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Words from the Greek New Testament

Altheia: True, Truth, Verity

Alethia: True, Truth, Verity

In our society, confidence in political leadership is at an all time low. Public opinion polls reveal that we think our politicians are untrustworthy and self-serving; and completely without substance. Likewise lawyer jokes abound, caricaturing lawyers as sleazy, money-grubbing liars.

Strangely in the world’s most famous courtroom drama, it's a politician, the Governor by the name of Pontius Pilate who enters the courtroom and takes centre stage. In his role as judge, Pilate calls in Jesus Christ and begins to interrogate him. “Are you the king of the Jews?” he demands. Under oath Jesus answers:

. . . To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. John 8:37

Pilate the politician refuses to obey his own inner sense of right and wrong, and famously retorts “What is truth?” What Pilate found so repugnant was that instead of a pleading defense, he was confronted by Jesus boldly declaring that:

I have come so that I should bear witness to the truth.

For many people, truth becomes a problem and a headache which simply won’t go away.

Jesus’ magnificent declaration is recorded in Greek, where the word aletheia meaning: true, truly, truth, verity is translated as truth. In His declaration, Jesus adds the article to aletheia to boldly assert that it is not merely truth, but that it is the truth that He is talking about. Jesus is saying I'm not just bringing you something that's true, or part of the truth, but I'm bringing you the truth; in fact, absolute truth.

In Western Society, our mass-media, our scholars and our leaders all recoil from the idea of absolute truth. The cardinal sin is to be viewed as being narrow minded or intolerant. To avoid this taint our society has turned its back on absolute truth, and taken to hiding in the thicket of moral relativism.

It's hardly surprising that our ability to evaluate and assess right and wrong, or truth and unrighteousness has been temporarily neutered and lost.


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