The Danger of Ruckmanism as Applied to Foreign Language Bibles

By Calvin George

At a time when the Bible version issue is a hot topic in fundamental churches, attention is being brought to the Bible versions used by missionaries where a foreign language is spoken. Cursory comparisons are frequently being made between the KJV and foreign language Bibles to test their fidelity.

The term “Ruckmanism” in this article is used in reference to the peculiar teachings popularized and basically originated by Peter Ruckman, who pastors a Baptist church in Pensacola, Florida. The term “Ruckmanite” is used for those who tend to agree with him on his extreme beliefs regarding the King James version (that it contains advanced revelation, that it’s given by inspiration of God, that it’s superior to Greek and Hebrew and corrects it, etc.) Some may object to calling his followers “Ruckmanites,” but ironically Ruckman has used the term himself in his writings to label those who tend to agree with him.[1]

For the sake of focusing only on the implications of Ruckmanism as it relates to foreign language Bibles, this study will ignore well-known peculiarities promoted by Peter Ruckman, such as his unbiblical belief in different plans of salvation for different dispensations, those disagreeing with him being members of the “Alexandrian Cult,” women getting male bodies at the rapture, his name-calling, etc. A good analysis of these matters is David Cloud’s What About Ruckman?[2]

I would like to state for the record that I believe the KJV is the Word of God (as well as the English Reformation Bibles that preceded it), and by conviction it is the only Bible version I use in English. I grew up in South America speaking a foreign language, so it enables me to analyze this often overlooked aspect of Ruckmanism from a foreign perspective, something likely difficult for some others to do. I trust that this special insight will be a help and a blessing to you.

The following summarizes the relatively new teachings on Bible versions popularized and essentially originated by Ruckman[3] which affect how foreign language Bibles are perceived:

  • The King James Version was given by inspiration of God.
  • 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.
  • The King James corrects the Greek and Hebrew, including the Textus Receptus.
  • The King James Version contains advanced revelation.
  • Absolute truth is English truth.

The following ample documentation clearly demonstrates that Peter Ruckman openly teaches the above in his literature. My personal comments are in brackets and any underlining is my personal emphasis.

Correct the Greek with the English. It is always the best policy; the one that God will bless. Feel free (with a clear conscience) in always correcting the Greek Receptus with the Holy Bible [meaning the King James]…[4]

…if their Greek or Hebrew texts are at fault, the Authorized English is quite able to straighten them out.[5]

…bloated, perverted nonsense connected with the “original Greek text.”.[6]

The expression “the Greek and Hebrew” is as inane a piece of foolishness as ever busted out of a Halloween party: there is no such thing as “the Greek and Hebrew” in which to put confidence.[7]

Where the Greek says one thing and the AV says another, throw out the Greek.[8]

…the AV was translated into more than one hundred times as many languages as any Greek Bible was ever translated, why would you put more confidence in the Greek than the English?[9]

In exceptional cases, where the majority of Greek manuscripts stand against the AV 1611, put them in file 13.[10]

Always correct “the Greek” with the English if any doubt arises.[11]

There is evidently something so rotten about the “original Greek” here that you would be a fool if you went by it; certainly you would be wherever it contradicted the English text of 1611.[12]

Use “the Greek” where it will magnify, apply, glorify, and explain the infallible English, and where it doesn’t, pass it like a beer can on the highway.[13]

If all you have is the “original Greek” you lose light. [14]

Fortunately, we have an English Bible with which to correct the “original Greek.”[15]

If you can’t get the contraption together, read 2 Peter 3:5-6 in an Authorized Version and watch the Holy Spirit throughout the English version correct “the original Hebrew” lexicon. [16]

Three things should be emphasized…1. The absolute insanity of translating any Greek text literally, word for word, in order to give a reader the words God wants him to have in another language.[17]

Ruckman’s correcting of the Greek and Hebrew with the KJV includes correcting the Textus Receptus

They will get rid of the Authorized Holy Bible with a Greek Syrian Receptus.[18]

…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 that Receptus.[19]

