What is Truth?

Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” – John 18:38

Leah wrote a letter to Fr. Richard Simon, host of Father Simon SaysTM on Relevant Radio, asking him about a confounding conversation she had with a friend in her prayer group. The friend told her, “My truth is different from your truth.” It didn’t seem right to her. “We know, as Catholics, that Jesus is the truth,” she wrote to Fr. Simon.

What is the truth about truth?

“This has become a popular saying, ‘Well my truth is different than your truth.’ No—my perception of truth may be different than your truth but truth is truth,” exclaimed Fr. Simon.

As a lover of words, Fr. Simon broke down the literal meaning of truth. “The word truth comes from a Germanic word—in English, what is trustworthy. But far more interesting, the word in Greek is aletheia. … Lethe means forgetfulness or something that is hidden, aletheia means uncovering or that which is clear.”

Does truth change?

“This idea that truth is malleable, hmmm… no, I don’t think so,” said Fr. Simon. “I don’t believe that the human spirit evolves. And human nature is a consistent reality because it reflects the nature of God. And this idea that somehow truth is evolving? No. We are uncovering more truths but Jesus is the truth and that’s our Faith. If Jesus said it, we can count on it.”

Let’s come back to Pontius Pilate’s question, “What is truth?” Fr. Simon explained that when Pilate posed this question, “Jesus said nothing because the Truth was standing in front of him and he couldn’t perceive it.”

Therefore if Jesus said it, it does not evolve. It is permanent. It is truth, now and forever. Truth can be discovered, but it cannot change.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6

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Lindsey is a wife, mother, and contributing author at Relevant Radio. She holds a degree in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lindsey enjoys writing, baking, and liturgical living with her young family.