Worship: What is it? Part I

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I wanted to find out, since I’m the “worship” co-ordinator for Alignment, our Young Adults Ministry. Let’s see…

Original English Definition (see here)

1) weorthscipe (n.), or worth (value) –ship (state of being)

In other words, it was used to describe a person of value, or worth (referring to someone as “your worship”) In the verb form (earliest recorded A.D. 1200), it means “to give worth to”, or to “ascribe worth” to.

Hmm… makes sense, but there’s no mention of music anywhere… interesting…

Biblical Meaning (see here and here)

Apparently the word “worship” is used as the English translation of more than a few Hebrew and Greek words. Here are the 2 main translations:

1) abodah (OT Hebrew) / latreia (n.) (NT Greek); or “to render service to God”
2) shachac (OT Hebrew) / proskyneo (v.) (NT Greek); or “to kiss forward”, “to bow”

There are several other translated words, such as eusebo (to act piously towards), sebomai (to hold in high devotion). Check out this article for more detailed information: Worship: An Analysis of the Various Greek Words

Okay, I can see why they used “worship” for a couple of them, but why not just use the more specific “service”, and “bow” for the main 2 translations? Those are 2 perfectly good, widely understood English words. Why weren’t they translated as such? And then why not use “worship” as translations for tehillah (to sing, to laud, to praise)? It’s also not used to refer to singing, clapping, dancing and all that. Again… very interesting…

That’s all for now… My next post will be about how the word “worship” is used in church history…

Meanwhile… What does worship mean to you? Leave a comment!

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~ by jonhyz on November 28, 2008.

10 Responses to “Worship: What is it? Part I”

  1. Hi all, welcome to my blog! Leave a comment: What does “worship” mean to you?

  2. jon, mind if i send this link to the worship team? “,

  3. sure thing! share this with anyone who you think will be interested =) it’s my ultimate aim that this won’t just be my site… in the future others can author the site as well.. so the more the merrier =)

  4. […] see, I see worship as a very very broad category, which can be defined many ways, as you can see here and here. However, I think that there is a special place for worship music because music in itself […]

  5. Yup… most people Worship music.

  6. […] we can’t change is how the word “worship” is used in the English translations of the Bible. Well, maybe we can, but not likely. Several writers (here’s one of them) have labelled the use […]

  7. […] already determined that the biblical definition of worship really doesn’t talk about music. Rather, it involves concepts of submission and service. Even […]

  8. […] touched briefly on this in the first post. What is clear is that that “Worship” underwent a significant change from the Old Testament to […]

  9. […] Part I – Definition of Worship in the OT & NT Part II – Definition of Worship in the Church Part III – Definitions by Experts on Worship Part IV – Why it’s our fault Worship is all messed up Part V – Differences between Individual and Corporate Worship Part VI – Defining Worship & the Worship Service (Meeting with Pastors) […]

  10. […] Part I – Definition of Worship in the OT & NT Part II – Definition of Worship in the Church Part III – Definitions by Experts on Worship Part IV – Why it’s our fault Worship is all messed up Part V – Differences between Individual and Corporate Worship […]

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