Observe how accurately and beautifully the infallible English text straightens out Erasmus, Griesbach, Beza, Nestle, Aland, Metzger, Trench, Vincent, Davis, Wuest, Zodhiates, Elzevir, and Stephanus with the poise and grace of a swan as it smoothly and effectively breaks your arm with one flap of its wings. Beautiful, isn’t it? If the mood or tense isn’t right in any Greek text, the King James Bible will straighten it out in a hurry.[20]

To blazes with “the Greek text.” It is so inferior to the English text they are not worthy of standing on the same shelf. I put Nestle, Hort, Aland, Metzger, Alford, Souter, Erasmus, Stephanus, Elzevir, and the rest on a shelf below my original edition of the Authorized Version from 1613.[21]

Ruckman teaches that the King James Version contains advanced revelation

The King James Bible…often contains revelations of the truth that evidently cannot be found in any Greek text.[22]

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. Routine. [23]

…the Authorized Version often gave advanced light on revelation and theology…[24]

Bad-mouthing the originals

The Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:15) are NOT the originals, and if they were you could never get saved;[25]

… verbal, plenary inspiration of Mrs. Murphy’s chowder.[26]

Maybe the Lord doesn’t want you to have the exact force of the original. Maybe he wants you to have the exact force of the English![27]

Ruckman teaches that the King James Version was given by inspiration of God

The King James Bible was “given by inspiration of God.”[28]

God-given English text.[29]

It is the culmination and final work of the Holy Spirit in the church age in a world that is English speaking.[30]

…the Authorized Text, inspired and preserved by the Holy Spirit.[31]

Ruckman believes in the superiority of the English Bible above all other languages, and teaches that absolute truth is English truth

He gave the world an English Bible in “The King’s English.”[32]

The difference, my dear brethren, is between the Authorized Version and any, and all, of the rest of them, regardless of their language.[33]

From henceforth, even the Antichrist will have to speak English (Rev. 13:1-3), because absolute time, absolute temperature, absolute location, and absolute truth are English, and that is final.[34]

…the AV English text and pointing out the supernatural “coincidences” and “accidental revelations” that accompany it.[35]

…the Monarch of the Books stands head and shoulders above any book in any language ever produced on this planet. When you step outside of its covers you are liable and subject to error…[36]

If he is of another language, he may settle for what the scholars call “a reliable translation.”[37]

Any translation on the mission field can be safely judged by a King James Authorized Version, and where it refuses to stick to the text the text can be altered safely to match the King James’ reading.[38]

The only LIVING BIBLE on earth today is the AV (1611), or translations made from it.[39]

Although the above views are becoming more prevalent in some conservative circles, they are relatively new. For a number of years, author R. L. Hymers has had a standing offer of $1,000 for anyone who can document any Baptist or Protestant writer before 1950 who held that the KJV translation was given by inspiration. No one has claimed this offer. This reminds me of a little saying I was taught in Bible college regarding new theological “discoveries”: “If it’s new, it’s probably not true; if it’s true, it’s probably not new.” Ruckman does not deny that he has come up with many new teachings, because he readily admits to it as follows:

What we have done, by the grace of God, is extract about one hundred “new teachings” from the old Book, by comparing the AV with the AV, and by side stepping Greek and Hebrew manuscripts and Greek and Hebrew scholars.[41]

That no foreign Bible is as inspired and as pure and perfect as he regards the King James Bible, is the logical outcome of Ruckman’s peculiar teachings. There are many times in his writings when he hints at non-English Bibles being error-prone. Here is an example:

I received a real nasty letter from a Puerto Rican one time. He said, "What do you mean with all this English stuff?…What about all us [Spanish-speaking] folks down in Puerto Rico here? We had a Bible before the King James came out." I guess he thought I was an Englishman. I wrote him back and told him, "If it weren't for England, we wouldn't know where you're at. Latitude and longitude are given to every airplane in the air and every ship in the sea by the equator and England." You can't even locate Pensacola without finding England. If you put out a distress call, and say, "I'm in trouble," they ask, "What's the longitude and latitude?" And you give England as the mark. How do you explain that? Absolute location is English location. Absolute time is English time. Why would you think that absolute truth wasn't English truth?[7]

This is typical of Peter Ruckman, responding to a valid question with an insult. Sadly, many of his followers are imitating his carnal style. That he would consider English truth to be absolute truth is very revealing.

