Jesus defines latreuo as meaning to serve by quoting the Old Testament. Unitarians and Muslims narrow down the meaning of the term to mean worship only which is never specifically said to be given to Jesus in the NT

Unitarians and Muslims like to argue that Latreuo is a higher form of worship that only God receives and Jesus never receives. It may be true that it is never specifically stated of Jesus in the NT that he receives Latreuo but this does not prove that he is not entitled to it. If he is God then he is entitled to it. God as such is said to receive Latreuo in the NT and not just the Father.

It could be argued that we do see an instance of Latreuo being given to Jesus as the Lamb on the throne of God in Revelation chapter 22:

The River of Life

1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. 5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

Jesus is Coming

6 And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

Jesus quotes the Old Testament when he rebukes the devil who tempts him in the wilderness to worship him:

Matthew 4:

8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

If serving is a higher form of worship then why does Deuteronomy command all men to give both the higher and the lower form of worship to God? Surely God must be worthy of only the highest that we can give him? Would it not be an insult to him to give him the lowest form of worship in place of the highest? Jesus words don’t make sense if serving, latreuo, is just a higher form of worshipping than proskuneo. We would be witholding the highest to give God the lowest form of worship if we did not give him both kinds of worship. This is to dishonour God.

The word used for worship is proskuneo and the word for serve is latreuo. The texts that they come from in the OT are both in Deuteronomy:

6 v 12 Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. 13 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. 14 Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; 15 (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.

A Call to Obedience

(Joshua 24:14-28)

10 v 12 And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, 13 To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?

Moses was preaching to all the people of Israel commanding them to serve the Lord their God by keeping the commandments. He wasn’t speaking only to the priests or levites who serve in the temple of whom it could be argued that they may be said to worship God in a higher vocational sense. He was commanding all the people to serve God by keeping his commandments.

Jesus commands us to worship and serve God as two distinct activities, not as one higher and lower form of the same activity.

Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

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5 Responses to Jesus defines latreuo as meaning to serve by quoting the Old Testament. Unitarians and Muslims narrow down the meaning of the term to mean worship only which is never specifically said to be given to Jesus in the NT

  1. Anonymous says:

    Unitarians, Arians and JWs are consistent of what is mentioned by the Bible without altering or adding newly invention to it. Latreuo is never given to Jesus because Latreuo is religious service according to rites written in the Law of Prophets and with the fear in pure conscience, considering that God is consuming fire.

    In terms of the title of God, in the Bible we read the God is the Father, hence there is the word “God the Father”, but nobody ever finds such a thing like God the Son, or God the Lamb, or God the Christ, or Jesus Christ the God.
    Nowhere does the Bible mention God the Ghost.

    In other words, since Latreuo is given to God, and since Jesus is never called God or never receives Latreuo, hence Jesus is not God.

    Lk 2
    37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served (Latreuo) God with fastings and prayers night and day.
    Heb 12
    28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve (Latreuo) God acceptably with reverence and godly fear, 29 For our God is a consuming fire.
    Acts 24
    14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship (Latreuo) I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets:
    2Tim 1
    3 I thank God, whom I serve (Latreuo) from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;

  2. Anonymous says:

    additional comments
    In practical level, Why would the Trinitarians waste much time to prove divinity of Christ when they can’t give the same evidence with it to prove divinity of the Holy Ghost? There’s no such a thing as God of the Trinity if there’s no 3rd person.

  3. madmanna says:

    “Latreuo is never given to Jesus because Latreuo is religious service according to rites written in the Law of Prophets and with the fear in pure conscience, considering that God is consuming fire.”

    King James Bible
    And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

    Samuel, prophet, judge and priest of Israel, said:

    1 Samuel 12 v 14 If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God: 15But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers.

    Samuel is telling the common people to serve the Lord by obeying his commandments. Serving God is keeping ALL of his commandments and is not restricted to worship as the unitarians and muslims falsely claim because you are commanded to worship 5 times a day, which leaves little time for anything else. This is ok for jihadis who have nothing better to do than killing people but for others who have to work for a living it is not ideal.

  4. θ says:

    The absence of Latreuo given to Jesus – and preexistent Son – is a sufficient proof that Jesus is not God.

    Trinitarians can’t use a postulation of what Jesus did before he was known, or how Jesus was before he was known, because it is unproven or unrecorded.

    Miracles Jesus does are not different from what Prophets did, the title or veneration (Proskuneo) Jesus received from others is not different from what the Jewish king received, the future judgment Jesus shall do is not different from what angels did and shall do.

  5. madmanna says:

    John 14 v 21He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

    23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

    Keeping the commandments of God is latreuo. Jesus commanded his followers to obey him, this is latreuo. This is to serve God by keeping his commandments. Not just reverence or worship.

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