Jesus is not the Truth!by Don Lacey on Sep. 29, 2012, under Atheism, Biblical Inerrancy, Christian Self-Righteous Arrogance, Christianity, Critical Thinking, Education, Faith, Freethought, God & Bible, History, Language, Logic, Question of the Day!, Reason, Religion, Skepticism, Willful Ignorance
Jesus, we are told, is the truth! He even proclaims himself to be the truth in John 14:6 , along with “the way” and “the life”. Perhaps some of the meaning of this statement was lost when the Gospel writer’s Greek was translated into English. In English claiming one’s self to be “the truth” is complete nonsense.
Truth is defined as “the true or actual state of a matter” or “conformity with fact or reality” according to dictionary.com. These are not things a person can be. Stating that an individual is the truth is utterly absurd. “Jesus is the truth” only sounds natural to us because we have heard it all our lives. Try substituting “Jesus” in the statement for anyone else and see how strange it sounds:
“My girlfriend is the truth”
“Brad Pitt is the truth”
“Britney Spears is the truth”
“Mike Tyson is the truth”
“Payton Manning is the truth”
“Hilary Clinton is the truth”
“My uncle Dave is the truth”
These statements all sound bizarre and nonsensical because they are. One cannot be truth in the same way one can be the head of a company or the president of the Elks club. “Jim Wilson is the director of sales and marketing” is much more logically sound than “Jim Wilson is the truth.”
An individual cannot be “the truth” because “the truth” is an abstract concept. One can no more be “the truth” than one can be liberty, justice, happiness, or love. It may make sense to say Joey is racist, but it makes no sense to say “Joey is racism”. Perhaps what Christians mean by “Jesus is the truth” is that he is some kind of embodiment of the concept of truth. That still is not the same thing as being the truth. After all, for many people David Bowie is an embodiment of great music but that does not make the statement: “David Bowie is great music” an accurate description of what he actually is.
I suspect that when many Christians claim that Jesus is the truth they mean their understanding of his existence, life, teachings, and divinity are correct. Even if their beliefs about him are true that still does not make him the truth. For an analogy my belief that Barak Obama is the president of the U.S. may be true but no sane person would use this to conclude that “Obama is the Truth.”
Claims about Jesus’ divinity and much of his biography are false. They may be deliberate lies, accidental misunderstandings, tall tales, or legends. Either way they are not supported by evidence. Some elements of the story were added to the Jesus tradition years after his supposed life. The whole Jesus tale may be a complete fantasy. All the evidence for his existence amounts to little more than hearsay. This does not prevent Christians from not only declaring the Jesus story to be true but claiming it the only truth one needs superseding scientific or historical truths.