Does Peter Ruckman actually say not to trust any scholar except himself? He doesn’t say it outright, no doubt because of the anti-cultic backlash he would receive. However, in examining Ruckman’s abundant writings, a pattern clearly emerges. He denounces all other Christian scholars of recent times (often going back hundreds of years), and at the same time keeps propping himself as the one scholar to fill that void (all the while being careful not to call himself a scholar). Ruckmanites are quick to point out times when Ruckman has stated that he is not a scholar. However, this is false humility, because he despises the term “scholar.” He has instead referred to himself as a “professional teacher,” which is virtually synonymous with calling himself a scholar. (Bible Believers’ Bulletin. Sep. 1993, p. 4)
All mature Christians know that some (or perhaps many) religious scholars of our day deny the inspiration of the Word of God, the Blood Atonement, the Virgin Birth of Christ, the Resurrection, and their doctrinal teachings should not be trusted by believers, no matter how scholarly they are supposed to be. And naturally any conservative and godly Christian scholar should still be scrutinized by the standard of the Word of God. This is generally not Ruckman’s issue with scholars. He is throwing all scholars into a big pot and labeling them all as pathological liars. The evidence is found in the following quotes where he refers to all scholars in all-inclusive terms such as “every,” and isn’t careful to note he only refers to “some” or even “most” scholars:
Ruckman’s negative portrayal of other scholars
Every major, recognized Christian scholar in this century is an habitual, chronic, intentional, pathological LIAR (Gen. 3:1). (Ruckman, Peter. The Christian Liar’s Library. 1997, p. 212)
Every time I consult the best Christian brains of the 19th, 20th, and 21st century I am forced to conclude that the scholar is just as rotten as a dead shrimp in the sunlight or as crooked as a dog’s hind leg, or….or else he is simply “out of his skull” because he hasn’t got any brains in it. I hate to keep calling them “LIARS,” but they do lie like a Persian rug and lie more consistently than the sun coming up in the morning. I do not like to call them “jackasses,” although they meet the Biblical qualifications (Job 11:12) many times, by their comments; and I do not like to refer to them as “cloned robots,” although that is EXACTLY what their writings reveal. (Ruckman, Peter. The Books of 1 & 2 Thessalonians and Philemon. Pensacola, FL: BB Bookstore, 2005, p. 95)
God called me to sit at this typewriter and pour forth vinegar, acid, vitriol, and cleaning fluid on the leading Conservative and Fundamental scholars of 1880 through 1990. You can believe it or not. No one knows any better than I do the truth of it, for I do not enjoy doing it and have tried, from the start, to get out of it. (Ruckman, Peter. Bible Believers' Bulletin Reprint #7 Strictly Personal. 2004, Pensacola: Bible Baptist Bookstore, p. 152)
I laugh at the “godly” scholars. I make fun of them. I enjoy irritating them. (Ruckman, Peter. The Books of Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther. Pensacola, FL: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 2004, p. 227)
Did you notice how he contradicted himself in the two previous quotes as to whether he enjoys going after scholars? Here are some more quotes from Ruckman’s bitter pen:
Horrible, hellish, damnable blasphemy of these conservative scholars. (Ruckman, Peter. Satan’s Masterpiece the New ASV. p. viii)
Ignore these contemptible, sniveling, spiritual dwarfs who imagine they are “giants for God.” They are nothing but nasty, little, mean, self-righteous egotists who cannot stand for a Book to command more authority than THEY do. (Bible Believers' Bulletin. April 1985, p. 6)
The modern Christian scholar is basically an idolator. Therefore he will accuse the Bible believer of Idolatry. Since he is also basically a man-pleasing man follower, he will accuse a Bible believer of “following a man.” (Bible Believers' Bulletin. July 1980, p. 5)
In this work, we will ignore modern Christian scholarship. We will do it on purpose, with “malice aforethought” (see Ruckman’s Battlefield Notes, 2003), and correct the “good, godly, qualified, recognized authorities” like we would pull weeds out of a vegetable garden. We will either ignore them or else insult them (on purpose), while asking God’s blessing on our conduct—with a clear conscience. Where they run “askew” of THE BOOK, we will simply slap their mouths shut. We feel that is the correct Christian “response” to lying thieves who desire “the preeminent place” in the Body of Christ and obtain it by fraud, flattery, sophisticated rhetoric, and pious BALONEY. (Ruckman, Peter. The Books of 1 & 2 Thessalonians and Philemon. Pensacola, FL: BB Bookstore, 2005, p. xii of introduction)
Why does Ruckman label all other scholars as liars? Quite often it stems from a mere disagreement, sometimes subjective and petty. In Ruckman’s mind, to disagree with him makes one a liar, no matter how subjective the issue may be. An example of this is how Ruckman downs scholars as “professional liars” for simply using the term “the Greek text,” when Ruckman has used that exact phrase multiple times! See our article, Ruckman saying it’s wrong to use such terms as “the Greek” and “the Greek text.”
