Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost?

Growing up in the Baptist church, I was never exposed to a lot of teaching on the Holy Spirit. The term “Holy Ghost” was forbidden to be spoken of in the Southern Baptist churches of the 70’s and 80’s. This could be attributed to the fact that many of the traditional churches were losing members to the charismatic churches (Pentecostal, Holiness, Church of God, et al.), and they wanted visitors to be able to differentiate between the two. Later, as I attended an independent Baptist church, I noticed they spoke of the “Holy Ghost”. I then became curious as to why the two terms are present in our Bible, yet it says this:

  • For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. (Ephesians 2:18)
  • There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; (Ephesians 4:4)

Do two different spirits exist that we have access to through the cross or is this a play on words? In the Old Testament, he is called the Holy Spirit (Psalms 51:11; Isaiah 63:10-11) which in the Hebrew is “qodesh (sacred thing in English) ruach (wind in English)” (Strong’s numbers H6944 and H7307). In the New Testament, when the Holy Spirit is mentioned, in the Greek he is “hadios (sacred in English) pneuma (wind or air in English)” (Strong’s numbers G40 and G4151). The Holy Ghost is only mentioned in the New Testament, and the Greek wording here is the same as for Holy Spirit (“hadios pneuma”). This adamantly tells us we have only one spirit, yet he is called by two names. Why?

Have you ever noticed how the modern versions are lax about using the name Holy Ghost? The KJV, which I prefer and use, mentions it fluently. I firmly believe the KJV translators had more spiritual insight than us. While there is only one spirit, he does, however, come in two packages. The first is given at salvation, and I call it the basic version. It will get the job done but with limited functionality. The second is given post salvation by those that seek and ask for it, and I call it the deluxe package. For those that question the verity of these statements, I present the following evidence:

  • In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) (John 7:37-39)

Here Jesus presents us with the two versions. The first was given to all believers at the point of salvation. Unfortunately, Jesus had not died, and the deluxe version could not be given except to prophets, kings, priests, and others in special service (note: they only had when in service; once their tenure was up, this special anointing left them). A time would come in the near future when this greater anointing would be given to all believers that seek and ask for it:

  • If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? (Luke 11:13)

How does one know if they have received the Holy Ghost (or the deluxe package)? Here is what the Bible says:

  • And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:4)

Why do we have the two terms? Perhaps the early translators were trying to differentiate between the two versions of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps they were not as backwards as we perceive.