What Is Worship?


What does it mean when a pastor says something like “now we are going worship the Lord [sing] to prepare for the message”?  Another remark, to transform or improve worship by singing!  Other statements from people, radio and other media imply that worship and singing (with music) are equivalent.

Is worship singing?  That concept does not ring true.  I do not believe worship and singing are interchangeable, equivalent.   Was singing intended to be part of worship?  There are at least 2 scriptures where God says to stop singing!  There are many scriptures in which singing does not fit with worship! The following is how I came to that conclusion.

Worship, Sing, Praise!

Several questions must be asked.  What is worship, singing and praise?  Do the churches now worship, sing and praise according to God’s Word?  That is, are these words used properly in post-Reformation churches/ gatherings?

I have heard, from the pulpit, that worship and singing are equivalent. I did not attend seminary but that statement did not sound accurate.   I received an Email for an event about transforming worship listing five areas, all about singing!   Will the event continue the current trend of equating worship with singing (accompanied by music)?  Does the Word of God teach this trend?    

Process for Discovering Truth

Post-Reformation churches often depend on tradition for truth.  Other sources of truth include Man’s wisdom, or claimed revelation or wisdom from the Holy Spirit.  Paul encourages followers of Messiah Jesus to question everything and compare with God’s Word.  If tradition, Man’s wisdom or claims do not match up with God’s Word then it is NOT Truth.

The process for Truth usually begins with reading or hearing something which does not quite appear correct (prompting from the Holy Spirit?). What was the trigger, a word, phrase, idea or Scripture verse used out of [apparent] context? In this case the word worship was used as equivalent to singing.

What does God’s Word say about worship?  When the word worship is used in Scripture what is the Hebrew or Greek meaning?  What is the context?  The following is my process of discovering what worship means and then the usage of singing and praise. 

I used a tool called LOGOS to find Scripture with the word worship.  The King James version provides a link to a Strong Concordance showing a Strong number and various usages of the word.   Additionally, LOGOS, my library at least, provides various translations of the Bible used in this study including, the TANAK 1985v, Greek New Testament SBL version, King James and ISV.

What is worship? 

I want to know the truth about worship, singing and praise.  Is worship equivalent to singing or praise?   Is it a big deal?  What is the harm if Christians believe this?  The source for Truth is the Word of God.  My goal is to find out.

Biblical worship is often linked with willful bowing down or becoming prostrate on the ground.  Some of the references below have two Bible translations, the International Standard Version and King James Version which provides a link to the Enhanced Strongs Lexicon.  What does worship mean?   The two commonly used Hebrew words used for worship mean to fall down, bow down become prostrate before God, angel, a god or a man.  Verbs used in context with worship are often fear, awe, serve and wisdom, understanding God’s Word. See Romans 9:4 for example.

Often the King James and International revised version use worship instead of bow down which is used in the Tanakh.  The phrase “bow down and worship” is common in the KJV and ISV whereas the Tanakh just used bow down.  There were 4 bows down and worship phrases found in the Tanakh in Daniel when not referring to Jehovah God.   So far, I am unable to discover exactly why bow down and worship are both used together.  A guess may refer to bow down and doing a service to a foreign god.

“Whereas previously in Israel the people had priests and prophets to assist them in worship, now in exile they were thrown almost exclusively on the written Word of God as they sought to worship him in a foreign land. In the view of some, this may have been one of the greatest results of the exile. As often happens in a situation such as this, when the people turned to the writings that had come to them as a result of a revelation from God, they also found that God drew nearer to them. This was because God himself had ordered that real and vital worship is most clearly linked with the study of and obedience to the Scriptures.”  From <https://blog.logos.com/2019/07/throw-yourself-on-the-written-word-of-god/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LogosBibleSoftwareBlog+%28Logos+Bible+Software+Blog%29

The following definition of worship was taken from, “Achtemeier, Paul J., Harper & Row and Society of Biblical Literature. Harper’s Bible dictionary 1985 : 1143. Print.” {“worship, the attitude and acts of reverence to a deity. The term ‘worship’ in the OT translates the Hebrew word meaning ‘to bow down, prostrate oneself,’ a posture indicating reverence and homage given to a lord, whether human or divine. The concept of worship is expressed by the term ‘serve.’ In general, the worship given to God was modeled after the service given to human sovereigns; this was especially prominent in pagan religions. In these the deity’s image inhabited a palace (temple) and had servants (priests) who supplied food (offered sacrifices), washed and anointed and clothed it, scented the air with incenses, lit lamps at night, and guarded the doors to the house. Worshipers brought offerings and tithes to the deity, said prayers and bowed down, as one might bring tribute and present petitions to a king. Indeed, the very purpose of human existence, in Mesopotamian thought, was to provide the gods with the necessities of life.

Although Israelite worship shared many of these external forms, even to calling sacrifices ‘the food of God’ (e.g., Lev. 21:6), its essence was quite different. As the prophets pointed out, God could not be worshiped only externally. To truly honor God, it was necessary to obey his laws, the moral and ethical ones as well as ritual laws. To appear before God with sacrifices while flouting his demands for justice was to insult him (cf. Isa. 1:11–17; Amos 5:21–22). God certainly did not need the sacrifices for food (Ps. 50:12–13); rather sacrifice and other forms of worship were offered to honor God as king.”}

The following definition of praise was taken from, “Achtemeier, Paul J., Harper & Row and Society of Biblical Literature. Harper’s Bible dictionary 1985 : 816. Print.” {“praise, to glorify, or the act of glorifying God, frequently in communal worship (Ps. 113; Luke 1:64; Acts 2:47; Rev. 19:5). The Hebrew term for the Psalms translates as ‘Praises.’ See also Hallelujah; Psalms, The; Worship.”}

Singing – {The musical voicing of praise to God on account of God’s majesty and great acts of salvation singing was a regular part of the life of Israel and of the early church. In Israel musicians and singers were set aside solely for this purpose.  Sometimes singing and praise go together.

