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"Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me". E.S.V.

Here are three ideas which might be used in an answer to take it from a single sentence to something more expansive:

  1. In Romans 3:4 E.S.V. it says "Let God be true though every one a liar". Here "true" is in the context of God speaking true things. Is that which is "true" the same as "the truth"?

  2. We are not all philosophers but perhaps we all have a little of the philosopher in us. Was Jesus appealing to philosophers or the philosopher in us when He spoke of "the truth"?

  3. Jesus said that He was "the truth". Pilate asked "What is truth"? John 18:38.

    Again, to further explore the meaning of "the truth" could a useful comparison be made between "the truth" and "truth"?

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Regarding your last question - what is the difference between "truth" and "the truth" - such a comparison, with reference to Pilate, was made by the Eastern Orthodox bishop Dmitry Royster in his commentary on John:

In his own inimitable way, the Evangelist has captured the irony of the practical man of this world [Pilate], who stands face to face with Jesus the God-Man, and asks, "What is truth?" For these "Pilates," there is no real or objective truth, but only experiential or historical truth. In their advanced stage, they have, as St. Paul tells us, changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped the creature more than the Creator (Romans 1:25).1

(Perhaps here we might think of the secular relativism of today.)


John 14:6 is a response to Thomas' direct question, Lord, how can we know the Way, so I think we need to interpret the meaning of Truth here in the context of the question posed. In Jesus answer', three things are intertwined: the Way (ἡ ὁδὸς), the Truth (ἡ ἀλήθεια), and the Life (ἡ ζωή). The three need to be considered together, I think, to understand what is meant my any one of them.

One can understand these three as the three essential aspects of the Lord's work among men. By the way, we might recall Hebrews 10:20:

By a new and living way, He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh

Wherever the Lord is called the Way, we are carried on to a higher meaning, and not to that which is derived from the common sense of the word. We understand by Way that advance to perfection is made stage by stage, and in regular order, through the works of righteousness and the illumination of knowledge; ever longing after what is before, and reaching forth unto those things which remain until we shall have reached the blessed end, the knowledge of God (Basil the Great, On the Spirit, VIII.18).

The Truth is the object of that which lies at the end of the Way. "Since the Incarnate Word is the way by which lost man may find his way back to God, what He revealed was the truth about both God and man - being both, He is that Truth."2 He is not the "experiential and historical" truth that Pilate was seeking, but "real and objective" truth.

Life is one of the Son's attributes:

In Him was life: and the life was the light of men (John 1:4)


Hilary of Poitiers (4th c.) summarized these ideas in On the Trinity:

He Who is the Way leads us not into by-paths or trackless wastes; He Who is the Truth mocks us not with lies; He Who is the Life betrays us not into delusions which are death. He Himself has chosen these winning names to indicate the methods by which He has appointed for our salvation. As the Way, He will guide us to the Truth; the Truth will establish us in the life. And therefore it is all-important for us to know what is the mysterious mode which He reveals, of attaining this life. No man cometh to the Father but through Me (VII.33)


(Most of the points above were gleaned from the commentary cited in the footnotes.)


1. The Gospel According to John: A Pastoral Commentary, p.388
2. Ibid., p.387-88

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Peace.

The 1st idea is what is meant by “the truth”….God speaking true things which are through the testimony of His true Son, the true Jesus who is the true Christ (anointed with the Spirit of truth).

  1. In Romans 3:4 E.S.V. it says "Let God be true though every one a liar". Here "true" is in the context of God speaking true things. Is that which is "true" the same as "the truth"?

The Son of God comes to give us an understanding (the truth)….by the opening up of the Scriptures (the Scripture of truth) to our ears and minds.

The words of the true Son (His testimony in the Spirit of truth) come from the Father. The true Son speaks the true and faithful words of God and we show we know the Father by hearing and believing in those words.

His words are not the words of those who are preaching “another Jesus” and another gospel…another good news. The real Jesus is revealed to all through the true sayings of God.

The false words of the many false prophets come from the spirit/breath of the “antichrist”….their “Jesus” who they are preaching….and are claiming is the true Christ but is really the “instead-of-Christ”.

This is the spirit of the error and not the Spirit of THE (definite article) Truth. The world listens to the spirit of the error and will not listen to the Spirit/breath of the Truth as they will reject the words of the true Jesus…the Truth that He speaks.

1 John 4:5-6 KJV (5) They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. (6) We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

The testimony of the true and faithful words of God unveil the true Jesus the true Christ (who speaks the true sayings of God) from the many other “false Christs” today that many false prophets are currently preaching. Those of God will be the ones who will be hearing and believing.

We show we know the true God by how we receive the true Jesus and His true words (and those whom He sends out to speak His true and faithful words). Will evil or good be done at the hearing of the testimony of the true Jesus the true Christ?

1 John 5:20 KJV (20) And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

The truth…the “true and faithful words of God”… is the testimony of the true Jesus that we are to hear . He must increase but we must decrease as we are to lose our own church thoughts and ways for His. His testimony is from Heaven while the testimonies of earthly-minded men are from earth.

John 3:30-36 KJV (30) He must increase, but I must decrease. (31) He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.

No fleshly-minded man receives His testimony (the truth) as the natural man finds that the spiritual things he hears as foolishness. He will continue to hold on to the untrue words of false prophets and the false Christs that they are preaching.

