My Question:Why do we put the word "holy" in the name of the Holy Spirit, but we don't do that for the rest of the trinity?

Hello everybody! I was just thinking, why do we include the word “holy” in the name of the Holy Spirit, but we don’t include it in the names of God the Father or God the Son? Thanks for your input!


Hi @thed64607 this is a very good question. I hope my answer is helpful to you.

Holy Spirit is his name. I believe the word holy is there in the simplest sense because it is his name.
If you follow this link it will bring you to a search I did in The Strong’s Concordance of the words holy and spirit in the King James Bible. The Strong’s Concordance will allow you to look up the Hebrew or Greek meaning behind any word in the bible.

The Hebrew that Holy Spirit is translated from is Ruwach Qodesh. I have also created direct links to the translation of these words in Strongs Concordance. If you select them you will be able to follow the links to learn more about the Hebrew words.

I will do the same here for Holy Spirit in the Greek language which is Hagios Pneuma.

I like Jesus’ play on words in John 3:8 when he says, “The wind blows where it wishes”. It seems the word spirit means the same as wind in both languages.

Holy Spirit, Jesus and The Father are one. Being one they are all and equally holy. We see in Leviticus 20:8 and Exodus 31:13 that God identifies himself as holy. This is often referred to as one of the characteristics of God, Jehovah N’kaddesh.

So in conclusion, each member of the trinity is holy but one of them has the word holy in His name.


@brianlalor That is a good answer, and along the lines that I was thinking. As I reflect, however, I wonder if those who wrote canonical literature called the Spirit Holy in order to differentiate between Him and the evil spirits that commonly were and still are worshipped in pagan religions. I sense that the readers of the Scriptures would have assumed that God and the Messiah are holy; maybe they might easily have confused the matter of the Spirit. This is certainly food for thought!

1 Like

Wonderful question that goes along with something that I’ve been thinking about.

I’ve recently read parts of Dallas Willard’s ‘Divine Conspiracy’ and in it he describes the world as a spiritual world and not a physical world. He looks at the person and explains that our wills and our identities as human beings are non-physical entities. If you were to cut open someones body after they’ve died you wouldn’t be able to figure anything out who that person was only about what they were. This was a thought that reminded me of something C.S. Lewis has written. He said “you don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body”.

In connection with this I’ve read Psalm 51,10+17 differently. Verse 10 says “create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me”. Verse 17 says “the sacrifices of God are a broken are a broken spirit”. I wonder if the word holy in the term holy spirit helps differentiate between the human spirit from the Gods spirit. And when Psalm 51 discusses the brokenness of our spirit its helping us see that we need a new spirit, which is the spirit of God. The human spirit is our identity, in Lewis’ words and that is what needs to be broken so that we can gain a new and godly identity, which is holy.

I wonder if this makes sense???


Hi @thed64607, thanks for the question! Here are some of my initial thoughts after doing a study on holiness yesterday.
God is “Holy personified” so there is no need to put the word Holy before his name. We believe Jesus is “God personified” the “human embodiment” of God so there again, “Holy” is already implied.
Holy Spirit is the “carrier” of God’s Holiness. So I would surmise, the word “Holy” is there because the Spirit is transferring Gods “holiness” to an impure human so that we can enter into the presence of God.
Just my thoughts :slightly_smiling_face:


I think you are right, @brianlalor - the question implies that we are the ones who came up with the names for each Person of the Trinity. But in reality, these names (plus many other names for God in the Bible) were revealed to the prophets and apostles as they were moved by the Spirit.

I understand and appreciate what looks like zeal for God’s holiness in each Member of the Trinity - which the question also implies - but we would never want to tamper with either a “jot or tittle” of God’s Word. He has very clearly established the holiness of the Father and the Son throughout the rest of scripture.


I did not mean to imply that I thought it sounded like God the Father and God the Son were not holy (that was poor wording on my part :grinning:). I was more just curious as to why it was that way. Thank you for your response, and I apologize for the confusion.

Thank you everyone, for your very helpful insight!

1 Like

No problem - the written medium has its limitations - you cannot sit across from someone and read their face, hear their voice, feel their heart. But whenever there’s a benefit of the doubt that can be given, we try to assume the best. Keep asking good questions!