wrongly says that cable television is "going through your head." That would be impossible, unless one's head were plugged into a cable! But drop back farther into the quote, where he compares radio and television waves to "spirits, at work in this room." There is a strong alignment of radio and television waves with the demonic, in Ruckman's mind, given in this tape on the subject of "Demons and Christians."
Ruckman goes on to say that these radio and television waves are what give hallucinations to drug addicts:
Now you take these fellows and they get on drugs and they get these bad trips. You know what's actually going on there? They're picking up stations and channels, and they can't separate the material... a guy gets on drugs and pretty soon, this checkerboard comes in like this. Comes in across like this, and a big green frog bounces off of it, and a yellow submarine comes. Here comes a train...what's the trouble, man? He's getting the channels mixed. That fellow's getting rock bands, symphony orchestras, and color TV coming right through the air, and he can't filter the stuff out. There is something in the air at work.2
I would like to ask Ruckman a question: is he saying that no one had these hallucinations before radio and television came into being? If that is his position, why did the Indians use peyote and other hallucinogenic drugs long before radio and television were even discovered? Obviously there were hallucinations before television and radio. Obviously, there is no connection between radio and television waves and demons.
The Size and Shape of Demons
Next, Ruckman gives his idea of the size and shape of demons. First, he thinks that demons could not be fallen angels, but concludes, "That won't work at all. Angels are 33-year-old men. You can't get seven of them inside of one person, let alone a thousand."3 But the Bible says that Ruckman is wrong. The Bible says, "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him" (Revelation 12: 9). This text shows us clearly that demons are angels, angels, we believe, which kept not their first estate (Jude 6). Some were bound; others were loosed.
Next, Ruckman says that demons are small: "I know they have to be small. Because one man in the Bible had a thousand of them. They must be small because Mary Magdalene had seven...there's
two little animals that have wings. One's fly and the other's a mosquito. Know what these things are? They're pictures of demons...And they're not only small, but contrary to all textbooks, and all commentaries, and all theologians, they're winged. The things have wings."4 So, Ruckman teaches that demons have wings and look like flies and mosquitos. He openly says that no other textbook or Bible teacher agrees with him:
"Does any other theologian hold with you in this?" No. You say, "I know of books on demons and demon possession. Anybody mention this?" No. You say, "Why don't they?"
Oh, they're worried about being ridiculed by somebody who doesn't have any more sense than they do.5
I'm afraid the average reader will agree that it's Ruckman who "doesn't have any more sense" than to link demons with radio waves and say that they are the size of a fly or a mosquito and have wings.
Ruckman Advocates and Practices Self-Exorcism
Ruckman thinks that Christians "can't go through a day" without getting demon-possessed:
I believe during the day that a Christian could pick up a number of demons. You can't get through a day without getting infested, that's what I believe.6
So, not only does Ruckman believe that Christians can be demonized, but he thinks that all Christians are demonized on a regular basis!
Next, Ruckman talks about self-exorcism. He says, "I get rid of them. I jump into bed and say, 'Lord, wash me in the blood. I don't want this stuff in me.' "7
Ruckman goes on to apply this teaching by saying:
Is there a possibility the devil could have got hold of you? Is there a possibility you're demon possessed? You know, the hardest thing for a person who's been full with demons to admit is that they're full with demons.8
Finally, Ruckman tells how he casts the demons out of himself, and urges others to do the same thing:
I'll tell you how I handle 'em (demons). I'll tell you how I handle mine (my demons). I cast out my own demons. I exorcise myself...Why don't you try it and see if it works. Go home tonight and get a mirror. Look right in the mirror and say, "I don't have to deal with you, you unclean spirit inside there. In the name of Jesus Christ, you devil, get out and leave me alone"...It's the most fanatical thing ever - try it, try it!9
So, Ruckman has told his audience nationwide, through this widely circulated tape, that they should get in front of a mirror and cast demons out of themselves, then jump in bed and ask God to cover them with Blood of Christ!
This man is the originator of the theory that the King James Bible was given by inspiration of God, is the preserved Word of God, and contains advanced revelation.
How do you know he didn't write all of this about the King James Version before he got in front of the mirror? For that matter, how do you know getting in front of the mirror did him any good at all?
1 Peter S. Ruckman, Demons and Christians (Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1976), side 1.
2 Ibid. 3 Ibid. 4 Ibid. 5 Ibid.
6 Ruckman, Demons and Christians, side 2.
7 Ibid. 8 Ibid. 9 Ibid.
by Rev. Gary Hudson, M. A.
I first met Evangelist Gary Hudson in September, 1987. He came to Los Angeles to preach at our church, the Fundamentalist Baptist Tabernacle. Since then we have had him for an extended series of evangelistic services. He is a powerful preacher and has a deep love for soul-winning. It was my privilege to be one of the factors in getting Brother Hudson out of Ruckmanism.
In speaking with Brother Hudson by telephone tonight, he said to me, "Dr. Hymers, I'm afraid that many people are going to pull away from Ruckman, but cling to his idea about the preservation of the KJV. I think this is dangerous, because it opens the door for those who believe that the KJV is the preserved Word of God to go back into full Ruckmanism in the future." We have already seen this occur. Partial Ruckmanites have taken a stand against the idea of advanced revelation in the KJV, but have continued to say that the KJV is the preserved Word of God. This is a great error, for it opens the door to full Ruckmanism in the future.
Gary Hudson has written an excellent book titled Why I Left Ruckmanism (The Bible For Today, 900 Park Avenue, Collingswood, New Jersey 08108). I quote here an abbreviation of his section on preservation from pages 82 to 84 of that book.
"The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever" (Psalm 12: 6-7).
The doctrine of preservation involves the providential keeping of God's revelation down through the ages. It is what was originally "given by inspiration" that is preserved, and that free from all error.
Ruckmanism, on the other hand, is a perversion of the doctrine of preservation. It teaches that when God preserves His word, He makes certain changes in it by carrying it over into another language. In order to be consistent about maintaining absolute inerrancy for the KJV translation, Ruckmanites must eventually end up saying this, for the KJV does not perfectly match the originals everywhere, and they know it. The Double Document Theory of Jeremiah 36 is used by them to somehow "prove" that God adds words to the original text in preservation. NT quotations from the OT are used to justify the KJV translators making changes from the Hebrew and Greek in English, arguing that these are "advanced revelations."
But the Bible teaches that it is what was first written down that God preserves. Psalm 12: 6-7 quoted above says that the Lord will preserve "them" - the "words of the Lord" - THOSE words, "from THIS generation"- David's generation that had Hebrew texts. That is why Jesus said that it would be not "one JOT (Hebrew) or one TITTLE (Hebrew)" that will perish from the law of the Lord.
