Q: #281. What is the difference between the Holy Ghost and the Holy Spirit?
A: The “Holy Ghost” and the “Holy Spirit” are exactly the same, referring to the third Person in the Trinity. The KJV Bible is the only Bible version that uses the Holy Ghost (88 times) rather than the Holy Spirit. However, the same Greek word “pneuma,” meaning “breath or breeze,” is used for “Ghost” in the KJV and “Spirit” in other versions. (Interestingly, the KJV does use the term Holy Spirit 4 times: Eph 1:13, Eph 4:30, 1 Th 4:8 [small “h” holy Spirit], Lk 11:13 [capital “H”].)
When the KJV Bible was written in the 1600’s, “ghost” and “spirit” essentially meant the same thing in Old English. Over the 400 plus years since then, the primary meaning of “ghost” has changed some. A ghost now primarily describes what is believed to be the disembodied spirit of someone who has died. Because of the negative connotations associated with this word, Holy “Spirit” is primarily used today. (A “spirit” can be positive or negative today, but “ghost” really has no positive meaning now.)