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John 14:16, (DRB):

And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever.

The question is so simple:

Was Jesus a Paraclete?

I mean, is a Paraclete, one of the functions of the second person of the Holy Trinity?

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5 Answers 5

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Jesus is described in Hebrews 7:22 as εγγυος :

κατα τοσουτον κρειττονος διαθηκης γεγονεν εγγυος ιησους [Hebrews 7:22 TR]

By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. [KJV]

by so much of a better covenant hath Jesus become surety, [YLT]

ἐγγὺς Strong 1451 occurs many times in the New Testament but only in this place do the KJV and YLT translate the word 'surety'. Others call it 'guarantor'. Everywhere else it is 'near' or 'nigh at hand'.

The word used in Hebrews 7:22 (εγγυος) is, however, slightly different from ἐγγὺς, and is the only time it appears in scripture. But it is simply the personification (with the masculine ending) of the concept ἐγγὺς - near or nigh at hand.

I wouldn't like to go further and try, myself, to translate εγγυος. I can only point to the underlying concept and its obvious relevance to the question at hand.

Thus the word expresses similar to Paraklete - one drawn near.

Jesus is come nigh in covenant. He is also the Messenger of the Covenant (see Mark 1:1 and Malachi 3:1.

So, a resounding 'Yes' to the question.

Jesus is also a 'comforter'.


If anything, this word εγγυος is an expression of an even closer union than Paraklete. It is the very expression of nearness. It is nearness personified.

Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren [Hebrews 2:17, KJV]

Then another is 'called beside' as well.

EDIT Note : Some give this text the meaning of 'Covenant Head'.

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The short answer is, "YES" based on both the implied and explicit word of God. But first the word παράκλητος (paraklétos) occurs just five times in the NT: John 14:16, 26, 15:26, 16:7, 1 John 2:1. All of these are in the writings of John and all refer to the Holy Spirit except the last.

Implied:

John 14:16 - Jesus would send another, ἄλλος (allos = different but of a similar kind), comforter/advocate suggesting Jesus was also a comforter/advocate.

Explicit:

1 John 2:1 - My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate (παράκλητος, paraklétos) before the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.

This last reference is further strengthened by Paul when he writes to Timothy but uses a related word as follows:

1 Tim 2:5 - For there is one God, and there is one mediator (μεσίτης, mesités = a go-between, very similar to an advocate) between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. See also Heb 8:6, 9:15, 12:24.

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1 John 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate (paraclete) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

Jesus told the disciples he would send a helper and that they would see HIM (Jesus) again - after he has risen to the Father, he would return in spirit.

John 16:16 A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me. 17 Some of His disciples then said to one another, “What is this thing He is telling us, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’; and, ‘because I go to the Father’

No mention of the spirit in these passages - the spirit is the means for Jesus and the Father to dwell in us.

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.

Jesus IS the Paraclete!

+++++++++++++++++++

Not only is Jesus the paraclete or comforter, he is the original comforter.

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another helper, that he may abide with you forever — the Spirit of truth. John 14:16

As Jesus is the one speaking, he is sending another. Who is the first? Jesus.

A paraclete is spoken of in 2 Cor 1 TEN times and refers to God. He comforts through Jesus v5. Again, no mention of the spirit from Paul as he expresses that it is God - through Christ, that our comfort will come. As Jesus does nothing of himself, what he does do, is God through him. Jesus is the comforter by the power, love and wisdom of God through him.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. V3-5

When Jesus goes away to the Father, he remains with them as the comforter through the spirit which comes from the Father through Jesus.

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  • "that he may abide with you forever". He (3rd person singular) referring to the "another helper", the spirit of truth. Not it...he. Commented Jan 29, 2021 at 13:14
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Jesus, in his role as the only-begotten "Son of God" ( not the supposed 2nd Person of a mystical Holy Trinity) was most definitely functioning as a "paraclete", helper, comforter, to his disciples. However, as Jesus was no longer going to be present with his disciples, being called away to the heavens and God, his spirit (pneuma), active force - we should not be presupposing personality here (the definite article before "pneuma" is in the dative, NEUTER, singular) - was to supplement him as their helper, or, in other words, be "another" helper. The word "another" should be observed as implying that which the epistle states: the advocacy of Jesus as well as his and in particular the Father's active spiritual force... "you know it (not Him) because it (not He) abides with you and will be IN you" - John 14:17 NASB.

This spirit helper, active force, of God and Jesus, was to be with them forever more, in other words be "omnipresent", no more than that and no less than that.

