Did men “WORSHIP” the Lord Jesus Christ or just “BOW BEFORE” Him?
Matthew 20:20 KJB - “Then came to him the mother of Zebedees children with her sons, WORSHIPPING HIM, and desiring a certain thing of him.”
Also reading "WORSHIPPING HIM" are Tyndale 1524, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishops' bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, the Beza N.T. 1599, Whiston's N.T. 1745, Wesley's N.T. 1755, Sawyer N.T. 1858, the Revised Version 1881, the ASV 1901, the Worrell N.T. 1904, the Third Millennium Bible 1998, Jubilee Bible 2010.
Matthew 20:20 - NKJV (NIV, ESV, NET) - “Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Him with her sons, KNEELING DOWN and asking something from Him”
Holman Standard 2009 - “ Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons approached Him with her sons. She KNELT DOWN to ask Him for something.”
NASB - “Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to [a]Jesus with her sons, BOWING DOWN and making a request of Him.”
Catholic St. Joseph New American bible 1970 - "TO DO HIM HOMAGE"
Catholic New Jerusalem bible 1985 - "and BOWED LOW"
Jehovah Witness NWT - "DOING OBEISANCE"
Many modern versions continue to downgrade, lower, demean and degrade the blessed Second Person of the Trinity, the Lord Jesus Christ.
They often do this in subtle and some not so subtle ways. They do this either through following the wrong textual variants, or in the way they translate the same underlying Greek and Hebrew texts.
I will provide many more examples of how this is being done at the end of this article about WORSHIP.
One way the corrupt bible versions do this is by changing the wording of the 12 instances we find in the four gospels where men actually WORSHIPPED the Lord Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry.
In every instance, the underlying Greek word for “worship” is the same - proskuneo (προσκυνεω) The King James Bible always translates this word as “worship”.
Two times in the book of Revelation, the apostle John is overcome with wonder at the revelations the angel shows him of the coming events, and twice the apostle makes the mistake of worshipping the angel.
In Revelation 19:10 we read: “And I fell down at his feet to WORSHIP him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant…WORSHIP GOD.”
The same thing occurs again in Revelation 20:8-9 - “And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down TO WORSHIP before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: WORSHIP GOD.”
Yet when we read through the four gospels of men WORSHIPPING the Lord Jesus Christ, not one time does He say to any of them - No, don’t do that. You are only supposed to WORSHIP God.
The 12 times I have found in the gospels where men come to the Lord Jesus, and WORSHIP Him, it is usually done by monotheistic Jews. These were devout people who believed in the one true God of Israel. They were not multiple deities worshipping pagans.
One exception is a woman of Canaan in Matthew 15 who calls Him “Lord, thou son of David”.
Another possible exception is the man possessed with a Legion of devils, as recorded in Mark 5. This may in fact be the devils themselves who recognized Who this Jesus really was - God manifest in the flesh.
The 12 verses are Matthew 8:2 - “And, behold, there came a leper and WORSHIPPED him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.”
Matthew 9:18 - “…behold, there came a certain ruler (of the synagogue),and WORSHIPPED him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.”
Matthew 14:33 - “Then they that were in the ship came and WORSHIPPED him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.”
Matthew 15:25 - “Then came she and WORSHIPPED him, saying, Lord, help me.”
Matthew 20:20 - “Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, WORSHIPPING him, and desiring a certain thing of him.”
Matthew 28:9 - “And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and WORSHIPPED him.”
Matthew 28:17- “And when they (the apostles) saw him, they WORSHIPPED him: but some doubted.”
Mark 5:6-7 - the man with the legion of devils - “But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and WORSHIPPED him, And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I do to with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God?”
Luke 24:52 - After His resurrection and at the Ascension into heaven, it is written of the apostles - “And they WORSHIPPED him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.”
John 9:38 - the man born blind - “And he said, Lord, I believe. And he WORSHIPPED him.”
We see a very revealing footnote in the ASV 1901 at this point in John 9:38. The ASV has a footnote here referring to the word WORSHIP that actually says: “The Greek word denotes an act of reverence, whether paid to a creature (AS HERE) or the the Creator.” They come right out and tell you in their footnote that Jesus Christ is a mere creature, and not the Creator.
It is also of interest that the Catholic St. Joseph New American Bible 1970 has changed ALL 11 of the other passages that speak of men WORSHIPPING the Lord Jesus, and only here in the gospels retains the word.
It reads with brackets:  [“I do believe, Lord,” he said, and bowed down to worship him.* Then it footnotes - “This verse, omitted in important MSS, may be an addition from a baptismal liturgy.”
And what exactly are these “important manuscripts” that omit this verse? They are P 75 and Sinaiticus original and a minor uncial called W.
The entire verse is in the vast majority of all manuscripts, including Sinaiticus correction, Vaticanus, A, D, E, F, G, L, the Old Latin a, or, c, d, f, ff2,q, r1, the Syriac Peshitta, Herclean, Palestinian, the Coptic Sahidic, Boharic, Armenian, Ethiopic, Georgian and Slavonic ancient versions.
But this Catholic version implies that there is doubt about its authenticity.
Dan Wallace on John 9:38.
