Author Topic: Holy Ghost vs Holy Spirit  (Read 3317 times)

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Offline Mexican

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Holy Ghost vs Holy Spirit
« on: July 10, 2004, 03:11:29 AM »
I don't know if we have had this discussion in the past but I'm curious about what you think.

English speaking people have two terms for the Third Person of the Trinity, Holy Ghost and Holy Spirit.

From what I have read there's no difference between both, but the term Holy Ghost is preferable, because "Holy Spirit" is thought to be a more popular form, and it was first used by the Protestants and the heretics continue to use it.

However most translations from the Orthodox Liturgy (from the USA) use "Holy Spirit" and not Holy Ghost.

Any thoughts?

Offline TomS

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Re:Holy Ghost vs Holy Spirit
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2004, 02:26:26 PM »
I think that "Holy Spirit" is the more correct term.

Although one old definition of the term "Ghost" is defined as "the seat of life or intelligence", today in our everyday usage  a "Ghost" generally refers to a spirit of something that was once corporeal.

Although the argument could be made that it was corporeal in Christ, I think it could cause confusion.

Offline David

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Re:Holy Ghost vs Holy Spirit
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2004, 02:57:02 PM »
I think it's more of a matter of English being made up of primarily latin(spiritus sanctus) and germanic(heilige geist) roots.  In the past two hundred years of language evolution there may be more substantial differences similar to what Tom says, but originally I think that the two are different ways of saying the same thing.
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re:Holy Ghost vs Holy Spirit
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2004, 08:13:34 PM »
I also prefer the term "Holy Spirit".  In part it is because of some of the reasons listed here.  As Tom has said, in our present society, the term "ghost" has come to be associated with something that was once alive and now is dead (in the physicial sense).  Also, it seems to me that the Evangelicals have given the term "Holy Ghost" something of a negative connotation, as in "Catching the Holy Ghost" (i.e. rolling around on the floor, etc.), "The Holy Ghost was in the place tonight, brother!" (i.e. there was complete chaos), and "Having a Holy Ghost Party" (Kirk Franklin).

Fig. 1: An illustration of the concept "The Holy Ghost was in the place tonight, brother!"



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« Last Edit: July 11, 2004, 09:49:18 PM by Antonious Nikolas »
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Offline Tikhon29605

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Re:Holy Ghost vs Holy Spirit
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2004, 04:50:04 PM »
Got to love our English language, a curious blend of Latin (Sanctus Spiritus) and German (Heiligen Geist) both of which mean: Holy Spirit.

Offline Tallitot

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Re:Holy Ghost vs Holy Spirit
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2004, 09:13:08 PM »
I personally prefer 'Ghost", but in modern English the word has pretty much come to mean an other -worldly apparition, as in "Casper the Friendly..."
I once read about a Baptist missionary in Mexico who preached a sermon in Spanish using the word "fantasimo" ("ghost") rather then "espirito" ("spirit"), not realizing he was essentially telling the people to be filled with "the Holy Spook" ::)
Proverbs 22:7

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re:Holy Ghost vs Holy Spirit
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2004, 09:45:38 PM »
I once read about a Baptist missionary in Mexico who preached a sermon in Spanish using the word "fantasimo" ("ghost") rather then "espirito" ("spirit"), not realizing he was essentially telling the people to be filled with "the Holy Spook" ::)

LOL!  Priceless!

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Offline ExOrienteLux

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Re:Holy Ghost vs Holy Spirit
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2004, 11:18:53 AM »
I personally prefer "Holy Spirit", because with what wee little bit of Latin I know, 'spirit' comes from the same root as 'inspire', and basically means 'breath', which, as I'm sure all of you know, is 'pneuma' in Greek.  And what is the 'Holy Spirit"/"Holy Ghost" in Greek? Pneuma Hagios (I think).  Of course, I don't know the etymology of 'ghost', so it could be just as valid.

In the end, it comes down to me liking 'spirit' better than 'ghost'.  And yes, I know that's a really bad justification.

And I agree, AN, that was very priceless.

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Offline ambrosemzv

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Re:Holy Ghost vs Holy Spirit
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2004, 12:34:50 AM »
It doesn't matter.  Etymologically, they're equivalent.  Having a preference is kind of silly.

From http://www.etymonline.com

ghost - O.E. gast "soul, spirit, life, breath," from P.Gmc. *ghoizdoz

Probably related to:

gust - 1588, possibly a dial. survival from O.N. gustr "a cold blast of wind," or O.H.G. gussa "flood," both from P.Gmc. *gustiz, from PIE *gheus-, from root *gheu- "to pour."
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re:Holy Ghost vs Holy Spirit
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2004, 11:07:18 AM »
It doesn't matter.  Etymologically, they're equivalent.  Having a preference is kind of silly.

Everyone knows they mean the same thing, and that etymologically they are equivalent, but that doesn't make having a preference silly.  Preferences are just based on what you like.  For example, I prefer saying ketchup to catsup, although they are the exact same thing.  

Also, there is no denying that words can take on different connotations as they are used and adopted by certain groups.  Look at how the terms "queer" and "gay" have been usurped and lost their original meaning.  The "holy ghost" partying with Kirk Franklin seems to be some kind of semi-sentient burst of cosmic energy, not the Third Person of the Holy Trinity I know, worship, and love.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2004, 01:04:38 PM by Antonious Nikolas »
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Offline Fr. David

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Re:Holy Ghost vs Holy Spirit
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2004, 12:02:11 AM »
I once read about a Baptist missionary in Mexico who preached a sermon in Spanish using the word "fantasimo" ("ghost") rather then "espirito" ("spirit"), not realizing he was essentially telling the people to be filled with "the Holy Spook" ::)

That.  Is.  Hilarious.  :smiley1:

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Offline gregory2

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Re:Holy Ghost vs Holy Spirit
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2004, 01:14:44 PM »
"Holy Ghost" always makes me think of the movie (Four Weddings and a Funeral, maybe?) where the Anglican priest kept saying "Holy Goat."  LOL

In Greek, the "Agio Pnevma" can be translated as "Holy Wind."  I'm glad there's not much Holy Wind going around :)

Yeah, "Holy Spirit" seems best.
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Offline ExOrienteLux

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Re:Holy Ghost vs Holy Spirit
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2004, 01:24:25 PM »
I'm going to refrain from making any 'Holy Wind' jokes.  As hard as that is to do...

*chuckles at the lines he's thinking up*
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