The Trinity Delusion An examination of the doctrine of the Trinity

Does worship of Jesus demonstrate he is God?


"Let all the angels of God worship him."


Trinitarian Claim

A very common claim by Trinitarians is to claim "Jesus is God" because we find both men and angels worshiping Jesus in the Bible.



Examination of the Claims

Proskyneo and the English word "Worship."

In Greek, there are two words which have been translated as "worship." Neither one of these Greek words do themselves contain the whole constellation of ideas which are usually associated with the English word "worship." In many minds, the English word "worship" is something one only does to the one God. This article deals with the Greek word proskyneo and demonstrates why Trinitarian claims concerning this particular Greek word are false.

This claim is extremely disingenuous because the English word "worship" does by itself imply a special kind of devotion to a divine being and in Christianity, God. However, what Trinitarian apologists often do not disclose is that the English word "worship" is used to translate two different Greek words, proskuneo, and latreuo. The first Greek word means simply to bow down before a higher authority. The second word refers to do divine service such as temple service. Most of the Trinitarian claims concern the word proskyneo and we shall soon see here that this word was used by the ancient Greek speaking people to refer to "worship" of ANY higher authority.



1. How the Greek word proskyneo is used in the Bible.

The are many, many examples in the Scriptures that show us how this Greek word is used. The corresponding Hebrew word is shachah. If we translated the word proskyneo as "worship" then Lot worshiped two angels (Genesis 19:1-2), Abaham worshiped the Hittites (Genesis 23:7,12), Isaac blesses Jacob to have all nations on earth worship him (Genesis 27:29), Jacob worshiped Esau (Genesis 33:1-4), Joseph's brothers worship him (Genesis 27:9-10; 42:3-6; 26-28), Abigail worshiped David's servants (1 Samuel 25:40-41), Saul worshiped the dead man Samuel (1 Samuel 28:14), the sons of the prophets worshiped Elisha (2 Kings 2:15), David worshiped the Temple (Psalm 5:7) and all the people of Israel worshiped King David (1 Chronicles 29:20). And there are many more examples.


2. The Magi

Trinitarians will even sometimes use the example of the Magi to insist that proskyneo worship of Jesus necessarily demonstrates he was God. But this particular claim is absurd. The Magi were not Jews. They were pagan starwatchers who had seen Jesus' star; they were astrologers. We are told they came to bow down before a human King, not to God. They came to proskyneo worship a human infant not God. The reason they came to proskyneo worship this human being was because he was the King of the Jews. Again we see that the reason they would do proskyneo worship was because they were respecting a higher authority.


3. Matthew 4:10: You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only

However, Trinitarians can't seem to get these facts through their heads or perhaps more rightly, they don't want to get the facts straight in their minds. And so they ignore the facts and appeal to some of their other mistaken interpretations of the Scriptures. One example of this kind of blunder is Matthew 4:10 where Jesus is being tempted by the devil to accept authority over the whole world if he will only bow down and worship him. Jesus then responds by quoting the Law, "You will worship the Lord your God and serve Him only." As usual, Trinitarians are so blinded by their own desires they do not see the problems with their own claims.

First, if the Trinitarian interpretation of this verse had any merit, then Lot, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and David were all sinning when they proskyneo worshiped other identities and indeed David even worshiped the temple. Even further, according to the Trinitarian interpretation, the whole assembly of Israel then sinned when they proskyneo worshiped both YAHWEH and the King.

Secondly, Trinitarians completely fail to see the time frame when Jesus made this statement. Jesus was made lower than the angels. And in Hebrews 1:6, all the angels were to bow down before Jesus only after God had raised him from the dead, after God gave him all authority in heaven and upon the earth, after God made him Lord, and after God sat him down at his right hand making him superior to the angels just as we read at Hebrews 1:4-5.

Furthermore, the word "only" in this verse does not qualify the word proskyneo which is translated as "worship." It only qualifies the word latreuo which is translated as "serve." Nowhere is Jesus given latreuo worship. And even IF he did now did receive latreuo worship, the Trinitarian would still be still left with the time frame problem just mentioned above.

In his temptation, Jesus was being tempted to DISOBEY God and rather do the devil's will. Jesus' response was that he would rather submit to his God and Father's authority and serve Him alone.


4. The Angels Worship Jesus

Another blind claim is to say that since the angels worshiped Jesus (Hebrews 1:6) then he must be God Himself. However, this complely ignores the context which tells us precisely WHY they are to bow down in subjection to Jesus. Being a man, the writers tells us that Jesus was made lower than the angels (2:7) but now in his resurrection he is crowned with glory and honor (2:7) and in this way has become superior to the angels have inherited a better name than the angels (1:4). In his resurrection God made him "Lord" (Acts 2:36) giving him all authority in heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18) when he sat Jesus down at his right hand. In this way, he became superior in position to the angels, his God anointing him to be above the angels (Heb 1:9).

You have put all things in subjection under his feet. (Heb 2:8).

Jesus is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, and having angels and authorities and powers subjected to Him. (1 Peter 3:22)

It is quite clear why angels are to proskyneo worship Jesus. He now sits in a position higher than the angels having sat down on his Father's throne (Rev 3:21) and in this way he has become better than the angels.

