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Exposing the Ruckmanite Cult

Table of Contents

This particular sect of KJV only advocates was started by a guy named Dr. Peter Ruckman. A "Baptist" minister who claims the ONLY translation free from error is the King James version.. Now, I don't know too much about the guy, but I do know that Ruckman's followers are not your average, ordinary run of the mill Christians we are dealing with... These guys preach hellfire and damnation not only for ordinary sinners but other Christians who read NIV, NRSV, NASB, and any other version that ain't King James. In a word... these people are NUTS.


Can you spell "Cult"?

Read on:

"Ruckmanism is a little-known system of teaching that has been formulated by Dr. Peter S. Ruckman, head of the Pensacola Bible Institute in Pensacola, Florida. This teaching is basically Baptistic and dispensational, but with some radical twists that set it apart as an unorthodox position.

Born in Wilmington, Delaware and raised in Topeka, Kansas, Mr. Ruckman received his B.A. degree from the University of Alabama in 1944. His early religious connections were with the Episcopal and Roman Catholic Churches, the latter which he prepared to join in 1949.That year marked his conversion to Christ and he pursued Christian training at Bob Jones University. After completion of his studies there he accepted a pastorate of a Baptist Church in Pensacola. In 1959, he was divorced from his wife and subsequently married the wife of one of his students, a matter that has brought personal criticism from some Christian leaders.

It is Ruckman's unique position on the King James Version, however, that has brought him the greatest opposition. In the past decade the attention of conservative writers has been centered upon what group of Greek manuscripts of the New Testament most accurately represents the original text. A number of Christian writers favor what is known as the Byzantine text type, the basic text used in the translation of the king James Version. For this reason they believe that the Authorized Version represents the best possible translation of the New Testament into English. English-speaking Christian, they claim, should use the King James Version exclusively because it alone gives us more accurately the Word of God in our English tongue. Ruckman agrees with this but goes even further. He regards the translators of the Authorized Version as having been "inspired" by the Holy Spirit in their translating work, therefore making their more accurate than any Greek text of the New Testament now in existence. Thus the K.J.V. becomes for Ruckman and his followers the only possible translation acceptable for use by God's people today.

The elevation of the King James Version to the level of an "inspired" and therefore "infallible" translation is a serious error, for it goes beyond what the facts themselves warrant and leads Ruckman to conclusions that ultimately damage the authority of God's original words written by his inspired Apostles. In the first place it means that Ruckman is forced to defend questionable and even erroneous translations made by the King James translators. One such questionable translation is the use of the term Easter in Acts 12:4. In his COMMENTARY ON THE BOOK OF ACTS, he acknowledges that the words "after Easter" in the A.V. are used to translate the Greek words "after the Passover." Since Easter is a term adopted several centuries ago by Christianity to refer to the time of Christ resurrection, it is not strictly accurate to designate the Passover as Easter. What especially bothers some Christians about the use of the term "Easter" for "Passover" is the fact that Easter was derived from the name of a pagan goddess "Eastre" whose festival was celebrated at the time of the vernal equinox - the same basic season as the Passover and the celebration of the resurrection. Therefore to use this term of pagan origin when the Greek text simply reads "Passover" leads many Christians to fell that the A.V. should be corrected at this point. However, Ruckman's position will not allow him to alter one single word in the Authorized Version. He therefore defends the King James use of "Easter" by insisting that the Holy Spirit personally directed and inspired the translators to use this term. He writes: "AFTER EASTER (vs.4). The Holy Spirit has thrust Himself into the A.V. committee of 1611 and said 'WRITE' ..." (pp 335f).

Ruckman goes even further, however, and defends the A.V.'s errors as additional revelation. In his book, THE CHRISTIAN'S HANDBOOK OF MANUSCRIPTS EVIDENCE (1970) he has a chapter entitled, "Correcting the Greek with the English". In it he actually defends the K.J.V. translation of "churches" in Acts 19:37 when every known Greek manuscript has the word "temples". He justifies this rendering with the startling assertion that "Mistakes in the A.V. 1611 are advanced revelation" (p 126). This makes the A.V. better than the original Greek upon which it is based. In his book PROBLEM TEXTS, he asserts that 'the K.J.V. English rendering is so perfect that Acts 2:38 was left in by God to mislead people.'

