John 14:26; 15:26 – The Comforter – Is It a Person?

In John 14:16-26, we read, “I will pray the Father, and He shall give you  another Comforter, even the Spirit of Truth”. And again, “but the  Comforter, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things”. And again in John 15:26, “When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of me”.

The claim is that in all three of these passages, we have a perfect statement of  the three Divine Persons, acting in perfect unity, yet each Person in the same relative position – the Father as the Fountain of all authority; the Son as obeying the Father, revealing, and teaching, and praying, in His prophetic and priestly offices; and then the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father, by the command of the Son, as the anointing and powerful Comforter.

As is always the case, in all of the scriptures referred to, one has to assume beyond what is written, and add to and read into those scriptures the idea of the three divine persons in one God.

Most translations refer to the holy spirit in the above scriptures in the masculine. It is only in reference to the holy spirit as the comforter that the masculine is ever used in the Greek concerning the holy spirit. All other references to the holy spirit, in the Greek, is neuter. This has to do with the way the Greek language is expressed, and in no instance can one use one or the other Greek gender used to prove that the holy spirit is or is not a person.

In 1 John 4:2, John states: “By this you know the Spirit of God.” When he uses the word “God” in this verse, is he speaking of “God” as a unipersonal God, or is he speaking of “God” as three persons? Most trintarians will say that “God” here refers to the “God the Father,” without thinking about how this makes the God to whom the holy spirit belongs as one person, not three. Indeed, all through the New Testament, God is most often used to refer the God and Father of Jesus as one person, not three persons.

The Bible reveals the holy spirit as a extension of God, figuratively as his finger, his mouth. (Matthew 12:28; Luke 11:20; 1 Kings 8:24; 2 Chronicles 6:4; 36:12,21; Ezra 1:1; Isaiah 1:20; 40:5; 45:23; 48:3; 58:14; 62:2; Jeremiah 9:12,20; Ezekiel 33:7; Micah 4:4; Matthew 4:4; Mark 12:36; Acts 1:17; 28:25; Hebrews 3:7; 9:8; 10:15,16; 2 Peter 1:21) As such it does indeed have the attributes of personality of its Owner, the unipersonal God. However, the scriptures never, ever, reveal the holy spirit to be a separate and distinct person of its Owner. Such an idea has to be assumed, added to and read into the expressions used of God’s holy spirit.

As regarding the rendering in English, since the masculine usage in the verses should not be considered as stating that the Comforter is  a person, then the verses can be understood as: John 14:16-26: “I will pray to the Father, and He shall give you  another Comforter, even the Spirit of Truth”. “but the  Comforter, the Holy Spirit, which the Father will send in my name that will teach you all things”. And again in John 15:26, “When the Comforter is come which I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, that will testify of me”.

Related Studies:

Isaiah 61:1 — The Spirit of Yahweh On the Anointed One

Ephesians 3:11-15 – God’s Purpose By Means of Christ Through His Spirit

2 Corinthians 1:21,22 – Christ, God and the Spirit

Romans 8:9 – Spirit of God and Spirit of Christ

Romans 5:5,6 – God’s Love, Holy Spirit, Christ’s Death

Acts 5:3,4 – Ananias Lied to God, Not to Men

Links to Other Bible Students’ Sites

How Does the Holy Spirit Work? (Christian Questions Radio)

Does the Holy Spirit Speak? (Christian Questions Radio)

         
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