Is this plagiarism?

The images contain a sample page on the left from Alban Douglas' book first copyrighted in 1966 One Hundred Bible Lessons: God's Answers to Man's Questions. On the right of the two large images are a sample page from two different booklets from the series Theological Studies by Peter Ruckman copyrighted in the 1980's. No mention or credit is given in Ruckman's Theological Studies for Alban Douglas' work. We are presenting only a sampling of what we found in Ruckman's Theological Studies series. Many more examples could be given. Is this plagiarism? You decide.

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16 Responses to Is this plagiarism?

  1. Jim Bair says:

    I think the copy rights are over after a period of time. Also, the teaching is fundamentally old school doctrine taught by pretty much all true bible believers. If anything Doc preserved historical teachings that I’m glad haven’t slipped away. I don’t fault him. Some things are better left to the Lord Jesus Christ to decide. I wonder what the Lord thinks about plagiarism? I know what he thinks those who sow discord among the brethren: Proverbs 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

    • Visitor says:


          You quote Proverbs 6:19 as if the webmaster is sowing discord among brethren for revealing error in a man's teaching! I would like to ask you a simple question, (if you ever return to read it)! Is Dr. Ruckman, or any of his followers, also committing the sin of "sowing discord" when they (at least in their mind), "defend the faith" by manifesting another writer's errors?! It appears to me you are nothing more than a Ruckman clone! The evidence presented here is more than incriminating! There are endings to copyrights, but they are much longer than 15 years!  Randy Everist has it right… it is a "lying tongue" that takes credit for another man's work as if it is his own!

    • Mike says:

      Jim, are you kidding?  Copy right or not…he used someone elses work and passed it off for his own…the Copy Right laws deal with legal rights….if the these have expired, then it turns into an ethics issue.

    • Ann says:

      Perhaps you do not FEAR the LORD? We are told in Proverbs that the fear if the Lord is this: to hate pride, arrogancy, the evil way, and froward mouth. You don’t seem to hate these character traits of Ruckman. In fact, you defend them. In Proverbs it says if you call good evil and evil good, that evil will not depart from your house. Also, Zechariah talks about a roll entering and destroying houses. That’s the old way of saying a book of heresy. I warn you now, my brother…if you do not build your house on Christ’s sermon on the mount…your house is going to fall. Lord, have mercy.

    • Mikel Paulson says:

      But when Ruckman accuses someone of plagerism and copyright issues and threatens me with his lawyers and then slanders my name in his bulletin, then he should also be held accountable. I was NOT copying his stuff – I have his permission to use his stuff – we were even friendly acquaintances, etc. But I have gone past Ruckmanism but not all he taught was wrong. If you folks are holding to the Greek over the KJB, then you are wrong. If you are putting baptist doctrine over Biblical truth, you are wrong. Etc. But his plagerism should be made public and his bookstore man should have been fired a long time ago. Time take care of all of us very soon – agree?

  2. Jim Bair says:

    This is a big waste of time, but the book for the Theological studies, are actually transcribed from the radio program. Maybe Doc was reading from the book that you accuse him of plagiarizing from…

    • Webmaster says:

      If Ruckman was reading from Douglas' book to begin with, why would it be transcribed back into a book? And if that is what happened, why did Ruckman put his name on Theological Studies since it was first printed almost 30 years ago, if he didn't write it? 

      • Randy Everist says:

        Plagiarism and copyright laws are not synonymous. Plagiarism is the act of presenting another’s work, thoughts, and/or ideas as one’s own. Now, simple or common phrases, though unoriginal with subsequent authors, may be used without attribution. For instance, no one demands a footnote for saying “kick the bucket.” Closer to home topically, no one would object to saying “The Trinity is defined as one God manifest in three persons,” though that sentence, in that order, likely appears in multiple works throughout time. However, it is evident from the examples that he copied, in many cases word-for-word, the source material. Since it is highly implausible that Ruckman was writing independently and the phrases are not common, especially in sequence, Ruckman presented work not done by him as his own (incidentally qualifying for the “lying tongue” bit above). Also, positing a similar but different source from which both works may draw is just irrelevant. Since the old work predates Ruckman, we know the older author cannot be copying from Ruckman. It follows, regardless of whom he is copying, he is indeed copying. Finally, appealing to the results to justify plagiarism (or quotes without attribution [not that he used quotations]) is misguided as well. He could have achieved the end you describe (preserving theological history) even more efficiently by providing adequate attribution. He committed plagiarism, plain and simple. Were any indication given that he merely forgot to add attribution, it’d be one thing. But he clearly took pains long enough to add a couple of the words here and there, meaning he intended the use of the text as a near-identical quote (some entire consecutive sentences being mirrored) but didn’t footnote any of the ideas therein. In academic writing, plagiarism is not only lying, it’s stealing.

    • Mike Smith says:

      Plagiarism? Of course…almost word for word. As a matter of fact, if that were presented as a finished, personal work in ANY worthwhile, accredited school, he would have been hauled in the Profs office for an explanation at the very least…expelled at the very worst. The proof is in the pudding…to come to any other conclusion would be just as dishonest as commiting the act yourself.

  3. Daniel says:

    It is as clear a case of intellectual theft as I have seen

  4. Shane says:

    Copyrights expire but it takes much longer than twenty years. In any case, lifting text from another’s work presenting it without attribution as if it is yours is theft and deceit.

  5. Ron McKeever says:

    Maybe Ruckman is using his own interpretation of the Greek….the original writer had advanced knowledge and Ruckman used it. What a farce this man is and the sheeple blindly follow.

  6. Ann says:

    Plagiarism is common amongst many self-absorbed fundamental Baptists. They *hope* no one is reading outside religious material like they generally preach against. I think it was Schaap that did this on some Cain and Abel tithe stuff.

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