What is truth?

Many universities include the Latin word “Veritas“, meaning truth, in their mottos. Yet what many at these universities teach is a relative truth1.

“Our children are losing their moral compass and lashing out in violence like never before. Our schools teach that we are an accident of evolution. Our institutions teach that we must accept all types of lifestyles or be deemed “intolerant,” or worse, “hate mongers.”2

Websters 1828 dictionary defines truth this way:


1. Conformity to fact or reality; exact accordance with that which is, or has been, or shall be. The truth of history constitutes its whole value. We rely on the truth of the scriptural prophecies.

My mouth shall speak truth. Prov.8.

Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth. John. 17.

2. True state of facts or things. The duty of a court of justice is to discover the truth. Witnesses are sworn to declare the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

3. Conformity of words to thoughts, which is called moral truth.

Shall truth fail to keep her word?

4. Veracity; purity from falsehood; practice of speaking truth; habitual disposition to speak truth; as when we say, a man is a man of truth.

Truth derives from laws which have to come from somewhere. We see the word truth (אמת, ’emeth) for the first time in Genesis 24:27 and again in vs. 48. Truth is defined as “His” (God’s). in verse 4 God is seen as the one who leads people into truth. Time after time God is seen either as the originator of truth or truth is His personification.4

Yet so many people try to define truth in their own terms. A friend of mine stopped going to church because he now believes you can worship on any day you want in the privacy of your own home. Even if he did manage to do what he says, his “truth” is still relative and not from the Bible. Remember the sabbath day [Saturday], to keep it holy, says Exodus 20:8-11. The notion that what is “truth for me” or what is “truth for us” is utter nonsense. We both can’t hold the truth, because we both can’t be right. One person must be wrong, or both can be wrong, but both can never be right.

In Exodus chapter 32, Aaron and Miriam allowed the building of a golden calf while Moses stayed on the mountain talking with God. To the Israelite people, the golden calf was their “truth.” During their captivity in Egypt, their oppressors introduced them to idolatry, but was it real Truth? As Christians, followers of Christ, we are called to seek for Truth and to bear fruit for it. If we discover something that is wrong, we have an ethical and moral obligation to stop following or doing it, and then run from it. Jesus’ dealings with all He came in contact with is a testament to that. He consistently told people to “Go and sin no more.” In order for that to take place, they had to go somewhere to find out what sin was; they had to find the truth about what was sin or what wasn’t sin. The Bible was and is that source, there is no relativism to what sin is.

In Exodus 32, the Israelites were wrong and the fact that Aaron participated did not make their perceived truth real Truth.

It was the extreme dernier cri — latest fad. But truth isn’t brought about by the highest counted answer received from polling people. And culture cannot be the final answer on what is or isn’t truth. Perhaps the golden calf held alluring temptations to all present; but Jesus said all the Law and Prophets hang on foremost, that you love God with all of your mind and love your fellow man (Matthew 22:40). To Love God is to keep His commandments (Jos 22:5; Mat 19:17; Rev 12:17; Rev 14:12) which is only doable when you fully accept Christ.  Jesus was clear when He said, “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Jesus sets us free, and Jesus is truth. The ultimate truth!


1) see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veritas (accessed 2012-03-18)
2) http://www.cultural-relativism.com/ (accessed 2012-03-18)
3) Strong’s Number H571 matches the Hebrew אֱמֶת (’emeth), which occurs 127 times in 125 verses in the Hebrew concordance of the KJV
4) see for example 1 Kings 17:24; Exodus 34:6; Deu 32:4; 2 Samuel 2:6; Psalms 25:5, 10p Psalm 115:1, Psalmn 117:2; Psalm 119:43, 142, 151, 160; Psalm 138:2; Psalm 146:6; Proverbs 3:3; Daniel 9:13, etc…
5) see also Jos 22:5 – “But take careful heed to do the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, to keep His commandments, to hold fast to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

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