The call to sing praise to God: Ps 33:1-3; 96:1-2 See also Ps 5:11; 9:11; 30:4; 47:6; 68:4,32; 81:1-2; 95:1; 98:1,4-5,8-9; 117:1; 147:7; 149:1; Isa 44:23; 49:13; 52:9; Ro 15:11

The resolve to sing praise to God: Ps 104:33 See also Ps 7:17; 9:2; 13:6; 57:8-9; 59:16-17; 89:1; 101:1; 147:1

Singing in response to God’s deliverance from enemies and sin: Isa 35:10 See also Ps 18:47-49; 71:22-24; Isa 54:1; 55:12; Rev 5:11-14; 15:3-4

God sings of his delight and love for his people: Zep 3:17

Singing in Israel: Singing accompanied major events See also 1Ch 15:27-28 the bringing of the ark to Jerusalem; 2Ch 5:12-13 the dedication of the temple; 2Ch 20:21-22 a march into battle; 2Ch 23:11-13 a coronation; 2Ch 29:27-28 the purification of the temple.    The celebration of the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread: 2Ch 30:21; 35:15; Ne 12:27-29 the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem

Part of day-to-day worship: 2Ch 23:18; Ne 11:23

Accompanied by instruments: 1Ch 15:16 See also 1Ki 10:12 pp 2Ch 9:11; Ps 137:1-4

Musicians and singers appointed to lead Israel’s singing: 1Ch 9:33; 15:22 See also 1Ch 6:31-32; 25:6-7; Ezr 2:41 pp Ne 7:44; Ezr 2:65; Ne 11:22; 12:46; 1 Chronicles 6:32 (ISV): They served in accordance with orders of service designated for them.

Singing in the NT: Eph 5:19-20; Jas 5:13 See also Mt 26:30 pp Mk 14:26; Ac 16:25; 1Co 14:15; Col 3:1Singing is not always appropriate: Pr 25:20 See also Ecc 7:5; Am 5:23 God detests the songs of Israel that are not accompanied by obedience and justice. See also Isa 24:14-17; 25:5; Eze 26:13; Am 6:5-7; 8:3

“Manser, Martin H. Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies. London: Martin Manser, 2009. Print.”}

{Singers in the Temple. Trained musicians serving in worship appearing during the time of David and Solomon. Prior to this date, not much is known of the production of music and its use. Miriam led women in singing and dancing after the defeat of the Egyptians at the Red Sea (Ex 15:20, 21). When Jephthah returned from battle, his daughter met him, leading women in dance and timbrels (Jgs 11:34). Music also was employed by the school of the prophets (1 Sm 10:5). “Elwell, Walter A., and Barry J. Beitzel. “Singers in the Temple.” Baker encyclopedia of the Bible 1988 : 1970. Print.”}

What does God’s Word say about worship? 

References of worship from Scripture follow.

Genesis 24:26–27 (ISV): At this, the man bowed down and worshipped the Lord. “Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who hasn’t held back his gracious love and faithfulness from my master! The Lord has led me to the house of my master’s relatives!” (worshipped – H7812 ( שָׁחָה ) [shachah /shaw·khaw/] v. Strong, James. Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 1995 : n. pag. Print.)

Genesis 24:26–27 (KJV similar)

Genesis 24:26–27, 26The man bowed low in homage to the Lord 27and said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not withheld His steadfast faithfulness from my master. For I have been guided on my errand by the Lord, to the house of my master’s kinsmen.” (Jewish Publication Society. Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1985. Print)

H7812 שָׁחָה [shachah /shaw·khaw/] v. A primitive root; TWOT 2360; GK 8817; 172 occurrences; AV translates as “worship” 99 times, “bow” 31 times, “bow down” 18 times, “obeisance” nine times, “reverence” five times, “fall down” three times, “themselves” twice, “stoop” once, “crouch” once, and translated miscellaneously three times. 1 to bow down. 1A (Qal) to bow down. 1B (Hiphil) to depress (fig). 1C (Hithpael). 1C1 to bow down, prostrate oneself. 1C1A before superior in homage. 1C1B before God in worship. 1C1C before false gods. 1C1D before angel.Strong, James. Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 1995 : n. pag. Print.

Exodus 4:31 (ISV): The people believed and understood that the Lord had paid attention to the Israelis and had seen their affliction. They bowed their heads and prostrated themselves in worship.

Exodus 4:31 And the people believed: and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.  (KJV)    (worshipped – H7812 שָׁחָה [shachah /shaw·khaw/] v. Strong, James. Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 1995 : n. pag. Print.)

Exodus 20:3–6 (ISV): You are to have no other gods besides me. “You are not to make for yourselves an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above, or on earth below, or in the water under the earth. You are not to bow down to them in worship or serve them; because I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the iniquity of the parents, to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing gracious love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments –

Exodus 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God (KJV)

Exodus 20:5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them. For I the LORD your God am an impassioned God, visiting the guilt of the parents upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generations of those who reject Me, (Jewish Publication Society. Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1985. Print) (not bow down, opposite of) – H7812 שָׁחָה [shachah /shaw·khaw/] v. A primitive root; (see above) (nor serve – H5647 עָבַד [ʿabad /aw·bad/] v. Strong, James. Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 1995 : n. pag. Print.

H5647 עָבַד [ʿabad /aw·bad/] v. A primitive root; TWOT 1553; GK 6268; 290 occurrences; AV translates as “serve” 227 times, “do” 15 times, “till” nine times, “servant” five times, “work” five times, “worshippers” five times, “service” four times, “dress” twice, “labour” twice, “ear” twice, and translated miscellaneously 14 times. 1 to work, serve. 1A (Qal). 1A1 to labour, work, do work. 1A2 to work for another, serve another by labour. 1A3 to serve as subjects. 1A4 to serve (God). 1A5 to serve (with Levitical service). 1B (Niphal). 1B1 to be worked, be tilled (of land). 1B2 to make oneself a servant. 1C (Pual) to be worked. 1D (Hiphil). 1D1 to compel to labour or work, cause to labour, cause to serve. 1D2 to cause to serve as subjects. 1E (Hophal) to be led or enticed to serve.)

Joshua 5:13–15 (ISV): Now it happened that while Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and much to his amazement, he saw a man standing in front of him, holding a drawn sword in his hand! Joshua approached him and asked him, “Are you one of us, or are you with our enemies?” “Neither,” he answered. “I have come as commander of the Lord’s Army.” Joshua immediately fell on his face to the earth and worshipped, saying to him, “Lord, what do you have for your servant by way of command?” The commander of the Lord’s Army replied to Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, because the place where you’re standing is holy.” So Joshua did so.

Joshua 5:13–15 : 13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? 14 And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? 15 And the captain of the LORD’s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.  (KJV)  (7812 שָׁחָה [shachah /shaw·khaw/] v. Strong, James. Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 1995 : n. pag. Print.)

