Another Paraclete?

John the Gospel writer records Jesus’ words describing “another paraclete” (14:16). Though typically spelled paraclete in English, the Greek is (transliterated) paraklētos. The curious reader might wonder, “If Jesus refers to another paraklētos, who is (are) the other(s)?”

Let’s investigate, focusing on the ‘another’ before we search for the ‘other(s)’.

First, we’ll define the term, a noun. A compound word, it combines the preposition para (beside, along, by, near) with the adjective klētos (summoned, called, invited, chosen). Thus, according to its etymology, paraklētos might mean something like “one summoned alongside”.

Seldom used in antiquity, in Demosthenes the term refers to a legal aid, an advocate. The word means intercessor in the works of Hellenistic Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria, a contemporary of Jesus and the Apostles. These two points of reference lay out the background—not necessarily the impetus—for its usage in Scripture. Completely absent in the Old Testament, the word occurs a mere five times in the New Testament, all in the Johannine corpus (works attributed to John).

Revealing ‘Another’ Paraklētos

Jesus’ speech in the Farewell Discourse (John 14—17) contains all four instances of paraklētos in John’s Gospel. The portions below should provide adequate context for analysis. My commentary interjects. Though the primary intent here is to identify this ‘another’ paraklētos and his associated functions, other related data will also be addressed. All pronouns specifically referring to paraklētos are underlined in the Scripture translations (but not in the commentary).

14:15 “If you love Me, you will obey My commands. 16 Then I will ask the Father, and he will give you another paraklētos, so that He may be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, Whom the world cannot receive, because it neither perceives Him nor recognizes Him. But you know Him, for He stays by you, and He will be in you. 18 I will not leave you abandoned; I will come to you. 19 Yet in a bit the world will no longer see Me. But you will see Me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day, you will realize that I am in my Father—and you [are] in Me, and I in you. 21 The one who has My commands and obeys them, that person loves me. And the one who loves Me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and reveal Myself to him.”1

First, observe the prerequisite for the Father to give this paraklētos: you must obey Jesus’ commands, thereby proving you really love Him (vv. 15—16). Reciprocity frames this entire section (vv. 15—16; v. 21). Jesus and the Father love those who love Jesus. The rewards for showing your love for Him are provided in the giving of this paraklētos and in Jesus’ promise to self-reveal.

Another moniker for this paraklētos is the Spirit of truth (v. 17). This Spirit of truth appears to function like the Holy Spirit. That is, the way this is laid out seems to indicate this paraklētos is indeed the Holy Spirit. For after providing a description of the Spirit’s then-current function (He stays by you), His future indwelling is foretold (He will be in you).

Jesus refers to His forthcoming Crucifixion: Yet in a bit the world will no longer see Me (v. 19). Jesus also predicts His Resurrection and post-Resurrection appearances in I will come to you (v. 18). This is paralleled with and you [are] in Me, and I in you (v. 20) as well as reveal Myself to him (v. 21).

He will be in you surely refers to the Spirit’s indwelling at Pentecost in Acts 2, and it is possible that day (v. 20) does as well. Specifically, though in context In that day seems best understood as referring to the Resurrection and Jesus’ post-Resurrection appearances, it may also be intended to encompass the Ascension and the subsequent giving of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost as well (v. 19: you will also live).

Should this analysis prevail, this paraklētos (aka the Spirit of truth) and Jesus appear to overlap in function to the extent the two ‘Persons’ seem entwined to a degree (reveal Myself to him). That is, the Spirit that will be in you (v. 17) may Himself act as Christ in some fashion (v. 20: and I in you). Stated another way, that day may refer to the day of Pentecost (He will be in you) when considered alongside the final clauses of v. 20 (and I [Jesus] in you) and v. 21 (reveal Myself to him2), signifying some sort of intertwining of the two. Assuming so, Jesus self-reveals in conjunction with or via the Spirit of truth. This overlap of ‘Persons’ and functions is borne out in other Scripture, such as Colossians 1:27 (Christ in you, the hope of glory) when viewed in conjunction with Ephesians 1:13—14. These connections will become clearer as we progress.3

And could the Spirit of truth refer back to Jesus’ previous declaration I am the way, the truth, and the life (14:6)?

Further Unveiling and Clarifications

At this juncture we might surmise that Jesus Himself is the other paraklētos. Let’s see how the rest unfolds.

Continuing on, we find Judas interrupting Jesus, seeking clarification:

22 Judas (not Iscariot) asked him, “Lord, how can it be that You are going to reveal Yourself to us, yet not to the world?”

In answering Judas’ question, Jesus sheds more light on this paraklētos’ function:

23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves Me, he will obey My word; then My Father will love him, and We will come to him and reside with him. 24 Anyone who does not love Me does not obey My word. Yet the word you hear is not from Me, but from the Father who sent Me. 25 These things I have spoken to you while remaining with you. 26 But the paraklētosthe Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My nameThat One will teach you all things, and remind you of everything I told you.

27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you—not as the world gives do I give you. Don’t allow your heart to be disturbed and don’t be afraid. 28 You heard Me tell you, ‘I am going away’, yet I will come back to you.”

Positively, Jesus reiterates that to love Him means to obey My word, which brings about the Father’s love. Negatively, in His somewhat indirect answer to Judas, He implies that those who don’t love Him—as indicated by their refusal to obey His word—are those of ‘the world’.

Apparently Judas assumed Jesus’ words reveal Myself to him (v. 21) were a reference to His Parousia, His return, the Advent. That is, it seems he rightly understood (v. 22) that Jesus’ Parousia would be seen by all (cf. Matthew 24:27); consequently, he couldn’t comprehend how Jesus would be revealing Himself to the Apostles yet not the world. However, Jesus was instead referring to His Resurrection and post-Resurrection appearances (and likely beyond—see previous section). Judas’ apparent mistake was in interpreting all Jesus’ words above through the narrow lens of v. 19 (in a bit the world will no longer see Me. But you will see Me), thereby erroneously delimiting them. Because Judas didn’t foresee the Resurrection, he assumed a near-future Parousia.

Yet Jesus was also referring to the future up to and including His Parousia. How so? Jesus would reveal Himself (v. 21) through the functions of this paraklētos—now specifically identified as the Holy Spirit—Who will teach you all things and remind you of everything [Jesus] told you (v. 26). Though Jesus’ immediate audience was the Apostles, the enduring nature of the Scriptures indicates these functions would apply to subsequent believers. Thus, these operations of the Spirit-paraklētos continue all the way to the Advent. This will come into sharper focus as we continue.

The last sentence in v. 27 echoes 14:1 (Don’t allow your heart to be disturbed and don’t be afraid). Thus, in context with v. 28, this likely intends to allude to 13:33 (I will be with you only a bit longer; cf. 14:19) and 14:2—3 (many rooms…I will prepare a place for you…come back to you…so you may be where I am), which would then imply both the Parousia and post-Parousia (the afterlife).

In other words, though Jesus is referring to His Resurrection in v. 18 (I will come to you) and v. 19 (you will see Me), in the larger context the Resurrection itself should be seen as foreshadowing—or perhaps the first stage of—His Parousia. Moreover, though v. 23 (we will come to him and reside with him) surely refers to the initial Spirit indwelling,4 the post-Parousia (afterlife) could also be in view considering v. 19 (Because I live, you also will live).5 That is, these clauses may well refer to both the temporal and the eternal realms (and see Craig Keener’s blog post here). Assuming so, this would not be so much a case of collapsing eschatology (in some sort of over-realized sense6), but indicating the continuing multivalence of—the layers of meaning in—Jesus’ words here.

Christ also clarifies what He means by My word (vv. 23, 24), which is obviously a synonym for My commands (vv. 15, 21; cf. 8:31—32) here.  For, though it is Jesus’ word, its ultimate origin is from the Father who sent Him (v. 24).

The Spirit-paraklētos, aka the Holy Spirit, will be sent in the name of Jesus—in Jesus’ authority—by the Father (v. 26).

To recap, the Spirit-paraklētos that will be in you (v. 17) will function to teach you all things and remind you of everything [Jesus] told you (v. 26).

The Spirit-Paraklētos Testifies about Jesus through Disciples

Now moving to the next section describing the Spirit-paraklētos:

15:26 “When the paraklētos comes, Whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth, the One Who comes forth from the Father—That One will testify about Me. 27 And you also will testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.”