Even though he includes the verse in his NET version and even has the word “worship” in it, Notice his double speak, faith destroying footnote on John 9:38. He writes: “Assuming the authenticity of John 9:38-39, the man’s response after Jesus’ statement of v. 37 is extremely significant: He worshiped Jesus. In the Johannine context the word would connote its full sense: This was something due God alone. Note also that Jesus did not prevent the man from doing this. The verb προσκυνέω (proskunew) is used in John 4:20-25 of worshiping God, and again with the same sense in 12:20. This would be the only place in John’s Gospel where anyone is said to have worshiped Jesus using this term. As such, it forms the climax of the story of the man born blind, BUT the uniqueness of the concept of worshiping Jesus at this point in John's narrative (which reaches its ultimate climax in the confession of Thomas in John 20:28) MAY SUGGEST IT IS TOO EARLY FOR SUCH A RESPONSE AND IT REPRESENTS A LATER SCRIBAL ADDITION.”
So, “Doktor Dan” first tells us how important this verse it in showing the Godhead of the Lord Jesus, and then he tells us that it is probably “a later scribal addition.”
ALL 12 of these verses read that people came to Jesus Christ and WORSHIPPED Him, not only in the King James Bible, but also in the previous Revised Version of 1885 AND in the ASV (American Standard Version) of 1901.
Also reading "and WORSHIPPED him" all through the gospels are Tyndale 1525, The Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587 and the Beza New Testament 1599.
However what we see in the more modern versions like the ESV, NIV, NASB, NET, RSV, NRSV, Holman Standard, ISV and many others is a subtle change in meaning.
All three of these modern, popular versions (the ESV, NIV, NASB) change the translation of many if not all of these verses.
The ESV, NIV, NASB all correctly have the word WORSHIPPED in Matthew 14:33, 28:9 and 17, and in Luke 24:52 and in John 9:32.
BUT both the ESV and the NIV have changed Matthew 8:2; 9:18, 14:33, 15:25, 20:20 and Mark 5:6 so that now instead of saying that people WORSHIPPED the Lord Jesus, they both say in the same verses that people “KNELT BEFOR HIM”, while the NASB, in the exact same verses, has “BOWED BEFORE HIM.”
This means that 6 out of the 12 times Jesus is worshipped by men during His public ministry, these new versions have downgraded it to “bowed before him” or “knelt before him”.
And yet when we get to the Book of the Revelation all three of these modern versions have “WORSHIPPING DEMONS” (Revelation 9:20), “WORSHIPPED THE DRAGON, WORSHIPPED THE BEAST” (Revelation 13:4) and “WORSHIP the beast and its image” (Revelation 14:11) And it is always the exact same Greek word that is being translated.
You may ask, Well, what is wrong with this? What is wrong is that it detracts from and lowers the Person of God manifest in the flesh. The Bible itself teaches us that men can ‘BOW BEFORE” other men, but this act in itself does not carry the meaning that they recognize the other person as God.
“And Abraham stood up, AND BOWED HIMSELF to the people of the land, even to the children of Heth.” Genesis 23:7
“Then the handmaidens came near, they and their children, and THEY BOWED THEMSELVES. And Leah also with her children came near, AND BOWED THEMSELVES” (Jacob’s wives upon meeting Esau) Genesis 33:6-7
The sons of Israel upon meeting their brother Joseph in Egypt. “And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present…and BOWED THEMSELVES TO HIM to the earth…And THEY BOWED THEIR HEADS, AND MADE OBEISANCE.” Genesis 44:26-28
When Pharaoh made Joseph ruler over Egypt - “And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, BOW THE KNEE; and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.” Genesis 41:43
The Catholic Connection -
The previous Douay-Rheims of 1582 as well as the Douay Version of 1950 had ALL 12 times in the gospels as people coming to the Lord Jesus and WORSHIPPING Him.
But the St. Joseph NAB 1970 changed all of them but one, John 9:38, and then cast doubt on the legitimacy of the verse.
Instead of reading they "WORSHIPPED Him" they have phrases like “DID HIM HOMAGE” or “SHOWED HIM REVERENCE”. Yet once again, when we get to the book of Revelation they translate this same Greek words as “WORSHIP the dragon and the beast” and “WORSHIP DEMONS”.
The Jehovah Witness New World Translation is very similar. As we all know, they do not believe that Jesus Christ is GOD, the Creator, but teach that He is a mere creation.
Not one time does the Jehovah Witness NWT say that people “worshipped” Jesus Christ. Instead they always say “THEY DID HIM OBEISANCE”. This is just a sign of reverence, but not one of worship as God.
But when we get to the book of Revelation this same Jehovah Witness NWT says we are to WORSHIP God (Revelation 19:10; 22:9) and it has WORSHIP the dragon, the beast and WORSHIP DEMONS, just like the ESV, NIV, NASB and the modern Catholic versions. Just a “coincidence”, right?
The NKJV, a.k.a. the marijuana version, does better than most of the modern versions, but it also changed the one instance in Matthew 20:20 to now read: “Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Him with her sons, KNEELING DOWN and asking something from Him”
The King James Bible is always right. And it exalts our precious Lord Jesus Christ like no other Book on this earth.
For those who may be interested in seeing other ways the modern corrupt bible versions detract from and downgrade the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, here are some further examples for your consideration.
Many Modern Versions Degrade the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ
Matthew 27:24; Matthew 28:6; Luke 23:42; John 7:8-10; Matthew 5:22; Mark 9:24; Philippians 2:6-8; 1 Corinthians 10:9, 1 Corinthians 15:47; Micah 5:2; 1 Timothy 3:16 and "Worship" or "Kneel before"? Romans 14:10-12
Micah 5:2 Did Jesus Christ have “origins from ancient times” or are his “goings forth from everlasting”?
Daniel 9:26 KJB - "Messiah cut off, but NOT FOR HIMSELF"
ESV (NIV, NASB) - "an anointed one shall be cut off AND SHALL HAVE NOTHING."