The Debate That Never Was — James White’s Challenge to Dr. Peter Ruckman to Debate

See also A Response to Dr. Ruckman

A few words concerning this file: For quite some time we offered scans of the correspondence that took place between James White and Peter Ruckman regarding a proposed debate. However, many people could not view the scans, due to a lack of proper software capacity, and the scans themselves took up a very large amount of space on the server. Hence, we have used a scanner to enter the materials into text files, and have reproduced them here, along with relevant graphics to help the reader fully comprehend the kind of communication undertaken in this correspondence. We have attempted to reproduce the correspondence as closely as possible, including fonts, sizes, and even misspelled words.

The following letters were written in the late Spring and early Summer of 1995. They are self-explanatory for anyone even slightly familiar with the KJV Only controversy, and the leading individuals involved. Though much could be said about the issues raised, especially those raised by Dr. Ruckman’s behavior, will allow the letters to speak for themselves.

 

If you are familiar with Peter Ruckman and his followers you will hardly be surprised at the tenor of the following materials. If, however, you have not been exposed to his bombastic, acerbic style, you may well be taken back. Terms like “liar,” “stupid,” “wimp,” and terms I personally find to be beyond the pale of clean language, are everyday fare for Dr. Ruckman and his followers. Anything goes in attacking and demeaning those with whom he disagrees (and that’s 99.99% of the Christian world). You may at times have to read something twice just to figure out how Dr. Ruckman came up with the ideas that he did. For example, if you conclude that Dr. Ruckman said that Mr. Pierce is a “liar” simply because my book, The King James Only Controversy, was dedicated to Mr. Pierce, you are right. If you are confused about how a man can call someone else a liar without ever having met that person, without ever having read anything that person has written, or heard anything that person has ever said, join the club. That’s just how Dr. Ruckman thinks, and acts. Sadly, he has followers who want to emulate his style, and his behavior.

If you are a follower of Peter Ruckman, I could hope that the following information will demonstrate to you that your leader is unwilling and unable to engage in meaningful dialogue and debate. However, most of Dr. Ruckman’s followers are blind to his behavior and his illogical reasoning, so the following will probably do little more than confirm your high opinion of Dr. Ruckman.

But if you are a person who has encountered KJV Only materials and are desirous of considering the source and spirit of these materials, the following letters will be of great assistance to you. The issues are addressed in such books as my own or Dr. Carson’s The King James Version Debate. The topic of the personal behavior of KJV Only advocates can be gauged, at least with reference to Dr. Ruckman, from his own words.

Please feel free to copy these letters and give them to anyone who thinks Peter Ruckman is a sound Christian leader, someone whose behavior and attitude is consistent with the Bible he claims to preach. I only ask that you keep the materials in their original form and copy al/the materials as a unit.

We begin in April of 1995. I was sent two copies of my new book, next-day-air. As I had promised some of Dr. Ruckman’s followers with whom I had been corresponding that I would send him one of the very first copies, I did so. My first letter to him follows.

 

Alpha and Omega letterhead

 

April 5, 1995

Dr. Peter Ruckman

Pensacola Bible Institute

1173 Jo Jo Road

Pensacola, FL 32514

 

Dear Dr. Ruckman:

Enclosed you will find a copy of my recent book, The King James Only Controversy. I am sending you one of the very first copies. You will note that we obviously disagree quite strongly on the topic of the King James controversy, and I criticize your position, conclusions, and your demeanor as well, in the enclosed book. However, I have not only been completely accurate in referring to your own works and in citing your materials, but I feel I have been far more fair to you than you normally are to those you choose to attack in your writings. I believe an impartial review of the work would substantiate that statement. At the very least I have not told you to “blow it out your nose” as you, or one of your staff people, did with reference to me in a recent edition of the Bible Believer’s Bulletin.

I am writing to invite you to publicly debate the issues raised in this book. You are the leading advocate of the most conservative and extreme form of KJV Onlyism in the United States today, and as such I believe a public, scholarly debate would be most useful to the many who have been confused, and yes, I would say misled, by your preaching and teaching on this topic. I have engaged in a number of such debates over the past few years, but they have all been on topics other than Bible translations. I am enclosing an example of one such debate, that being my debate with Dr. Mitchell Pacwa, a Jesuit priest and theologian from Loyola University, on the topic of justification by faith. I would suggest that a format similar to the one used in this debate, which lasted just over three hours, would be most useful. If, however, you would like to split the debate up into two parts, one in which you would defend a thesis, one in which I would, we could use a format similar to the one I will be using in a debate April 22nd at Boston College, wherein I will be debating on the topic of the Papacy. The first section of the debate will be on the topic of the New Testament evidence, the second on the topic of the patristic evidence. Whatever format you prefer, I’m sure one could be found that would be agreeable to both sides.

If you accept this invitation (or challenge, if you prefer), let us set a date as soon as possible, preferably for this coming summer. I hope to travel back East, and if I do I could certainly visit the Pensacola area if a suitable forum could be arranged. I thank you for your attention, and hope to hear from you soon.

