“What Is Truth?” (John 18:38)

In the following essay, I will take a fresh look at the ramifications of Pilate’s question, “What is truth?” in John 18:38 in the immediate context of John’s account of Jesus’ Roman trial (18:28–19:16a) and the larger context of the Johannine passion narrative (18–19) and the farewell discourse (13–17) and ultimately the entire Gospel. After a few introductory remarks on the concept of truth, I will, first, assess the historicity of 18:33–38a; second, probe the relationship between the passage and major themes in John’s Gospel; and, third, look at the three major characters in 18:28–19:16a. I will close with several observations concerning John’s account of Jesus’ trial before Pilate, related to Pilate’s question to Jesus, “What is truth?”