Ruckmanism's teaching is therefore unsound and unscriptural in claiming additional content in the preservation process. What would happen to a can of preserves if one of you ladies opened it up and decided to "advance" its contents? Why, such an idea is ridiculous, for you preserved the contents with an air-tight seal that prevents its corruption. Such is true in much the same way of God's Word. The close of the canon of Scripture with the writing of the Book of Revelation in 95 A.D. sets a closed seal upon God's infallible Word. Through various means and using different individuals, God has providentially preserved down through the years what was within that seal, and gives strong warnings about attempts by man at corrupting its contents (Revelation 22: 18-19). As you would preserve the original food just as it was when it was placed in the jar, so God preserves His original words just as that wording appeared when He gave it by inspiration in the original manuscripts.
Let those groups who take a strong stand on the KJV English take care at this point. We mean by this those who say that the KJV ENGLISH is "God's preserved Word" and ALSO hold to its absolute inerrancy as an ENGLISH TRANSLATION. Such a position winds up being a Ruckmanism, for it is impossible to hold to every word of English as inerrant and call that "preserved" without holding to additional revelation in that English. Sad to say, this is what some are actually doing without realizing the influence of Ruckmanism behind the position. But it is consistent with the Scriptural doctrine of preservation to say that the KJV is God's "preserved Word" as it is based upon the Traditional Hebrew Masoretic OT Text and Textus Receptus Greek NT Text. But to say that the KJV is "God's preserved Word" because it is BOTH "based on the right manuscripts" AND inerrant English is the Ruckmanism heresy. This false teaching comes from Ruckman's Manuscript Evidence book, which rides the issue
of the manuscript controversy in order to introduce the idea that the KJV is "advanced revelation" in English.
The March-April 1989 issue of The Flaming Torch, a Ruckmanite publication, printed a letter from Wayne Carmichael, in which the character and integrity of Gary Hudson were viciously attacked. Brother Hudson has answered these charges, and will gladly send a copy of this to anyone requesting it.
Please write to Evangelist Gary R. Hudson, P.O. Box, Whitehouse, Florida 32220. We have just telephoned Mr. Wayne Carmichael at his home in Jacksonville, Florida. Mr. Carmichael told us personally that The Flaming Torch printed his letter without his permission or knowledge. He was astonished that they had done so. Still, we think that those who have seen this attack on Brother Hudson may wish to write him at the above address for his explanation.
Ruckman's List of Nineteen Advanced Revelations
The March 1989 Bible Believers' Bulletin contains an article by Dr. Peter S. Ruckman. The by-line states, "This is the first of a series of articles by Dr. Peter S. Ruckman defending the position that the Authorized English Bible (King James 1611) gives advanced revelations over ALL Greek and Hebrew texts."1 The by-line goes on to state that his is the first of a series of articles that will later be put together as a booklet, proving that the KJV contains many advanced revelations. We list several of these to show the ludicrous position on "advanced revelation in the KJV" espoused by Ruckman.
The first so-called "advanced revelation" in the KJV listed by Ruckman in this article is that the re-arranging of the Old Testament books, placing Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job and Psalms after II Chronicles, instead of ending the Old Testament canon with II Chronicles as the Hebrew Bible does, gives a plan of eschatology. Ruckman writes that this re-arrangement shows: "1. The return (1917); 2. the rebuilding (1948); 3. the rapture (Esther 1); 4. the Tribulation (Job); and 5. the Advent (Ps.1: 2)."2` Anybody that would agree with Ruckman that this re-arrangement of books reveals prophecy would believe that a nanny goat can give Coca-Cola! Why does Ruckman stop with Psalm 1? It's obvious that he couldn't make Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, etc. fit into his fantastic eschatological panorama!
The second "advanced revelation" is the use of the word "replenish" in Genesis 1: 28. Ruck-
-man says that this English word proves that the earth was "previously populated" by people "who were drowned" in a flood that occurred between Genesis 1: 1 and 1: 2.3 Ruckman is probably the only Bible teacher in the world to hold this view. Either he is right, and virtually every other Christian in history is wrong, or Ruckman is wrong and the word "replenish" does not reveal that there was a pre-Adamic race that were drowned between Genesis 1: 1 and 1: 2. We don't think anyone will be stupid enough to buy Ruckman's strange theory on this. We only list it to show what twisted lengths he has gone to, to uphold his theory of advanced revelation.
Thirdly, Ruckman says that the word "pictures" in Numbers 33: 52 was added by KJV translators to warn us about television.!4 This is the most fantastic thing I've ever read! He actually writes, "With TV in front of you...don't you appreciate the advanced revelation of the 1611 text?"5 What Scripture twisting! He's actually got Numbers 33: 52 talking about television! This text has nothing what
-ever to do with Bible prophecy, or with television. It is a command for the Hebrew people to "drive out all of the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places." So, the word "picture" here refers to some sort of idol the Canaanites possessed, and is no "advanced revelation" of television in the twentieth century! I’m sure somebody will believe Ruckman, however. After all, P. T. Barnum said, "There's a sucker born every minute."
Ruckman goes on to sixteen more of these so-called "advanced revelations" from the KJV. Toward the end of the article, Ruckman says:
It is late at night, kiddies. Time for bye-bye. There are more than forty-five advanced revelations in a King James Bible that no Hebrew or greek scholar was able to find in any set of Greek manuscripts, in any translation of the Hebrew text...6
So, we leave Ruckman, in the middle of the night, mounting forty-five so-called "advanced revelations," additions to the Bible, given only in the KJV English. But this is adding to the Word of God, a thing which God condemns: "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you" (Deuteronomy 4: 2). "If any man shall add unto these words, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book" (Revelation 22: 18).
1Peter S. Ruckman, "Those Infamous 'Advanced Revelations,' " Bible Believers' Bulletin, March 1989, special insert, page A.
2 Ibid. 3 Ibid. 4 Ibid. 5 Ibid.
6 Ruckman, "Those Infamous 'Advanced Revelations,' " special insert, page C.
Why I Did Not Give These Ruckmanites
One Thousand Dollars
William Lyon Phelps
After the completion of the manuscript for this book I mailed dozens
of copies to friends across the country, prior to its publication. A member
of Peter Ruckman's church heard about my offer of one thousand dollars
to anyone who could show a Baptist or Protestant scholar who believed Ruckman's
view of the inspiration of the KJV before 1950. In the May 1989 Bible Believers
Bulletin Ruckman had claimed William Lyon Phelps as a scholar who held
his views in 1923. The member of Ruckman's church wrote to me quoting Ruckman's
article on Phelps and claimed the money. Below is my response to her. Her
name and address have been altered.
