What is Truth?
Keith W. Munday
Lying, economy with the truth, spin, statistics and all
Tens of millions of words are spoken, printed and broadcast
daily. They are the chief means of communication for homo sapiens. The Bible
statement that there are many voices in the world(1) is all too true,
and this verbal avalanche which descends upon us, whether in the form of
advertisements, information, news, entertainment or even government propaganda
needs careful assessment. It should all be measured against the truth.
This immediately brings us to one of the greatest questions
ever asked What is Truth? It was actually addressed to Jesus by Pontius Pilate
when he was examining Him in the Judgement Hall(2) at His trial.
However careless people may be about truth, it must be
admitted that truth is the only foundation on which any trust can be built. A
recent survey on this question yielded the following result. 40 years ago over
60% of those interviewed were happy to trust people and institutions. That
number has now fallen to 30%. (BBC Radio 4).
How shall we define Truth? For starters it could be said
that truth is that which agrees with reality and can be believed. For instance
if I hold a pencil in my hand and I announce that I am holding a pencil in my
hand, it will be the truth because it agrees with reality.
From a theological stance Truth originates from God Who is
known as A God of truth and without iniquity(3). The ninth of the
ten commandments given by God to Moses prohibits falsehood. It states that you
shall not bear false witness(4), and lying is the very antithesis of the truth.
The Bible then goes further to unapologetically identify the
Devil as a liar and the father of it(5). The strange thing about lying, although it is going on
all the time, the inveterate liar is always regarded as a despicable
In reference to Pilate's question to Jesus What is Truth?
Jesus had previously stated that He had come to bear witness to the truth(11), and a part of
that truth is Holy Scripture. because Jesus in His prayer to the Father He
said, Thy Word is truth(7). Seeing that Jesus is known as The Way, The Truth and
The Life, we have two highly credible sources of Truth. Jesus and the Bible. He
could be regarded as the Bible in person, and the Bible is Jesus in print!
Ultimate issues of course are black and white, but
unfortunately contemporary issues are not, we must admit. There are variations
of truth, or gray areas as they are sometimes called. Take first