For usage information, please read the Baker Book House Copyright Statement. Worship: excessive admiration of or devotion to a person. The "rest" in God's presence on the Sabbath day typified the goal of redemption in Old Testament revelation: rest in Yahweh's presence in the land of covenant promise. Worship, in both the original Greek and Hebrew, convey the idea of: “to prostrate oneself, to bow down, to fall face down, to pay homage and to pay respect.”* In other words, worship is the highest form of honor and respect that we can show towards God. The root idea of bodily prostration is much less prominent than in the Old Testament. Worship in the Old Testament. (2) Praise, consisting of hymns composed by one or another of the brethren, or coming down from the earlier days of Christian, perhaps Jewish, history, like the Benedictus, the Magnificat, the Nunc dimittis, etc. Three of the festivals required pilgrimages of all Israelite males to appear before the Lord at the central sanctuary (Passover/Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, and Tabernacles Exod 23:17 ). n. 1. a. Only males from the tribe of Levi were permitted to hold priestly office ( Num 3:1-39 ). Mosaic Law legitimized and standardized the media or form and the institutions of Israelite worship of Yahweh. According to the pattern of ancient Hebrew thought, a human being is an indivisible totality or unity. 31) parallel the patriarchal worship experience. Biblical worship is the full-life response-head, heart, and hands- to who God is and what He has done. Psalm 145:18 ). Religious syncretism is a process of assimilation that incorporates elements of one religion into another. (3) Reading of the Scripture must have followed, according to the synagogue model. Psalm 45:1 ; 103:1-2 ). In each of the verses above the Hebrew word behind the English word "worship" is שחה (Sh.Hh.H, Strong's #7812) .This Hebrew word appears 172 times in the Biblical text, but is only translated as "worship" 99 times in the KJV. It is to render homage to men, angels, demons, the Devil, the "beast," idols, or to God. These "proper" psalms included Psalm 24 (day 1), Psalm 48 (day 2), Psalm 82 (day 3), Psalm 94 (day four), Psalm 81 (day 5), Psalm 93 (day 6), and Psalm 92 for the Sabbath. To do this, we must know God; we cannot be ignorant of Him (Acts 17:23). (2) Ceremonial acts and posture of reverence or of adoration, or symbolizing the seeking and receiving of the divine favor, as when the high priest returned from presenting incense offering in the holy place, and the people received his benediction with bowed heads, reverently standing (2 Chronicles 7:6), or the worshippers prostrated themselves as the priests sounded the silver trumpets at the conclusion of each section of the Levites' chant. 13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1, before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4, Middle English worþschipen, worschepen, worshippen "to hold in honor, esteem, show respect for, revere (a deity), conduct religious rites," derivative of wurðscip, worschip "honor, esteem, religious faith, rank, value" — more at worship entry 2, Middle English wurðscip, worschip "honor, esteem, renown, veneration, religious faith, a person's social standing, rank, value," going back to Old English weorþscipe, wurþscipe "honor, esteem, veneration, dignity," from weorþ, wyrþ, as noun "value" and as adjective "valuable, having status, deserving" + -scipe -ship — more at worth entry 1, worth entry 3. Rather, the patriarch or elder of the Hebrew family or clan officiated as the priest for that group ( Gen 35:2-5 ; Job 1:5 ). Otherwise the Hebrews would have been little better off than the rest of the nations the Rabshakeh of Assyria chided, "Has the god of any nation ever delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria?" worship meaning: 1. to have or show a strong feeling of respect and admiration for God or a god: 2. to go to a…. Yet truly defining worship proves more difficult because it is both an attitude and an act. In 2 Timothy 1:3 and many other cases both the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) give "serve," the meaning not being confined to worship; but compare Luke 2:37 Revised Version: "worshipping (the King James Version "served") with fastings and supplications." This God, Yahweh, merited the worship and devotion of the Hebrew people both for who he is and for what he does. The classical passages for Christian worship are John 4:23,24, culminating in (margin): "God is spirit: and they that worship him must worship in spirit and truth," and Philippians 3:3, "who worship by the Spirit of God." A Definition of Worship from the Bible. That would be the closest I am going to give to a definition, I suppose. ‘ancestor worship’ ‘The cult of spirits, shamanism, and ancestor worship compose the three major parts of traditional Hmong religion.’ ‘Few tasks in any society are as sacred as the disposal of the dead, and that is even more true in a society with traditions of ancestor worship and Confucian respect for parents.’ Happily, this same God is also the "Holy One among you" ( Hosea 11:9 ), a God who at once dwells "in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit" ( Isa 57:15 ). therapeuo, "serve," "heal," "tend" (Acts 17:25, King James Version: "neither is worshipped by men's hands"), is "served" in the Revised Version (British and American), perhaps properly, but its close connection with "temples made with hands" makes this questionable. Our attitudes and actions reflect that we believe the character and conduct of God to be worthy of praise and adoration. For the Hebrews during Old Testament times this religious syncretism usually involved the union of Mosiac Yahwism and Canaanite Baalism. worship definition: 1. to have or show a strong feeling of respect and admiration for God or a god: 2. to go to a…. The general public worship, especially as developed in the Temple services, consisted of: (1) Sacrificial acts, either on extraordinary occasions, as at the dedication of the Temple, etc., when the blood of the offerings flowed in lavish profusion (2 Chronicles 7:5), or in the regular morning and evening sacrifices, or on the great annual days, like the Day of Atonement. 23), the pilgrimage festivals ( Exod 23:14-17 ), incense offerings and libations ( Exod 30:7-9 ), penitential rites ( Lev 16:29 ), purification rites ( Lev 12:1-8 ), the tithe ( Lev 27:30-32 ), and artistic responses (e.g., music 2 Chron 5:11-14 ; dance, Psalm 30:11 ; and sign and symbol, Exod 28:6-30 ). Sadly, the biting sarcasm of these divine messengers, who decried images with plastered eyes that had to be nailed to shelves to prevent them from toppling over, fell on deaf ears — as deaf as those of the idols they had fashioned ( Isa 41:5-7 ). 966 b.c.) The Mosaic covenant enacted at Mount Sinai legislated the establishment of a formal Hebrew priesthood to serve God in worship. The New Testament idea of worship is a combination of the reverential attitude of mind and body, the general ceremonial and religious service of God, the feeling of awe, veneration, adoration; with the outward and ceremonial aspects approaching, but not reaching, the vanishing point. The Decalogue command to observe one day in seven as holy to the Lord established the connection between the Sabbath and original creation ( Exod 20:11 ). The study of the Old Testament worship is important for at least two reasons. threskeia (Colossians 2:18), "a voluntary humility and worshipping of the angels" (the American Revised Version margin "an act of reverence"), has the root idea of trembling or fear. 27-30). The three clans of levitical priests the Kohathites, Gershonites, and Merarites were responsible for transporting, dismantling, and erecting this "tent of meeting" (Num. Thus, it is the whole person, not just the immaterial essence of an individual, which blesses the holy name of the Lord in worship ( Psalm 103:1 ). Worship during the patriarchal period was either an expression of praise and thanksgiving prompted by a theophany (the visible or auditory manifestation of God to human beings) or the act of obedience to some divine directive (e.g., Abram "obeying" the command of God to sojourn in Canaan, Gen 12:4 ). The high priest supervised sacrificial worship in the sanctuary ( Lev 4:3-21 ), officiated over the Day of Atonement ceremony ( Lev 16:1-9 ), and handled the Urim and Thummin, peculiar objects carried in a pouch on the breastplate of the priestly vestments and used for determining the will of God in certain instances ( Num 27:21 ; Deut 33:8 ). 7-10). For example, the Canaanites practiced ritual prostitution and infant sacrifice under the guise of worship to gods like Molech and Baal ( Lev 18:6-30 ; 20:1-5 ), while Paul found little had changed in the practice of idolatrous worship in Greek Corinth of the first century a.d. ( 1 Cor 6:12-20 ; 10:14-22 ). As worship leaders God has written songs already on our hearts what we need is to be intimate with Him and listen to the Holy spirit in worship and we can allow Him to burst in song. reverenced the academy's code of honor venerate implies a holding as holy or sacrosanct because of character, association, or age. 1400-1100 b.c.) Its object is not ingratiation, which is unnecessary, nor propitiation, which has been made "once for all," nor in any way "serving" the God who `needeth not to be worshipped with men's hands' (Acts 17:25), but it is the loving attempt to pay our unpayable debt of love, the expression of devoted hearts, "render(ing) as bullocks the offering of our lips" (Hosea 14:2). The Synagogue and Early Christian Worship. Worship is not volunteering in children's church. In Isaiah 19:21 the Revised Version (British and American) has "worship with sacrifice and oblation" (the King James Version "do sacrifice"). The oldest testimony of a diaspora synagogue is an inscription dated to the reign of Ptolemy III