Meanwhile, many of those who parrot his extreme views on the King James are referring to foreign Bibles in an increasingly demeaning style. Sam Gipp, a graduate of Ruckman’s school who like many Ruckmanites believes there is only one perfect Bible for all languages (the English KJV), poses the following question and answer in his book:

QUESTION: If there is a perfect Bible in English, doesn't there also have to be a perfect Bible in French, and German, and Japanese, etc? ANSWER: No. God has always given His word to one people in one language to do one job; convert the world. The supposition that there must be a perfect translation in every language is erroneous and inconsistent with God's proven practice…[43]

Sam Gipp's statements on how only the English Bible could be perfect, to the exclusion of other languages, is repugnant to foreigners. If he were to try to preach such a thing in a foreign country where English was not spoken, he would be run out of the country. Acts 10:34 tells us, "Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that GOD IS NO RESPECTER OF PERSONS."

John Ankenberg once asked Dr. Sam Gipp the following in his television show: “If a guy is in Russia and he really wants to get the truth of the Word of God, would he have to learn English? Dr. Gipp answered, “Yes.”[44]

Ruckmanism has given birth to a belief that since the original autographs are lost, God preserved his Word for the entire world in English (in the KJV), and therefore all foreign language Bibles have to conform to it. Ruckman himself explains it thus:

The King James’ text is the last and final statement that God has given the world and He has given it in the universal language of the 20th century … The truth is God slammed the door of revelation shut in 389 B.C. and slammed it shut again in 1611.[45]

This is a view not even shared by the KJV translators themselves. They believed translations should only be made from Greek and Hebrew and that truth should be tried by them. The following appeared in the preface to the KJV 1611 edition, which they called “The Translators to the Reader”:

…the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, the Greek of the New…These are the two golden pipes, or rather conduits, where-through the olive branches empty themselves into the gold…as the credit of the old books (he meaneth of the Old Testament) is to be tried by the Hebrew Volumes, so of the New by the Greek tongue, he meaneth by the original Greek. If truth be to be tried by these tongues, then whence should a Translation be made, but out of them? These tongues, therefore, the Scriptures, we say, in those tongues, we set before us to translate, being the tongues wherein God was pleased to speak to his Church by his Prophets and Apostles.

Those who have a Ruckmanite-type view that God preserved his Word FOR THE WHOLE WORLD in 1611 in English instead of through the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts never seem to be totally satisfied with a foreign language Bible. There is no such thing as a King James Bible in a foreign language because the KJV is in English. Some have translated the KJV into foreign languages, but the end product does not seem to satisfy many Ruckmanite critics. This is especially true in cases when a Ruckmanite critic is familiar with the language in which it was translated and can make his own comparisons back to the KJV.

To illustrate the above, when a New Testament was translated word-for-word from the KJV into Spanish by a Ruckmanite missionary by the name of Bernard McVey, Ruckman’s own periodical (Bible Believer’s Bulletin) was quick to denounce it in their August 1989 issue. The article went on to endorse the Spanish Valera 1909. In August of 2003, Ruckman’s paper flip-flopped, and endorsed the Valera 1865, which until recent times had been out of print for many decades.

The following was posted during a discussion in an e-mail list for Ruckmanites. It is provided here to allow you to look into the thinking process and flawed logic of a typical Ruckmanite when applying his views to foreign languages:

When in Mexico I tell people that the Word of God is preserved in English as the KJV 1611. The best bet would be to learn English if they want the WHOLE pure word … a translation of the KJV into Spanish would be great but would be subject to those who learned English returning to the English to clarify the Spanish…. because the Spanish KJV would only be a translation of the preserved text …

…He [referring to another Ruckmanite missionary] is NOT looking for the Preserved Word of God in Spanish. He don't need to. It would be a waste of his time. And He is smart enough to know that.

