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The Spirit-Paraclete in Johannine Tradition
The Spirit-Paraclete in Johannine Tradition

Author(s): John Breck
Subject(s): Christian Theology and Religion
Published by: Universitatea Babes-Bolyai - Centrul de Studii Biblice

Summary/Abstract: This study focuses on the process by which the Fourth Evangelist attributed to the Holy Spirit the titles “Spirit of Truth” and “Paraclete.” 1 John denotes the revelatory and regenerative functions of the Spirit by the metaphorical terms cri/sma and spe,rma. But whereas the cri/sma (like the pneu/ma) is depicted as an impersonal revelatory power of divine origin, the Spirit of Truth of the Gospel is a personified figure who represents the risen Christ by continuing his revelatory activity within the Christian community. In the Farewell Discourses the work of the Spirit-Paraclete is almost exclusively revelatory or “hermeneutical.” 1John on the other hand describes the risen Christ as para,klhtoj, as heavenly intercessor before God on behalf of the faithful. As Johannine teaching concerning Christ and the Spirit took shape prior to the Gospel’s composition, the title of Paraclete was transferred from the “Christ-Paraclete” to the Holy Spirit. This occurred because of their common role as witnesses, who convey saving truth and defend the faithful before judgment. In order to describe this activity, the evangelist assimilated the function of the Spirit as Paraclete, modelled on the intercessory role of the Christ-Paraclete and the forensic mission of the coming Son of Man, to the function of the Spirit of Truth.

  • Issue Year: IV/2006
  • Issue No: 1+2
  • Page Range: 27-42
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: English