Dealing with Jehovah's Witness claims about "obeisance"


Hi all,

Currently I’m having a debate online with a Jehovah’s Witness, and of course the Divinity of Christ has come into play. I’m currently attempting to prove that Jesus accepted worship from the Apostles in Luke 24 /the Greek verb in question is proskyneo, but there’s just one little snag I’m running into. They claim that this verb can also simply mean “obeisance”, and translate it like this whenever someone renders proskyneo unto Christ. In Revelation 3:9, it is promised that the Jews will be made to bow down/worship at the feet of the Church of Philadelphia, and the verb is also proskyneo.

My question is, how can I prove definitively that Jesus was worshiped in the New Testament?

Thanks in advance"


The Greek words for worship in the NT is “proskyneo” and “sebo”. Together they are used 70 times in the KJV. In the NWT when referring to God this word is translated as “worship” 100% of the time. The same word, when referring to Jesus translate to “obeisance” (honor) 100% of the time. Even in the passages where there is a double action reference like Mt 2:11 …they saw the young child with Mary its mother, and, falling down, they did obeisance to it [him]NWT. No other translation I looked at, nine in all, had this much consistent bias but this is not the issue…

JW’s see worship in acts only not in spirit, well, that is, they see worship in acts only of non-JWs. They will admit their worship is in spirit and will not attempt to describe or show in action their worship anything different than yours or mine, but insist that your worship, as an act, is wrong.

So if we consider the actions of the people in the bible, which is where their attention is focused, you can direct the action of some as worshiping Jesus. In the reference above of Mt 2:11 …“they fell down and …”. This act is the same act we do when we give honor to one such as Mary or the pope. We are accused of worship when we do it but a JW will call it obeisance if it is directed to Jesus. One way or the other they have a problem. Either our act towards Mary or the pope is not necessarly worship or the wise men could have in fact been worshiping Jesus.

Still none of this is the root issue. You can and most probably will go round and round haggling over who’s interpretation of scripture is correct to no end. The question that will always remain is - "what makes your interpretation more correct than the Baptist across town or the Lutheran next door or the… and how do you know?



I personally would not bother trying to prove this because our Lord is quoted as saying:

It is not those who say to me, “Lord, Lord,” but those who do the will of My Father in Heaven.

In my view the JW’s are doing our Father’s will because they refuse to build or deploy nuclear weapons. The rest of us, my church included, are deficient in that regard.

The JW’s used to visit my home, but I think that they could not handle my many large photos of the Shroud of Turin, something that they seem to know nothing about.


Your church builds nuclear weapons???


I don’t think any church i know of is building or deploying nuclear wepons. There may be some who are condoning this but not mine. :shrug:

Truth can be found in many places and the JW organization does teach many truths however, not supporting the building or deploying of nuclear wepons is only one of the many truths that fall under the “doing of our Father’s will”. :thumbsup:

Among some of the other truths the JW organization teaches are: Abortion is wrong, homosexuality is wrong, there is only one God… These truths do not make the JW organization God’s mouth piece but it does prove that truth is in many places.




The problem with Jehovah Witnesses is that they invent things and fixate on piece meal eisegesis.

I’m fully ignorant of etymology so lets forget all those root meanings or interpretations or applications…

Did St. Thomas exclaim: ‘my Lord, and my God?’

Was that a normal Jewish vernacular?

We know from both the Old and New Covenants that St. Thomas’s exclamation was a singular event.

Thomas is professing his Faith in Christ, Who is his Lord and his God!

No matter how much they twist Scriptures they cannot undo the Word of God.

No, again putting aside etymology, consider the reaction of Jesus whenever He was worshiped/adored, did He ever correct the behavior of the people?

Compare with:

[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. 9 But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!”

(Apocalypse [Revelation] 22:8-9)
…now, not only do they miss the whole point of the passage about the Church, which they have cited, but they ignore what takes place right at the beginning:

13 and, surrounded by them, a figure like a Son of man

, dressed in a long robe tied at the waist with a golden girdle. 14 His head and his hair were white as white wool or as snow, his eyes like a burning flame, 15 his feet like burnished bronze when it has been refined in a furnace, and his voice like the sound of the ocean. 16 In his right hand he was holding seven stars, out of his mouth came a sharp sword, double-edged, and his face was like the sun shining with all its force. 17 When I saw him, I fell in a dead faint at his feet, but he touched me with his right hand and said, ‘Do not be afraid;** it is I, the First and the Last; I am the Living One, 18 I was dead and now I am to live for ever and ever,** and I hold the keys of death and of the underworld. (Apocalypse [Revelation] 1:13-18)
Jesus steps in and proclaims that:

  • He is the First and the Last (the Alpha and the Omega)
  • The Living One
  • That He was dead but Now Alive
  • That He Lives for ever and ever

Anyone who reads the Old and New Testaments will find that there’s only One Living One (Yahweh God); that there’s only One Who is the First and the Last (Yahweh God); that the Father cannot state that He was dead because only the Son, His mortal body, died and Came Alive again; that person/s will also learn that only Yahweh God Lives for ever and ever… Jesus is the Living One, the First and the Last, Who Lives for ever and ever: God Almighty!

