Logos – Truth

Truth, the word, as part of the logos of John’s Gospel (KJV) is used by John, himself, questioned by Pilate, and given by Jesus.  In my Strong’s/Vines Concordance it is #225 – Aletheia (truth) it signifies the reality lying at the basis of an appearance, the manifested, veritable essence of a matter.   #230 or “of a truth” (truly) is used by the disciples at the feeding of the five thousand when the leftovers were picked up (6:14), and the Jew’s at the Feast of Tabernacles (7:40).  

In the 2011 version of the NIV, John uses the word truth in forty-two verses, in his Gospel he used it in twenty-three verses, and in nineteen verses in 1,2, and 3 John.  The word truth is not used in Revelations.  This is in contrast to Matthew who uses it once in his Gospel. (Different translations will differ in the total number of uses.  These numbers are for the base word truth, so truthful, etc. is included.  True does come into play in some translations.) The New Testament uses truth 102 times, while the Old Testament has thirty-five uses of the word.

John using the word truth more than the other writers of the Bible makes sense because John is showing us that Jesus is the Christ and God’s Son.  There have been seven outstanding miracles highlighted in John.  This is a shame because more miracles are documented in the Gospel of John (See Plus One and +++).  The total number is not given because Jesus healed large numbers of people at various times in that Gospel).   So, truth is used a large number of times to highlight John’s purpose in declaring Jesus as the Son of God.

So, is truth a capstone, something to always be reaching for, or is it a foundation stone, something that you are built on and has always has held you up?  One will always have you looking and never finding your answer.  The other one you can rest on knowing it is there. If you go looking for it, it may still be hard to find, you may have to dig a bit, but you know it has always held you up.

Friday of Holy Week had Jesus being questioned by a man in John 18: 28-40.  These two men had very different views on what truth was.  Pilate’s question (vs 38), “What is truth” shows that he viewed it as a capstone, something that he was unable to reach or know.  Jesus’ statement in verse 37 has Him resting on His foundation so that He can testify to the truth even in His moment of trouble.

That precious “morning moment” when I woke up and those two choices played around in my mind made me realize I needed to choose one.  In fact, it has shown me that there are other foundation stones that I keep putting in the wrong place.  God’s love, grace, and the power of the Holy Spirit are a few things that I have put high into the air, to reach for, instead of realizing that they are what has always held me up as a Christian.

If truth has always been out of your reach, make the Logos of God your foundation by praying the pray in “Following Jesus” at the top of this post, or learn to rest on Jesus if you have prayed that prayer.

Logos – Salvation

Logos is a new category of study that is starting with the word salvation.  Since this is a Bible study blog you will need to be ready with your Word, a concordance, or at least a Bible study site like biblegateway.com.    

This post started by doing a search on the term “salvation”, where I went to the New Testament.  First, I noticed that the word salvation is not used in Matthew or Mark. (You may notice that number counts don’t match! Gateway does a verse count while a concordance does a word count. Throw in titles and modern word replacements, counts will vary between websites and concordances.)

You can focus on one verse, book, or writer and have a meaningful study.  I noticed in looking at the uses of salvation in the New Testament an interesting pattern.  In Luke 1: 69, 71, and 77, these verses are part of the prophecy of Zechariah about Jesus and John.  Luke 2:30 and 3:6 are “seeing” salvation.  Luke 19:9 and John 4:22 (only use) is Jesus talking to people about salvation – Zacchaeus, the hated tax collector, and the Samaritan woman at the well. 

Luke starts again in Acts 4:12 with salvation for mankind and his next three mentions (concordance please) have the Gentiles included in receiving salvation.  The Holy Spirit continues the inclusion of Gentiles in Romans 1:16 and 11:11. 

Romans 13:11 starts another facet of material that presents things and ideas associated with salvation.  Paul includes two different verses about salvation being our “helmets” – Ephesians 6:17 and 1 Thessalonians 5:8. Hebrews and Peter (1+2) include many verses about salvation.  The last verse about salvation is Revelations 19:1 where “salvation, glory, and power belong to God”.

Hebrews 2:10 I found interesting because it is about Jesus.  He is the pioneer of our salvation that was made perfect by what He suffered (most of that thought is from the NIV).  “Perfect” in the thinking of the Old Testament would be one who is complete.  That may cause a bump in our modern thoughts about the term perfect.

FYI – biblegateway.com has forty verses with salvation in the New Testament NIV.  I found the ordering of the word salvation in the Logos interesting because it makes a logical presentation on the topic starting in Luke and going to Revelations.