Somewhat paradoxically, in 14:26 it is the Father who sends the Holy Spirit (aka the Spirit-paraklētos) in Jesus’ name, whereas in 15:26 Jesus sends the Spirit-paraklētos to the Apostles, though this Spirit of truth comes forth from the Father. In the former (14:26) the Father performs the action (“will send”), in the latter (15:26) Jesus does (“will send”). Note also here in 15:26 Jesus specifies that it is the Spirit of truth that comes forth from the Father,7 while in 14:16 the Father gives the Spirit-paraklētos to the Apostles in response to Jesus’ petition. Thus, the Spirit-paraklētos’ point of departure (“comes forth”) is from the Father yet He is sent by both Father and Son. Once again, ‘Persons’ in the Trinity overlap functionally.8

Another function comes to light here. The Spirit-paraklētos will testify about Jesus (v. 26). In turn, the Apostles will testify about Jesus (v. 27). This implies that the Spirit-paraklētos’ testimony will come through the Apostles. This harmonizes with the activities sketched in 14:26: to teach the Apostles all things and to remind them of everything Jesus told them. The Spirit-paraklētos teaches the Apostles and reminds them of what Jesus told them so He can testify through them.

So the Apostles—and subsequent Christian disciples—are the agents of the Spirit-paraklētos in this regard. And, perhaps, the Spirit-paraklētos is the agent of Jesus in the same: reveal Myself to him through the Spirit-paraklētos (see 2:22; 12:16). Assuming so, the Apostles and disciples act as agents of the Spirit-paraklētos, Who, in turn, performs as Jesus’ agent.

Actions of the Spirit-Paraklētos in the World

Paraklētos appears one last time in John’s Gospel—specifically in chapter 16:

16:5 “Yet now I withdraw to him who sent Me, and not one of you asks Me, ‘Where do you go?’ 6 But because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. 7 But I tell you the truth: It benefits you that I depart. For if I do not depart, the paraklētos will not come to you; yet if I go, I will send Him to you. 8 When That One comes He will convict the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment: 9 with regard to sin, because they do not believe; 10 but concerning righteousness, because I withdraw to the Father and you no longer see Me; 11 and, concerning judgment, that the ruler of this world has been judged.”

As with 15:26, in 16:7 Jesus is the One sending the Spirit-paraklētos.

The three listed functions of the Spirit-paraklētosconvict the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment (v. 8)—are not well-defined and open to a number of interpretive possibilities. Given this Gospel’s penchant for multivalence, these possibilities may all be true. It is beyond the scope of this article to attempt to exhaustively detail these possibilities.9

Sin in v. 9 could mean He will correct those in the world of wrong ideas pertaining to what constitutes sin. It could mean convict of the sin they are engaging in towards their repentance. It could mean convict of unbelief in Christ.

As pertaining to righteousness (v. 10), the Spirit-paraklētos convicts because Jesus goes to the Father. This may be understood as a simple statement of fact: Now that Jesus is no longer here to point out unrighteousness, the Spirit-paraklētos takes over.  In other words, here “righteousness” may be meant to be understood in a negative sense. In this way, for example, the self-righteous Jewish leaders who coerced Pilate to crucify Jesus may be convicted—deemed unbelievers by the Spirit—because of their push to crucify Him. On the one hand, there are those who remain convicted of their self-righteousness in this regard (“Crucify Him!”). On the other hand, some may be driven to repent (after coming under conviction) from their role in Jesus’ death and thereby come to faith via the Spirit-paraklētos.

So, in regards to the world, the Spirit-paraklētos testifies about Jesus (15:26).

Because Christ has triumphed over the ‘ruler of this world’, the world stands condemned (v. 11). It follows then that those aligning with the ‘ruler of this world’ similarly stand condemned.

The Spirit-Paraklētos’ Future Role in the Disciples

One remaining portion of chapter 16 contains the Spirit-paraklētos, but it is via masculine pronouns referring to it rather than the term itself (as implied from 16:7 above).10

12 “I have many more things to say to you, but you aren’t able to bear them now. 13 But when That One comes—the Spirit of truthHe will guide you into all truth, for He will not speak on His own, but He will speak only what He hears. And He will disclose to you things yet to come. 14 That One will bring glory to Me, because He will receive from Me and disclose it to you. 15 Everything that the Father has is Mine; therefore, I said this because He receives from Me and will disclose it to you.”

Potential information overload appears to be Jesus’ concern here (v. 12). So, Christ lays things out slowly, repeating a bit as He goes.

The Spirit-paraklētos, aka the Spirit of truth, will guide them (and future disciples) into all truth (v. 13). This seems to be a summation of all the functions outlined earlier, to include the statement that He will act as Jesus’ agent (vv. 13—15), thus solidifying earlier assumptions (in the conclusion of The Spirit-Paraklētos Testifies about Jesus through Disciples section above). But here also the Spirit-paraklētos has a future role, perhaps eschatological (things yet to come, v. 13).

The mutuality between Father and Son is restated, but this time much more strongly implying a Trinitarian relationship: Since the Father had given all things to Jesus (cf. 3:35; 5:20; 13:3), then Jesus can relay these same things to the Spirit-paraklētos, aka the Holy Spirit, aka the Spirit of truth (vv. 14—15).11 And the Spirit-paraklētos discloses these things to the Apostles and disciples.

Identifying the Other Paraklētos

In Scripture paraklētos finds itself one final time in the first epistle of John (1John 1:5—2:6):12

1:5 This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light and in him is no darkness—none. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him yet walk in darkness, we are lying and do not practice the truth. 7 If we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, is cleansing us from all sin 8 If we claim that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim that we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us.

2:1 My dear children, these things I write to you in order that you do not sin. Yet if anyone does sin, we have a paraklētos with the Father: Jesus Christ, the Righteous. 2 And He is propitiation for our sins, though not for ours only, but even the entire world.

3 By this we recognize that we have come to know Him: if we obey His commands. 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him”, yet does not obey His commands is a liar, and in him there is no truth. 5 But whoever obeys His word, in this one the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know we are in Him: 6 The one who says he abides in Him must himself walk as Jesus walked.

Though tentatively deduced above, this text confirms Jesus is indeed the other paraklētos. Therefore, when Jesus told His disciples He would send “another paraklētos” (John 14:16) He meant one besides Himself.

This section begins (1:5) with Jesus as the one we have heard from. But then it quickly moves to God the Father as its subject, with all third person pronouns through v. 10 referring to God. Jesus, His Son in v. 7 provides the lone exception. The theme of God as light juxtaposed with darkness in vv. 5—7 may intentionally allude to John 1:4—5, with the Gospel’s the Word exchanged here for God. Bolstering this line of thought is the statement in v. 9 that God is faithful and righteous—two attributes applied to Jesus elsewhere, the latter attributed to Him in 2:1 here.

While the focal point is certainly in 2:1—2, note the verbal parallels and similarities in the surrounding context (1:6—1:10; 2:2b—2:5) with the passages in Jesus’ Farewell Discourse above. From John’s Gospel we know that only those who obey Jesus’ word/commands will receive the Spirit-paraklētos. Negatively stated, those who do not obey Jesus’ word/commands will not receive the Spirit-paraklētos. Thus, it follows that those who have come to know Him—as evidenced by obeying His commands—have the Spirit-paraklētos indwelling. This indwelling provides the privilege to petition Jesus, Who acts as paraklētos on our behalf to God the Father.

The referents for the pronouns Him and His throughout 2:3—6 are unclear, and this may well be the author’s intention. From John 14:24 we know that when Jesus referred to My word and My commands, their origin was actually from the Father. Thus, any such purposeful ambiguity would further blur the roles of the Trinitarian ‘Persons’.

Perhaps “intermediary” best defines paraklētos generally in Scripture. In the role of paraklētos the Spirit communicates Jesus’ words to the believer.  Similarly, Jesus communicates the petitions of the believer to the Father. The Holy Spirit acts as Jesus’ agent to the believer; Jesus acts as our agent to the Father.

And through the power and mediation of the Spirit we act as God’s agents in the world, testifying about Jesus. In this sense, each believer is a paraklētos. What a privilege—and responsibility—we have.

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1 My translation, as is all here. The bracketed are in v. 20 is absent in the Greek, though added here for intelligibility.

2 See paraklētos’ function in this regard further below, especially in The Spirit-Paraklētos Testifies about Jesus through Disciples section.

3 While here we have overlap of Son and Spirit, later we will see overlap of Father and Son as well.

4 Thereby implying Trinitarianism: Father, Son and Spirit will come to live with the one who loves Jesus.

5 Cf. Rev 21:1—22:6; see “Looking Past the Future”.

6 By “over-realized” I mean an extreme interpretation such that the Parousia was to occur at the Resurrection or during the Apostolic era.

