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What is Truth?

what truthWhat is Truth?

What is truth?  Former British Prime Minister and statesman Winston Churchill once opined,

“Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.”

Can anyone really know “the truth”? Is it still relevant in our life?  Is truth subject to human interpretation and should be based on personal preferences/ feelings? Is there such a thing as “absolute truth”?

Today, we live in a society in which everything is seen as relative. A common argument is, “What might be ‘true’ for you may not be ‘true’ for me. After all, ‘truth’ is based on personal feelings and to deny the validity of other’s feelings is to be narrow-minded and bigoted.” Thus, truth has become synonymous with tolerance. But can our subjective feeling and experience be relied upon as basis of truth and reality? If a person truly believes that he cannot die by drinking a spoonful of cyanide, does his claim immediately create a reality that cyanide is not poisonous and therefore safe?

Ironically, this most profound question was once posed by an unbeliever in the Bible. Pontius Pilate turned to Jesus, before he handed down his verdict, and asked, “What is the truth?” (John 18:38) Perhaps a cynical question to what Jesus had just revealed, “I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth” (v.37).

Earlier, on the night of His arrest, Jesus had already given the key knowledge through a most thoughtful prayer to the Father on behalf of His disciples knowing that He had but a short time. Within the context of that prayer, He said,

“Sanctify [set apart] them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:17).

Here, Jesus Christ pointed out that one will know and understand the truth by seeking and examining the pages of God’s Word—the Holy Bible. The Bible contains the answers to life’s probing questions: Who or what is God, purpose of life, right and wrong, what is sin, and the potential and future of mankind—to name just a few of the subjects covered within this Book.

As the Psalmist declared, “The entirety of Your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160). Interestingly, the word “truth” can be found more than 200 times in Scriptures.

Real Christianity then if it must be the beacon of truth, justice, morals, righteousness and what is good must be based on the belief that there is absolute truth. When we study the Bible, we discover number clear cut principles about the truth:

1] The Bible refers to the Almighty as the “God of truth” (Deut. 32:4; Psalm 31:5; Isaiah 65:16). In John 4:23, Jesus stated, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.” Truth is absolute and must be based on God and His word. God not only reveals Himself as the one true God, but also as the God who determines what is the truth. Jesus says If we really want to discover the truth, we must be willing to believe that it is He, the Self-Existent One (the “I am”), the Creator who determines truth from falsehood—not our own perceptions or emotions.

2] Psalm 119:142 “Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and your law is the truth.” Truth must be based on God’s holy law as it defines righteousness. Sin and evil is lawlessness and is therefore the enemy of truth (1John 3:4). Unbelievers ultimately do not obey the truth, which is embodied in the law (Romans 2:8 Romans 2:20). Truth is an understanding of reality that ultimately determines what is right and wrong or good and evil.

3] I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6). Jesus describes himself as the way, the truth, and the life, and as such he is the only means to the Father. Truth is revealed by God in the life, teachings and example of Jesus Christ. Even when Jesus had already ascended, the presence of truth will continue because the Comforter, that is, the “Spirit of truth” (John 14:17), will be active to those who believes (2 Peter 1:12).

Thus, truth is rooted theologically. It is the self-expression of God. It is the reality God has created and defined, and over which He rules. Truth should therefore be viewed as moral and life issue for every person. Even the foundation of the law (what’s right) is God Himself. By trusting in Him and acting according to what He has commanded, we align our life to what is righteous and good, thereby receiving the blessing and avoiding the curses and painful effects of wrongs (sin).

Jesus said, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark:12:29-31).

This summarization by Jesus Christ forms the foundational basis of all truth. There is a choice between simply going the way you think is right (Proverbs 14:12) or you can turn to God and receive His gracious Word of truth (John 1:14).


“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

“There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:38

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