Passages: The Heart of Truth

Let’s take a closer look at the bolded words in 1 Tim 2:7: Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, [and] lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.

There’s an oddity of the translation here because the Greek word behind both “truth” and “verity” is the same: aletheia. But the English appears to be making a distinction between truth itself and the quality of being true, or between absolute and relative truth. What is the difference in the original that might have prompted the difference in the translation, and what could it mean? After all, according to Strong’s dictionary, the original Greek aletheia carries both meanings of objective and subjective truth. With a direct comparison between the two by proximity, we can learn something about the difference through this verse.

The Greek inflects the first instance as a direct object of the verb, and inflects the second instance only with an iota subscript as the object of the preposition. But the inflections change the value of the word in the text. The original uninflected word has a value of 64 = 2 to the power of 6.  The direct object inflection adds a nu (corresponding to nun, with a value of 50) for a total of 114 = 6 x 19. The prepositional object inflection adds the iota subscript (corresponding to yod, with a value of 10) for a total of 74 = 2 x 37.

The values 19 and 37 are linked geometrically through the shape of the six-pointed star with a hexagonal core having a side of 3. There’s a graphic of this shape with a description of the relationship on the Bible Wheel page for the value of 19. It also shows that the numbers are connected through the Hebrew word for “heart”: lev, which has 37 for the regular letter value sum and 19 as the ordinal letter value sum.

Note also that 37 is the diagonal projection of a cube of size 4, which represents 64. A perpendicular projection would produce a square of size 4, but a diagonal projection of a cube is what’s left when the next smaller cube is removed, leaving the outer shell – in other words, when the heart of the cube is removed. So 37 = 64 – 27.

The number 114 is also associated with the concept of being gracious and with the name Gamaliel, who was Paul’s teacher in the law as a Pharisee. Oddly enough, it can be arranged in the shape of six hexagrams of 19 points each in a ring around an empty six-pointed star that corresponds exactly to the shape of one representing 37.

The number 74 is also associated with the Hebrew verb for “to learn” (lamad). Because 37 can be arranged as both a six-pointed star and as a hexagram (the first non-trivial number capable of this), 74, as twice 37, represents this relative mutability. Both numbers are associated with words for knowledge, as well.

So what is the heart of truth? There are various aspects of truth, from the completely banal truth of what you ate for breakfast today, to historical truth of who was the first leader of a country, to current verifiable truth of who is the current leader of a country, to personal truth of how one feels about something, to important truth of how to interact with people peacefully, to spiritual and absolute truths of who and what God is. In an absolute sense, the heart of truth is how much of God’s word it contains. As John 17:17 says, “thy [God’s] word is truth.” In a personal or relative sense, the heart of truth is how much of ourselves it contains, how honest and open we are being with our own heart.

So the truth that Paul mentions in “the truth in Christ” has the numerical implications of the absolute truths of the grace and law of God, which can really only be revealed by God. On the other hand, the truth behind the phrase “in faith and verity” has the numerical implications of the relative truth and honesty of one’s own heart. Paul could speak of both of these aspects of truth, because he taught the absolute truths of God to the Gentiles who would listen, and he gave his whole self and heart to the calling of God as a preacher, apostle, and teacher, not holding anything back.

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One thought on “Passages: The Heart of Truth

  1. Pingback: Cross-section: 1 Timothy (Part 7) – Zayin | The Perfect Law of Liberty

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