7 Regarding the use of the verb ekporeuesthai, “comes forth”, in 15:26, see Raymond E. Brown, The Gospel According to John XIII-XXI, The Anchor Yale Bible (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1974): This description made its way into 4th century creeds to describe the eternal procession of the Third Person of the Trinity from the Father…However…the coming forth is in parallelism with the “I shall send”…and refers to the mission of the Paraclete/Spirit to men…The writer is not speculating about the interior life of God; he is concerned with the disciples in the world (p 689). In other words, in its context here “comes forth” says nothing about what is known in some circles as the immanent Trinity in terms of the eternal genesis of the Spirit-paraklētos. Rather, it refers to the sending of the Spirit-paraklētos in salvation history.

8 See notes 3 and 5 and related text.

9 See, e.g., D. A. Carson, The Gospel According to John, Pillar New Testament Commentary, D. A. Carson, gen. ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1991), pp 534—539.

10 This is in distinction from any referring to the Spirit of truth, which would require a neuter pronoun since the Greek word for “Spirit” (pneuma) is neuter. All the translated-to-English personal pronouns (He) in v. 13 are attached to verbs—which do not encode gender—and therefore could either be masculine referring to paraklētos or neuter referring to the Spirit [of truth]. Similarly, the reflexive His own (in the genitive, heautou) could be either masculine or neuter. Thus, I’ve made an exegetical decision in assigning these masculine, relating to the masculine demonstrative That One due to the presence of the masculine demonstrative yet again in v. 14, thereby assuming this intervening text also refers to paraklētos (v. 7) rather than the Spirit [of truth]. For all practical purposes it matters little for, as noted above, the Spirit of truth is an alternative moniker for this same Entity.

11 See notes 3, 5 and 8 and related text.

12 In 2:2 propitiation should be understood to include both expiation and propitiation. The personal pronoun He is uncertain as to its referent (paraklētos or Jesus), but I take it to be paraklētos in this context, given the mediatory function in forgiving sins.

86 Responses to Another Paraclete?

  1. Jim says:

    There seems to be a degree of trinitarian confirmation bias in your logic flow Craig. It’s almost as if you want to say that the other paraklete is the invisible indwelling Christ, but a couple of ‘he’ in connection with pneuma brings you back to a trinitarian person called the Holy Spirit.

    The key question is: Does Jesus mean ‘another’ in terms of person or form? In functional terms, it is clear that Jesus is still our advocate and intermediary between the Father and man. Consequently, if the function comes from the same person, we can’t have a different individual performing the same intermediary function bridging the gap between the Father and man. We are saved by faith in Jesus not by faith in a different advocate (of our faith).

    I would strongly suggest that if we take Jesus’s own description of ‘pneuma’ from John 3, that we translate S/spirit, then we get a truer picture of who the other paraklete is. From Jesus’s conversation with Nicodemus we gather that man is born physically and, if they wish to see the kingdom of God, then spiritually. How are we born is the next question? Gen 2:7 provides a clue in the provision of a ‘breath’ (Gr pneuma) direct from the Father that acts as the life-giving force gifted by God the Father to all created beings. A breath from God brings physical life, and a new breath from God brings spiritual life, but we don’t assume from the first breath that enables physical life that we have a discrete being inside us (at least I hope not).

    Nicodemus gets taught by Jesus that the same principle applies in the spiritual birthing process that is necessary to know God, since the act of being born a physical Jew is not sufficient. Therefore Jesus describes another non-physical breath impartation by God that gifts us what Paul says is the ‘mind of Christ’ (1 Cor 2:16). With that new breath or pneuma, we can perceive a previously hidden mystery courtesy of the wisdom of God, namely Christ in us, the hope of glory. Consequently, the new believer, both Jew and gentile, can understand the things the prophets uttered as they were led by the unction of God (2 Peter 1:21) and this is affirmed in 1 Cor 2.

    So, it seems Jesus is communicating in John 14 what the apostles articulated later that faith in him (evidenced by obedience to his commands) would result in a sustained indwelling of the same presence of Jesus as God the Father’s divine agent during OT times. This bettered what even the prophets experienced since their anointing was for their dreams, visions and writings. But the invisible presence of Jesus (and by default, the Father) would provide his wisdom 24/7/365. A wisdom that even the teachers of Israel could not grasp with their purely natural ‘first breath’ minds.

    So, it seems clear that what you explained is that the other paraklete is in fact a different form of the very paraklete the disciples had known for three years. On a purely logical note, it makes no sense (and I believe Jesus reveals a consistent presentation of the Father) to entertain the idea that a God who is Spirit and therefore invisible and omni-present by virtue of being the supreme deity, needs another version of himself as invisible and omni-present to engage with man.

    All along, the way the Father interacts with his creation is through the Logos, then Jesus of Nazareth, now Jesus Christ the resurrected one. I don’t think he changed tack to present a new intermediary or agent, but the same, albeit in a form that is as the wind is to human senses. I believe the trinity is in serious danger of sidelining the means of that crucial advocacy Jesus provides us on a daily basis by his invisible presence in believers by supplanting him with a different personification of that bridging role. If Christ is really in us, then there’s no need for him to share the limited real estate in a person with another. What the trinity doctrine should settle for is that the Father breathes anew into us and we become new creatures alive to his teachings through an imparted wisdom that is Jesus; a Wisdom, as Prov 8 says, was with the Father from the beginning of the world.

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  2. Craig says:

    A ‘Person’ sends His own form/function? Actually one ‘Person’ sends his own form/function, while simultaneously another ‘Person’ (the Father) sends this same form/function?

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  3. Craig says:

    Jim,

    You wrote: A breath from God brings physical life, and a new breath from God brings spiritual life, but we don’t assume from the first breath that enables physical life that we have a discrete being inside us (at least I hope not).

    Did Adam and Eve not also have Spiritual life which they subsequently lost at The Fall?

    What do you make of the following Scriptures (all NASB)?

    Matthew 8:28-34:

    28 When He came to the other side into the country of the Gadarenes, two men who were demon-possessed met Him as they were coming out of the tombs. They were so extremely violent that no one could pass by that way. 29 And they cried out, saying, “What business do we have with each other, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?” 30 Now there was a herd of many swine feeding at a distance from them. 31 The demons began to entreat Him, saying, “If You are going to cast us out, send us into the herd of swine.” 32 And He said to them, “Go!” And they came out and went into the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the waters. 33 The herdsmen ran away, and went to the city and reported everything, including what had happened to the demoniacs. 34 And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw Him, they implored Him to leave their region.

    Matthew 12:43-45:

    43 “Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.”

    Matthew 17:14-18:

    14 When they came to the crowd, a man came up to Jesus, falling on his knees before Him and saying, 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic and is very ill; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not cure him.” 17 And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured at once.

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  4. Jim says:

    You’re up early 😅 Can I take this a chunk at a time?

    I think Adam and Eve had physical life, and a physical relationship with the physically present LORD (Logos) who walked with them in Eden, and had access to eternal life by dint of the Tree of Life. That’s not the same as a spiritual life/internal entity that somehow ‘died’ at the fall. ‘In that day’ they really did die due to being barred from the Tree of Life.

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  5. Craig says:

    I’m up WAY too early, rudely awakened by my phone warning me of potential flash flooding.

    Yes, bite that elephant one piece at a time. 🙂

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  6. Craig says:

    Regarding the pronoun issue, while I’ve consistently translated the personal pronouns (and the assumed pronouns from verbs) as “He” for either the Spirit of truth or the Holy Spirit, even though “Spirit” (pneuma) is neuter, I also consistently underscored those other pronouns that referred to paraklētos, which must be masculine. See note 10 for the debatable occurrences in John 16:13-14. But even this section repeats the pattern of referring to the masculine paraklētos–though this time as the masculine demonstrative pronoun ekeinos–followed by either Spirit of truth or Holy Spirit, which is then usually followed by the masculine demonstrative pronoun. This is why I’ve been using em dashes instead of merely separating by commas–in order to further differentiation the referent.

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  7. Craig says:

    Re: 5:03 PM,

    All that is fine, but shouldn’t we think about this is some manner by the NT examples of how S/spirit is used as indwelling (per my 4:45 AM comment)?

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  8. Jim says:

    As for the rest of the quotes, I think you’re suggesting that because demonic beings spoke and wanted to inhabit some physical entity (pigs or humans), then we should correlate that to all references to ‘spirit’ having some sort of sentient nature and things that occupy time and space.

    I get that cross-reference, but as the excellent wordsmith you are, you know how often the same form of letters can have a multiplicity of meanings. ‘Set’ can be a collection of the same things, the home of a badger, the collective noun for games of tennis, a mathematical equation, to put down, as a verb, make rigid etc.

    As Hebrews 1:14 says, are not angels ministering spirits. And so I think the bible paints a picture of two realms, both created. One is the ‘heavens’ that are celestial in the physical sense and a place inhabited by beings not of flesh and blood and invisible to our eyes, unless they choose to reveal themselves (eg the angels at Jesus’s tomb, or Lot’s guests in sodom).

    That invisibility is played upon by Jesus to Nicodemus as wind, whose effects we see but not the actual barometric pressure differential. Hence, I don’t think we need to personify the invisible breath or wind of God, whether at our physical birth or spiritual one (by faith in Christ), simply because there are references to the inhabitants of an invisible realm. That breath is for the impartation of life, physical and then on faith, spiritual, not for the implying we host entities or beings which also are called spirits. The context indicates which is which to me, but trinitarianism leads the mind to an unintended Spirit person as I read it.

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  9. Craig says:

    So, given that “God is spirit”, how is it we worship Him in S/spirit and truth?

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  10. Jim says:

    We worship the Father through the imparted mind of Christ rather than the Jewish legal system (in context remembering who Jesus was talking to at that time).

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  11. Craig says:

    BTW Jim, this is intended to provide background to an article regarding the pronouns referring to the Holy Spirit/paraklētos , in order to then, in turn, provide background for the forthcoming article (I hope!) on 2 Thess 2. The intent will be to show what I deem as one of the fallacies in assuming the Holy Spirit is the ‘restrainer’ there.

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  12. Jim says:

    Right. No worries. I don’t want to interfere with your flow Craig, so I’ll lay low. If you think pronouns indicate clear evidence of personification when it comes to pneuma, and then leverage that logic to 2 Thess 2, I will keep my powder dry 🙂 Regarding that passage, I had originally been persuaded that the restrainer was the archangel Michael, but I am now open to an alternate (that’s not the Holy Spirit).

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  13. Craig says:

    That’s not exactly going to be my line of enquiry, but I do think that once an intellectually honest person critically looks at the data they’ll see the problem with the Holy Spirit as referent. Analogically, there are somewhat similar issues applying to Michael as ‘restrainer’.

    But, don’t let that dissuade you from commenting/engaging here. In doing so, I ask you to follow the pronoun references here as I laid out (and explained further at 5:10 AM). Then fully consider the relationships/functions between all the entities.

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  14. Jim says:

    Can I ask why Greek pronoun genders have to provide the only direction as to identity, especially in the case of pneuma. If paraklete is masculine and you infer a male referent, then why infer a male referent for pneuma when it’s neuter? An ‘it’ has no gender and therefore is the more difficult to assign a person in the case of the Holy Pneuma.

    Masculine and feminine also infer personification when none may be intended. In note 10 you make ‘the exegetical decision’ to apply the masculine to spirit of truth, adding to inferred personification. To me, we can step back one and reason that spirit of truth is less about pneuma being a male invisible entity from the exegetical decision to go from neuter to masculine, perhaps because we want to conclude the third member of the trinity. The thinking should be ‘who or what is the source of truth that is breathed or blown into us?’ That source is Jesus of course. Jesus in a different non-physical form.

    What would you say is the ‘spirit of the world’? Do we assign a masculine gender to the neuter and then personify the result? The spirit of the world can be read as satan who is the source of that misleading unction but we’re not inferring that ‘spirit’ here means a being. Spirit of the world means man’s fallen thinking and selfish focus, not an entity, even though an entity is at the source.

    Lastly, a masculine noun doesn’t limit the referent to only being male. Female advocates can exist. Just wanted to see if that came over clearly enough. Like you I had a very early morning call this morning. Thankfully not weather warnings (I hope you escaped any storms), but the cat!

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  15. Craig says:

    The only reason I’m using masculine pronouns is because of our idea of personhood (a part of the next article). In other words, it’s to alleviate confusion. Now, I’m sure you’ll argue against the Holy Spirit being a ‘Person’, but it’s other Scripture that makes this evident (He is grieved, e.g.). ‘Personification’ has to do with context; so, “spirit of the world” does not connote a person, e.g. Similarly, the Spirit of truth mustn’t necessarily connote personhood, but I deem it so because of the functions of the paraclete/Holy Spirit.

    I agree that masculine grammatical gender (a term I will use in the next article) does not necessarily mean the referent must be male.

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  16. SLIMJIM says:

    Wow exegetical post!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Craig says:

    Thanks! Took me a lot of time–more than I thought it would take. As I delved into it, the eschatological aspects became more apparent, and I wanted to point those out.

    One of the primary goals was to get readers to ponder who the ‘other’ paraklētos was. Then I wanted to show the relationship of one with the other. It has always kinda bothered me that most scholars would just call the Holy Spirit ‘the paraclete’, since Jesus is ALSO a paraclete! And, the other day when I was finishing up this post (so I thought) in 1John–in order to identify Jesus as the ‘other’ paraklētos–that’s when I say more verbal connections to the Farewell Discourse, thus causing me both put additional context here in the post, but also to write “Enlarging Your Enquiry“.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Craig says:

    Jim,

    I wanted to come back to your words here:

    The key question is: Does Jesus mean ‘another’ in terms of person or form? In functional terms, it is clear that Jesus is still our advocate and intermediary between the Father and man. Consequently, if the function comes from the same person, we can’t have a different individual performing the same intermediary function bridging the gap between the Father and man. We are saved by faith in Jesus not by faith in a different advocate (of our faith).

    Let’s begin by testing your claim that this ‘another’ paraklētos is, in essence, an extension of Jesus in the form of functionality—that all functions come from the same ‘Person’, namely Jesus. First, note that both the Spirit of truth (14:17; 15:26; 16:13) and the Holy Spirit (14:26) are terms placed in apposition with this ‘another’ paraklētos. While it could possibly be argued that the Spirit of truth is perhaps just a description of function and not another moniker, the Holy Spirit is certainly another moniker, for we know from other Scripture that the Holy Spirit is spoken of in Scripture as separate in some fashion from Jesus (His baptism), right?

    In fact, I’d say John 14:26 provides the best verse to interpret the distinctions between ‘Persons’ in the Trinity:

    26 But the paraklētos—the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name—That One will teach you all things, and remind you of everything I told you.

    I set off the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name in em dashes because “That One” is a masculine pronoun, which must refer back to paraklētos—not the Holy Spirit (since pneuma is neuter). Yet at the same time, clearly the Holy Spirit is placed in apposition with paraklētos, thus indicating one is another moniker for the other, and thus it’s the same Entity/’Person’. Do you agree? If not, why not?

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  19. SLIMJIM says:

    Checking out your link right now, wow

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Craig says:

    I know it’s a lot to get through; so, for now, I’ll let you see the conclusion:

    And through the power and mediation of the Spirit we act as God’s agents in the world, testifying about Jesus. In this sense, each believer is a paraklētos. What a privilege—and responsibility—we have.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. SLIMJIM says:

    Wow we too are parakletos!!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Craig says:

    In a sense, yes we are!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Craig says:

    Just to be clear, Scripture never specifically identifies a Christian as a paraklētos; but, it’s an extrapolation I’d made after conducting this investigation. I probably should have added a bit more context from the article:

    Perhaps “intermediary” best defines paraklētos generally in Scripture. In the role of paraklētos the Spirit communicates Jesus’ words to the believer. Similarly, Jesus communicates the petitions of the believer to the Father. The Holy Spirit acts as Jesus’ agent to the believer; Jesus acts as our agent to the Father.

    And through the power and mediation of the Spirit we act as God’s agents in the world, testifying about Jesus. In this sense, each believer is a paraklētos. What a privilege—and responsibility—we have.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Craig says:

    John the Gospel writer implies two instances of the Spirit/paraklētos revealing things to him:

    John 2:22: So when He [Jesus] was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.

    …and…

    12:16: These things His disciples did not understand at the first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of Him, and that they had done these things to Him.

    So, in this sense John the Gospel writer–in writing his Gospel led by the Spirit bringing these things to memory–was acting as a paraklētos. Similarly, when we as Christians allow the Spirit to work through us to others, we are acting as paraklētoi (plural of paraklētos).

    Liked by 2 people

  25. SLIMJIM says:

    When you said we are parakletos it got me thinking of us as used by the Spirit to be ones in a practical means of the Spirit accomplishing His role as Parakletos. You are right that it is such a privelege.

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  26. I agree wholeheartedly that we have a great privilege and responsibility as agents of the Divine! I wish I would have had you as my Trinity professor, I totally wouldn’t have lost my mind over the Filioque!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Craig says:

    You mean you actually read footnotes!

    Your comment went to spam, but I just released it. No idea why. But you should be OK to post further comments.

