NWT Translators, Inspiration of Scripture and Ruckmanism

by Stephanus 5 Replies latest jw friends

  • Stephanus

    From: http://cnview.com/on_line_resources/ruckmanism_or_wreckmanism.htm

    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 feel 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 next paragraph is interesting because it suggests the possibility of any cult leader pushing his own favourite Bible translation as "inspired":

    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.

    It's not a huge leap from the current Dub view that the NWT is the best available translation to one that was "re-inspired" by the Holy Spirit through the translation committee. Imagine the Dubs turning from defending their unique renderings of scripture in the NWT to saying that Jehovah "corrected" the original manuscripts as he moved on Franz, Gangas and the others via holy spirit!

    Any more observations on this comparison?

  • Stephanus

    No takers?

  • Brummie

    I'm just going to bed, but before I do, I'm too tired to read that whole thing but I will say Ruckman is one of my pet peeves! His fanatisicm on the KJonly is second to the JWs. They are blatant in changing Scripture to fit doctrine, Ruckman is blatant at defending mistakes in the KJ just because it suits his doctrine. His judgemental attitude to anyone who disagrees with him stinks, an on that charming note I bid thee farewell. Bed awaits.


  • AlanF

    Idiotic, judgmental, and thoroughly clueless people abound. Getting rid of them is like getting rid of the common cold.


  • heathen

    Bible translators always argue over definitions , there is nothing new about that . I think the king james version is a very crappy version of the holy scriptures . I don't like shakespearian english for starters . From what I understant the Wt was very much in favor of the king james version at one time but realized the obvious contredictions due to the tampering by translators. The WT does claim to use more cross referencing than any other publisher . They claim to have restored the name jehovah that was only left in 4 different places in the king james version and in the modern king james you might not even find it . It took me about a half hour to find the word jah when asked to one time . It seems even the name jehovah is too contreversial for most religionists .

  • rocketman

    I had never before thought of it the way you expressed it Stephanus, but yeah, I guess you could say that the NWT is sort of a "re-inspired" bible as claimed by jws in that they maintain it's the best out there at restoring God's word and name above the considerations and affectations of any 'religious traditions'.

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