Q. Thanks again for this opportunity to ask a good bible teacher a question. Is there a difference between the Holy Ghost and the Holy Spirit?
Act 8:17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise,
If they are one in the same, why did they have to lay hands on to recieve one time, and only had to believe another time.
Thank you very much for your time and God bless you even more.
A. The term Holy Ghost is used 90 times in the KJV while Holy Spirit is used 7. The Hebrew and Greek words are exactly the same in all instances. No one can explain why the KJV translators chose to use one term in some places and the other one in others.
In Acts 8 there was a question in the mind of the believers in Jerusalem as to whether the Samaritans had fully apprehended the Christian faith, even though Phillip had preached the Gospel to them and baptized them in the name of Jesus. (The Phillip mentioned here was one of the seven deacons chosen by the Apostles, not the Apostle by the same name.)
Some conclude that only the Apostles could impart the Holy Spirit at this time and that’s why Peter and John were sent to lay hands on them.
Others contend that the involvement of Simon the Sorcerer cast doubt on the legitimacy of their baptisms. Simon was thought by the early Church to be an arch heretic, the father of what became known as the Gnostic error.
Whether these opinions reveal what was behind the Samaritan issue or not, the Apostles were sufficiently concerned that they sent Peter and John to make sure the conversions there were legitimate.
In any case Paul later clarified the matter for believers in his letters to the Ephesians (1:13-14) the Corinthians (2 Cor 1:21-22) and the Galatians (3:2). When we hear the gospel and believe it, the Lord marks us with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit. No more is required.