New Testament Key Words: Truth

Extra Meaning

The word from the New Testament most commonly translated as “truth” in English is the Greek word aletheia. Although the common usage of this word is similar to English, signifying that a particular idea or fact was not false, the New Testament in particular added extra force to this word’s usage.

This extra force can be seen is the usage of truth in connection with the Word of God and God’s own nature. In John, it was Jesus’ prayer that Christians be “sanctified in the truth” and God’s Word was indeed itself “truth” (17:17, NASU). This means more than to say that what God has declared to man is true and without error (which it is), but also to equalize the two concepts as one. The very reason the Word of God is truth is that it came from God; no other explanation or commentary is needed.

Contrary to the World

Such an idea is contrary to the thinking of the world where we find truth as something that must be established or corroborated. Because of the Divine and perfect nature of God, no such corroboration is necessary, for truth is a part of who He is, and part of the very Word He sent that became flesh (John 1:14) Who personified truth in every aspect of His life. Such an idea challenges many for it deals in absolutes. The world is place seeking relativity and areas of grey. Such cynicism can be seen in the comment of Pilate when confronting Christ as king: “What is truth?” (John 18:38). That he could ask such a question while truth’s very embodiment stood before him, and knowing the very absence of truth in any accusation brought against Christ, is striking.

Man has sought after truth since creation, finding varied sources to meet the need of the moment. However, no source outside of man can produce real truth. Man may believe he has discovered something profound for the age only to later realize he was mistaken. Our understanding of the world we live in and the nature of our being is challenged regularly by new discovery.

The Word Never Changes

The Word of God is immune from such transition, however, and that is the true power found in what the New Testament describes as truth. It is not just that these words are true, it is that they will remain so forever. The reality of God’s love, the power of Christ’s sacrifice, and the promise of heaven will not change, no matter what man decides the “truth” should be.

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