Aletheia: Truth's Many Faces
Aletheia (Al-ay'-thi-a): True, truly, truth, verity
Aletheia means truth, but whereas some of us might first think of Truth as something Objective, like a "Truth claim", or a good apologetic argument, it is equally clear in Scripture that the idea of Truth is frequently associated with the greatest virtue, Love. Many of these verses (see below) show that Truth in Scripture isn’t just Propositional, but it is Relational. Truth brings freedom, enables love, guides us, proclaims grace, combats favoritism, brings occasion to rejoice, and provides a firm foundation. All of these are very personal effects. And, I think, elements Aletheia embodies and wants to embody in greater measure.
The word Aletheia also has a beautiful ring- sort of has a regal, queenly, quality to it for me. And that fits the image of the Church as the Bride of Christ.
Also, 'Truly' (the alternate variant meaning above) carries with it a charge to us: to interact with each other and with the world at large truly-- in a genuine manner. As a body we have come to see the necessity of honesty in fellowship, if all the more important because we live in a society of facades.
Aletheia in Scripture
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate.
Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism
25 “I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable.
1 Corinthians 13:6
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
1 Timothy 3:15
15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.
2 Timothy 2:15
15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
1 John 3:18-20
18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 19 This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence 20 whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
2 John 4
4 It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us.
What is truth?
"You are right in saying I am a king.
In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this
I came into the world, to testify to the truth.
Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."
"What is truth?" Pilate asked.
John 18:37b-38a (NIV)
the Koine Greek word for truth: