It is well known that Jehovah's Witnesses exalt Jehovah as the only God. This is (correctly) supported by texts such as Deut 4:35, Isa 44:6, 45:5, 6 that declare Jehovah as the ONLY God; or besides me there is no God, etc. See also Deut 6:4.

Because Jehovah is God Almighty, only He is worthy of worship (Ex 20:3, 34:14, Deut 8:19, 2 Kings 17:35-38, etc).

However, JWs also say that Jesus is "a god" (John 1:1 NWT), and "my Lord and my God" (John 20:28), and "with us is God" (Matt 1:23 NWT), etc.

Further, their NWT also says that Jesus is worthy of obeisance and worship (Matt 28:17, Luke 24:52, John 9:38, Heb 1:6, Phil 2:10, etc.)

Does this mean that JWs actually worship two gods? That is, either Jesus is God or not. If Jesus is God and worthy of worship then they have two Gods. If Jesus is NOT worthy of worship then he is not a god and the Bible texts saying he is are wrong. So what is the JW position?

This question is made the more interesting by JWs' claim that Jesus is an angel on the one hand; but on the other obeisance is forbidden to angels in Rev 19:10, 22:8, 9. Further, the distinction JWs make between obeisance and worship (which both translate the same word) is not made in the NT.

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    Jehovah's Witnesses distinguish between obeisance and worship. Nowhere is worship to Jesus in the NWT. Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 22:59
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    Perhaps you would be interested to know that the Bible uses the term "gods" to refer also to the mighty judges of Israel: Psalm 82:1, 6; John 10:34, 35. There are people who are described as "gods" which are not to be worshiped, but they receive power and authority as representatives of the Almighty God.
    – user32540
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 23:40
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    The difference between obeisance and worship is a fine point not made by the NT especially in view of the incidents in Rev 19:10, 22:8 (same word obeisance).
    – user43409
    Commented Dec 21, 2018 at 0:43
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    I completely agree. But your question is on the JW beliefs. If you examine the NWT text you will find everytime the word is used related to Jesus it is translated as obeisance and when used to God it is rendered as worship. IOW there is only worship to God and obeisance to Jesus. Clearly this is interpretation not translation, but that is the answer to the "two god" issue. Commented Dec 21, 2018 at 1:16
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    OOPS - I just discovered that my copy of the NWT has since been updated at Heb 1:6 to change "worship" to "obeisance" - a rather transparent bias!
    – user43409
    Commented Dec 21, 2018 at 2:49

3 Answers 3


Do Jehovah's Witnesses worship Two Gods? Absolutely not! They worship only Jehovah God and they pray only to Jehovah God (in the name of Jesus Christ). That is because they see the pre-mortal Jesus as a created being who is lower than Jehovah God, his Father. Also, they say before Jesus came to earth to be born of a woman he was known as Michael the Archangel and since his spirit returned to heaven, is still known as Michael the Archangel (What Doe the Bible Really Teach, Appendix page 218).

Obviously, it would be utterly wrong for anybody to worship a created angel (Revelation 19:10). Jehovah’s Witnesses say Jehovah is God (the only God to be worshipped) and Jesus is “a god” (who must not be worshipped).

“Reverent adoration should be expressed only to God. To render worship to anyone or anything else would be a form of idolatry, which is condemned in both the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. Accordingly, true Christians do well to direct their worship only to Jehovah God, the Almighty." (8 April 2000 Awake pp 26-27)

The conclusion drawn is that when anyone worships Jesus, it is idolatry. This would be consistent with what the 1 November 1964 Watchtower (page 671) said:

“Jehovah's Witnesses say that it is unscriptural for worshipers of the living and true God to render worship to the Son of God, Jesus Christ."

However, it was not until 1 January 1954 that this view was first adopted (on page 31 of that Watchtower issue). The inconsistency is that from 1914 up until 1954, it had never been defined that worship of Jesus was idolatry. Here is one example:

“Jehovah God commands all to worship Christ Jesus because Christ Jesus is the express image of his Father, Jehovah, and because he is the Executive Officer of Jehovah always carrying out Jehovah's purpose (Heb.:3-6)." 15 November 1939 Watchtower (p 339)

The New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures was first published in 1950 (if follows the text of Westcot & Hort). The complete NWT was published in 1961 then revised in 1970 and 1984. Since then, another revision has been published, but I don’t have access to it. One thing is clear – at some point after 1954 the NWT replaced “worship” with “obeisance” every time it applies to Jesus, but every time the word applies to Jehovah God, they render it as worship. That is because they refuse to worship Jesus Christ.


The problem is that English doesn't have a particularly good word to describe the Greek anarthrous nominative predicate "theos" as a qualitative descriptor, as found in John 1:1 and 1 Timothy 3:16.

"A god" is grammatically acceptable, but "gody" would be more accurate as it's a qualitative descriptor, not a second God... but that sounds weird in english. "Divine" in john 1:1 and "divinity" in 1 tim 3:16 would be accurate to describe a simple heavenly nature, but people confuse "divinity (heavenliness)" with "being THE divine (God)."

So no. We do not worship two Gods. Jesus is neither a "true God" nor a "false God." He is beyond human, beyond his heavenly peers (hebrews 1:9)... but there is for us only one God, the Father (1 Corinthians 8:6) and it is him alone we should worship (rev 19:10 and 22:9). Christ is still our King, kurios, lord, messiah, savior and redeemer.

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    That is not quite correct - "theos" in John 1:1 is a noun not an adjective. The word in 1 Tim 3:16 ("eusebeias") is a quite different word and not germane. Lastly, if Jesus is not God, then why worship Him?
    – user43409
    Commented Dec 21, 2018 at 0:37
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    Correct, predicate nouns aren't adjectives. But English doesn't have a particularly accurate noun for the idea of being qualitatively "(indefinite) theos." I was referring to two words later in 1tim3:16 where the anarthrous nominative predicate "theos" was manifest. The NWT and NIV, among others say "he was manifest in the flesh" but the KJV translates it as "God manifest in the flesh" as though there were a definite article there as though the Father came to earth himself, rather than explaining that Jesus (as a heavenly being) manifest into flesh.
    – Rey Kabrom
    Commented Dec 21, 2018 at 1:40
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    It sounds as though you are attempting find things that do not exist. can you point to a definite example rather than a category statement like John 1:1. Secondly, the word for worship in Rev 22:9, 19:10 is the same word as in Matt 28:17. Can you point to the distinction you attempt to make between obeisance and worship?
    – user43409
    Commented Dec 21, 2018 at 2:38

Either Jesus is God or not.

I disagree. Words can have different meanings in different contexts. And those overlapping complex sets of meanings can differ between languages. This is one of the things that makes translation tricky. Consider “their god is their belly” in Philippians 3, and the fact that Psalm 82 refers to human judges as “gods” (the latter is referenced by Jesus in John 10). Even without diving into the details of Witness theology, it’s clear that there’s no necessary contradiction here. A god may be anything worshipped, whether or not it is divine or even exists, or any powerful being with authority, or a number of other things.

  • "Words can have different meanings in different contexts. And those overlapping complex sets of meanings can differ between languages". Good point. If people would always take "worship" to mean sacred service all the time, Is Jesus then promoting polytheism in Revelation 3:9? ASV Behold, I give of the synagogue of Satan, of them that say they are Jews, and they are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee Commented Dec 12, 2021 at 14:00

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