What is truth?

This article is from Hank Hanegraaff, The Complete Bible Answer Book—Collector’s Edition (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008)
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This is the very question Pontius Pilate asked Jesus. In the irony of the ages, he stood toe to toe with the personification of truth and yet missed its reality. Postmodern people are in much the same position. They stare at truth but fail to recognize its identity.

First, truth is an aspect of the nature of God himself. Thus, to put on truth is to put on Christ. For Christ is “truth” (John 14:6), and Christians are to be the bearers of truth. As Os Guinness explains, Christianity is not true because it works (pragmatism); it is not true because it feels right (subjectivism); it is not true because it is “my truth” (relativism). It is true because it is anchored in the person of Christ.

Furthermore, truth is anything that corresponds to reality. As such, truth does not yield to the size and strength of the latest lobby group. Nor is truth merely a matter of preference or opinion. Rather truth is true even if everyone denies it, and a lie is a lie even if everyone affirms it.

Finally, truth is essential to a realistic worldview. When sophistry, sensationalism, and superstition sabotage truth, our view of reality is seriously skewed. The death of truth spells the death of civilization. However, as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn discovered, “One word of truth outweighs the entire world.”

-Adapted from The Covering

For further study, See Os Guinness, Time for Truth (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2000).


“‘You are a king, then!’ said Pilate. Jesus answered, ‘You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.’” ‘What is truth?’ Pilate asked.”

John 18:37–38

More Bible Answers with Hank

Will the Created Cosmos Be Resurrected or Annihilated?

How Can the Eternal Son of God Be the “Firstborn over All Creation”?

Will Adam and Eve Receive Brand-New Bodies in Eternity?

Do Naturalists Consider Chance the Singular Cause of Evolution?

Why Did Heliocentrism Triumph over Geocentrism?

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