What is semi-Ruckmanism? Simply put, it consists of teaching some (though not all) of the same "Ruckmanisms" while using different terminology than Ruckman and claiming all along to be against Ruckmanism. In other words, semi-Ruckmanite views refer to reaching some of the same controversial conclusions as Ruckman regarding the KJV but differing on the methods for arriving at the same conclusion (the main concurring conclusion being that the KJV is infallible).
What semi-Ruckmanism is or does:
- It teaches with a more charitable approach than Ruckman
- It promotes KJV/TR defenders of the past as if they held to a semi-Ruckmanite position
- It sometimes quotes approvingly from Ruckmanites or other writers clearly influenced by Ruckman
- It teaches that the KJV is infallible but generally does not teach that any particular printed edition of the Greek is also infallible
- It is frequently silent about Ruckman until the question surfaces, at which time there is a strong denial that something they teach could have originated or been popularized by Ruckman or have very close similarities to some "Ruckmanisms"
- It takes adherents to the same final destination as Ruckmanism on various issues (most notably the perfection of the KJV) but by a slightly different route
- It teaches KJV perfection by making appeals to faith instead of "advanced revelations"
What semi-Ruckmanism is not or does not do:
- It does not teach all the tenants of Ruckmanism in the Bible version realm
- It does not teach with the same controversial terminology as Ruckmanism (i.e., "double inspiration," "advanced revelation," "the English corrects the Greek and is superior to it")
- It does not defend Peter Ruckman personally and may make mild negative references to him
- It does not teach odd doctrines outside of Bibliology, such as different plans of salvation for different ages
- It is not merely defending the KJV or choosing to use it exclusively (some used the KJV exclusively before Ruckman came on the scene)
Semi-Ruckmanism could attract the unsuspecting
Since semi-Ruckmanism claims to be against Ruckmanism and does not use Ruckman's most controversial terminology or bad language, it attracts many who fervently and sincerely desire to stand for the KJV but want to avoid pure Ruckmanism. Many perhaps are unaware that some of the literature they are reading may be bringing them closer to Ruckmanism than they realize. Pure Ruckmanism is so extreme, that virtually anything short of Ruckmanism may seem sane and balanced in comparison. Herein lies the danger of semi-Ruckmanism.
We may change the format in the future, but for the present we have decided not to accuse any particular pro-KJV writer of teaching semi-Ruckmanism in this article. The examples we will give will remain unnamed. It should also be kept in mind that some of the teachings vary, so our description of typical semi-Ruckmanism will not match every case.
The bottom-line difference
The only basic difference between some semi-Ruckmanite views and Ruckmanism lies not in the conclusion but rather the wording of the explanations for reaching the same conclusion. For example, a semi-Ruckmanite will not say double inspiration took place for the KJV to be inspired, but he may agree with Ruckman that the KJV is inspired (although Ruckman will say “given by inspiration”). A semi-Ruckmanite will not say that advanced revelation occurred with the KJV, but he will agree with Ruckman that the KJV can never err even if in a rare given instance the KJV does not seem to match the Greek or Hebrew closely. A semi-Ruckmanite will not say that the English corrects the Greek or Hebrew, but he will agree with Ruckman that the KJV could never need correcting with the Greek and Hebrew because the KJV is infallible.
When Ruckman teaches “double inspiration” it is only a means to an end. He teaches it only as an attempt to vindicate himself for believing that a translation can be given by inspiration. When Ruckman teaches that the KJV contains advanced revelation, it is also only a means to an end. It is his justification for continuing to believe the KJV is infallible even though it was translated by fallible men. Ruckman only says the English is superior to the Greek and Hebrew to justify his teaching that the KJV is the final authority even though there are places where the KJV does not match the Greek and Hebrew closely every single time. In other words, when Ruckman uses controversial terms such as “advanced revelation,” “double inspiration,” and “the English corrects the Greek,” he is simply justifying his position that the KJV is inspired, inerrant, infallible and the final authority. Those controversial terms and views are used as vehicles to lead one along to Ruckman’s final destination, which is an inspired, infallible KJV. One proof of this is the first edition of Ruckman's first entire book defending the KJV (The Bible Babel, 1964). There is no reference in this 105-page book to "double inspiration," "the English corrects the Greek," or "advanced revelation." Those controversial teachings were invented by Ruckman over time for the sole purpose of attempting to justify his stance on an infallible, inerrant KJV "given by inspiration of God."
