Thursday, April 5, 2007


Greek Word Pronunciation: para-KLE-tos
Strong's Number: 3875
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 4156
Key Verse: “If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” -- 1 John 2:1

Parakletos is a compound word, comprised of para, meaning “beside,” and kaleo, meaning “to call.” The verb form, parakaleo, is very common, and means “to call one to aid,” as an advocate in a court; then “to exhort or entreat, to pray or implore,” and “to comfort or console.” One noun form, paraklesis, is translated as “consolation, encouragement, exhortation, or comfort” and is used for all three members of the Triune Godhead: 2 Corinthians 1:3, “God of all comfort”; 2 Corinthians 1:5, “comfort abundant through Christ,” and Acts 9:31, “comfort of the Holy Spirit.”

The other noun form, our word parakletos, is used by Greek writers to denote an advocate in a court, as one who intercedes. It is used only 5 times in the New Testament, and 4 of these references are to the Holy Spirit. The NKJ translates it as “Helper,” the NIV as “Counselor,” and the NASB as “Comforter.” In John 14:16, the Father “shall give you another Comforter.” The Holy Spirit has now replaced Jesus’ physical presence, and He mediates God to believers. In John 14:26, Jesus promises that “the Comforter ... shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have said to you.” The apostles were to be led into all truth necessary both for themselves and the Church, in recording the truths necessary for its edification. They would be under the infallible guidance of the Holy Spirit. In John 15:26, Jesus said that “the Comforter ... shall testify of Me.” The Spirit is not only an advocate, but a witness for Jesus Christ, presenting God’s truth to the world. In John 16:7, Jesus said that “if I go not away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.” The Spirit came into the world in a new and distinctive sense on the day of Pentecost.

In 1 JOHN 2:1, John wrote, “if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (NIV: “we have One who speaks to the Father in our defense.”) The thought here is of a defense attorney who takes up the case of his client before a tribunal. Christ’s own personal righteousness is what uniquely suits Him for His role as a Christian’s Advocate after he sins. Herbert Lockyer says, “We are blessed with two Divine Advocates, One within, One above. God's ears are open to our every plea presented on our behalf by the Advocate above, inspired by the Advocate below.”

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