Ruckman’s disdain for the original manuscripts of the Bible

What are Ruckman’s views on the original manuscripts of the Bible? Are they Biblical, and do they reflect conservative theological views? In some previous articles, we analyzed various issues that have a bearing on his views on the originals:

In this article, we will focus on the general disdain that he manifests quite often when he brings up the original manuscripts. It will be demonstrated that even when he says something positive about the original manuscripts, he has the habit of following it up with something negative in an attempt to instill a negative impression about the originals. We will also point out how Ruckman portrays others as if they were deceptive and presumptuous in their references to the original manuscripts.

Peter Ruckman does not think highly of the original manuscripts, sometimes referred to as “the originals,” or “the original autographs.” Many of his put-downs of the Greek in his literature are in reference to modern Greek NT texts, sometimes referred to generically as “the Greek Text.” But if you study his writings closely, you will notice Ruckman quite often singles out the original manuscripts themselves, and he expresses such disdain that it should be alarming to those who believe the original manuscripts were given by inspiration of God and therefore inerrant.

Planting doubts in regard to the originals

We do not wish to misrepresent Dr. Ruckman. He does occasionally say something orthodox about the originals, but quite often he follows up with a question or remark to leave a negative impression with his readers. Observe:

We do believe that the originals that God gave by inspiration were inerrant (they had no mistakes in them, although ANACALUTHON [sic] may have been present: errors in grammatical construction), and were infallible (in the sense of being absolute truth) and that they were fully given by inspiration so that each word was what God wanted said. Of course, we believe that. There isn’t a Bible believing Baptist in the world who doesn’t believe that. (Ruckman, Peter. Bible Believers’ Bulletin. April 1989, p. 12)

The above statement is balanced, except the suggestion of grammatical errors in the originals. The potential grammar error claim by Ruckman is out of line, because God is not bound by man-made grammar rules which can be subjective and are subject to change. We believe the good statements are only pretense in light of the shocking statements that often suggest the opposite of what he just stated. We believe that overall Ruckman is unbalanced and even demonstrates outright disdain for the original manuscripts, as we will set out to prove directly from his writings.

The next statements start off well also, but notice how he once again plants doubt in a reader’s mind about the original manuscripts:

Nowhere would we think of denying that the “original autographs” were given by inspiration of God, providing these hypocrites tell us exactly what the “original autographs” are. What are they? Well, the stock answer is that they were the FIRST writing of an apostle or Moses or a prophet, etc., as he first wrote it under the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? Do you know what this presumes, without one piece of evidence? It presumes that the first copy the writer wrote was the inspired one, the very one God intended to be in the “canon.” How do you know the prophet didn’t write it two or three times and God chose the THIRD ONE? See David’s case in Psalm 18 and 2 Sam. 22, where both copies were chosen for the canon and neither one matched the other. (Ruckman, Peter. Bible Believers’ Bulletin reprint vol. 3 (Doctrinal Studies), 2000, Pensacola: Bible Baptist Bookstore, p. 152)

It is also presumptuous on Ruckman’s part to suppose that this perceived hypothetical dilemma would have even been a problem. There is the case of the king who cast Jeremiah’s scroll in the fire (Jer. 36), but this would not necessarily have created a dilemma. Afterwards, God ordered Jeremiah to rewrite it, and add to the original message. Jeremiah may or may not have known at the time that the original message was incomplete before the king’s actions. In God’s foreknowledge, He knew more would be added later.

Capitalizing on what biblical writers did not say

In the following quote Ruckman once again starts off making a good statement, but this time notice how he comes up with something negative, but of a different sort:

Of course we believe in the “verbal inspiration of the original New Testament writings”; we just have better sense than to think those writers claimed to be “inerrant” or “infallible,” or to be “verbally inspired” as they wrote, or when they finished their book (or epistle). (Ruckman, Peter. The Christian Liar’s Library. 1997, p. 190)

Ruckman feels the need to repeat over and over to his readers that not all Bible writers made statements to the effect that they were writing under inspiration or in an infallible manner. Why does he need to say this? The answer is that Ruckman teaches that the KJV is infallible and “given by inspiration of God,” even though the KJV translators did not affirm it. The logic at play here is that if the originals can be considered inspired and infallible without all writers claiming such, it is not a stretch for the KJV to be considered inspired and infallible in the absence of such statements by any of its translators. What destroys Ruckman’s logic, however, is that the KJV translators themselves disavowed inerrancy and inspiration for their work, something the Bible writers did not. Although they elaborated further, the following sentences from The Translators to the Readers from their 1611 edition is sufficient for our purpose:

No cause therefore why the word translated should be denied to be the word, or forbidden to be current, notwithstanding that some imperfections and blemishes may be noted in the setting forth of it. For whatever was perfect under the Sun, where Apostles or Apostolic men, that is, men endued with an extraordinary measure of God’s spirit, and privileged with the privilege of infallibility, had not their hand?