I've done more research and have learned that the Ostervald [French] Bible is a fake.…I never had a single French course in my life, and only spent a few weeks of my life in a French speaking country…The French speaking world has not had a true Bible available for at least a century. This is shocking to me and should be to all Bible-believing Christians. What is most shocking is that most Christians still could care less that Bible societies have eliminated the Word of God from the entire planet with the exception of the KJV and a few languages [he doesn’t tell you which ones] spoken by only a handful of people.

Both cannot be the perfect, pure words of God if they are different AT ALL! If a foreign language Bible is different from the KJV ANYWHERE, it is not perfect nor pure. Things that are different are not the same. Plain and simple.

The last statement objecting to any differences may at first seem logical, but no consideration is given to the fact that there are some differences between manuscripts from which the KJV was derived, that there are differences with Reformation Bibles preceding the KJV, and that the NT sometimes quotes the OT differently. Other types of differences could be mentioned, including slight differences between KJV editions from 1611 until today. An attitude of faith is allowed only for those special cases, but why not for a foreign Bible?

The above views expressed on the Ruckmanite e-mail list are arrogant and severely misguided, but they are sadly becoming more common among the most extreme Ruckmanites. A public outcry against the dangers of Ruckmanism is long overdue.

The KJV translators were very well aware that differences arise between languages even when honest attempts at translation are made. The following was taken from their preface in the 1611 edition:

…we have not tied our selves to an uniformity of phrasing, or to an identity of words, as some peradventure would wish that we had done, because they observe, that some learned men some where, have been as exact as they could that way. Truly, that we might not vary from the sense of that which we had translated before, if the word signified the same thing in both places (for there be some words that be not of the same sense every where) we were especially careful, and made a conscience, according to our duty. But, that we should express the same notion in the same particular word; as for example, if we translate the Hebrew or Greek word once by Purpose, never to call it Intent; if one where journeying, never traveling; if one where Think, never Suppose; if one where Pain, never Ache; if one where Joy, never gladness, &c. Thus to mince the matter, we thought to savour more of curiosity than wisdom, and that rather it would breed scorn in the Atheist, then bring profit to the godly Reader. For is the kingdom of God become words or syllables? why should we be in bondage to them, if we may be free, use one precisely when we may use another no less fit, as commodiously?… Now to the later we answer; that we do not deny, nay, we affirm and avow, that the very meanest translation of the Bible in English, set forth by men of our profession, (for we have seen none of theirs of the whole Bible as yet) containeth the word of God, nay, is the Word of God. As the Kings Speech which he uttered in Parliament, being translated into French, Dutch, Italian and Latin, is still the Kings Speech, though it be not interpreted by every Translator with the like grace, nor peradventure so fitly for phrase, nor so expressly for sense, every where.

In the early 1970’s, there was a case in which Ruckman under pressure actually expressed a traditional orthodox view that the KJV was not given by inspiration as the originals. In a letter to Robert Sumner in 1971, Ruckman made the following statement: Now, at no time have I stated flatly that the A. V. 1611 was the “verbally inspired word of God.” Verbal inspiration has to do with 2 Tim 3:16 and deals with the original autographs, as we all know.[46] But now he sadly does not hesitate to refer to those who believe like he once expressed under pressure as “apostates.”

When asked how they know the KJV is inspired, many Ruckmanites I have dealt with will answer something like this: "Psalm 12:6-7, Psalm 119:89, 2 Timothy 3:16, just to name a few…” (Drawn from an actual e-mail reply).

Think about those reading the above verses in their own foreign language Bible, who do not know a bit of English, let alone ever heard of the KJV. Are they supposed to read those verses and reach the same conclusion the English-speaking Ruckmanite did, that it is a reference to an English Bible (of which they have likely never even heard and cannot read)? How about those English speakers reading Reformation Bibles (Geneva, Bishops, Coverdale, etc) before 1611? When they came to those verses, what were they supposed to conclude? That those verses were merely a prophecy about a future English Bible?