    Just to be clear, I’ve never been any sort of professor or what-have-you. I’m a self-studying layman.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Ha! Yes I do read footnotes!! My Undergrad is in English and my life is dedicated to research so footnotes are automatic for me! I don’t mean that in an arrogant way! I encourage everyone to read footnotes and bibliographies to find out what sources the author is using. Peter, James and John were men filled with the Spirit with no formal training/education!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Craig says:

    I most always read the footnotes, too. Some works I read are as much footnotes (or more!) than text (and books should always be footnoted rather than endnoted–who wants to constantly go back and forth!). And I also check out bibliographies for more info. I’ve picked up a number of resources that way.

    I think English is very important, though I didn’t put much focus on it in high school–more so in college (which was 15 years after HS) when pursuing a biz degree. It’s only been since I’ve been blogging that I’ve really tried to write better.

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  30. Jim says:

    John 14:26, according to the Biblehub rendering of the Greek, doesn’t have any word for ‘that One’, often translated also ‘he’. If it did it would strengthen the sense that paraklete = Holy Spirit = a person. Has ‘that One’ been added in later transcripts for that purpose, whether intended or through translation bias?

    So the version I was reading simply states ‘the advocate……will teach you all things and remind you of all I have told you’. Their current advocate is Jesus, and he remains our paraklete having ascended to heaven, as in he advocates on our behalf to the Father. So then what the physical Jesus is conveying to the disciples is that they will receive a non-physical Jesus (since that is the form of breath or wind albeit a sacred or holy one). ‘I and the Father will make our abode in (the believer)’.

    Just as natural breath is the key sign of life in a creature, so the imparted sacred breath is the sign of spiritual life. That’s why Paul refers to that Father-given breath as a ‘seal’ unto redemption. It’s a sign of spiritual life that will result in the reward of eternal life through resurrection. The next point worthy of note is who John 14:26 is directed at. It’s obviously the disciples, and you referenced John 12:16 as an example of them remembering something Jesus said or did. Is it the job of the in-dwelling spirit of Jesus (Acts 16:6-7) to remind us of things we have never experienced in our walk with him? You could argue then that John 14:26 cannot be extrapolated in its entirety to the post-resurrection believer.

    What he does impart by his presence in us is his mind. We have the mind of Christ. So, in summary, I would suggest that every reference to the Holy Spirit (if it was translated as ‘Sacred Wind’ would we be wanting to personify that descriptor?) is in fact the invisible Jesus Christ imparted or sent by the Father. Just as the physical Jesus bore and came in the name of the Father, so his invisible presence still bears the same name, and who is still the fullness of the Deity according to Col 2:9.

    Another paraklete is another form of the same paraklete the disciples had known for three years, not another as in a different one. That much, I think, is evident from all the writings in context.

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  31. Jim says:

    Phil 1:19 ‘for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ’
    John 7:38-39 ‘…rivers of living water will flow from within them. By this he meant the Spirit…’
    2 Cor 3:17-18 ‘Now the Lord is the Spirit….which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit’.
    That Lord, that Spirit are one and the same from those verses – Jesus Christ.

    Why do no NT letters greet or the believers or sign off in the name of God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit? Centuries after the disciples articulated their first hand accounts (or visionary impartations in Paul’s case) politically-motivated doctrinal interest groups petitioned Caesar with view and counter-view of the nature of God and Jesus. My view is that the trinity has man’s fingerprints on it, as does Mary as mother of God doctrine, veneration of the saints, the priesthood as a set apart class etc etc.

    There is little to commend the various councils that led up to Nicea, and Nicea itself, as having God’s anointing on them.

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  32. Jim says:

    A comment on the idea that we carry a paraklete responsibility. We’ve just got to be careful we don’t elevate man into a role or function that exclusively belongs to Jesus. He is our advocate and unique comforter. His in-dwelling provides us with certain character fruits and gifts, but we don’t want to go down the BJ or Benny Hinn path that we are ‘little gods’. I know you wouldn’t infer or suggest that Craig, but I think it’s best to stick to language that is clearly marked out as our lane ie being a witness, evangeliser, or comforter in the sense of being moved to reach out to people in need with ‘living water’ and practical help.

    I do know what you’re driving at. In one sense we are the mouth, hands and feet of Jesus, but I’d be careful about equating that to paraklete any more than we can be someone’s saviour. Maybe I’m being too precious!

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  33. Craig says:

    I’m consistently over-literally translating the demonstrative pronoun ekeinos as “that one”. If you look carefully at the BibleHub translations, you’ll see quite a few use “he” instead (ESV, NASB, KJV). The difficulty is the long section—which I set off in the em dashes—describing the Holy Spirit. There is no textual variant at all here.

    You could argue then that John 14:26 cannot be extrapolated in its entirety to the post-resurrection believer.

    Yes, but only if this were the sole occasion of the uses of ekeinos, “that one”. Note its usage in the section on ‘the world’. Surely that’s a continuing aspect. Therefore, we shouldn’t think to delimit the context of 14:26. In fact, your comment about Paul’s usage implies the Spirit will be for future disciples and not strictly the Apostles.

    Another paraklete is another form of the same paraklete the disciples had known for three years, not another as in a different one. That much, I think, is evident from all the writings in context.

    Thinking this through to its conclusion, you’re saying the Person/form of Jesus’ earthly ministry will send His own form (sans Person)? And the Father also sends this same form?

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  34. Craig says:

    You must look at 2 Cor 3:17—18 through the understanding of 1 Cor 2:10—16. In the latter, notice how the text describes the Spirit of God yet who also has the mind of Christ. See also Romans 8:9—16: The Spirit of God, aka the Spirit of Christ, must live in you, and it’s this same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. Moreover, “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God” (8:16, NASB). See also the tri-fold listing in 1 Cor 12:4—6: …the same Spirit…the same Lord…the same God. Also consider Acts 5:4—5, in which Ananias lies to the Holy Spirit (4), which is tantamount to lying to God (5).

    I don’t know why the letters sign off with Father and Son/God and the Lord. Anything I say would be my own speculation.

    Though I understand why you might do this, I don’t think it quite fair to compare the veneration of saints, the mistaken notion of priesthood, and ‘mother of God’ doctrine (which wasn’t fully implied as the heresy it’d become until later) with the doctrine surrounding the Holy Spirit. Nicaea, etc. were convened primarily to set doctrine over against what was considered divergence from proper doctrine.

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  35. Craig says:

    I can fully understand your caution as regards my extrapolation that the Christian acts as paraklētos to the world. But I suppose heretics are gonna heretic no matter how careful we are in our verbiage!

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  36. Craig says:

    It might be helpful if I provided other examples in John of the use of ekeinos:

    1:8, in which it refers to the Baptizer: That one is not the light.
    1:18: …That one will ‘exegete’ him.
    1:39: …they stayed with him that day; it was about the tenth hour.
    2:21: But that one [Jesus] was speaking about temple of His body.
    3:28: …But that I [the Baptizer] was sent before that one [Jesus].
    5:35: That one [the Baptizer] was the lamp…

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  37. Jim says:

    Personally I enjoy the back and forth, but to have a more, shall we say, potentially conclusive conversation you’d have to do the old asking for directions in Ireland joke – ‘Hi, please can you tell me the way to get to Limerick’. ‘Roight, Limerick you say. Well if Oi was going to Limerick Oi wouldn’t be starting from here.’

    Warning – for those Irish or of Irish extraction who are sensitive or easily choose to be offended, that was a well-known technique in humour called stereotyping, used on individuals, people groups and nations for the purpose of eliciting a light-hearted dig or tease.

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  38. Craig says:

    LOL. I don’t think there are any triggered Irish here. 🙂

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  39. Craig says:

    Even before the 4th century creeds, there was discussion on the Trinity. It was not fully understood, but one early teacher of modalism, Sabellius (early 3rd century), was challenged by Tertullian:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabellius#Non-Trinitarian

    The Teachings of Sabellius were most vigorously opposed by Tertullian in North Africa and Hippolytus in Rome, who both proposed a hierarchical trinity of subordinate persons.[9] Tertullian is reported to have given Sabellius’ doctrine the name Patripassianism, meaning ‘the father suffered’, since Sabellius made no true distinction of persons between the Father and the Son. The term is from the Latin words pater for “father”, and passus from the verb “to suffer”, because it implied that the Father suffered on the cross. Tertullian coined the term in his work Adversus Praxeas, Chapter I: “By this Praxeas did a twofold service for the devil at Rome: he drove away prophecy, and he brought in heresy; he put to flight the Paraclete, and he crucified the Father.” This charge he applied to Sabellius as well.[10] This is a distortion of Sabellius’ teaching according to Clissold, who quotes scholars who have appealed to Epiphanius’ writings.[11] Epiphanius (died 403) says that in his time Sabellians were still numerous in Mesopotamia and Rome – a fact confirmed by an inscription discovered at Rome in 1742, evidently erected by Sabellian Christians.

