SPECIAL TOPIC: "TRUTH" IN PAUL'S WRITINGS

  Paul's usage of this term and its related forms comes from its OT equivalent, emet, which means trustworthy or faithful (BDB 53).  In interbiblical Jewish writings it was used of truth in contrast to falsehood.  Maybe the closest parallel would be the Dead Sea Scrolls' "Thanksgiving Hymns," where it is used of revealed doctrines. The members of the Essene Community became "witnesses of truth."

  Paul uses the term as a way of referring to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

1. Romans 1:18,25; 2:8,20; 3:7; 15:8

2. 1 Corinthians 13:6

3. 2 Corinthians 4:2; 6:7; 11:10; 13:8

4. Galatians 2:5,14; 5:7

5. Ephesians 1:13; 6:14

6. Colossians 1:5,6

7. 2 Thessalonians 2:10,12,13

8. 1 Timothy 2:4; 3:15; 4:3; 6:5

9. 2 Timothy 2:15,18,25; 3:7,8; 4:4

10. Titus 1:1,14 

 

  Paul also uses the term as a way of expressing his speaking accurately

1. Acts 26:25

2. Romans 9:1

3. 2 Corinthians 7:14; 12:6

4. Ephesians 4:25

5. Philippians 1:18

6. 1 Timothy 2:7

 

  He also uses it to describe his motives in 1 Cor. 5:8 and lifestyle (also for all Christians) in Eph. 4:24; 5:9; Phil. 4:8. He sometimes uses it for people.

1. God, Rom. 3:4 (cf. John 3:33; 17:17)

2. Jesus, Eph. 4:21 (similar to John 14:6)

3. Apostolic witnesses, Titus 1:13

4. Paul, 2 Cor. 6:8

Paul uses the verb form (i.e., alētheuō) only in Gal. 4:16 and Eph. 4:15, where it refers to the gospel.  For further study consult Colin Brown (ed.), The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, vol. 3, pp. 784-902.

 

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