Etikettarkiv | jw

Eating blood is a sin, but a blood transfusion is not – Jehovah’s Witnesses

blod 1Eating/drinking blood is one thing, and injecting blood something else

I have RH0 Negative blood, which is rather rare – with only about 6-7% of the European population (see possible traits here). I would therefore benefit greatly if other people with this particular blood type would donate blood, in case someone like me needed it. Would it hypothetically be a sin for me to withdraw blood from myself and inject it later on, despite that it is the very same blood which ran through my veins moments ago? Or would it only be a sin if I inject someone else’s blood?

We can share blood with each other if we only belong to the same blood group. Our blood can be traced back to Adam and Eve, and they were created very good.

Jehovah’s witnesses are known for making a parallel between blood transfusions and eating blood, and they view both alternatives as a sin. The Bible clearly prohibits us from eating blood (Acts 15:28-29), but the JW’s wrongly assume that it is therefore also wrong to donate blood and receive blood transfusions, despite that the latter does not entail eating or drinking. We already have blood in our bodies, and that is not a sin. Why would it be a sin to add more blood into our veins, particularly if our blood runs low? In a blood transfusion the blood is lead directly into the cardiovascular system (the circulatory system), which means that it is never led through the digestive system the way food does. The prohibition of blood intake is in relation to food and drink in the Bible!

But there is some light:

”A blood transfusion is no more eating blood than a skin graft is cannibalism” (James D. BalesJehovah’s Witnesses, p. 30).

In the past, also vaccinations were prohibited among Jehovah’s Witnesses (up until the 1970’s) as well as organ transplants (up until the 1980’s). It would be better for the witnesses to avoid certain vaccinations (which indeed could be harmful), rather than blood which can literally save lives.

Below we can see that ”abstaining from blood” concerns food situations.

Apg. 15:19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day. .28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

Acts 21:24 Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.

The Bible encourages us to save lives (Mark 2.23–28), and the story shows that the law was never meant to hinder us from taking logical actions – like saving innocent lives if we have this opportunity.

Mark. 2:23 And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.24 And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?25 And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him?26 How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

Also Luke 13.10–17; 14.1–6, and Matt. 12.9–14 show that God does not prohibit us from saving lives even on a Sabbath, but that he rather expects us to. We should not add to Scriptures by suggesting that God would prohibit us also from blood transfusions if such thing was known during Biblical times. It is a huge leap to believe that God would not like if we saved people’s lives through blood transfusions. It makes sense to have blood in our veins and we cannot live without it, but we can definitely live without eating blood and getting blood into our digestive system.

Unborn children have once been nourished and stayed alive through their pregnant mothers’ blood system through the cord, so why would it be a sin if the same children hypothetically would get blood transfusions from their mothers when they are born? Blood will circulate in our veins even if we abstain from eating blood.

Sinning is transgressing the commandments of God, but there are no laws in the Bible prohibiting us from giving or receiving blood transfusions. God knows that we know that blood transfusions can save lives, and that we would therefore be motivated to do it (and there are no Biblical laws against it). It would be unreasonable to think that we would risk losing our souls based on a misunderstanding.

The Old Testament about eating blood blood

The Old Testament does not say anything else but that we should not eat (or drink) blood from either animals or human beings. The reason for this is that the life is in the blood – which of course is a factor also today (the fact has not changed). This could explain why blood indeed runs in our veins as long as we are alive. When we die, blood no longer runs in our veins. The blood certainly makes the difference between life and death. Eating something/someone with the blood would be comparable with eating someone’s life, which would be an abomination before the Lord.

Gen. 9:4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. 

Lev. 17:10 And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you,– and will cut him off from among his people.11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.12 Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood.13 And whatsoever man there be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, which hunteth and catcheth any beast or fowl that may be eaten; he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust.14 For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.

Deut. 12:16 Only ye shall not eat the blood; ye shall pour it upon the earth as water.—  22 Even as the roebuck and the hart is eaten, so thou shalt eat them: the unclean and the clean shall eat of them alike.23 Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh.24 Thou shalt not eat it; thou shalt pour it upon the earth as water. 

1 Chron. 11:18 And the three brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: but David would not drink of it, but poured it out to the Lord.19 And said, My God forbid it me, that I should do this thing: shall I drink the blood of these men that have put their lives in jeopardy? for with the jeopardy of their lives they brought it. Therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mightiest.

1 Sam. 14: 32 And the people flew upon the spoil, and took sheep, and oxen, and calves, and slew them on the ground: and the people did eat them with the blood.33 Then they told Saul, saying, Behold, the people sin against the Lord, in that they eat with the blood. And he said, Ye have transgressed: roll a great stone unto me this day.34 And Saul said, Disperse yourselves among the people, and say unto them, Bring me hither every man his ox, and every man his sheep, and slay them here, and eat; and sin not against the Lord in eating with the blood. And all the people brought every man his ox with him that night, and slew them there.

The Bible about SHUNNING sinners / heretics who cause division in church – excommunication

2 cor 2But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called A BROTHER be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. (1 Cor. 5:11)

There are sadly pastors and entire congregations who have completely misunderstood what the Bible says about brothers and sisters who have wandered off from the truth, resulting in a treatment which will not aid the lost persons at all.

There is one Biblical case which stands out in the Bible when it comes to ”shunning” someone, and that is when Paul criticizes the Corinthian church for not reacting despite one of their members living in a deep sin.

One sin makes you a sinner, but all sins are not of the same degree. Some sins are for example an ”abomination” before God, and we can also read about a sin ”not unto death”. Surely there is a difference between murdering an innocent person in cold blood vs being in an unexpected situation where a white lie is used in order to not reveal a nice birthday surprise? In the case of the Corinthian church, the sin in question concerned a man engaged in sexual immorality together with his father’s wife, which Paul considered was so detestable that it was ”not even named among the gentiles”. 

1 Cor. 5:1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! 2 And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3 For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.6 Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.9 I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. 10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person. (NKJV)

Paul refers to a previous letter, and he clarifies that he did not advise the Corinthians to not keep company with all sinners in the whole world because then they could no longer live in the world. What he meant was that they should not keep company with anyone called a brother (which means a Christian brother or sister) who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner. Those listed sins are rather serious, and Paul tells the Corinthians to not even eat with such a person (other people might get the idea that we are supporting them in their sins or that we are just the same). Jesus of course ate with sinners, but not all his company would be regarded as his ”brothers”.

We should not try to add to Paul’s words – or withdraw. For instance, he does not say we must not talk to such people or not even say hello. Surely it would be awesome if such sinners returned to the Lord, and what better means do we have to our disposal than talking to them and try to persuade them to repent?:

Ja 5:19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

It is hard to convert someone from his sins if we are not even allowed to have a dialogue with him. The man in 1 Cor. 5 was engaged in a serious sin (an ongoing sin not repented of), so clearly he should not have been allowed to stay in that church gathering considering that a little leaven leavens the whole lump.  It is quite possible that the man in 1 Cor. 5 is again mentioned in Paul’s subsequent letter. In this letter Paul says that the punishment was sufficient for the man, and: you should rather forgive and comfort him, otherwise such a one might be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. Wherefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him.” (NASB). 

2 Cor. 2:4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you, with many tears, not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have so abundantly for you.5 But if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved me, but all of you to some extent—not to be too severe. 6 This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man, 7 so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow. 8 Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him. (NKJV)

So on the one hand Paul makes no room for a person engaged in sexual immorality (or other severe sins which he gives examples of), but on the other hand he provides a way back also for an ardent sinner provided that the person repents and leaves all sins behind. One can easily imagine that a man might be totally swallowed up with sorrow, if friends and family suddenly cease talking to him and pretend that he is nothing more than air. After a period with such a treatment, maybe the person claims to be sorry and openly repents, but can the church really trust that he has truly repented and that it is not rather a case of someone feeling lonely and wanting to return to his family and friends? God cannot be fooled.

