John 14:15-17 says:

15 If ye love Me, keep My commandments.

16 And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever

17 even the Spirit of Truth

What does "even the spirit of truth" mean here? Updated versions like the New Catholic Bible simply omit the word "even".

Wiktionary lists under archaic meanings of "even":

(archaic) Exactly, just, fully.

I fulfilled my instructions even as I had promised.

You are leaving tonight? — Even so.

This is my commandment, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you.

But neither "exactly" nor "just" nor "fully" really seem to fit here in place of "even".

  • 1
    Note that in the KJV, "even" is printed in italics meaning that it is an added word by the translators and not in the Greek. Also note that no modern versions include the word and the NKJV has removed it. The word was an interpretive addition in the KJV.
    – Dottard
    Commented Jun 11, 2023 at 22:38

1 Answer 1


The word "even" is not represented in the Greek text.

But the sentence is identifying the "Spirit of truth" in the final clause with the "Comforter" in the previous clause, and English idiom demands some form of wording be inserted to establish the identity.

A modern English writer might have given us "That is, the Spirit of Truth". Or "I.e. the Spirit of Truth" (the abbreviation of ID EST). Or "namely". Or "To wit". Or he could have said "By which, I mean the Spirit of Truth". "Even" was used in the same way, but has now gone out of use.

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