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  40. Jim says:

    So to my point, I think that your ‘Another paraklete’ leans towards begging the question. The first question, before trying to use grammatical pronoun genders and their maybe intentionally trinity-biased translations (had to be said), is ‘what was the OT/Hebrew understanding of ruach, and what does that mean for the equivalent NT references to pneuma in Greek’.

    With a good understanding of that, along with the sister terms such as neshamah, psyche, nous, nephesh we can gain a better contextual understanding of the ‘pneuma that was sent’ and referred to by Jesus in John 14-16 primarily. Accepting that beings of the non-material realm are also described as spirits, we have to develop a holistic worldview to approach the possibility of personhood when speaking of the sent pneuma. Or not. Not saying you haven’t Craig, just pointing out the need to start from a different place…alroight, to be sure etc.

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  41. Jim says:

    6:16pm, when you say ‘discussion on the Trinity’, I think you mean ‘discussion on the ontological form of God’. That was a good example of trinitarian confirmation bias that plays a huge part in how we form the ideas around a cognitive framework with which to answer doctrinal problems or ambiguities.

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  42. Craig says:

    But that doesn’t exactly work. The only two usages of nous [EDIT/ADDED:] in Johannine writings, e.g., are in Revelation 13:18 and 17:9. The terms and concepts are sometimes employed differently by NT writers. So, for the NT we must look at the usage of pneuma, as it pertains to the entity associated with God the Father and Jesus. We don’t include those associated with wind, breath, breathe apart from this entity in association with the Father and the Son.

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  43. Craig says:

    I understand your line of thinking on this. But since I’m specifically writing from a Christian Trinitarian view, then I stated it that way. For the purposes of the discussion in the comments, it’s fine if you want to make that distinction.

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  44. Jim says:

    Ok thanks. I do think the big to small approach when trying to tease out the details is always best for consistent results. I am a navigator by trade and learned very early that you’ll end up in a world of lost making a small ground feature fit where you think you are or want to be. Orientate from the largest terrain indicators to the smaller ones and you won’t land up flying down the wrong valleys. Even if that valley looks mostly right and is green with mountain sides. It may still not be where you actually want to be.

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  45. Craig says:

    Fair analogy.

    Completely unrelated, I’m posting this not to derail the thread here but to post something you may not be aware of. Tucker Carlson–or do you watch him?

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  46. Jim says:

    I have caught this presenter before. As an Australian I can empathise with those in calif and Oregon. And yet at the same time you have snow falling in Colorado!

    What wasn’t mentioned is that the liberal left, green, climate change agenda voices forced state and national restrictions on controlled back burning of the forest floor citing CO2 emissions, the lesser spotted purple tree frog’s habitat and general pollution. Those living with nature generally know how to effectively manage and work with nature. Fires are normal regulatory events essential for biodiversity and growth.

    But because controlled and selective burning has been outlawed we see super hot, destructive wildfires that needn’t happen if we tuned out the AGW noise that is winning the lawmakers over. In fact most are in their camp. But then, to your video clip, political capital has been sought from human tragedy for decades. I just hope the good, thinking, non-BS buying US voter gets out and votes.

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  47. Craig says:

    I have a brother in Colorado–quite a drastic drop in temp from one day to the next.

    Yes, proper forest management is what’s necessary. It’s sad that things are weaponized under the guise of ‘doing good’. Pretty good salesmanship to the gullible. AGW is just a means for totalitarian control. I’m encouraging everyone I can to vote–for the correct side, of course.

    Keep watching Tucker. He’s really been on fire–no pun intended–of late. I dig his sarcasm and hyperbole. Right now, if this is correct, he gets more viewers than two of our major sports (forget which ones) combined. As regards sports, America is social-justice-fatigued. I know I’ll never watch most of these sports again. They won’t get a dime outta me.

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  48. Jim says:

    Re the second reply to your OP (your first – is there any way WordPress can label replies as #1 etc?). What is equally strange is Matt 1:20 ‘what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.’

    So is the person of the Holy Spirit the father of Jesus? Or, more sensibly, is the term Holy Spirit another way of writing the power or effect of the invisible God? I think we would agree that the Father, by his power, caused Mary to become pregnant without recourse to conventional human sexual activity. Hence Jesus called YHWH his father.

    To get doctrinally limited by who or what is being sent by who, on behalf of who in the name of who is to miss the bigger picture. Jesus is the only emissary of the most high God, he was such at the beginning of the world, during the OT times, as Jesus, then made Christ, and now as the risen Lord. There has been and is no other, albeit manifestations of God working in the physical realm are called as synonyms: hand, arm, face, spirit, mind, word, power, anointing, breath, fire, water and more.

    We’ve inherited a concept of God that is refined white sugar versus biblically simple, pure honey. I like that analogy having done about 2 hours beekeeping this afternoon. 🐝

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  49. Craig says:

    Well, I’m glad someone is doing beekeeping! Here in the US there is an alarming lack of bees for pollination. The result of GMO crops and pesticides?

    WordPress does not provide a way to # comments, so the best thing is to reference by date/time.

    The example of Matt 1:20 (Luke 1:35) is a good place to start. Then Jesus’ baptism. At some point we come to the Farewell Discourse in which the paraclete is placed in apposition with the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of truth. We have to harmonize these three somehow:

    14:16-17: the Father gives the paraklētos, aka Spirit of truth, upon Jesus’ petition
    14:26: the paraklētos, the Holy Spirit, will be sent by the Father in Jesus’ name.
    15:26: the paraklētos, aka the Spirit of truth, is sent by Jesus from the Father as He/It comes forth from the Father

    So, in your schema, Jesus sends His Father’s power/effect (paraklētos, aka the Holy Spirit, aka the Spirit of truth), while simultaneously the Father also sends it? Two sends of the same thing, from one originating source (the Father).

    There is no doubt anthropomorphic language in Scripture, but not all functions of the Holy Spirit can be reduced to this.

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  50. Jim says:

    To reinforce the way I think Paul and other NT writers considered Jesus and the given or sent Spirit look at 1 Cor 15:45 ‘So it is written: The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam a life-giving spirit’. The first Adam became a living soul by virtue of God’s breath (Gen 2:7). Then we receive spiritual life, and are sealed for eternal life, because we are breathed in to by Jesus who is our sent Spirit.

    Who does the sending, or breathing in to us is like who did the raising of Jesus. There are verses that state he did it himself, the Father did it, the Spirit did it. You could argue that the Godhead Trinity did it, or you could, as I’m suggesting, say that we have two clearly distinct entities in the Father and Jesus, who are intermingled to the extent that the writers can use the same divine names for both on occasions, and their invisible workings in the physical realm are called acts of the pneuma or wind for the reason Jesus explained to Nicodemus. No third entity required or intended.

    This attributing of the same names to two beings is demonstrated clearly in Exodus 3. Here there is God, the LORD, and the angel of the Lord. God the Father is employing the angel of the Lord to communicate to Moses. That angel or messenger is the Logos or pre-incarnate Jesus. Would you agree with that?

    Similarly from Gen 19:24 ‘Then the LORD rained down burning sulphur of sodom and Gomorrah – from the LORD in heaven’. Or Ps 110:1 ‘The LORD says to my lord: Sit at my right hand until I have made your enemies a footstool for your feet’.

    So on harmonising the verses in John 14&15, if the Father does the sending of the life-giving breath, it’s because he is the ultimate authority, but he has conferred that authority, along with his name, on to Jesus, who has the legitimate right to say he will send the life-giving pneuma knowing it comes from the Father but through his resurrected nature as a life-giving spirit.

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  51. Jim says:

    The anthropometric nature of describing God’s work is a good literary way of saying ‘him’ and is found throughout the bible where one term or nature is used in apposition with another, both describing two sides of the same coin. You cited Ananias and sapphira lying to God and lying to the Holy Spirit – not two entities, but two ways of describing the one.

    Ps 51:10-11 ‘create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.’ Here heart and spirit are synonyms as are his presence and Holy Spirit, juxtaposed for literary embellishment and layering.

