The way that words are defined have subconsciously shaped how we deal with life and those around us. When a word is ambiguously defined it leaves room for the interpretation of the individual, and the interjection of bias. When it comes to the definition of “truth”, there are more ideas about its meaning than we would even dare to entertain. Below we will look at the English definition, we will explore the Greek translation, and then finally we will conclude with the concrete Hebrew meaning of the word “Truth.”
Merriam Webster defines truth as :
: the truth
: the real facts about something
: the things that are true
: the quality or state of being true
: a statement or idea that is true or accepted as true
What we see above is a bunch of words added to the word “true”, while still never defining the word. We are still left with the question, what is truth? Is truth just what it means to me? Is truth something I can achieve on my own? While we are still without proper understanding or a concrete definition, lets move along.
In many Judeo-Christian churches the definition of truth is based upon statements made by new testament authors and the messiah. In the greek the word for truth is ἀλήθεια (alētheías). This word is in the feminine. The definition according to The Complete Word Study Dictionary is: true. Truth, reality; the unveiled reality lying at the basis of and agreeing with an appearance; the manifested, the veritable essence of matter. Even in the Greek language we still do not receive the revelation or the concrete understanding of what truth is and what it requires of the believe. Truth in the greek is still abstract and relative and gives no real “truth”.
Finally we will look at the hebrew word for truth. The hebrew word is what is underneath all of these words that we previously looked at. The hebrew thought and the culture is the driving force behind all of the translations of scripture and it is only when we understand the hebrew that we get to the action that “truth” compels.
In Hebrew the word truth is Emet/Amet. The word is spelled Alpeh/Mem/Tav (אמת). The numerical value for this word is 441 (see below). The word translates as “truth” 92 times, “true” 18 times, “truly” seven times, “right” three times, “faithfully” twice, “assured” once, “assuredly” once, “establishment” once, “faithful” once, “sure” once, and “verity” once. 1 firmness, faithfulness, truth. 1a sureness, reliability. 1b stability, continuance.
While that gives us a little more revelation, it is still not concrete. It is not until we look at the actual letters that make up the word that we get the meaning of truth. We find out that truth is not antiquated or fulfilled. We find that truth was, is, and is to come.