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Does Worship actually mean Worship in the New Testament?

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The Greek word προσκυνέω( its English transliteration being  proskyneō [looks similar to the word prostrate]) has been translated as ‘worship’ throughout the whole New Testament, except for one particular instance:

Rev 3:9 (English Standard Version)
Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you.

Most newer translations have exchanged the Greek word for ‘worship’ for the English phrase  of ‘bowing down’. Older translations have maintained the Greek word for ‘worship’ as the English word for  ‘worship’:

Rev 3:9 (King James Bible)
Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

Why this Change? 

The older translations falsely imply that God wants the corrupt Jews to worship the Church of Philadelphia.  So according to the older translations, the pantheon of God not only extends to the existing trinity but also to a whole church, which Christians would obviously deny.

Two questions arise from this controversy:

(1) Why are Bible translators manipulating their scripture which they believe is the word of God?

The answer is obvious they want to hide the inconsistencies in the Bible to prevent the masses from questioning the basic tenets of their religion(i.e. the divinity of Jesus, and the trinity. etc.)

(2) Does bowing down actually mean worship?

Not necessarily, the prime example being the story of Joseph where his family bowed down to him out of respect, where they actually worshiping him? No.

Gen 42:6 (English Standard Version)
Now Joseph was governor over the land. He was the one who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed themselves before him with their faces to the ground.


So in the New Testament , where we find instances like this:

Matthew 28:9 ( English Revised Version) And behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and took hold of his feet, and worshipped him.

The same word for ‘worshipped’ should be translated as ‘bowed down to him’.

For Muslims we are not allowed to bow down to anyone except God. Perhaps the reason for this prohibition in our Law, may be because of the mistake of  previous nations(i.e. Christians) having confused the bowing down of respect/reverence to the bowing down in worship. Allahualim (God knows best!)




  1. First of all, if proskyneo never means worship, then tell us what word in the NT does mean worship. There is no better word for worship than proskyneo. Jesus said God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must do so in Spirit. [John 4:24]. The word used there for worship is a conjugation of proskyneo. Nouns are conjugated in Koine Greek. When Jesus said to Satan that you shall only worship God [Mat 4:10], he also used a conjugation of proskyneo. Revelation 3:9 only shows that there are some contexts where it can mean something else, such as bow down to. If you want to debate the trinity you need to read my five part essay at *


      • Okay. The Greek word you brought up, “sebo”, and its conjugations appear in the NT 10 times in the NIV Bible. Of that 10 it is translated as “worship” 6 times. Proskyneo appears 60 times in the NIV NT and is translated as “worship” 50 of those times. Latreuo and Latreia appear 26 times jointly. Eleven of those times the English translation is “worship.” Phobeomai is only translated as “worship” once, out of 95 usages. It usually means “fear.” Four other words are translated as “worship” 7 combined times out of ten combined usages. So did Jesus tell Satan that you can only bow down to God, and left the door open to worship entities other than God?


        • All worship involves some sort of bowing down, but not all bowing down is worship.

          Let me remind you of your words:

          ” When Jesus said to Satan that you shall only worship God [Mat 4:10], he also used a conjugation of proskyneo. Revelation 3:9 only shows that there are some contexts where it can mean something else, such as bow down to”

          Likewise, in some contexts, (i.e. when it refers to Jesus) it means the bowing down of reverence, respect, etc. When this word is used for God, this refers to a bowing down of worship.

          Liked by 2 people

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