In the service of the Risen Lord,

 

James White

 

scan 1 of Bible Baptist Church letterhead

 

scan 3 of Bible Baptist Church letterhead

April 22, 1995

 

James White

Alpha and Omega Ministries

P.O. Box 37106

Phoenix, AZ 85069

Dear Mr. White,

I got your booklet and read it. I think it is the finest, clearest, and most definitive example of The Creed of the Alexandrian Cult that the Cult has exhibited so far. It is the perfect Cultic position, stated exactly in the manner we have printed it for 12 years in The Bulletin: 1. No final authority. 2. No Scriptures. 3. Relativism and Humanism in the “saddle.”4. All issues determined by the preferences and opinions of the Scholars Union; “SCHOLARSHIP ONLYISM.” (Here you will find your position and the position of ALL of your friends and supporters, reduced to half a page of print; it is called “THE KING JAMES SCOREBOARD.” Anyone who read it would have the entire content of your book (271 pages) for TEN CENTS. What does yours cost?

You were wise to adopt Mrs. Riplinger’s system of presenting comparative material. She could teach you a great deal. Your dedication speaks for itself: maudlin humanism. Whoever “Mr. Pierce” is, he is “supportive” of, 270 pages that prove nothing but “If a man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.” I am not surprised that when you finally faced the real ISSUE-not “the ISSUES raised in this book” (see your letter to me)-in the Creed of the Alexandrian Cult, you bombed out completely. When you got to that deadly present tense-note how “is” is perverted by all Cultists when expounding 2 Timothy 3:16-you blasphemed Christ. pp. 118);you came apart. According to your analysis of “Since God IS a Spirit there IS no Final Absolute AUTHORITY that can be SEEN, read, felt and HANDLED”, Jesus Christ IS seen and handled, in 1995; and what is inside the heart in 1995, can be SEEN, READ, and HANDLED.

If that weren’t enough, you dropped the statement you were analyzing and said “able to communicate HIS TRUTH to man…” The Creed you swear by doesn’t say that. It says THERE IS NO FINAL ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY-IT DIDN’T SAY “His truth.” It said “THERE IS NO BOOK”, because Jesus said, “THY WORD IS TRUTH” You couldn’t quote the portion you were commenting on. You and I both know why. You think YOU are the final authority. So does every Cultist in the Cult from Origen (200 AD.) to John McArthur (1990 AD.).

 

Scan 3 of Bible Baptist Church letterhead

White/pg 2

 

Note that When you derailed the naive reader on you comment-“Ruckman is driving toward asserting-” you FAILED TO LIST YOUR FINAL AUTHOR ITY. You have none; nor does any Cultist. Ye are your own gods.”

Why mention “Ruckman” trying to prove that “one cannot have any absolute authority at all”(p.118) WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE ONE AND NEITIHER DO YOUR SUPPORTERS AND FOLLOWERS? I proved it. The Creed of the Cult proves it, and the works of the Cult prove it: two witnesses. Your book is the capstone: the 3rd witness. It confirms “the Creed of the Creed of the Cult ‘to the letter. Your explanation to avoid what I printed in the Creed is a classic: “When launching a rocket final and absolute authority is found IN THE LAWS OF NATURE…your CHANCES of getting your rocket into orbit…gravity, electron flow, etc. IN THE SAME WAY WE can have AN Absolute Authority IN SCRIPTURE…”

More than one, sonny? Why “An”? First Grade English “an” is not “THE” and “IS” is not “was” (2 Timothy 3:16).

Now you began to whine. “Despite all protests to the contrary, God’s Authority in Scripture is not in the least bit diminished…” What? No ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY, sonny? That’s two perversions of the quotation, in less than one page! Having a little trouble there, are you? We told you what YOUR authority was in The Creed: A PILE OF LOST PAPERS. You didn’t deny it one time. You just intimated the AV could not have been ‘given by inspiration” because “IS” in 2 Timothy 3:16 MEANT “was”, (p.119).

Tell me something Alpha and Omega: what NEW issue did you bring up that hasn’t been dealt with a dozen times through a period of 200 years? Why are you anxious to get someone to raise an audience for you to discuss what Burgon, Hills;Waite and Scrivener settled before you wrote your book? You ducked THE ISSUE and then lied about it. “Untrue, once again. God was able to preserve their content through Christians every-where in the world. The means God used, historically, does not fit Dr. Ruckman’s view of things.” You’re a liar and so is “Mr. Pierce.”

The statement you commented on said, 1. “God…was UNABLE to preserve their content through Bible believing Christians at Antioch” This is what you believe and every scholar believes who recommended the Alexandrian texts (Sin. and Vat.) from EGYPT: that is why all of you use them to correct the Antiochan text. You lied about your own buddies. That isn’t all. The statement you commented on ended by reminding the reader that the first missionary trip originated from the same city that the Term “Christian” originated (Acts 11:26 ). Your comment; UNTRUE, YET ONCE AGAIN.”

