Comforter [N] [S]

the designation of the Holy Ghost ( John 14:16 John 14:26 ; 15:26 ; 16:7 ; RSV marg., "or Advocate, or Helper; Gr. paracletos"). The same Greek word thus rendered is translated "Advocate" in 1 John 2:1 as applicable to Christ. It means properly "one who is summoned to the side of another" to help him in a court of justice by defending him, "one who is summoned to plead a cause." "Advocate" is the proper rendering of the word in every case where it occurs.

It is worthy of notice that although Paul nowhere uses the word paracletos, he yet presents the idea it embodies when he speaks of the "intercession" both of Christ and the Spirit ( Romans 8:27 Romans 8:34 ).

These dictionary topics are from
M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.

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

Bibliography Information

Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Comforter". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". .

Comforter. [N] [E]

( John 14:16 ) The name given by Christ to the Holy Spirit. The original word is Paraclete , and means first Advocate, a defender, helper, strengthener, as well as comforter.

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

Bibliography Information

Smith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Comforter'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary". . 1901.



This is translation of the word patakletos, in the Johannine writings. In the Gospel it occurs in John 14:16,26; 15:26; 16:7, and refers to the Holy Spirit. The word means literally, "called to one's side" for help. The translation "Comforter" covers only a small part of the meaning as shown in the context. The word "Helper" would be a more adequate translation. The Spirit does a great deal for disciples besides comforting them, although to comfort was a part of His work for them. The Spirit guides into truth; indeed, He is called the Spirit of truth. He teaches and quickens the memory of disciples and glorifies Christ in them. He also has a work to do in the hearts of unbelievers, convicting the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment (John 14-16). The Comforter remains permanently with disciples after He comes in response to the prayers of Christ. The word parakletos does not occur elsewhere in the Scriptures except in 1 John 2:1. In Job 16:2 the active form of the word (parakletos is passive) is found in the plural, where Job calls his friends "miserable comforters." The word "Comforter" being an inadequate, and the word "Helper" a too indefinite, translation of the word in the Gospel of John, it would probably be best to transfer the Greek word into English in so far as it relates to the Holy Spirit (see PARACLETE).

In 1John 2:1 the word parakletos refers to Christ:

"If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." Here the translation Advocate is quite correct. As the next verse shows the writer has in mind the intercession of Christ for Christians on the basis of His mediatorial work: "And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world" (1 John 2:2).


E. Y. Mullins

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'COMFORTER'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.