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Advocate [N] [E] [S]

Translation (consistently in NRSV and JB) of the Greek work parakletos [paravklhto"], which is used five times in the New Testament. Parakletos [paravklhto"] is found in John 14:16, 26; 15:26; and 16:7 in the words of Jesus with reference to the Holy Spirit. In 1 John 2:1 it refers to Christ. Most English translations have "advocate" in 1 John 2:1, although the New International Version renders it as "one who speaks in our defense." To determine the meaning we need to consider the word's etymology, its usage outside the New Testament, and its context in the New Testament passages. By derivation the word means "one called alongside, " but the Gospel emphasizes that the Holy Spirit, as Parakletos [paravklhto"], is "sent" from the Father. In earlier Greek the word signified one called in to a person's defense, a helper in court. In two Greek translations of Job ( 16:2 ) it is used for Job's "comforters." Clearly the work of the Holy Spirit is more than either of these: the Spirit is more than a "Counselor" and stronger than a "Comforter" (in our modern sense of the word). The Gospel passages certainly mean that the Holy Spirit is Helper, "another" Parakletos [paravklhto"] ( John 14:16 ), because Jesus had truly been that. The Spirit was promised to remain with Jesus' disciples always ( 14:16 ), to "teach" ( 14:26 ), to "testify" about Christ and to enable them to testify ( 15:26 ), and to "convict the world of guilt" ( 16:7 ). Then 1 John 2:1 speaks of Jesus as our continuing advocate with the Father, because we who are sinful find in him the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and thus have our acceptance with the Father.

Francis Foulkes

See also Holy Spirit

Bibliography. J. Behm, TDNT, 5:800-14; G. Braumann, NIDNTT, 1:88-91; L. Morris, The Gospel according to John.

Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology. Edited by Walter A. Elwell
Copyright © 1996 by Walter A. Elwell. Published by Baker Books, a division of
Baker Book House Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan USA.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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[N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
[E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary
[S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary

Bibliography Information

Elwell, Walter A. "Entry for 'Advocate'". "Evangelical Dictionary of Theology". . 1997.
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