500 Allen Street
Pensacola, Florida 92974
Dear Mrs. Smith:
I received your letter of April 20, 1989. You enclosed a Bible Believers' Bulletin, in which Dr. Peter S. Ruckman quotes William Lyon Phelps, and says that Phelps held his position concerning the KJV in 1923. Then you claim my one thousand dollar offer and say, "Enclosed is documented evidence that someone took Ruckman's view of the Bible prior to 1950." You then claim the check for one thousand dollars.
The actual statement I made is on page 29 of my book The Ruckman Conspiracy. Here I say, "We offer one thousand dollars to anyone who can cite a single Baptist or Protestant scholar who held the view that a translation was given through inspiration and who held this view prior to 1950." No one is able to collect the money because no one believed this fantastic theory for two thousand years until Ruckmanism became a full-blown doctrine, led by Peter Ruckman and a few others.
Now, I will prove that William Lyon Phelps did not believe that the KJV was inspired in the same way that Ruckman does.
William Lyon Phelps was a liberal; he held the position of Lampson Professor of English Literature at Yale University. In Phelps' book, Human Nature in the Bible1 (page xi), he writes:
I have no theory to account for the so-called "inspiration of the Bible," but I am confident that the Authorized Version was inspired.
Dr. Ruckman Conveniently left out the quotation marks around the words "inspiration of the Bible" when he quoted this passage on page 8 of the May 1989 Bible Believers' Bulletin.2 He did this, I think, because he wanted to play down the fact that Phelps was a liberal who did not believe that the Bible was given by verbal inspiration. Phelps' view was what is called "natural inspiration." This view holds that the writers of the Bible were men of great genius who did not have any supernatural help in writing the Bible. Such a view of inspiration does not include the inerrancy of the Scriptures.
The idea that Phelps is putting across is that the men who wrote the Bible were "inspired" in the same way that Shakespeare, Spenser, or Bacon were inspired as they wrote great English literature. He uses these great English writers on the proceeding page to illustrate his view of inspiration.
Next, Phelps says, on the same page (xi), "The so-called Revised Version and modern condensed versions are valuable for their superior accuracy in individual instances; they may be used as checks and comments..." I hardly think that Dr. Ruckman would agree with this Alexandrian position! So, you are wrong to say that Phelps "took Ruckman's view of the Bible prior to 1950." Phelps believed in using Alexandrian texts "for their superior accuracy." Does Ruckman hold the liberal view of natural inspiration that Phelps held?
Then, on page 247 of this same book, Dr. Phelps writes, "The books of the Apocrypha are among the most interesting parts of the Bible...they have been unduly neglected not only by the public but by Bible students..." Does Dr. Ruckman agree with Phelps that the Apocrypha are part of the Bible and have been unduly neglected?
In another book by Dr. Phelps, Human Nature and the Gospel (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1925)3 we have further documentation that William Lyon Phelps was a rank liberal. On page 74 of this book Phelps states that there is a mistake in the Gospel of John. He says that the "story" of the woman taken in adultery "is lacking in most ancient manuscripts. No one knows how it got into the gospel narrative..." Phelps then quotes favorably the liberal Casper Rene Gregory, professor at the University of Leipzig, Germany, as follows:
In the gospel of St. John, chapter the eighth, we have a fragment of the most ancient Christian traditions; although this is not originally a part of this biblical book, it may well be older than the gospel of St. John.
Does Dr. Ruckman agree with Phelps on this quotation? Does Dr. Ruckman believe, as Phelps does, that "no one knows how it got into the gospel narrative"? Does Dr. Ruckman agree that these verses in John 8 "may well be older than the gospel of St. John"? Is Dr. Ruckman a liberal like William Lyon Phelps and Casper Rene Gregory?
On page 130 of this same book, Phelps points out another "mistake" in the Gospel of John. He says, "Jesus was crucified about nine o'clock in the morning, though John makes it later in the day." Does Dr. Ruckman agree with this? Does Dr. Ruckman say that John made a mistake regarding the time of Christ's crucifixion? You stated that William Lyon Phelps "took Ruckman's view of the Bible prior to 1950." Do you still say that? If you do, you are categorizing Dr. Ruckman as a rank, Bible-correcting liberal like William Lyon Phelps.
One more item: on page 111 of Phelps' book Human Nature and the Gospel, he writes this:
But I do not think Jesus said, "Ye believe in God, believe also in me." I think he said, "Believe in God, believe also in me."
Phelps here quotes the ASV 1901 to correct the King James translation. I think this shows that Phelps was not a Ruckmanite in any sense of the word.
Therefore, I am sorry that you do not qualify to collect the one thousand dollars, since I have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that William Lyon Phelps was in no sense as Ruckmanite, and did not believe the KJV was given by inspiration in the same way that Ruckman does. Peter Ruckman should have done his homework on Phelps before making a fool out of himself by calling this liberal a Ruckmanite in the May 1989 Bible Believers' Bulletin.
Now, I repeat what I said on page 29 of my book, The Ruckman Conspiracy:
Ruckman claims that the Holy Spirit "thrust Himself" into the AV committee of 1611 and said "Write." He claims that the Holy Spirit told the translation committee to write "Easter" in Acts 12: 4. Thus, the KJV translation is not a human work, but was given through inspiration. As we have shown, this view that a translation is given by inspiration was unheard of throughout two millennia of church history until Ruckmanism reared its head after 1950. We offer one thousand dollars to anyone who can cite a single Baptist or Protestant scholar who held the view that a translation was given through inspiration, and who held this view prior to 1950.
Ruckmanism assigns the honors which belong only to the Hebrew and Greek to the KJV translation. No Bible scholar has done this until modern times. It is wrong even to say that the KJV is the preserved Word of God. If it is preserved, then it can have no errors. If it has no errors, then it has to contain advanced revelation ("Easter" over "Passover" for instance, and other places where the KJV corrects the Greek and Hebrew. These must be advanced revelations). Preservation logically proves advanced revelation. You can't have one without the other.
It is far better to say that the King James Version is an accurate translation and let it go at that. No divine honors whatever should be applied to this translation.
Your in Christ,
R. L. Hymers. Jr.
M.Div., D.Min., Th.D.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Next, in the June 1989 Bible Believers' Bulletin, Dr. Ruckman claimed Charles H. Spurgeon as a Ruckmanite. He wrote, "Spurgeon was the most radical Ruckmanite that ever lived on the face of this earth."4 He then gives a quotation from Spurgeon, borrowed second-hand from the September 23, 1977 Sword of the Lord. But the quotation from Spurgeon does not say that the KJV was given by inspiration. It is merely a statement by Spurgeon against liberal attacks on the Bible, not a statement that he believed the KJV was given by inspiration.
