What is Truth? A Description of the Nature of Truth in the Gospel of John
By Brian G. Chilton
“What is truth?’ said Pilate” (John 18:38). This classic question was asked by Pilate to Jesus during Jesus’s trial. This question does not resonate with Pilate only. In fact, people throughout generations have asked the same. What is truth? What is the nature of truth? Can truth be known?
While Jesus did not answer Pilate’s question during his trial, the nature of truth was already taught in John’s Gospel in three ways. First, one must define what is meant by truth. Aletheia is the Greek term which is translated as truth. It describes something as it exists in reality. So, when Jesus or John describes truth, they are noting the reality of their point of reference. Thus, the term aletheia holds that truth exists and is knowable…