    Is 40:13 ‘Who can fathom the Spirit (mind) of the Lord…’. mind and spirit can be used equally correctly here. Which segways back to your comment September 11 7:22am about seeing 2 Cor 3:17 in the light of 1 Cor 2:10-16. That entire passage is about wisdom, the mind, the spirit, if you have it or not to be able to perceive the things of God’s mind and/or spirit. There is no intended ontology here, as I see it, of a ‘Spirit’ being that we have or don’t have. Whether that’s a spirit thing that we humans have or a spirit being that God has (either within himself or separately existing), is not Paul’s point. If I can paraphrase Paul, he is saying that man can only relate to God the Father with genuine wisdom and understanding through the son, and that son is now an invisible presence in believers (the mind of Christ).

    Unfortunately the early wrestling of doctrine and nature of God in councils and creeds carried the baggage of Greek neo-platonism firmly alongside, so we have incorrectly assumed spirit beings (angels notwithstanding), afterlives, trichotomies, triunities, Elysian fields to,go to when we die, or eternal burning torment etc etc. And the Trinity doctrine.

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  52. Jim says:

    Here’s a question: Could John 14:26, given the context and audience, have been fulfilled by John 20:21-22?

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  53. Craig says:

    I’m going back and forth between projects presently (the next article is proving to require more forethought than I’d originally thought), but I can quickly answer your last question (6:06 PM). Note in the body of the article under the Further Unveiling and Clarifications section I include a hyperlink to Craig Keener’s blog, which addresses your question (though I didn’t touch on this specific question in my article):

    https://craigkeener.com/in-gods-presence-john-14-16/

    I think John 20:21-22 is somewhat of an enigma. Shouldn’t we have to harmonize it with Acts 2? Or this may have to do with my increasing view that John is employing a ‘pesheric’ (‘midrashic’) exegetical method.

    Like

  54. Jim says:

    Should John 20:22 be harmonised with Acts 2? In John 17 we see Jesus praying for himself then different groups. Couldn’t the same be done with John 14:26 (for the disciples and their specific remembrance of his words) outworked by John 20:22?

    Anyway it’s a thought but not one that should necessarily distract you from your next piece of writing. I haven’t been through the other post or Keener’s site yet.

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  55. Craig says:

    I don’t think you can properly exegete this section by limiting the paraclete in this way. Certainly, he has a then-future role in ‘the world’, so it stands to reason that the other functions should similarly extend to then-future, doesn’t it? We must also consider the intervening ‘Vine and the branches’ section of John 15–this certainly applies to yet-future believers.

    Once you get through Keener’s post, you’ll be able to contrast his with my exegesis which differs a bit (see my note 5 and the article I reference there–and the very short one previous to that one [they’re both short]).

    Like

  56. Jim says:

    Sorry Craig I can’t find the article. Is it at the link above at 6:22 pm? Of course, AI made this pop up in my YT feed so I had to take a look. First comment is priceless!

    Like

  57. Craig says:

    Not sure which one you cannot find, so I’ll post both. First is Keener’s: In God’s presence—John 14—16

    Next is mine: Looking Past the Future

    and the previous one [link fixed]: Looking Forward to the Past

    Like

  58. Craig says:

    Since I’d addressed this a while back and saved it, I have the following handy. Matthew 28:19 clearly has a Trinitarian emphasis:

    In Matthew 28:19 the main verb is the imperative/command (“Go and…”) “make-disciples”. This ‘making disciples’ entails baptizing them “in[to] the…” singular “…’name’” of that which follows. Here “name” is prefaced with the Greek article (to below), making it unique and specific.

    What follows “in[to] the name” are three ‘entities’ [in the genitive case] each one prefaced by the Greek article (tou), with the 2nd and 3rd ‘entities’ placed in parallel with the 1st by the use of the conjunction “and” (kai):

    eis to onoma tou patros kai tou huiou kai tou agiou pneumatos
    “in[to] the name of-the Father and of-the Son and of-the Holy Spirit.”

    The article in front of each ‘entity’ indicates each one is distinct. Thus, we have three distinct ‘entities’ in a parallel syntactical structure, implying each one has the same and equal weight in the singular “name”. In other words, all three have the singular “name”, yet all three are distinct, with none having any more or less “name” than any other: one “name” in a collective of three.

    The three ‘entities’ are in solidarity and in parallel.

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  59. Jim says:

    Jesus tells them to be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ in Acts 2:38, which is what we see running through the baptismal descriptions in Acts. Also, groups of three don’t imply the totality of what’s being spoken about, nor not ontological completeness. 1 Thess 5:23 says may your whole body soul and spirit do well. That’s not a summary of our component parts but a nice way of saying I hope you’re doing well in body and mind and spiritually.

    From a trinitarian end of the telescope it looks like the three persons of God, but Jesus is simply summarising, to me at least, the way in which a believer about to be baptised comes to that point of faith – from the Father, through the Son by their invisible pneuma.

    Like

  60. Jim says:

    No, still haven’t made the connection with those linked articles. I must be more in the Prince George camp than Dr Johnson.

    Like

  61. Craig says:

    I confess I wasn’t aware of the tri- aspect in 1Thess 5:23 in common with Matthew 28:19. Now having scrutinized this Thessalonians passage, I see it actually helps make my point. Just like the human person cannot be reduced to constituent parts, the Trinitarian God cannot. One whole person consisting of body, soul, and spirit but not reducible into separate ‘parts’; one Triune God with one Name consisting of Father, Son and Spirit but not reducible into separate ‘parts’. One human person; one Divine Name.

    This one Name can be used of Father, Son, or Spirit. This is why, e.g. Jesus comes in the Father’s name (John 5:43; 12:13), does works in the Father’s name (John 10:25); and, the Father glorifies His name by Jesus’ crucifixion, etc. (John 12:27-28; cf. 14:13), and the Father sends the Spirit in Jesus’ name (John 14:26).

    Thus, the practice of ‘Jesus baptism’ in Acts does not violate the tri-fold statement in Matthew 28:19.

    Your statement but Jesus is simply summarising, to me at least, the way in which a believer about to be baptised comes to that point of faith – from the Father, through the Son by their invisible pneuma does not do justice to the grammar. Such an interpretation could only come from very different construction in the Greek.

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  62. Craig says:

    Looking at the clip you reference, I think I may have found the source of the problem. It’s your accent. Notice how, while in his British accent, Hugh Laurie is a bit daft here, yet he’s brilliant as Dr. House when he sheds it. In other words, since I speak with no accent, while you Aussies and other Anglophiles (including some Americans) do, my mind is free from such interference and, consequently, I can think with absolute clarity. In short, it’s your accent that is impeding your thought process. Lose the accent, gain lucidity! 😉

    Keener agrees with your viewpoint of John 20:21-23, in that he sees this as fulfilling 14:2-3 (The only “coming” Jesus explicitly refers to in this context is his return to them after the resurrection to give them his Spirit (14:16-19, 23), a promise fulfilled in 20:19-23.). In other words, Keener sees the context of John 14:2-3 as beginning post-Resurrection, with this (the Father and Jesus residing in the believer) a part of every subsequent believer’s indwelling. So 20:19-23 is fulfillment for those present at the time of the Farewell Discourse, but the indwelling of Father and Son (with Spirit) is also a benefit for all subsequent believers.

    And Keener doesn’t limit the implications of 14:2-3 to the temporal realm: We typically quote John 14:2-3 as if it referred only to Jesus’ future coming. Thus, like me, he sees it as both/and (temporal + eternal). Therefore, I reference my own article “Seeing Past the Future”.

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  63. Jim says:

    Right, I knew my cognitive shortfall had to be down to something. Glad you pointed that out 😅😂 Your avatar has changed. Where is that picture?

    Liked by 1 person

  64. Craig says:

    Almost all the ones I’ve used have some sort of reference to music. This one is from a photo from an album cover–one that’s a bit obscure:

    https://www.ecmrecords.com/shop/143038751056/such-winters-of-memory-john-surman-karin-krog-pierre-favre-john-surman-karin-krog-pierre-favre

    Probably northern Europe.

    Like

  65. SLIMJIM says:

    Responding to your comment on my blog: That “pill” is true, your view are my view.

    Liked by 1 person

  66. Craig says:

    SLIMJIM,

    This is part of the reason I’ve been shifting more to eschatology in my blog posts–not totally, of course. This one here provides a backdrop for some down the road.

    Liked by 1 person

  67. SLIMJIM says:

    Wow that makes sense to do so

    Liked by 1 person

  68. Craig says:

    This guy has downed a BOTTLE of red pills!

    Top (and pinned) comment by Short Cipher:

    Control the opposition’s opposition by controlling the opposition’s position.

    Silence the opposition physicians using psychological conditions and social derision to establish the conditions of division and submission.

    Like

  69. Jim says:

    The reason I cross-referenced 1 Thess 5:23 and the Trinity doctrine was for the reason that so many actually use it as evidence of a tripartite person equating or exampling a tri-une Godhead. The point I was making though was that is both simplistic and not valid.