…and did you catch how Jesus did not act like the angel and corrected St. John’s prostration?

The Jehovah Witnesses are quick with their spins and contortions… they will claim that the above First and Last does not mean the same as Alpha and Omega (these are the Greek names of the first, Alpha, and the last, Omega, letters of the Greek alphabet); yet, even if they insist on this and attempt to apply the ‘first and last’ to Jesus being the first in Creation and/or Salvation… then that would mean that only Jesus was Created and Saved since He is both the first and the last! Their contortions can only go so far! :doh2::doh2::doh2:

Maran atha!





…are you not missing something?

The Father’s Will is that you Obey Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior; since there’s but One God Who is the Lord and Savior, the Father wants you to Accept Jesus as your God.

The Jehovah Witnesses, whose name they take from a Catholic Monk back in the 13th century, reject Jesus’ Divinity and relegate Him to some sort of demigod or super angel.

Twisting the Word of God is not the Father’s Will!

Maran atha!



They don’t like to see crucifixes either, and the blood of Jesus is unheard of.


Try this, the Father and Son are one, when you worship the Father you also worship the Son. Problem is that they don’t believe, the Father and Son are one :ehh:

John 10:30 “I and the Father are one”



…and how can man separate the Son from the Father?:

[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.

(Apocalypse [Revelation] 21:22)
Maran atha!




Hi. In my debates with JW, Evangelicals and other Non-Catholics, I don’t try to prove anything definitively from Scripture.

My reasons.

  1. The old saying is true, “for some, no proof is necessary. For others, no proof is ever enough.”

  2. They read Scripture differently than we do.

a. They read Scripture to discover their doctrines within. In fact, the JWs are famous for rewriting Scripture in order to write their doctrines into the it.

b. Whereas, we know that New Testament Scripture is written based upon the pre-existing Traditions of Jesus Christ. That which Jesus Christ taught the Apostles is the basis of the New Testament. Thus, we go to the Church for our understanding of the Word of God. Not to Scripture.

  1. Remember, we do not believe in the false doctrine of Scripture alone.

Having said that, I still engage them. But on our terms. Not theirs.

First of all, I keep in mind that proof texting is a no-win plan. As many texts as you provide to back up Catholicism, they can provide texts, which they twist, to support their errors. So, it’s a stalemate.

So, my game plan is like this. Let’s take the Divinity of Christ, for example.

JW says, “Proskyneo means obeisance and that proves that no one worshipped Christ in the early Church”.

Me, “Mm? Then why do all the Early Church Fathers, worship Christ? Let me give you a list.”

Polycarp, who was taught by the Apostle, St. John, in his Letter to the Philippians, said:

Now may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the eternal high priest himself, the Son of God Jesus Christ, build you up in faith and truth…and to us with you, and to all those under heaven who will yet believe in our Lord and God Jesus Christ and in his Father who raised him from the dead.

Another disciple of St. John, Ignatius, said:

Ignatius, who is also Theophorus, unto her which hath been blessed in greatness through the plentitude of God the Father; which hath been foreordained before the ages to be for ever unto abiding and unchangeable glory, united and elect in a true passion, by the will of the Father and of Jesus Christ our God; even unto the church which is in Ephesus [of Asia], worthy of all felicitation: abundant greeting in Christ Jesus and in blameless joy.

Being as you are imitators of God, once you took on new life through the blood of God you completed perfectly the task so natural to you.

There is only one physician, who is both flesh and spirit, born and unborn, God in man, true life in death, both from Mary and from God, first subject to suffering and then beyond it, Jesus Christ our Lord.

You get the drift, right? Now, I can tell you how the discussion will go. They’ll say, “Christianity went into apostasy at the time of Constantine”

And I say, "that’s not true. Again, the Church Fathers prior to Constantine all teach the same things the Catholic Church Teaches today. It’s your church that teaches heresy and your church is the new comer. Let’s see what Scripture says about that:

Gal 1:8 New World Translation
6 I am amazed that you are so quickly turning away* from the One who called you with Christ’s undeserved kindness to another sort of good news.+ 7 Not that there is another good news; but there are certain ones who are causing you trouble+ and wanting to distort the good news about the Christ. 8 However, even if we or an angel out of heaven were to declare to you as good news something beyond the good news we declared to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, I now say again, Whoever is declaring to you as good news something beyond what you accepted, let him be accursed.

You, Jehovah’s, are adding to the Teaching of the Church which came by Jesus Christ, something new which we do not accept.

etc. etc. I hope that helps.


De Maria


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