Dr. Friedrich

Rev. Dr. Johannes Friedrich

formerly Bishop of the Lutheran Church in Bavaria

Patron of the Congress

"What is truth?" This is one of the most famous questions of world history. The senior official in Roman Judaea, Pontius Pilate, asks Jesus this question when he stated that, "the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth." (John 18:37).

Ever since, people have been unable to avoid this question. Christians in particular have always felt compelled to find an answer. Is it truth when I betray the hiding spot of my Christian brethren in a situation of persecution because I’m being pressured to tell the truth? Or is there no Christian truth that can harm other people?

The 8th commandment does not say to speak the truth, but "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor,” and Luther has rightly interpreted this as: "We should fear and love God enough that we do not deceive, betray and slander our neighbor or ruin his reputation, but instead we should defend him, speak well of him, and turn everything for the best."
The topic of truth is thus very interesting. And I imagine that for lawyers who want to live as Christians, it is even more exciting than for others:

  • May I as a Christian lawyer exploit a knowledge advantage over my negotiating partner?
  • May I as a Christian make claims during a trial that would favor my client, even if I know that the legal facts are different?

You all can certainly name many more examples from your professional life. We want to be followers of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has come into the world as a witness for truth. How should we then try to live?

I think it is fantastic that “Christ und Jurist” has chosen this topic for its next conference, and I will gladly serve as patron and participate at the conference. I look forward to many fruitful discussions with you during these days and will ask God to bless the preparation and execution of the conference.