The statement Ruckman printed from Spurgeon was given (According to Ruckman) " in the 1880's."5 But in 1876 Spurgeon wrote this in his book Commenting and Commentaries:
A man to comment well should be able to read the Bible in the original. Every minister should aim at a tolerable proficiency both in the Hebrew and the Greek. These two languages will give him a library at a small expense, an inexhaustible thesaurus, a mine of spiritual wealth. Really, the effort of acquiring a language is not so prodigious that brethren of moderate abilities should so frequently shrink from the attempt. A minister ought to attain enough of these tongues to be at least able to make a passage by the aid of a lexicon, so as to be sure that he is not misrepresenting the Spirit of God in His discouragings, but is, as nearly as he can judge, giving forth what the Lord extended to reveal by the language employed. Such knowledge would prevent his founding doc- -trines upon expressions in our version when nothing at all analogous is to be found in the inspired original. This has been done by preachers time out of mind, and they have shouted over an inference drawn from a shall, or an if gathered out of the translation, with as much assurance of infallibility and sense of importance as if the same language had occurred in the words which the Holy Ghost used. At such times, we have been reminded of the
story told by the late beloved Henry Craik, in his book on the Hebrew language. At one time, the Latin Vulgate was so constantly spoken of as the very word of God, that a Roman Catholic theologian thus commented upon Genesis 1: 10: "The gathering together of the waters called the seas." The Latin term for
seas is Maria. On this ground, the writer asks, "what is the gathering together of waters but the accumulation of all the graces into one place, that is, into which the seas contains only of a transitory nature, while the gifts and graces of the blessed Virgin (Maria) shall endure for ever." Such superlative nonsense may be indulged in if we forget that translations cannot be verbally inspired, and that to the original is the last appeal.6
This paragraph speaks for itself. It proves that Spurgeon was not a Ruckmanite in any sense, and did not believe that the KJV was given by inspiration. First, Spurgeon appeals to the Hebrew and Greek which he calls "the originals." No Ruckmanite would do this. Second, he states that a knowledge of the Greek and Hebrew will prevent a preacher from founding doctrines based upon the KJV, but not "found in the inspired original." Third, Spurgeon reveals that the idea that a translation is given by inspiration is actually a Roman Catholic doctrine. Finally, he states that "translations cannot be verbally inspired, and that to the original is the last appeal." All of this proves that no one can claim the one thousand dollars on the basis of Spurgeon, because Spurgeon did no believe the KJV was given by inspiration.
In case someone should still think that Spurgeon believed the KJV to be given by inspiration, I quote from page 31 of this same book:
Do not needlessly amend our Authorized Version. It is faulty in many places, but still it is a grand work taking it for all and all... Correct where correction must be for truth's sake.7
This reveals, first, that Spurgeon thought the KJV was "faulty in many places." Secondly, it reveals that he thought it was perfectly right that a preacher should correct the King James "Where correction must be for truth's sake." This proves that he could not have been a Ruckmanite, could no have believed that the
KJV was given by inspiration.
The same lady member of Ruckman's church wrote to me claiming the thousand dollars. I quote here my answer to her. Again, the name and address have been altered.
500 Allen Street
Pensacola, Florida 92974
Dear Mrs. Smith:
Thank you for your letter of May 23, 1989. It was very kind of you to send me a xerox of the June 1989 Bible Believers' Bulletin, with Peter Ruckman's statement that Charles Haddon Spurgeon was a Ruckmanite.
Ruckman quotes Spurgeon from the Sword of the Lord (9/23/77). He says that this quotation from Spurgeon proves that the great preacher believed the King James Version was given by inspiration. Thus, you claim my thousand dollar offer, since Spurgeon said these words before 1950. However, you will note that nowhere in the quotation does Spurgeon say that the KJV is inspired. He says the Bible was given by inspiration. He implies that the KJV is an accurate translation from the God-inspired Greek and Hebrew. Nothing more than this can be inferred from Spurgeon's quote.
To prove that Charles Haddon Spurgeon was not a Ruckmanite, and did not believe that the KJV was given by inspiration, I quote from Peter S. Ruckman himself. This is what Dr. Ruckman wrote about Charles Haddon Spurgeon in The Alexandrian Cult, Part Eight:
"Charles Haddon Spurgeon preached from the RV on the 8th of February, 1891, and told his listeners that translations are not inspired, therefore the last appeal is to the 'original.' He also added that the AV was 'faulty' in many places and could be corrected." (page 2)
Thus, Dr. Ruckman says that Spurgeon was a member of the Alexandrian Cult, not a Ruckmanite. On page 1 of this same book Ruckman says:
"Among the many men to which apostate fundamentalists appeal, in order to justify their own ungodly devilment, are Charles Haddon Spurgeon..."
No, you cannot collect one thousand dollars by taking a statement from Spurgeon out of context which really does not claim inspiration for the KJV, especially in the light of the fact that Dr. Ruckman himself has labelled Spurgeon an apostate, a man who did not believe that the KJV was given by inspiration.
I'm afraid that Dr. Ruckman doesn't realize that some of us are intelligent enough to look at his past statements on people like Spurgeon. He cannot claim Spurgeon as a Ruckmanite now, since he has denounced him as a non-Ruckmanite in the past!
Yours in Christ,
R. L. Hymers, Jr.., M.Div., D.Min., Th.D.
William B. Riley
A Ruckmanite from Memphis, Tennessee wrote, claiming William B. Riley held Ruckman's view on the inspiration of the KJV before 1950. But this man made the mistake of quoting Dr. Riley from a secondary source, from George Dollar's A History of Fundamentalism in America, rather than going directly to Dr. Riley's book, The Menace of Modernism. This is always a mistake. It proved to be particularly so in this case, because Dr. Riley's book actually proves the opposite position: That Riley did not believe in the inspiration of the KJV. On page 11, Dr Riley says, "I have never met an intelligent man who contended for such a position."8 In speaking of ignorant people like those who follow Ruckman, he says, "And even now in more remote districts, where educational advantages have been few, the history of the Bible is unknown. Of its translation from language to language they have never learned"9 He goes on to say, "To claim, therefore, inerrancy for the King James Version, or even for the Revised Version, is to claim inerrancy for men who never professed it for themselves; to clothe with the claim of verbal inspiration a company of men who would almost quit their graves to repudiate such equality with the
prophets and apostles."10 He, thus, unequivocally states that the KJV is not inerrant, and that it is not given by verbal inspiration. Unfortunately he goes on to quote Westcott and Hort favorably in this same book.11 While I would not agree with him on this, it certainly shows that he did not feel that KJV was given by inspiration. On page 36 he corrects the King James Version and says the RV is more accurate.12
Now I give the answer I wrote to the Tennessee Ruckmanite. His name and address have also been altered.
