These famous words from a man deemed infamous for his part in Jesus crucifixion, have hung in the air since uttered. In fairness the question has been asked over the centuries by other people and is still on many lips today. Perhaps, like me, you land in the, “truth is a concrete reality demonstrable by facts that can be accessed for proof”.
But it is more common now for me to here that truth is totally relative. My least favorite is the statement, “That’s your truth.”
Pilate had a lot at stake in that moment. But if you read the story carefully, he does not even wait for the answer. He just walks out on the opportunity to hear Jesus explain truth. Both Plato and Aristotle concluded that truth is the description of a thing that is accurate, as it relates to observable facts.
I do love it when I get to agree with both Plato and Aristotle.
There are of course many who have undertaken to define truth in different ways including the one mentioned before, truth is what you perceive it to be. To me it plunges the individual into a chaotic world where 2+2=9 today.
I worry about mentioning this because of the potential for a handful of folks to declare the existence of “holes” in the theory; I am not trying to argue metaphysics, chaos theory or the illogical behavior of quarks. I am saying that it is a good thing to have an anchoring theory of truth as a descriptor of a measurable and verifiable reality. Because there is no truth if all truth is relative to the perspective of the individual.
Man, I wish Pilate would have hung around for a minute. Somebody in the room was listening and told the story to John. That guy could have let us know what Jesus said.
The fact is that Jesus did give an answer at a different moment. When praying for his disciples and for those of us living after the resurrection Jesus declares His position on the subject. You can find it in the book of John as well, but in John 17:17; It says of us, “make them holy, by your truth; Your word is truth.”
Jesus’ definition requires some thought:
- The “Word of God” that I call the Bible is truth, yes and …
- The words of God are truth, of course and …
- God created all things by speaking the words, and
- Everything is according to His design, and exists because of His ability,
Then all discoverable information — all observable data — comes from God and thus His word literally made all that is true, true. (Jesus’ simplest sounding words often take me the deepest.)
I carry around in my hands and my head words from God, who designed truth, how blessed I am. And when falsehood attempts to prevail from whatever quarter, you and I can return to the Word made flesh in Jesus, and the Word in the ink of the Bible as anchors for “the truth”.
Thanking God for the Word