Your Word is truth (John 17:17).

Plato's search for truth

The study of epistemology is a discipline within western Philosophy which focuses on the theory of knowledge. Philosophers debate what constitutes true knowledge over falsity. In essence, they are searching for truth. The origins of the debate can be traced to the ancient Greek Philosopher Plato ( one of the founders of Western Philosophy).

Plato stated that Justified true belief is a definition of knowledge. The concept of justified true belief states that in order to know that a given proposition is true, one must not only believe the relevant true proposition, but one must also have justification for doing so. In more formal terms, a subject S knows that a proposition P is true if and only if:

1.            P is true

2.            S believes that P is true, and

3.            S is justified in believing that P is true

As with any philosophical proposition, the formula had its share of critics and failed to stand up to counter refutation.  The search for truth (in Philosophical circles, at least) continues.

Ironically, people like Jesus Christ are totally excluded from the philosophical debate. Even though Christ spoke of truth continually and stressed the importance of it, His own insights are rarely mentioned. His three years of ministry have impacted the world far more significantly than Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle combined. Jesus Christ’s two billion followers certainly outweigh the philosophy majors floating around University campuses. The impact of Christ is startling in comparison. It seems fitting to ask which insights we should then be trusting?

The Bible gives some advice about philosophy.  The Apostle Paul’s view is simple;

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ (Colossians 2:8).

In a prayer made by Christ for his followers he gave us a simple statement that quantified Jesus’ view of truth:

Father Sanctify them by  the truth, Your Word is truth (John 17:17).

Sanctify – separate, make Holy, cleanse. Detach from worldliness through the truth. The Bible. The Word. Your Word is truth.

2000 years later perhaps Plato’s formula can be re-applied:

A human being knows that Jesus Christ is God’s son, If and only if

1 Jesus is truth

2. He believes Jesus is truth

3. He is justified in believing Jesus is truth.

Jesus believed it – do you?