Euergetes (247-221 b.c. Ironically, Jesus' teaching in the temple during his Passion week (including his forecast of the destruction of the temple) incited his rejection as Israel's messiah and sealed his fate for crucifixion as a religious imposter ( Mark 14:53-65 ) and enemy of the state ( Mark 15:1-15 ). ( Isa 36:18 ). How fully and splendidly this musical element of worship was developed among the Hebrews the Book of Ps gives witness, as well as the many notices in Chronicles (1Ch 15; 16; 25; 2Ch 5; 29; 30, etc.). Praise also might take the form of individual testimony, not in metrical form (1 Corinthians 14:16). Since it’s an internal, individual action, it could/should be done most of the time (or all the time) in our lives, regardless of place … Learn more. This covenant legislation enacted at Mount Sinai prohibited the Hebrews from attempting to represent Yahweh's likeness with an image ( Exod 20:3-4 ). worship synonyms, worship pronunciation, worship translation, English dictionary definition of worship. caghadh, "prostrate," occurring in Isaiah 44:15,17,19; 46:6, but rendered (English Versions of the Bible) "fall down." It seems Jewish Christians constituted themselves within local synagogue congregations for the first several decades of church history, until the Jew-Gentile issue split the two groups ( Acts 18:26 ; 19:8 ; 22:19 ; cf. revere, reverence, venerate, worship, adore mean to honor and admire profoundly and respectfully. Specifically, the purpose of the Passover animal sacrifice was didactic in that the enactment of the ritual of atonement was designed to instruct the Israelites in the principles of God's holiness and his unique role as Redeemer, human sinfulness, substitutionary death to cover human transgression, and the need for repentance leading to cleansing and renewed fellowship within the community and with Yahweh. In the New Testament Jesus took issue with those who mixed faith and materialism when he declared, "you cannot serve both God and Money" ( Matt 6:24 ); Paul continually battled those who preached a different gospel, one that perverted justification by faith in Christ by blending the teachings of Judaism and Christianity ( Gal 3:1-14 ). God merits worship because in his imminent presence he is able to answer those who call upon him and forgive their wrongdoings ( Psalm 99:8 ). The highest form of praise and worship is obedience to Him and His Word. Two key issues dominated theological discussion in the early decades of Christianity. The public worship was open, informal and missionary, as well as edificatory. 27-54), the temple as both a witness to God's sovereignty over all creation and as a token of Israelite covenant obedience (vv. However, new theological emphases surface in Solomon's prayer of dedication, including the temple as the embodiment of the fulfillment of divine promises regarding the Davidic covenant and perpetual dynastic kingship (vv. Synonyms: adulation, deification, hero worship… Find the right word. ), found at Schedia in Egypt. Biblically, every decision is an act of worship (Joshua 24:15-16). Additionally, this false piety is also lawlessness, in that it multiplies sacrifices while it tramples the poor ( Amos 5:11 Amos 5:21-24 ). No organized Hebrew priesthood functioned during the pre-Mosaic period of Israelite history. Answer: The meaning of the New Testament Greek word most often translated “worship” (proskuneo) is “to fall down before” or “bow down before.” Worship is a state (an attitude) of spirit. In the Apocrypha the usage is the same as in the New Testament, the verbs used being, in the order of their frequency, proskuneo, sebomai, threskeuo, and latreuo. Compare his missionary tactics of beginning his work at the synagogue, and his custom of observing as far as possible the Jewish feasts (Acts 20:16; 1 Corinthians 16:8). Then the "Lord's Supper" itself followed, according to the directions of the apostle (1 Corinthians 11:23-28). These great religious festivals and holy days corresponded to the major seasons of the agricultural cycle of the land of Palestine so that the Israelites might acknowledge Yahweh as their Provider and Sustainer. b. neokoros, "temple-sweepers," "temple-keeper" (Acts 19:35), has its true meaning in the Revised Version (British and American), but "worshipper" is needed to complete the idea, in our modern idiom. The speaking with tongues, however, comprised praise as well as prayer (1 Corinthians 14:16), and the whole subject is enshrouded in mystery. The instructions for the design and fabrication of the structure, as well as the directives for implementing the worship of Yahweh there, were part of the covenant legislation revealed by God to Moses at Mount Sinai (Exod. For some it is a weekly jaunt to church. Unfortunately, by the time of Jeremiah the prophet (ca. By way of worship in the early church, the Jewish Christianity of the first century a.d. facilitated the shift from the theocentric worship characteristic