what is truth?

The Apostle John writes that Jesus, on the night of His trial, was standing before Pilate. Jesus testified that His purpose for coming to this world was “to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” (John 18:37-38)

Pilate answered, “What is truth?” — and left the room, not waiting for an answer. It’s as if he said it with a scoff and a wave of his hand, cynical and frustrated. Maybe because in his political world he had witnessed so little “truth” – if any at all. Sound familiar?

Apparently, Pilate thought it was a question with no answer since he didn’t wait around. Yet, ironically, standing right before him was the very truth he was asking about – the full embodiment of God’s word – truth incarnate! (John 1:14)

Understanding what the Bible says

Bible answers literally built on Scripture

Assembling the most pertinent questions from our library to reveal the ‘all truth’ about some broad topics/doctrines. If any ‘Pilates’ are still asking the question, here’s what we would highlight…


featured scripture-block

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

A time is coming when people won’t tolerate the truth, but wanting to be pleased, will search out teachers to suit their own desires, turning away from listening to God’s word and pursue myths instead.

The closing comments of Paul’s second letter to the young evangelist Timothy. He feels that his death is imminent (vss 6-8) but is hopeful to see Timothy again (vs 9).

Bible study that lets scripture interpret scripture

Together with scripture-blocks, following our “any, only, all” rule is the only way we know that a God-inspired interpretation of Scripture can happen. For any passage to be “in context” means we are looking at any Scripture, only Scripture and all the Scripture together.

You might be asking, “What could stand in the way of letting Scripture interpret Scripture?” That’s a great question…

…and there are at least four increasingly common ways this happens…

letting commentary interpret scripture

Man’s commentary, whether from internet posts or from published works (e.g. Barnes, Matthew Henry, etc.), should not be our source for interpretation. This includes the theology of our favorite pastor or preacher. These may be helpful at times, but “the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Pr 2:6). We are called to “test the spirits” (1 Jn 4:1); even the great apostle Paul was ‘trusted but verified’ by the Bereans (Acts 17:11).

letting culture interpret scripture

It seems for certain texts, particularly the Old Testament and in Paul’s letters, it’s popular to force a pre-requisite knowledge of “their time” in order to make an application. Sadly, this is used to marginalize or, worse yet, remove completely any modern-day application. However, God’s word “endures forever” (Ps 119:160). Ironically, this “adding to” God’s word results in “taking away” — both of which are practices condemned in a final plea to mankind (Re 22:18-19).

letting vocabulary interpret scripture

Vocabulary is vital to communication. “Word-studies” and knowing words in their original Hebrew or Greek language might be a useful supplemental tool to better understanding a passage. However, the ultimate definition belongs to God, not to man. They are “words not taught by human wisdom” (1 Co 2:13). Scripture defines words like “joy”, “fear”, “church”, “fellowship“, “works“, “salvation“, and “love” very differently from Webster or Vines.

letting think-sos interpret scripture

What we “think” can be shaped by lots of things including tradition and dogma/doctrine. In fact, tradition and doctrine form the very basis for what we believe and practice. It’s here where what we “think” (or “feel”) has no place…and this may be the hardest to decouple from letting scripture – and only scripture – shape our understanding of God’s will for us. But we must!

To be clear, none of these are wrong in and of themselves. Knowing the cultural norms in which Jesus lived can enrich our understanding of His walk on earth. However, God has never given authority for this to be the basis for our understanding of Messiah’s walk on earth.

Drawing conclusions and making applications about Scripture based on any one of these is to do so without God’s authority. “Adding to” God’s word in these ways potentially jeopardizes not only our eternal peril, but any of those to whom we may teach or influence.