(Genesis 17:3 reference for “fell” in Joshua 5:14)

H5307 נָפַל [naphal /naw·fal/] v. A primitive root; TWOT 1392; GK 5877; 434 occurrences; AV translates as “fail” 318 times, “fall down” 25 times, “cast” 18 times, “cast down” nine times, “fall away” five times, “divide” five times, “overthrow” five times, “present” five times, “lay” three times, “rot” three times, “accepted” twice, “lie down” twice, “inferior” twice, “lighted” twice, “lost” twice, and translated miscellaneously 22 times. 1 to fall, lie, be cast down, fail. 1a (Qal). 1a1 to fall. 1a2 to fall (of violent death). 1a3 to fall prostrate, prostrate oneself before. 1a4 to fall upon, attack, desert, fall away to, go away to, fall into the hand of. 1a5 to fall short, fail, fall out, turn out, result. 1a6 to settle, waste away, be offered, be inferior to. 1a7 to lie, lie prostrate. 1b (Hiphil). 1b1 to cause to fall, fell, throw down, knock out, lay prostrate. 1b2 to overthrow. 1b3 to make the lot fall, assign by lot, apportion by lot. 1b4 to let drop, cause to fail (fig.). 1b5 to cause to fall. 1c (Hithpael). 1c1 to throw or prostrate oneself, throw oneself upon. 1c2 to lie prostrate, prostrate oneself. 1d (Pilel) to fall. (Worship – 7812 שָׁחָה [shachah /shaw·khaw/ -Strongs)

2 Samuel 12:20 (ISV): At this, David got up from the ground, washed, anointed himself, changed his clothes, and went into the Lord’s tent to worship. Then he went back to his palace where, at his request, they served him food and he ate.

2 Samuel 12:19-20 – 19 But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead. 20 Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat. (KJV)

(H7812 שָׁחָה [shachah /shaw·khaw/] v. Strong, James. Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 1995 : n. pag. Print.)

Psalm 30:9 (ISV): What profit is there in my death if I go down to the Pit?

Can dust worship you?

Can it proclaim your faithfulness?”

Psalm 30:9  What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit?

      Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth?  (KJV)

{Praise – 3034 יָדָה, יָדָה [yadah /yaw·daw/] v. (Strong, James. Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 1995 : n. pag. Print.)  }

Psalm 66:4 (ISV): The whole earth worships you. They sing praise to you. They sing praise to your name.

(7812 שָׁחָה [shachah /shaw·khaw/] v. Strong, James. Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 1995 : n. pag. Print.) [Note: KJV and ISV both use worship here]

Psalm 89:15–16 (ISV) 15 How happy are the people who can worship joyfully!  LORD, they walk in the light of your presence.     16 In your name they rejoice all day long;      they exult in your justice. “worship joyfully” has a reference (who know the joyful shout)

Psalm 89:15–16 (KJV)              15       Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound:       They shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance.     16       In thy name shall they rejoice all the day:       And in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. Joyful Sound or shout:

H8643 תְּרוּעָה [târuwʿah /ter·oo·aw/] n f. From 7321; TWOT 2135b; GK 9558; 36 occurrences; AV translates as “shout” 11 times, “shouting” eight times, “alarm” six times, “sound” three times, “blowing” twice, “joy” twice, and translated miscellaneously four times. 1 alarm, signal, sound of tempest, shout, shout or blast of war or alarm or j oy. 1A alarm of war, war-cry, battle-cry. 1B blast (for march). 1C shout of joy (with religious impulse). 1D shout of joy (in general). Strong, James. Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 1995 : n. pag. Print.

Lev. 23:24. Num. 10:5, 6. & 23:21 in the Heb. So Ps. 98:6. See Ps. 27:6.  (KJV)

Leviticus 23:24 (ISV) 24 Tell the Israelis that on the first day of the seventh month you are to have a Sabbath of rest for you, a memorial announced by a loud blast of trumpets. It is to be a sacred assembly.

Leviticus 23:24 (KJV) 24 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation

Numbers 10:4–10 (KJV) 4 And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes, which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee. 5 When ye blow an alarm, then the camps that lie on the east parts shall go forward. 6 When ye blow an alarm the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall take their journey: they shall blow an alarm for their journeys. 7 But when the congregation is to be gathered together, ye shall blow, but ye shall not sound an alarm. 8 And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for an ordinance for ever throughout your generations. 9 And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies. 10 Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God

Numbers 23:21 (KJV)  21       He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob,      Neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel:      The LORD his God is with him,      And the shout of a king is among them. End of Psalm 89:15–16 reference.

Psalm 95:6 (ISV): Come! Let us worship and bow down; let us kneel in the presence of the Lord, who made us.

Isaiah 29:13–14 (ISV): Then the Lord said: “Because these people draw near with their mouths and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, worship of me has become merely like rules taught by human beings. Therefore, watch out!

Isaiah 29:13–14 (KJV):       13       Wherefore the Lord said,      Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth,       And with their lips do honour me,       But have removed their heart far from me,       And their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:       14       Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people,       Even a marvellous work and a wonder:      For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish,      And the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid

Fear: 3372 יָרֵא, יָרֵא [yareʾ /yaw·ray/] v. A primitive root; TWOT 907, 908; GK 3707 and 3708; 314 occurrences; AV translates as “fear” 188 times, “afraid” 78 times, “terrible” 23 times, “terrible thing” six times, “dreadful” five times, “reverence” three times, “fearful” twice, “terrible acts” once, and translated miscellaneously eight times. 1 to fear, revere, be afraid. 1A (Qal). 1A1 to fear, be afraid. 1A2 to stand in awe of, be awed. 1A3 to fear, reverence, honour, respect. 1B (Niphal). 1B1 to be fearful, be dreadful, be feared. 1B2 to cause astonishment and awe, be held in awe. 1B3 to inspire reverence or godly fear or awe. 1C (Piel) to make afraid, terrify. 2 (TWOT) to shoot, pour. (Strong, James)

Daniel 3:11 (ISV): Whoever does not fall down and worship is to be thrown into a blazing fire furnace.’

Matthew 2:11 (ISV): After they went into the house and saw the child with his mother Mary, they fell down and worshiped him.

Matthew 2:7–11 : star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Beth-lehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. 9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh (KJV) 

Worship – G4352 προσκυνέω [proskuneo /pros·koo·neh·o/] v. From 4314 and a probable derivative of 2965 (meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand); TDNT 6:758; TDNTA 948; GK 4686; 60 occurrences; AV translates as “worship” 60 times. 1 to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence. 2 among the Orientals, esp. the Persians, to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence. 3 in the NT by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication. 3A used of homage shown to men and beings of superior rank. 3A1 to the Jewish high priests. 3A2 to God. 3A3 to Christ. 3A4 to heavenly beings. 3A5 to demons.  (Strong, James. Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 1995 : n. pag. Print.)

Mark 7:6–7 (ISV): He told them, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites. As it is written, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is worthless, because they teach human rules as doctrines.’

