Do You Know Jack?

I’ve recently been discussing the idea of truth with an acquaintance. Is it possible to know the truth? Where is truth to be found? We can discover truths by observations in nature or Scripture, but the challenge becomes assembling truths into a coherent model of reality or the truth. Of course, nobody knows how many truths there are to be discovered, so any claim to academic knowledge of the truth must be qualified.

But Jesus promises that those who persist in following him not only can but WILL know the truth. Look at what he says in this familiar passage:

“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:31-32

What could he mean? Was he wrong or naive? The answer lies in the definition of the Greek word for “to know” which is used here. Like many other languages, ancient Greek had two words for “to know.” The one used here refers to personal, experiential knowledge as in, “Do you know Jack?” So Jesus promises that those who follow him will know the truth like someone knows a good friend or their spouse.

Finding the truth then becomes a practical pursuit rather than an academic one. Truth becomes the property of the humble rather than the intellectual. Best of all, those who know the truth in this way have just begun an eternity of joyful discovery of limitless truths.

By Nathan Wilkerson

Holding on for dear life.


  1. Truth is a great subject for investigation and something philosophers have been discussing and debating for thousands of years. You might like looking at although that’s more about knowledge specifically knowledge in itself entails truth. Its a length philosophical discussion but from my own education (bachelor of phil,) reality and truth can be known but is a fickle entity prone to change.
    From a religious perspective God and the prophets exist at least in part to provide a reliable source of truth because if anyone knows what truth is it would be God.


    1. Thanks. I’ll give it a look. I think English-speakers are at a disadvantage when contemplating epistemology because we only have one word for knowledge. There are different types of knowledge. Further, I would suggest that there are some things which are unknowable through academic or intellectual means. Wouldn’t you agree?


      1. Yes seems likely there are things we will never know conclusively but if thinking about them gets you through the day they serve at least one good purpose.


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