The major difficulty with such a position is that such a claim of infallibility could be made about any translation. Once a translation is viewed as superior to the text it translates, any mistakes in translation can be written off as further light revealed by God. On this basis no translation could ever be shown to be incorrect. Furthermore, the only evidence one would have that the translation was given directly by God would be the word of the one making such a claim. In that case the word of the religious leader making this assertion would become more authoritative that the Biblical text itself, since one would have his word that the translation was infallible. This is exactly what has happened in Ruckmanism, and Ruckman's followers cling to his every word with all the devotion of cultist to their cult leaders.

A number of Ruckman's teaching are nothing but a straining and twisting of Scripture. He holds that Judas Iscariot was not human because Jesus said of him "one of you is a devil." Did Jesus' characterizing of the Pharisees as "vipers" mean they were literally snakes and not humans? Ruckman thinks Judas was, is and will be the Antichrist, and as such he lacks a true human nature. Yet Paul speaks of this arch-enemy as the "man of sin" (2 Thes. 3:2). Ruckman also teaches that all who indulge in physical sexual union ('flesh joined to flesh' as he calls it) have been married, even though their marriage may not be recognized in the eyes of men. This is hardly a Biblical concept of marriage which involves a public contract or ceremony (Jn. 2:1-10) as well as physical union. He also maintains that the Septuagint translation which rendered the Hebrew Old Testament into Greek about 200 B.C. was not really produced until long after Christ had come. Such a position makes it difficult to account for how the Greek New Testament could quote from it when it had not as yet been produced. Ruckman has authored 11 books and a commentary series. These and his tapes are full of historical and Biblical errors, yet his followers relish every word he puts forth.

Ruckman resorts to vicious badgering and name calling for those who do not submit to his authority. In the book PROBLEM TEXTS he uses curse words and vile language to castigate all the major Bible schools and seminaries in America. All who do not agree with him are the "Alexandrian Cults," "Heretics," "Apostates," ect. In one of his books, he describes himself creeping into a church basement with blackened face, grenades in hand to blow apart the apostates. He is at times fanatical, rabid and incoherent. Because of the divisions and confusion he has produced, Ruckmanism could well be called "Wreckmanism". His "us against the (Christian) world" mentality produces fear and paranoia. When Ruckmanism gets a foothold in a church, one can be sure it will nearly always tear the church apart. It must accordingly be regarded as a serious error and a growing cult that has just enough truth to deceive, as it were, the very elect."





How cults operate and how you can recognize one

Generally speaking, any group can be a potential cult. Most of us, when thinking of cults, think of Moonies, Mormons, JW's, Branch Davidians, strange people dressing in strange clothes, believing in strange things that to the ordinary man would seem fantasy. Tragically sometimes these fantasies end in a person's death, as when cult members commit suicide believing aliens will resurrect them, for example. There is a litmus test, of course, for determining whether or not a group is really a cult.

1. Usually the delusion persists within the cult that the only safe place is within the cult and that everyplace else is spiritually dangerous. Ruckmanism takes this delusion to using the Bible. King James only!!! All other Scriptural translations will lead you to HELL.

2. Usually there is an apocalyptic vision of some kind involved, with the leader of the cult as a key figure. Does disagreement with the leader equal rejection of God? Does rejection of the leader or leaving the group result in shunning, loss of friendships within the cult, or condemnations of hellfire and brimstone? Dr. Ruckman has heaped exactly this type of opprobium on all who disagree -- Christians included! Oftentimes, his followers will employ the exact same tactics, as I will point out later on.