Mark 7:6–7 : 6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.  (KJV)

G4576 σέβω [sebomai /seb·om·ahee/] v. Middle voice of an apparently primary verb; TDNT 7:169; TDNTA 1010; GK 4936; 10 occurrences; AV translates as “worship” six times, “devout” three times, and “religious” once. 1 to revere, to worship. “Strong, James. Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 1995 : n. pag. Print. ”

John 4:21–24 (ISV): Jesus told her, “Believe me, dear lady, the hour is coming when you Samaritans will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You don’t know what you’re worshiping. We Jews know what we’re worshiping, because salvation comes from the Jews. Yet the time is coming, and is now here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. Indeed, the Father is looking for people like that to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

John 4:21–24 : 21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth (KJV) worship – προσκυνέω see Strong’s H4352.

John 4:21–24 : 21 λέγει αὐτῇ ὁ Ἰησοῦς· Πίστευέ μοι, γύναι, ὅτι ἔρχεται ὥρα ὅτε οὔτε ἐν τῷ ὄρει τούτῳ οὔτε ἐν Ἱεροσολύμοις προσκυνήσετε τῷ πατρί.  22 ὑμεῖς προσκυνεῖτε ὃ οὐκ οἴδατε, ἡμεῖς προσκυνοῦμεν ὃ οἴδαμεν, ὅτι ἡ σωτηρία ἐκ τῶν Ἰουδαίων ἐστίν·  23 ἀλλὰ ἔρχεται ὥρα καὶ νῦν ἐστιν, ὅτε οἱ ἀληθινοὶ προσκυνηταὶ προσκυνήσουσιν τῷ πατρὶ ἐν πνεύματι καὶ ἀληθείᾳ, καὶ γὰρ ὁ πατὴρ τοιούτους ζητεῖ τοὺς προσκυνοῦντας αὐτόν·  24 πνεῦμα ὁ θεός, καὶ τοὺς προσκυνοῦντας αὐτὸν ἐν πνεύματι καὶ ἀληθείᾳ δεῖ προσκυνεῖν. Πνεύματι – spirit;   ἀληθείᾳ – truth (Holmes, Michael W. The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Lexham Press; Society of Biblical Literature, 2011–2013. Print.)

Worship – G4352 προσκυνέω [proskuneo /pros·koo·neh·o/] v. From 4314 and a probable derivative of 2965 (meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand); TDNT 6:758; TDNTA 948; GK 4686; 60 occurrences; AV translates as “worship” 60 times. 1 to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence. 2 among the Orientals, esp. the Persians, to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence. 3 in the NT by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication. 3A used of homage shown to men and beings of superior rank. 3A1 to the Jewish high priests. 3A2 to God. 3A3 to Christ. 3A4 to heavenly beings. 3A5 to demons  (Strong, James. Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 1995 : n. pag. Print.)

Acts 10:25–26 (ISV): When Peter was about to enter, Cornelius met him, bowed down at his feet, and began to worship him. But Peter made him get up, saying, “Stand up! I, too, am only a man.”

Acts 10:34–36 (ISV): Then Peter began to speak: “Now I understand that God shows no partiality. Indeed, whoever fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him in any nation. He has sent his word to the descendants of Israel and brought them the good news of peace through Jesus the Messiah. This man is the Lord of everyone.

Romans 9:4 – Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; (KJV)  service of God –

2999 λατρεία [ latreia /lat·ri·ah /] n f. From 3000; TDNT 4:58; TDNTA 503; GK 3301; Five occurrences; AV translates as “service” four times, and “divine service” once. 1 service rendered for hire. 1A any service or ministration: the service of God. 2 the service and worship of God according to the requirements of the Levitical law. 3 to perform sacred services. (Strong, James. Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 1995 : n. pag. Print.)

Romans 9:4 : who are Israelis. To them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the Law, the worship, and the promises.  (ISV)                                                                                                                                           

Romans 12:1–2 (ISV): I therefore urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercies, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices that are holy and pleasing to God, for this is the reasonable way for you to worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but continually be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you may be able to determine what God’s will is—what is proper, pleasing, and perfect.

Romans 12:1–2 : 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. {reference to 1 Peter 2:2 reasonable service and Romans 9:4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, }   (KJV)  {see also: John 16:2. ch. 12:1 Heb. 9:1, 6 in the Gk}

1 Peter 2:2  : 2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: {referenced from Romans 12:1-2 reasonable service}  (KJV)

1 Peter 2:2 (ISV) Like newborn babies, thirst for the pure milk of the word so that by it you may grow in your salvation.

1 Corinthians 14:22-33 : 22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. 23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? 24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: 25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. 27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. 28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. 29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. 30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. 31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.  (KJV)

1 Corinthians 14:22–40 (ISV) 22 Other languages, then, are meant to be a sign, not for believers, but for unbelievers, while prophecy is meant, not for unbelievers, but for believers. 23 Now if the whole church gathers in the same place and everyone is speaking in other languages, when uneducated people or unbelievers come in, they will say that you are out of your mind, won’t they? 24 But if everyone is prophesying, when an unbeliever or an uneducated person comes in he will be convicted and examined by everything that’s happening. 25 His secret, inner heart will become known, and so he will bow down to the ground and worship God, declaring, “God is truly among you!” … (ISV) 

What can be learned from the above samples of worship?

Worship in the Older Testament and the New Testament appear to me to be at least similar.   The following are some of my comments from the references on worship above.

Bowing before God is worship or an act of worship.  Worship appears to be an act of reverence, humbling oneself before our God.

Some ISV references uses worship instead of fear, fell, bow down or serve as the KJV does.

I noticed Joshua was allowed to bow down and worship.  This was the Lord!

The version of Isaiah, referenced by Mark 7:6-7, does not contain “worship” however, in KJV Mark 7:6-7 the word “worship” is used.

John 4:21–24 Many churches leave out the word “truth” and equate “spirit” with manifestations of the Holy Spirit when it comes to defining worship.  When was the last time you saw anyone prostrating themselves on the ground or floor as they worship? 

Romans 12:1–2 : The (ISV) reference to worship is more about how a Believer lives – offer his/her self as living sacrifice. The focus is not on self but service.  Here again, the KJV uses reasonable in 1 Pet. 2:2 and service in Romans 9:4 instead of worship.   The focus of 1 Peter 2:2 focus is reasonable service, that is, to progress not stay on milk as babies but as mature Believers becoming more Christ-like. 

A list of verses with worship, sing and praise: 2 Chronicles 29:30 and Psalms 66:4. One additional verse pops up when searching for worship and sing – 1 Tim 3:16 (singing by the angels).  Searching for “worship serve and truth”

Summarizing the Biblical use of the word worship.

The word worship in both the Older Testament and New Testament refers to bowing down or becoming prostrate.  Acknowledging who God is with reverence.  Worship also refers to service, action, growth, wisdom, renewing of the mind – becoming like Christ.   1 Corinthians 14:25, Romans 12:1–2.  I must conclude from the above references that worship is not equivalent to singing or praise; it is more than that with all focus on God the Father.  Is this meaning of worship found in current churches? 

Current general use of the word worship in the 21st century church follows.  Have 21st century churches taken the liberty to define worship how they want?  Refer to Mark 7:6–7 above.   Observation and experience of churches today, demonstrates there are known departures from God’s Word relating to worship.  More recently worship has become synonymous with singing accompanied with music.  In fact, churches I have visited recently go overboard to sing contemporary “Christian” songs accompanied by adaptive, mind altering music usually with special lighting!  I must regretfully admit that when I was a teenager, I also tried to encourage contemporary music into church. 

God’s Word provides guidelines and structure for what Believers are to do when gathered together.  For example, Apostle Paul provides Believers with a “church” or gathering model which most post-Reformation churches ignore. The reference is 1 Corinthians 14:22–40 (ISV).   There is an emphasis on God’s Word during a gathering, psalm, teaching, revelation. Christians have been conditioned (tradition) to want to assign the word worship to the singing time or maybe the entire service. A Christian gathering is for edification of Believers, discipleship – growing closer to Creator God in wisdom and understanding (through God’s Word and obeying Him).  Worship is currently quite misused and I fear does not live up to its meaning.

 I have learned that worship is acknowledging God as the only true Living God.  God is Holy which causes Believers who truly understand that attribute of God finds them “prostrate” before the Throne.  One day all will bow the knee to God.

Revelation 4:8-11 : And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. 9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, 10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.  (KJV)

Philippians 2:9–11 : 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (KJV)

How did worship take on its present-day form?

Tradition plays an Integral part in what takes place at a church gathering.  Like phone tag the original form is often quite different than the current form.  Nearly 2000 years has transpired and history gives a glimpse of the change.  The “church fathers”, the catholic church, the reformers and of course seminary each provided input and change.  I remember growing up in a United Brethren church with attendance numbers were captured.  I believe that at least since the 20th century denominational churches were becoming more focused on attendance numbers and offering amounts as time marched on.  I hate to say it but churches have become more like businesses than a place for Christian discipleship, an important 1st century purpose.  The current goal is to bring as many people into the church as possible.  In general terms it is not uncommon to draw attendees with any means possible – if it worked for church x maybe it will work for our church.  Observation shows that churches are finding that singing “contemporary music” with mind altering music has become a very popular draw for church attendance.

A few references of the history of worship, singing and praise follow.

History of the early church gathering


{Eph. 5:19), prayer (1 Cor. 11:4-5), vocal thanksgiving (Eph. 5:20; Heb. 13:15), and instruction (1 Cor. 14:26; Col. 3:16)}

Early church



 I found the following book in my LOGOS library.  I only read a few paragraphs and realized that the initial hypothesis of worship appears to be based on biased writings by at least the “church fathers” instead of God’s Word!

“Christian Worship, 5 Views” Ligon Duncan, Dan kimbaLL, michaeL Lawrence & mark Dever, timothy QuiLL, Dan wilt edited by J. MATTHEW PINSON

I find it interesting that assumptions are made not just in philosophy and science, for example, but even in Christian literature. The hypotheses and assumptions are mostly based on man’s bias and wisdom, as with the writings of the “church fathers”.   Too often in any research someone will reference another’s work thus giving it the appearance of authority.  After 2000 years using this method Christians remain confused today and sometimes believing “another Gospel”.  Much of this error comes from the pulpits, Bible scholars and theologians using faulty and error prone information that has undergone 2000 years of twisting and misunderstanding.  Worship is one of those terms that has been twisted for 2000 years.  Each Believer should rely on God’s Word.   Unless a Believer use the Bereans method of questioning and comparing what they read and hear with Scripture error will invade.

What about singing and praise?

What is the difference between praise and worship? – https://www.gotquestions.org/difference-praise-worship.html

I like some of what is stated in answer to the question.  I have a problem with the comment “Wise worship leaders know how to structure a worship service to allow participants to both praise and worship the Lord”. Often, services begin with joyous praise songs and transition to a quieter, more introspective opportunity for worship”.  This is typical of a 21st century church/ gathering however, being 100% truthful, isn’t the music really geared to psych up attendees and rev up emotions and feelings?  Is the music the main reason to bring more young people in?  I have actually heard this reason from the pulpit!  Is there special lighting involved? What comes next?  Is there a 15-20-minute presentation from someone set apart from the congregation?  Is the content based on God’s Word and represent Truth or some man’s idea? Do the congregants actually look forward to this presentation or put up with it? Does anyone really check the words and content of the songs or presentation with Scripture?   I believe a better question that each Believer, follower of Messiah Jesus, should honestly ask, is the song, music or feeling being worshipped instead of the awesome, Holy God?


Regarding worship

The word worship has been hijacked and abused such that the focus is not God and His nature.  I conclude that worship is not equivalent with singing/music or with praise.  Singing is not directly related to worship.  The Hebrew usage of worship refers to bowing down, becoming prostrate before God.  Worship is often associated with service and spiritual growth, for example Romans 12:1-2, 1 Peter 2:2, as above.     When Scripture includes the words bow down in conjunction with worship, I believe it to resemble saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty; honor and Glory.

The following Scriptures sums up my discovery.  1 Corinthians 14:25 –25 His secret, inner heart will become known, and so he will bow down to the ground and worship God, declaring, “God is truly among you!” … (ISV)    Philippians 2:11 … And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (KJV)

Regarding singing and praise

Psalty Kids Praise 1 track 5 “Seek Ye First” says singing is fun but singing does not make the songs come out it is praise to Jesus but we must first put Jesus first – seek first His Kingdom!  Ref: Psalty Kid Praise is s ministry of Ernie Retino and Debby Kerner Retino which started in the 70s.  Seeking, seek His Righteousness; seeking is an action and service and a reverence to God.  Seeking His Righteousness requires knowing God’s Word. Seeking is a continuous act; it does not just happen.

Every Believer in Messiah Jesus should constantly make sure that a song, singing, praising and music is not the focus no matter when or where.  As a teenager in the 60’s, I understood quite well the use of music to “set the mood”.  Now I see abuse and great danger in its use.  Churches of the 21st century cannot guarantee that each attendee is a Believer such that playing mind altering music can allow evil influence into a person’s life, a great danger.  A Believers in an altered state of mind can entertain wrong thoughts and influences.  Possibly even more dangerous is that a Believer can think he or she is in fellowship with God and the illusion that they are following His will – why else do they feel good during the music in a church?  The focus tends to be on self not God.

I found a very interesting link titled “Top 10 Things I Wish Worship Leaders Would Stop Saying“:

Full length version by Wretched.tv – https://www.wretched.org/top-10-things-wish-worship-leaders-stop-saying/

Short version by Wretched.tv – Alistair Begg: Top ten things I wish worship leaders would stop saying.

Additional Thoughts and Research

There is evidence that the “church fathers ” realized the effect of music in people and used it to their advantage – sounds familiar.

…it is evident that he who keeps the law honors God. So the worshipper of God is he whose life is regulated by the principles and teachings of the Divine Word.” Origen c .248 AD

Musical Thought in the Early Church Posted By Phillip Morgan on Feb 13, 2012 Refreshing reading



To Whom Praise Is Offered. The one Lord who is God over all is alone worthy of praise. Frequently the OT stresses that the praise due him is not to be offered to other gods or to idols of any kind (e.g., Is 42:8). There is a place for the commendation of men and women for their qualities of life and their right actions (Prv 31:28–31; 1 Pt 2:14). Ultimately, however, they should seek the praise and commendation of God (Rom 2:29), not the praise of their fellows (Mt 6:1–6; Jn 12:43), that others may be led to glorify God for whatever good is found in them (Mt 5:16). Frequently the Bible speaks of praising “the name” of God (e.g., Ps 149:3), meaning that he is to be praised for all that he is and has revealed himself to be. The often repeated word “Hallelujah” is simply the Hebrew equivalent of “Praise the Lord.”  (Elwell, Walter A., and Barry J. Beitzel. “Praise.” Baker encyclopedia of the Bible 1988 : 1744. Print.)


  What about sing and praise?

  Psalm 95:1–11 :       1       O come, let us sing unto the LORD:      Let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.      2       Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving,       And make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. 3       For the LORD is a great God,      And a great King above all gods.       4       In his hand are the deep places of the earth:       The strength of the hills is his also.      5       The sea is his, and he made it:       And his hands formed the dry land.       6       O come, let us worship and bow down:       Let us kneel before the LORD our maker. 7       For he is our God;      And we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.       To day if ye will hear his voice,      8       Harden not your heart, as in the provocation,      And as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:      9       When your fathers qtempted me,      Proved me, and saw my work. 10       Forty years long was I grieved with this generation,       And said, It is a people that do err in their heart,      And they have not known my ways:      11       Unto whom I sware in my wrath         That they should not enter into my rest  (KJV)


H7442 רוּן, רָנַן [ranan /raw·nan/] v. A primitive root; TWOT 2134, 2179; GK 8130 and 8264; 52 occurrences; AV translates as “sing” 20 times, “rejoice” 11 times, “sing aloud” four times, “shout” four times, “shout for joy” three times, “sing for joy” twice, “crieth” twice, “cry out” twice, “shout aloud” once, and translated miscellaneously three times. 1 to overcome. 1A (Hithpolel) to be overcome. 2 to cry out, shout for joy, give a ringing cry. 2A (Qal). 2A1 to give a ringing cry (in joy, exaltation, distress). 2A2 to cry aloud (in summons, exhortation of wisdom). 2B (Piel) to give a ringing cry (in joy, exultation, praise. 2C (Pual) ringing cry, singing out (passive). 2D (Hiphil) to cause to ring or sing out (for joy). 2E (Hithpolel) rejoicing (participle). (Strong, James. Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 1995 : n. pag. Print.)


H8426 תֹּודָה n f. From 3034; TWOT 847b; GK 9343; 32 occurrences; AV translates as “thanksgiving” 18 times, “praise” six times, “thanks” three times, “thank offerings” three times, and “confession” twice. 1 confession, praise, thanksgiving. 1A give praise to God. 1B thanksgiving in songs of liturgical worship, hymn of praise. 1C thanksgiving choir or procession or line or company. 1D thank-offering, sacrifice of thanksgiving. 1E confession  (Strong, James. Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 1995 : n. pag. Print.)


H7812 שָׁחָה [shachah /shaw·khaw /] v. A primitive root; TWOT 2360; GK 8817; 172 occurrences; AV translates as “worship” 99 times, “bow” 31 times, “bow down” 18 times, “obeisance” nine times, “reverence” five times, “fall down” three times, “themselves” twice, “stoop” once, “crouch” once, and translated miscellaneously three times. 1 to bow down. 1A (Qal) to bow down. 1B (Hiphil) to depress (fig). 1C (Hithpael). 1C1 to bow down, prostrate oneself. 1C1A before superior in homage. 1C1B before God in worship. 1C1C before false gods. 1C1D before angel.   (Strong, James. Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 1995 : n. pag. Print.)

Bow Down:

H3766 כָּרַע [karaʿ /kaw·rah/] v. A primitive root; TWOT 1044; GK 4156; 36 occurrences; AV translates as “bow” 14 times, “… down” 12 times, “fell” twice, “subdued” twice, “brought low” once, “couched” once, “feeble” once, “kneeling” once, and “very” once. 1 to bend, kneel, bow, bow down, sink down to one’s knees, kneel down to rest (of animals), kneel in reverence. 1A (Qal). 1A1 to bow. 1A2 to bow down, crouch. 1A3 to bow down over. 1A4 to tilt, lean. 1B (Hiphil) to cause to bow.  (Strong, James. Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 1995 : n. pag. Print.)


 Ps 95:1–11 Come! Let us sing joyfully to the Lord! Let us shout for joy to the rock of our salvation. Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us shout with songs of praise to him.… (ISV)

 Ps 117:1–2 Praise the Lord, all you nations! Exalt him, all you peoples! For great is his gracious love toward us, and the Lord’s faithfulness is eternal. Hallelujah! (ISV)

Psalms 117:1-    1       O praise the LORD, all ye nations:       Praise him, all ye people.                   2       For his merciful kindness is great toward us:             And the truth of the LORD endureth for ever.             Praise ye the LORD.  (KJV)

Praise v1

H7623 שָׁבַח, שָׁבַח [shabach /shaw·bakh/] v. A primitive root; TWOT 2312, 2313; GK 8655 and 8656; 11 occurrences; AV translates as “praise” five times, “still” twice, “keep it in” once, “glory” once, “triumph” once, and “commend” once. 1 to soothe, still, stroke. 1A (Piel) to soothe, still. 1B (Hiphil) stilling (participle). 2 to laud, praise, commend. 2A (Piel). 2A1 to laud, praise (God). 2A2 to commend, congratulate (the dead). 2B (Hithpael) to boast.

