Truth in the New Testament

On Truth in the New Testament

We have already looked at the word for truth in the Old Testament and found it means “reliable, trustworthy, dependable”. Let us turn to the New Testament and look at its word for truth.

The word in the New Testament for truth is aletheia. This is an ancient word with a long heritage in the history of Greek thought. The word aletheia originally carries the sense of “not hidden”, as in something manifest and plain before your eyes.

It carries much of the meaning that the modern word truth contains. It means true, as opposed to false. It means upright. It means righteous, as opposed to unrighteous.

What it also means in Greek thought is “reality”. Interpreting along this line, reading “reality” for “truth”, we can suggest that to say God is true, is to say God is real; that God’s Word is reality; that the Spirit of God is the Spirit of Reality.

It suits us well to read aletheia, the New Testament word for truth, as “reality” in this way, because we also use the word “real” to refer to people who are genuine, not feigning, not dissembling, not hiding anything – people who are completely and honestly open in Jesus are said to be “real”.

This ties in nicely with the original sense of the word, of “not hidden”. A true person, like a true God, is completely open to us, with no hidden surprises.

So putting the Old and New Testament words for truth together, we have the picture of a God who is dependable, reliable, trustworthy, completely open with us, upright, truthful, and real.

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