Question 279:

What does “the comforter” mean? See John 16:7-15.



16:7 The Greek original uses the word parákletos  = in English: “paraclete”, “advocate”, “helper” and “comforter”. 

16:8  In John’s Gospel this word describes the Holy Spirit who will be sent by the resurrected and glorified Jesus. The Holy Spirit will unite his testimony with the testimony of Jesus (John 3:11) so that the Saviour’s justice becomes clear to all believers. 

16:9  The sin of the world is its unbelief (John 8:21.24.46; 15:22). The “paraclete” will bring this sin to light.

16:10 The “paraclete”, that is the Holy Spirit, will reveal that Jesus was right to call himself the “Son of God”, cf. John 10:33. The proof will be his “going” to the Father (John 13:1). This will reveal his heavenly origin and his divinity (John 6:62).

16:11  The “paraclete”, that is the Holy Spirit, will reveal the purpose of Jesus’ death – the defeat and conviction of the Prince of the World (= Satan). 

16:13 “What is to come”: The new order which arises from the death and resurrection of Jesus.

16:15  The “paraclete”, that is the Holy Spirit, will glorify Jesus be revealing the fullness of his mystery. Jesus himself glorifies the Father (John 17:4). The revelation is complete. It has its origins in the Father, it is effected through the Son and it is completed in the Holy Spirit to the glory of the Son and the Father.  


Please also see questions and answers 45 and 69 on our website: 

See also the Catechism of the Catholic Church, No 691 - 701 ( “Names, Titles and Symbols of the Holy Spirit”. 

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