On an e-mail list for Ruckmanites with 125 members, I posed the following question: “Can any of you point me to a missionary of the Ruckmanite persuasion who preaches from a foreign Bible he actually believes in?” Not one of the 125 members could name one. I have never met a Ruckmanite (personally nor through e-mail) who believed there was a foreign Bible that was as perfect and as pure in that language as the KJV is regarded by Ruckmanites. In reply to my question: “So the sources that the KJV translators used for translating were not preserved?” A certain Ruckmanite replied to me by e-mail: “As a matter of fact they were not.” How absurd! This comes across as heretical to me. I always use only the KJV in English, but I am embarrassed and ashamed of the bad light in which some put the manuscript sources that the KJV translators used. If it would not have been for the miraculous preservation of these manuscripts, the KJV could not have been translated, because God did not give the KJV translators the content directly word-for-word in English. The KJV translators were translating Scripture, not writing it.

There are many who tend to agree on Ruckman’s extreme views on the KJV who object to being called Ruckmanites. They might say something to the effect that “I believed that the KJV was given by inspiration before I ever heard of Peter Ruckman.” While this may be technically true, since Ruckmanite-type teaching on the KJV cannot be documented in any period of time before Ruckman himself, it should be safe to say that it all comes back to the originator and propagator of such principles. Since Ruckman’s views are becoming more mainstream in some circles, it is possible to be exposed to it through preachers and authors influenced by him, and not necessarily through Peter Ruckman directly. Some teach his principles without mentioning his name, because they may be embarrassed about his multiple divorces or his demeaning language, or they may simply avoid naming him because of an awareness that others consider him to be very controversial.

Meanwhile, there are missionaries either on the field or on their way who are prime examples of the dangers and confusion Ruckmanism leads to when applied to foreign languages:

Jeff McArdle, a Ruckmanite missionary who is translating Ruckman’s books to Spanish, made the following unbelievable statements in a recent book:

The truth is that God owes nothing to the Spanish people, least of all a perfect Bible. The Bible is a gift from God and to think that God owes Roman Catholic Spain and Latin America anything in the way of a Bible is a foolish assumption indeed.[47]… the KJV should be the standard also for Latin Americans.[48]…The AV1611 (King James Bible) is the only absolute authority in all matters of faith and practice for any man living ANYWHERE on God’s green earth and, as such, is fully capable of correcting any Bible in any language.[49]… If you can’t understand why God rejected Spain for membership in the Protestant reformation then your defense of any Spanish Bible is an exercise in stupidity.[50]

Robert Breaker, who is a graduate of Ruckman’s Bible institute and a missionary to Honduras, gives the following insight which is increasingly typical of Ruckmanite rhetoric:

If you speak English, and have a King James Bible, you know exactly what God said! That KJB is not only the inerrant, inspired, words of the living God, it is a miracle as it is the preserved and purified words of God! (Ps. 12:6,7)…Unfortunately, during my studies of the Spanish Bible Versions I found no "perfect" Bible in the Spanish language like that of my blessed King James in English…The sad truth is: that for almost 400 years, there has been no perfect Bible in the Spanish language, as we have a perfect King James Bible in English…I've come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as "A perfect Bible" in the Spanish Language. (Not yet anyway)[51]… The King James Bible is God’s Word in English. It was first printed in 1611. Let’s look at that date again: 1611. What’s interesting to note is that 1+6+1+1= 9, and 9 is the number of fruit in the Bible. There are 9 fruits of the spirit in Galatians 5:22,23. So, would it be too far fetched to try to find a Spanish Bible whose date of publishing added up to 9. There is only one: the 1602, for 1+6+0+2 = 9.[52]

Yet another example of confusion on the mission field, this one involving a different language:

In the meantime, the followers of Peter Ruckman … published the first Korean KJV in the mid-90’s. Owing to their extreme position, some bizarre doctrines, and merciless attacks on many Christians and Christian denominations, the goodness of the KJV has been undermined greatly. Their translation was done in haste and contained lots of flaws… the image of the KJV was marred so severely that its recovery seemed impossible.[53]

