What is truth - John 18:38
In John 18:38, Pilate asked,
"What is truth?" That question is one of the best questions asked in the
entire Bible...and it was asked by an unbeliever. "What is truth?" The
answer to this question is very important since various religions, secular
movements, ideologies, etc., all claim to ultimately base their
presuppositions on the answer to that question. Of course, in
Christianity, we hold to the truth that Jesus is God in flesh (John
1:1,14; Col. 2:9), that He died on the cross, was buried, and rose from
the dead (1 Cor. 15:3-4), and that on the cross He bore our sins in his
body (1 Pet. 2:24).
But truth to others can consist of believing there is no God, to believe God came from another planet (Mormonism), to God being an eternal divine essence emanating in the universe (New Age), to whatever other position that the human mind can conjure up. The problem is that they cannot all be true since truth does not contradict itself. God cannot be a man from another planet and NOT a man from another planet. We cannot have God exist and not exist.
So, what is truth? I like to say that truth is what corresponds to reality. Look at it this way. Reality exists. Reality is not an illusion (if it were, the statement "reality is an illusion" would be an illusion and not true). Therefore, truth is that which conforms to reality. Truth is not self contradictory and truth exists. Since truth exists and is not self contradictory, it is absolute. Therefore, what is absolutely true is that which corresponds to absolute reality.
Is it reality that Jesus is God? that He rose from the dead? that He walked on water? Yes, yes, and yes. Of course, there are those who will disagree with these statements. To do so, they would have to say that they are not 'real,' they are not true. But that is another subject for another time.
The Bible does not defend itself as the truth. It simply assumes it is the truth. It assumes that it is the revelation of God who is true and the creator of reality. It is self attesting and carries the prophecies, fulfillment, and history of Jesus who, according to the eyewitnesses, died and rose from the dead. The fact is that truth corresponds to reality in the Bible. The Disciples preached and taught based upon the resurrection. Their "truth" reflected the "reality" of Christ conquering death.
When Pilate asked "What is truth," the answer could easily have been, Jesus is the truth (John 1:17; 16:4).