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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Παράκλητος , PARACLETE), one who pleads the cause of another; also one who exhorts, defends, comforts, prays for another. It is an appellation given to the Holy Spirit by Christ (John 14:16; John 15:26; John 16:7) (See COMFORTER)] and to Christ himself by an apostle (1 John 2:1; see also Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25).

In the forensic sense, advocates or pleaders were not known to the Jews, (See TRIAL) until they came under the dominion of the Romans, and were obliged to transact their law affairs after the Roman manner. Being then little conversant with the Roman laws and with the forms of the jurists, it was necessary for them, in pleading a cause before the Roman magistrates, to obtain the assistance of a Roman lawyer or advocate who was well versed in the Greek and Latin languages (Otti Spicil. Crim. p. 325). In all the Roman provinces such men were found who devoted their time and labor to the pleading of causes and the transacting of other legal business in the provincial courts (Lamprid. Vit. Alex. Sev. c. 44). It also appears (Cic. pro Coelio, c. 30) that many Roman youths who had devoted themselves to forensic business used to repair to the provinces with the consuls and praetors, in order, by managing the causes of the provincials, to fit themselves for more important ones at Rome. Such an advocate was Tertullus, whom the Jews employed to accuse Paul before Felix (Acts 24:1); for although ῾Ρήτωρ , the term applied to him, signifies primarily an orator or speaker, yet it also denotes a pleader or advocate (Kuinol, Comment., and Bloomfield, Recens Synopt. ad Acts 24:2). (See ACCUSER).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Advocate'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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