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Bible Dictionaries

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary

Truth

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There are various meanings of the word ‘truth’ in the Bible, some of which are similar to those we use today. A person or thing may be true, meaning the opposite of false (Deuteronomy 13:14; Proverbs 12:19; Romans 9:1; see LIE) or the opposite of insincere (Genesis 42:16; Philippians 1:18; 1 John 3:18; see HYPOCRISY). A thing may be called true in contrast to that which is only a shadow or picture (John 1:9; John 15:1; Hebrews 9:24; see TYPE). The Bible often uses ‘true’ with the meaning of reliable, faithful or trustworthy (Genesis 24:49; Genesis 47:29; Psalms 57:10; Revelation 22:6).

God is truth

All these meanings are in some way applied to God (Psalms 19:9; Jeremiah 10:9-10; Jeremiah 42:5Micah 6:20Romans 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; Revelation 16:7). Truth is God’s very nature. He is the basic reality from which everything else springs (John 1:3-4; John 1:14; John 8:26; Romans 1:25). God became human in Jesus, and therefore Jesus is truth in human form (John 14:6; Ephesians 4:21; Revelation 3:7). As the Old Testament spoke of the God of truth or, to use the related word, the God of the Amen (Isaiah 65:16), so the New Testament speaks of Jesus as the Amen. He is the one in whom God’s truth is perfectly expressed, and through whom God’s promises are perfectly fulfilled (John 1:17; 2 Corinthians 1:20; Revelation 3:14; see AMEN).

Jesus spoke repeatedly about the truth, and those who come to know him come to know the truth. Thereby they are freed from the bondage of sin, brought into a living relationship with the true God, and indwelt by him who is the Spirit of truth (John 8:32; John 14:17; John 16:13; John 17:3; 2 John 1:1-2).

Truth, in the sense spoken of by Jesus, saves people, for it represents the full saving activity of God through Jesus Christ. Jesus’ life and teaching were directed towards revealing and fulfilling God’s truth (John 1:17; John 8:32; John 8:45-46; John 17:17; John 17:19; John 18:37). A natural development from this was to speak of ‘truth’ as referring to the whole body of Christian teaching (2 Corinthians 4:2; Galatians 2:5; Galatians 5:7; Ephesians 1:13; 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Timothy 2:15). This is in keeping with the Old Testament usage of ‘truth’ as applying to the revealed Word of God (Psalms 25:5; Psalms 86:11; Psalms 119:142; see REVELATION).

Christian character

Truth in all its aspects should characterize the lives of those who have come under the rule of him who is the truth (Exodus 18:21; Psalms 26:3; John 3:21; 2 Corinthians 13:8; Ephesians 4:15; Ephesians 4:25; Ephesians 6:14; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18; 3 John 1:4). Having become obedient to the truth, they must be loyal to the truth, without any trace of falsehood, insincerity or unfaithfulness (1 Corinthians 5:8; 2 Corinthians 4:2; Galatians 4:16; 1 Peter 1:22).

Their possession of God’s truth, however, is no reason for Christians to claim absolute authority for their own theories or opinions. The human mind is limited and, like all human capacities and abilities, is affected by sin (1 Corinthians 8:2). God alone is the possessor of absolute truth (Isaiah 55:8-9; Romans 11:33-34; see KNOWLEDGE).


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Bibliography Information
Fleming, Don. Entry for 'Truth'. Bridgeway Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/bbd/t/truth.html. 2004.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, December 11th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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