    If body, soul, and spirit are allegedly three distinct entities, and therefore God is three entities, it falls over since we are not three but one individual. But that’s perfect says the trinitarian because God is three persons but a single God. That still doesn’t work since the scriptural reality of mankind leads you to modalism if transposed to God. Or tritheism if the tripartite nature of man is insisted upon. It’s one or the other, IMO.

    The Greek in Matt 28:19, might have the definite article, and sound like a credo Catholics and churches various use at a baptism or as a benediction, but that does not equate to a doctrine of God.

    Like

  70. Jim says:

    As a general observation on what you’re calling the Farewell Discourse, Jesus concludes in John 16:25 by summarising all that he just said, including the terms paraklete and pneuma as metaphorical. The reason he does so is in verse 12 that if he spoke plainly it would be more than they could bear.

    Jesus learnt very early in his ministry that plain speaking about the Father was counterproductive to understanding. His conversation with Nicodemus is a good example in John 3:12, paraphrased as ‘if you don’t understand earthly symbolism of the things of God (wind), how will you understand real heavenly ones?’

    The wind or breath is a limited form of power that is invisible but produces tangible effects. A gust of wind is not the entirety of all wind across the surface of the earth, nor is a gust of wind the only example of wind on the earth. It has a limited effect that we perceive but is global at the same time.

    Hence the Sacred or Holy Wind/Breath metaphor used by Jesus and the NT writers to illustrate the invisible effect of Jesus (and by extension, the Father) in and around a believer – wisdom, understanding heavenly truth, gifts and outworkings of the inner Christ. Neither Jesus, not John were evermtrying to convey a third entity of God, but neo-platonism and over adherence to grammatical genders have biased thinking.

    Any reference to a ‘he’ when the referent is pneuma should be ‘it’, and any reference to paraklete is ‘he’ because it refers to Jesus (as well as being a male noun), as you proved very well in the OP, not the third person of the trinity by way of tying two he’s and making paraklete and pneuma the same. The paraklete is Jesus, the wind and breath is a metaphor of his and the Father’s limited presence in a believer leading them by their mind into heavenly truth and obedience to Jesus’s commands.

    Without intentionally entirely dispensing with trinitarian baggage it is almost impossible to read John 14-16 without seeing a third person. However, when you do approach these explanations of God the Father as the one God and his Son as the one Lord, given to believers by a new breath unlike the breath of God-given life for physical existence, it is very straightforward to harmonise the scriptures much more clearly. Honestly. From one who was trinitarian and thought it was a salvation issue.

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  71. Craig says:

    These two texts in their respective contexts work just fine. The human is one but three: body, soul, and spirit. These three make up the one, but none is separable from the one. The individual is to be blameless. Consider this in light of 1 Cor 6:16-20.

    In the Trinity God is one Divine Ousia, with three distinct but inseparable ‘Persons’. I usually place ‘Persons’ in single quotes, because we cannot construe personhood as equivalent between God and humans. Since I’d addressed this on another blog and I’ve retained it in a Word doc, I have it handy:

    You can only define the ‘Persons’ of the Trinity by their intra-Trinitarian relationships. If you delineate too sharply, you imply tritheism, which is obviously heretical. Let me quote RCC theologian Gerald O’Collins (S.J.) at length:

    Here the distinction between divine and human persons (and the distinction between divine and human interrelationships) comes into sharp focus. In the case of the tripersonal God, the distinctness of interrelated persons is not constituted by separation of conscious and free subjectivities. A threefold subsistence does not entail three consciousnesses and three wills, as if the three persons, each with their own separate characteristics, constituted a kind of divine committee. One consciousness subsists in a threefold way and is shared by all three persons, albeit by each of them distinctively. It is as if God realizes the dream expressed by the saying about persons very much in love with each other: “They are of one mind and heart.” Unless we accept that all the divine essential or natural properties (like knowing, willing, and acting) are identical and shared in common by the three persons of the Trinity, it is very difficult to see how we can salvage monotheism. Each person must be seen to be identical with the divine nature or the substance [ED: homoousia] of the godhead. Otherwise, the distinction between the three persons will be upheld at the expense of the real divine oneness; the divine unity will be something recognized only after the distinct and even separate constitution of the three persons [ED: i.e., imply tritheism].

    How then are the divine relationships crucial and unique? They are just that because being person in God is defined ONLY through relationship to the other persons. (Here the finite model of personhood does call for adjustment.) The three divine persons are mutually distinct only in and through their relations of origin. The internal relations between the three persons form their sole distinguishing feature…[T]he (subsistent) relations account for what differentiates (and unites) the one trinitarian reality (The Tripersonal God: Understanding and Interpreting the Trinity [Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1999], p 178).

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  72. Craig says:

    Your use of “metaphorical” is not a good translation of paroimia. Jesus was speaking in a bit veiled fashion in relation to the Apostles’ (mis)understanding as mentioned in 16:17-18. He was not saying the pneuma and paraklētos were metaphors in the manner you are saying.

    You wrote: Any reference to a ‘he’ when the referent is pneuma should be ‘it’, and any reference to paraklete is ‘he’ because it refers to Jesus (as well as being a male noun), as you proved very well in the OP, not the third person of the trinity by way of tying two he’s and making paraklete and pneuma the same.

    The first part about the pneuma (Any reference to a ‘he’ when the referent is pneuma should be ‘it) is right from a literalist grammatical point of view; but, you are erroneously disconnecting pneuma from paraklētos here. These two are placed in apposition (together with the Spirit of truth, one is another name/moniker for the other) throughout this discourse. These are all the same entity. By the context, you cannot separate the Holy Spirit from the paraklētos. They are clearly the same.

    But you are well-poised to understand my next article. In fact, it may be best for you to hold further comments in this vein until you read that one.

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  73. Jim says:

    ‘One consciousness subsists in a threefold way and is shared by all three persons’

    To me, that is a refined definition of modalism.

    The passage quoted above made me look up the Toy Story triplet aliens for some reason. Three voices speaking in unison…don’t want to be offensive, but you know how certain thoughts get triggered.

    Like

  74. Craig says:

    I’m sorry, I know you’ve answered this before, but what ‘denomination’ (for lack of better word) are you?

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  75. Craig says:

    The three think and will from the same consciousness, but they can speak ‘individually’. Yet when a ‘Person’ speaks it’s as if any or all did.

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  76. Jim says:

    Ok holding fire 😄

    Like

  77. Jim says:

    What I’m not – Mormon, JW, Christadelphian, Jew, Muslim, oneness Pentecostal, denominational Christian.

    Stumbling follower of Jesus. Nothing more specific really.

    Like

  78. Craig says:

    Well, that might describe me, as well.

    Like

  79. Craig says:

    As I went to go get some coffee a bit ago, I may have found a way to provide you a lead in to the next article, which can also help here. The Greek word for land is chōra, while the word for world (in a very general sense) is kosmos. The first word is feminine in grammatical gender, while the second is masculine. If I were to qualify “land” as what I mean by “world” in Greek-English, it could be:

    ho kosmos (the world), hē chōra (the land), specifically the soil autēs (of-‘her’).

    The personal pronoun autēs is feminine, so it refers back to chōra. Of course, in English translation we use “it” (the soil of it/its soil), since “land” is not feminine.

    Alternatively, if I meant to place the first two terms in apposition, with one another (rough) designation for the other, I could substitute gē (earth/land) for chōra:

    ho kosmos (the world), hē gē (the earth/land), specifically the soil autou (of-‘him’).

    First note the different spelling, the different ending of the personal pronoun autou here. This is the masculine spelling, and since kosmos is the only masculine noun, it must refer to “world” (kosmos) instead of “earth/land”, which is feminine (gē). Alternatively, I could have used the feminine pronoun autēs to refer to “earth/land” (gē). The meaning is essentially unchanged, given that the first two nouns were placed in apposition.

    The pronoun MUST agree in grammatical gender with its referent.

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  80. Craig says:

    Going a bit further, let me give tangential examples in English:

    Jim, the aviator, flies planes.

    Here, though the two nouns are in apposition, clearly the context is meant to focus on “aviator”. Compare to:

    Jim, the aviator, lives down under.

    In this example, the focus is on “Jim”, not the fact that Jim is an aviator.

    Somewhat similarly, in the Farewell Discourse the different genders in the pronouns point to different noun referents, but the ‘Person’ is the same.

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  81. Pingback: Misgendering the Spirit | CrossWise

  82. Pingback: The Holy Spirit as “Restrainer” in 2 Thessalonians 2? | CrossWise

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