Only those who are focused on those things above (peace, joy, love, patience, etc) are able to hear and retain His words in belief. He that receives His testimony (the truth) has set to his seal that God is true for God has sent Him to speak the words of God….the true and faithful words of the true God.

(32) And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. (33) He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. (34) For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. (35) The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.

He that believes on the true Son has everlasting life now because they believe on His words (over the preaching of earthly-minded men) that they are the “true and faithful words of God”.

(36) He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

We are to count our own church things as a loss in order to attain the excellency of the knowledge (the light) of Christ Jesus our Lord. We are to lose our church lives in order to gain His knowledge and His life.

Philippians 3:7-11 KJV (7) But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. (8) Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

As Paul, we must be found in Him (the Way) at the hearing of His words (the Truth) and not go about defending our own “righteous” church works in opposition towards what we hear. We are to hear the truth and believe in the revelation of the true Christ in contrast to the many false Christs currently out there being preached.

To believe in Him and His words is credited to us as righteousness…..the righteousness which is of God by faith.

(9) And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Only by dying to sin can….being made conformable to His death… can we know Him. Only through Him can we go to the Father.

(10) That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; (11) If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

He comes as Light into the world (as He comes to give us an understanding as He opens up the Scriptures to our minds). Whoever believes on Him should not abide in darkness: envy, strife, wrath, etc. Instead, they are to come to the Light (receiving His words in belief) and do good things toward the hearing of the truth….the “true and faithful words of God”.

John 12:44-50 KJV (44) Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. (45) And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me. (46) I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. (47) And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

No doubt, many in the churches of men will hear and not receive Him nor His words in this last time. They will reject what they hear as they will consider the “old” testimonies of earthly-minded men as better. They will choose their “another Jesus” rather than listen to the real Jesus whose name (authority) they will not believe in.

The word that He speaks shall judge in the last day….whether we do good or bad toward the hearing of His words. Everything centers upon the receiving of His...the true Christ's...words...which are words that come from the Father above.

(48) He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. (49) For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

The words of the true Son are the words of the true Father.

(50) And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

The “Faithful and True” words of God (the Word of God) shall judge in the last day at the revelation of the true Jesus the true Christ.

Revelation 19:11-13 KJV (11) And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. (12) His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. (13) And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

But blessed (happy) are those who are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. Only by putting on Christ can we receive His words and be joyful.

We are to die to evil speaking…sin….by the keeping of His sacrifice (the Lamb…being conformable to His death) in our lives so that we may enter in to His understanding (the marriage supper).

He is the Way as we are to follow Him and do His commandments (have love for one another) so that we may enter in to know the “true sayings of God”. The marriage supper of the Lamb = the hearing of the true sayings of God. It is a full course meal of heavenly truth.

We are to affirm that "these are the true sayings of God"....and so are names are written in the book of life and not blotted out.

Revelation 19:9 KJV (9) And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

Happy are those who do His commandments as only those who do them shall enter into the narrow way that leads to eternal life and may enter in through the gates into the city.

They shall enter in to understand the Scriptures through the gates of praise. Those who will believe and rejoice in what they hear shall enter in through His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise as they will be thankful unto Him for His truth and mercy. They shall bless His name. (Palms 100:4-5).

Revelation 22:14-17 KJV (14) Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

But outside that understanding of the truth are those who will reject His words and behave badly towards the hearing of the true sayings of God. They will continue to behave as they always have in envy and strife. Let the unjust be unjust still. Let the filthy be filthy still.

They will keep preaching their doctrines and commandments of men as they continue to hold on to their churches’ understanding while continuing to judge others who do not keep their church dogmas acting as judges supposedly in God’s name…loving and practicing THE lie (you shall be as “gods”….that is, judges who know what and who are good or evil).

(15) For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

Jesus…the true Jesus…sends out His messenger to testify unto us these things.

He is the “bright and morning star” that arises in our very own hearts when we hear the voice of the true Jesus who is the true Christ (as opposed to the many “another Jesus’s” as preached by others). Only the real Christ has this effect upon the heart. False prophets can only rely on their flattering words and performance of outwards of supposed inward realities to deceive.

The “sign of the Son of man” arising within our very own hearts is how we will know it is the True One who speaks to us from Heaven. This is the witness of God arising within our own hearts which says to us that this is His true Son whom we are to hear.

(16) I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

And those who will hear His words and believe will be found hospitable (“come”) by letting brotherly love continue…and entertaining strangers who are sent by Jesus to speak His true and faithful words in the Spirit of truth …the water of life.

(17) And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

They will be found walking worthy of God when they will hear the true Word of God. They will receive what they hear not as the “word of men”…. as earthly-minded men are currently preaching things they do not understand as they wrest the Scriptures to their own mortal destruction from off this earth…but as the Word of God spoken in truth.

It “effectually works” also in those that believe as the hearing of the True Christ’s voice causes the “bright and morning star” to arise within our very own hearts. The Light shall shine within the darkness of the heart. This is how we know it is Him who is the true One versus the false Christs out there.

1 Thessalonians 2:12-16 KJV (12) That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory. (13) For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

Those who remember to let brotherly love continue will be like men that wait for their Lord. The loins of their minds will be sober and not "drunk" on the wine of wrath when they hear His voice.

They will open up immediately to His true and faithful words that shall knock upon our ears and hearts as He shall gird Himself and make them to sit down to meat….the Word of God spoken in truth. They will be able to enter into knowing His words.

Luke 12:35-37 KJV (35) Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; (36) And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. (37) Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.

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