Ruckman and Riggs


There are two examples that enemies of the King James Bible’s perfection like to bring up. The first is Ruth 3:15 and the second is Jeremiah 34:16.

In Ruth 3:15, the First 1611 Edition read at the last part of the verse, “and he went into the citie.” Compare that to today, where it says, “and she went into the city.”

The change from “he” to “she” happened in the Second 1611 Edition. Sometimes it has been printed “he” over the years, but most editions have “she”, and that is by far the common wording seen today.

The other example is Jeremiah 34:16, where today’s Cambridge Editions read, “But ye turned and polluted my name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom ye had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjection, to be unto you for servants and for handmaids.” But Oxford Editions have, “whom he”.

Enemies mention these two examples because they ask, “which one of these two words are inspired? Is it ‘he’ or ‘she’? Is it ‘he’ or ‘ye’?” Etc.


Peter S. Ruckman was a well known King James Bible only teacher in the second half of the twentieth century. He even wrote several articles on these issues.

“Our problem text today is from Ruth Chapter 3. This is one of the ‘last resorts’ used by the Cult to prove a ‘contradiction’ in the AV. The thinking behind this is that some editions of the AV had ‘SHE went into the city’ while others said ‘HE went into the city’ … Now the fact is, they BOTH ‘went into the city.’ Observe Ruth 3:16 — Ruth’s mother-in-law, Naomi, is IN THE CITY. Observe Ruth 4:1 — Boaz had to go into the city to get to ‘the gate.’ Either reading would have been the truth of God without contradiction.”

“’She went into the city’ has been corrected from ‘He went into the city’ (Ruth 3:15), which constituted no error for both of them went into the city, which is perfectly apparent to anyone who can read two-syllable words.”

Ruckman approaches the King James Bible as if it literally is the truth of God, and if he finds it saying “he”, then he says that that is true, and if he finds it saying “she”, he will say it is true, and now he finds that some editions have “he” and others “she”, he is forced to say that both are concurrently correct, that both must be right.

He does the same when holding an Oxford and a Cambridge on his desk. I wrote to Peter Ruckman years ago about this issue, his secretary wrote back saying that either are correct, though that he preferred the Cambridge.

“Well, BOTH variants in the AV (Jer. 34:16) were correct grammatically, if one deals with the English text or the Hebrew text. They (‘ye’ in the Cambridge) were being addressed as a group (plural, Jer. 34:13; as in Deut. 29), but the address was aimed at individual men (‘he’ in the Oxford edition), within the group. Either word would have been absolutely correct according to that great critic of critics, the word of God (Heb. 4:12-13).”

Ruckman did not seem to insist on the idea that there was one true set of words, or that one reading should be preferred over another. In fact, he went as far as D. A. Waite did, and talked about the Hebrew.


God’s word is truth. When it comes to Ruth 3:15, this was clearly a typographical error, because it was corrected straight away the same year.

Now I know that Scrivener thought that “she” is the typographical error, but even his fellow scholars disagreed with him on that point.

The reality is that we are to regard the very words of God.

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4.

God does not speak in contradictions, and he does not have alternative readings to what He said.

But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay. 2 Corinthians 1:18

God’s true word in Heaven is an absolute set of words, there is no shadow of turning with them. Purity demands the right words, not two differing and opposing words!

Thus, it is madness to think that “he” and “she” could both be correct, when it has to be one or the other.

Again, truth compels us not to serve two masters, but we must choose between Cambridge and Oxford.

Importantly, since the Cambridge can be shown right at all such places of difference between it and the Oxford, it must be right here also.

One simply does not have to go to the Hebrew to explain or find any truth.


Brent Riggs is a virtually unknown bulletin board participant in Bible version discussions, and has some strange beliefs, like having church meetings “in Jesus’ name only” and banning Christmas.

He argues that in Ruth 3:15 that he can accept “she” because that’s what’s being used today. Fair enough. But he meanders widely from holding to the idea of there being certainty.

“He recognizes that there are indeed differences in all Bibles. He even recognizes that there are differences in various additions {sic} of the KJV. He does not automatically assume that ‘differences’ mean ‘error’. He recognizes that there are differences in the Gospels, differences in direct quotes of the Old Testament as found in the New Testament and even differences in the list of the 10 Commandments as found in Exodus and Deuteronomy. He is not sure if every reading ‘matches’ the original for no one has the ‘original’ to make such comparison. He recognizes that born again scholars on both sides of this debate have reached different conclusions on these matters. He is convinced however that the Bible is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. The Holy Spirit convinces him through varies means that the AV is the authoritative word of God in English today. To the best of his ability he applies Scriptural principles in reaching his conclusion. He recognizes that God has done something with the AV that he has done with no other Bible in the English language – he had all sides agreeing for 350+ years that the AV was THE STANDARD. Even critics of the AV today recognize this fact. He realizes of course that the ‘brethren’ are going to push him for the ‘correct’, ‘most clear’, ‘best’, and ‘original’ reading of Ruth 3:15. He politely tells them that ‘she’, ‘he’ or ‘both’ would be correct. Not necessarily the original but nonetheless correct for they both went into the city. He is not sure that any of the readings are clearer or better than others. He is however persuaded that the Holy Spirit has borne witness that the AV is the authoritative word of God in English and it reads – ‘she’! That is the authoritative word – whether it is the clearest, or the best he’ll leave to those who think they know what is best. He recognizes that both sides profess that the AV is indeed the very word of God. He honestly believes the AV as it stands without doubt or fudging and does not merely profess belief in the AV he therefore boldly sticks with the reading that God has providentially given him today – ‘she’.”

“It is the CHARACTER of God’s word that ‘remains the same’ and not language, syntax, jot & tittles, word counts, etc.”

Like Ruckman, Riggs thinks that both “he” and “she” are concurrently correct. Like Ruckman, he puts no faith in the original autographs.


Riggs was involved in modernising a Textus Receptus translation of the Polish New Testament. One wonders how the Polish people are being served, if apparently Riggs is not too concerned about precision and accuracy. But we all know he obviously did put effort in, which belies the idea that there must be preciseness after all. I mean, he deliberately has “Duch” not “duch” at 1 John 5:8, so he knows exactly what he has done, and no part of his explaining away is going to make a difference.

He says, “Jot & tittle simply means the smallest or tiniest part of something. In the context of Jesus statement, it means the very least and apparently insignificant (minute) part of the law is going to be fulfilled. God’s word is faithful, if he says something he will fulfill it.”

When it comes to Matthew 5:18, Brent Riggs claims that somehow we are promoting that the Bible in English today must match up character for character to the original autographs. But that’s clearly not what we claim. Rather, we claim that the Bible in English is conveying exactly, to the letter, God’s communication in English, and the ultimate comparison is between what we have on Earth and what is in Heaven.

What Riggs can’t abide is that I would suggest that those Polish people could, upon learning English, or upon some education, come to realise that 1 John 5:8 is teaching something more than just a reference to the Holy Ghost. We have that in English, but I know Riggs would not be teaching that to the Poles. So much then for his “both would be correct” approach. He clearly chose one way only, which of course indicates that when Jesus mentioned the jots and tittles in Matthew 5:18, that He really was talking about actual letters of words, not just “hyperbole” of “ideas”.


The Pure Cambridge Edition has both Ruth 3:15 and Jeremiah 34:16 right. It is wrong to say that either or both can be correct. It is right to believe God cares about the jots and tittles. It is right to see that God has worked beyond the text and translation to even bring to pass our possession of accuracy of editorial wording and spelling. So, we really can rely on the Bible in English, and it is a gift for the people of all nations.