In one of the most famous quotations every recorded, Pontius Pilate asked Jesus of Nazareth, “What is truth?” That is a really important question for each of us to consider. We know that in Scripture Jesus states, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” Scripture also states that his Word is truth. As believers, most of us count on the truths in Scripture. We trust that they are inerrant and immutable and we build our lives on them. But what about other things we believe are true?
What about scientific truth? Can we count on it as true and unchanging? When I was in school, I was taught that there were three parts to an atom: proton, neutron and electron. Since I left school, quantum physicists have discovered many more subatomic particles. What about the universe? Any truths you may have believed twenty or thirty years ago may have changed dramatically with the invention of more powerful telescopes and satellites that can see deep into the distant past of the universe.
What about historical truth? We have authors such as Herodotus and Josephus to tell us what happened in the ancient Persian, Greek and Roman empires, but what do we have for our understanding of prehistory, before history was being recorded? We have the first ten chapters of Genesis to gain an understanding of the origins of people groups on the earth. Every early culture has their oral traditions about the beginnings of man, but there were no written languages that we know of. The cultures left us pictographs on rock walls to record their experiences and from there we must fill in the blanks.
What about the issues we hear about in the news and read about in the newspapers? Just throw out the words: Russia, Benghazi, Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, and you think about the different stories and theories swirling around these topics. We know for a fact that the FBI, CIA and other intelligence agencies have all kinds of information on these subjects that we may never know or may not be revealed in our lifetimes.
So can we really know the whole complete truth about anything? The truth is difficult to know and ascertain. The best we can do is read, study and search out multiple sources on any given subject. From there, we can form opinions. But we must hold our opinions lightly, knowing that at any time, more truth or information may be revealed and what we thought was true is not.