Re: Paraclete (and spelling of transliterated proper names)

From: Jim West (
Date: Thu Nov 18 1999 - 17:26:53 EST

At 10:57 AM 11/19/99 +1300, you wrote:

>While I agree that *paraclete* is not a proper name, I guess those of us who
>use it as such do so because we feel that any translation (comforter,
>advocate, helper) would confuse the meaning in some references, or introduce
>an unhelpful meaning. In some cases *he* (if I may use the term where *she*
>may be more appropriate at times) is a reminder and teacher (14.25ff;
>16.12-14), at other times a comforter (14.15ff), and at other times a
>witness (15.26, 27), while at other times an accuser (16.8-11), or a
>"replacement" (14.15ff). Thus the allocation of one or the other terms may
>be misleading. He is after all hO PARAKLHTOS in several of the texts.

It almost functions like the word "baptism" etc., because it is never
translated either- it is always merely transliterated and anglicized (so
that those who have differing views of the means of "immersion" aren't
offended I suppose). So it is not wrong, in my view, to consider Paraclete
a "proper name".

>A wider question of translation (Joe, this one is for you too), is it
>helpful to translate the word in different ways (as Steve seems to indicate
>that the Eastern churches do) depending on the context?

Context is everything in translation- of course it must be taken into
account else the various shades of meaning that a word has will be obscured,
and worst, ignored.



Jim West, ThD

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