Some Ruckmanites have tried to defend their view of God supposedly preserving his Word for the entire world only in the English language of the KJV with statements to the effect that “it is something revealed to us by the Spirit of God.” However, if it were to be God’s will that foreign Bibles submit to the English, He should be revealing this fact to foreigners, not to English-speakers who are regarded as having a conflict of interest. To how many people in the first 300 years of the KJV did God reveal through his Holy Spirit that foreign Bibles must match the KJV? Why are there no examples in writing during that time-frame? Even in our day in time, what percentage of English-speaking Christians even believe this has been revealed to them? .00001%? How many Christian foreigners who know no English claim the same thing has been revealed to them? .00000000001%? If one of the only ways to find out that foreign Bibles must submit to the English is by the revelation of the Sprit of God, He is either doing a very poor job of revealing it or there are multiplied millions of foreign Christians who are in open rebellion against God and refuse to submit to what He has supposedly revealed to them.

I lived in South America from 1974 to 1989, in Puerto Rico from 1999 to 2001, and have visited over a dozen foreign countries, and I have yet to meet a foreigner face-to-face who believed their foreign language Bible should submit to the English. Through the internet, I have vaguely heard of very few cases of foreign Christians somewhere who supposedly believed it, but they had to be taught by English-speaking Ruckmanites. They did not come up with it on their own by studying the Bible, nor by simply using their own logic. By and large, foreigners are no more willing to have their Bible corrected with the English, than English-speakers are willing to have their Bible corrected with other languages.

Although they deny it in theory, in practice Ruckmanism essentially does not allow for a foreign Bible other than English that is totally pure. Nearly all (even Peter Ruckman himself) will go as far as stating that certain foreign Bible versions are “okay” to use, but they are not willing to uphold them as being as pure as the English KJV. When pressed about this, Ruckmanites will often reply that the burden is on you to prove that a given foreign Bible is pure. If the burden of proof is relegated to a non-Ruckmanite, that demonstrates that apparently the default Ruckmanite position is that all foreign Bibles are to be regarded guilty until proven innocent. When comparisons are made, no room is allowed for “benefit of the doubt” when comparing to the standard in English; therefore, no foreign Bible passes the Ruckmanite purity test.

Many Ruckmanites are quick to state that English is the dominant language of the world; therefore, it would make sense for God to choose only English to preserve the Bible to which the rest of the world should conform. While it is true that English tends to be the international language of commerce and technology, any World Almanac will state that English is not the language spoken by the most people as their first language. It should be noted that English is not and never has been the most common language spoken in the world. There are more than twice as many native Chinese speakers as there are native English speakers. Using such logic, God should have preserved His Word in Chinese for the rest of the world to conform to. What was the dominant language for the last few hundred years before 1611? Surely not Greek nor Hebrew. Ruckmanites tend to be at a loss when approached about how the Word of God was preserved before 1611.

Ruckmanites believe that since God promised to preserve His Word, a singular document must exist somewhere in some language, or God would be a liar. They contend that this document has to be the English KJV.

Using this logic, let's place ourselves in the shoes of some other people:

1. A person living before 1611:

"I guess God lied, because I cannot find this one document that He promised."

2. A Chinese person in our time who cannot read English:

"I cannot find this document, so I guess God did not keep His promise."

This logic can work for an American in this present time, but for others in different situations speaking different languages or living before 1611, it would have led them to believe God failed to keep His promise. That tells me that such an interpretation is dangerous. I'm not saying it is dangerous for an individual to believe he has the Word of God in his language, but I believe it is dangerous to believe that the Bible in his language is superior to all others in other languages, and that God failed to provide such a document that was to be the standard in all languages until the 17th century.

Some argue that God had to have preserved His Word in English for the world because of all the missionaries that have been sent out of the United States and England. The amount of missionaries being sent out has nothing to do with the language their Bible was in. How many missionaries do you know have been or are being sent out of the English-speaking countries of The Bahamas, New Zealand, Belize, Antigua, Barbados, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Dominica, Fiji, Jamaica, etc.? God has greatly blessed America, but not necessarily because of the language of their Bible.

There are those who insist on overlooking Ruckman’s serious errors with excuses such as, “He has been an outstanding champion in defense of the KJV.” I as well as many others would counter that he has likely done far more harm than good. There are many who use the KJV exclusively and unapologetically who run from the label “King James Only” because they are afraid they will be thought of as Ruckmanites. There are staunch KJV defenders who will make statements like, “If being King James only means … (then they will proceed to list extreme views for which Ruckmanites are known) then don’t consider me King James only.” His eccentric views and cultic attitude have most likely repulsed more people than he has attracted to side with the KJV.

