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Is there any biblical basis to support the view that God, through Michael the Archangel, commanded all the angels to worship Adam? Why would God ask the angels to worship a created human? Doesn’t the Bible say to worship God alone?

This question arises as a result of a recent question: What is an overview of explanations for why fallen angels are motivated to attack Christians? According to Protestantism, why are fallen angels motivated to attack Christians?

One answer quotes from a source which says: “Michael went out and called all the angels saying: 'Worship the image of God as the Lord God hath commanded.' And Michael himself worshipped first; then he called me and said: 'Worship the image of God the Lord.' And I answered, 'I have no (need) to worship Adam.' And since Michael kept urging me to worship, I said to him, 'Why dost thou urge me? I will not worship an inferior and younger being (than I). I am his senior in the Creation, before he was made was I already made. It is his duty to worship me.'” (1913 English translation of the Latin version of the Life of Adam and Eve chapters 12-16, section xiv)

Another source here: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/759-adam-book-of

When challenged by the Jewish scribes as to which was the most important commandment, Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’” (Mark 12:28-30) Jesus’ answer was based on the ‘Shema’ in Deuteronomy 6:4.

Yet God the creator commanded the created angels to worship a created human, Adam? I realise there are various apocryphal sources that support this view but what does the Bible say about giving worship to a created being?

For example, if it is unbiblical to worship a created being (whether an angel or a human), then why does Hebrews 1:6 quote from Psalm 97:7 and say that all God's angels are to worship Christ Jesus, the Son of God? Surely this must prove that Christ Jesus, the Son of God, was never a created angel?

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    Worship is not restricted to religious adoration; it generally means to bow down (for instance to a ruler, not necessarily a divinity). Since man is the image of God (Genesis 1:27), the Supreme Ruler, and since it was customarily for ancient kings to have images of themselves paraded through the cities and villages over which they ruled, and have their subjects bow to these as they would to their real-life flesh and blood equivalent, it is only reasonable that man should be shown the same respect, having the rest of creation worship him as its rightful ruler (Genesis 1:28). – Lucian Oct 23 at 6:37
  • Exodus 20:2-5: “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol... You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God...” – Lesley Oct 23 at 14:03
  • In the referenced text, were the angels instructed to worship Adam as god ? – Lucian Oct 23 at 23:15
  • Is the "referenced text" the article in the Jewish Encyclopedia about the Book of Adam? – Lesley Oct 24 at 7:18
  • I was referring to the apocryphal book itself, though encyclopedic articles about it can also be helpful. – Lucian Oct 24 at 10:22
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The source you are quoting is "The Life of Adam and Eve", which is a Jewish Apocryphal writing. This means that it is not accepted as authoritative by either Christians or Jews. There is widespread agreement that it was composed in the first century after Christ, and thus not in any way contemporary with Biblical creation accounts.

In actual biblical writings, and even in non-biblical widely-accepted writings, there is no indication that God commanded angels to worship Adam. Doing so would go against the will of God expressed in many places in the Bible that God himself is the only being worthy of worship. You quote some of the key passages in the question, but there are plenty of others, such as Luke 4:8.

The Christian response to this dilemma is simple - the account in The Life of Adam and Eve is incorrect. No Christian group that I am aware of treats it as anything other than a man-made fictional story.

  • Also, see revelation 22:8-9 for a related verse in which John attempts to worship an angel, and the angel instructs him. – L1R Oct 22 at 16:41
  • God himself is the only being worthy of worship - God is the only divinity worthy of worship; unless one is willing to argue that righteous biblical Jews repeatedly broke the Mosaic Law whenever they bowed down before a king (1 Kings 1:23) or prophet (2 Kings 2:15). – Lucian Oct 23 at 6:46
  • @Lucian There is a difference between "bowing down" and 'worshipping". – DJClayworth Oct 23 at 13:58
  • Exodus 20:2-5: “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol... You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God...” – Lesley Oct 23 at 14:03
  • @DJClayworth: Precisely. The same word can have more than one meaning. – Lucian Oct 23 at 23:18

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