Getting It Right
What is the truth? Is it simply the same as the facts? How do we determine what is factual? How do we determine truth.
A friend’s daughter was in a car accident recently. Fortunately no one was hurt. She said she had the right of way. the other driver insisted he had the right of way. Witnesses behind my friend said she had the right of way. Who was right? Who was telling the truth? I’m sure they each told their own truth, but their truth was their perception of the evidence.
My answer is that fact and truth are not the same. Facts and truth are informed by our perception and belief system but in different ways. Facts however are verifiable and indisputable.
A commercial for the upcoming movie “Risen” claims: “Risen actually gets the Bible story right.” This is an interesting statement. Let’s take a moment to dissect it. This claim implies that other tellings of the story were inaccurate or incomplete. It also could be suggesting that the storytellers of this movie had even some information previous storytellers did not. In a way it is claiming to have all the facts.
You may have noticed that I have been using the title storyteller and not historian. To call them historians would mean they have verifiable and indisputable facts. As storytellers their truth is their perception of evidence. If you are a Christian and particularly a literalist, this may offend you. For most Christians, the stories they’ve heard about the resurrection are fact.
There is a difficulty with the literalist position since none of the four Gospels describe the same story. Just take a look at this by reading my comparison of the four Gospel accounts in my discussion about reading scripture using the link at the top right corner of the page. To believe in the resurrection and the events that follow requires faith. Understanding this, it will be interesting to see how “Risen actually gets the Bible story right.”
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