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The Comforter of John 14


References are to the King James (Authorised) Version


Q. Who or what is the Comforter (parakletos) referred to by Jesus in John 14?


A. Parakletos is the Greek term for ‘comforter’ or ‘helper’, and is synonymous here with the ‘spirit of truth’ and the ‘Holy Ghost [holy spirit]’. In His last address to His disciples in the upper room, Jesus tells them,

16 . . . 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; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. . . . 26.  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.


Similar references also appear in the following passages:



John 15:26


26. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me . . .


John 16:7-8, 13-15


7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment . . . 13. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.


New Testament Greek grammar requires pronouns to agree with the gender of the nouns to which they refer and does not, therefore, prove gender or sex one way or the other. The context has to be taken into account, as well as teachings of other verses. In John, the King James Version and other translations, the translators opted for the personal attribute, in harmony with their general belief in the Trinity and the perceived ‘maleness’ of the holy spirit.

In each reference quoted above, this comforter or ‘spirit of truth’ is personified as ‘he’. However, according to the Greek text, the words he, him, himself, could also have been translated she, her, herself, it, or itself.
For instance, the Greek word, heautou, rendered himself in John 16:13 is translated itself in John 15: 4 and Rom. 14: 14, as shown below:


John 15:4

4. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.


Rom. 14:14

14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.


The consistent thrust of Scripture – as shown elsewhere on this site – is that God (the Father) is uniquely one, and that Jesus (the Son) is separate and subordinate to Him (1 Tim. 2:5). The parakletos or spirit of the truth is the mind or holy disposition of God in the Christian, the means by which the Gospel-Age Church was guided into truth. The doctrine of the third person of the Trinity obscures this fact.


06/19 – – no copyright


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