Peter Ruckman - Dangerous Deceiver and False Prophet - Part 1
Peter Ruckman - Dangerous Deceiver
"That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:" (Ephesians 4:14)
It's been nearly 35 years ago that I entered the ministry. I was wet behind the ears and didn't know very much. Some things never change, I guess. One of the names I first heard in relation to corrupt Bible teaching was that of Peter Ruckman. I still hear of him by many today. As a matter of fact, there is a church nearby that preaches the heresy of Peter Ruckman. So I write this for anyone who will listen.
This article will no doubt be misunderstood by many. I'll be accused of being judgmental, of being narrow-minded, of being critical. In the end, the only One I will answer to is God Himself.
Part of what I do as a preacher is to expose error. In the above verse, Ephesians tells us, not to be carried away with just any, old teaching, but to focus on the truth because there are those out there that would lead us astray, to deceive us. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, Peter S. Ruckman is one of them. We are, however, to speak the truth in love. My prayer is that God will find no malice in my heart toward the man, but I must speak the truth and reveal his great errors.
Just some keywords to think about in relation to the above verses - sleight comes from the Greek word κυβεία (kubeia) and means fraud. The word πανουργία (panourgia) is translated as craftiness in English and pictures trickery. The Greek term, lie in wait to deceive, paints a picture of someone traveling about with the sole intention to deceive. What the verse is telling us is that there are people out there intentionally trying to mislead us away from the truth, but the truth must be spoken, yet spoken in love. That is what I will attempt to do in this short series.
Peter Ruckman - Chalk Artistry
Peter Ruckman: The Man
Peter Ruckman was born on November 19, 1921, and left this earthly sphere on April 21, 2016. He was a native of Wilmington, Delaware and was raised in Topeka, Kansas where he attended Kansas State University. Later he earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Alabama.
He entered the U.S. Army in 1944 and served in Japan where he studied Zen Buddhism and discovered the teaching of Samadhi, the dislocation of the spirit from the body. He returned to the United States in a state of demonic obsession.
In 1949, he supposedly converted to Christianity. He claimed to be an independent Baptist pastor, but under close scrutiny, it is clear that was not the case. He attended a reputable Bible Training School in South Carolina. Shortly after this, Ruckman pastored the Bible Believer's Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida.
The Necessity of Accuracy
Peter Ruckman had fallen into the trap of believing he knew more about the Bible than God did. He popularized the theory that the King James Bible was a form of new revelation - better than the Bible God spoke in Greek and Hebrew, The King James Bible is full of truth. As a matter of fact, it is the only translation I use for many reasons. I've discussed those reasons in my article series, Things that Are Different Are N.not the Same ( https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Things-That-Are-Different-Are-Not-the-Same). I
In those articles, I shared only verifiable facts. In this article, I will quote Peter Ruckman using his own words. I know that many admire the man, but many don't realize how devilish his teaching is. He has gone, but his heretical teachings remain. It is important to be clear on these issues because they ultimately affect the serious teaching of Jesus Christ and His word.
Jesus Christ paid a tremendous debt for your and my sin. To belittle that in any way cheapens the heavenly sacrifice. Peter Ruckman, over and over again, cheapens the sacrifice. In his arrogant mind, he corrects the clear teaching of Scripture to suit his own purpose and in the process has built up a cult-like following,
The Error of Ruckman's Advanced Revelation
The King James Bible is Advanced Revelation
Before continuing, I must lay out a presupposition. God is the author of the Bible. Scripture proclaims it to be so many times. You say, how do I know? I have addressed this topic in the past and no doubt will again in the future, but for now, this must become our starting point.
Since God is the author, who of man can claim to know better. God is sovereign. God is omniscient. God is omnipotent. So who is Peter Ruckman to shake his puny fist in the face of God? Let him speak his own fallacious words.
- “The A.V. 1611 reading, here, is superior to any Greek text” (Peter Ruckman, The Christian’s Handbook of Manuscript Evidence, Pensacola Bible Press, 1970, p. 118).
The A.V. 1611 is another name for the King James Bible. The New Testament was originally written in Greek. What Ruckman suggests here is that there were errors in God's original message. Other statements will bear this out.
- “Mistakes in the A.V. 1611 are advanced revelation!” (Ruckman, Manuscript Evidence, p. 126).
What Ruckman proposes here is that the KJB adds information to what God did not say in the original writings.Revelation 22:18, 19 gives a solemn warning to those who would claim to add or take away from the Word of God.
- “A short handbook, such as this, will not permit an exhaustive account of the marvelous undesigned ‘coincidences’ which have slipped through the A.V. 1611 committees, unawares to them, and which give advanced light, and advanced revelation beyond the investigation of the greatest Bible students 300 year later” (Ruckman, Manuscript Evidence, p. 127).
One of the signs of a cult leader is that he believes he has been given special knowledge. He has been entrusted with information that no one else has. Notice how Ruckman places himself above "the investigation of the greatest Bible students" over a 300 year period. There is no such thing as advanced light. God gave us all the Light we need with the completion of the book of Revelation 2,000 years ago. Ruckman brings out the same, proud point in the next statement concerning one of his books.
- “If you are able to obtain a copy [of Ruckman’s proposed new book] you will have, in your hands, a minimum of 200 advanced revelations that came from the inerrant English text, that were completely overlooked (or ignored) by every major Christian scholar since 90 A.D.” (Bible Believers’ Bulletin, Jan. 1994, pp. 2, 4).
- “If all you have is the ‘original Greek,’ you lose light” (Ruckman, Manuscript Evidence, p. 336)
So I'm to believe that when God delivered the Scriptures in Greek that he cheated us out of a full understanding. He kept light from us, but now because His Word has been translated into English we have the full picture - I don't think so. God's Word has always been complete. To make a long story short, according to Ruckman, we did not have a completed copy of the Bible until 1611. - That simply isn't true.
- If the mood or tense isn’t right in any Greek text, the King James Bible will straighten it out in a hurry” (Ruckman, Problem Texts, pp. 348, 349).
Again, we see Ruckman's belief that God gave us an inferior Bible, and the translators of 1611 did it right. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. I do agree that the 1611 translation of the original Greek and Hebrew is without error. I do believe it is God's Word for the English speaking people, but it is not an improvement, nor did God withhold information from us until 1611.
In the words of David Cloud, "If Ruckman is right, where was the inspired Word of God prior to 1611? What did the churches do from the time of the apostles until the 17th century? And what did they do before Ruckman came upon the scene to create this doctrine, because it is certain that no one taught it at an earlier date?"
II Timothy 3:16 tells us in part, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God. . ." The Greek word translated as inspiration has to do with the idea that God breathed out. Just as when I talk, my spoken words are breathed out. God breathed out His words to the human authors who penned the Scriptures in Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek.
Those original languages were translated into the languages we speak today. He most certainly has preserved his spoken word in the English language as translated in the 1611 King James Bible, but He did not add to His word as Ruckman supposes. It is a serious error to suppose God said something that He didn't say. He has ignored the warning of Revelation 22:18, 19. His teaching is erroneous, thus making him a false teacher.
II Timothy 4:3, 4 gives us this warning - "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."
We must listen only to the voice of God. If a man is to influence us, we must be careful that that man is influenced by God alone.
We'll continue to look at the false teaching of this man next time in part 2.
© 2017 William Kovacic