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John 14:26 (ESV): 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

[Jhn 14:26 MGNT] (26) ὁ δὲ παράκλητος τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον ὃ πέμψει ὁ πατὴρ ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου ἐκεῖνος ὑμᾶς διδάξει πάντα καὶ ὑπομνήσει ὑμᾶς πάντα ἃ εἶπον ὑμῖν ἐγώ

Does John 14:26 mention three distinct persons?

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    Questions like these aren't the best questions. Are you genuinely asking? This is a polite cousin of what we call "stump the chump" questions. Most readers, not even just limited to Trinitarians, would say yes, of course it mentions three persons. A few would disagree. But that issue, over the doctrine of God, can't be resolved by referencing just one verse like this. It might be better to ask on Christianity how those who reject the distinct personhood of the Spirit interpret this verse. But for this site? I'm not really sure what exegetical insights a Q&A like this can bring.
    – curiousdannii
    Feb 14 at 3:19
  • @curiousdannii - those who disagree can provide valuable exegetical insights if their approach to the passage is sound, don't you think? But I agree that it would probably be more efficient to directly target that audience on Christianity.SE Feb 14 at 3:31
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    @curiousdannii - update: question asked on Christianity: christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/80875/… Feb 14 at 3:55
  • Please see my relevant answer to a related question here: quora.com/Does-John-1-1-4-contradict-Isaiah-45-5-6-and-12/…
    – Ruminator
    Feb 14 at 22:50
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The Evidence

    1. There is that which is 'sent'.
    1. That which is 'sent' has a function - advocate/paraclete
    1. That which is 'sent' is 'sent' by the Father
    1. That which is 'sent' is described as 'holy'
    1. That which is 'sent' is 'sent' in a name. By that name is the sending.
    1. That which is 'sent' is 'Spirit'.
    1. Jesus said that 'God' is 'Spirit'. John 4:24

The Conclusion

The only possible, logical, conclusion is that this is a person.

And with no other clarification, such as the suggestion, anywhere in scripture, that this is an angelic being, one has to conclude that since this (otherwise undesignated person) is sent by the Divine Person of the Father in the name of the Son, and that this person (in and of himself) is holy and has the function of being (in and of himself) an advocate/paraclete and is sent in the name of the Son : one's only conclusion is that this is God, the Holy Spirit.

I can see no other, possible, logical conclusion from these simple words.

The wording used by Jesus cannot accommodate to the concept of a 'force' or 'attribute' or 'aspect'.

One cannot send a part of oneself, in the name of another person, to carry out a function, independently of oneself. Words, language, logic cannot be adjusted to express such a concept. Because such a thing does not exist.

The words, the language, convey the concept of 'Person'.

Therefore, one Person, sends another Person who is holy and who has a function ; and sends that Person in the name of another Person.

Three concepts are conveyed in these words. These concepts are expressed in wording which implies, alludes to, and conveys - 'Person'.


The unity of person, elsewhere expressed in scripture, can be seen in this verse, also. But that was not the question. Only the fact of person was, here, under discussion.


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    My good friend - while I completely and totally agree with your conclusion, I am not sure that all this can be deduced from John 14:26 - all that come from many other passages.
    – Dottard
    Feb 14 at 21:18
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    That is my point - the evidence you quote does not imply the conclusion. Put yourself in the position of the Arian or Unitarian and you will see my point.
    – Dottard
    Feb 14 at 21:22
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    That is a great pity - seeing things from the other person's point of view makes good argument and is a central requirement of the Christian's virtues as stated in the Golden Rule of Matt 7:2-12.
    – Dottard
    Feb 14 at 22:04
  • @Dottard I disagree with your opinions, sir. And I prefer not to comment any further to yourself on this particular answer. Thank you.
    – Nigel J
    Feb 14 at 22:06
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Yes, three distinct persons are in view at John 14:26. The same point is also stated at John 14:16, "And I/Jesus Christ will ask the Father, and He/the Father will give you "another" Helper/Paraclete/Comforter, that He/the Holy Spirit may be with you forever."

In reading the context of John 14 it is without a doubt that three persons are in view, and "NOT" three "aspects" of three kinds of fruit that one poster mentioned.

At John 14:11, Jesus says, "Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe on account of the works themselves." Moreover, to back up John 14:11, Jesus says at John 14:23, "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."

The "We" of "we will come unto him" refers to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This took place for the disciples at Pentecost.

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The verse mentions 3 aspects of God's communicating and presence - Himself, His son and His Holy Spirit. We see from the following verses that the Holy Spirit is the spirit of the Father and not a separate entity.

Matthew 10:20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

Luke 12:12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say

There is no pressing need for 'whom' in the Greek - 'which' would also be suitable and more accurate.

We must conclude an understanding from all scripture - this one verse on it's own proves nothing about 3 'persons'.

Luke 10:22 All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.

So clearly, the Holy Spirit as a 'person' has no idea about who Jesus is... this is but one of many examples. Are three distinct persons mentioned in John 14:26? The answer then is No!

We had 1 John 5:7 that was more specific - but that was a forgery.

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  • Are you also suggesting that the Son is another aspect of God, as well?
    – Dottard
    Feb 14 at 21:16
  • yes, but edited for clarity, thx
    – steveowen
    Feb 14 at 22:15
  • Interesting - "the Holy Spirit as a 'person' has no idea about who Jesus is" - WOW. This, despite John 16:113, 14, Rom 8:26, 27 etc. You clearly have another Bible.
    – Dottard
    Feb 14 at 22:29
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    Perhaps some re-evaluating is required... Jesus says, 'no one except the Father'. Very specific and no wiggle room. You need to work it out from there. I've just given you some clues - stop reading in that which is not there!
    – steveowen
    Feb 14 at 22:33
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    Who is passing judgement? I'm just pointing out the facts :)
    – steveowen
    Feb 14 at 23:46
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Not sure how we could justify the above? Scripture is crystal clear.

Firstly God is not a man:

Numbers 23:19 I am not a man that I would sin nor the son of man that I would repent.
Hosea 11:9 I will not destroy Ephraim, for I am God and not a man

So God is definitely not a person.

Secondly, The Holy Spirit is never defined as a person. In 385 occurrences G4151 is never translated as a person, human being, etc. G4151 translates as current of air, breath.

So short answer, In John 14:26 only 1 person is mentioned, our brother & God’s Lamb.

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