Then he said, “Write this down,
for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Revelation 21:5 (NIV)
The Greek word, alethinos, is translated as trustworthy in the NIV, but translated as true by the KJV.
Alethinos is defined as “that which has not only the name and resemblance, but the real nature corresponding to the name, in every respect corresponding to the idea signified by the name, real, true genuine.”
The apostle John uses this word twenty-three times in his writings. With only one exception (that I could see), the word is used in reference to God.
The word only appears four to six more times in the other New Testament books.
The Greek word, pistos, is translated as true in the NIV and as faithful in the KJV. John only uses this word eleven times in his writings, but eight of those times are in the book of Revelation.
Here, in Revelation 21:5, it means that Christ “can be relied on.”
These words, John’s inspired words, are trustworthy (genuine) and also true (reliable).
We aren’t being hoodwinked, asked to believe that a cubic zirconia is a diamond. We aren’t being swindled, asked to trust in a foundation of sand instead of rock.
However the words are translated, both connote authenticity and solidity.
We know John’s words are truth.
Prayer: Dearest Father, how wondrous are Your words and how much we trust them. May we also live them. And bring You glory.
Postscript: There’s another Greek word for true – alethes. This adjective is defined as “loving the truth, speaking the truth, truthful.” Here again, John uses it most, sixteen of the twenty-five times it appears in the New Testament. And almost always referring God – His testimony, His judgment, His record. Isn’t that cool?
Definitions from www.blueletterbible.org, one of my favorite Bible tools.