New English Translation
16 Then[a] I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate[b] to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,[c] because it does not see him or know him. But you know him, because he resides[d] with you and will be[e] in you.Read full chapter
- John 14:16 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “Then” to reflect the implied sequence in the discourse.
- John 14:16 tn Or “Helper” or “Counselor”; Grk “Paraclete,” from the Greek word παράκλητος (paraklētos). Finding an appropriate English translation for παράκλητος is a very difficult task. No single English word has exactly the same range of meaning as the Greek word. “Comforter,” used by some of the older English versions, appears to be as old as Wycliffe. But today it suggests a quilt or a sympathetic mourner at a funeral. “Counselor” is adequate, but too broad, in contexts like “marriage counselor” or “camp counselor.” “Helper” or “Assistant” could also be used, but could suggest a subordinate rank. “Advocate,” the word chosen for this translation, has more forensic overtones than the Greek word does, although in John 16:5-11 a forensic context is certainly present. Because an “advocate” is someone who “advocates” or supports a position or viewpoint and since this is what the Paraclete will do for the preaching of the disciples, it was selected in spite of the drawbacks.
- John 14:17 tn Or “cannot receive.”
- John 14:17 tn Or “he remains.”
- John 14:17 tc Some early and significant witnesses (P66* B D* W 1 565 it) have ἐστιν (estin, “he is”) instead of ἔσται (estai, “he will be”) here, while other weighty witnesses (P66c,75vid א A D1 L Θ Ψ ƒ13 33vid M as well as several versions and fathers), read the future tense. When one considers transcriptional evidence, ἐστιν is the more difficult reading and better explains the rise of the future tense reading, but it must be noted that both P66 and D were corrected from the present tense to the future. If ἐστιν were the original reading, one would expect a few manuscripts to be corrected to read the present when they originally read the future, but that is not the case. When one considers what the author would have written, the future is on much stronger ground. The immediate context (both in 14:16 and in the chapter as a whole) points to the future, and the theology of the book regards the advent of the Spirit as a decidedly future event (see, e.g., 7:39 and 16:7). The present tense could have arisen from an error of sight on the part of some scribes or more likely from an error of thought as scribes reflected upon the present role of the Spirit. Although a decision is difficult, the future tense is most likely authentic. For further discussion on this textual problem, see James M. Hamilton, Jr., “He Is with You and He Will Be in You” (Ph.D. diss., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2003), 213-20.