What does "worship" mean?

What does "worship" mean to you? How do YOU worship?

In the Christian Greek Scriptures (New Testament) the word "proskuneo" means "bow down like a dog", signifying obedience, and is only applied to rulers, whether human or divine.

Other words are also rendered "worship" in the Greek Scriptures. These are:

"enopion", meaning "in the face of", respect applied to those in authority, at Luke 4:7

"doxa", meaning "give glory", sometimes translated as "honor", applying to rulers and parents, at Luke 4:8.

"latreuo", meaning "render homage", applied to gods, seen at Acts 7:42.

"eusebio", meaning "pious devotion", applied toward gods, seen at Acts 17:23.

"sebomai", meaning "adoration", applied toward a being of superior respect, seen at Acts 18:23.

"ethelothreska", meaning "self-imposed (service)", the doing of something not requested, apparently indicating false worship though of an acceptable being, used in negative reference at Colossians 2:23.

But what does all this mean? Many of these words and definitions have inexact meanings. For instance "bow down like a dog" means exactly what? Muslims take this literally as bowing down to God. It is also rendered "obeisance" (lit., obey-ance), meaning that one is offering themselves to do the will of the one being bowed down to.

So it still remains, Is it just gathering together? Is it praying? Is it doing some kind of task? Is it simply showing honor?

Update:

Dictionary.com says this about "worship":

–noun

1. reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.

2. formal or ceremonious rendering of such honor and homage: They attended worship this morning.

3. adoring reverence or regard: excessive worship of business success.

4. the object of adoring reverence or regard.

5. (initial capital letter) British. a title of honor used in addressing or mentioning certain magistrates and others of high rank or station (usually prec. by Your, His, or Her).

–verb (used with object)

6. to render religious reverence and homage to.

7. to feel an adoring reverence or regard for (any person or thing).

–verb (used without object)

8. to render religious reverence and homage, as to a deity.

9. to attend services of divine worship.

10. to feel an adoring reverence or regard.

Origin:

bef. 900; (n.) ME wors(c)hipe, worthssipe, OE worthscipe, var. of weorthscipe; see worth, -ship; (v.) ME, deriv. of the n.

Update 2:

"Praise" is not in itself "worship", as anyone can be praised for some great deed. "Singing" is not worship, as you can sing about anything. "Joy and shouting" is not worship, as one can shout for joy over anything. Together all those things can contribute to worship and can express worship, but is this the whole of worship?

Update 3:

There are indeed two views of the word "proskuneo" (proskyneo), one being "bow down like a dog" and the other being "kiss the hand of [someone in reverence]". Neither has been established as the exact meaning and thus remains in dispute.

The first comes from an interpretation of the word coming from "pros", meaning "before/aface" and possibly from a variant of "kunesen", meaning "puppy".

The other view is that it comes from "pros" for "face" and the variation of a word I don't recall that means "extending the hand". Together it suggests putting the face to the hand.

Considering the tradition of the word "proskuneo" applying to bowing down before a ruler, I prefer the first rendering.

30 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    To me, worship is putting something or someone first in your life.

    That is the reason people can worship their job, their money, their family, their "belly", etc.

    And that is reason people can give worship to those other than Jehovah.

    But when Jehovah is first is your life, it is to him that you pray, that you sing about, that you speak about, that you read about, that you live for, that you long for, that you look forward to listening to and about, that you seek the approval of, that you study about, that you teach about, that you reach out to.

    He is your other half in a spiritual relationship. And spirituality cannot be complete without that other half.

    The definition of worship is multi-faceted, as are the expressions of worship. We speak of "worshiping in many ways". And that is correct. I don't mean all forms of worship are acceptable. But that our worship takes on different facets or expressions. We can't sing and study at the same time. But both are worship. We can't study and pray at the same time. But both are worship.

    There is more, but I will stop here.

    Source(s): One of Jehovah's Witnesses
    • ?5 years agoReport

      Right. You, (angelmusic1914), you are wrong. But I liked the definition. You worship if you worship God you should also worship Jesus.

  • 3 years ago

    Worship Means

  • 1 decade ago

    What a wonderful question.

    Religion is, of course, the form that one's worship takes. Thus there are thousands of forms. Religion includes a system of religious beliefs and practices. The object of the religion may be false gods or the true God. Hence, there is false religion and there is true. Religion can get very fancy or remain simple. In the former case, such as it is today. In the latter case, such as it was in the Garden of Eden. What then is worship to me? How do I worship?

