The first common mistake – which I’ve dealt with several times – among MVO-ists (Multiple Version Only) is that all King James Version Only-ists are a). Ruckmanites B). Riplingerites and C). Michael/Debbie Pearl-ites
I suppose I need to explain this a little. One church I went to was quasi-Ruckmanite/Riplingerite/Pearlite. We left after a few months.
One good thing about Seminary is that you get every doctrine and belief you have challenged. And in defense, you have to turn to the Bible to ensure you understand what it is you believe. So, none of the doctrines of Ruckman, Riplinger or Pearl adhered to me.
Peter S. Ruckman runs the Bible Baptist Bookstore and Church. He is a prolific writer, dealing with such bizarre things as UFOs and other oddities. He is a champion of the King James only movement. Alas.
Because he delves into heresies, such as the Gap Theory (A belief in an old Earth, from a mythological gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2).
Another of his heresies is the Second Inspiration/Advanced Revelation theory. This states the translators of the King James Bible received advanced, additional Revelation which was written in English as the King James Bible. He goes so far as to state that the Biblical Canon was reopened and then closed again once and for all in 1611. He then boldly states that if you were saved reading any other Bible than the King James, you are not saved at all.
These are Heresy, with a capital Heresy.
Yes, the Bible is inspired, God Breathed. It is preserved, inspired, infallible, perfect.
But it is heresy to state that a second inspiration happened in 1611, or that advanced revelation was given after the sealing of the Biblical Canon in 1611.
Ruckman teaches that the English of the King James corrects the Greek and Hebrew. This is foolishness, heresy and false teaching. If the translators of the King James held to that theory, they’d never have translated the Bible for us!
Gail Riplinger is a prolific writer as well, but instead of writing hundreds of books, she concentrates her efforts into thousand-plus-page books.
She holds to all the same errors as Ruckman, but goes even farther into the Second Inspiration, teaching we should never own (let alone use) Concordances, or even copies of the Greek and Hebrew Manuscripts. According to both Riplinger and Ruckman, we should be interpreting the words of the King James Bible only by the words of the King James Bible. And when the tense or meaning of the English is unclear, we may use a Webster’s 1828 – but only that.
And a lot of Baptists agree with this! I’m astounded every time I hear it. The Greek language is incredibly precise and accurate. English is not. The Greek will tell you who, what, when, where – and the English can only hint at it.
While I agree we need to understand the meanings of the original English words that the Bible was translated into, we must not lose sight of the fact it was translated from Greek and Hebrew.
When we are unsure of the exact tense of a word, or whom it is referring to – we must turn to the original Greek to understand why the translators of the King James chose to write it that way. There is no heresy in this! Else, God would have caused the Romans to speak English, and the original Greek autographs and all the true copies made thereafter would have all been preserved in English.
The translators of the King James examined not only the English translations of Tyndale, Coverdale, the Great Bible, the Geneva Bible, Matthew’s Bible and the Bishop’s Bible – but also the Diodati and other translations made by the Waldenses, the Albigenses, and other ancient Baptists. They also examined Luthor’s German bible. They also read the Peshitta (an Aramaic translation of the New Testament), and the Old Latin.
However, the manuscripts they translated was the Textus Receptus, Stephanus’s 3rd Edition and the work by the Elziver brothers, where the 2400 manuscripts, lectionaries, Uncials, Papyri, and vellum were diligently compared.
If they saw fit to use the Greek, so may we. And indeed we should as the Lord chose to preserve those Greek manuscripts. The New Testament was written in that language (Matthew alone is said to have been written at first in Hebrew, and then Matthew re-wrote it in Greek. However, the Hebrew text was not preserved.)
The translators of the King James did an amazing job, creating a masterpiece of a translation – so good that despite the nebulousness of the English language, that translation shines forth, understandable, precise, readable, and deliberately translated with meter involved, to make memorizing easier. I would say that 99.99% of the King James is immediately understandable on first reading. And the remaining .01% vanishes upon re-reading the text a second time.
Incidentally, as the Holy Spirit is what makes the text alive in us, and enables us to understand the Bible… I wonder if one of the reason so many critics of the King James Bible complain about lack of understandability is… the fact that they’re not saved?
And so the insistence that Strong’s, Young’s and Cruden’s are all “Toxic”, as Riplinger triumphantly accuses… is simply nonsense. Yes, I’ve questioned a particular interpretation Mr. Strong gave a Hebrew word… but he was correct, for the most part. I’ve never seen a wrong translation of a Hebrew word in Strong’s – I’ve just felt he could have added one or two English words to help emphasize the inherent meaning of the word.
So, a great many KJV-O people reject Ruckman and Riplinger. I don’t have facts and figures on how many Baptists take which stance, but I’ve found that of the KJV-O websites I’ve been to, only about 5-10% seem to be Ruckman-Riplinger.
That means a vast majority of KJV-O Baptists are being called by an epithet that belongs to a relative minority of KJV-O!
And suddenly a pattern of either ignorance or dishonesty on the part of MVO’ists emerges. If 5-10% of KJV-O’ists are Ruckman/Riplinger, then they should be considered a minority. And the debates and accusations of people like James White, John Ankerberg, and Doug Kutilek should therefore reflect that.
Yet, for the most part, they insist on treating all KJV-O as if they are Ruckmanite. I’ve seen the “Bible For Today” website, the “Dean Burgon Society” website, and David Cloud’s “Way of Life” website – where all three websites (major champions of KJV-O) patiently explain they are not Riplingerite or Ruckmanite – and STILL Kutilek, Ankerberg and White insist on treating all KJV-O as if they are Ruckmanite/Riplingerite.
On to the Pearl’s. The problem is laziness on the part of many Independent Baptist pastors, or overwhelming busyness – I don’t know which. The intention is good – “We need a book discussing modesty and appropriate dress that we can teach from for our congregations.” Good. Write one. Or investigate the other options.
“Dressing for the Lord” by David Cloud is available, and affordable. Cloud prices his books too low, in my opinion. He offers very good material at a price that the average Baptist is willing to pay – which means he’s not reaping the proper harvest for his efforts. however, that is a choice he’s willing to make. Many other Baptist authors take excerpts from their sermons or Sunday School classes, compile it as a book with less than 5% new material, and charge $40. I cannot say if I agree with “Dressing for the Lord” or not – never having read it. I just point out there is a Fundamentalist alternative to Pearl’s writings.
Pearl could be described as a Fundamentalist Methodist, as his doctrines clearly involve Sinless Perfectionism and I believe also Armenianism (You can lose your salvation, a clear violation of the Scriptural assurance of Once Saved, Always Saved).
He and Debbie advocate the disciplining of children in an extreme form that can correctly be called Child Abuse. Indeed, they’re even famous for a case in which a child was beaten to death – and the defense involved the “No Greater Joy” materials produced by the Pearls.
I’m not going to address the odd and cultish principles advocated by the Pearl’s. I’ve attended a Church that advocated Pearl standards of dress for women, which included the odd notion of women wearing men’s shirts and long skirts, the idea being that the women look more like men in kilts than women. That gets a lot odder as you begin to think about the implications of that! And Pearl’s odd insistence that women refrain from friendships with other women is patently unScriptural. There’s more of mysogeny about Pearl than Scripture.
When I say I am a bible Believing, King James Only, separatist Independent Baptist – This description should not in any way bring to mind Riplinger, Ruckman, or Pearl. I reject all three.
There. You are now educated. Let’s drop the assumptions.