You’re a liar, sonny; just like your peers, mentors and supporters.

Now, the Bible Believer’s position that answered ALL the issues you presented will be found in four books written before you took “computer” in hand. They are “King James Onlyism VS Scholarship Onlyism,” “The Last Grenade,” “The Christians Handbook of Biblical Scholarship,” and “How To Teach The Original Greek.” You did nothing but rehash material that was being discussed in 1890 (Burgon, Scrivener and Miller),and 1980 (Waitte, Hills, Fuller, etc.). Your Bibliography is the cloned, programmed Bibliography of all ALEXANDRIANS. No Pickering-who proved that DELETIONS are twice as common as additions; no references to ALL of your compatriots in “King James Onlyism vs. Scholarship Onlyism”, and “The Anti-Intellectual Manifesto;” no citations on what Spurgeon, Bunyon, Paisley and W.B Riley said about THE BOOK THEY HELD IN THEIR HAND; and no discussion of the stand taken by 90% of the Christians 30 years before W and H (Joseph Philpot, DeWitt Talmage, Herb Evans, Whitaker, and Ian Paisley, etc.).

Now, child, I am a busy man. Unlike yourself, my ministry is preaching and teacbing the Holy Bible. I write as a hobby. You asked for a debate (ignorant of course of Romans 1:29), but that is alright: your “buddies” have removed the word “debate” from the text in the 21st Century “King James” Bible. I never challenge anyone to a debate. I left the word in Romans 1:29. If a man challenges me he must understand that the “attacked” has the final rebuttal, not the gay sport who is trying to get an audience because he has not been called to teach OR preach.

Your offer begins immediately to camouflage the issue. You didn’t write half a page until you said, “the ISSUES discussed in this book” Every ISSUE in your book was thoroughly discussed (see The Last Grenade, The Handbook of Biblical Scholarship, and How To Teach The Original Greek.) BEFORE your book came out. THE ISSUE (note the singular)IS ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY: P.S. not “AN” Absolute authority. Rome has TWO “absolute authorities” as do all members of the Alexandrian Cult. The issue, sonny, no matter how you twist and duck and dodge to avoid it-is “HAS ANYONE BEEN ABLE TO PROVE, YET, ONE ERROR IN THE AUTHORIZED VERSION THAT WE TEACH, USE, BELIEVE AND PREACH?” Never mind the hot air about “what the translators said in “1611”, or the hot air about “variations in AV editions”, or the hot air about “marginal readings” or the other smoke screens that you sinners talk about to cover up the fact that you have abandoned the Book because it said something you didn’t like or (more likely!) something you couldn’t understand.

If you, or any Alexandrian like you, cannot prove “beyond the reasonable shadow of a doubt” that the verses in any perverted Bible that you listed in your work, correct ERRORS” that are genuine errors, you have no thesis and no book. Any debate you get me involved in will be you PROVING “BEYOND THE REASONABLE SHADOW OF A DOUBT” THAT VERSES LIKE Mark 1:1-2 and John 1:18 are ERRORS in the AV. You will be given FIVE minutes for each verse you pick. I’ll answer you in FOUR. You may pick 10 verse. Send a list of the verses.

I’ll give you two weeks to send them.

You wanted a debate in less than four months (see your letter “preferably this coming summer.”). You talk like a lazy bum with nothing to do, ole Alpha and Omega. Why don’t you find something to do? While you are sitting around trying to revive Westcott, Nestles, Metzger and Hort and bolster the apostasy in BJU, PCC, BBC, Tennessee Temple and Liberty Baptist University, I’m fishing for men. Men; grown adult men. I’ve got to minister to 48 prisoners in 6 different “slammers,” support and teach 110 Filipino pastors on four different islands, teach 200 young people the Bible four nights a week, while conducting prayer meeting and two services Sunday, plus street preaching-82 young men-and preaching in Austria, the Ukraine, Korea, the Philippines, and Mexico (this summer). The waiting list of pastors for Bible conferences in America goes into 1997.

Now what, in the name of Heaven, would I be doing (Nehemiah 6:3) wasting time to get an audience for a liar (see previous page) whose final authority is his own opinion about a pile of lost papers he never saw?

I was told to “redeem the time”, not waste it on The Alexandrian Cult. You’re not the first Bible-rejecting fakir who wanted to “take on Ruckman.”

Now, if you really are that hungry for publicity, we’ll set you up sometime in June of 1996. It will be a one night stand, and it will run about two hours. We’ll buy you a round trip ticket and put you up in a good Motel, and feed you. You may take 10 verses and have 5 minutes to prove each one is an error. I will correct you in 4 minutes. This will make the “debate” run an hour and a half. After a brief intermission we will give you 15 minutes to sum up, and then I will take 15 minutes to restore their faith in THE BOOK, instead of YOU. It is that simple. Your goat will be to call attention to your own education and the intellectuality of your peers. Mine will be to prove that you are all professional liars: “LET GOD BE TRUE BUT EVERY MAN; A LIAR!

