What is truth?

“Do I still have to add that in the entire New Testament there is only one solitary figure one is obliged to respect? Pilate, the Roman governor. To take a Jewish affair seriously – he cannot persuade himself to do that. One Jew more or less – what does it matter ?… The noble scorn of a Roman before whom an impudent misuse of the word ‘truth’ was carried on has enriched the New Testament with the only expression which possesses value – which is its criticism, its annihilation even: ‘What is truth?…”

Jesus does come across somewhat lofty in John’s gospel, and the scene is ugly.

For Nietzsche, Pilate’s question is nothing other than Nietzsche’s question: what is the value of truth? Pilate is saying, “Truth! Faugh! What’s truth?” – And what is the value of truth to a man whose value is entirely in himself? What sort of a man needs truth?

However, it is actually Jesus’s statement (not Pilate’s question) that fits Nietzsche’s statement: I am a man whose value is entirely in myself; men who understand their values as being in themselves understand me – free spirits. With what value or law can you charge me, a man who is his own value and law?

Jesus is the one free of truth: Pilate is the man who throws him to the mob.

The loftiness and theological gobbledygook of John’s gospel says: I am not subject to any “truth” but the truth of myself. Directly communicated, my statement is – …I am the truth.


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