Moorman of the DBS and Peter Ruckman

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by John of Japan, Sep 18, 2014.

  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    In a thread last year started by someone else, I pointed out the lack of scholarship in Forever Settled by Jack Moorman of the Dean Burgon Society. At that time I wrote about his work: http://www.baptistboard.com/showthread.php?t=88520&highlight=Moorman&page=4

    Please note first of all that this is not an attack on the character of Jack Moorman, or a personal attack at all. As a missionary in Japan for 33 yeears I respect him for his work. But I do want to point out the quotes he makes from Ruckman. It's hard for the Dean Burgon Society to distance themselves from Ruckman when their supposed leading expert in textual criticism believes Ruckman to be a scholar in the area.

    First of all, it's fairly odd that the index was done by Dr. Waite, who makes sure we know all of his creds (which are genuine, I admit): Th.D., Ph.D., President of the Dean Burgon Society. Who even mentions who did the index? At any rate it was sloppily done. The main Ruckman entry just as "Ruckman" without his given name. But we all know who he is, right? :tongue3: However, there is another entry with "Peter Ruckman" (given name first)! How very odd. But I digress.
     
    #1 John of Japan, Sep 18, 2014
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  2. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Beginning on p. 17 and continuing until p. 20, Moorman summarizes and quotes from Ruckman's arguments that the Septuagint (LXX, the Greek OT) did not exist! It is beyond the scope of the BB and this thread to give all the evidence to the contrary, but I always chuckle when I think about this KJVO canard when I read my copy of the LXX.

    This argument is blown out of the water by one simple fact: the LXX is quoted quite often in the Greek NT (even the TR!). It is not enough to assert that Greek translations after the time the NT was written simply copied the places the NT quotes the OT in the Greek, one must prove the connection, and no KJVO author that I know of does that. This includes Moorman, who gives Ruckman's argument at the top of p. 18.

    Rather than plow through all of Ruckman's arguments at this time I'll simply point out that by following Ruckman's theory of the non-existence of the LXX, and by delineating that theory so clearly, Moorman validates Ruckman instead of distancing himself from Ruckman.

    Thus, the DBS is not simply a TR-loving, Burgon-loving organization, but one that promotes Peter Ruckman and his outlandish theories. (Only recently did they stop promoting Riplinger and her absurdities.) No Bible loving Christian should join such an organization.
     
  3. annsni

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    Thank you for this info John. The family that I spoke of in that other thread has since left our church. :( They have had some really weird ideas and seem to jump on the next wave that goes by despite the truth or falseness of the concept. It saddens me that good believers follow falsehoods like that.
     
  4. John of Japan

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    Sad that the family bought into the whole fallacy.

    Now that we're living in the US though, I'm seeing signs that the radical KJVO position (the likes of the DBS) is starting to fade away. It will be interesting to see what happens to the DBS when Dr. Waite passes away.

    One IFB leader I talked to told me that the Byzantine/Majority position is emerging among IFB leaders. Also, my son and I have been asked to write a book on the Byzantine/Majority position and have started work on it.
     
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Ruckman's (and thus Moorman's) position that the pre-BC LXX did not exist is based on (1) his belief that the famous letter of Aristeas telling the history of the LXX is a fraud, and (2) the work of a scholar named Paul Kahle. (Ruckman only refers to scholarly works when it suits him. Other times he mocks scholarship.)

    Here are the problems with this second point. (He never proves his first point historically.) (1) Neither Ruckman nor Moorman quote from Kahle or even tell us what book they get their information from! So I guess we simply have to trust Ruckman (something I cannot do) that Kahle actually taught what Ruckman says he did! (2) The Dead Sea scrolls give proof that the LXX did exist. Neither Ruckman nor Moorman deal with this blow to their theory.

    "Professor Paul Kahle, in studying the Isaiah scrolls from Cave 1, Qumran, argued on the basis of differences from the Masoretic text, that the scrolls were hidden in the cave because their text was proscribed, hence not allowed to remain in circulation. The subsequent Qumran finds, representing differing textual traditions, and the archaeological evidence argue against this viewpoint" (The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible, by, p. 104).
     
  6. TCassidy

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    Well, it is pretty much agreed that the Letter of Aristeas is a fraud. Even Bruce Metzger agrees:

    "Most scholars who have analyzed the letter have concluded that the author cannot have been the man he represented himself to be but was a Jew who wrote a fictitious account in order to enhance the importance of the Hebrew Scriptures by suggesting that a pagan king had recognized their significance and therefore arranged for their translation into Greek." (Metzger, Bruce, The Bible in Translation (Baker Academic, 2001), p. 15.)

    The Letter reads like a fairy tale! The high priest chooses exactly six men from each of the twelve tribes, giving 72 in all; he gives a long sermon in praise of the Law.

