Is Jesus God Because He Was Worshipped?

Christian worship has been very important to the question of whether Jesus is God. The New Testament (NT) records certain instances in which Jesus was “worshipped.” Christians generally have regarded these as evidence that those practitioners believed that Jesus was God, since only God should be worshipped. But what does “worship” mean?

The word in the Greek NT that usually is translated “worship” is proskuneo. It and its cognates occur sixty-one times in the Greek NT. Most of these occurrences are in the Gospel of Matthew and the book of Revelation. The etymology of proskuneo is that pros means “motion,” either “from” or “towards” some object, and kuneo means “to kiss.” Lexical authority Walter Bauer informs that proskuneo was “used to designate the custom of prostrating oneself before a person and kissing his feet, the hem of his garment, the ground, etc.” He adds that proskuneo can be translated “(fall down and) worship, do obeisance to, prostrate oneself before, do reverence to, welcome respectfully.”

Therefore, during antiquity the Greek word proskuneo merely signified a physical act. It indicated the oriental custom of either genuflection, i.e., bowing down by bending the knee(s), or prostration. Practitioners, however, adopted either of these two postures toward a superior in order to convey their humble attitude of respect, honour, and perhaps submission in the sense of readiness to defer to the will of that superior. They frequently performed proskuneo towards those possessing imperial authority, especially kings. Such physical acts usually indicated no more than a humble attitude of submission.

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Author: Kermit Zarley

Keywords: only God should be worshipped, Jesus worshipped, Christ worshipped, Trinitarianism, Trinity, Trinitarian, Jesus is God, worshipped, bow down, bow before, bow down before, bowed before Jesus, bow before Jesus, worship Jesus, worship Christ, worshiping, worshipping, worshiping Jesus, worshipping Christ, worshiping Christ, bend the knee, bending the knee, every knee will bow, every knee shall bow, obeisance, latria, latrevo, proskuneo, proskyneo, veneration, honor, give honor to God, prostrate, prostration, worship God alone, Honor Jesus, Honoring Christ, Giving honor to Jesus, Giving honor to Christ, Bowing, Worship, bow the knee, bowing the knee, Prostrating, Adoration, Venerate, Venerating, reverence, genuflection, Genuflect, genuflecting

Bible reference(s): Psalm 2:11-12, Gen 23:7, Gen 33:3, Gen 42:6, Exo 18:7, Ruth 2:10, 1 Sam 20:41, 1 Sam 24:8, 1 Sam 25:23, 1 Sam 28:14, 2 Ki 2:15, Dan 2:46, 1 Chr 29:20, Rev 3:9, Rev 4:8, Revelation 5:9, Revelation 5:12, Revelation 5:13, Matthew 4:10, Mat 2:2, Matt. 2:8, Matthew 2:11, Matthew 8:2, Matthew 9:18, Matthew 14:33, Matthew 15:25, Matt. 20:20, Matthew 28:9, Matthew 28:17, Mark 5:6, Mar 5:33, Mar 7:25, Mark 15:19, Luk 8:41, , Luke 24:52, John 9:38, Joh 11:32, Romans 14:11, Phi 2:10-11, Heb 1:6, Revelation 7:10, Revelation 7:17

Source: “Is Jesus God Because He Was Worshipped?” The Restitution of Jesus Christ, 2008.

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