Ok, so the problem seems to be with the java program itself, so you seem right that it is the .bin file. Also, it is a older version of java that you are using (which is my guess as to the problem now). Go to java.sun.com and download the jdk. I'd recomend version 1.4.2 (not 1.5 yet), because that is what most people have (that way you can stay compatable).
the rpm one is basically exactly like the bin one, except it just installs it along with your other rpm files, and puts links to the program in /usr/bin, and also makes it easy to uninstall. I personally like the bin one, because i can then install many versions of java, and then by changing my bashrc file, change what version of java I am currently using (because i compile my programs and test them on different java versions).