Ruckman’s self-importance bleeds through
Notice how Ruckman portrays other scholars as beneath him:
I warned these PhD’s (with thirty years of formal education) time and time again to stay in their play pens where they belong. They should suck their bottles and get someone to change them when they’re “wet.” (Bible Believers' Bulletin. April 1987, p. 7)
The matter [here Ruckman claims to have finally identified the forbidden fruit of Genesis 2-3!] was completely hidden to every Greek and Hebrew scholar (saved or lost, Fundamental or Liberal) for 5900 years. (Bible Believers' Bulletin. June 1987, p. 3)
By 1901, the Lord God Almighty was “fed up” (see Isaiah 1:10-13) with Christian colleges, seminaries, and universities, and as J. Frank Norris and Billy Sunday tried to get things back together against hopeless odds, the Lord decided he would raise up a “joke on scholars.” The joker’s name was Peter Ruckman. … What the Lord needed was a “bookworm” who could digest 500 years of Christian scholarship, interpret it correctly, place it in it proper light in regard to the Holy Bible, and defend it against 5,000 to 10,000 apostate, conservative scholars who would rather die and go to hell than submit to God’s authority. The pedagogy began November 19, 1921 [date of Ruckman’s birth]… (Bible Believers' Bulletin. Dec. 1985, p. 2)
There isn’t a faculty member in a major Christian school in this country that doesn’t have my material, carefully stashed away someplace, where he can look at it once and [sic] a while without anybody knowing it. (Bible Believers' Bulletin. March 1992, p. 16)
…of professional, lying “jacklegs” than ten thousand lawsuits and twenty thousand “arrests for slander.” That isn’t all; when all is said and done (and it has been said and has been done), I can force everyone of those yellow- bellied “sisters” (“Golden Pheasants” is what the German Werhmacht called them) to consult my books and USE my material if they want to appear as real Bible scholars. They will just have to do it “behind the veil,” or it will be “curtains” for them.
When they teach it, you can be assured they will never let any Christian know from WHERE they got their “revelations.” They will make the suckers think they got them from studying Robertson, Trench, Thayer, Machen, Warfield, Hunt, Hort, Waite, Burgon, Zodhiates, and “historic positions.” I could give you twelve cases, right here, where Christians have discovered my books, accidently, in a pastor’s study, buried under a pile of stuff where no visitor coming in would see them, and they used material from them nearly every Sunday in their preaching, somewhere. THAT is the quality of the “MANHOOD” and “MANLINESS” of the average Christian “celebrity” in America today. They are gutless wonders. Their betrayal of the Body of Christ lies “behind the veil.” (Bible Believers' Bulletin. May 2004, p. 19)
While mocking scholars and scholarship in general, he presents himself as one who could not be fooled as other scholars:
I took the “full load” of the Alexandrian Cult, by the Scholars’ Union, exactly as it was dumped on Curtis Hutson, G. C. Morgan, Shelton Smith, B. H. Carrol, Stewart Custer, Talbot, James White, Pierson, Westcott, Hort, Aland, Metzger, Bruce, W. B. Riley, Fee, MacArthur, Henry Thiessen, Thieme, Farstad, Bob Jones Jr., Bob Jones III, Mike Randall, Doug Kutilek, Harold Willmington, Ed Hindson, Jerry Falwell, and Harold Rawlings. I came out with ONE ACADEMIC STANDARD. It was NOT the “standard” I learned in BJU’s Seminary. As a pupil, I remained unintimidated by the whole crew of stuffed-shirted, egotistical, hair-splitting, destructive critics of the King James Bible. I have been more impressed by a game of ping pong. (Bible Believers' Bulletin. Oct. 2005, p. 12)
What about the times Ruckman actually claims someone as a biblical scholar?