    Uh, wait a minute. 6 from each of the 12 tribes? I seem to remember the 10 northern tribes being carried into captivity in Assyria never to return, and the Jews left in the land interbreeding with their Assyrian captors and losing their distinction as "sons of Abraham." That happened in 740 BC, long before the supposed date of the Letter, and even longer after the more likely date of the Letter.

    The 72 translators complete their task in exactly 72 days. The Jews of Alexandria, on hearing the Law read in Greek, request copies and lay a curse on anyone who would change the translation.

    In fact the Letter of Aristeas supports an ancient type of KJVOism insisting no changes could be made or a curse would be pronounced on those who presumed to make the changes. (I wonder if the curse was that they would be called "The Alexandrian Cult?")
    Paul Kahle was an expert in Semitic philology and was the full professor of that subject at Bonn University. When WWII in Europe broke out he immigrated to England and studied and taught at the University of Oxford.

    It was his understanding of Semitic philology that led him to further expose the Letter as a fraud.

    Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. We know the Greek Translation of the Hebrew Scriptures predates the time of Christ because we have manuscripts dated to as early as 150BC. However, what we currently call the LXX today (and I have one and consider it a valuable tool in study of the Old Testament) is more likely either the 6th column of Origen's Hexapla, possibly a translation done by Origen himself, or possibly a composite of the translations done by Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion.

    What it ISN'T is the fanciful magic translation as recounted in the Letter. :)
     
  7. John of Japan

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    Yes, I'm aware of all of this. My point was that Moorman quotes Ruckman wholesale, thus tainting the current claims to scholarship by the DBS. And Ruckman himself simply wants us to believe everything he says without question. Neither he nor Moorman source anything they write (at least in the Moorman book in question).
    This point, while true, does not address my points.

    Let me put it this way, Doc, the DBS claim to scholarship went by the wayside when you left it. :laugh: (Badaboom.)

    "More likely" and "possibly" etc. do not extricate Jack Moorman from his dependence on Peter Ruckman. In fact, Moorman, while quoting Ruckman prolifically, doesn't even understand Ruckman, as he admits: "I do not fully understand this statement, but have included it believing it to be pertinent" (op cit, 20).

    Agreed.
     
    #7 John of Japan, Sep 18, 2014
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  8. John of Japan

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    I'm going to correct myself here. I just took a look at Ruckman's MS Evidence, and he does sometimes source his material. Unfortunately, Moorman does not. Having said that, I can find no place where Ruckman sources what he says about Kahle.
     
  9. John of Japan

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    The next Moorman reference to Ruckman is on p. 25, where he writes, "Peter Ruckman quoting the International Bible Encyclopedia says...." In the first place, the word "Standard" should be there after "International." Secondly, it is evident from this that Moorman did not have the famed ISBE. But he easily could have. By the time he wrote his book the set was out of copyright and available in various cheap versions. I took a set to Japan with me in 1981.

    The upshot is that Moorman leaned on Ruckman even for basic research that he could have done himself! Hopefully, he has his own set of ISBE by now, or maybe even the revised ISBE, which admittedly came out after Moorman's book. (The PDF I have of this book has the date 1985 after the Forward, but the DBS hard copy book has a 1999 copyright.)

    At the minimum, it can be said that (1) Moorman considered Ruckman to be a scholar when he wrote his book. (2) The DBS apparently only gives lip service to opposing Ruckman if they are willing for their publications to quote him favorable. If this is not correct, they badly need a new editor for their publications. :type:
     
    #9 John of Japan, Sep 18, 2014
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  10. John of Japan

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    Comparing the PDF and the published book I noticed something else. The first chapter, "The Hebrew Scriptures," has under it in the PDF: "From Edward F. Hills." The published book lacks this statement. It would be wrong to accuse Moorman of plagiarism here, but at the least it is another failure to name sources.
     
  11. TCassidy

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    Yes, I understand that. My point was that Paul Kahle was an exceptional scholar, working with Rudolf Kittel in the publication of Biblica Hebraica in 1906 and 1912 which was, of course, based on the Ben Chayyim Hebrew text, the same Hebrew text that underlies the KJV. It was not until 1937 that the Hebrew text of Ben Asher supplanted the Ben Chayyim text.

    I don't know what Ruckman was referring to, but that may have been the point. However, the two texts (1912 and 1937) are not all that different even in today's modern incarnation, the Stuttgartensia edition which only differs from the Ben Chayyim of Bomberg in about a half dozen places that would make a difference in translation. Ben Chayyim's major accomplishment was standardizing how the qere/ketiv pairs were translated. Unfortunately there were also many technical errors that damaged the utility of the printing. Kahle did a monumental amount of work in correcting those technical errors and correcting some of the qere/ketiv pair translations.

