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Advocate




International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

Found in 1Joh 2:1, "If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." The Greek word has several shades of meaning:

(1) a legal advocate;

(2) an intercessor,

(3) a helper generally.

In the passage before us the first and second meanings are included. Christ in heaven intercedes for Christians who sin upon earth. The next verse declares that He is the "propitiation for our sins" and it is His propitiatory work which lies at the basis of His intercession. The margins of the Revised Version (British and American) and the American Standard Revised Version give as alternative readings Comforter, Helper, Greek Paraclete. Beyond doubt however, "advocate" is the correct translation in the passage in the epistle. The same Greek word also occurs in the Gospel of John (Joh 14:16,26; 15:26; 16:7) referring not to Christ but to the Holy Spirit, to whom Christ refers as "another comforter" whom He will send from the Father. In the Gospel various functions are ascribed to the Spirit in relation to believers and unbelievers. The word in the Gospel is inadequately translated "Comforter." The Spirit according to these passages, is more than Comforter and more than Advocate.

See Paraclete; Comforter; Holy Spirit.