The following statement from the writings of one of the KJV translators further reveals they disavowed inerrancy and inspiration for Bible translation work:

… in the first setting forth of the Common-prayer-book appointed the Scriptures to be read in that ancient Translation, for that was the best then extant, neither is there any error at all in it, which concerneth faith or manners; and other slips must be born with in translations, or else we must read none at all till we have a Translation given by divine inspiration, as the Originals are. (Featley, Daniel. The Dippers Dipt. London: E.C. for N.B. & Richard Royston, 1660, p. 112)

Claiming delusion or deception by others because the original manuscripts were never bound in one book

While professing to “stand for the absolute authority of THE BIBLE,” you ditch the Bible and trade it in for a pile of lost pieces of paper no one has ever seen; and then lie about those pieces of paper being in one Book at one time… (Bible Believers’ Bulletin. July 1995, p. 10)

If he was talking about the “originals” he lied, for the originals were never in any Bible on this earth! (Ruckman, Peter. Pastoral Epistles: The Bible Believer’s Commentary Series. Pensacola, FL: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1989, p. 269)

Every one of them is a chronic, pathological liar who will not hesitate to refer to “THE” Greek text, or even the “original” Greek text when he knows, as he lies, that he is lying like a Persian rug. (Bible Believers’ Bulletin. June 2003, p. 2)

“THE GREEK” is a Satanic expedient used by all professional liars to INTIMATE that they have the original text, when they do not. (Ruckman, Peter. The Last Grenade. 1990, p. 42)

Falsehood. No such animal as “THE GREEK TESTAMENT” could be found anywhere since Constantine died. (Ibid., p. 49) There is no “THE Greek text.” (Ibid., p. 116)

Now notice that (1) A man who believes that the original manuscripts constitute a plenary verbally inspired Bible has a mental problem. The original manuscripts were never in any one Bible on the face of this earth. Anyone knows that. (Bible Believers’ Bulletin. April 1985, p. 3)

1. There is no such thing as “THE GREEK TESTAMENT,” as anyone knows. 2. There is no such thing as “THE ORIGINAL GREEK TEXT,” which anyone knows. 3. There is no such thing as “THE GREEK TEXT,” which anyone knows. (Ruckman, Peter. The Pastoral Epistles. 1989, p. 452) Why did the demon-possessed liar say “THE” Greek text unless he was trying to cover up the truth by creating Babylonian CONFUSION (1 Cor. 14:33). (Bible Believers’ Bulletin. Jan. 2006, p. 6)

If everyone knows that —as Ruckman admitted in the last two quotes— how is that deception? Is it deception to refer to the sunrise or sunset, when nearly everyone knows the sun doesn’t literally move? Ruckman is being totally unreasonable in portraying everyone else as liars in order to try to make himself look extra honest. One of Ruckman’s favorite tactics against his opponents is to take a statement expressed equivocally and treat it unequivocally, which constitutes an equivocation fallacy.

That the original manuscripts did not survive is common knowledge among believers, except perhaps the type that only attend church a few times a year and remain ignorant of many Biblical basics (some of them may not be true believers, but only God knows). That the various portions of the original manuscripts were never bound in one book containing Genesis through Revelation or simultaneously available in a multi-scroll set in one location is slightly lesser known. But once a believer is taught that the Bible was written during a span of well over 1,000 years throughout various geographical regions, he has the basic elements to conclude even on his own that the originals apparently were never bound in one book. Believers are repeatedly taught that the Bible is a collection of 66 books. In using the terminology that Ruckman objected to, those believers are being no more deceptive than Ruckman referring fondly to the Bible as “THE book” (singular) when it is a collection of many books!

In our article Ruckman saying it’s wrong to use such terms as “the Greek” and “the Greek text” we demonstrated that Ruckman himself sometimes uses the very terms he accuses others of using for deceptive purposes!