We don’t have to guess which position will be honored by the Author of “Scripture.” I have never had one doubt in 46 years.

 

scan of Peter Ruckman's signature

(P.S. I am not acquainted with “King James Onlyism.” We teach Nestles Greek N.T. here. I have for 30 years. We also use the RV, RSV, ASV, NASV, NRSV, TEV. NWT, NEB, MV, and 25 others.)

 

Alpha and Omega letterhead

May 12, 1995

Dr. Peter Ruckman

Bible Baptist Church

P.O. Box 6102

Pensacola, FL 32503

Dear Dr. Ruckman:

I am in receipt of your letter dated April 22nd, 1995. I confess that I find your tone, as usual, to be excessively abusive and mean-spirited. I surely hope that when I reach your age, sir, I will still exhibit kindness toward others, even those with whom I disagree. I have a tremendous respect for my elders in the faith, especially since I find these men to be so mature, and so caring and selfless. Yet I find disrespect in almost every paragraph of your letter, and I find the contrast between your manners and those of godly men of your age with whom I am acquainted quite striking.

I will take the time to respond to only two items in your letter before moving to the subject of the proposed debate. First, you described my dedication of my book to Mr. Richard Pierce as “maudlin humanism.” I am tempted to wonder, Dr. Ruckman, if your attitude has not kept you from having such close friendships with brothers in Christ so that you can not understand my desire to dedicate my work to Mr. Pierce. But what is truly amazing is that you can call Mr. Pierce a “liar” without the slightest knowledge of the man. Men who are willing to throw about such terms based solely upon their own ignorance are in great danger of the judgment of God.

Secondly, you spoke of how busy you are, and said, “You talk like a lazy bum with nothing to do, ole Alpha and Omega.” I can assure you, sir, that I have plenty to do in my service of the Lord. I am not lacking things to do. Instead, I find the topic to be very important, and given your position as leader of an entire segment of the KJV-Only movement [your feigned ignorance of “King James Onlyism” is most disingenuous], I would think you would be quick to respond to a challenge to defend that position. I can understand your reticence. In point of fact, I would normally not consider debating someone such as yourself. Your acerbic writings, bombastic tone, and lack of scholarly credibility, would normally place you in a category along with the likes of Roman Catholic apologist Vinney Lewis. I have no desire for mere “food fights.” But I realize that a lot of good could be accomplished by engaging in public debate against you, for I am unafraid of mere bombast. I’ve faced it from others, and the best defense against that kind of argumentation is truth. I’ve found the truth to stand out most clearly against a backdrop of error, and a debate between us would be invaluable in helping people to see the facts clearly.

Moving on to the subject of the debate. I am sorry you are not interested in a truly scholarly interchange similar to those that I have had with leading Roman Catholic and Mormon scholars. I can understand why you would not wish to engage in such a debate, as it requires you to answer a lot of questions that mere pontifical pronouncements can’t handle. Such a debate would require you to do more than repeat your “Alexandrian Creed” and might introduce your followers to more facts than you would like them to encounter.

Furthermore, your statement “Now, if you really are that hungry for publicity . . . ,” aside from being offensive and rude, is also incorrect.

With reference to your suggestion regarding an interchange on ten verses of Scripture in June of 1996: such would be agreeable to me, however, I believe simple honesty would require some alterations in the proposed format. The suggested format does not allow for rebuttal to your comments in response to each verse I present. Given your propensity for presenting falsehoods as if they are facts, an opportunity for demonstrating your errors would have to be given. In light of this, I suggest the following format:

€ Instead of ten verses, we address seven.

€ We begin with 6 minute opening statements.

€ I have four minutes to present each verse; you have four minutes to reply; I have a two minute period to rebut you, you have the final word for sixty seconds on each verse.

€ We each have 15 minute closing statements.

Such a format would run right at 2 hours.

As to which verses to cover, I would suggest Acts 5:30, 19:37, Jeremiah 34:16, Luke 2:22, Revelation 16:5, Hebrews 10:23, and 1 John 5:7.

Please let me know of your acceptance of this format as soon as possible. Thank you.

In the service of the Lord Jesus Christ,

 

James White

Recte Ambulamus ad Veritatem Evangelii signature trinity symbol

Dr. Ruckman also sent back a copy of my letter, marked with comments. Here is a section of what he included, the comments in the margins coming directly from his own pen:

 

Ruckman rejection letter part 1

 

Ruckman rejection letter part 2

 

Ruckman rejection letter part 3

James White

Alpha and Omega Ministries

P.O. Box 37106

Phoenix, AZ 85069

Dear Alpha etc.,

You!! find out how much “bombastt goes on when the action starts. Never mind trying to impress me with “scholarly interchanges.” You!! get “the Greek” when you get here, and you will get the Lexicons, variant readings, possible readings, and alternate readings with it that your Catholic and Mormon buddies didn’t know existed. Have no fear child. The Bite is worse than the Bark.