I believe Ruckmanism comes down to this: If you are lucky enough to be an English speaker, you are allowed to have faith that your Bible is perfect. If you are a non-English speaker, you are not allowed to have the same measure of faith. You are told that maybe someday you can have more faith in your Bible if a Ruckmanite ever gets around to providing a translation as perfect and as pure as the “lucky” English-speaking have. Or you can spend the rest of your life learning English, if you can afford it. In the meantime, too bad, so sad.

In America, Fundamentalists teach that we must believe the whole Bible, not doubting any part of it. If there were parts that could not be trusted, we rightfully emphasize that nothing can be trusted. But if it would be true that foreign Bibles have all kinds of errors that are being alleged after cursory comparisons with the standard English Bible, than this same vital doctrine cannot be taught overseas until "The Great White Hope" comes to the rescue of the less fortunate. Is there not something amiss here?

If you and I can have faith in the KJV even though the NT sometimes quotes OT passages differently, and there are variations in the TR editions and in other Reformation Bibles from which it was revised, then you and I can have faith in a foreign Bible even though there are some differences with the KJV. (Keep in mind—a difference does not necessarily constitute error.) Just like you do not let differences in NT quotations of OT passages bother you, and you do not allow the differences in manuscripts that underlie the KJV to bother you, we should not allow minor differences between foreign Bibles to bother us, especially in cases when doctrine cannot possibly be affected. As a missionary, I teach foreigners to believe their Bibles—not doubt them. The non-English speaking unbeliever who hears the Ruckmanite claim that all Bibles in his language are error-prone (because it does not conform to the English KJV) will not be any closer to getting saved.

I believe it is arrogant to believe that the English Bible is superior to all other languages, and that all other language Bibles should be corrected with the English. I don't believe American missionaries should present themselves as "The Great White Hope," coming to the rescue of others unfortunate not to have a Bible as pure as the “lucky” Americans have. Many foreigners view American missionaries as arrogant, and this attitude that the American Bible is purer than foreign Bibles only bolsters their suspicions. I do not say this to put down missionaries, as I am an American missionary myself, as well as my parents (for the past 30 years) and two of my brothers and sisters.

As for God promising to preserve His Word, I believe he has fulfilled his promise since the beginning in a collective manner by the thousands of Greek and Hebrew manuscripts that have survived for hundreds of years (in some cases, about 1,800 years). When there is no Word of God in a particular language, it is because humans failed to make an honest translation into that language. God never fails, only mankind.

Foreign Bible believers are not trying to get English Bible believers to doubt their Bibles. Why do some King James Bible believers become textual critics when they cross the border?

If Ruckmanism cannot be applied consistently to foreign languages resulting in a belief that there are Bibles as pure and trustworthy as the KJV in other languages, then the basic tenants of Ruckmanism are flawed at its very core.

Bro. Calvin George grew up on the mission field in Argentina where his parents have been missionaries for 30 years, and has spoken Spanish since he was two years old. He has pastored Spanish ministries in Denver, Colorado; Río Grande, Puerto Rico; and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. He is author of the books The Battle for the Spanish Bible and The History of the Reina-Valera 1960 Spanish Bible. He is presently serving the Lord as a missionary in the West Indies.

