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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Evening, February 4, 2001

"The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it" (Psalm 68:11).

Ruckmanism is the false teaching that the King James translation is absolutely inerrant, and is superior to any Hebrew or Greek text. It is the teaching that the King James Version is perfect and that there is no value in examining the Hebrew and Greek text from which it was translated.

In my opinion, the term "King James Only" is a misleading name for this movement. I myself am King James Only. I believe we should preach only from the KJV because it is the best translation, based on the best Hebrew and Greek manuscripts.

Ruckmanites often say that the common man can’t read Hebrew or Greek, so there is no value in referring to these languages in which the Bible was originally written. I have often answered them by saying that Strong’s Concordance gives all the Greek and Hebrew words, and that a nine-year-old child can be taught to use Strong’s Concordance in about 20 minutes. No Ruckmanite has ever been able to refute my statement.

Furthermore, for twelve years I have offered $1,000 to anyone who can give a well-documented quote from any leading preacher or scholar who believed that the KJV was inspired and inerrant before 1950. Some have tried to claim that money, but they have all done so on the basis of quotes like "I believe the Bible." Of course, when read in context, none of these quotes prove that any of the preachers or scholars believed the doctrines of Ruckmanism. Spurgeon did not believe that the KJV was inspired and inerrant. Moody did not believe it. Torrey did not believe it. Frank Norris did not believe it. John R. Rice did not believe it. Bob Jones, Sr. did not believe it. Nor did any other fundamentalist leader of the past believe it.

I have written a book titled Ruckmanism Exposed. It has sold over ten thousand copies in the last twelve years. We continue to sell this book on a weekly basis. One well-known Bible college uses my book each semester to teach that the KJV is the best translation, but that we should refer to the Hebrew and Greek text to clarify the meaning of words. My book exposes the false teaching put out by Peter S. Ruckman, Jack Chick, and other Ruckmanites.

Now there is a clear verse in the Bible that refutes the position of Ruckmanism. It is Psalm 68:11, which says:

"The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published (i.e. proclaimed) it" (Psalm 68:11).

I will deal with this verse under three headings:

1.  What God "gave" us in the Bible.

2.  How the Bible was "published" in many languages.

3.  Why the Hebrew and Greek must be appealed to.

I. What God "gave" us in the Bible.

In II Timothy 3:16 we read,

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."

Dr. J. Vernon McGee gives the correct meaning of this verse:

When Paul says, "all Scripture," he means all of it, from Genesis to Revelation…Through these men (the writers of the Bible) God has given us His Word. He has nothing more to say to us today. (J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible, Volume V, p. 473).

This describes the plenary verbal inspiration of the Bible. "Plenary" means that all of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is from God. "Verbal" means that the very words (in Hebrew and Greek) are from God. "Inspiration" means "God-breathed." The very Hebrew and Greek words were given to the writers.

Now turn to II Peter 1:19-21,

"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation (i.e. not isolated from all that the Word has given elsewhere, Scofield). For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (II Peter 1:19-21).

Dr. McGee gives these comments:

These men who were set apart for the writing of the Scriptures were moved along by the Spirit of God…Peter is saying that the writers of Scripture were moved along by the Holy Spirit…The written Word, like the Lord Jesus, the living Word, is both human and divine…For this reason I call it a man-book and a God-book…(Jesus) was a man, but He was God also. And the Bible is both human and divine. (J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible, Volume V, p. 729).

So, the Holy Spirit "moved" or "carried" the minds of the writers to put down in Hebrew and Greek the exact words God wanted them to write. The Greek and Hebrew Bible was given through the prophets and apostles. They made no mistakes as the Holy Spirit moved their minds to write down the exact Hebrew and Greek words which God inspired.

III. This brings me to my third and final point: Why the Hebrew and Greek must be appealed to.

These languages must be referred to because they are the languages God used when He "gave the word" in the first place (Psalm 68:11).

Why fuss about this? Because it is important – that’s why! Our faith rests upon the Word of God. If we have a wrong view of God’s Word, all else will go wrong sooner or later. In Deuteronomy we read:

"Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it…" (Deuteronomy 4:2).

True liberals "diminish" the Word of God. They attack it and say it is full of myths. I heard them downgrade the Bible year after year in the liberal Southern Baptist and United Presbyterian seminaries I attended as a young man. They were wrong to "diminish" the Word of God.

But Ruckmanism commits the opposite error. It adds to the Word of God, breaking the commandment, "Ye shall not add unto the word" in the above verse. They say that the English KJV "corrects" the Greek and Hebrew. They even say that the italics in the KJV, put in by the translators for clarification, are inspired, inerrant and preserved! This is clearly adding to the Word of God, and it clearly violates the commandment of Deuteronomy 4:2.

There is a warning to those who break this commandment of God. It is given in Revelation 22:18,

"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book" (Revelation 22:18).

I am not suggesting any strange or fanciful interpretation of prophecy when I say that hardcore Ruckmanites, who understand the issues and yet persist in their demonic, divisive heresy, are often unconverted men. Those who cling to their heresy, and speak evil of Spurgeon, Torrey and Norris for referring to the Greek and Hebrew, are not good Christians. Their hardness, stubbornness and divisiveness makes them true heretics. And the Bible says:

"A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject" (Titus 3:10).

They should be rejected from our pulpits and from our churches. They will be rejected at the Rapture, and left to experience the horrors of the Tribulation, if they are unconverted men (Revelation 22:18).

Does this seem harsh? It is no harsher than God Himself, who tells us to reject the "heretick" (Titus 3:10). The Greek word here is "hairetikos." It means "a schismatic" (Strong’s Concordance). No one is more divisive (i.e. schismatic) than those who hold the doctrines of Ruckmanism. God Himself tells us to reject the schismatic, the "heretick."

And God will reject you, too, my friend, if you do not humble yourself and come to Jesus. You may not hold the doctrines of Ruckmanism, but if you neglect the warnings of the Bible, you too will be lost throughout eternity. Jesus said:

"Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:3).

May God have mercy on us. Many in our churches are unconverted, including preachers. No wonder they follow cunningly devised fables.

"And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (II Timothy 4:4).

Oh, turn to Christ fully! Repent of your heresy and hardness! Throw yourself on the Son of God. He died for you, to pay for your sins on the Cross. He rose physically from the dead and is now seated at the right hand of God in Heaven. Believe on Jesus and He will save you yet!

Come, ye sinners, poor and wretched,
   Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you,
   Full of pity, joined with power:
He is able, He is able, He is willing,
   Doubt no more.
      ("Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Wretched" by Joseph Hart, 1712-1768).

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Scripture Read Before Sermon: II Timothy 3:16; Deuteronomy 4:2; Revelation 22:18-19.
Solo by Benjamin Kincaid Griffith: "I Know the Bible is True"
by B. B. McKinney (1886-1952)



by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

"The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it" (Psalm 68:11).

I.  What God "gave" us in the Bible, II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:19-21.

2.  How the Bible was "published" in many languages, Acts 2:11.

3.  Why the Hebrew and Greek must be appealed to, Deuteronomy 4:2;
Revelation 22:18; Titus 3:10; Matthew 18:3; II Timothy 4:4.