Indeed, carefully regard the following:

Then King David said to the entire assembly... Then David said to all the assembly, "Now bless YAHWEH your God." And all the assembly blessed YAHWEH, the God of their fathers, and bowed low and WORSHIPED YAHWEH and the King.... Then Solomon sat on the Throne of YAHWEH as King instead of David his father; and he prospered, and all Israel obeyed him. All the officials, the mighty men, and also all the sons of King David pledged allegiance to King Solomon. (1 Chronicles 29).

Notice how King David had sat on "the throne of YAHWEH" and all the assembly of Israel proskyneo worshiped both YAHWEH and King David. And indeed, the entire first chapter of the book of Hebrews is about the fact that Jesus has sat down at the right hand of God; Jesus now sits on the throne of YAHWEH. And Jesus has not only been given authority over Israel like his father David but he was given authority over all things when God raised him from the dead. The one God has put his son in charge of everything. For this reason also, we are told that God has appointed a man through whom He, God, will judge all men (Acts 17:30-31).

5. Peter and Cornelius

Another way Trinitarians attempt to misrepresent the facts is by quoting the following passage:
"When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and fell at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter raised him up, saying, "Stand up; I too am just a man." (Acts 10:25-26).

The word here too is proskyneo. Here, Trinitarians often claim, is evidence that Peter knew that nobody was to bow down before anyone but God. However, this is reading an extraneous concept into the text. Peter is not a King nor was there any reason for Cornelius to bow down to him. Cornelius was bowing down to Peter because God had given him a vision to send men to bring Peter to his household. Hence, Cornelius was in a state where he perceived that God himself considered Peter to be a very important man. But Peter was taught by Jesus to serve and not lord over anyone. Hence, Peter was taught by Jesus to serve people and not have them bow down to him.

In the Scriptures, it is plain that there was nothing wrong with bowing down in subjection to higher authorities (proskyneo) other than God. However, there was a big problem with bowing down before the host of heaven or other gods. God forbids anyone to do this type of thing. But he forbids no one from bowing down before higher authorities. In fact, we read at Romans 13:1ff that the authorities which exist were estalbished by God. To refuse to bow down before these authorities is to disobey God.

In his temptation, Jesus was being tempted to DISOBEY God and rather do the devil's will. Jesus' response was that he would rather submit to his God and Father's authority and serve Him alone.


6. The Angel and John

Another Trinitarian contraption is to quote this verse and interpret it as they please:

And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things. But he said to me, "Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours." (Revelation 22:8-9).

Here again we will find how Trinitarians are blinded with their own desires that they can't see the truth right in front of their own noses. They claim that this angel refused proskyneo worship because this is only due to God. But again Trinitarians are caught in their own lies when it is observed that Lot did indeed proskyneo worship the angels of YHWH who were sent by YHWH and there was no problem with it at all. Indeed, during this act of submission, he refers to them as "Lords." And even further yet, Trinitarians are caught with their foot in their mouth at Revelation 22:8-9. Follow the speaker.

And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of THE ANGEL who showed me these things. But HE said to me, "Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God. And HE said to me, "Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy. Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."

Shall we conclude this angel, who had admonished John for bowing down before him, is the Alpha and Omega? Or shall we conclude this was Jesus who told John not to bow down before him and rather "Worship God?" Either way, the Trinitarian is caught in his own folly.


7. Jews worshiping Christians

I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie--I will make them come and worship (proskyneo) at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you. Revelation 3:8-9.


Conclusion

When we have all the facts before us the truth is plain to see. People all over the Bible are bowing down before higher authorities who are not God. The Israelites were not allowed to bow down before other gods since doing so would be a gesture that they were submitting to the authority of these gods and not to Yahweh their God, a jealous God. And when we come to the New Testament, we find people appropriately bowing down before the higher authority Jesus because he is the King of Israel and because he is the Son of God Most High. He was royalty and humans bow down before royalty, their King, and rightly so. God has appointed all authorities in heaven and on earth. And when the man Jesus is resurrected and ascends to the very throne of God, all creation is subject to him. We are told this resurrected man is above all other authority and rule with all the angels subject to him. Indeed, we are told that God made him "Lord" in his resurrection (Acts 2:30-36) and have given him all this authority (Matthew 28:18) having sat down at the right hand of God until he puts all his enemies under his feet. The Trinitarian claim is a farce.



Last Updated: March 26, 2011


Notes:

Proskyneo: The word proskyneo simply means "to bow down before," or to prostrate one's self before another in the sense that one is acknowledge his low estate as compared to the high estate of the person he is bowing down before. It is a gesture of submission to a higher authority. This Greek word does not come packed with the the constellation of religious ideas that we have with the English word "worship."

Latreuo. This Greek word is still not exactly the same as the English word "worship" but it is much closer and usually denotes religious worship. It carries the idea of serving a higher authority in a religious or spiritual sense. While this word also does not itself connotate service to a divine being, the concept of serving a divine being is indeed usually implied.

Last Updated: March 26, 2011

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