Worship (Verb and Noun), Worshiping - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words

Worship (Verb and Noun), Worshiping

[ A-1,Verb,G4352, proskuneo ]
to make obeisance, do reverence to" (from pros, "towards," and kuneo, "to kiss"), is the most frequent word rendered "to worship." It is used of an act of homage or reverence
(a) to God, e.g., Matthew 4:10; John 4:21-John 4:24; 1 Corinthians 14:25; Revelation 4:10; Revelation 5:14; Revelation 7:11; Revelation 11:16; Revelation 19:10 (2nd part); Revelation 22:9;
(b) to Christ, e.g., Matthew 2:2,Matthew 2:8,Matthew 2:11; Matthew 8:2; Matthew 9:18; Matthew 14:33; Matthew 15:25; Matthew 20:20; Matthew 28:9,Matthew 28:17; John 9:38; Hebrews 1:6, in a quotation from the Sept. of Deuteronomy 32:43, referring to Christ's Second Advent;
(c) to a man, Matthew 18:26;
(d) to the Dragon, by men, Revelation 13:4;
(e) to the Beast, his human instrument, Revelation 13:4,Revelation 13:8,Revelation 13:12; Revelation 14:9,Revelation 14:11;
(f) the image of the Beast, Revelation 13:15; Revelation 14:11; Revelation 16:2;
(g) to demons, Revelation 9:20;
(h) to idols, Acts 7:43.

Note: As to Matthew 18:26, this is mentioned as follows, in the "List of readings and renderings preferred by the American Committee" (See RV Classes of Passages, IV): "At the word 'worship' in Matthew 2:2, etc., add the marginal note 'The Greek word denotes an act of reverence, whether paid to man (See chap. Matthew 18:26) or to God (See chap. Matthew 4:10)'." The Note to John 9:38 in the American Standard Version in this connection is most unsound; it implies that Christ was a creature. J. N. Darby renders the verb "do homage" [See the Revised Preface to the Second Edition
(1871) of his New Translation].

[ A-2,Verb,G4576, sebomai ]
"to revere," stressing the feeling of awe or devotion, is used of "worship"
(a) to God, Matthew 15:9; Mark 7:7; Acts 16:14; Acts 18:7,Acts 18:13;
(b) to a goddess, Acts 19:27. See DEVOUT, No. 3.

[ A-3,Verb,G4573, sebazomai ]
akin to No. 2, "to honor religiously," is used in Romans 1:25.

[ A-4,Verb,G3000, latreuo ]
"to serve, to render religious service or homage," is translated "to worship" in Philippians 3:3, "(who) worship (by the Spirit of God)," RV, AV, "(which) worship (God in the spirit);" the RV renders it "to serve" (for AV, "to worship") in Acts 7:42; Acts 24:14; AV and RV, "(the) worshipers" in Hebrews 10:2, present participle, lit., "(the ones) worshiping." See SERVE.

[ A-5,Verb,G2151, eusebeo ]
"to act piously towards," is translated "ye worship" in Acts 17:23. See PIETY (to show).


(1) The worship of God is nowhere defined in Scripture. A consideration of the above verbs shows that it is not confined to praise; broadly it may be regarded as the direct acknowledgement to God, of His nature, attributes, ways and claims, whether by the outgoing of the heart in praise and thanksgiving or by deed done in such acknowledgment.

(2) In Acts 17:25 therapeuo, "to serve, do service to" (so RV), is rendered "is worshiped." See CURE, HEAL.

[ B-1,Noun,G4574, sebasma ]
denotes "an object of worship" (akin to A, No. 3); Acts 17:23 (See DEVOTION); in 2 Thessalonians 2:4, "that is worshiped;" every object of "worship," whether the true God or pagan idols, will come under the ban of the Man of Sin.

[ B-2,Noun,G1479, ethelothreskeia[-ia] ]
"will-worship" (ethelo, "to will," threskeia, "worship"), occurs in Colossians 2:23, voluntarily adopted "worship," whether unbidden or forbidden, not that which is imposed by others, but which one affects.

[ B-3,Noun,G2356, threskeia ]
for which See RELIGION, is translated "worshiping" in Colossians 2:18.

Note: In Luke 14:10, AV, doxa, "glory" (RV), is translated "worship."

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words