The first thing we noticed about the RRB was that the layout of the notes and references is similar to the Scofield Bible, except that it included 118 appendices in the back, making it a much thicker volume. It has the dedication to King James as in the original 1611, but considering that is included, it noticeably lacks The Translators to the Readers preface, probably because several statements therein by the KJV translators are contrary to Ruckmanism.
We will begin our critique backwards by going through the appendices first, followed by the notes in the body of the text. The fact that an appendix was skipped does not mean that the contents were found to be Biblical. We are simply jotting down some observations regarding what stood out to us the most during our first reading of the RRB.
The very first appendix includes a statement saying that if Jehovah had been used for Lord every time, it would have destroyed the unity of the Bible. Since Hebrew does not make the same distinction as in the KJV, he closed the appendix with the following statement: "The King James Version is an improvement over the 'Hebrew.'"
Although documented (mostly from E.L. Abel's questionable book Moon Madness published by the publisher Fawcett, not written by Fawcett as stated in the RRB) this appendix is loaded with superstition about the moon. Among the unusual things mentioned is the following: "In eight years, Henry Lee Lucas murdered one hundred girls. Every time the moon was full, he had intercourse with a corpse or a severed head." Needless to say, such information seems out of place in a reference Bible.
As part of this appendix there is a chart on p. 1707 in which Ruckman tries to prove through some illustrations and Scripture references that Mt. Zion is shaped like a pyramid. Ruckman's point can be summarized in the following two statements on this page: "Since God is a trinity, 'Mt. Zion' has to be a pyramid shape." "All Greek and Hebrew scholars missed all of the revelation."
Within this appendix there is a heading with the title "The Tricks of the Tradesmen (1880-2000)" Under this heading there is a list of statements in quotes which he does not comment on, but disagrees with or considers to be diversionary tactic. We will list some selected ones and comment on them:
"The Greek text says..." & "The original Greek text says..."
Even when the worst manuscripts are included, there is no dispute whatsoever concerning over 95% of the text of the New Testament. When all manuscripts agree on a given reading, this statement should be considered safe. In his RRB notes under Deut. 32:31, Ruckman referrs to the "original Greek" as follows: "The Holy Spirit preserved (in 'the original Greek') the difference between the two words by using 'petros' for Peter and 'petra' for Jesus Christ in every copy of Matthew extant (Matt. 16:18). The words are not the same in English, Latin, or Greek."
"Erasmus was pro-Catholic."
Although it should be acknowledged that Erasmus was openly critical of some practices and beliefs of the Catholic church, he never left it.
"There was no Receptus before 1633."
The Textus Receptus (TR) got its name from a prefatory statement in Latin in a TR edition from 1633. However, the 1633 edition was part of a series of Greek New Testament editions that had only been lightly revised since Erasmus' 1516 edition; therefore Ruckman is right to point out that it is wrong to say there was no Textus Receptus before 1633.
"Editions of the Receptus differ"
That there are some variances between editions of the Textus Receptus is not in dispute, and Ruckman has even used that argument in his writings against those he calls "TR-men" in an attempt to justify correcting the Greek with the English.
"Where was the word of God before 1611?"
See Ruckman admitting he doesn't know where the Word of God was before 1611.
"The AV had a Crown copyright"
It absolutely did. The New Testament title page of the 1611 edition has cum privilegio, which is how copyright notices were noted in the 17th century.
"The Russians (Spanish, Germans, etc.) had no AV before 1611."
They had TR-based translations, but no AV. They are left with something Ruckman considers to be inferior.
Under this appendix there is a section called "'Ruckmanism' in the 17th-20th Centuries." Under this he has a list of 7 people who supposed taught that the Authorized Version of 1611 was a perfect Bible before his time. He does not quote any of them directly (if he would have, people could see that the quotes did not back up what he says). In six cases the reference is not to a primary source, but rather one of his publications which provides the quote. Six of the seven on his list were refuted in our article No evidence of Ruckmanism before 1950. The seventh one is new to us, and we will report on it once we obtain a copy of the book.
Update, Dec. 29, 2009: We obtained a copy of the only book on Ruckman's list we were not familiar with, and we were not surprised to find that on the page number Ruckman lists there is not mention of the "KJV," the "Authorized Version," or even "our English translation." All that was found is a statement that referred to the Bible in general terms, with no version specified: "When the Bible says one thing and scholarship says another, scholarship can go plumb to the devil." (20 Years with Billy Sunday by Homer Rodeheaver, p. 69)
Who but Ruckman would have a list of "asses" in the Scripture as an appendix to a reference Bible? He provides a list of 28 uses for them, then links it to the 28-day cycle of the moon!
This appendix contains a paragraph with one of Ruckman's strange beliefs:
Since the first public miracle in the Old Testament was Moses turning water to blood, and since the first public miracle in the New Testament was Jesus Christ turning water into wine (a type of blood), it stands to Biblical reasoning that the circulatory system which Adam and Eve had before they fell, was a water system ... This brings up the problem of bloodsuckers like vampire bats and Dracula...
This appendix has to do with the tithe being one tenth, and it is so strange throughout, that we will only quote the first line which should be sufficient to demonstrate its weirdness: "In the Book, the 'tithe' is directly connected with cannibalism in the United Nations after the Rapture."
Most of this appendix has to do with Ruckman's superstitions regarding the letter x. He has a long list of words that contain this letter, and the ridiculousness of it all is summed up in the sphinx, a mythical creature which he defines as "a double-sexed cat!" Does Ruckman really expect people to take his Ruckman Reference Bible seriously?
Ruckman is still trying to guess the dates of the rapture, in spite of God's warning of such a futility in Mat. 24:36. In the current appendix he has the heading "The Calendar for the Second Advent." Under this he introduces his dates with the following statement: "Possible dates for a pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church would be either three days after Passover or on Pentecost (on a Jewish calendar)."