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Technically speaking, the two words are interchangeable (since both words come from the same Hebrew/Greek/Aramaic word, depending on which Testament one is reading at the time [Old Testament=Hebrew and *some* Aramaic, New Testament=Greek and some Aramaic])
At the time of the KJV "Ghost," in the old English language, was the equivalent of Spirit (capital letter S, Holy). In merry old England homes were haunted by "spirits" (small "s"); in the USA homes were haunted by "ghosts." 1. In times of revival in the Ireland one would hear "Aye, 'tis th' Holy Ghost, 'tis, that is fallin' an oous!" 2. In times of revival in the USA one would hear, "Yes, it is the Holy Spirit! that is falling on us." Those congregations that rely upon the KJV will use the first response.
The word "ghost" comes from our Anglo-Saxon Germanic roots of the English language. The word "Spirit/spirit" comes from Latin. Insofar as their use in the New Testament, their meanings are interchangeable. But because the word "ghost" has a different etymology (word origin) from "spirit" they have different linguistic implications and linguistic baggage. I don't know their reasoning but some American churches have actually taught that Holy Ghost and Holy Spirit are different. I was told that by a coworker who attended a non-mainline church.
Luke 23:46 And Jesus crying out with a loud voice, said: Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. And saying this, he gave up the ghost. In the above statement by Jesus, both His particular spirit, and His Ghost are mentioned. This make us aware that the above is a reference to Jesus' body and His soul respectively! I believe the Holy Spirit enlightened me! Thus, Jesus'Spirit, is definitely a reference to "THE WORD" of God by which God created, and sustains all and became Jesus' body itself, the redeemer of all, the Son of Man, who was born of the actual process of creation through Mary, to redeem all in His body. While His ghost, in actual fact is Jesus' soul, the Son of God,which came from the Father who in actual fact conceived and built Jesus' flesh body,asserted in Luke 1:35.. The HOLY GHOST shall come upon thee,...And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the SON OF GOD. Also twice in Matthew 1:18...she was found with child, of the HOLY GHOST. And in 1:20.. fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the HOLY GHOST. Both the word SPIRIT, and the title HOLY GHOST are mentioned in the same instant by John in John 1:32 : I saw the SPIRIT, coming down, as a dove from heaven, and he remained upon him. 33... He upon whom thou shalt see the SPIRIT descending, and remaining upon him, he it is that baptizeth with the HOLY GHOST. From the above the word SPIRIT is definitely a reference to the Holy Spirit from the Father which landed as a dove on Jesus and which was a sign that the Father became one substance with Jesus's soul, the HOLY GHOST, from that moment on, the fact that John first stated "the SPIRIT descending, and remaining upon him" then made it clear and stated " he it is that baptizeth with the HOLY GHOST." Which for sure is a reference to Jesus' soul glorified with the presence of the Holy Spirit from the Father. Mark 1:10.. the Spirit as a dove descending, and remaining on him. 11And there came a voice from heaven: you are my beloved son; IN YOU I AM WELL PLEASED A vital indication regarding the Holy Ghost is in John 20:22 "When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost." From the above it is well clear that the Holy Ghost is Jesus' soul glorified with the presence of the Holy Spirit from the Father, and united as ONE SUBSTANCE SPIRIT/FLESH with the resurrected human flesh body of Jesus in every sense in all things like His brethren purified by His own blood, by which Jesus ascended in the glory of both Father and God in flesh and blood! Declared by Jesus to Mary Magdalene in John 20:17... But go to my brethren, and say to them: I ascend to my Father and to your Father, to my God and your God. Hence our Lord Jesus Christ is GOD OF ALL FLESH: Jeremiah 32:27 Behold I am the Lord the God of all flesh: shall any thing be hard for me? Also God and Father, prince of peace, obvious between spirit and flesh as ONE UNIQUE DIVINE/CREATURE SUBSTANCE for the entire of God's kingdom of the world to come. Isaiah 9:6...and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace. Two vital references by Jesus to the Holy Spirit, and also in other titles but never as THE HOLY GHOST are in John 16:13 "But.. the SPIRIT OIF TRUTH, is come.. 14 He shall glorify me; because he shall receive of mine..... " And John 15:26 But when the PARACLETE cometh, whom I WILL SEND YOU FROM THE FATHER, the SPIRIT OF TRUTH, who proceedeth from the Father, he shall give testimony of me." The last one is of utmost importance where Jesus combined both entities in. John 14:26 "But the PARACLETE, the HOLY GHOST, whom the Father will send IN MY NAME" Thus the HOLY GHOST in the name of Jesus, and from Jesus, passes onto the Father, and comes out of the Father in the above various titles of the HOLY SPIRIT.
My very simple and short answer is that The Holy Spirit and The Holy Ghost are "one and the same as the 3rd person of GOD! *GOD, THE FATHER; GOD, THE SON and GOD, THE HOLY SPIRIT!* "Praise God that he provided a Savior! And, His name is Jesus Christ"! -ANDY-
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