What is Truth?

by Greg West

What is truth? Pilate asks that question of Jesus in John 18:38. Actually it is not so much of a question as it is a response to what Jesus said in the previous verse. Jesus is standing before Pilate’s judgement seat, being accused by the Jewish religious leaders of blasphemy and for claiming to be a king. In verse 37 Pilate asks of Jesus, “Are you a king, then?” And Jesus replies “You are right in saying that I am a king. In fact, this is why I was born and came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

This is when Pilate responds with “What is truth?” When I read the text, it does not come off to me as a simple question, but as a sarcastic rebuttal; “WHAT IS TRUTH?!?” It’s as if he is implying that truth cannot be known. Unfortunately, there are a growing number of people in the world that would agree with him. That “truth is relative” seems to be the mantra of this current age; “It may be true for you but it isn’t true for me”. To this statement I would respond with “Are you sure that is a true statement?” The Law of Non-contradiction, which I read about a lot but doesn’t seem to be taught much anymore, flies in the face of relativism. The Law of Non-contradiction simply means that if A and B contradict each other then they both cannot be true. In other words, if your religion is true, then mine is false. Or if my religion is true, then yours is false.

The evolutionists camp has a different view of what is a fact and what isn’t. My definition of fact is definition number one in my dictionary: “the quality of existing or of being real; actuality; truth”. If you read the essay Evolution is a Fact and a Theory at TalkOrigins.org, you will plainly see that they use a different definition of fact than I do. They use definition number four in my dictionary: “something said to be true or supposed to have happened (emphasis mine). In the essay it sites a quote from evolutionist Stephen J. Gould: “”fact” doesn’t mean “absolute certainty”; there ain’t no such animal in an exciting and complex world.”

Well, I beg to differ with Mr. Gould, and can say with absolute certainty that I am sitting here typing out this blog at my computer (granted, in a slow and awkward manner). I am not attempting to make a case against evolution here, but I am trying to make the point that truth does exist and that it can be known! So the next time someone tells you that something is a fact, you might want to ask them which definition of fact they are using.

I don’t remember where I read this quote, but it is a good one: “Truth is truth whether everyone believes it or no one believes it”.

Please view this video featuring three of my favorite apologists/theologians defining truth: