Exhibit #7 — “Lord”
In the Bible, God was called “Lord” (Greek kurios) and Jesus was also called
“lord.” Is this evidence for divinity of Jesus? Apparently not, for a lot of other people
were also called “lord” in the Bible. However, once again, selective capitalization where
it suited the doctrinal purpose of the translators distorts the reality. “Lord” is a biblical
title of respect, as evidenced by numerous stories throughout the Bible (ex. Matthew
18:2334 and Luke 19:1121). The title “Lord” does not in itself imply divinity, and we
see this when Sarah called Abraham “Lord” (1 Peter 3:6). Nonetheless, Christians present
John 20:28 as evidence, in which Thomas is quoted as having identified Jesus as “My
Lord and my God!” One problem. 1 Corinthians 8:6 reads, “Yet for us there is only one
God, the Father … and one Lord Jesus Christ….” “Lord” and “God” are separate and
distinct in one verse, but one and the same in the other. Exodus 4:16 compounds this confusion, for the Greek literally translates to Moses being Elohim (God) to Aaron.
Substitution of the word “as” to distort the translation to “as God” has no manuscript
authority, but does serve to throw readers off the unmistakable scent of an overripe
theology gone bad. In a book where pagan gods (e.g., Ex. 12:12; 18:11; 20:3), judges
(Psalms 82:1&6), angels (Psalm 8:5), and prophets (Exodus 4:16) are identified with the
same Elohim as The One True God, who can trust a doctrine based on human
interpretations of ancient colloquialisms?
Exhibit #8 — Worship
People ”worshipped” Jesus, and he didn’t object. Well, that’s not quite true, is it?
What the biblical manuscripts record is that people proskuneo’ed Jesus, and he didn’t
object. Proskuneo is selectively translated in some bibles as “worship” or “worshipped,”
but that doesn’t hint at the full range of meanings:
proskuneo, proskooneh’o; from G4314 and a prob. der. of
G2965 (mean. to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand); to fawn or
crouch to, i.e. (lit. or fig.) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to,
It’s a fair assumption that few conceive the faithful to have kissed, much less
licked, Jesus’ hand. So assuming that some of the faithful crouched or prostrated
themselves to Jesus, we have to wonder what such a gesture would have signified.
Matthew 18:26 records the story of a slave who proskuneo’ed his master, begging
for forgiveness of his debts. Mark 15:1620 records the humiliation of Jesus prior to the
alleged crucifixion as follows:
Then the soldiers led him away into the hall called Praetorium, and
they called together the whole garrison. And they clothed him with purple;
and they twisted a crown of thorns, put it on his head, and began to salute
him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” Then they struck him on the head with a
reed and spat on him; and bowing the knee, they worshiped
[proskuneo’ed] him. And when they had mocked him, they took the purple
off him, put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him.
Acts 10:25 records this: “As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell
down at his feet and worshiped [proskuneo’ed] him.” Old Testament references include 1
Samuel 25:23, in which Abigail “fell on her face before David, and bowed down to the
ground.” 2 Kings 4:37 speaks of a Shunammite woman who, after God revived her child
through Elisha’s prayer, “fell at his [Elisha’s] feet, and bowed to the ground …” Genesis
50:18 and 2 Samuel 19:18 weigh into the equation as well.
Taken in total, proskuneo can only imply divinity if Peter, David and Elisha,
among others, are included. Otherwise, selective translation must be assumed, for when
the Roman soldiers proskuneo’ed to Jesus, they didn’t worship him, as the Bible
translates. Rather, they mocked him with the salute offered to the kings and leaders of their time. Likewise, when others proskuneo’ed to Peter, David, Elisha, the slavemaster,
et al. they showed their respect according to custom. So, too, with Jesus.
This subject can be summed up with the question, “When people proskuneo’ed to
Jesus, did they revere him as God?” If so, why didn’t they pray to him? It is worth noting
that the Bible never records anyone having prayed to Jesus, and the rights due to God
were directed to Him alone. By both Jesus and his followers. Luke 4:8 records Jesus
saying, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.”
What jumps out at us from this verse is not only that Jesus directed worship to
God, but service—or in Greek, latreuo, which is defined, “to minister (to God), i.e.,
render religious homage:—serve, do the service, worship (per).”157 Unlike the
aforementioned proskuneo, latreuo means to render religious homage. And significantly,
out of twentytwo uses in the New Testament, nowhere is latreuo applied to Jesus. So
while some people may have crouched or prostrated to Jesus in accordance with the
custom of their day, they didn’t latreuo, or render religious homage, to him. They
reserved that honor for God alone. And for that matter, so did Jesus himself.