Many descriptions online of Ruckmanism and Ruckmanites are strawmen. In fact, they stem from what is pretty much an overtly simplified misconception of a single belief or two: the belief in double inspiration (which isn't a term we coined) and advanced revelation of the King James.
Ruckmanites are a varied bunch, despite our detractors. We are not a monolith. In fact, we fight over which things Ruckman actually got right and what he got wrong, because we do not think he was right in everything. We are Ruckmanites because we follow one book, the King James Bible. You cannot reduce Ruckmanism to a single catchphrase of "double inspiration". But here are common questions about us and what we believe.
Do Ruckmanites really believe in double inspiration?
Yes. With caveats.
It is a misconception and misunderstanding that Ruckmanites believe that only the KJV is inspired, or that only the originals and then the KJV was inspired. Ruckmanites hold a wide range of beliefs, because the only standard is the King James, and of course, there are many interpretations.
Some of us believe that inspiration was passed down in preservation and stopped in the KJV, and does not pass on the modern versions. This is the traditional view.
Some of us prefer the term "continual inspiration" instead in order to describe our belief. (Jesse Kragiel)
However, the more learned of us also often define inspiration significantly differently than what most people believe inspiration to be or look like.
If Ruckmanites believe in double inspiration, does that mean Ruckmanites don't believe in preservation?
We believe in preservation. Just because we believe the English is superior does not mean we don't believe in preservation. That's a negative inference fallacy.
The words had to be preserved to get to the KJV translators' hands.
This is more reliant on one's definition of inspiration. Because we believe that inspiration causes preservation, and preservation preserves inspiration.
If Ruckmanites believe in double inspiration, does that mean Ruckmanites don't believe in inerrant copies and translations?
Patently false. The above should answer that as well. But yes, we believe that copies can be inerrant and translations as well.
So if you believe in preservation, and inerrancy of copies, why do you believe the King James is superior to the originals?
Simple. We can read it. You can't read the originals. They don't exist. You can't read the original languages, they are dead languages.
Because we don't believe in a deistic God, but a very active one, God is also actively bringing us the Bible today. Our God is the God of the living, not the dead.
In essence, as Ruckman said, paraphrased, "The force of the Greek! The force of the Greek! Have you stopped to consider if God wanted you to have the full force of the ENGLISH?"
There is more to it than that. The King James is also self-authenticating. But that is beyond the scope of this post.
And there's the fact that translations are supposed to be better than the originals. We cover that under the "advanced revelation" question.
Okay, so what is inspiration to a Ruckmanite?
There are often two passages used for inspiration, 2 Peter 1:21 and 2 Timothy 3:16.
2 Peter 1:21
"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."
2 Timothy 3:16
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"
Some Ruckmanites would not disagree. But many would. Why?
2 Timothy 3:15
"And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."
Hebrew texts were stored in the Temple. Common Jews had access to Aramaic translation according to the Talmud, and some had Greek Septuagints. So what Timothy had were most likely translations! But it was for sure he didn't have the original texts.
Notice the verb form for 3:16. It says it "is given", present tense. We compare other verses in order to see what that means.
"By the breath of God frost is given: and the breadth of the waters is straitened."
1 Corinthians 11:15
“But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.”
Long hair and frost are never given just once. They are given continually.
Let's look at Job 32:8:
“But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.”
This is Elihu talking. Elihu will become the author of the book. But he hasn't written anything yet.
If one recalls, Job is the first book of the Bible chronologically written, or in other words, it was written first. So there was no scripture at hand.
So inspiration was already happening before the Bible was even written.
And we see how inspiration is defined in the verse, it is Almighty God giving understanding. It is not a revelation, which are dreams.
Gail Riplinger according to her historical studies of the King James translators and the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) says that the translators believed "inspiration" to be "divine influence", hence why they translated Job 32:8 as "inspiration". It is implied they did not insert any inspiration related terminology in 2 Peter 1:21, instead of opting for Spirit, they deliberately put Ghost. And of course, the very word "inspiration" does not appear anywhere near the passage.
So it is simple. We believe that the King James translators were given understanding from God in order to translate the text. It is not a new revelation, which are dreams and visions, as defined by the Bible.
But to some of us, we believe that every point of inspiration need inspiration, not only major translations. The copyists needed inspiration, they need understanding in order to know which words to copy. The printers need inspiration, they needed understanding in order to know which words to print. Inspiration is preservation. Or rather inspiration causes preservation. And in turn preservation preserves inspiration, because understanding of the Almighty is found in the Bible.
So what about advanced revelations in the King James?
Because we have an active God today, God revealed things in the King James text not present or hidden in the original languages.
However, it isn't necessarily advanced revelation, but what translation does.
Remember that revelation in the Bible is a dream or vision. The King James translators, as far as we know, did not get those.
The Bible is like a sword. The more precise it is, the sharper it is. Translation makes a word more precise, it turns the vague Hebrew or vague Greek into a more defined, precise word in many cases. (Though it also generalizes some words). Iron sharpeneth iron.
People say these are things lost in translation. Yes, correct, the unneeded things.
A translation correctly done in the Bible is superior to the originals and is pleasing to God.
These are all mentions of the word "translate" in the Bible. Notice that each verse depicts the successor as better than the original.
2 Samuel 3:10
“To translate the kingdom from the house of Saul, and to set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even to Beersheba.”
"Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:"
"By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God."
The King James translators used this word deliberately. The word "translate" was already meaning to be language interpretation, yet they used that word in order to say the latter is better than the original.
An example of the things uncovered by translation is as follows:
Hebrew sheol meant "grave". Samuel rose from sheol when Saul contacted the witch of Endor.
Sheol was translated to Greek hades. Hades in Greek myth had a river of fire and a paradise called Elysium. This is an advanced revelation not present in Hebrew to the Greeks. Why? Because Jesus confirms there was a paradise or Abraham's bosom in hell.
Now, hades is translated into hell, which is derived from hel. Hel is the afterlife of the Norse. Norse afterlife is separated into many realms, and this reflects the division of realms in the Bible as a whole, there are three heavens (sky, space, abode of God) , and three hells (grave or Sheol, nether or Hades, pit or Tartarus).
The advanced revelation already was happening when it was translated in Greek. The same thing happens with English.
Are there any historic positions that support this? If so, what are they?
Ruckmanites believe a range from originals were inspired but inspiration was passed down all the way to King James to inspiration being given several times to inspiration being given to this very day.
But for the more typical Ruckmanite who believes what people think are closest to double inspiration,
The ancient Jewish position is that the original writings were inspired, Ezra's Aramaic translation was inspired (Sanhendrin 21b, Talmud), the Greek Septuagint was inspired.
So by believing the KJV is inspired is a spiritual successor of that ancient historic view.
We don't always believe only the originals and KJV are the only ones inspired. A lot of us believe that every accepted text is inspired. Such as the Old Latin Vulgate or the Vetus Latina, or Luther's German translation. The Hebrew Masoretic text and Greek Textus Receptus (though there's a catch with this one) were inspired as well.
Several reports of Ruckmanite sounding statements about the King James in particular before Ruckman in 1950s have been found as well. Geneha Kim has compiled history in his book Ruckmanism Ruckus. John Bunyan, the writer of the Pilgrim's Progress, talks about the English being the exact copy of the originals.
On the other hand, the "originals only view" is apparently only found since Griesbach in the 1800s and much more modern. Some trace it to a Catholic priest named Richard Simon (video)