Question: I am making a study of the subject of worship in the Bible. What tips can you give me to help me be successful?
The study of worship should be treated with the same reverence and diligence worship itself should receive.
There is a supremely important reason for this. A person’s doctrine or understanding of worship determines the true
quality of worship they are capable of. As we shall see it is wise to worship both in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24)
And it is impossible to do this without knowledge or a good understanding of what God demands in worship and what
is acceptable to Him.
Knowledge is an integral part of wisdom. Scripture teaches us that the fear (reverential respect) of the Lord
is the beginning of wisdom:
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”
But it also teaches the importance of knowledge to wisdom, and what could be wiser than to have a good understanding
of what we are about when it comes to giving praise and adoration to God? If we are to gain certain knowledge of the truth,
then we must follow certain or sure principles in studying to show ourselves approved unto God when we go to learn about worship.
Foundational to study for the purpose of gaining genuine knowledge is that we go at the endeavor with a submissive spirit.
We do not study to prove our preconceptions, we study to gain true understanding. We cannot do that if we lack the contriteness of spirit
that makes us teachable. So we do not search to prove what we think we already know, we study and submit to yield ourselves
acceptable unto God in our worship of Him.
Secondly, we do not lean on the understanding of men. While it is useful to read books men have written about the
subject of worship, when we are searching for good understanding, we need to remember we are reading things written by
fallible men, not material with the authority of Scripture. This is true no matter who has written the material or how much we
might think of him. They, like ourselves, are human. I have found that well known men who had wonderful things to say about
worship sometimes had glaring errors in their assertions concerning worship. Often this was based on misinterpretations of
important Scripture and sometimes it was merely based on the influences of their denominations upon them. But whatever the
reason for their error, which was sometimes nothing more than stretching to fill up the pages of a book, blindly buying into their
erroneous teaching could result in unacceptable worship of Almighty God.
Next we come to the question of what shall form the basis of our study of worship? Most would have a ready answer
for this question. They would say “Why the Holy Bible, of course, the Word of God is our source for the study of worship!”
To this I would ask, “Which Bible do you mean?” You see, there are over 400 different books out in the world that call themselves
the Holy Bible, and they do not all say the same thing. So the person who wishes to study worship must first determine which book
they will proclaim to be the Holy Bible and then use for their textbook. I will tell you which book I consider to be the Holy Bible,
why I consider it be so, and why it is superior for the study of worship above all others.
The book I consider to be a true Holy Bible is the King James Bible. I do not usually like to use the term “version” in
reference to it because most modern books called bibles are versions of each other, but the King James Bible is not a version
of those books. It is a version of some older Bibles such as the Coverdale Bible and the Tyndale Bible, but these, though still in
print, do not have popular usage. So effectively in popular usage you have the King James Bible and then you have all the other
books out there called bibles.
Why then do I use the King James Bible for the study of worship above all the others?
First of all the King James Bible is based on those Greek and Hebrew manuscripts accepted by the faithful church from the earliest
time. This fact alone makes it different from all the other popular books being sold today. There has been a great deal of
misrepresentation made about this matter, and not a little outright lying, but this is the fact of the situation.
Secondly, the King James Bible is the result of a process of translation called “formal equivalency.” In other words, the translators
tried as much as possible to convey the exact meaning of what was contained in original text as close as they could in a translation
to word for word. Other books are based on a method of translation called “dynamic equivalency” and I have taken some of their
material and gone back to the Greek texts they claim to have based their own translations on and often could not retranslate the
material and come up with what they put in the books they called bibles. This kind of product does not allow for a serious student to study anything.
Third, you cannot follow the subject of worship in modern “bibles.” I will give you an example of what I mean from the New King
James Bible (NKJV), which some of their promoters admitted was intended to be a transitional book from the King James to the
modern replacements of God’s Word. Take for instance the passage in Matthew 20:20 where it says "Then came to him the
mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping Him, and desiring a certain thing of Him." The NKJV has her
merely kneeling down. The Greek word translated worship in this verse is "proskuneo," which is the same word translated "worship"
in other passages referring to the worship of Jesus Christ. This change in the NKJV is unnecessary, it is wrong, and is a move toward
the undependable and weaker direction of the modern “bibles,” which frequently make such changes. The fact she is worshipping and
the Lord Jesus Christ is receiving worship is evidence to the fact He is God, because only God can be worshipped. Changing the word
denies the deity of Christ. Not only that, such “mistakes” in modern versions are intentional. There are two verses in the KJV that say
that someone "knelt before" Christ; Matthew 17:14 and Mark. 1:40. In both of these verses the Greek word "gonupeteo" is used.
It is impossible to mistake one word for the other, but in the modern “bibles” that type of thing occurs all the time. Therefore, if you
want to study worship you must use a King James Bible.
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