3. Most cults use subversive and deceptive tactics. They go to the strangest places to lure the unwary newcomer into their clutches. Often the poor victim doesn't realize the position they are in until its too late! Ruckmanism pretends to be the purest form of Christianity. Beware of ANY Christian group who makes such a claim!! The Ruckmanites I have dealt with have very scarcely acted all Christlike after I got done roasting them -- they mostly just wanted to burn my ass at the stake.

4. Most cults employ a particularly insidious form of entrapment called "love bombing". Suppose you live alone, or with parents, or with a spouse who doesn't appreciate you and kids that walk all over you. It's a lonely existance and a frustrating one. Then all of a sudden this new person enters your life in the form of a friend, or a lover, or a father figure or anyone else you could imagine. They write you sweet notes, they send you flowers, they offer you all kinds of spiritual advice, they want to be your friend, they care so much about you. They introduce you to a few of their friends. Everyone is like one big happy family. Very slowly, you regress to the dependency of being an infant... without realizing it. Congratulations, you're now a member of the cult! Ruckmanites will only give you this kind of flattering attention if you don't openly disagree with their teaching. Once you do, they highly resent you... and see my next point.

5. OSTRACISM, SHUNNING, CONDEMNATION, REJECTION, CONSIGNMENT TO HELLFIRE AND BRIMSTONE!!!! Basically the hapless victim is cut off from the only source of love and affection that has been allowed by the cult to remain in their lives -- the cult themselves, of course. Any arguments presented by outsiders is often met with the following: "You are the Antichrist" "Get thee behind me Satan" "You have rejected God" "You have a lot of growing to do", etc. Or the person may be publicly or privately censured, rebuked, penalized, or even made to leave the group "Well we just think it'd be good if you fellowshipped somewhere else". Of course, being that the person's state of mind is that the cult has become the crux of their entire life, such a rejection leaves the member extremely vulnerable and hurting. Case in point: I went up and down on the Bible Answers (VISIT THIS BOARD AND INTERACT WITH THESE FOLKS AT YOUR OWN RISK!!! You have received FAIR WARNING.) insulting Jesus and rejecting Christianity and no one really cared; but posted a few articles debunking KJB only and challenging Ruckman and his doctrines and it earned me an instant ban. When I challenged the board owner over the matter, he avoided me like the plague, preferring instead to send another of his fellow cult members to remonstrate with me. (Most power hungry cult leaders do not have a real backbone and thus will flee like scared rabbits or try to regain control through ostracism and other punitive measures.)

More important observations, from Ronald Loomis of the American Family Foundation:

And there are seven characteristics that we focus on. The first is charismatic leadership. The leaders of these groups always have been blessed with -- with charisma. Charisma obviously is not a bad thing. Charisma has been wonderful gift in -- in the minds and hands of some of the great leaders throughout history in government and religion and politics and even sports.

The problem is that these leaders and these destructive groups abuse the gift of charisma and use it in evil ways to get control of people's lives. The second characteristic is that all cults use deception. They lie. And I'm going to give you some examples of how they do that in a couple of minutes.

Third is all cults use mind control or psychological manipulation or coercive persuasion. There are a half dozen terms that we can use interchangeably that pretty much describe that same process, but mind control is the term that I would will use for the rest of the -- of my time.

The fourth is that all cults alienate their members from their families and the larger society. Fifth, cults view themselves as having -- the term we use to identify it is exclusivity. Religious cults will claim that they are the one true church of God and that only they have the answer in terms of religion and spirituality.

Other kinds of groups -- therapy groups or political groups will claim that they have the answer -- in the case of mass meditation or therapy groups, they will claim they have the answer for how human beings can develop the skills and talents that are within themselves and achieve unbelievable success. But only they have that answer -- nobody else, no other group or even religion has that.

The sixth characteristic is that cults exploit people. They exploit the members always emotionally and psychologically, frequently spiritually, obviously, in the case of the religious groups. Often sexually. Always financially. And all of that is for the benefit of the leaders, a very small number of people at the top.

And then the seventh characteristic is that cults have what we describe as a totalitarian world view. It's this notion that only they have the answers, only they have the right to achieve a great success or in the case of a religious group, Heaven. And everybody outside of this group is evil.