Paul never tells us to cease having conversations with Christians even if they live in sin (it is possible to have conversations outside of a church gathering) and particularly not if they are family members. We are also told to not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father. So we should react when people sin, but think about how we phrase ourselves and how we treat them. The goal is to see them return to the truth, so a condescending and patronizing attitude might not work.

1 Tim. 5:1 Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers,—8 But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

More verses about shunning and influencing a person to repent (KJV)2 Pet

Matt. 18:12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

If a man goes astray God would certainly like to see him back on track, so we too should seek out the lost person and try to influence him to repent for his sins and return to the fold. The prodigal son did just that – he confessed his sins, repented and returned to his Father. If a brother sins against us (or perhaps sins against a whole church gathering), then Jesus tells us to first speak to him alone. It is of course essential that the person understands in what way he has sinned so that he also understands the point we are trying to make. Just saying ”I hereby rebuke you, you evil heretic!” is not enough if the person does not understand exactly what he did wrong, plus it is questionable if it is the smartest way to express oneself.

It is of course a possibility that a church leader reacts to something that is no sin at all (but rather a case of misunderstanding or twisting someone’s speech), and then it is hard to repent for something that the accused person does not see as a sin. If the case is that it was truly a sin and if the accused person refuses to listen or repent, then two or three witnesses are needed to establish the case. If the accused person is still unwilling to listen or repent, then the whole church should be told. If the accused person is still unwilling to turn around, then he must be regarded as a heathen – but note that it is still possible to have friendly and polite conversations with heathens! We are not told to ignore heathens and treat them as they do not exist, and note that it does not say that we should treat them WORSE than heathens. Surely it is possible to treat also heathens with kindness and love?

Where in the Bible can we read that also all the children (small children and teenagers) of an excommunicated person must be excommunicated as well, and no longer have any contact with the church members? (Nowhere.) The children might have been really good friends with other youngsters in a church for many years, and does God really suggest that they are no longer allowed to play or socialize with each other any more?

We should also add the risk for that the witnesses blindly obey the church leader (especially in a cult environment) who in his turn might not be entirely obedient to the Scriptures. The opposite is also true, that the church leader might blindly believe the witnesses’ description of a case. The instructions from Paul of course only work if the whole chain is unbroken – and not if the church leader is in error and makes unfair judgments. That is also why Paul told both Timothy and Titus to not be too quick with the ”laying on of hands” (selecting a person to become a church leader), because then the whole church gathering will risk to be off course.

A charged person certainly has the right to defend himself (this is true even in a secular court room), particularly in a church gathering that is not in all circumstances based on the word of God (like in a cult). If the pastor requests that a person must repent, and does not even give him a chance to defend himself or correct misunderstandings, then something is utterly wrong.

Rom. 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences CONTRARY TO THE DOCTRINE which ye have learned; and avoid them.18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.

Above we can read Paul saying that the brethren should ”mark them… and avoid them” if it concerns people who cause divisions contrary to God’s words. He does not clarify to what extent they should be avoided (avoiding does not necessarily mean that we cannot even walk on the same street as the person in question), but it evidently concerns people who continuously cause division in church contrary to God’s words. If such a person repents and ceases to cause division there is always a way back, but if he refuses to cease sinning Paul’s advice should be followed.

To ”mark” them does not mean that this marking must be repeated, and that the person can be verbally attacked as soon as you meet him. It is enough to do the marking once. However, if we continue to spend time with a trouble maker, eat with him and socialize with him (as in not avoiding him), then there is a risk that other people will interpret our undisturbed friendship as though we condone his actions. That is why Paul requests to see a change in our attitude towards a clear trouble maker. Paul does not necessarily tell us to stir up a huge drama scene as soon as there are minor differences of opinions about insignificant matters. I believe Paul is talking about clear cases of sin where a person is a trouble maker and/or causes a division in church over rather essential matters while refusing to back off.

