Though the Bible isn’t a philosophical discourse on the topic of truth, it certainly has much to say about truth. There are many different words, examples, and stories in the Bible about truth. Here is a summary of Kenneth Samples’ seven points that explain truth according to Scripture.
1) God is ultimate truth. In the Bible, God describes himself as being real, true, and alive rather than being unreal, false, and dead like the gods conjured through counterfeit human idolatry. According to historic Christianity, God is the ultimate and unchanging truth and the necessary real being that stands behind the created order. He is also the source and ground of all truth (Is. 43:10-13, Jer. 10:6-16, John 17:3).
2) Jesus Christ is the truth of God Incarnate. According to the New Testament, the infinite, eternal, and transcendent God has taken on a human nature and become man in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus of Nazareth is the truth of God in human flesh (John 1:14, 14:6, Phil. 2:6-7, Col. 2:9).
3) All truth is God’s truth, and he has revealed it to humankind. God is the metaphysical foundation of all truth. Truth is logically coherent and corresponds to reality; the same is true of God’s thoughts and knowledge (Ps. 31:5, Is. 65:16, John 17:17).
4) Truth is objective, knowable, and applicable. The truth God revealed through both general and special revelation (creation and Scripture) is objective in nature. It is the way things really are – independent of human subjective experience and man-made conventions. Truth, then, from the human standpoint is discovered not invented. Human beings can know the facts because God made people with the necessary capacities to apprehend what is true (Ps. 19:1-11, John 8:32, Rom. 1:18-21).
5) Truth is universal, absolute, and unchanging. Central to historic Christian belief is the reality of Christ’s unique lordship. He is God, King, and Ruler over all. The truth about this lordship is universal in nature – meaning it is true for all people, at all times, everywhere. It is not conditioned by culture but is without exemption, exception, or qualification (John 20:28, Rom. 10:9-13, Phil. 2:11, Heb. 13:8, Rev. 1:5).
6) Truth excludes whatever is falsehood. The truth of Jesus being God Incarnate negates or denies its opposite (see, for example, 1 John 4:1-6). Christ’s unique lordship excludes all others who make the same claim. That means he alone is Lord. Indeed, the claims of his competitors (Caesar, Krishna, Allah, Hitler, and so on) must be false, and they must be imposters. Christian truth-claims about Jesus may seem intolerant in light of present-day, politically correct cultural standards, but if Christ is in fact who he said he was, then these claims are the necessary and correct conclusions of sound logical reasoning (Acts 4:12).
7) To deny the reality of truth is self-defeating. The skeptical attempt to deny the existence of truth ends up being self-defeating. This nullification results because all attempts to dismiss truth constitute claims about truth itself. The denial of truth is [a] contradictory statement because it inevitably results in an assertion about truth itself (cf. John 18:37b) (p. 75ff).
This is a summary of a helpful section of Samples’ book, A World of Difference. If you would like an excellent resource on Christian apologetics, you’ll love this book. Even those of you who are not overly interested in apologetics should get this book since it is a good resource on knowing the basics of Christianity – biblical truths which are also reasonable. For the record, Samples notes that the above seven points (which I’ve summarized) are adapted from Douglas Groothuis’ book, Truth Decay (which I’ll blog on at a later date).
2 Replies to “A Christian, Biblical View of Truth”
Thank you for this summary.
Reblogged this on The Christian Mind and commented:
Truth is crucial. If we are going to successfully defend the christian faith and hold it out as the only hope for a decaying world, this is where we must begin. For we preach Jesus, who described Himself as the ‘Truth’.
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