And in the case of religious groups, they might even identify everybody outside of the group as being satanic. And if you think I'm exaggerating, most of you are old enough to remember the standoff between the Branch Dividians and the ATF and the FBI.

Remember what you heard through the media that David Koresch was saying. At various times, he claimed to be God and then a few days later Jesus, but always was sending the message that everybody inside the compound was perfect and wonderful and that everybody outside the compound, including other Christians, was evil. That's what we mean by this totalitarian world group. (The entire text of the above can be accessed here.)

Finally, one brave girl sent me this note. I have kept her identity confidential, for obvious reasons.



The first time I ever heard of Ruckman was today, reading the tread. What I recognize is the the mentality. It was so like my childhood family cult. My childhood "church" contained only members of my family. My mother's father was the minister and my father was the associate minister. The only ones to attend was my mother's parents, their children and their children's children. If we had any "outsiders" show up, they were usually running for the hills before an hour was up. I stayed in this church until I was approximately 16, rebeled in my own way and went to another church(because I was wanting to flirt with another boy). This new chuch became an eye opener to me, but that is another story for another time.

I know the KJV extremism well. The literalistness of it and it being the only true word. Any other reading or version was of the devil. Any other church(save our own)was found by Satan. To touch another version of the bible was to sin. I was so young during the years, I can only give you peices. Much of it, I guess I have forced myself to forget. I can give you many examples of hate and idiotic sins, blacks were called niggers, hispanics were called wetbacks, divorced women &/or girls pregnant outside of wedlock were whores, Catholics were the logs of hell,(these words were used in sermons). Idiotic sins were girls bathing while on the menstral cycle(thank god, my mother hated this when she was a teen, it was never forced upon me), just being female, being baptized in a church or any other place besides a river(jesus was baptized in a river). I also remember having various aunts, (outside of the church of course), who were living in sin, being demonized. That is where, I recognized, the statement of those who had sexual relationships were, "married in the eye's of god."

This church taught me to hate, have a very narrow worldview of life, saw everything as evil. I suffered much mental and emotional anguish because of it. I have spent more than half my life out of this thought process now. I am sorry, I know I have not been much help. I guess I have chosen to forget much of it for my own mental well being. I just recognized the mentality of this Ruckman and those who followed him.

Kudos to this brave person for having the courage to write me. Her experience is worth a thousand, if it would save one person from the insidious cult of the Ruckmanites.

You may write to me at the address below. THIS SITE WAS NOT WRITTEN FROM A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE BUT ONE BASED IN LOGIC AND REASON. If it will save even one person, then I've done my job.

Hate Mail


Fran foo
To : icediamond@juno.com
Subject : Dr. Peter Ruckman
Date : Tue, 9 Nov 2004 15:47:22 -0800 (PST)

I have to disagree with your view on Dr. Ruckman. He doesn't teach that if you read another version of the bible that you will go to hell (if you're saved(eternal security)). As a matter of fact, the faculty encourages the student to get other versions so that they can read and find out for themselves just how corrupt those versions are. As for that and most everything on your web page (which I think totally stinks), I believe is based on your anger stemming from your GUILT (conviction) that has been laid upon your shoulders by the Holy Spirit (GOD). If there are some sins that you need to confess to Him, maybe you should do it now while you have time so that your appearance at the Judgement Seat Of Christ will go a little easier for you (if you're saved). If you want to know the truth about some of these issues, try praying to the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the way the TRUTH and the life...If he hasn't already given you over to a reprobate mind, He will show you the way.

PBI student
ISFTB@yahoo.com



To whom it may concern:

I had to give this poor schmoe a say. It wouldn't be fair for me to voice my opinions without giving the opposition equal air time. And now without further ado I will pick this letter apart piece by piece.

I have to disagree with your view on Dr. Ruckman.

That's your right, and it also states from the very outset that your email is just that -- an opinion....

He doesn't teach that if you read another version of the bible that you will go to hell (if you're saved(eternal security)).