Dismissing the importance and value of the originals

If they [Alexandrians] produce the original manuscripts tomorrow night, God wouldn’t bother to spit on anyone using them. (Ruckman, Peter. Greek Manuscript Evidence. Pensacola, FL: Bible Baptist Bookstore, circa 1970’s. CD audio recording, about 41 minutes into track 4)

If I was teaching the Book of Romans and had Paul’s “original autograph” on the desk to teach, I would put it aside and teach the King James’ text. I assume the God who gave Paul his version gave us our version, and Paul’s pen marks are no more “magical” than a dimestore KJB…the Author of the Book (and the One who preserved it—the Book, not the autographs) showed up to guide, illuminate, teach, explain, and apply the words. (22 Years of the Bible Believer’s Bulletin Vol. 1 “The AV Holy Bible” p. 579)

Ruckman seems to pretend that if the original manuscripts somehow showed up, it would be of little use or not solve any problems. He is only right to the extent that the originals would be of little practical immediate use to those who do not understand Greek or Hebrew. However, it would have the positive effect of eliminating all textual criticism literature and competing editions of the Bible text. One problem it would likely create—and quite possibly the main reason God did not ensure the survival of the original manuscripts—is mankind making an idol of the ink and paper.

In this observation as well as some others, Ruckman is committing a major logical fallacy. If the originals had never existed, or if God had not enabled preservation of manuscripts in spite of natural disasters, wars, and persecutions, the KJV would have never existed. Therefore, by minimizing the importance of the originals, he is kicking at the foundation for the KJV whether he realizes it or not.

Casting doubt on the inerrancy and inspiration of the original manuscripts

There is no doctrine taught in the scripture to the effect that the “inspired originals” were infallible or were preserved from error: (Ruckman, Peter. The Book of Acts. 1974, 1984, p. xii)

… “and that its original autographs were verbally inspired and completely free from error of any kind.” Proof? Don’t be silly. … There isn’t one verse in any version of any translation in any edition of any Bible on the face of this earth that says the “original autographs were completely free from error of any kind.” You just got the opinion of two men whose opinions are “facts” in their own way of thinking. (Ruckman, Peter. The Christian’s Handbook of Biblical Scholarship. Pensacola, FL: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1999, p. 252)

…this nonsense about verbal, plenary inspiration of the original manuscripts. That’s not even a Bible doctrine. (Ruckman, Peter. How God opened my eyes to the KJV. Pensacola, FL: Bible Baptist Bookstore, no date. CD audio recording, about 10-11 minutes into track 1)

Of course, I am dealing with problems of the King James text, not the original manuscripts. Therefore, all this effort to try to prove that the original manuscripts are inerrant and infallible, but the King James has errors in it, is nonsense. We are dealing with statements of the King James, and you don’t have the originals there to see whether they err or not. You say, “They couldn’t have erred.” What do you get for the authority? Second Timothy 3:16? That is not a reference to the original manuscripts. (Ruckman, Peter. Theological Studies, Vol. 15, p. 42)

The simplest of logic makes bear the absurdity of Ruckman’s question. If there could even be a doubt about the inerrancy of the originals, how could he even believe and teach so confidently that the KJV is inerrant? Or, if the originals were not inerrant, how could a translation ever be inerrant? His argument should fall under the weight of its own absurdity.

For Ruckman’s assertion that 2 Tim. 3:16 is not a reference to the originals, see our article Ruckman’s self-serving interpretation for 2 Timothy 3:16.

You will not find the Holy Spirit (who supposedly “God-Breathed” or “In-Breathed” the Scripture or “original autographs”) connected with the production of ONE BIBLE in the history of Christianity (A.D. 100-1990) in any work by a Scholarship-Only fanatic… (Ruckman, Peter. The Christian Liar’s Library. 1997, p. 282)

Did you notice how Ruckman just stated that the Holy Spirit supposedly “God-Breathed” or “In-Breathed” the Scripture or “original autographs”? If Ruckman feels he has to cast doubt on the originals in a way that reminds us of an unbelieving approach in order to promote the inspiration or inerrancy of the KJV, this just goes to show how wrong he is.

