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Holman Bible Dictionary

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Additional Resources
Greek - helper
Greek - Helper
Greek - helper
Greek - fellowhelper, helper
Greek - helper
Hebrew - helper, helpers
Hebrew - helper, helpers

NAS translation of parakletos, a distinctive title for the Holy Spirit in the Gospel of John (John 14:16,John 14:26; John 15:26; John 16:7). Other versions translate the term “Comforter” (KJV), “Advocate” (NEB), or “Counselor” (RSV, NIV). Because parakletos is difficult to translate with any single word, some interpreters opt for making “Paraclete” an English word and allowing the relevant Johannine passages to provide its meaning.

In line with the history of the term, 1 John 2:1 employs parakletos in a forensic sense, portraying a courtroom scene in which Jesus Christ, the righteous “Advocate,” intercedes with God on behalf of sinners. Although forensic associations are present in the Gospel of John (John 15:26; John 16:8-11), the Helper does not specifically function as “Advocate.”

The Helper, who could not come until Jesus departed (John 16:7), functions as the abiding presence of Jesus among His disciples (John 14:16-18). Nearly everything said of the Helper is also said of Jesus in the Gospel, and the Helper actually comes as “another parakletos” (John 14:16), implying that Jesus had been the first (1 John 2:1).

Jesus described the role of the Helper primarily with verbs of speaking. The Helper would be sent by the Father to “teach” the disciples and to bring to remembrance all Jesus “said” to them (John 14:26; John 16:14-15). Like Jesus, the Helper was “sent” to “bear witness” (John 15:26-27). The Helper's function in relation to the world involves “reproving” it concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8). The Helper would also “guide” Jesus' disciples into all truth by “speaking” what He hears and “showing” what is to come (John 16:13). By so doing He would “glorify” Jesus (John 16:14). See Advocate; Comforter; Counselor; Holy Spirit; Paraclete.

R. Robert Creech

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'HELPER'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".
<>. 1991.


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