Alan Jacobs in The Hedgehog Review:
In his 1625 essay “Of Truth,” the English writer and politician Francis Bacon—who, a few years earlier, had been deposed from his place as Lord Chancellor of England for corruption—commented on this passage: “What is truth? said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer.” The hint here is that Pilate turns away from Jesus after asking his question because he is afraid it might be answered. And Pilate may not be the only one who has such feelings.
“Jesting” Pilate—truth is but a game to him, a joke. People like that, Bacon says, “count it a bondage to fix a belief.” Bacon’s thoughts on these matters are useful to us because there are many such jesters—always have been—and many reasons for jesting. When Dominion Voting Systems first brought suit against Donald Trump’s legal adviser Sidney Powell for defamation, Powell’s attorneys declared that “no reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact.” What is truth? said jesting Sidney.