That the original manuscripts were inerrant is a faith position, but based on what the Bible actually says (therefore not fideistic). In the simplest of terms, all Scripture was given by inspiration of God (2 Tim. 3:16), and God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). Therefore faith in God and what he clearly says in his Word should be enough to satisfy a Christian. However, in Ruckman’s questioning of the original manuscripts it almost seems as if he takes on a role that resembles that of an agnostic.

General insults and putdowns regarding the originals

Doesn’t the Devil believe in the “inspired originals?” (Ruckman, Peter. Satan’s Masterpiece the New ASV p. 2)

… plenary, verbally inspired gassers … (22 Years of the Bible Believer’s Bulletin Vol. 1 “The AV Holy Bible” p. 128)

All of this propane gas about “plenary, verbal inspiration of the inerrant, infallible, original autographs.” (Ruckman, Peter. Pastoral Epistles: The Bible Believer’s Commentary Series. Pensacola, FL: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1989, p. 272)

Naïve simpletons who believe in “plenary, verbally inspired, original autographs.” (Ruckman, Peter. The Unknown Bible, p. 90)

The Book was given to you by God. Don’t spit in His face with a lot of claptrap about “verbally inspired originals.” (Ruckman, Peter. Differences in the King James Version Editions, p. 25)

Ruckman seems to view the sacredness of the originals as a threat to his teachings on an inspired inerrant KJV, therefore he mockingly refers to the concept “Verbal, plenary inspiration of original autographs” as believing in “VPIOA:”

“Verbal, plenary inspiration of original autographs” (VPIOA) is the Madison Avenue cliché used by all apostate Fundamentalists to destroy your faith in the Holy Bible. The “Holy Bible” is a BOOK. It is a Book that you can buy and read. It is a book that we believe, teach, and preach. The VPIOA (see above) are nonexistent fragments or scraps of rolls and parchments that no one can see, read, teach, preach, or study. (Ruckman, Peter. Twenty-Two Years of the Bible Believers’ Bulletin. Vol. 3, Doctrinal Studies. 2000, pp. 65-66)

In view of what the Bible teaches clearly about the inspiration and purity of the Scriptures which logically would involve the originals, the Christian has a biblical basis for referring to the originals with the utmost confidence, regardless of their current status as no longer with us in a physical form. The infidel rejects what the Bible teaches about it’s own purity and inspiration, therefore he would be expected to approach the originals with skepticism and indifference.

Some things Ruckman teaches on the KJV being superior to the Greek or Hebrew or even the originals themselves could only be applied in a limited practical sense only. We have an article dealing with this by the title A look at Ruckman’s reasons for declaring the KJV to be superior to the originals. However, in this article we are mostly dealing with other aspects of his views on the originals.

That terminology is not in the Bible!

“and that its original autographs were verbally inspired and completely free from error of any kind.” Proof? Don’t be silly. … There isn’t one verse in any version of any translation in any edition of any Bible on the face of this earth that says the “original autographs were completely free from error of any kind.” You just got the opinion of two men whose opinions are “facts” in their own way of thinking. (Ruckman, Peter. The Christian’s Handbook of Biblical Scholarship. Pensacola, FL: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1999, p. 252)

…there isn’t one verse in either Testament that says ANY “original autographs” were inspired… (Ruckman, Peter. The Christian’s Handbook of Biblical Scholarship. Pensacola, FL: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1999, p. 217)

There are no verses in any Bible, in either Testament, that say “only the original manuscripts are inerrant, infallible, and inspired.” We accept that truth by faith; not by sight. For all you know, Peter did not spell all of his words right when he was “moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Pet. 1:21) and that is why the authors of 1 and 2 Chronicles, Jude, Esther, Ecclesiastes, James, Mark, Ruth, Judges, Matthew, Romans, Galatians, Obadiah, Jonah, and Ephesians didn’t say one word about their writings being “inspired,” or “inerrant,” or “infallible.” They, as the AV translators, did not claim to be “inspired” when they wrote, even if they were. (Ruckman, Peter. Bible Believer’s Bulletin May 1995, p. 2)

Where in any Bible in the world did you ever find that God inspired the original manuscripts? Isn’t that something? That heresy has been taught by these people for 20-100 years.” [then offered $20,000 for any Bible that included a statement along those lines] (Ruckman, Peter. Alexandrian Cult Correspondence Vol. 3, tape 3. About 1/10 into Side B)

