Skip to content

13 Bible Verses About Ghosts

    The Bible provides varied perspectives on the topic of Ghosts, offering different interpretations of the term ‘ghost’ and how it relates to the spiritual realm.

    What the Bible says about Ghosts

    The Bible contains several passages which could be interpreted to refer to the phenomena we refer to as ‘ghosts,’ although the concept as we understand it today doesn’t align perfectly with biblical teachings. While it doesn’t explicitly mention ghosts as we define them, it does discuss spirits, specifically the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is described as a distinct entity separate from God but part of the Holy Trinity, symbolizing power, truth, and comfort.

    In other instances, the Bible refers to ‘unclean spirits’ or ‘evil spirits,’ often in the context of demonic interference or possession. Contrary to popular depictions, these are not seen as the souls of deceased individuals, but rather beings of a different, often malevolent, spiritual order.

    When Do Ghosts Appear in the Bible

    It’s important to note that mentions of ‘ghosts’ in the Bible are often misinterpretations or mistranslations. Instead, the term used is often ‘spirit’. A striking instance is at the crucifixion when Jesus is recorded as “Giving up the ghost,” meaning his life or spirit left his body, rather than becoming what modern conceptions define as a ghost.

    There are also notable instances of perceived apparitions in the Bible, such as when King Saul seeks out a medium to summon the spirit of the prophet Samuel. However, interpretations of this story vary, and it is typically understood as a warning against necromancy or consulting the dead, an action prohibited by God.

    Why Do Interpretations Vary?

    Varied interpretations of ghosts in the Bible arise largely due to cultural and linguistic differences. Words like ‘soul,’ ‘spirit,’ and ‘ghost’ often overlap and are used interchangeably, leading to some confusion. The original languages of the Bible – Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek – treat these concepts differently than modern English, adding another layer of complexity.

    Furthermore, cultural and personal beliefs about the afterlife, spiritual beings, and the supernatural can greatly influence how one interprets biblical passages. While some view ghosts as departed souls stuck between the physical and spiritual realms, others believe they are either demonic deceptions or simply non-existent. These differences ultimately influence how the concept of ghosts is understood within the Bible’s context.

    Who Interacts with Ghosts or Spirits in the Bible?

    The Bible has several accounts of individuals interacting with spirits or perceived apparitions. For example, when Jesus walks on the water towards the disciples’ boat, they initially believe him to be a ghost. Their reaction demonstrates a shared understanding of such spectral appearances, a belief not uncommon in ancient societies. However, Jesus corrects them, explaining that it is not a ghost but himself in physical form.

    In another account, the disciple Peter has a vision of a sheet filled with animals descending from heaven. Peter’s vision is not of a ghost but an angel, a spiritual messenger from God. Even in this scenario, the Bible emphasizes that spiritual communication often comes not from the dead but from other spiritual beings within God’s order.

    Where Do Ghosts Fit within Biblical Teachings?

    Ghosts, as we interpret them today, do not neatly fit within traditional biblical teachings. The Bible speaks more frequently about spirits – those of God, angels, and unclean or evil spirits. When it comes to the dead, the Bible generally teaches resurrection and judgement, rather than the persistent roaming of souls as ghosts.

    The perceived existence of ghosts is often associated with fears or uncertainties arising at the prospect of death and the afterlife. In contrast, the Bible seeks to provide comfort and assurance about life after death, emphasizing resurrection and eternal life for those who believe.

    Below is the full list of bible verses on ghosts (King James Version – KJV). The list is ranked in order of popularity and we hope you find the inspiration you need.

    Most Popular Bible Verses About Ghosts

    Matthew 27:52-53

    52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”

    Luke 24:39

    39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.”

    Matthew 14:26

    26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.”

    Hebrews 9:27

    27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”

    Related Themes: Afterlife Hell Omnipresence Omnipotence Reaping

    Job 14:12

    12 So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.”

    Luke 16:24-31

    24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

    Related Themes: Hell

    Psalm 146:3-4

    3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.”

    Related Themes: Voting Trust Politics

    Ecclesiastes 9:5

    5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.”

    Related Themes: Afterlife Hell Afterlife Death Murder

    Isaiah 8:19

    19 And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?”

    Related Themes: Fortune Magic Afterlife Manipulation Fortune

    1 Samuel 28:13

    13 And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.”

    Matthew 17:1-3

    1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.”

    Related Themes: Omnipotence

    Job 14:21

    21 His sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them.”

    Mark 16:12

    12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.”