Jesus said, “My I-am-ness [mirrored in you] is your way; this is your truth and also your life! Every single person is now brought face to face with the Father entirely because of my doing.”John 14:6 MIR
What is truth?
This question put forth by Pilate echoes through the ages. In other installments I have tried to give an overview regarding truth in different times and cultures, and much has been written about that topic both in theology as well as in philosophy.
Often, this verse is used to define truth, even though in its King James version or one of the derived versions. The verse then is used to say that truth is a person, and furthermore, to project one’s own cultural and philosophical understanding of truth unto that person.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.John 14:6
This is a valid translation, but misleading as well. Why this?
I will concentrate on one aspect in this article: the word truth.
The word used for truth here is gr. aletheia. Interestingly enough, it is a negative word. The leading a means not or non.
The word comes from alethes, which is comprised of a and letho, later lanthano.
Letho means to be hid, unaware.
Alethes then secondarily comes to mean true, no lie as an extension of not hidden or even better non-concealment.
A very valid translation would therefore be:
I am the way [you can take savely], [as I am] the one that hides nothing from you and the life [giver]. You can only come to the father because of what I am doing [right now].John 14:6
Suddenly, concentrating on the word aletheia again, it is not about truth in the sense of facts, right and wrong any more. Jesus is not the personification of all truth, the absolute truth and everything else is a lie.
Jesus is the one that does not hide anything from us.
This is a reference back to the garden of Eden. The ego that we call the serpent told Eve that it knew something about God that she did not, because God was hiding it from them as they would be like him if they knew.
This, as we know, was a lie. Adam, both male and female, were the image and likeness of God. Nothing was hidden from them, God was not concealed from them.
And now here comes Jesus, telling us that he does not conceal anything from us. He is living and walking non-concealment, and therefore he can say that who has seen him has seen the father, nothing hidden, nothing missing. He is the perfect silver screen for the projection of the father.
Instead of telling us then that only those who consciously believe in Jesus will come to the father, this verse has a totally different slant now:
Adam had the choice to be the perfect projection of the father, receiving from him and reflecting him back. He chose otherwise, developed an ego, and received only for himself. Even became his perceived own source. In that, he shattered into pieces, and we are those pieces of Adam.
Jesus came to show us what Adam would have been like if he had decided otherwise, and how it is still possible to decide otherwise now. He became the example to live by.
What did he do? He did not come to live a moral life. According to the standards of the time, he broke many laws. He came to live as a receiver and reflector of the father.
He did not come to forgive us our sins, but to deal with sin. There is only one sin: the sin to stop reflecting and start to receive just for oneself.
He died because we expected wrath and punishment. And he gave his life in light of wrong accusations to revert what Adam did when he pointed to Eve and God in scapegoating them for what had happened: The woman you gave me.
So what did he do so we can come to the father?
He restored mankind to its original purpose. Therefore, he is the second Adam. He showed us the way we were to go by being the pioneer that makes the way. He opened our eyes to the tree of life. He held nothing back. We are now capable of doing the same.
Are there other ways of coming to the father? No. Are other religions therefore wrong and leading to hell? Not based on that verse.
Why do I say so?
This verse does not talk about absolute and exclusionary truth, but about what Jesus did. He paved the way, restored the purpose. The verse does not say that we have to follow him by accepting this one and only truth. It only expressed that through what he has done we come to the father.
Maybe I have to explain a little more about hell. Hell is not the destination unbelievers are bound to go after judgement. Hell is going to be thrown into the lake of fire. Hell is now.
The words for hell are Hades and She’ol, both meaning basically the unknown, or Gehenna, the valley of the son of Hinnon, where Israelites burnt their own children as an offering.
So, when hell is thrown into the lake of fire, it is the unknown that is destroyed. From then on, non-concealment.
The lamb took away the sin of the world, not of those that believed in him. Jesus said that he would judge nobody. Is he a liar? No.
This is only in one way about truth, as Jesus is total non-concealment. There is nothing hidden from us. He does not hold the truth back from us, nor anything else. This is great news.