Bible Term: Holy

Holy is both a characteristic of God as well as a lifestyle for us to emulate.

In reference to God, holy means sacred, worthy of worship, praise, and adoration. In the Hebrew culture a word was repeated three times to place emphasis on it. This is used with holy in reference to God: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come,” (Revelation 4:8; also see Isaiah 6:3).

In regard to people, holy means living according to a moral code or standard. Throughout the Bible, God commands and implores us to be holy. In Leviticus 11:44, God says, “Be holy, because I am holy,” (which is quoted in 1 Peter 1:16.)

The word holy is also attached to other words to elevate them, such as Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost), Holy Communion, Holy of Holies, Holy Bible, and so forth.

Compare to righteous.