Ghost [N]

an old Saxon word equivalent to soul or spirit. It is the translation of the Hebrew nephesh_ and the Greek _pneuma , both meaning "breath," "life," "spirit," the "living principle" ( Job 11:20 ; Jeremiah 15:9 ; Matthew 27:50 ; John 19:30 ). The expression "to give up the ghost" means to die ( Lamentations 1:19 ; Genesis 25:17 ; 35:29 ; 49:33 ; Job 3:11 ). (See HOLY GHOST .)

These dictionary topics are from
M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.

[N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible

Bibliography Information

Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Ghost". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". .


gost (nephesh; pneuma) :

"Ghost," the middle-English word for "breath," "spirit," appears in the King James Version as the translation of nephesh ("breath," "the breath of life," animal soul or spirit, the vital principle, hence, "life"), in two places of the Old Testament, namely, Job 11:20, "the giving up of the ghost" (so the Revised Version (British and American)), and Jeremiah 15:9, "She hath given up the ghost"; gawa`, "to gasp out, "expire" (die), is also several times so translated (Genesis 25:8,17; 35:29; 49:33; Job 3:11; 10:18; 13:19; 14:10; Lamentations 1:19). In Apocrypha (Tobit 14:11) psuche is translated in the same way as nephesh in the Old Testament, and in 2 Macc 3:31, en eschate pnoe is rendered "give up the ghost," the Revised Version (British and American) "quite at the last gasp."

In the New Testament "to give up the ghost" is the translation of ekpneo, "to breathe out" (Mark 15:37,39; Luke 23:46; so the Revised Version (British and American)); of ekpsucho, "to breathe out," "expire" (Acts 5:5,10; 12:23); in Matthew 27:50, apheken to pneuma, and in John 19:30, paredoken to pneuma, are rendered respectively, "yielded" and "gave up the ghost," the Revised Version (British and American) "yielded up his spirit," "gave up his spirit."

"The Holy Ghost" is also frequent in the King James Version; in the American Standard Revised Version it is invariably changed to "Holy Spirit," in the English Revised Version sometimes only, chiefly in the Gospels.


W. L. Walker

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'GHOST'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.