Rom. 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.—8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;—16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Above we can see how important it is to be of one body, but also how important it is to show love and respect.

Titus 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

Paul gives instructions for a church leader, and if the church leader is subject to the word of God then it is a lot easier for the members to be subject to the church leader. However, we must always do as the Bereans (Acts 17:11) – to compare what we hear with Scriptures in order to know if what we hear is true. A church leader should speak evil of no man, be gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men, etc.  Since we too have been guilty of many sins, we could choose a wise way to influence people to repent. God has shown kindness and love to us, so we too should show the same to others. Not as in accepting their sin, but by consider the way we treat them and try to make them turn around.

Paul goes on to say a man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject. This advice must also be understood correctly and with caution. It takes some serious sins in order to qualify as an heretic (someone who clearly rejects the word of God and refuses to repent), so we should not cause an inflation of the word by spreading out admonitions left and right as soon as someone has some minor disagreements and asks valid questions. Neither should we fall into the other ditch and be so ”generous” that we choose not to react even if people in our congregation are proud of their sins.

2 John 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

Someone who refuses to accept the deity of Jesus, that he has come in the flesh, is labelled as a deceiver and even an antichrist. To accept Jesus as God is very central for the Christian faith. It is not certain that we should not allow anyone into our homes unless he/she shares our precise faith (particularly not if they are family members or relatives), but if someone wants to ”bring” an ”antichrist message” into our homes – like a former brother who would like to convert you and your family – then we should not accept him. I believe it is another matter if we invite lost people with the aim to convert them. Remember again that Jesus ate with sinners who did not view him as the Messiah.

Gal. 1:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.

Paul tells us to ”restore” a person who is overtaken in a fault ”in the spirit of meekness” . Once again love and respect are taught here.

2 Thess. 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;8 Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.15 Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

We are told to ”withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us”, and the context here is about working and to not be a burden to others. ”For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies”. In such cases we are told ”them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread”. We are also told if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed” but also Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother”. If we are to admonish him as a brother, we think about how we phrase ourselves and we do not ridicule him, repeatedly call him an heretic (once is often enough) etc.

There are certain rules about elders:

1 Tim. 5:19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

Jesus was constantly worshiped, and told us to worship and serve only GOD

worshipWe are not supposed to translate ”proskyneó” in different ways depending on the person it’s related to

The English word ”worship” is translated from the Greek word proskyneó (Strong’s 4352). Even if ”worship” is the most common translation, it can also hold the meaning of bowing down for someone in order to express profound reverence, and/or perhaps to make supplication before a person with power and authority (like an ancient King) or to make a plea. In the New Testament we can see that this word is used for God, Jesus (who is God) and false gods.

It would be dishonest to translate the word with ”worship” whenever it’s about God (the Father), and ”to bow down to”, whenever it’s about the son.That would just be evidence of that the translater has made up his mind in advance to manipulate the text to get the desired result. There is no grammatical rule that says that we should translate the word in such a way, so this means that there must be another reason for doing so (namely to prevent the text from saying that Jesus is God and worthy to be worshiped as God).

KJV translates the word to: worship (60 times).

NASB translates the word to: worship (32), worshiped (17), worshipers (1), worshiping (1), worships (1), bow down (1), bow down before (1), bowed down (1), bowed down before (2), bowing before (1), bowing down (1), prostrated himself before (1)

”Proskyneó” is used 55 times in the Jehova’s witnesses English Bible (The New World Translation), but despite that fact that the word is used in reference to Jesus in over 25% of the times, this word is never translated to ”worship” in any of those cases! However, if the word is used in relation to the devil, demons and false gods  the word is translated to ”worship” (apart from being  used for Jehova).  This is not sound hermeneutics, but clearly an attempt to avoid the undesired result of seeing Jesus being worshiped.

”Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve”

When the devil suggested that Jesus should worship him, Jesus replied that ”thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve”. This certainly doesn’t sound like Jesus gives room for the possibility to worship also other beings. It rather sounds as though he is saying that God is the only one we should worship because we are to be his servants alone. Satan didn’t respond back to Jesus: ”Ok, you say you shall worship the Lord, and that’s fine, but how about worshiping also me? What’s wrong with worshiping (proskyneó) a bunch of different people or beings?”. Jesus already took care of that thought when he explained that it’s the LORD we should worship and serve him only. 

Matt. 4:9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and WORSHIP me.10 

Luke 4:8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

When Jesus says ”It is written”, he is referring to the below commandment from God during the time of Moses, where worshiping is in reference to God.

Deut. 6:13 Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.14 Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you;15 (For the Lord thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the Lord thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.

In the old testament naturally ”worshiping” is used loads of times in relation to God (from Hebrew), with repeated warnings to the Israelites to not worship other gods. ”Worshiping” and ”serving” are often used together, and whether used together or separately they are strongly connected to GOD.

Ex. 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:

Deut. 30:17 But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;

Daniel 3:14 Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?—Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.

Acts 7:41 And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.42 Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness?43 Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.

We are supposed to worship HIM that made the heaven and earth, and sea. Who is that? God (Yahweh) is naturally said to have done all that (and no one was with him) and Jesus as well. The only way to make sense of this is to accept the clear Biblical teaching that Jesus is God.

Rev. 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and WORSHIP HIM THAT MADE HEAVEN, AND EARTH, and the sea, and the fountains of waters

Hebr. 1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:

Col. 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created BY HIM, and for him:17 And he is BEFORE ALL THINGS, and by him all things consist.18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell

Anti-Trinitarian might suggest that Jesus wouldn’t be worshiping a God if he is God himself, but this means they have not understood the classical trinity. Jesus was also man like us, and as man he communicated with his Father (part of the same trinity) through prayers and worship. Do read my article about Jesus free will subordination to his Father when he (Jesus) became man.

John. 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee BEFORE the world was.— 24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me BEFORE the foundation of the world.

To worship other human beings – or other beings/things – is to break the first commandment

Acts  7:43 Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.

Rev. 9:20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:

Rev. 16:2 And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.

Rev. 19: 20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. 

Bible verses where we can see Jesus being worshipedworship 4

Jesus had all chances in the world to correct at least one of the multiple people who worshiped him in the NT (taking glory away from God?), but he never once stopped anyone from doing so. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to teach confused Bible readers that they are wrong for believing Jesus is God even though his own Father calls him God in Hebr. 1:8? He could easily have said to someone: ”Hey, worship GOD instead of me. It’s better that you focus on the Creator when it comes to worshiping, or else people might start believing that I’m God too and just as powerful”. Maybe we can so often read about Jesus being God and being worshiped, precisely because he is God and part of the trinity? If we consider the fact that Jesus was a man who taught us that we should worship and serve God alone, he lets himself be worshiped an awful lot! Just read the verses further down below. Was Jesus a blasphemer and a liar when he spoke to the devil in the desert, or is Jesus in fact GOD? I believe the latter.

The wise men worshiped Jesus, which was a smart thing to do because this child was to be called ”Mighty God” among other glorious names. A little child would not be able to realize that someone is bowing down to show him honor, but if he is a deity, it would make sense to worship him regardless of his age.

Matt. 2:2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. —7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.—.11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.

Isa. 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The MIGHTY GOD, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Isa. 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Immanuel = God with us)

Other verses in the Bible that shows Jesus being worshiped:

Matt. 9:18 While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.19 And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples.

Matt. 14:33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

Matt. 28:9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.

Matt. 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Mark 5:6 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,7 And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not

Matt. 8:2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

Matt. 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.

Matt. 20:20 Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.

Luke 24:50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:

John 9:35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?36 He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?37 And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.