Note in your letter, you allowed yourself privileges you did not grant your opponent. This is the “scholarly interchange,” is it? You’re the “factual” box, are you? SIMPLICITY IS TRUTH’S MOST BECOMING GARB. Nobody needs a six minute opening statement unless they are a bullshooter like YOU. The “lot of questions” you mention (p.2) is just more bull. More than 200 of your questions have already been answered in print, and documented (see “The Last Grenade,” “The Christian’s Handbook of Biblical Scholarship,” and, “How To Teach The Original Greek.’) I’ve done my work. You haven’t done yours. Nothing much more is required (p. 2) than repeating a Creed, for the work has been done years ago. THE TRUTH IS YOU DON’T HAVE ONE FACT AT YOUR DISPOSAL that a student here at PBI doesn’t have (see Chaps 1,2 in The Handbook of Biblical Scholarship.) and hasn’t had for 25-30 years.

(We’ll pray for grace to endure the monotonous repetitions you are going to go through. Your Book had about 200 in it.).

Make the corrections I gave on this sheet: 2 minute opening; same time for my “rebut” on you that you have on me, and we’ll give you a date. Don’t act like a child with all of the nonsense about someone here being afraid to talk a long time. Truth is always plain, short, simple, sharp, solid and BRIEF. No man, who really knows his material, has to go through 4 pages of it to prove or disprove any one point. A HALF A PAGE OF NOTES WILL DO JUST FINE.

I realize that with your lack of background and experience, you have to make up for this inability to come to the point by “perambulating around the pole of veracity,” etc., but that is SOP with all Alexandrians. They are noted for acres and acres and acres of “fertilizer.”

We’ll take the seven you listed (I John 5:7, Heb. 10:23, Luke 2:22, Jer. 34:16, Acts 5:30, Acts 19:37, and Rev. 16:5) when you make the proper adjustments.

And, like I said, “Don’t worry about any “bombast.” I’ll be using YOUR sources, from the men who taught YOU everything you know, and I will be correcting them exactly as I have been correcting them for 40 years. Nothing new will be going on down here: Old stuff.

Peter Ruckmans signature

 

 

 

 

Alpha and Omega letterhead 2

May 29, 1995

Dr. Peter Ruckman

Bible Baptist Church

P.O. Box 6102

Pensacola, FL 32503

Dear Dr. Ruckman:

I am in receipt of your letter of May 18th. Regarding your insults, including your scribbled words, “you conceited a**,” I can only remind you of what the Bible you pretend to love and preach has been telling you for 40 years:

(Luke 6:45 KJV) A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

(James 1:26 KJV) If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.

In reference to the “debate,” I will accept two minute opening statements, though I assert that your unwillingness to allow for anything more is irrational and without merit. I believe I know why you do not desire anything longer, but I shall not belabor the point.

As to your complaint about having a one-minute rejoinder, again, if you wish to have two, take two. You were the one who originally offered to give yourself a minute less, I simply followed your own lead. I can only assume that you are now backing off of your original position regarding giving me more time to explain the error than you have to respond? If that is what you feel you must do, then go ahead and do so.

I may note in closing the fact that I gave the church’s phone number to John Ankerberg last week. Dr. Ankerberg is attempting to set up a televised debate on this topic. I will be on the program, and he is trying to get some of the translators of the modern versions, as well as a panel of KJV Only advocates such as yourself. I would propose to press on with a one-on-one encounter even if this television program takes place.

In the service of Christ,

 

James White

Recte Ambulamus ad Veritatem Evangelii signature trinity symbol

 

scan 3 of Bible Baptist Church letterhead

 

James White

Alpha and Omega Ministries

P.O. Box 37106

Phoenix, AZ 85069

Dear Apostate:

Your Alexandrianism is coming through your britches. You are already trying to prove Ruckman is “irrational”, and “backing out” etc. A liar has to have a good memory. In my letter to you, there wasn’t ONE word about a rebuttal after EACH verse discussion (April 22). YOU added that in a letter (May 12th) and when you did, you allowed yourself twice the time on the REBUTTAL – not the discussion that you gave me. (See enclosure).

Now, child, your letters will be printed in The Bulletin. If you want publicity for people to see what a fakir you are, just keep on writing those kind of letters. I didn’t “back out” of anything. YOU BACKED OUT. The letter I sent you (April 22) said as follows: “You may take ten verses and have 5 minutes to prove each one is in error. I will correct you in 4 minutes. After a brief intermission, we will give you 15 minutes to sum up, and then I will take 15 minutes to restore their faith in the “Book”. (page 4, April 22).

You chickened out immediately, (May 12).

You, first, reduced the ten verses to seven, (May 12, p.2).

You then added an “opening statement” (which I reduced to two minutes). You, then, divided YOUR FIVE MINUTES INTO FOUR MINUTES BEFORE I ANSWER, AND THEN ADDED TWO MINUTES AFTER I WAS THROUGH ANSWERING. (p. 2, MAY 12).

