Dr. Ruckman's famous Ad-Lib Commentary on the Bible recorded in the 1970's. By Dr. Peter S. Ruckman
Old Testament - Volume 1 - From the Creation to the reign of King Saul. 18 hrs. 35 min.
Old Testament - Volume 2 - From King Saul to the end of the Old Testament. 18 hrs. 46 min.
New Testament - From the shepherds in the field to "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." 21 hrs. 47 min.
Story by Dr. Peter S. Ruckman
One day, many years ago (1962), I sat down and thought to myself, “I wonder how much of that Book I actually know?” I decided the best way to find out would be just to sit down and start “ad libbing” and see how much of it I could repeat from memory, without notes or looking at the text.
This was not going to be an attempt to quote Scripture, but simply tell the whole running narrative from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22. Naturally, I gave the entire narrative in colloquial “street language,” thus beating out the “Living Bible” and the new “African Heritage” Bible by several years. It took three years to complete it although it only took fifty-eight hours of recording time. The thing that complicated it was the adding of sound effects and music to the narration. This was done on a four-track Grundig, which could record “sound on sound on sound.” But back in those days (1962 - 1965) I had no decent equipment other than the Grundig, so I had to use three other recorders that didn’t match (a Sony, a General Electric, and a Wollensak). This entailed multiple “patchings” that would drive you up the wall. Furthermore, I had no “sound studio”; not even a recording room. I recorded them in my office, the bedroom, and in tool sheds out in the backyard.
The finished product turned out to be an up-to-date “Bible” you wouldn’t believe. Paul had a car wreck and a plane crash. David and Jonathan used CBs during Absalom’s rebellion. Samson and Delilah listen to stereos in her apartment, and Joab’s cavalry included Field Marshal Ney, J.E.B. Stuart, and Nathan B. Forrest. The crowning touch was the three “wise men” (Matt. 2), who turned out to be Yamashita (Shem), Von Kesselring (Japheth), and Steppinfetchit (Ham)—all speaking in their “native dialects.” The Ad Lib Commentary became an immediate favorite of little children. Several hundred preachers’ children were “raised on it.” It had jokes, music, puzzles, and poems all the way through it. Then carefully “smuggled in” were about forty Biblical doctrines which all of the Hebrew and Greek scholars had missed for nineteen centuries.
Unfortunately, the recording quality was extremely bad, and it got worse with the passage of years (1965–1985). Recently (1990's), the Bookstore has gone back over the entire set (Old and New Testament), and “cleaned up” and improved the quality of many places. We are happy again to offer the “Ad Lib Commentary” to young and old alike.