To answer the title question effectively requires more than the citing of a few texts; we must first acknowledge that the way to the answer is more difficult than it first appears, bravely facing the possibility that the answer may be less straightforward than many would like.
The author raises some fascinating yet vexing questions: What is worship? Is the fact that worship is offered to God (or a god) what defines him (or her) as “G/god?” What does the act of worship actually involve? The conviction that God had exalted Jesus to his right hand obviously is central to Christian recognition of the divine status of Jesus. But what did that mean for the first Christians as they sought to reconcile God’s status and that of the human Jesus? Perhaps the worship of Jesus was not an alternative to worship of God but another way of worshipping God.
Yes, the questions are challenging but readers are ably guided in their quest for answers by James Dunn, one of the world’s top New Testament scholars.
“Any book by James Dunn is worth reading, and this is no exception. It is a challenging and thought-provoking book which raises central issues for Christian faith and practice.”
—Christopher Rowland, Dean Ireland Professor of the Exegesis of Holy Scripture, University of Oxford
“A ‘must-read.’ Dunn combines an appreciation for complex issues with clarity of argument in this riveting introduction to the role and function of Jesus in the worship of God during the first century.”
—Loren T. Stuckenbruck, Richard Dearborn Professor of New Testament Studies, Princeton Theological Seminary