As a matter of fact, Waite has inserted the word “verbal” before “inspiration,” because that’s his position on the “originals” and that position is anti-Scriptural. No Scriptures say anything was “verbally inspired,”—including the originals. (“Donald Waite—still on the Fence.” Bible Believer’s Bulletin Oct. 1998 p. 9)

Herb Evans noted that no one would know an “original autograph” if he had it, so there wouldn’t be any point in ascribing some magical power to it. It might not be an “original” at all, and you couldn’t tell if it was or it wasn’t. He also noted that no “scripture” could be “given by inspiration of God” if it were not “PROFITABLE” (2 Tim. 3:16). (Ruckman, Peter. Bible Believer’s Bulletin reprint vol. 3 (Doctrinal Studies), 2000, Pensacola: Bible Baptist Bookstore, p. 187)

…the absolute, infallible inerrancy of the plenary inspired “ORIGINAL autographs”…So does every cloned Christian robot who was cloned by the same Christian jackass. (Ruckman, Peter. General Epistles Commentary Vol. 2. Pensacola: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 2004, p. 88)

Note again: mass defection in favor of Satan on the part of those who stand by “the verbal, plenary inspiration of the inspired original autographs.” (Ruckman, Peter. The Book of Psalms Volume 2. Pensacola: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 2002 reprint, p. 927)

Such terms as “plenary” and “inerrancy” and the like are manufactured terms, and they were invented by the Cult for the explicit purpose of turning your eyes away from the Biblical words and forcing you to accept a scholar’s terminology not found in the Bible. (Ruckman, Peter. Twenty-Two Years of the Bible Believers’ Bulletin. Vol. 3, Doctrinal Studies. 2000, p. 151)

Nowhere in the Bible are such things as “original autographs” ever mentioned. (22 Years of the Bible Believer’s Bulletin Vol. 2 Corrupt Bible Versions, p. 20)

What is this supposed to mean? Are we supposed to conclude that the original manuscripts are unimportant, or that this diminishes their authority, or that nothing we say about the original manuscripts could ever be biblical? Ruckman needs to be reminded that the King James Version is never mentioned either.

He did not give one verse in any Bible translation to prove “only the original writings were inspired.” He just invented that trash (Bible Believers’ Bulletin Mar. 2007 p. 7)

Ruckman is the one teaching the originals are not the only writings inspired/given by inspiration, therefore the burden is on him to prove it from Scripture, rather than demanding we prove him wrong from Scripture. The burden of proof truly is on him.

The term “ORIGINAL autograph” is actually a camouflage for bushwhackers. That is why the Holy Spirit never uses the term. (Ruckman, Peter. Bible Believers’ Bulletin reprint vol. 3 (Doctrinal Studies), 2000, Pensacola: Bible Baptist Bookstore, p. 153)

Nor does the Holy Spirit use the term “Authorized Version” in the Scriptures. It is simply a term to describe a Biblical concept. What Ruckman is saying is as absurd as declaring that the rapture or the trinity should be questioned because the terms are not found in the KJV.

Ruckman is being fallacious by demanding that the Bible use exact terminology he hand-picked in order to be able to state authoritatively that the originals were inspired or inerrant. He of course does not allow 2 Timothy 3:16 “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God…” to count for the originals because he changed his views on that passage in 1974 in order to rule out the originals. See Ruckman’s self-serving interpretation for 2 Timothy 3:16 for further details.

Associating the originals with apostasy

4. To say that the AV was not equal to the originals in view of what God did with the originals and what He did with the AV, is PREPOSTEROUS…The originals are followed by APOSTASY (100-325 A.D.) (Ruckman, Peter. “Absolute Authority Abandoned.” Bible Believers’ Bulletin May 1979 p. 5)

There is such a thing in history as “cause and effect” that can sometimes be proven conclusively, but Ruckman has not presented any facts to document that the originals were the root cause of any harmful effect. That he would even insinuate such should be an offense to any child of God.

