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.
There are 22 letters in the hebrew alphabet (Aleph-Bet). The three letters that make up the word Emet are the beginning (א), middle (מ), and the end (ת) of the Hebrew alphabet. This means that TRUTH is all of scripture. Truth is not just the parts that we choose. Truth is not just what we want to accept but truth is all of scripture. If you take away the first letter of truth which represents Yah, then you have the word (met) which means death. There is no truth without Yah and there is no truth without ALL of scripture. The WORD is TRUTH!
Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
Romans 1:25 (KJV)
Yahshua saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 14:6 (KJV)
Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.
Psalm 119:160 (KJV)
Be cautious of those teachers, pastors, and prophets who tell you that you don't need all of scripture because a little bit of omission is awhole lot of a lie. Take the whole word and mold your life and your understanding to the truth. Take the language, culture, and context and make that a imperative part of your understanding. Leaving out any portion of truth is a fast way to place you right back into bondage to the sin and death that comes with misinformation and disobedience.
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
John 8:31-32 (KJV)
Some extra nuggets for the nerds!
I mentioned the numerical value of the word Emet as 441. This number is achieved by adding the numbers of all of the individual letters together (Hebrew letters are also numbers).
The sum of these numbers means:
firmness; certainty; faithfulness; truth; true heartedness.
from within.to turn aside
Anyone who turns his ear away from hearing the law-- even his prayer is detestable