Ti estin aletheia (Greek for ‘What is truth?’)

The question that Pontius Pilate asked Jesus before he ordered him to be crucified has echoed down the ages and reverberates especially loudly in this postmodern age we inhabit.

“A particular truth can be stated in words – that life is better than death and love than hate, that there is a god or is not, that light travels faster than sound and cancer can sometimes be cured if you discover it in time. But truth itself is another matter, the truth that Pilate asked for, tired and bored and depressed by his long day. Truth itself cannot be stated. Truth simply is, and is what is, the good with the bad, the joy with the despair, the presence and absence of God, the swollen eye, the bird pecking the cobbles for crumbs. Before it is a word, the gospel that is truth is silence, a pregnant silence in its ninth month, and in answer to Pilate’s question, Jesus keeps silent, and even with his hands tied behind him manages somehow to hold silence out like a terrible gift.”

Frederick Buechner

Will revisit the idea of truth more in future entries.

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~ by irwin on November 16, 2008.

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