Based on our definition of semi-Ruckmanism, it could be said that there are some who claim to reject Ruckmanism, but are de facto Ruckmanites to an extent. Often when this happens, the person holding Ruckmanitish views may not even realize it, so we are not accusing all those who hold to a form of semi-Ruckmanism of being deceptive about being opposed to Ruckmanism. They will rightfully reject Ruckman’s most bizarre views and tactics and may even write articles against Ruckmanism, but will strangely accept the bottom line of what Ruckman is trying to teach all along–namely that the KJV is inspired and infallible.
Examples of semi-Ruckmanism
We will be listing some statements in this article that we feel have a Ruckman-like leaning, even though the authors of the statements could be well-meaning and may even warn of Ruckmanism in their writings. We are concerned that these statements taken to their full and logical extent could take one dangerously close to a Ruckmanite view concerning the KJV, regardless of the intent of the author. We are not accusing the authors of the statements of being "closet Ruckmanites," and for now we have decided not to list the source of the articles nor their authors so we can concentrate on the substance of the matter rather than personalities.
The following quotes come from books, pamphlets, or articles that do not use Ruckman's terminology such as "double inspiration," "advanced revelation," "the English corrects the Greek and is superior to it," etc.
When a version has been the standard as long as the Authorized Version, and when that version has demonstrated its power in the conversion of sinners, building up of believers, sending forth of preachers and missionaries on a scale not achieved by all other versions and foreign language editions combined; the hand of God is at work. Such a version must not be tampered with. And in those comparatively few places where it seems to depart from the majority reading, it would be far more honouring toward God's promises of preservation to believe that the Greek and not the English had strayed from the original!
In fact, it is my own personal conviction and belief, after studying this subject since 1971, that the WORDS of the Received Greek and Masoretic Hebrew texts that underlie the KING JAMES BIBLE are the very WORDS which God has PRESERVED down through the centuries, being the exact WORDS of the ORIGINALS themselves.
In fact, an emphasis on the original manuscripts is unscriptural. [He then quotes from a Ruckmanite book]
Away with this Satanic trash that only the "original autographs" were perfect and inspired…and away with the same devilish dribble that there is no such thing as a perfect translation! Satan is the father of a lie…and he sure fathered THAT ONE!
It is in the matter of translation and copying the Scripture that I believe God's superintendence takes place. The translators are active and God does superintend the work of certain translators.
I don't believe that the King James Bible is fallible, but I don't like to use the words infallible…I don't believe that the King James Bible is errant, but I don't use the adjective inerrant when I refer to the King James Bible… [In another publication this same author says that referring to the KJV as perfect is Ruckmanism]
The following comes from the literature of a foreign Bible translating and publishing ministry:
The King James Bible will be used as translation guide. Difficult and uncertain word choices will be guided by the word choices of the KJB. Where the KJB translated the same Greek or Hebrew word by the same English word, due consideration will be given to doing the same in the translation in order to maintain proper cross-references. There are reportedly several variants between the original language texts and the KJB. In these instances the translator will defer to the wording of the KJB.
The following quote comes from a publication of a ministry that strongly claims to be against Ruckmanism:
Therefore, I think I could genuinely say that the Holy Ghost performed the act of "spiring" them from within from the original meeting to the finality of the work which produced a Holy Ghost-inspired book that rolled off the press in 1611.
A variation of semi-Ruckmanism
One variation of semi-Ruckmanism is the teaching that the Textus Receptus is the final authority inasmuch as it perfectly matches the KJV. In other words, the KJV determines what the Textus Receptus truly is. Lip-service is paid to the Textus Receptus being the final authority, but when asked which Textus Receptus to follow, one is directed not to a specific edition of the Textus Receptus, but rather the Greek and Hebrew text underlying the KJV. Sometimes the Scriveners Greek text from 1881 in which the Greek closely (but not perfectly) followed the KJV is presented as if it was the final authority. To carry this teaching out to its logical extent, it seems to us that the existing Greek editions before and after 1611 would have to submit to the English KJV to qualify for being the perfect "Greek text underlying the KJV." The following quote illustrates a variation of this position:
If there exists a perfect TR, then which of the many editions of the TR is perfect? It must be affirmed that all the editions of the TR being from the pure stream of God’s preserved text are pure, no doubt about it. But which is the purest? It is the TR underlying the KJV.
We believe semi-Ruckmanism is very dangerous because in practice the end result is close to Ruckmanism (although avoiding some of his controversial terminology), while all along those adopting it may think they are safe and balanced because they feel they are rejecting Ruckmanism. Since semi-Ruckmanite teaching can sometimes get so close to Ruckmanism, those affected by it could be more vulnerable to falling prey to full-fledged Ruckmanism or not be as concerned about Ruckmanism in general.
To help readers avoid semi-Ruckmanite literature, we recommend books and pamphlets on the following page: Recommended non-Ruckmanite literature in defense of the KJV or Textus Receptus