Believing in something that doesn’t exist

… the “Scriptures” don’t exist if you believe in only the “verbal, plenary inspiration of the original autographs.” (Ruckman, Peter. The Scholarship only Controversy, p. 313)

Believing in the verbally, plenary inspired original autographs can be the standard position for any cowardly hypocrite to take in this age. (Ruckman, Peter. About the NKJV, p. 20)

… “historic fundamental garbage stands” on the “verbal plenary inspiration” of nonexistent blanks. (22 Years of the Bible Believer’s Bulletin Vol. 1 “The AV Holy Bible” p. 88)

Superstitious creeds about “verbal, plenary, inspired autographs”
Ruckman, Peter. Pastoral Epistles: The Bible Believer’s Commentary Series. Pensacola, FL: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1989, p. 313

All apostate fundamentalists are very anxious to let you know that they believe in the full, plenary, verbal inspiration of something they don’t have and have never seen.
(Ruckman, Peter. Theological Studies, Vol. 17, p. 6)

No one can check them [the originals]. They can’t even check them themselves. (Ruckman, Peter. Twenty-Two Years of the Bible Believers’ Bulletin Vol. 8 Essays on Bible Topics. 2010, p. 77)

…defending a pile of lost papers nobody could check to see if they were “inerrant” or not. (Ruckman, Peter. The Christian Liar’s Library. 1997, p. 183)

Well, if it was reported in Hebrew in ANY “original” it couldn’t have been “inerrant” and “infallible” because the idioms don’t match. (Ruckman, Peter. Twenty-Two Years of the Bible Believers’ Bulletin Vol. 8 Essays on Bible Topics. 2010, p. 77)

Preservation through manuscripts, quotes of church fathers, and ancient translations bear witness to the originals. There is an element of truth within Ruckman’s reference to the original manuscripts as “unseen, unread, unpreached, unhandled, untaught” because they did not survive in a physical form. However, because of preservation, the truths and even the very Greek and Hebrew words (although not all in one particular singular document) of the originals are seen, read, preached, handled and taught! These words are available to translate into all languages of the world. So his mockery of the originals is wrong.

The original manuscript the KJV translators submitted to the printers in 1611 is believed to have been lost, so on a similar technicality it is something Ruckman doesn’t have nor ever seen.

The deception accusation for what is not true deception

Ruckman frequently accuses others of being deceptive about the originals. Notice this example, stemming from someone Ruckman disagreed with for simply having used the phrase “on the basis of God’s truth”:

… has no “verbally inspired, original autographs.” Alexandrians imply they have them (see pp. 156, 222), and pretend they have them (pp. 67-69, 88) but they don’t, and they know they don’t. That is why he said what he said [“on the basis of God’s truth”]. To get rid of absolute truth and final authority, he deliberately misled you and misinformed you by creating a non-existent “final authority” which no man on this earth could refer to to test anything by. (Ruckman, Peter. The Scholarship Only Controversy. Pp. 311-312)

The Post-Reformation Digital Library contains many theological writings from hundreds of years ago in which past writers —many sound in doctrine— refer to the originals in the same or very similar terminology that Ruckman considers deceptive.

Incorrect assumptions

It was Charles Hodge who invented the “original autograph” nonsense… (Ruckman, Peter. The Book of John. Pensacola, FL: BB Bookstore, 2005, p. 175)

Again, a perusal of old theological volumes proves Ruckman wrong.  The exact phrase “original autograph” may not have been a common term to refer to the originals hundreds of years ago, but many equivalent terms (such as “divine original”) can easily be found such as the following from 1678:

In the first rank of those we must place its divine original, which stamps it with an uncontrollable authority; and is an infallible security that the matter of it is perfectly true: (Richard Allestree. The Lively Oracles given to us, 1678, p. 147)

Another incorrect assumption:

No Modernist wastes five minutes criticizing “ORIGINALS.” (Ruckman, Peter. Twenty-Two Years of the Bible Believers’ Bulletin Vol. 8 Essays on Bible Topics. 2010, p. 80)

They absolutely do! Ruckman could not be more wrong here! Modernists strike at the very foundation of Scriptures, knowing if they can erode confidence in the original manuscripts, the foundation upon which subsequent manuscripts and translations stem from would collapse along with it in a domino effect. The following is a quote from Bart Ehrman, an agnostic. Notice the similarity to Ruckman’s arguments:

What good is it to say that the autographs (i.e., the originals) were inspired? We don’t have the originals! We have only error-ridden copies, and the vast majority of these are centuries removed from the originals and different from them, evidently, in thousands of ways. (Ehrman, Bart. The Reliability of the New Testament. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2011, p. 86)

Fallacious methods of reasoning

Question: Did every writer in the New Testament know that he was writing “perfect” originals when he wrote them? Chapter and verse?  Did any writer of the New Testament know that what he was writing was ‘inerrant” and “infallible” down to the letters? Chapter and verse?  No, they didn’t any more know it than the King James translators would have known it if they had been doing the same thing. This continual whining and muttering and complaining about “the King James translators didn’t profess to be inspired” doesn’t mean anything at all.  (Bible Believer’s Bulletin Oct. 2010, p. 1)

Some biblical writers described the process, in statements such as “And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.” (Jer. 1:9) This is very different from the description provided by the KJV translators in The Translators to the Readers.