of Judaism to the Christocentric (and even Trinitarian) worship that is the hallmark of Christianity. Proud member Question: "What is the meaning of Christian worship?" See also Church, the; Israel; Tabernacle; Temple; Type, Typology. Similarities may also be identified in the functions of the ancient synagogue officers and the officers of the early Christian church. There is no mention of official ministrants, though the meeting seems to have been under some loose guidance. While worship can be done in public, its main directive is very different from praise. Worship is to glorify and exalt God—to show our loyalty and admiration to our Father. How far "Christian worship" was "Christian" in the sense of being directly addressed to Christ, is not easily answered. Of course, the transition from Judaism to Christianity posed real problems for many Jewish believers in Christ, as did the inclusion of Gentiles in the predominantly Jewish early church ( Acts 15:1-29 ; Gal 1:11-14 ). In the end, of course, these "stumbling blocks" of wood, stone, and precious metal overlay could not save Israel ( Isa 44:17 ). Send us feedback. All true worshipers must worship God in "spirit and in truth." Worship in the Old Testament In the Old Testament worship is portrayed as an act of homage and devotion to God. The Book of Acts indicates that the first church gathered daily for worship in the Jerusalem temple and in the homes of believers, devoting themselves to instruction in the apostles' doctrine, fellowship, prayer, and the Eucharist or Lord's Table ( 2:42-47 ). The angel of the Apocalypse would not permit the adoration of the seer (Revelation 22:9), but Jesus accepts the homage of Thomas, and in the Fourth Gospel declares it the duty of all to "honor the Son, even as they honor the Father" (John 5:23). The Hebrew word the patriarch uses is shachah meaning to bow down. Our word worship derives from the Old English weordhscipe meaning worthiness or meritoriousness and thus giving God the recognition He deserves. All that remained of the splendor of Solomon's temple was the memory. It appears the priests were trained for their duties during a five-year apprenticeship, from age twenty-five to age thirty ( Num 8:24-26 ). Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Hebrew religious consciousness and worship practice was largely shaped by the dramatic events of the exodus from Egypt. The rebuilding project commenced in 520 b.c. The divinely ordained covenant prescriptions for holiness in Hebrew life extended beyond the Sabbath to the entire calendar. First, the Old Testament Scriptures are part of the Christian canon, which means these documents are valuable for the Christian church as divinely inspired revelation of God and authoritative for the life of the church at least in theological principle, if not in literal teaching. Our notions of the worship of the early church must be constructed out of the scattered notices descriptive of different stages in the history, and different churches present different phases of development. The Mosaic period (ca. At times our worship is expressed through corporate singing, teaching, and giving. It always took place at certain times and places. By way of theological principle, the Jewish roots of early Christianity grounded the church of Jesus Christ solidly in the belief of the divine and supernatural origins of the Scriptures, and ordained an apostolic authority in the divine authority of the Old Testament. The Bible also warns of more insidious forms of false worship, namely, religious syncretism and religious hypocrisy. In Daniel 2:46; 3:5,6,7,10,15,18,28, it (Aramaic ceghidh) is "worship" (English Versions of the Bible), 7 times associated with "falling down" and 5 times with "serve." It is a pity that our actual knowledge of Hebrew music should be so limited. The prophet Elijah chided the people for attempting to "waver between two opinions" ( 1 Kings 18:21 ), and the subsequent contest on Mount Carmel between the prophet of God and the prophets of Baal demonstrated the superiority of Yahweh's religion. A second meaning of "worship" is also intuitive to us: worship as a public ritual, a ceremonial gathering. The exodus event and the covenant pact ratified at Mount Sinai also reshaped Hebrew understanding of time and reordered Hebrew life according to a new religious calendar. The second was the event of the Hebrew exodus from Egypt, God's redemption of Israel ( Psalms 77:13 Psalms 77:15 ) designed to prompt worship on the part of those who witnessed or later heard about Yahweh's dealings with the Egyptians ( Exod 18:10-12 ). Quite naturally the form and practice of Christian liturgy changed over time. Dawn, Keeping the Sabbath Wholly: Ceasing, Resting, Embracing, Feasting; W. Dyrness, Themes in Old Testament Theology; M. Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane; C. D. Erickson, Participating in Worship: History, Theory, and Practice; A. J. Heschel, The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man; A. E. Hill, Enter His Courts with Praise! "Entry for 'WORSHIP'". Hence, the activity of God in human history served as both a basis for Hebrew worship and justification of the worship of the particular God, Yahweh. The concept of spiritual patriarchs or elders in the synagogue congregation carried over into the early church as well. Often this expression of worship took the form of altar building ( Gen 33:20 ) and sometimes combined prayer ( Gen 26:25 ) or animal sacrifice ( Gen 31:54 ; 46:1 ). of Jeremiah indignantly condemned this misplaced trust in the temple as a talisman or fetish and predicted its eventual destruction (chaps. While the synonyms venerate and worship are close in meaning, venerate implies a holding as holy or sacrosanct because of … In detail, Old Testament worship was individual and private, though not necessarily secret, as with Eliezer (Genesis 24:26), the expression of personal gratitude for the success of a mission, or with Moses (Exodus 34:8), seeking God's favor in intercessory prayer; it was sometimes, again, though private, in closest association with others, perhaps with a family significance (Genesis 8:20, Noah; Ge 12:7; 22:5, Abraham: "I and the lad will go yonder; and .... worship"); it was in company with the "great congregation," perhaps partly an individual matter, but gaining blessing and force from the presence of others (Psalms 42:4: "I went with the throng .... keeping holyday"); and it was, as the national spirit developed, the expression of the national devotion (1 Chronicles 29:20: "And all the assembly .... worshipped Yahweh, and the king"). Worship Ancient and Modern. 627-580 b.c. We must not read into their mental content the fully developed Christology of later centuries, but it is hard to believe that those who had before them Thomas' adoring exclamation, "My Lord and my God!" Three clans or subdivisions of Levites are recognized in the Old Testament, taking their names from the three sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari (Num. But this is not enough. The sole exception was Abram's encounter with the priest-king of Salem, Melchizedek ( Gen 14:18-20 ). Third, and significantly given the explosion of spiritual gifts in some segments of the Christian church today, like the Jewish synagogue the early church was primarily a lay institution encouraging extensive lay participation in worship. In fact, when Paul instructed the church at Corinth on the subject of spiritual gifts and orderly worship he specifically mentioned the hymn, a lesson from Scripture, a word of revelation, and a tongue and its interpretation as a few of the elements comprising Christian worship ( 1 Cor 14:26 ). The intention here is simply to recognize the importance of synagogue worship for the form of worship in the early church and to garner an appreciation for the Jewish roots of the Christian tradition. Likewise, the covenant ceremony at Mount Sinai was the vehicle by which God established Israel as his "treasured possession" ( Exod 19:5 ). The public worship of God in the presence of His people is a necessity of the Christian life, but in spiritual Christianity the ceremonial and outward approaches, if it does not quite reach, the vanishing point. (7) The meeting closed with the benediction and with the "kiss of peace.". heroes still venerated worship implies homage usually expressed in words or ceremony. It was this intimate presence of a holy God that prompted heartfelt praise and worship ( Psalm 99:3 ) and the keen desire for holy living among the people of Israel ( Lev 19:2 ). One may always consult Webster's Dictionary for the precise meaning of worship (adore, idolize, esteem worthy, reverence, homage, etc.). Much like the Passover meal of the Old Covenant symbolized Israel's redemption in the exodus event, so the Eucharist or Lord's Table depicts Christian redemption because "Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed" ( 1 Cor 5:7 ). 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Translation of the people of God ( Eze 14:3-7 ) remained of the worshiper ( cf: true worship place... And power over all creation for the early church worshiping communities through the centuries of church history fashion, and! A process of assimilation that incorporates elements of one religion into another shift from Judaism to Jewish,... Meeting '' of today than our own formal church services profoundly and respectfully portray '' ) and.... One writer notes that: `` worship '' is once given `` worship. the mind... Sacrificial liturgy created being ( exodus 34:14 ; Isaiah 2:8 ) from to! Directions of the literature of Job confirms much of this, however, this worship obedience! A diaspora synagogue is an indivisible totality or unity Corinthians 11:23-28 ) we do 6:2 ; Luke ). Not have this specific reference. ) the tent itself was divided into two rooms or compartments by a.. 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