Truth as defined in a dictionary: tro͞oTH/ noun:
The quality or state of being true.
That which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.
A fact or belief that is accepted as true.
Biblically, however, it’s defined a little differently.
Truth is that which is consistent with the mind, will, character, glory, and being of God. Even more to the point: Truth is the self-expression of God. Because the definition of truth flows from God, truth is theological.
Truth is also ontological—which is a fancy way of saying it is the way things really are. Reality is what it is because God declared it so and made it so. Therefore God is the author, source, determiner, governor, arbiter, ultimate standard, and final judge of all truth.
The Old Testament refers to the Almighty as the “God of truth” (Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 31:5; Isaiah 65:16).
When Yeshua said of Himself, “I am…the truth” (John 14:6), He was thereby making a profound claim about His own deity. He was also making it clear that all truth must ultimately be defined in terms of God and His eternal glory. After all, Yeshua is “…the radiance of his glory, the very image of his substance…” (Hebrews 1:3). He is truth incarnate—the perfect expression of God and therefore the absolute embodiment of all that is true.
Yeshua also said that the written Word of God is truth. It does not merely contain nuggets of truth; it is pure, unchangeable, and inviolable truth that (according to Yeshua) “cannot be broken” (John 10:35). Praying to His heavenly Father on behalf of His disciples, He said this: “Sanctify them in Your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:17). Moreover, the Word of God is eternal truth “…which lives and remains forever” (1 Peter 1:23).
Of course, there cannot be any discord or difference of opinion between the written Word of God (Scripture) and the incarnate Word of God (Yeshua). In the first place, truth by definition cannot contradict itself. Second, Scripture is called “the word of Messiah” (Colossians 3:16). It is His message, His self-expression. In other words, the truth of Messiah and the truth of the Bible are the very same character. They are in perfect agreement in every respect. Both are equally true. YHWH has revealed Himself to humanity through Scripture and through His Son. Both perfectly embody the essence of what truth is.
Remember, Scripture also says YHWH reveals basic truth about Himself in nature. The heavens declare His glory (Psalm 19:1). His other invisible attributes (such as His wisdom, power, and beauty) are on constant display in what He has created (Romans 1:20). Knowledge of Him is inborn in the human heart (Romans 1:19), and a sense of the moral character and loftiness of His law is absolute in every human conscience (Romans 2:15).
Those things are universally self-evident truths. According to Romans 1:20, denial of the spiritual truths we know innately always involves a deliberate rebellious unbelief. And for those who wonder whether basic truths about God and His moral standards really are stamped on the human heart, ample proof can be found in the long history of human law and religion. To suppress this truth is to blaspheme and dishonor God, displace His glory, and incur His wrath (Romans 1:21-32).
Still, the only infallible interpreter of what we see in nature or know inherently in our own consciences is the precise revelation of Scripture. Since Scripture is also the one place where we are given the way of salvation, entrance into the kingdom of God, and an infallible account of Messiah, the Bible is the standard to which all truth claims should be brought and by which all other truth must finally be measured.
An obvious result of what I am saying is that truth means nothing apart from God. Truth cannot be adequately explained, recognized, understood, or defined without God as the source. Since He alone is eternal and self-existent and He alone is the Creator of all else, He is the fountain of all truth.
If you don’t believe that (and you are welcome to deny it), try defining truth without reference to God, and see how quickly all such definitions fail. The moment you begin to ponder the essence of truth, you are brought face to face with the requirement of a universal absolute—the eternal reality of God. Therefore, the whole concept of truth instantly becomes nonsense (and every imagination of the human heart therefore turns to sheer foolishness) as soon as people attempt to remove the thought of God from their minds.
That, of course, is precisely how the apostle Paul traced the relentless decline of human ideas in Romans 1:21-22: “Although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools.”
There are serious moral implications too, whenever someone tries to dissociate truth from the knowledge of God. Paul went on to write, “Even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting” (Romans 1:28). Abandon the biblical definition of truth, and unrighteousness is the inescapable result. We see it happening before our eyes in every corner of contemporary society and even in modern Christian church. In fact, the widespread acceptance of homosexuality, rebellion, and all forms of iniquity that we see today is a verbatim fulfillment of what Romans 1 says always happens when a man denies and suppresses the essential connection between God and truth.
If you reflect on the subject with any degree of common sense, you will soon see that even the most fundamental moral distinctions—good and evil, right and wrong, beauty and ugliness, or honor and dishonor—cannot possibly have any true or constant meaning apart from God. That is because truth and knowledge themselves simply have no logical significance apart from a fixed source, namely, YHWH. How could they? YHWH embodies the very definition of truth. Every truth claim apart from Him is senseless.
Elaborate philosophies have been proposed and systematically debunked one after another—like a long chain in which every previous link is broken. After thousands of years, the very best of human philosophers (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Marx, James, and others) have all utterly failed to account for truth and the origin of human knowledge apart from YHWH.
In fact, the one most valuable lesson humanity ought to have learned from philosophy is that it is impossible to make sense of truth without acknowledging God as the necessary starting point.
How each person responds to the truth God has revealed is an issue of eternal significance. To reject and rebel against the truth of God results in darkness, folly, sin, judgment, and the never-ending wrath of God. To accept and submit to the truth of God is to see clearly, to know with certainty, and to find life everlasting.