201 N. 17th St.
Memphis, Tennessee 90026
Dear Mr. Jones:
Thank you for your letter of May 19, 1989. I also appreciate your kind comments, in stating that my book on Ruckmanism "is very good and (my) arguments against it are very well documented."
However, your claim that W. B. Riley stated that the KJV was given by inspiration is erroneous. The actual offer I made is on page 29 of this book. there, I said:
We offer one thousand dollars to anyone who can cite a single Baptist or Protestant scholar who held the view that a translation was given by inspiration, and who held this view prior to 1950.
You quote from Riley's book, The Menace of Modernism, indirectly. You do not actually quote from Dr. Riley's book, but from a quotation cited by George Dollar in his book, A History of Fundamentalism in America (BJU Press, 1973, p. 114). If you had taken the time to get Dr. Riley's book, you would have seen that Dr. Riley did not state that the King James Bible was given by inspiration, which is what is required to claim the one thousand dollars.
On page 13 of Dr. Riley's book he absolutely repudiates the idea that the King James Bible was given by inspiration. The quote you gave was from page 9, but on page 13 Dr. Riley said:
To claim, therefore, inerrancy for the King James Version or even for the Revised Version, is to claim inerrancy for men who never professed it for themselves, to clothe with the claim of verbal inspiration a company of men who would almost quit their graves to repudiate such equality with the prophets and apostles.
So, you will see that Dr. Riley did not believe the King James Bible was given by inspiration. Thus, you cannot claim the one thousand dollars. May God bless you in all that you do.
Yours in Christ,
R. L. Hymers, Jr., M.Div., D.Min., Th.D.
The Apostle Paul
As I completed this manuscript, I had a telephone call from a young man in Texas, claiming the Apostle Paul as a Ruckmanite. He cited II Timothy 3: 16 as proof that Paul believed that translations were given by inspiration prior to 1950. But II Timothy 3: 16 does not prove that Paul believed that translations of his day were given by inspiration. When Paul says, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God" he simply means that all of the Bible from Genesis to the end was given by inspiration. That is what "all scripture" refers to. It refers to all of the Bible, from the beginning to the end. It does not refer to translations. The belief that "all scripture" from the beginning to the end of the Bible is given by inspiration is known as plenary verbal inspiration. "Plenary" means "all." "Verbal" means "the very words." So, plenary verbal inspiration teaches that all of the Bible, from beginning to end, was given by inspiration. That is what Paul was teaching in II Timothy 3: 16.
I have dealt with this question of II Timothy 3: 16 on pages 5 and 6 of this book. I have shown that Ruckman is wrong by saying that II Timothy 3: 16 refers to copies and translations.
By the way, the Scriptures that Timothy would have been studying (II Timothy 3: 15) would have
been the Hebrew Bible, not the Septuagint translation, since Timothy was a Jew. So there is no possibility that II Timothy 3: 16 could refer to the Septuagint or any other translation.
It should also be remembered that Ruckman's own position on II Timothy 3: 16 has changed dramatically since 1971. In a letter to Dr. Robert L. Sumner in January 0f 1971, Peter Ruckman said, "At no time have I stated flatly that the AV 1611 was the verbally inspired Word of God. Verbal inspiration has to do with II Timothy 3: 16 and deals with the original autographs."13 (Anyone wishing to receive a xerox of this letter may write and request it. Please send one dollar to cover postage and handling). Now, in 1988, Ruckman says, "The King James Bible was given by inspiration of God (II Timothy 3: 16)."14
By comparing this quotation from 1971 with the quotation from 1988, we see that Ruckman has changed his view drastically. In 1971 Ruckman had not "stated flatly that the AV 1611 was the verbally inspired Word of God." In 1988, he plainly states that the KJV is "given by inspiration of God." In 1971, Ruckman states that verbal inspiration "has to do with II Timothy 3: 16 and deals with the original autographs." By 1988 he says that inspiration refers to the King James Bible and downgrades and attacks the original autographs.
It is clear to an unbiased reader that Ruckman has changed his position on II Timothy 3: 16 as he has moved deeper into heresy.
I agree with Ruckman's 1971 statement, "Verbal inspiration has to do
with II Timothy 3: 16 and deals with original autographs. " I agree that
II Timothy 3: 16, when it says "all Scripture," refers to all of the original
autographs of the Bible, from the beginning of the Bible to the end. It
does not refer to the KJV translation or any other translation. So, I agree
with Ruckman's 1971 statement, but disagree with this present heretical
view that II Timothy 3: 16 refers to copies and translations.
LeBaron W. Kinney
The June 1989 issue of The Flaming Torch, a Ruckmanite publication, had a cover so try in which my one thousand dollar offer was claimed. The Torch said:
Recent challenges (and offers of money) to produce a "Ruckmanite" teaching before 1950 are a distortion...What is left but to quote Lebaron(sic) W, Kinney, a "Ruckmanite," in 1942, who said, "When a Bible teacher refers to the original languages, there is danger of giving the wrong impression about the authority and true value of the standard King James Version of 1611, so that we have in it the very Word of God..." (p. 45 "King James Fans " by E. L. Bynum).
If you think the King James defender pretenders are going to cough up the thousand bucks, you probably believe in the tooth fairy.
Other than the fact that the Torch spelled LeBaron Kinney's first name wrong, the old mistake of citing secondary sources is the problem here. Instead of actually looking at LeBaron Kinney's book, they cite someone else, in this case E. L. Bynum. But by doing this, the Ruckmanites stumble again and again, as we shall presently see in this case.
By actually looking up the book of Kinney, Acres of Rubies (Loizeaux Brothers, 1942), one can see, from the quote itself, that the Torch left out important words which reveal that Kinney did not believe in the verbal inspiration of the King James Bible. Out of either trickery or ignorance (we can't be sure which ) the Torch article conveniently leaves the following words out of the quote, "By this we mean that no other English Version will ever take its place. As a whole it is nearer to the original Greek and Hebrew than any other version."16 By adding these two sentences where they belong, right after the portion of the quote given by E. L. Bynum and copied by the Torch, we see that Kinney did not believe that the King James Bible was given by inspiration. He says, "By this we mean..." So, what Kinney meant when he spoke of the KJV as the "very Word of God" was that "no other English Version will ever take its place" and that "it is nearer to the original Greek and Hebrew than any other version," There is not a word here in Kinney's actual quote about the KJV being given by inspiration, because Kinney did not believe that.