Hebr. 1:6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

Rev. 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.—13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

Rev. 15:4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

lammOther verses where the same Greek word is translated with ”worship” 

The Samarian woman and Jesus are discussing the proper place to worship, so apparently proskyneó is normally viewed as ”worshiping God” rather than just bowing down to honor someone. Jesus mentions that the Samarians are worshiping what they don’t know – which would be an odd thing to say if the Samarians normally bowed down and honored people they don’t know. It is possible, however, for heathens to worship a Creator that they really don’t know. Jesus also emphasizes the importance of worshiping (the Father) in spirit and in truth, which would also be an unusual thing to say if proskyneó concerns bowing down and honor mere mortal men.

John 4:19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

Surely the goal with feasts isn’t to bow down to people and honor them?

Acts 8:27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship ( + Acts 24:11)

John 12:20 And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast:

Rev. 11:1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.

1 Cor. 14:24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

Hebr. 11: 21 By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.

Matt. 18:25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. (A parable where the King is a picture of God the Father).

Rev. 4:And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Rev. 7: 9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,—14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

The reason given for worshiping him on the throne is due to him being the Creator of all things. We have already established that Jesus (as well as his Father) fits this description. Who is further living for ever and ever? Jesus is said to live for ever and ever. Compare:

Hebr. 1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.

Rev. 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: —12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.—17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Rev. 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.

John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I AM HE he, ye shall die in your sins.25 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.

The apostle Peter and the Angel who spoke with John, refused to be worshiped

If someone would fall down before our feet and and start worshiping us, the normal thing to do would be to worship 3ask the person to please rise up immediately – unless we’re God…That’s exactly what the apostle Peter and the Angel in Revelations did. As a reason Peter said ”stand up, I myself also am a man”, and the Angel said ”See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant,—WORSHIP GOD”. So it’s not enough to be a disciple of Jesus, an apostle, a righteous servant or a prophet, because it would be wrong to be ”worshiped” anyway. We should worship GOD, says the Angel Gabriel.

Acts 10:25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.26 But Peter took him up, saying, STAND UP; I MYSELF ALSO AM A MAN.

Rev. 22:8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: WORSHIP GOD.

Rev. 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See THOU DO IT NOT: I AM THY FELLOWSERVANT, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

If it’s not a big deal to be ”worshiped” (someone bowing down to them to give honor), Jesus, Peter and the Angel Gabriel were not aware of it.

Hebr. 1:6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

Also the Watchtower (the JW:s newspaper) acknowledged in a very early newspaper number that Jesus was being worshiped, even if they incorrectly suggested he is only one God among many.

”The fact that our Lord received worship is claimed by some to be an evidence that while on earth he was God the Father disguised in a body of flesh and not really a man. Was he really worshiped, or is the translation faulty? Yes we believe our Lord Jesus while on earth was really worshiped, and properly so. While he was not the God, Jehovah, he was a God. The word ‘God’ signifies a ‘mighty one,’ and our Lord was indeed a mighty one. So it is stated in the first two verses of the gospel of John. It was proper for our Lord to receive worship in view of his having been the only begotten of the Father. . .” (The Watchtower, July 15, 1898, p. 216.)

The below verse (1 Chron. 29:20) is sometimes used by Jehovah’s Witnesses to minimize the importance of Jesus being worshiped throughout the New Testament, despite that he informed the devil that we should worship GOD and serve him only.

1 Chron 29:20 And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the Lord your God. And all the congregation blessed the Lord God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped the Lord, and the king.21 And they sacrificed sacrifices unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings unto the Lord, on the morrow after that day, even a thousand bullocks, a thousand rams, and a thousand lambs, with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel:22 And did eat and drink before the Lord on that day with great gladness. And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and anointed him unto the Lord to be the chief governor, and Zadok to be priest.

Obviously King David was of the opinion that it would be wrong to break the first commandment by placing other human beings on par with God – much less himself. However, nothing is wrong with a congregation that worships the LORD (not David), and that also takes the chance to show appreciation and honor also king David. The case could be that it’s about divine worship of the Lord and civil homage for the King. There was no rule that they had to separate their actions by first allotting some time to worship God, and then in union cease worshiping God and proceed to the next step on their agenda – which would be honoring their king. It’s possible to do both at the same time.