Thus, you obtained a “rebut” not at the END of the discussion: but after each verse and you gave yourself 6 minutes.

You gave me 5. I GAVE YOU FIVE, WITH NO “REBUT” WHEN I WROTE. (April 22). You say, “I can only assume that you are now BACKING OFF OF YOUR ORIGINAL POSITION REGARDING GIVING ME MORE TIME TO EXPLAIN THE ERROR THAN YOU HAVE TO RESPOND.”

Jimmy, my original position is in print; it will be printed. You are nothing but a crafty, double4ongued, treacherous conceited little liar, but I am not even moderately surprised That is SOP in Alexandria. You are obviously trying to impress someone by showing them YOUR letters. SOP in Alexandria. You rejected the original proposition, and cheated on the one you offered, and now you are lying about cowardice.

We’ll print both of your letters with both of mine, before December. I wrote Ankerberg and told him I didn’t have time to play tiddlewinks with the Athenians (Acts 17:21). While you silly children are trying to sell books, I will be ministering in Mexico, Ohio, Texas, Tennessee, Michigan, Louisiana, Etc. I just finished 19 services in 12 prisons in Texas, before returning June 9) to teach DVBS and preach in three Christian Camps. Find something to do, sonny, and watch your pen; you are a very careless, sloppy writer. A liar needs a better memory for “original propositions.”

P.S. Never mind the pious preaching, sonny. God never called you to preach You have no ability to do it Stick to destructive criticism. You don’t know enough of what the Bible says about Speech to teach a DVBS. Christ called them “foxes,” “foo1s,” “serpents” and “vipers.” Paul called them “liars,” “evil beasts” arid “slow bellies.” J. Frank Norris called them “suck egg hounds,” and Billy Sunday called them “old bald mutts.” If I call them “conceited asses,” I am giving them a very mild rebuke. Mordecai Ham called them “hogjowled liquor heads.” You know nothing about this kind of thing, so shut your mouth and preach to yourself.

scan of Peter Ruckman's signature

Again Dr. Ruckman marked up the previous letter from James White, and here are some of the comments he made:

May eighteenth letter returned marked up

 

more of the letter returned marked up

 

alpha and omega letterhead

June 20, 1995

Dr. Peter S. Ruckman

Bible Baptist Church

P.O. Box 6102

Pensacola, FL 32503

Dear Dr. Ruckman:

I am in receipt of your letter of June 12th, which was addressed to “Dear Apostate.” I will allow my Lord to judge my heart, and yours as well. There is no reason to respond to each insult and cavil contained in your letter. You indicated you are going to publish our correspondence, and I surely hope you will do so, and that fully (including all the colorful metaphors you include in handwriting on my original letters). I, too, shall make all of our correspondence available to those who are interested.

Your last letter demonstrated that you are a bit confused as to the format of our proposed debate. All your blustering aside, are we set for the format of the debate or not? All your concerns about calling me a liar, etc., notwithstanding, are we prepared to debate the seven verses I provided to you in June of 1996? If so, can we move on to a discussion of the location of such a debate? That topic has been absent from all but my original letter, which indicated my desire that we find a neutral location there in Pensacola. I’m sure such a location could be found, as I have received letters from people right there in your area thanking me for taking the time to address this subject in The King James Only Controversy.

Finally, Dr. Ruckman, I can only hope and pray that someone, in some way, will be able to speak a word to you in such a way as to cause you to truly consider your speech and your behavior. The fact that you blocked out with a black pen the citations of Luke 6:45 and James 1:26 from my last letter to you only speaks to a very desperate problem, sir. Please give consideration to my words.

In the service of Christ,

 

James White

Recte Ambulamus ad Veritatem Evangelii

Bible Baptist Church letterhead

Written June 2, 1995, contingent upon your acceptance of the debate format, which you did not accept.

James White

Alpha & Omega Ministries

P.O. box 37106

Phoenix, AZ 85069

Dear Jimmy:

Enclosed is the Book that you will be attacking When I say, “Holy Bible” I am always referring to a Book in my possession which I read, study, preach, teach and believe. The texts you chose will be attacked as they are found in THIS Book, not some mythological “original” or unobtainable “original”, or some edition you found that nobody has looked at for 100 years. The enclosed Book is what I mean when I say, “AUTHORIZED VERSION” in any publication (1950 1995), I have put out, (over 120 of them)

THIS book you hold is what I consider to be the best English translation of ANY Greek or Hebrew texts ever discovered by anyone. I consider it to be perfect till proven to be imperfect, and inerrant till proven to be errant. Any problem?

This book-the one I sent not something you went to drag out of a rat’s nest-I consider to be the “Scriptures” in English, the universal language. These Scriptures were given to me BY inspiration (see Letis, “Edward Hills Contribution to the Revival of the Ecclesiastical Text,” Candler School of Theology, 1987, p. 69, and Ian Paisley, “Why We Hold To The Authorized King James Bible and Reject Modern Versions”, “The Last Grenade,” 1990, pp 299,300), and not to be confused with INSPIRED SPEECH (2 Peter 1:21) since the Scriptures are WRITTEN words; breath, not pen and ink, is a characteristic of SPEECH.