I wish that Ruckmanites like those who publish the Torch would be honest and/or smart enough to give actual quotes, rather than using secondary sources which may be misleading. Why not take a few minutes to get a copy of Kinney's book, rather than taking a partial quote from someone else who may have used it dishonestly or wrongly in the first place? I might add here that my offer for one thousand dollars is to anyone who "can cite" a Baptist or Protestant scholar who held to the inspiration of a translation before 1950. The word "cite" according to Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language, means "To quote a passage, book, writer, etc." Thus, when I ask people "to cite" a Baptist or Protestant scholar, it means to actually quote the writer, the passage, and the book, not to quote someone else, who in turn quoted them. I will not accept any so-called "citations" unless they are from the original source. I have seen time and again that the original source proves that the quotation (taken from a secondary source) is unreliable. CITATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED FROM ORIGINAL
SOURCES ONLY. THE AUTHOR, THE BOOK, THE PUBLISHER, THE DATE, AND THE PAGE MUST BE FIVEN. ANYTING LESS THAN THIS WOULD NOT BE AN ACCEPTALBLE CITATION EVEN BY A HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER!
By leafing through the book of Kinney, wrongly quoted out of context by The Flaming Torch, a person comes to Kinney's belief that the original Bible was given by inspiration, rather than the KJV. Kinney said:
The Hebrew word here rendered "good tidings" is "basar." Where God has chosen a word in the Greek of the New Testament to represent a Hebrew Old Testament word that has already been woven through the inspired writings, it seems to us wise when possible, to go back and study the original Hebrew word, rather than to turn aside to classical Greek writings, and bring in meanings used by the uninspired writers with their defiled heathen minds. It is always profitable to compare Scripture with Scripture, Greek with New Testament Greek and Old Testament Hebrew with Scripture words, but when we go outside the inspired use of the words we are in danger of bringing in meanings which God did not intend.17
This quote reveals that Kinney believed God chose words in Greek and Hebrew, not in English. He also called the Greek and Hebrew words "inspired writings" rather than an English translation. But most significant is his statement, "When we go outside the inspired use of the words we are in danger of bringing in meanings which God did not intend." So, Kinney believed that the Greek and Hebrew word should be studied in their context. This would show that he is in complete disagreement with the Ruckmanite idea that we can get "advanced light" from an English translation, however good that translation is.
The final proof that LeBaron W. Kinney was not a Ruckmanite, did not believe the KJV was given by inspiration, comes from the fact that Kinney actually leaned toward the Alexandrian position, and rejected the KJV completely at times. On page 63 of Kinney's 1942 book (same year) He is Thy Lord and Worship Thou Him, Kinney accepts the Alexandrian reading over the KJV on III John 7. He actually quotes the RV in the text on this page.18 On page 32 of this same book he corrects the King James Version on its rendering of John 13: 10, and gives the American Standard Version as the correct one.19
In his book Acres of Rubies, Kinney goes even farther in his Alexandrian leaning. On page 115 he says, "The very last word in the Epistle to the Ephesians in most Greek texts is the word 'incorruption' the word rendered 'sincerity' in the King James Version."20 But the King James and the Textus Receptus, from which it is translated, do not end with the word "sincerity." They end with the Greek word "amen." So, Kinney favours the Alexandrian ending for Ephesians 6: 24 rather than the King James ending.
The Torch thinks that we should "cough up the thousand bucks" for their partial misquotation of this man.21 But after examining the actual writing of LeBaron W. Kinney , only and idiot could come to the conclusion that he believed the King James Bible was given by inspiration.
Torch Editor Embraces Neo- Orthodoxy!
Flaming Torch editor Don Edwards has strangely embraced the extreme liberal ideas of Barthian neo-orthodoxy. You will remember that it was the German theologian Karl Barth who taught a whole generation of preachers that the Bible and Word of God were separate, and that the word of God was floating and one could not be sure where it is.
Torch editor Edwards has now accepted some of Barth's liberal ideas. Perhaps Edwards thinks that he is defending the KJV, but in doing so he has actually embraced Barthian liberalism! He printed a statement which says, "For a number of years I have been in favor of canonizing it ( KJV), as I feel it is the one divinely preserved text. God, in my opinion, has moved His Word from the original languages to English, for the purpose of this preservation, much as He moved from Hebrew to Greek when He gave the New Testament."22 Concerning this statement, Ruckmanite Edwards says, "I am of course in total agreement."23 Thus, Edwards irrationally agrees with the proposition that the King James translation be added to the canon. Edwards agrees with the wild-eyed notion that the Word of God somehow "floated" over from Greek and Hebrew to English. Thus, Edwards agrees that the Word of God was not given verbally (in words). Edwards agrees with the German liberal Barth that the Word of God "floats in the air." Sometimes the Word of God rests on Greek, but later it "floats over" to another language, where the meaning of words are even changed.
It should be remembered that God didn't desert the Hebrew when He inspired the Greek! The Hebrew was just as inspired after the Greek was given as it was before! But the Ruckmanite Edwards is so theologically inept that he doesn't realize that he has embraced the most liberal form of German Barthianism in his mindless defence of Ruckmanism!
If Edwards spent a little less time in front of the TV and a little more time studying a couple of simple-to-understand theological books, he wouldn't have fallen into the trap of liberal German Barthianism and made a fool of himself.
Anybody mindless enough to believe that preservation "floats over" from the Greek and Hebrew into the King James translation has probably spent a little too much time slurping down junk food and watching TV re-runs. Wake up! You've embraced Karl Barth's German, existentialist, neo-orthodox position concerning God's Word. God breathed His word in Greek and Hebrew. That is the preserved Word of God. The KJV contains no divine preservation. The words of God were given in Greek and Hebrew, preserved in Greek and Hebrew, handed down in Greek and Hebrew, and are still available in Greek and Hebrew. To reject the verbal inspiration of the Hebrew and Greek Bible is to embrace some of the ideas of the most God-forsaken theology of modern times and to actually put yourself in the camp with Barth, Brunner, Tillich, and other German heretics.
It doesn't surprise me that Don Edwards quotes Martin Niemoller on the very next page of his
Flaming Torch.24 This Ruckmanite probably doesn't even know that Niemoller was a cohort of Barth and Brunner, and was one of the most religiously corrupt Bible-correctors of all time. It doesn't surprise me that Edwards takes Barth's position on page 6 and then quotes Barth's friend Niemoller on page 7. Birds of a feather flock together!
the Scofield Reference Bible, in its note on 1 Corinthians 2: 13, states:
The writers of Scripture invariably affirm, where the subject is mentioned by them at all, that the words of their writings are divinely taught. This, of necessity, refers to the original documents, not to translations and versions.25
It would be wise for fundamentalists to get back to the Old Scofield Bible, and forget about this new teaching from Ruckman.
We suppose that Dr. Ruckman will, in the future, bring out more of these quotations from the past, in a futile attempt to prove that someone believed the KJV was given by inspiration before 1950. However, a simple examination of the books he and his friends quote, compared with the other writings of these authors, will prove Ruckman and his friends wrong every time, because NO BAPTIST OR PROTESTANT SCHOLAR BELIEVED THAT THE KJV WAS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION BEFORE 1950! See page 18 of this book for a list of people Ruckman has wrongly claimed. It is the habit of Ruckmanites to claim great Christian leaders of the past without citing proper proof, or by pulling statements by these long dead Christians out of context.