Notes

[1] Ruckman, Peter. The Christian’s Handbook of Biblical Scholarship. Pensacola: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1988, p. 29
[2] http://www.wayoflife.org/articles/ruckman.htm
[3] Starting with his first book on Bible versions The Bible Babel in 1964.
[4] Ruckman, Peter. How to Teach the ‘Original’ Greek. Pensacola: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1992 (2000 reprint) p. 117
[5] Ruckman, Peter. The “Errors” in the King James Bible. Pensacola, Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1999, p. 298
[6] Ibid., p. 464
[7] Ibid., p. 449
[8] Ruckman, Peter. The Christian’s Handbook of Manuscript Evidence, Pensacola, Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1970, 1997 reprint, p. 151
[9] Ruckman, Peter. The Alexandrian Cult, Part Six, 1981, p. 30
[10] Ruckman, Peter. The Christian’s Handbook of Manuscript Evidence, Pensacola, Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1970, 1997 reprint, p. 130
[11] Ruckman, Peter. The Christian’s Handbook of Biblical Scholarship. Pensacola, Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1988, p. 343
[12] Ibid., p. 342
[13] Ibid., p. 343
[14] Ibid., p. 336
[15] Ibid., p. 233
[16] Ibid., p. 229
[17] Ruckman, Peter. How to Teach the ‘Original’ Greek. Pensacola: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1992 (2000 reprint) p. 124
[18] Ruckman, Peter. The “Errors” in the King James Bible. Pensacola, Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1999, p. 411
[19] Ibid.,  p. 410
[20] Ibid.,  p. 353
[21] Ruckman, Peter. The Christian’s Handbook of Biblical Scholarship. Pensacola, Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1988, p. 338
[22] Ruckman, Peter. How to Teach the ‘Original’ Greek. Pensacola: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1992 (2000 reprint), p. 110
[23] Ruckman, Peter. The “Errors” in the King James Bible. Pensacola, Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1999, p. 51
[24] Ruckman, Peter. The Christian’s Handbook of Biblical Scholarship. Pensacola, Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1988, p. i of preface.
[25] Ruckman, Peter. The “Errors” in the King James Bible. Pensacola, Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1999, p. 273
[26] Ibid., p. 431
[27] Ruckman, Peter. A Survey of the Authorized Version Pensacola: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 2003, p. 17
[28] Ruckman, Peter. The Christian’s Handbook of Biblical Scholarship. Pensacola: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1988, p. 272
[29] Ruckman, Peter. The Unknown Bible, p. 92
[30] Ruckman, Peter. Differences in the King James Version Editions, Pensacola: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1999, p. 14
[31] Ruckman, Peter. The Monarch of the Books, 1973, p. 23
[32] Ruckman, Peter. The Christian’s Handbook of Biblical Scholarship. Pensacola, Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1988, p. 171
[33] Ruckman, Peter. The Alexandrian Cult, Part Three, 1979, p. 19
[34] Ruckman, Peter. The Christian’s Handbook of Biblical Scholarship. Pensacola, Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1988, p. 122
[35] Ruckman, Peter. The “Errors” in the King James Bible. Pensacola, Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1999, p. 61
[36] Ruckman, Peter. The Monarch of the Books, 1973, p. 29
[37] Ruckman, Peter. Differences in the King James Version Editions, Pensacola: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1999, p. 17
[38] Ruckman, Peter. The Monarch of the Books, 1973, p. 29
[39] Ibid., p. 29
[40] Hymers Jr., Robert Leslie. Ruckmanism Exposed. realconversion.com, 1998, p. 63
[41] Ruckman, Peter. The Alexandrian Cult, Part Eight, 1981, p. 28
[42] Ruckman, Peter. Why I Believe the King James Version Is the Word of God. Pensacola: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1983, p. 4
[43] http://www.chick.com/reading/books/158/158_07.asp
[44] Waite, D.A. Foes of the King James Bible Refuted. New Jersey: The Bible for Today Press, 2003, p. 7.
[45] Ruckman, Peter. The Monarch of the Books, Pensacola, 1973, p. 9
[46] http://www.kjvonly.org/gary/ruckman_original_only_inspiration.htm (I do not agree with all the views expressed in this website, but the link is provided for the sake of documentation.)
[47] McArdle, Jeff. The Bible Believer’s Guide to Elephant Hunting. Pensacola, FL: Valera Bible Society, 2003, p. 22
[48] Ibid., p. 21
[49] Ibid., p. 18
[50] Ibid., p. 23
[51] http://www.robertbreaker.com/honduras/honduras/pages/Spanish%20Bible/introduction.htm
[52] http://www.robertbreaker.com/honduras/pages/htrybble.htm
[53] www.lifefebc.com/febc/BurnBush/bbv8n1.pdf

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