The Spirit/Paraclete in the Johannine Literature
by Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D.

The ancient Greek word πνεῦμα (pneuma) has a variety of meanings: air, wind, breath, spirit. The English adjective "pneumatic" and other words derived from πνεῦμα all have something do with "air" or "spirit" or "lungs": pneumatic drills/pumps/tools (operated by air pressure); pneumatic tires (filled with air); pneumonia (a disease of the lungs); pneumatology (the study of spiritual beings or phenomena).

Greek English Matt Mark Luke John Acts Paul Heb Cath 1John 2&3Jn Rev NT Total
πνεῦμα spirit, breath, wind 19 23 36 24 70 146 12 13 12 0 24 379
πνεῦμα ἅγιον Holy Spirit 5 4 13 3 41 15 5 3 0 0 0 89
πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας Spirit of Truth 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 4
πνευματικός spiritual 0 0 0 0 0 24 0 2 0 0 0 26
πνευματικῶς spiritually 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 2
παράκλητος Paraclete (Advocate,
Comforter, Consoler)
0 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 5
παρακαλέω to call to one's side;
to comfort, console
9 9 7 0 22 54 4 4 0 0 0 109
παράκλησις appeal 0 0 2 0 4 20 3 0 0 0 0 29

A) In the New Testament, pneuma can refer to many different things:

B) The Gospel and Letters of John have some interesting and significant usages of the Greek word pneuma:

C) John gives the Holy Spirit an unusual but highly significant title, namely "Paraclete":

D) The Spirit/Paraclete has several different roles or functions according to John's Gospel:

E) Yet the relation of the Spirit/Paraclete to God and to Jesus is complex. One could ask:

F) Texts with "Spirit" and/or "Paraclete/Advocate" in the GOSPEL of John (NRSV translation)

G) Texts with "Spirit" and/or "Paraclete/Advocate" in the FIRST EPISTLE of John (NRSV translation):

Related Pages:


Return to the Introductory Materials for the Fourth Gospel

Return to the Johannine Literature Homepage

This page was last updated on April 2, 2016
Copyright 2005--2013 by Felix Just, S.J.