Herb Evans, writing in the June 1989 Flaming Torch, sees that I am right on this. Evans is at least clever enough to understand that no one really believed Ruckmanism before 1950. He says, "Recent challenges...to produce Ruckmanite teaching before 1950 are a distortion and obliteration of the history of the battle for the Authorized Version during the fifties and sixties.26 Evans goes so far as to admit that I am right. He actually proves my thesis by showing clearly that Ruckmanism is indeed a reaction to the Revised Standard Version and other translations which have come out since 1950. Although he comes to a different conclusion from mine, he actually proves the point which I have made earlier in this book: Ruckmanism is an extreme reaction to events which occurred since the early 1950's.27
NO BAPTIST OR PROTESTANT SCHOLAR BELIEVED THAT THE KJV WAS GIVEN BY INSSPIRATION BEFORE 1950! Only by pulling statements of dead Christians out of context can Ruckmanites pull the wool over the eyes of uneducated bumpkins. We will answer each Ruckmanite claim from the actual writings of the Baptist and Protestant scholars they claim. We will show each time that the Ruckmanites have pulled their statements out of context or twisted them, and that no Baptist or Protestant scholar believed the KJV was given by inspiration prior to 1950. I therefore boldly repeat the offer I made earlier in this book:
We offer one thousand dollars to anyone who can cite a single Baptist or Protestant scholar who held the view that a translation was given by inspiration, and who held this view prior to 1950.
1 William Lyon Phelps, Human Nature in the Bible (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1923), xi.
2 Peter S. Ruckman, "The Two Year Old Heretic," Bible Believers' Bulletin, Jay 1989, p. 1.
3 William Lyon Phelps, Human Nature and the Gospel (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1925), p. 74.
4 Peter S. Ruckman, "How to Catch an Eel," Bible Believers' Bulletin, June 1989, p. 1
6 Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Commenting and Commentaries (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, first published 1876, reprinted by Baker Book House 1981), pp. 24-25.
7 Spurgeon, Commenting and Commentaries, p. 31.
8 William Bell Riley, The Menace of Modernism (New York: Christian Alliance Publishing Co., 1917), p. 11.
9 Riley, The Menace of Modernism, p. 12.
10 Riley, p. 13. 11 Riley, p. 28. 12 Riley, p. 36.
13 Letter from Peter S Ruckman to Robert L. Sumner, in personal files of Dr. R.L. Hymers, Jr.
14 Peter S. Ruckman, The Christian's Handbook of Biblical Scholarship (Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Book- -store, 1988), p. 272.
15 The Flaming Torch, June 1989, p.2.
16 LeBaron W. Kinney, Acres of Rubies (New York: Loizeaux Brothers, 1942), p. 9.
17 Kinney, Acres of Rubies, pp. 92-93.
18 LeBaron W. Kinney, He is Thy Lord and Worship Thou Him (New York: Loizeaux Brothers, 1942), p. 63.
19 Kinney, He is Thy Lord...p. 32.
20 Kinney, Acres of Rubies, p. 115.
21 The Flaming Torch, June 1989, p. 2
22 The Flaming Torch, June 1989, p. 6.
24 The Flaming Torch, June 1989, p. 7.
25 Old Scofield Reference Bible note on I Cor.2: 13.
26 Herb Evans, "King James Defender Pretenders and 1950," The Flaming Torch, June 1989, p.2.
27 Herb Evans, "King James Defender Pretenders...," p.1.
` Our Baptist Heritage
The historic Baptist position on the Bible is the belief in plenary verbal inspiration. "Plenary" means all of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. "Verbal" means that the very words of the original copies of the Bible were given by inspiration. The following confessions prove that early Baptists did not believe that a translation like the KJV was given by inspiration. Here are excerpts from several historic Baptist confessions which prove this point.
The Great London Baptist Confession of 1677
This confession says in part:
"The whole Counsel of God concerning all things...is either expressly set down or necessarily contained in the Holy Scripture; unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new Revelation of the Spirit, or traditions of men.
The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the Native language of the people of God of old) and the New Testament in Greek (which at the time of the writing of it was most generally known to the nations) being immediately inspired by God; and by His singular care and Providence kept pure in all Ages, are therefore authentical; so as in all controversies of Religion, the Church is finally to appeal unto them. But be- -cause these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have a right unto and interest in the Scriptures, and are commanded in the fear of God to read and search them, therefore they are to be translated into the vulgar language of every Nation, unto which they come, that the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship Him in an acceptable manner, and through patience and comfort of the Scripture may have hope."
This quotation from the Great London Baptist Confession of 1677 shows that Ruckmanism was never held by our Baptist forefathers. They believed that "the Old Testament in Hebrew" and "the New Testament in Greek" were "at the time of the writing" "inspired by God." Furthermore, they believed that all renderings into "the vulgar language of every nation" (including English) were "translated." So, the Great London Baptist Confession of 1677 contains not one idea of Ruckmanism. It should be pointed out that even the idea of preservation ("kept pure") refers only to the copies of the original Greek and Hebrew, and not to the "vulgar" translation.
One further word: these men were using the King James Bible at the time, but these early Baptists did not make a single one of Ruckmanism's fantastic claims for it.
The Baptist Bible Union Confession of 1923
The 1923 fundamentalist Baptist confession was written by J. Frank Norris, T. T. Shields and W. B. Riley. It is used by thousands of independent Baptist churches today. (1989 when this book was written) It is the adopted statement of the Baptist Bible Fellowship. It says in part:
"We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men supernaturally inspired; that it has truth without any admixture of error for its matter...
1. By 'Hoy Bible' we mean that collection of sixty-six books from Genesis to Revelation, which as originally written does not only contain and convey the Word of God, but is the very Word of God. 2. By 'inspiration' we mean that the books of the Bible were written by holy men of old, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, in such a definite way that their writings were supernaturally and verbally inspired and free from error, as no other writings have ever been or ever will be inspired."
This historical fundamental Baptist confession contains not a single doctrine of Ruckmanism. First, it claims inspiration for the original writers, not for translators. Second, it claims that the Bible "as originally written" is the very Word of God. It does not assign honors to a translation. Third, it states that inspiration refers to the original autographs which "were written by holy men of old, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." Fourth, it states that these original copies were "free from error," not a translation. Fifth, it firmly corrects Ruckmanism by saying that the originals alone, no translation included, were inspired. Here are the words: "no other writings have ever been or ever will be inspired" Thus; Frank Norris, T. T. Shields, W. B. Riley, and the early fundamental Baptists who signed this confession, plainly said that the King James Bible was not given by inspiration or inspired.
