11. The Spirit of the Sanctuary

After the day of Pentecost, there was only one “holy spirit”—the anointing of the Spirit of God on His Church.

The expression “the holy spirit,” with the definite article, was used only eight times in the New Testament. It was first used in Matthew 28:19 when Jesus told His disciples, “To make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the holy spirit.”

The expression “holy spirit,” without the article, is used about 50 times.

The expression τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον1 is also translated as “holy spirit” but has another meaning. It appears about 30 times, beginning in Matthew 12:32. It was first used in Isaiah 63:10 and 11 in the Greek Septuagint.

The expression τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον is composed of two definite articles and two nouns.

It can mean “the Spirit, the Holy One,” but we know that it does not.

In the New Testament and in the Greek Septuagint, there are only two similar Greek expressions using two definite articles and two nouns. These are “the Holy One of Israel”2 and “the Shekel of the Sanctuary”3 (τὸν σίκλον τὸν ἅγιον). The Hebrew has a definite article for “shekel” and can only be translated as “the shekel of the sanctuary.” In these expressions, the Greek word ἅγιον is the same word used in the expression τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον.

From this, we know that τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον means “the Spirit of the Holy One” or “the Spirit of the Sanctuary.”

Ephesians 4:30 could only mean, “Do not grieve the spirit of the sanctuary of God in which you were sealed.”4

The Spirit of God is “the Spirit of the Sanctuary”—the spirit that sanctifies the body of Christ.

  1. τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον, used 27 times in the genitive, accusative, and dative forms
  2. τὸν ἅγιον τοῦ Ισραηλ, appears 9 times, beginning with 2 Kings 19:22
  3. The expression “the shekel of the sanctuary” was used 16 times in the Greek Septuagint, beginning in Exodus 39:1
  4. “The Spirit of the Sanctuary” (or the Spirit of the Holy One?) appears in the margin of the Neofiti Targum, at Numbers 11:25