What you are to do is simply prove “CONCLUSIVELY, BEYOND ANY SHADOW OF A DOUBT,” TIJAT THE SEVEN READINGS YOU PICKED ARE IN ERROR, and YOU know how to correct them. If you do not profess to be able to correct them with an ABSOLUTELY TRUE CORRECTION THAT IS

TRUE BEYOND THE SHADOW OF A DOUBT,” you bomb out. (i.e. “bombast”)

We’ll set you up with a color video-we have a professional crew here, but you can bring your own with you if you don’t trust us-on April Fool’s Day, 1996, between 6:00 and 9:00 p.m. You can bring as many neophytes and Cult members as you like. It will make no difference to anyone here-see the tape on Bob Ross. Our people will behave themselves. There will be no “rough stuff” or interruptions of any kind. However, you may sense from time to time-especially when you are adopting the traditional forms of speech that all Alexandrians use when they are trying to pass off as SINCERE AND SPIRITUAL, some gentle grinning, and humorous chuckling in the audience. You have never once in your life faced over 200 grown men who believe the Book and preach on the street, plus women and children (about 300). For you, it will be a brand new experience. (I believe Ankerberg called it a “key moment.”) This audience, child, will be former drug addicts, men in their 40s, 50s, and 60s; convicts, construction men, commercial fishermen, retired Army officers, men raising 24 children on $4.50 an hour, college graduates, high school dropouts, and martial arts experts, who have won souls, studied Nestle’s Greek Text, preached on the street and trained to be foreign missionaries. You will fool me before you can fool them.

I suggest that you don’t try to “put on airs”, like they do on “The Ankerberg Show”. There are no actors, or professional showmen, down here.

scan of Peter Ruckman's signature

Bible Baptist Church letterhead

Written June 22nd in response to June 2Oth letter.

James White

Alpha & Omega Ministries

P.O. box 37106

Phoenix, AZ 85069

Dear Slick:

I see by your letter that you are still trying to i)reach instead of deal with the truth. The truth is you lied about Ruckman “departing from his original position.” The original position was sent to you April 22, (page 4). You pretended like you never saw it, after saying that I had departed from that when I wouldn’t allow you a TWO minute rebut on 7 verses with only 60 seconds to rebut the “rebut”. That is in your letter (p.2) of May

12. Don’t put on airs, Slick. Your letter back to me (June 20th) says “You are a little confused as to the format of the proposed debate.” You’re a liar, slick. YOU are confused, so when you wrote you didn’t even discuss the format. You simply say “Are WE prepared to debate the seven verses?”

No, slick YOU aren’t; you aren’t even partiallv prepared. You haven t even agreed yet to ONE rule in the original proposition you got the day you challenged me. You backed out as soon as you received the “proposed debate,” changed the original, and then refused to answer the “editing” of the changes YOU MADE. I have all four letters right here: Your challenge; my answer; setting up the conditions; your suggested revisions of the conditions; and my revisions of your revision.

There is nothing in your last letter about accepting ANY conditions. There are some cute little homilies on the Lord judging people’s hearts, “insults” and “cavil” in letters, and “are we set for the FORMAT of the debate or not?

Sonny, all you had to do was assent to the conditions I mailed you May 18, which you

HAVE.

Why didn’t you consent to those conditions? What are the cute little remarks about someone “in this area” being interested in your position. Every professional liar on every Christian faculty in America, who makes a living substituting Scholarship for the Holy Bible as a final authority would be interested; their income depends on justifying a lie. I couldn’t care less if every apostate connected with PCC and Santa Rosa Schools showed up. THEY’VE ALREADY BEEN DEALT WITH (“The Last Grenade,” 1992).

 

Now, since you cannot deal honestly when trying to get out of a REAL debate, I will

offer you once, again. the original position which I offered you two months ago: April

22. This time you can take it or leave it, sonny; no more whining, alibiing; no pious

talk, and no pretence that you are a preacher. (You couldn’t bust a butterfly’s wing with

a sledge hammer.).

 

You challenged (April 5th). I accepted (April 22nd). 1). You were told to chose 10 errors in the AV. You didn’t do it; you revised it to 7. 2). You were told you would be given 5 minutes on each of the 10 to prove error and I would answer in 4 minutes (or less). You couldn’t handle it. You demanded a two minute rebut vs a one minute rebut after EACH VERSE. 3). You were told to take ONE 15 minute rebut after the ten verses and I would close with a 15 minute rebut. You didn’t do it. You asked for an introduction before 7 verses, and then YOU LIED ABOUT ME BACKING OUT FROM MY ORIGINAL POSITION.

 

Now, we’re “playing preacher” and pretending we are “offended” by plain language.

Dry up Jimmy.