When Moses recorded his Egyptian conversations with Pharaoh in Hebrew (Exod. 5-11), wasn’t he bright enough to know that word-for-word translation of the “originals given by plenary inspiration” was impossible? Why, the idioms in the two languages don’t match! That being the case, then his “original” could not have been a faithful representation of “the original.” (Bible Believer’s Bulletin. Oct. 2010, p. 7)

Ruckman likes to bring this up because of those who point out that it is impossible for the KJV to be inspired (because it is not possible to translate all idioms word-for-word ensuring they match from one language to another). Ruckman tries to say in certain words that this would invalidate the inspiration of the originals. However, there is a crucial difference between how the original manuscripts were given by inspiration and the translation work of the KJV. The difference is that the writers of the original manuscripts were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 3:9) and their writings and any included internal translations were divinely inspired (breathed out) (2 Tim. 3:16). The evidence this did not take place in 1611 is that the KJV translators had to deliberate and vote on decisions and some of their differences or alternative translations were placed in the margins.

Less fruit with the originals

He chose to bless a translation more than the “originals”! (22 Years of the Bible Believer’s Bulletin Vol. 1 “The AV Holy Bible” p. 85)

The AV has led more than 10 times as many sinners to Christ as ALL “original autographs” and all original “verbally, plenary inspired” manuscripts combined… (Bible Believer’s Bulletin July 1985, p. 2)

Only one set of original manuscripts in the original languages existed (not bound in one volume and not all portions existing simultaneously as already mentioned), for an unknown but likely short period of time, and it is impossible to know how many sinners came to Christ under their direct ministry. On the other hand, likewise only one set of manuscripts would have been submitted to the printers by the KJV translators in 1611. These KJV manuscripts were possibly disposed of when it was felt they were no longer needed, or they may have been destroyed during the Great Fire of London (1666). It is very unlikely that the KJV handwritten originals themselves were ever used in any evangelistic endeavors, as they were surely kept in a secure location accessible to only a few. For Ruckman to even begin to come up with imaginary numbers of souls saved under the KJV that leaves the originals in the dust, he would have to be counting the millions of copies that have been made of the KJV on commercial printing presses over hundreds of years, and totally disregarding copies of manuscripts in Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic that were made stemming from the originals themselves. The greatest foolishness in all of this is that the KJV would have never existed if it had not been for the original manuscripts in Greek and Hebrew!

In the first place, it is utterly impossible to know how many souls were saved through either the originals or the printings of the KJV. Where does Ruckman obtain his statistics to determine that the KJV won ten times as many souls to Christ as the originals? It could only be from an imagination that is out of control. If he does not know how many were saved through the ministering of the original autographs during the time of their existence, how could he even say that the KJV led more than 10 times as many? Why not 100 times as many, or 1,000 times as many if he is going to make up numbers? Some people also get saved through modern translations. Perhaps some of those translations won more people than the originals. Are these modern translations he bitterly denounces superior to the originals using his logic? The originals likely had a short life due to persecutions, heavy use, or natural disasters. But they served their purpose and copies were made before they perished, whereby we see preservation at work.

Ruckman does not seem to realize that those who for various reasons have a contemptuous attitude regarding the original manuscripts (due to humanism, agnosticism, modernism, etc.), would not be conducive to believing the vital salvation truths from any translation, let alone ever believing that a 17th century English translation could be inerrant and inspired, as he would like. The proper views regarding the original manuscripts of the Bible are necessary for anyone to be reached by the truths of the Bibles message. Except perhaps in the mind of some hardened Ruckmanites, it is not logical for someone to have a contemptuous attitude regarding the original manuscripts and yet have an open heart to recognize his lost sinful condition through the truths found in a translation that owes its existence to those very manuscripts! Although Ruckmanites are quick to point to numbers of conversions and preachers trained among themselves, for reasons such as what we have just pointed out many who see the great harm in Ruckmanism believe that Ruckman has likely done more harm than good for the cause of Christ.

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