In light of the above quotes, it may seem surprising that at times Ruckman does at times actually label someone as a “Bible scholar.” However, it is very revealing to see how he ends up portraying someone whom at one point Ruckman declared to be a “biblical scholar.” Often, Ruckman tears them down immediately. Here is a case in point: On page 101 of The Anti-Intellectual Manifesto Ruckman referred to Jon Peter Lange as a Biblical scholar, but starting in the very next sentence he portrays him as follows: “It is true that he was often a critic and not too bright when it came to prophecy. It is also true that he may have been a ‘short-sighted fool’ when it came to obeying the Scriptures.”
In perusing Ruckman’s writings, the man he praises the most seems to be Clarence Larkin. However, his praise is limited because he considers Larkin to be outdated. Notice: "They are all stuck back with Clarence Larkin in 1929…" (Bible Believers' Bulletin. June 1995, p. 8) It not uncommon for Ruckman to insult Larkin (among others) for not finding some of Ruckman's peculiar teachings in the Bible. (Ruckman, Peter. The Books of the General Epistles Vol. 1. 2005, p. 114) See Ruckman’s horrible inconsistencies: The case of Clarence Larkin.
Ruckman trying to pass himself off as a superior scholar
We do not deny that some of the things Ruckman says about himself are true. For example, he has an earned doctorate and it is a known and provable fact that he has written over 100 books and pamphlets. However, he has a habit of constantly reminding his readers of academic accomplishments, feats, and an unusual background that would be virtually impossible for anyone else to replicate. For example, in 2007 he claimed to have read around 36,675 books since he was 10 years old. (Bible Believers' Bulletin. Sep. 2007 p. 3) In the midst of his commentary on The Books of the General Epistles Volume 1, Ruckman just has to tell you that he has written more than 120 books (proofreading each five times), he pastors 600 people, answers about 20 letters a day, has taught 10 hours a week for 37 years, done more than 500 paintings, has over 3,300 hours of preaching on tape, etc. (pp. 69, 421). Ruckman wants you to know that he has “Five earned degrees, with 120 books authored, and handling a curriculum of 22 subjects (by myself)…” (The Scholarship only Controversy, p. 275) He alleges having “…typed, written, read, or proofread more than three million pieces of paper;” (Ruckman, Peter. Bible Believers' Bulletin Reprint #7 Strictly Personal. 2004, Pensacola: Bible Baptist Bookstore, p. 237). He brags about being able to answer questions with a scriptural reference within 5 seconds. With this in mind he calls himself “the fastest gun in the West.” (Ruckman, Peter. The Books of Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther. Pensacola, FL: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 2004, pp. 204-205). He asserts that he has been “an artist and a musician since I was 15, as well as a poet and songwriter.” (Ruckman, Peter. General Epistles Commentary Vol. 2. Pensacola: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 2004, p. 261) In addition he claims to have experienced “years in dance bands, jazz combos, country western outfits, radio stations as D.J., drill fields as a DI in hand-to-hand…bars as a ‘checker’ on the drinks, beaches as a lifeguard, the French Quarter as an artist…” (Ruckman, Peter. Bible Believers' Bulletin Reprint vol. 6 Worldwide Damnation/Homosexuals. Pensacola, FL: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 2003, p. 265)
Inspite of the admonition in Pr. 27:2 Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips Ruckman wants to remind others constantly about his accomplishments, some of which stretch the limits of credulity. Here’s examples of Ruckman stroking his ego in his own words:
