top of page
  • Eric Kampmann

What is Truth?

So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to

him, are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, “Do you say this

of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” Pilate answered,

“Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over

to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this

world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been

fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom

is not from the world.” Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?”

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born

and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the

truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him,

“What is truth?” After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews

and told them, “I find no guilt in him. But you have a custom that I should

release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to

you the King of the Jews?”They cried out again, "Not this man, but

—John 18:33-40

Pilate spoke for much of modernity when he asked Jesus, “What is truth?” In more recent times, truth has been fragmented into tiny, incoherent particles that at most might be a truth, but not the truth. Pilate was a worldly man; he dealt with the realities of the push and pull of political forces, and he knew all factions claimed that their own cause or grievance had the banner of truth behind it.

But earlier, before he was taken prisoner, Jesus declared, “I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Pilate saw only a man standing before him, no different from the bandit Barabbas.

Pilate inadvertently touched on the central question of the New Testament: Is Jesus “the Christ” (Mark 8:35) or is he someone else? Is it really true that if you know Jesus you will know God the Father as well? (John 14:7) Or is he merely a revolutionary troublemaker who had deeply annoyed the authorities? Pilate seemed indifferent to discovering the right answer. But we shouldn’t have been because the answer to these questions makes all the difference.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page