Barnes, Albert. Thessalonians, Timothy, Titus and Philemon. Vol. 24 in Notes on the New Testament, Explanatory and Practical. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 9th printing 1971.
Burgon, John William. The Revision Revised. Paradise, Pennsylvania: Conservative Classics, n.d. Now reprinted by the Bible for Today, Collingswood, New Jersey.
Calvin John. The Second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians and the Epistles to Timothy, Titus and Philemon, trans. T. A. Small, in Calvin's Commentaries. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1964.
Chafer, Lewis Sperry, Systematic Theology, 8 vols. Dallas, Texas: Dallas Seminary Press, first edition 1947, 5th printing 1957.
Clarke, Adam. The Epistles and Revelation, vol.6 of The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The Text in the Authorized Translation: with a Commentary and Critical Notes. New York: Phillips & Hunt, 1883.
Combs, James O. "Bible printed in 1,907 Languages." Baptist Bible Tribune, February 22, 1989, p. 29.
Edwards, Don and Hahn, David E. "Editor's Note." The Flaming Torch, December 1988, p 2.
Evans, Herbert F. Dear Dr. John: Where is My Bible? A Written Dispute with Dr. John R. Rice. . Harlington, Texas: Wonderful Word Publishers, 1976.
Evans, Herbert F. "King James Defender Pretenders and 1950." The Flaming Torch, June 1989, p. 1.
Gill, John. An Exposition of the New Testament, 2 vols. London: William Hill Collingridge, 1853.
Hills, Edward F. The King James Version Defended! A Christian View of the New Testament Manuscripts. Des Moines, Iowa: The Christian Research Press, 1956.
Hudson, Gary R. Why I Left Ruckmanism. Collingswood, New Jersey: The Bible For Today, 1988.
Hutson, Curtis. "Ruckman's Various Plans of Salvation and Other Rabid Ramblings." Sword of the Lord, February 3, 1989, p. 1.
Kinney, LeBaron W. Acres of Rubies. New ;York: Loizeaux Brothers, 1942.
Kinney, LeBaron W. He is Thy Lord and Worship Thou Him. New York: Loizeaux Brothers, 1942.
Lindberg, David C. and Numbers, Ronald L., eds. God and Nature: Historical Essays on the Encounter Between Christianity and Science. Berkely, California: University of California Press 1986.
Luther, Martin. Commentaries on I Corinthians 7, I Corinthians 15, Lectures on I Timothy. Vol. 28 in Luther's Works, Hilton C. Oswald, ed. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1973.
Luther, Martin. What Luther Says: an Anthology, compiled by Ewald M. Plass. St. Lois: Concordia Publishing House, 1959.
Phelps, William Lyon. Human Nature and the Gospel. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1925.
Phelps, William Lyon. Human Nature in the Bible. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1923.
Ravenhill, Leonard. Revival God's Way. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1983.
Rice, John R. Prayer: Asking and Receiving. Murfreesboro, Tennessee: Sword of the Lord, 1942, reprinted 1970.
Rice, John R. The Power of Pentecost. Murfreesboro, Tennessee: Sword of the Lord, 1949.
Riley, William B. The Menace of Modernism. New York: Christian Alliance Publishing Co., 1917.
Ruckman, Peter S. Acts, in The Bible Believer's Commentary series. Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1974.
---. The Alexandrian Cult: Part One. Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1978, 2nd printing 1981.
---. The Alexandrian Cult: Part Two. Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1978, 2nd printing 1982.
---. The Alexandrian Cult: Part Three. Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1979.
---. The Alexandrian Cult: Part Four. Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1980.
---. The Alexandrian Cult: Part Five. Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1980.
---. The Alexandrian Cult: Part Six. Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1981.
---. The Alexandrian Cult: Part Seven. Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1981.
---. The Alexandrian Cult: Part Eight. Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1981.
---. Bible Numerics. Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore,1981, 3rd printing, 1986.
---. The Christian's Handbook of Biblical Scholarship. Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1988.
---. The Christian's Handbook of Manuscript Evidence. Palatka, Florida: Pensacola Bible Press, 1970, 4th printing 1976.
---. Demons and Christians. Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1976. Cassette.
---. Differences in the King James Version Editions. Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1983,
2nd printing 1986.
---. Dr. Ruckman's Testimony. Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, n.d. 2 cassettes.
---. How God Opened My Eyes to the King James Version. Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, n.d. 4 cassettes.
---. "How to catch an Eel," Bible Believer's Bulletin, June 1989, p. 1.
---. Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage. Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1980.
---. The Monarch of the Books! Pensacola, Florida: no publisher, 1973, 2nd printing 1980.
---. Notice! Very Important - What to Do if You Miss the Rapture. Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, n.d.
---. Problem Texts. Pensacola, Florida: Pensacola Bible Institute Press, 1980.
---. Revelation, in The Bible Believer's Commentary series. Palatka, Florida: Pensacola Bible Press, 1970. 4th printing 1975.
---. A Survey of the Authorized Version. Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1978 revised 1983.
---. "Those Infamous Advanced Revelations." Bible Believers' Bulletin, March 1989, special insert. pp. A-D.
---. "The Two Year Old Heretic." Bible Believers' Bulletin, May 1989, p.1.
---. The Unknown Bible. Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1984.
---. Why I Believe the King James Version is the Word of God. Pensacola, Florida: Bible Baptist Bookstore 1988.
--. "Zero Hour Approaches." Bible Believers' Bulletin, February 1989, pp. 6, 9.
Spurgeon, Charles Haddon. Commenting and Commentaries. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, first published 1876, reprinted by Baker 1981.
Strong, James. A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek New Testament with their Renderings in the King James Version, in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon Press, first edition 1894, 44th printing 1986.
Sumner, Robert L. Review of Why I Left Ruckmanism, by Gary R. Hudson. The Biblical Evangelist, February 1 1989, pp. 6-7.
Sumner, Robert L. "Was J. Frank Norris a Member of the Alexandrian Cult?" The Biblical Evangelist, January 1, 1989, p. 11.
Thiessen, Henry C. Introductory Lectures in Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., first edition 1949; 15th printing 1975.
Unger, Merrill F. Biblical Demonology. Wheaton, Illinois: Scripture Press, 1952, 5th edition 1963.
Unger, Merrill F. Demons in the World Today. Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, 1971.
Weniger, Brad. "President of California BBF Quits and Urges Others to do Likewise." The Flaming Torch, December 1988, p.2.
Weniger, Brad. "Suggestions to Those Who Wish to Take a Stand Against
the Corruption Within the BBF." The Flaming Torch, December 1988, p. 2.
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