At Ruckmanism.org we do not endorse any modern translations. Although the main purpose of this website is not for exposing other translations, we are concerned about the proliferation of translations and we do provide a list of literature on the topic that we consider to be balanced compared to most of what is available. However, this does not mean we believe Peter Ruckman is fair and balanced in all he says about modern translations. The following is an example that got our attention while analyzing his writings.
In a brief article entitled "The Great Pretender" in his Bible Believers' Bulletin (Sep. 1996, p. 3) Ruckman starts off remarking that "the choice of words by the new versions indicates a verbal inspiration from unclean spirits." Then he continues:
Way back in 1946 when the RSV came out, a real Bible Believer might have been surprised to find the word "imitator" used instead of "follower" in 1 Thessalonians 1:6 and in Ephesians 5:1. Here the grossly corrupt RSV (published by the National Council of Communist Churches) said that a Christian should imitate God and imitate Paul instead of following them. An imitation is a counterfeit. So this reading in the RSV is very appropriate for that production. It is a counterfeit Bible. All other counterfeit Bibles immediately followed the imitation. The NIV says you ought to imitate God, the NASV says you ought to imitate God. … the greatest imitator of God is Satan…
He concluded the article as follows:
Quit obeying Satanic "commandments" recorded in Satanic "Bibles."
The most glaring omission in the article was not pointing out the meaning of the underlying Greek word mimetes, which simply means "an imitator" (see Strong's, Thayer's, Vine's, etc.). This is also a case where there are no variations between Greek NT manuscripts or between critical texts and Textus Receptus editions. It was simply not scholarly for Ruckman not to even mention or discuss the meaning of the Greek word in the context of his accusation.
Ruckman only defined "imitation" in the negative sense. The first entry for "imitator" at dictionary.com is as follows:
1. to follow or endeavor to follow as a model or example: to imitate an author's style; to imitate an older brother.
2. to mimic; impersonate: The students imitated the teacher behind her back.
3. to make a copy of; reproduce closely.
4. to have or assume the appearance of; simulate; resemble. (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/imitator?s=t Accessed Sep. 23, 2016)
To "imitate" can very much be defined in the positive sense, and includes the meaning "to follow," which is what the KJV chose to retain in 1 Thessalonians 1:6 and Ephesians 5:1, following the Tyndale-Geneva-Coverdale-Bishops Bible tradition. Ruckman ignored the Greek, and gave the literal English translation a negative spin in order to suit his agenda. To show the weakness in Ruckman's argument, a negative spin can also be placed on the "followers" translation. There are several passages in the Bible which refer to Peter and others following Jesus "afar off" (Mat. 26:58, Lk. 23:49).
If one were to focus only on imitation in the negative sense, and ignore the meaning of the Greek word, it is possible to perceive how a command in the Bible to be imitators of God rather than followers could seem shallow. However, attempts to be literal in translating the Bible should not be looked upon through a conspiratorial lens simply because the KJV translators decided to be less literal or use an acceptable rendering that was not the most common translation.
In this case Ruckman feels his argument is so sound and revealing that he refers to the non-KJV reading as a Satanic commandment recorded in Satanic Bibles (this means any Greek NT is a Satanic Bible if we apply Ruckman’s logic!) Ruckman has stated in writing on occasion that he believes a person can be saved via a modern translation, but as documented here he trashes them with a vigor that is consistent only with someone who would appear to believe the exact opposite. We deplore these ill-suited tactics, and we believe this adds to the multiple reasons why Ruckman’s literature should be soundly rejected.