    Okay, I'm rambling. :D
    I will agree with the first part of that word. "Bad." The sad thing about that statement is that Don Waite is a well educated scholar. Unfortunately his ideological blindness when it comes to the KJV has rendered him a less than fully credible scholar. :(
    I agree. But sometimes, in order to be honest, we have to make it clear that we are far from certain regarding many issues.

    One of the things I told my students when teaching Covenants in the Seminary was that, after completing this class, I guarantee you will be much more confused than when you began!

    And that is not a bad thing. A little confusion here and there goes a long way in keeping us from being overwhelmed by our own arrogant thought that we have all the answers. :)
     
  12. TCassidy

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    The full text of ISBE is now available, free of charge, as a plug in module for e-Sword. :)

    http://www.e-sword.net/
     
  13. John of Japan

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    Sounds like a scholar I'd like to read. I'm afraid my son is the Hebrew prof though--I'm strictly a Greek teacher. And I see on Amazon that Kahle wrote in German. Hmm. Didn't know Ruckman knew German, or any other foreign language. I've never seen evidence of it in his writings, anyway.
    He's well trained and a good writer (though sometimes his style grates on my a little). And I've known him to forget to "fact check" sometimes.
    Very true. Happy is the man who knows his own ignorance.
    Well said. :thumbs:
     
  14. jonathan.borland

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    Great news, John! Please add me to the list of readers when it gets to that stage.
     
  15. John of Japan

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    And there are some entries where the original was better than the revision! :thumbs:
     
  16. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Great! You would be a real asset. "Dr. Paul" as they call him here is leading that effort. He gets to tell his Dad what to do. :smilewinkgrin:
     
  17. John of Japan

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    Moorman next refers to Ruckman on p. 36, where he has a paragraph about the Peshitta (the ancient Syriac Bible). He then has in parentheses: "(Based on Ruckman.)" This is pretty ambiguous. What is based on Ruckman? The last sentence? The paragraph (where Kenyon is also referred to)?

    It would have been good for purposes of accuracy if Moorman had looked up a couple of writers, maybe even on the other side! He could have gotten a balanced viewpoint then. Instead, he refers to the view of just one person, the infamous Peter Ruckman, who is not an expert in ancient versions. He could have read The Early Versions of the New Testament by Metzger, with over 30 pages on the subject. Someone may cry, "He's a liberal." But wait a minute, how can we teach what is wrong with a view if we don't know what the opposition says?

    Granted, on the mission field of Japan it was difficult for me to get some of these resources, and I know Moorman is a missionary. But on our first furlough I bought a bunch of books on textual criticism second hand, and began to research the subject. But Moorman is in England, where surely he could have found better resources than Ruckman, for crying out loud! :tonofbricks:
     
  18. TCassidy

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    I can add my hearty AMEN to that! :D
     
  19. John of Japan

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    On p. 111 Moorman quotes some bizzarre speculations by Ruckman.

    (1) "Papyri consisted a (sic) cheap paper, similar to modern day 'newsprint'... (sic) It is highly probable that the Codex (with papyri sheets) was invented by soul winning personal workers, who carried New Testaments with them." This is not factual, not scholarship, but pure speculation designed to bolster Ruckman's views. As much as I value soul winning, this is just nuts. in the first place, I have a sheet of papyrus, and it would be quite difficult to make a whole NT from it. Secondly, there is no historical evidence for Ruckman's statement that I know of.

    (2) "It is certain that no real 2nd century Christian would have been caught dead with 'vellum scrolls' on him, or the high-class 'revised Versions' (sic) put out by Alexandria." Rather, the 1rst (sic) and 2nd century Bible-believing people used papyrus rolls and codices which they copied." I just read this to my PhD son who wandered in from his own office two doors down, and got a horse laugh out of him and, "He proves this how?" My answer was, "He doesn't!" It's another of Ruckman's totally unfounded and unproven speculations.

    My advice to Bro. Moorman and the DBS: Drop Peter Ruckman and all of his works like a hot potato. You just did that recently with the noted female heretical preacher Riplinger. Many of the same charges can be made against Ruckman also, as in his two divorces, etc. Now drop Ruckman, openly and clearly. Revise your book and excise these references Bro. Moorman. That would be a humbling but correct move.
     
  20. Jerome

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    John, why is it like pulling teeth to revise a book? When I found some additional data that contradicted some point Rick Norris was trying to suggest in one of his booklets, he seemed quite unwilling to even insert an errata notice. It it really so difficult, especially when one is just using a vanity press?

    Are there more logistical/contractual issues when a real publisher is involved? Maybe you know from working at Sword? Would a preacher have to wait until his book got reprinted? What if it never sells enough to get to that stage?
     

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