Friday, July 29, 2022

Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost?

 

 

Why do most Traditionalists say "Holy Ghost" and most modern Christians say "Holy Spirit?"

First off, it stems from the Latin "spiritu sancto" and the two words, taken separately, can be translated to "Holy" and "Spirit." However, we are not taking them separately when we say "Holy Ghost" or the poorer translation of "Holy Spirit." Why is this a "poorer translation?" Simply stated, "Holy" and "Ghost" are from German epistemology, which is literally "heiliger Geist" and from there the English derives "Holy Ghost." To use "Holy Spirit" we're translating "heiliger" to Holy, but going back to the Latin "spiritu" to get "Spirit" - so it's a mixed translation and strictly speaking, not as properly translated.

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english-german/holy-ghost
 
So is it "wrong" to say "Holy Spirit?" Well, again, "technically" no - the two words can be translated that way, but again, when taken separately. If we were consistent in translating "spiritu" to "spirit" then "sancto" should also be left as the more Latin root, and thus be "sanctified." But, "Sanctified Spirit" doesn't have that ring or flow to it. I repeat, "Holy Spirit" is not "wrong," it is just not as "proper" as "Holy Ghost." Or, another way of putting it, "Holy Ghost" is a "better" translation.
 
In the Latin Mass we say, "Santos, Sanctos, Sanctos" - which the English translation is "Holy, Holy, Holy" and again, alone - "sanctos" is properly translated to "holy."


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