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Q&A #134 - Did Jesus answer Pilate's "What is truth?" -- and the NKJV

by Robert Nguyen Cramer

This BibleTexts website administrator has very much enjoyed questions and insights that have been emailed to him ever since this site was launched in September of 1996. On this page I share with BibleTexts browsers a few of the questions, insights, and responses, so that we all can further learn from and with each other.





I have been trying to find as much information on the original texts of the Bible as possible. Being a Christian, I feel it is important to know what the Bible actually said, so I am hoping maybe you can help me do this. In John 18:38 it seems to me like there is something missing here, The New King James Version reads:

Pilate said to Him, "What is the truth?" And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews and said to them, " I find no fault in Him at all."

Now maybe there is no answer to this, or no way for me to find the answer to this, but I am hoping there are scholars who can find the answer. Did Jesus answer Pilate with "The Truth"? If so, what was his reply? Please respond, even if the answer is that the answer to this question is forever lost.



What is truth? - Thanks for your question regarding Joh 18:38. There is no manuscript evidence that suggests that in the original text Jesus provided an answer to Pilate's "What is truth?" For details, see

New King James Version - In your pursuit of what the original Bible texts actually said, both the New King James Version (NKJV) and the King James Version (KJV) will make your pursuit much more difficult. The reason is that they both are based upon Hebrew and Greek texts that are much less reliable than the Hebrew and Greek texts from which most modern Bible versions are translated. The result of those less reliable texts is that in many places the NKJV and KJV have added many words, phrases, and even entire verses that were not in the original texts. For a detailed explanation of this, see For a list of some of the places where the KJV and NKJV need to be corrected, see For recommended Bibles that would be helpful in your quest of exploring the nearest approximation of the original texts, see

See also a Q&A response on "NKJV - the facts" at


Copyright 1996-2004 Robert Nguyen Cramer