Thursday, July 06, 2006

Sword/Hammond IFBs and the KJVO Issue

It is a little publicized fact that while what could be properly identified with today's KJVO position extends back into the 1800's, as IFBs "descended" from John R. Rice and the Sword (and ultimately, the SBC) such doctrine this was not always a major feature of our churches.
As a matter of fact, before the early 1980's the proper term in our circles for KJVOism was "Ruckmanism." Rice avoided Ruckman and Hyles followed his lead. I have been told (but unable to verify) that a student (by the name of "Black" if I remember correctly) was campused at HAC in the late 1970's for pushing "Ruckmanism."

In Ruckman's first editions of his book "Problem Texts" he documents for us the fact that Hyles and HAC were not, in fact, KJVO at the time. Present day editions of this book, now titled "The Errors in the King James Bible," contain a footnote to remind us that Hyles changed his position in 1984. In a 1984 issue of Ruckman's "Bible Believer's Bulletin," he ran a headline article on Hyles now standing up to the "Alexandrian Cult."

In 1979 John R. Rice ran an article in his Sword of the Lord paper entitled "Questions for King James Fans" (see in which we see his stand against KJVOism.

One little known fact is that Bob Gray (FL) and Curtis Hutson were invited to be on the overview committee of the NKJV. Curtis Hutson accepted. (see

After John R. Rice's death and especially starting in the mid-80s, FBCH began to attract it's own circle of churches who looked to the leadership of Jack Hyles. These churches trended to KJVO along with Hyles. Other churches in the Sword conference were affected and began the migration to full-on KJVOism until the publication of Riplinger's book, New Age Bible Versions, in the early 90s which had the effect of settling the "truth" of KJVOism for almost all involved. Interestingly enough, Curtis Hutson evidently did not become KJVO until shortly before he died of cancer, and at the personal urging of Jack Hyles (unable to verify).

1 comment:

The Republicrat said...

Dr. Rice actually recommended the 1901 ASV. OK, would somebody get a glass of water for the fainting KJV-only person on the floor? Dr. John R. Rice, founder and editor of the Sword of the Lord newspaper, actually said that the…

“…American Standard Version, translated in 1901, is perhaps the most accurate of all versions… It takes advantage of the three great manuscripts – the Sinaiticus, the Vatican, and the Alexandrian manuscripts – which were not available when the King James Version was translated.” from, Dr. Rice, Here Is My Question (Wheaton: Sword of the Lord, 1962), p. 59.

As an overall explanation of his beliefs on the topic of multiple translations, Dr. Rice also stated:

“[There] are many, many translations. The differences in the translations are so minor, so insignificant, that we can be sure not a single doctrine, not a single statement of fact, not a single command or exhortation, has been missed in our translations. And where the Word of God is not perfectly translated in one instance, it is corrected in another translation. And if the Word of God is not perfectly portrayed in one translation, it is portrayed, surely, in the winnowed sum of them all… Have copyists passed on to us any major errors so that in any particular matter we miss the Word of God? There is abundant evidence that they have not. Do the various translations differ materially on any doctrine, any fact of history, any Christian duty, on the plan of salvation, or the Person of Christ, or any comfort or instruction? No, they do not! God has preserved His Scriptures. – from, Our God-Breathed Book, the Bible (Murfreesboro, TN: Sword of the Lord Publishers, 1969), p. 355.