Praise v2:

H1984 הָלַל, הָלַל, הָלַל, הַלְלוּיָהּ [halal /haw·lal/] v. A primitive root; TWOT 499, 500; GK 2145 and 2146 and 2147 and 2149; 165 occurrences; AV translates as “praise” 117 times, “glory” 14 times, “boast” 10 times, “mad” eight times, “shine” three times, “foolish” three times, “fools” twice, “commended” twice, “rage” twice, “celebrate” once, “give” once, “marriage” once, and “renowned” once. 1 to shine. 1A (Qal) to shine (fig. of God’s favour). 1B (Hiphil) to flash forth light. 2 to praise, boast, be boastful. 2A (Qal). 2A1 to be boastful. 2A2 boastful ones, boasters (participle). 2B (Piel). 2B1 to praise. 2B2 to boast, make a boast. 2C (Pual). 2C1 to be praised, be made praiseworthy, be commended, be worthy of praise. 2D (Hithpael) to boast, glory, make one’s boast. 2E (Poel) to make a fool of, make into a fool. 2F (Hithpoel) to act madly, act like a madman  (Strong, James. Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 1995 : n. pag. Print.)


H2158  זָמִיר [zamiyr, zamir, zâmirah /zaw·meer /] n m. From 2167; TWOT 558b; GK 2369; Six occurrences; AV translates as “song” three times, “psalmist” twice, and “singing” once. 1 song, psalm  (Strong, James. Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 1995 : n. pag. Print.)

 Lk 2:13–14 καὶ ἐξαίφνης ἐγένετο σὺν τῷ ἀγγέλῳ πλῆθος στρατιᾶς οὐρανίου αἰνούντων τὸν θεὸν καὶ λεγόντων·  Δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις θεῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς εἰρήνη ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκίας.

Luke 2:13-14 

Praising (αἰνουντων)

 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,   14       Glory to God in the highest   And on earth peace   Good will toward men.  (KJV)  αἰνούντων  (praising)

13 καὶ ἐξαίφνης ἐγένετο σὺν τῷ ἀγγέλῳ πλῆθος στρατιᾶς οὐρανίου αἰνούντων τὸν θεὸν καὶ λεγόντων·  14 Δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις θεῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς εἰρήνη ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκίας. 

Praising: Luke 2:20 and Revelation 19:5

134 αἰνέω [aineo /ahee·neh·o/] v. From 136; TDNT 1:177; TDNTA 27; GK 140; Nine occurrences; AV translates as “praise” nine times. 1 to praise, extol, to sing praises in honour to God. 2 to allow, recommend. 3 to promise or vow. (Strong, James. Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 1995 : n. pag. Print.)


Matthew 15:31

1392 δοξάζω [doxazo /dox·ad·zo /] v. From 1391; TDNT 2:253; TDNTA 178; GK 1519; 62 occurrences; AV translates as “glorify” 54 times, “honour” three times, “have glory” twice, “magnify” once, “make glorious” once, and “full of glory” once. 1 to think, suppose, be of opinion. 2 to praise, extol, magnify, celebrate. 3 to honour, do honour to, hold in honour. 4 to make glorious, adorn with lustre, clothe with splendour. 4A to impart glory to something, render it excellent. 4B to make renowned, render illustrious. 4B1 to cause the dignity and worth of some person or thing to become manifest and acknowledged.  (Strong, James. Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 1995 : n. pag. Print.)

Revelation 19:5 :   G134 Praise

5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, qboth small and great (KJV)

Col 3:16–17 :

16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly bin all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.  (KJV)

 Col 3:16–17 : 16 ὁ λόγος τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐνοικείτω ἐν ὑμῖν πλουσίως ἐν πάσῃ σοφίᾳ· διδάσκοντες καὶ νουθετοῦντες ἑαυτοὺς ψαλμοῖς, ὕμνοις, ᾠδαῖς πνευματικαῖς ἐν χάριτι, ᾄδοντες ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν τῷ θεῷ·  17 καὶ πᾶν ὅ τι ἐὰν ποιῆτε ἐν λόγῳ ἢ ἐν ἔργῳ, πάντα ἐν ὀνόματι κυρίου Ἰησοῦ, εὐχαριστοῦντες τῷ θεῷ πατρὶ διʼ αὐτοῦ.    (Holmes, Michael W. The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Lexham Press; Society of Biblical Literature, 2011–2013. Print.)

Song spiritual


4152 πνευματικός [ pneumatikos /pnyoo·mat·ik·os /] adj. From 4151; TDNT 6:332; TDNTA 876; GK 4461; 26 occurrences; AV translates as “spiritual” 26 times. 1 relating to the human spirit, or rational soul, as part of the man which is akin to God and serves as his instrument or organ. 1A that which possesses the nature of the rational soul. 2 belonging to a spirit, or a being higher than man but inferior to God. 3 belonging to the Divine Spirit. 3A of God the Holy Spirit. 3B one who is filled with and governed by the Spirit of God. 4 pertaining to the wind or breath; windy, exposed to the wind, blowing. (Strong, James. Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 1995 : n. pag. Print.)


5603 ᾠδή [ode /o·day/] n f. From 103; TDNT 1:164; TDNTA 24; GK 6046; Seven occurrences; AV translates as “song” seven times. 1 a song, lay, ode. Additional Information: For synonyms see entries 5215, humnos; and 5568, psalmos.See entry 5876 for comparison of synonyms.  (Strong, James. Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 1995 : n. pag. Print.) [Note: notice the emphasis “word of Christ”  wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another – how? In psalms, hymns and spiritual songs

 Heb 13:15 διʼ αὐτοῦ οὖν ἀναφέρωμεν θυσίαν αἰνέσεως διὰ παντὸς τῷ θεῷ, τοῦτʼ ἔστιν καρπὸν χειλέων ὁμολογούντων τῷ ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ. 

 Heb 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.  (KJV)

133 αἴνεσις [ainesis /ah·ee·nes·is/] n f. From 134; GK 139; AV translates as “praise” once. 1 praise, a thank offering.  (Strong, James. Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 1995 : n. pag. Print.)

See Also

 Ps 51:15, Ps 89:5, Ps 103:20, Ps 149:1–3, Ps 150:1–6, Lk 19:37–38, Re 5:9–14, Re 19:5

Do the commentaries below stray from Scripture or agree with?

