Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Question #38

In the NWT, every time the Greek word "proskuneo"  is used in reference to God, it is translated as "worship" (Rev 5:14, 7:11, 11:16, 19:4, Jn 4:20, etc.). Every time "proskuneo" is used in reference to Jesus, it is translated as "obeisance" (Mt 14:33, 28:9,28:17, Lk 24:52, Heb 1:6, etc.), even though it is the same word in the Greek (see Gr-Engl Interlinear). Especially compare the Greek word "prosekunhsan" used with reference to God in Rev 5:14, 7:11, 11:16, and 19:4 and used with reference to Christ in Mt 14:33, 28:9, and 28:17. What is the reason for this inconsistency? If the NWT was consistent in translating "proskuneo" as "worship", how would the verses above referring to Christ read?

The translators of the NWT are not inconsistent in their translation of the word “proskyneo.” They explain in the pages of the Watchtower that when proskyneo is used in connection with any person other than God they decided to use the term obeisance. For example, in the LXX Abraham bowed before the men of Canaan. Obviously Abraham was not worshipping those men though. But the Greek term used is proskyneo. And there are other instances where the term is used in connection with men bowing before others as a show of honor. For example, Nebuchadnezzar bowed before Daniel and in the LXX the very same proskyneo appears.

Basically, proskyneo can be alternatively translated either as worship or obeisance, depending on the context. Oddly, the word is related to the Greek word for dog and connotes a dog cringing or cowering at the feet of its master.

No doubt the reason the translators of the NWT make a distinction between worship and obeisance is due to the fact that for centuries clergy, translators and scholars associated with the Bible have done their best to obscure the special relationship that exists between Jehovah and Jesus; so that now the average churchgoer is completely ignorant of it. Satan would have us believe that Jesus is God, because it is a lie. Jesus is the son of God.

But when Jehovah’s Witnesses are confronted with this type of question, which is intended to trick a person into imagining that Jesus is God, since others bowed before him, the question really ought to be asked: Who did Jesus himself worship? No Trinitarian can supply a sensible answer, since even the most unreasonable Trinitarian would likely realize the nonsensical aspect of Jesus worshipping himself. 

But on his last night as a human, when he was in the Garden of Gethsamane sweating blood, the account says that Jesus fell upon his face, beseeching God. That expression is the same as doing obeisance. So, Christ did obeisance, or an act of worship, to God. 

The truth is, Jehovah is God but he has decreed that all creation must bow before his Son too; not because Jesus is God in his own right, but because Jesus proved his undying love for God and his unbreakable devotion to him. With the powers he is given Jesus intends to bring all creation back into worshipful subjection to the one whom he called “my God.” 

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