    To worship means to obey. And to obey means to worship. The two are intimately connected; indeed, they are coterminous and cannot be separated. Specifically, to obey the Sovereign Lord God Jehovah of Armies is to worship Him. I do my imperfect best in this regard. I fall on my face and get back up to try and try again.

    In the Garden of Eden, so long as they obeyed Jehovah, Adam and Eve were worshiping him. No temple, no Mosaic Law, no meetings. Simply leave the tree of the knowledge of good and bad alone. Simple. The minute they disobeyed, they stopped worshiping Jehovah.

    Same with the nation of Israel. The minute they attempted to practice a syncretistic religion they stopped worshiping Jehovah. The minute they made the golden calf, they stopped. And on and on.

    To worship is to obey. To obey is to worship.

    Hannah J Paul

  • 4 years ago

    Different translations of the bible would suggest love and charity are synonmus. Examples found in.1st Corrinthians ch. 13 vs. 1-17 illustrate this many times. I would enjoy hearing from a scholar of the languages used in those past times to clarify my understanding. The story of the "World's Poorest Philanthropist", Gilbert "Harold" Ewing II (myself) is the reason for this querry. The " act of grace", or charity, reffered to in the news interview, has posited this question and I lack the sort of education to provide any insights of true value.

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  • 4 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    What does "worship" mean?

    What does "worship" mean to you? How do YOU worship?

    In the Christian Greek Scriptures (New Testament) the word "proskuneo" means "bow down like a dog", signifying obedience, and is only applied to rulers, whether human or divine.

    Other words are also rendered...

    Source(s): quot worship quot mean: https://biturl.im/fH7Xo
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    WORSHIP

    The rendering of reverent honor or homage. True worship of the Creator embraces every aspect of an individual’s life. The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “Whether you are eating or drinking or doing anything else, do all things for God’s glory.”—1Co 10:31.

    When Jehovah God created Adam, He did not prescribe a particular ceremony or a means by which perfect man might approach Him in worship. Nevertheless, Adam was able to serve or worship his Creator by faithfully doing the will of his heavenly Father. Later, to the nation of Israel, Jehovah did outline a certain way of approach in worship, including sacrifice, a priesthood, and a material sanctuary. (See APPROACH TO GOD.) This, however, had only “a shadow of the good things to come, but not the very substance of the things.” (Heb 10:1) The primary emphasis has always been on exercising faith—doing the will of Jehovah God—and not on ceremony or ritual.—Mt 7:21; Jas 2:17-26.

    As the prophet Micah put it: “With what shall I confront Jehovah? With what shall I bow myself to God on high? Shall I confront him with whole burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will Jehovah be pleased with thousands of rams, with tens of thousands of torrents of oil? Shall I give my firstborn son for my revolt, the fruitage of my belly for the sin of my soul? He has told you, O earthling man, what is good. And what is Jehovah asking back from you but to exercise justice and to love kindness and to be modest in walking with your God?”—Mic 6:6-8; compare Ps 50:8-15, 23.There are people who feel that they can earn God’s favor through occasional acts of devotion but can forget about him at other times. True worship of Jehovah God is not like that. It affects a person’s conduct throughout all his waking hours, from day to day, year after year. That is why it is also called “The Way.” (Acts 19:9; Isaiah 30:21) It is a godly way of living that calls upon us to speak and act in harmony with God’s Word.

    Source(s): IT-2
  • 1 decade ago

    Your Greek impresses me.

    I want to copy and paste this.

    Up to this point, looking at your options, for me it was doxa.

    But I see it is much more.

    thank you. You did not come by this accidentally.

    In the oriental church, during Lent, yes, we "bow down like a dog", but in our language, it translates literally "hitting the floor"

    Worshiping can be singular or as a group.

    Supplication and Praise, the same can be said of these.

    You may do this publicly or privately, however, you must agree, that even when we are in public, we are alone.

  • 6 years ago

    According to my research up till now:

    "Any act of praising someone after accepting one as the creator or absolute source of power".

    This definition also make it different from common "praise" .

  • 1 decade ago

    WORSHIP

    The rendering of reverent honor or homage. True worship of the Creator embraces every aspect of an individual’s life. The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “Whether you are eating or drinking or doing anything else, do all things for God’s glory.”—1Co 10:31.

  • 5 years ago

    To Praise Cthulhu

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