Yeah. You neglected to read this part of the web page that goes:
"It is Ruckman's unique position on the King James Version, however, that has brought him the greatest opposition. In the past decade the attention of conservative writers has been centered upon what group of Greek manuscripts of the New Testament most accurately represents the original text. A number of Christian writers favor what is known as the Byzantine text type, the basic text used in the translation of the king James Version. For this reason they believe that the Authorized Version represents the best possible translation of the New Testament into English. English-speaking Christian, they claim, should use the King James Version exclusively because it alone gives us more accurately the Word of God in our English tongue. Ruckman agrees with this but goes even further. He regards the translators of the Authorized Version as having been "inspired" by the Holy Spirit in their translating work, therefore making their more accurate than any Greek text of the New Testament now in existence. Thus the K.J.V. becomes for Ruckman and his followers the only possible translation acceptable for use by God's people today. "
Is it not incumbent upon those with such a belief that usage of the "corrupt" Scriptural translations will lead one to hell because its "corrupted by men and less than perfect?" That seems to be the attitude of many of the Ruckmanites today. Prove me wrong???


As a matter of fact, the faculty encourages the student to get other versions so that they can read and find out for themselves just how corrupt those versions are. As for that and most everything on your web page (which I think totally stinks), I believe is based on your anger stemming from your GUILT (conviction) that has been laid upon your shoulders by the Holy Spirit (GOD).

Actually, the descriptions of the few run in's I've had with the cult have been based in objective FACT. I was on the Bible Answers board running at the mouth all kinds of bad things about Jesus Christ, which were summarily ignored/dismissed or brushed off with phrases like "I'll pray for you." However, once I began to question the integrity and the right of the good doctor to speak on spiritual matters at all... I was banned!!! Is the reputation of Dr. Peter Ruckman more sacred, and less deserving of blasphemous insults, than that of Jesus Christ? Is more staked on the repute of Dr. Ruckman than that of Christ? Is Ruckman above Jesus Christ in matters of spiritual truth and moral integrity? I believe not. Yet it seems from the manner in which I was banned for insulting Ruckman and yet tolerated despite my blaspheming Christ, would suggest that Ruckman's followers place his integrity over and above Jesus Christ. They profess Jesus as the standard but out of Ruckman's mouth flows the purest truth. This, my friend, is one of the key signals of a CULT (Can't Understand Logical Thinking.)

If there are some sins that you need to confess to Him, maybe you should do it now while you have time so that your appearance at the Judgement Seat Of Christ will go a little easier for you (if you're saved).

This is also one of the keystones of a fundamentalist cult. Anyone who disagrees with the cult's prescriptions, prohibitions, and key doctrines, is going to hell in a handbasket. Sins are brought up and if they are well enough known, thrown in the face, to tighten the noose of control over the hapless victim. And here is my response to this:
"My sins, my fundamentalist friend, are my own business only. I do not deny being a sinner, nor do I deny that my sins have brought grievous harm to innocent persons who have done absolutely nothing to deserve that harm. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Christ died for all. Forgiveness is always there for those who want it. And if you presume to set yourself above God, and judge me for sins I may or may not have committed in your sight -- oh well. There isn't a lot I can do about that except to say that if you think you are above God to pass judgment on me in this manner then you need professional help from a licensed therapist. In a nutshell; worry about your own backyard; take the logjam out of your eye before attempting to deal with the swingset in mine :)

If you want to know the truth about some of these issues, try praying to the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the way the TRUTH and the life...If he hasn't already given you over to a reprobate mind, He will show you the way.

This is interesting: what is a reprobate mind??? It is a mind that thinks for itself, in the fundy train of thought. Specifically, this writer is pissed off because I exposed Dr. Ruckman for the lunatic that he, and his writings and doctrines, for the bastard child of Baptist theology that it is. The way he is talking about is the "way of the cult" which in the cultist's mind is the only way to salvation. Jesus came to set people free, not enslave them. Take off the brain chains and get a clue...

The editor

Email: IceDiamond@juno.com