Summarized by Kent Larsen
Retired BYU Professor Says LDS Should 'Give Up The Ghost' and 'Get The Spirit'
Salt Lake Tribune 20May00 N1
By Peggy Fletcher Stack: Salt Lake Tribune
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- A retired BYU linguistics professor is
suggesting that LDS Church members abandon the term "Holy Ghost" for
"Holy Spirit." Marvin Folsom says that the word Ghost has haloween
and supernatural connotations, and that the King James Bible, used by
the LDS Church, uses both words as translations for the same word in
Folsmon even made his suggestion at the April symposium of the
Deseret Language and Linguistics Society. He argues that Ghost was
interchangeable with Spirit in Elizabethan times, just before the
King James translation was prepared. The greek word pneuma appears in
the Bible 385 times, and is sometimes translated as Spirit in the
King James verision and other times as Ghost. Folsom adds that his
review of 16 other English language translations shows that all but
one exclusively translate pneuma as Spirit.
But BYU religion professor Joseph Fielding McConkie says that a
change would mean that essential theological distinctions would be
lost. Since the LDS Church teaches that the Holy Ghost is not "a
spirit essense, but a personage," Because of the historical
distinction, McConkie says that Latter-day Saints associated "spirit"
with a feeling, such as in "the spirit of truth," while "ghost"
connotates a "tangible, corporal being."
He adds that switching the terms would lead to confusion, and isn't
as distinct from Protestant religions as Latter-day Saints have
traditionally been, "It seems like a subtle encroachment of
Protestantism into Mormonism."