Difference between Holy and Sacred

Holy vs. Sacred

What is Difference between Holy and Sacred? Both are terms that are used above all to refer to concepts or things that are not ordinary and that are connected with God or some entity divided. Among the many examples are the sacred bible, sacred texts such as the Koran, among others.

There are many similarities between these two words and for this very reason in many writings have been used interchangeably, however these are not synonyms as suggested by most dictionaries, as there are some subtle differences between holy and sacred, the which we will explain next.

Difference between Holy and Sacred


If something is holy, then it is said that it is in a state of holiness. We can speak of the holy bible and even of holy people, and in many religions of the world they often have religious books or artifacts believed to have belonged to the founders of that congregation. In short, holiness is a concept, a virtue that is found within a person or a thing. It is because of this virtue that has been called or known as holy.


Sacred is a word used to refer to things divided and to differentiate them from mundane things. This term can also be used as an antonym of profane and refers to anything that is related to a religion, and therefore must be venerated. For this reason there are sacred texts, sacred rituals, etc. If something is sacred, it is certainly not secular because if an object is associated with something divided, it becomes sacred to the followers of religion. In summary the key difference between holy and sacred is that the former is more an abstract concept, whereas concrete objects are considered sacred.