Is there any difference in meaning between Holy Spirit and Holy Ghost?

When should we use Holy Spirit and Holy Ghost?

By the way, Wikipedia says:

Holy Spirit, or Holy Ghost, is a term found in English translations of the Bible, but understood differently among the Abrahamic religions

I already asked about the English meaning. But what are the differences in religious meanings?

  • 5
    I think DJ Clayworth answered it satisfactorily. :) There's no difference...which is obvious when we look at the original Greek, since the underlying Greek from which those two phrases are translated is identical.
    – user900
    Commented Mar 25, 2014 at 4:50

2 Answers 2


Holy Ghost is from the KJV, Holy Spirit is more modern.

It's actually a little more complicated than that. In the New Testament, the KJV uses the term Holy Ghost 89 times, and the term Holy Spirit 4 times. So it actually uses both. But modern translations use Holy Spirit exclusively.

The wikipedia article is not saying that Holy Ghost and Holy Spirit are understood differently. Its trying to say that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam view the Holy Spirit differently.

Nonetheless, some people might argue that Holy Ghost gives a more personal character to the Holy Spirit than Holy Spirit, assuming that Ghost sounds more like a person than Spirit. But that's probably a pretty iffy argument.


In general, they mean the same thing and are interchangeable.

This site gives an in depth exploration of the two phrases. The page summarizes its own points as follows:


  1. In modern times, the titles “Holy Ghost” and “Holy Spirit” are considered synonymous.

  2. The differences in the usage of “Holy Ghost” and “Holy Spirit” are mostly due to the nuances of the English language affected by the incorporation of words from other languages.

  3. In the Middle Ages, the title “Holy Spirit” was used to describe or pertain to God’s Spirit or the Spirit of the Lord, whereas “Holy Ghost” was used to describe the third person in the Holy Trinity.

  4. Although based on the Greek words “pneuma hagion,” the translations for “Holy Ghost” and “Holy Spirit” greatly depended on the translator’s understanding and interpretation of the context.

  5. In modern times, almost all of the translations of the Bible, except the King James Version, use “Holy Spirit” for all instances.


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