So, now, you will abide by the original. Sign on the dotted line and we’ll get you a round trip ticket and room in a motel overnight for April 1st, 1996. Enclosed IS A COPY OF THE BOOK YOU WILL FIND THE “ERRORS” IN. Don’t whine now and pretend that the issue was some book WE don’t have, and don’t READ and MEMORIZE and PREACH and TEACH: it is one we have. This is a copy. (Watch your step, stupid; you’re getting in way over your head.). You are going to have to lie again very quickly about something in regards to the verses you chose. But come ahead! But come ahead. April Fool’s Day. 1996.

 

scan of Peter Ruckman's signature

Alpha and Omega letterhead

June 29, 1995

Dr. Peter Ruckman

Bible Baptist Church

P.O. Box 6102

Pensacola, FL 32503

Dear Dr. Ruckman:

I am in receipt of a package from you containing 1) a Gideon KJV, 2) a letter allegedly written June 2nd, and 3) a letter written June 22nd. I will try to be brief.

First, I wish to inform you that I am putting all of our correspondence, from my initial letter to you challenging you to debate, to this final letter, inclusive of my original letters returned with your comments and insults scribbled in the margins, into a single package which will be made available to any person who wishes to judge how Dr. Peter Ruckman responded to a meaningful challenge to publicly defend his position. Those who are taken in by your behavior will care less, but there are many believing people who, due to the Holy Spirit who indwells them, will be amazed, shocked, and most thankfully, warned about the kind of mentality that lies behind your brand of KJV Onlyism.

Those who read these letters will be able to very easily discern the following:

1) I made the original challenge, and suggested a format, even enclosing a taped debate between myself and Dr. Mitchell Pacwa, as an example of how the format works (initial letter, April 5, 1995). You did not even bother to respond to that format, but insisted upon your own (letter of April 22nd).

2) Your counter-proposal gave me more time to present the problems in the text of the KJV than you gave yourself to respond. You words were, “You may take 10 verses and have 5 minutes to prove each one is an error. I will correct you in 4 minutes” (April 22nd, p. 4).

3) In my reply of April 29th I made the following suggestions: first, reduce the verses covered to seven so as to allow for an opening statement and rebuttal periods. Second, include a six-minute opening statement. Third, reduce my time to present the problem passages by one minute, but add a rebuttal period, two minutes for me, one minute for you. This was, of course, perfectly in line with what you had originally proposed, for you had originally offered to take one less minute than you gave me. In your response of May 18th you insisted upon reducing the opening statements to a mere 2 minutes (May 18th, p. 1).

4) In my response of May 29th I wrote in reference to your complaint about the uneven time, “I can only assume that you are now backing off of your original position regarding giving me more time to explain the error than you have to respond? If that is what you feel you must do, then go ahead and do so.” That I was speaking the truth is documented for any person to see who reads your own letters. That you responded with a torrent of vitriol and insult is plainly seen in your letter of June 12th. Anyone reading this letter will not only be shocked at the attitude it displays, but will, with all the documentation in their hands, be rather amazed at how you can twist facts (a most useful thing to document, I might add).

5) The location of the debate, mentioned in my letter of June 20th, is not discussed by you. Instead, you decide where it is to be held, no discussion allowed, and that despite my initial suggestion of a neutral place.

6) The date of the debate changes without even a word of discussion. First you said it would be June of 1996. You changed this without even a word of consultation to your infamous “April Fools Day” in your letter of June 2nd, which arrived with your letter of June 22nd.

7) Without the first logical reason for doing so, you back off of your acceptance of the modified form of the debate, and demand that I either accept your initial counter-proposal and do it on April 1st, 1996, or it will not happen.

8) The attitude you have displayed throughout this correspondence defies description. It is obvious, sir, that what the Bible teaches about the fruit of the Spirit is something you simply do not believe, let alone exhibit.

All of these things are plain for any person to see simply by reading our correspondence. You have no interest in a formal debate. Your position cannot possibly withstand such an examination. You have no interest in honestly discussing anything about this issue, nor do you have the integrity to be trusted to keep your word about anything you have agreed to.

In my initial letter I challenged you to a formal debate, with a particular format, in a neutral location. You have declined that challenge. When I then accepted your counter-proposal, you agreed to a modified version of it, but then reversed your position, as your own letters indicate. You have changed the format and date, and simply assigned the location by fiat. All of this is clearly documented in your letters, and anyone who wants to know how honest Dr. Ruckman is in his personal dealings with others has but to examine the facts.

I am sure you will claim I backed out of our debate, but the facts are you did. Anyone can see it, and while your followers will certainly believe you, any person who really wants to know will have all the facts right before them. What is more, your correspondence, including the language you have used, is now a part of the public record, and most probably, that is one of the best things that could be done for those considering your position.

Finally, Dr. Ruckman, I can only look at the stack of letters and e-mail messages I have received thanking me for the work that went into The King James Only Controversy to realize that no matter how many insults you and your followers throw at me and anyone else who stands up against your falsehoods, the Lord is blessing our work. And that is something all your petty insults can never change.

In the service of the Lord Jesus Christ,

 

James White