What have Jehovah’s Witnesses historically taught about whether Jesus should be worshipped?
Up to 1954 “YES” – Pastor C.T.Russell taught that Jesus was to be worshiped – Zion’s Watch Tower 1898 Jul 15 p.216
“Question. The fact that our Lord received worship is claimed by some to be an evidence that while on earth he was God the Father disguised in a body of flesh and not really a man. Was he really worshiped, or is the translation faulty?
Answer. Yes, we believe our Lord Jesus while on earth was really worshiped, and properly so. … It was proper for our Lord to receive worship in view of his having been the only begotten of the Father and his agent in the creation of all things, including man.”
Judge J.F.Rutherford also taught that Jesus was to be worshiped – Watchtower 1939 Nov 15 p.339.
“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).”
Nathan Knorr continued the policy of teaching that Jesus was to be worshiped by all – Watchtower 1945 Oct 15 p.313
“Since Jehovah God now reigns as King by means of his capital organization Zion, then whosoever would worship Him must also worship and bow down to Jehovah’s Chief One in that capital organization, namely, Christ Jesus, his Co-regent on the throne of The Theocracy.”
In 1945 Knorr amended the Watchtower Charter. Included within the new Charter is the statement that the purpose of the Watchtower Society is to promote the worship of Jehovah and Jesus. This charter is a legal document that continues to be the Watchtower Charter to this day.
From 1954 on, the answer to whether we should worship Jesus was “NO”
The Watchtower 1/1/1954 p.31 – Questions from readers: “Should we worship Jesus?”—G. B., Ethiopia.
…the answer to the above question must be that no distinct worship is to be rendered to Jesus Christ now glorified in heaven. Our worship is to go to Jehovah God.
Hebrews 1:6 [As published in New World Translation, 1961, p.1293]
6 But when he again brings his Firstborn into the inhabited earth, he says: “And let all God’s angels worship him.”
Hebrews 1:6 [as published in New World Translation, 1971, p.1293]
6 But when he again brings his Firstborn into the inhabited earth, he says: “And let all God’s angels do obeisance to him.”