Is truth relative?
“Your truth need not be my truth” is often claimed today. This idea of relative truth is not entirely new, but is becoming increasingly popular. Here are two quotations with opposing positions, 200 years apart from each other:
“Two truths can never contradict each other.”Galileo Galilei (1564-1641), cited in German language in gutzitiert.de
“There is no true statement, because the position of man is the uncertainty of floating. Truth is not found, but produced. It is relative.”Friedrich Schlegel (1772-1829), cited in German language in Wikipedia
By the way, also only one of these two statements can be true, because they exclude each other :-).
Men searching for truth
These are the search queries for the term truth from 2004 until today:
Absolute or relative?
It is understandable that in the religious sphere we increasingly find the position that there is no absolute truth. That is convenient. But if we assume (and I believe this) that there is a God who is above everything and who embodies the truth, there must be an absolute truth. And if we assume that this God is a loving and just God, we may assume that he communicates the truth to us.
That is why I started to read the bible to find out what it says about God. There I discovered: Truth in the biblical sense is not relative. Therefore I offer the following definition:
Truth = The reality as God sees it.Source unknown
Probably God sees some things differently than we do. King David was aware of this, so he said, “Teach me, O LORD, thy way: I will walk in thy truth. (Psalm 86:11). But in order to “walk in it”, we must know it.
Jesus introduces himself
In John 18:28-40 it is described how Jesus stands before the governor Pilate and is questioned. The last words of Jesus in this conversation are “I was born for this purpose and I came into the world to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice. Pilate replies: “What is truth? Two worlds collide in this encounter: One knows very well what truth is, the other questions everything.
Truth in threefold form
In the Bible we find at least three sources of truth that are interrelated to each other: The biblical scriptures themselves are called truth (“Your word is truth”, see John 17:17), Jesus Christ says of himself that he himself is the truth, and the Holy Spirit is the “Spirit of truth” (John 14:17). Thus we have three sources of truth:
- Jesus Christ is truth
- God’s word is truth
- the Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth
I have decided not to believe the church, but the original source, the Bible. God has made sure that you can find it, therefore the search for Him is not unsuccessful – if you start to search.
Search for truth
Therefore do not let yourself be persuaded that there is no absolute truth in religious matters, and as if one could not find it. Jesus said:
“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”Johannes 8:31-32 (NIV)
Where do we find truth?
So if you are looking for truth, I recommend you not only to Google, but also to open the bible and deal with Jesus. A good start is the gospel of John. It says that Jesus told the truth that he heard from God:
- Jesus spoke the truth he heard from God (John 8:40).
- With Jesus, word and deed were one (John 8:25) – he was what he said.
- He was completely one with God the Father: “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9)
- Jesus was full of grace and truth (John 1, 14; 17, 18)
All his behavior, thinking, speaking and acting embodied the truth about God. We recognize in Jesus Christ God the Father with his divine qualities. Therefore he could say:
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”Jesus Christ in John 14: 6 (NIV)
Are you looking for the truth? That is beautiful! The truth is a person who has risen and is alive today. Make your way to him. If you have read so far and don’t have a bible at home, then write me an email (see “Impressum”/Imprint) or a comment. The first 10 will get a gospel of John for free, worldwide.
- Truth: Bild von Gordon Johnson auf Pixabay (CCO)