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  • I'm interested in this distinction between the Father's spirit and Jesus' spirit. Is this God's spirit, running through Jesus, and then to the world? Or are you conceiving of this as something more independently coming from Jesus? Commented Apr 30, 2021 at 17:15
  • Sorry for the delay here. I was out of town, got over heated playing golf, then being 70 years old had to take a nap on my return. On quickly reacquainting myself with the post here, I now repeat what I wrote to another poster, who asked me what my view was on the spirit.....tbc... Commented May 1, 2021 at 3:57
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    ...With regard to the spirit: Being a non Trinitarian, I don't believe in there being a 3rd Personage, in the Godhead, in the guise of, a nameless, Holy Spirit. To me, one has the Almighty God, Jehovah, then one has the only begotten Son of God, namely Jesus, 2 distinctive spiritual personages, both with divinity. Then, simply put, one has 'their' active force, spirit, breath (ruach), which is then infused into all 'true believers' of God and Jesus, and in particular his (Jesus') sacrifice, in order that Mankind can be forgiven and have 'salvation'...It can then be both of your hypotheses. Commented May 1, 2021 at 4:17
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    In a shout out to your 'handle'. The Almighty God, the Father, is 'God' with a capital 'G', whereas the Son of God, namely Jesus, is 'god' with a small 'g'. Commented May 1, 2021 at 4:47
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Parakletos in Scripture
The Greek term is παράκλητος which if transliterated would be parakletos. This word is only used four times in John's Gospel and once in First John. It is not used in the LXX.

John 14:16:17a DRA

And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever. The spirit of truth...

John 14:26 DRA

But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you.

John 15:26 DRA

But when the Paraclete cometh, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceedeth from the Father, he shall give testimony of me.

John 16:7 DRA

But I tell you the truth: it is expedient to you that I go: for if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

1 John 2:1 DRA

My little children, these things I write to you, that you may not sin. But if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the just

After rendering παράκλητος consistently as parakletos in the Gospel, the Douay-Rheims translators opted to translate it as advocate in First John.

The first use is without the article; instead it is identified as ἄλλον παράκλητον which would be transliterated as allos parakletos. The remaining uses in the Gospel are with the article, ὁ παράκλητος. This pattern indicates the article is anaphoric, meaning ὁ παράκλητος is ἄλλον παράκλητον first mentioned in 14:16. Therefore, in the Gospel, the parakletos is allos parakletos. The use in First John is without the article.

Allos Parakletos
When Jesus first tells the disciples about parakeltos, He informs them it will be allos, which is understood as another. Obviously, in order to send another parakeltos, a first parakeltos must have been sent. Even if First John did not specifically identify Jesus as the first parakletos sent, the Gospel not only implies this, but logically, who else but Jesus could be the first parakeltos?

Essentially, First John gives the meaning of parakletos. It is one who acts on behalf of the sinner with the Father. The One who gave His life as a ransom; the One who came to take away the sin of the world; this same One now acts on behalf of the sinner with the Father. Only Jesus qualifies the first parakletos.

Jesus is parakletos and allos parakeltos is the Spirit of the Truth. Jesus was the first parakletos; the Spirit of the Truth is allos parakeltos. When first identifying the Spirit of the Truth, Jesus could have omitted allos, or Jesus could have said the parakletos, or Jesus could have said heteros parakletos. Heteros parakeltos would also be understood as "another" parakeltos. The difference between allos and heteros is the first is another of the same type; the second is another of a different type.

By identifying the Spirit of the Truth as allos not heteros or the, Jesus is stating the Spirit of Truth is another like Himself and is not different from Himself. By not using the article with either the Spirit of Truth or with Jesus Christ the Just, these texts demonstrate equality between parakletos and allos parakeltos. That is, neither may rightly be called the parakeltos, since both were sent and both are parakeltos. The only difference is one was sent before the other, and, obviously, the one who was sent first, is still parakeltos.

Conclusion
The language used states unequivocally Jesus was the first parakeltos sent to mankind. In the Gospel, Jesus describes the Spirit of the Truth as another like Himself.

If the Spirit of Truth was different from Jesus, then He should have said heteros not allos. In other words, by choosing allos not heteros, Jesus was stating the Spirit of the Truth was a parakletos exactly like Himself.

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  • allos parakletos as opposed to heteros parakletos is absolutely correct. If I was to carry on your last sentence, I would put a comma after Himself and continue thus... or, more than likely, from within Himself. It is true that Jesus spoke of the holy spirit as a "helper". In so doing, the original Greek shows Jesus at times applying the personal pronoun "he" to that "helper" (paraclete). However, it is not unusual in the scriptures for something that is not actually a person to be personalized or personified. Wisdom is personified in Proverbs, etc...etc...etc... Commented Jan 1 at 18:18
  • @OldeEnglish There is no basis for translating parakletos differently in order to say there is a difference between Jesus and the Spirit of Truth, ie. one is a "helper" and the other an "advocate." Rather, both are parakletos. The difference is which was sent before the other specifically as parakletos. It may be true that wisdom is personified, but wisdom was not sent, parakeltos was. Personification is a consequence of being sent. Just as the Father was personified because Jesus was sent, the Spirit of Truth is personified because He is sent. The original language is clear. Commented Jan 1 at 20:14
  • I didn't send that comment just to start another debate with you, which would just be futile. You and I are too set in our beliefs. I sent it for the perusal and benefit of others. Happy New Year. Commented Jan 1 at 20:55
  • @OldeEnglish Hopefully others will read the response. The Greek is quite clear in expressing the essential aspect of the nature of God. There is equality, in this case parakletos. There is distinction, alllos. Commented Jan 1 at 22:09
  • It's always best to be presented with the "for" and "against" when trying to understand the truth of a matter, or the rigid dichotomy between science and mysticism. People are then indubitably best prepared to decide for themselves. Commented Jan 1 at 23:22

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