My “lifestyle” was jogging seven miles a week in my bare feet at night on the highways and backroads, fishing after midnight with a cast net in the bays and the surf, playing hockey a minimum of two hours a week (ice, roller-blade, regular skates, and on foot) and a maximum of six hours a week in the summertime; plus hand-hauling eight-foot four-by-fours, splitting green oak for kindling, tilling and plowing a half acre of garden land, traveling 40,000 miles a year by planes, preaching two to four sermons a week, while teaching 100-200 students four nights a week in a school, pastoring 500-600 church members, publishing three books a year, and raising ten children, seventeen grandchildren, and nine German Shepherds. I did this while painting more than 100 watercolors, oils, and acrylics, and preaching to more than 2,000 inmates in nineteen different prisons, and broadcasting weekly 30-minute Sunday School lessons on radio. (Bible Believers' Bulletin. July 2007 p. 2)
Having written more than 120 books and having to proofread each of them at least five times, while personally answering about twenty letters a day, while pastoring over 600 people, while teaching a minimum of ten hours a week for 37 years, while painting more than 500 paintings, and while logging 40,000 miles a year by plane (for fifty years)… (Ruckman, Peter. The Books of the General Epistles Volume 1. Pensacola, FL: BB Bookstore, 2005, p. 69)
I may be the only man alive on the American continent who has taught twenty-five different subjects in one curriculum AT ONE TIME with three of the subjects being on a graduate level. (Ruckman, Peter. How to teach the Bible. Pensacola, FL: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 2000 reprint, p. 1)
My toting of 8-foot four-by-fours on both shoulders (garden work) and two fifty-pound sacks of fertilizer or seed on the shoulders (garden work) and playing two hours of ice hockey and street hockey “at a lick”—sometimes in temperatures of seventy to eighty-five degrees— and jogging a mile a day (in my bare feet) on asphalt highways for thirty-four years, and practicing martial arts (Judo, Karate, Tae Kwondo, and Aikido) up until I was seventy-five years old… (Bible Believers' Bulletin. Dec. 2006, p. 2)
…established three local churches “from scratch,” while training more than 4,000 young men and women in a Bible school where I write my own textbooks for five classes—two of them post-graduate levels. (Ruckman, Peter. The Bible: A Deadly Book. Pensacola, FL: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 2003, p. 43)
I wound up preaching to audiences running 2,000–4,000 … I wound up with radio programs in fifteen states and three foreign countries. My first TV programs were “shot” in a garage in Panama City, Florida and were produced on 16mm film by a portable camera, under six 100-watt light bulbs, in black and white. They wound up in full color on video and shown on satellite to fifty States and (as of Bro. Dunson’s last report) at least seven foreign countries. … From 1950 to 2004, I was still holding two Friday–Sunday meetings every month in some State or foreign country … Even after starting PBI I still continued holding two “out-of-town” Bible conferences every month from 1960–2004. (Bible Believers' Bulletin. Oct. 2008, p. 2)
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. (Ruckman, Peter. The Alexandrian Cult. Part Eight, 1981, p. 28)
In 2,000 years of church history, they haven’t even been able to find the passages which dealt with these things we have been talking about… (Ruckman, Peter. The Book of Revelation. 1970, 1982, p. 348)
…You found someone that knew more about the Bible than “Ruckman,” did you? Who? (Ruckman, Peter. The Christian’s Handbook of Biblical Scholarship. 1988, p. 35)
Ruckman once wrote "Everyone is trying to appear to be a 'scholar' or appear to be scholarly." (Bible Believers' Bulletin. Dec. 1985, p. 3) As documented, Ruckman is no exception, and indeed goes overboard in this area. Based on what we just documented—in this department—Ruckman “takes the cake!” Based on his repeated claims, it is apparent that Ruckman desperately wants to be seen by his followers as a scholar superior to all others, all while repudiating the term.
We don’t claim to know Ruckman’s heart, but the Bible does warn in Mat. 12:34 for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. He is but a man who wants to rise to the top by knocking everyone else down in the most vicious unchristian-like manner possible. We plead with our readers to look to Christ, not man. Christ will never let you down.