What is Truth?

People have been asking, "What is truth?" since Jesus was alive and long before that. We were created with a thirst for knowledge and a desire for the truth. It is a part of who we are. So, what is truth?

After Jesus was arrested and given a mock trial by the religious authorities of the Jews, He was brought to Pontius Pilate for sentencing. Pontius Pilate was Governor over Roman Iudaea, only he had the authority to sentence a person to death and the Jewish authorities wanted Jesus executed for blasphemy. As Pilate interrogated Jesus he asked, "Are you King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm." Therefore Pilate said to Him, "So You are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice." Pilate *said to Him, "What is truth?" (As recorded in The Gospel of John chapter 18) Was Pilate seeking to know truth or spouting the exasperation of a skeptic trapped in reality? Many people are seeking truth, others are arguing skeptics or maybe a little of both. Who are you?

What is truth is a metaphysical question. That is, the question of truth is the relationship between a proposition and the world. Do the propositions agree with the reality of the world? If there is agreement, then the proposition is true. Sound confusing, just wait, because many people today believe that truth is subjective. That is, a proposition's truth is determined by our believing it to be so for the right reasons. So before we ask, "What is truth?" we need to ask what kind of truth. Do we believe in objective truth, that is, do we believe that truth exists independently of our minds or do we believe in subjective truth, that truth is determined by the individual. As believers in Christ, we believe that God is objectively true, that He exists independently of us, that He is not just a figment of our imagination or a helpful creation of our subconscious mind. Truth is objective, it is not determined by my belief, sincerity or certainty. Truth is objective, therefore anything opposite of a true proposition can not also be true (see the 3 Laws of Thought).

Every person, including Jesus, makes truth claims about reality. Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6) Jesus' truth claims have bearing on both our faith and life, even our eternity. If God's Word is true, then it's truth will influence our view of truth and reality. If the LORD God is the only God then all other gods are creations of man and God alone is worthy of our praise and service. If God has determined that faith in Jesus is the only way to a true relationship with God for all eternity, then He is the only way. If Jesus is God's only Son and our only Savior, than all other religions are false and offer only confusion rather than an alternate way to God.

"What is truth" is a conversation that has existed for all ages, even Adam and Eve struggled with it. It is a question that will continue until God sets it straight for all eternity, but until then we get to discuss and discover it. As you may be able to tell, I love to talk about truth. I would be happy to talk to you about truth and it's impact on our lives as we live in the reality of this world.

For further thought:

  • How do we know anything?
  • What are the 3 Laws of Thought? (The law of identity, the law of non contradiction and the law of the excluded middle)
  • What is metaphysics anyway?
  • What do you believe is true?
  • How do you know what is true?