Pastor John Asquith once explained to me the difference between the Holy Ghost and the Holy Spirit. It was a fascinating thesis, for I had long wondered why the KJV translators used HG in one place and HS in another place. They were seemingly interchangeable, but yet clearly different in some way. Let me paraphrase his teaching (and forgive me if it’s not precise or complete):
The Holy Ghost: Third member of the Trinity. Used when His person (and the presence of His person) is revealed—who He is.
The Holy Spirit: Used when describing an action, revealing the influence of this Person (God the Holy Ghost)—what He does.
His description of the Holy Ghost reminded me of another biblical set of terms, often erroneously ignored in new versions: ensample and example. Briefly, ensample is who you are, a personal characteristic; example is what you do, or have done. You make something as an example, you are something as an ensample.
We say all that as a background, as a stage to see the KJV punctuation illuminated. Do our definitions agree with the Bible; specifically, does the Bible’s grammar confirm and verify our thoughts? Let’s look:
“And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much
affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: [note the colon: a definition, details are next]
So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia”
(1 Thes. 1:6,7)
Notice key words of vs 6: became, having received, and the Holy Ghost. These all indicate a being, a person, the presence of a being. Its about who you are (or He is).
After the colon (vs. 7) one term is used that summarizes, agrees with, and illuminates the words of vs 6: were ensamples. The ‘to be’ verb (were) and ensamples exactly correlates with the theme of ‘being, a person, the presence of a person’ of vs 6 (pre-colon). The emphasis of vs. 6 and 7 (which is one sentence) is more about who we are and less about what we do.
The colon, acting as an in-text dictionary, shows the consistency of the theme; and, may I add, it can be used to justify our definitions of both Holy Ghost and ensamples. It’s good to study the word with the punctuation marks in mind.