John 16:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 16:13, NIV: "But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come."

John 16:13, ESV: "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come."

John 16:13, KJV: "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come."

John 16:13, NASB: "'But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come."

John 16:13, NLT: "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future."

John 16:13, CSB: "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. For he will not speak on his own, but he will speak whatever he hears. He will also declare to you what is to come."

What does John 16:13 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Here, again, Jesus refers to the Helper, the Holy Spirit, as the "Spirit of truth" (John 14:16; 15:26). Many aspects of Christ's earthly ministry were misunderstood prior to His resurrection (John 2:22). The work of the Holy Spirit, especially in the lives of the apostles, was to clarify those events (1 Corinthians 2:10). In the lives of all Christian believers, the Holy Spirit provides insight that can't be expected of those without His influence (1 Corinthians 2:14).

However, this influence of the Spirit does not impart instant or automatic wisdom. Christ does not say that the Spirit will immediately place the minds of believers into a state of spiritual perfection. Nor does it say the Spirit will totally replace a person's thoughts or opinions. Rather, the Spirit "will speak," "guides," and "declares." That influence can be resisted or even ignored: saved believers, even men like the apostles, can be wrong about spiritual matters (Galatians 2:11–14). Discipleship from other Christians (Matthew 28:19) and the use of the written Word (1 Corinthians 4:6) are crucial in all doctrinal discussions (Acts 8:31).

Jesus' comments here also speak to the mutual relationship between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.