Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Father, Son, and Holy Guest?

Holey Ghost
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19 NASB)
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (Matthew 28:19 KJV)
I remember as a young, missal equipped, catholic lad performing the sign of the cross while genuflecting to show allegiance to the blood splattered plaster corpse that hung above the gleaming gold and marble altar, and calling on the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Ghost?

I don't think the Roman Catholic Church calls on Ghosts anymore, at some point after Vatican II the name of the third person of the Trinity was changed His name to Holy Spirit, but the name Holy Ghost held on in the hearts and minds of older parishioners and on the pages of the King James bible.

In the original Greek text the word translated into English as "spirit" is πνεῦμα pneuma which literally means "That which is breathed or blown". A tire filled with air or the air driven gun that tightens the lug nuts which hold that tire on your car are both said to be pneumatic. Or if you're very ill and can't breath your doctor may say you have pneumonia. But it is sometimes used in a way which emphasises a person's personality and character, their spirit. Which in God's case is Holy - His Holy Spirit. It can also be used to describe your soul, and even describe demons (evil spirits) or spirits which are higher than man but lower than God (angels). Is the term Spirit and Ghost interchangeable?

Spirit came from the Latin word spiritus which means the "animating or vital principle in man and animals". The Latin Vulgate translates the Greek pneuma to spiritus, which becomes spirit

Ghost came from the Old English word gast which came from the Proto-West Germanic gaistaz which means spirit, but not in a good way. The word denotes terror and fear and was never intended to mean anything good. It means bad spirit, angel, or demon. When speaking of a person, man, human being it means the essence or soul of a person left behind after death which we know from the bible is not possible.

So are the words spirit and ghost interchangeable? No. Ghost has always had negative connotations, while the connotations of the word spirit is determined by how it is used; IE Holy Spirit vs evil spirit.

The reason why I looked this up is because I have seen web pages that tell us the translation of Ghost in the KJV comes from the Proto-West Germanic word gaistiz which actually means guest, giving us the idea of a Holy Guest, which by Jesus' description of the Holy Spirit works better than Holy Ghost, but no, other than a close pronunciation and a very close spelling, the original words gaistaz (ghost) and gaistiz (guest) aren't related at all.

So properly we use the word Spirit which came from a Latin word in bibles translated from Greek texts (NASB, NIV, ESV), and we find the word Ghost which came from an old English/Germanic word in Mid-English bibles translated from the Latin Vulgate (KJV). Just a touch confusing


  1. Interesting stuff indeed. But isn't "blood splattered" a bit harsh? Where did your priest get his crucifix? A Halloween shop? :)

    1. The crucifix in the church I attended as a youth had (and still has) blood from a horrendous gash on his left side and blood all over his face from the thorns piercing his head.

      It might as well have come from a Halloween shop, as a Christian symbol the crucifix is probably the worst symbol that could have been chosen. In the Roman occupied territories ANYONE can die on the cross, just anger the right person. Our best symbol is an empty tomb, its a pretty rare thing for someone to walk out of their own tomb.

    2. I've never seen on that I personally felt was "overdone". I believe the point was to remind the faithful of the sacrifice. Mel Gibson said he very much desired to get across just how much Christ suffered for us when explaining the violence in "The Passion of the Christ". It think the RC crucifix means to do the same.

      Yet, I agree that the symbol of an empty cross focuses on His triumph over death and sin, and is more important...similar to the empty tomb suggestion.

      Still, I'd love to see that crucifix from your former church.