Colossians 3:16-17 (“singing”)

{Then the soul prospers when the word of God dwells in us richly, when we have abundance of it in us, and are full of the scriptures and of the grace of Christ. And this in all wisdom. The proper office of wisdom is to apply what we know to ourselves, for our own direction. The word of Christ must dwell in us, not in all notion and speculation, to make us doctors, but in all wisdom, to make us good Christians, and enable us to conduct ourselves in every thing as becomes Wisdom’s children. 4. To teach and admonish one another. This would contribute very much to our furtherance in all grace; for we sharpen ourselves by quickening others, and improve our knowledge by communicating it for their edification. We must admonish one another in psalms and hymns. Observe, Singing of psalms is a gospel ordinance: psalmois kai hymnois kai ōdais—the Psalms of David, and spiritual hymns and odes, collected out of the scripture, and suited to special occasions, instead of their lewd and profane songs in their idolatrous worship. Religious poesy seems countenanced by these expressions and is capable of great edification. But, when we sing psalms, we make no melody unless we sing with grace in our hearts, unless we are suitably affected with what we sing and go along in it with true devotion and understanding. Singing of psalms is a teaching ordinance as well as a praising ordinance; and we are not only to quicken and encourage ourselves, but to teach and admonish one another, mutually excite our affections, and convey instructions. 5. All must be done in the name of Christ (v. 17):  (Henry, Matthew. Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994. Print.)}

{3:16. The new life Christians must “put on” is one in which the Word of Christ dwells richly. Christ’s words were recorded by Spirit-guided apostles (cf. John 14:26; 16:13; 20:31). The words of the Bible, God’s written Word, are to dwell in believers. That is, by study, meditation, and application of the Word, it becomes a permanent abiding part of one’s life. When the words of Christ become part of a believer’s nature, they spring forth naturally and daily in psalms (songs from the Book of Psalms), hymns (other songs of praise), and spiritual songs (as opposed to secular odes) with gratitude (en tē chariti; lit., “in grace”). This can mean either (a) God’s grace, (b) graciousness in Christian singing, or (c) Christian thanks. As suggested by the NIV it probably has the third meaning. Such joyful singing is not only to please oneself or others but is to be praise to God. Through this Spirit-filled kind of life (cf. Eph. 5:18–19), Christians can teach (instruct) and admonish (“counsel”) one another (Col. 3:16; cf. “admonishing and teaching” in 1:28) if it is done with all wisdom (sophia; cf. 1:9; 2:3; 4:5) and not tactlessly (cf. Gal. 6:1).

3:17. Whatever one does (cf. v. 23)—for there is no sacred-secular split in God’s eyes; He is Sovereign over all—whether in word or deed (by lip or life) should all be done in the name of the Lord Jesus (i.e., for His glory; cf. 1 Cor. 10:31) and with a thankful spirit (cf. Phil. 4:6; 1 Thes. 5:18). Three times in three verses Paul mentioned thankfulness: “be thankful” (Col. 3:15) “sing … with gratitude” (v. 16), and give thanks to God the Father (v. 17).  (Geisler, Norman L. “Colossians.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 682–683. Print.)}

1 Corinthians 14:15–18 : 15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. 16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? 17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified. 18  (KJV)

After seeking Guidance from the Holy Spirit regarding worship, praise, singing I have come to the conclusion that what “churches” do during a post-Reformation church service does not appear to me as what God’s Word is saying.  Consider that even the singing within post-Reformation churches does not have the same focus or goal as the singing described in Colossians 3:16-17 

Praise. Honor, commendation, and worship (Elwell, Walter A., and Barry J. Beitzel. “Praise.” Baker encyclopedia of the Bible 1988 : 1744. Print.)

Psalms 96

Sing to God, declare His nature (who He is), ascribe to the Lord, worship the Lord.

(Ascribe – attribute, assign, credit, regard a quality as belonging to)

The difference found in Psalms 89:15-16 between KJV and ISV  is significant enough to not make a doctrine from one Bible translation.

Regarding the ISV New Testament reference notes with regard to worship point to the same as the KJV.   

 Too many church attendees seek an emotional high accomplished by adaptive singing and music – often a repetitive set of few words with music which stirs the emotions.

When I studied psychology in college, I remember hearing/reading about the effects of music on people.  It was an eye opener.  I have seen and personally felt the effects of music in real-life.  If Messiah Jesus is the intended focus of singing, praise and worship why do we seek an experience which actually puts the focus on self-distracting from that goal?

 I do not remember seeing anyone during a church service, during my lifetime, put themselves in a prostrate position which is associated with Biblical Worship! 

Greek and Hebrew words


H7812 שָׁחָה [shachah /shaw·khaw/] v. bow down (worship)

H7812 שָׁחָה [shachah /shaw·khaw/] v.

H3766 כָּרַע [karaʿ /kaw·rah/] v.

fell: H5307 נָפַל [naphal /naw·fal/] v

Serve: nor serve – H5647 עָבַד [ʿabad /aw·bad/] v.

Fear: H3372 יָרֵא, יָרֵא [yareʾ /yaw·ray/] v.

Praise: H7623 שָׁבַח, שָׁבַח [shabach /shaw·bakh/] v H1984 הָלַל, הָלַל, הָלַל, הַלְלוּיָהּ [halal /haw·lal/] v

Praising (αἰνουντων) 134 αἰνέω [aineo /ahee·neh·o/] v

Joyful Sound or shout: H8643 תְּרוּעָה [târuwʿah /ter·oo·aw/] n f. Sing/Sing/Song spiritual

Sing: H7442 רוּן, רָנַן [ranan /raw·nan/] v G4152 πνευματικός [pneumatikos /pnyoo·mat·ik·os/] adj.

Psalms: H2158 זָמִיר [zamiyr, zamir, zâmirah /zaw·meer/]

LOGOS Search Data

  • Worship – 681 results in 641 verses in 5 Bible resources
  • Worship – 192 results in 182 verses in KJV
  • Worship – 146 results in 139 verses in Tanakh (Old only)
  • Bow Down – 391 results in 185 verses in 5 Bible resources
  • Bow Down -120 results in 56 verses in KJV
  • Bow Down -101 results in 49 verses in Tanakh (Old only)
  • Worship and serve – 225 results in 100 verses in 5 Bible resources
  • Worship and serve – 59 results in 29 verses in KJV
  • Worship and serve – 34 results in 17 verses in Tanakh
  • worship and bow down – 160 results in 51 verses and 3 Bible resources
  •                                                 22 results in 7 verses in KJV
  •                                                 44 results in 14 verses in Tanakh (all related to idol worship exxcept one verse –                   
  •                                               2 Chronicles 20:18)
  • Worship and truth – 38 results in 14 verses and 4 Bible resources
  •                                                 15 results in 6 verses in KJV
  •                                                 0 results in Tanakh
  • worship and praise – 24  results in 10 verses and 4 Bible resources
  •                                                 7 results in 3 verses in KJV
  •                                                 2 results in 1 verse in Tanakh
  • worship, serve and bow down –  16 results in 4 verses and 2 Bible resources (Tanakh and ISV 2 each)
  •                                                 0 results in KJV
  •                                                 8 results in 2 verses in Tanakh (Negative (related to idols)
  • worship and sing – 12 results in 5 verses and 2 Bible resources
  •                                                 5 results in 2 verses in KJV
  •                                                 0 results in Tanakh
  • worship, sing and praise – 13 results in 3 verses and 2 Bible resources
  •                                                 4 results in 1 verse in KJV — 2 Chronicles 29:30
  •                                                 0 results in Tanakh

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