Original Research

The notion of the Holy Spirit as Paraclete from a Pentecostal perspective

Marius Nel
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 50, No 1 | a2095 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v50i1.2095 | © 2016 Marius Nel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 January 2016 | Published: 16 September 2016

About the author(s)

Marius Nel, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa


Pentecostals share an interest in the work and person of the Holy Spirit although not at the cost of a well-developed Christology. The term Paraclete (παράκλητος) appears four times in the Gospel according to John in reference to the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7), and once in 1 John 2:1 in reference to Jesus. The question the article asks is: What is meant by the notion of the Spirit as Paraclete from a primarily Pentecostal perspective? To answer the question it is necessary to ask where John’s Paraclete fits into the pneumatology of the early Christian Church before investigating the different contexts in the Johannine literature and what they suggest about the Spirit (and Jesus) as Paraclete. Lastly the meaning of the term in the Graeco-Roman world of the 1st century CE is observed before some suggestions are made for interpreting Paraclete, specifically in forensic terms.


Paraclete; Gospel of John; 1 John; forensic setting; advocate


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