Idol - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words


[ 1,,G1497, eidolon ]
primarily a phantom or likeness" (from eidos, "an appearance," lit., "that which is seen"), or "an idea, fancy," denotes in the NT
(a) "an idol," an image to represent a false god, Acts 7:41; 1 Corinthians 12:2; Revelation 9:20;
(b) "the false god" worshipped in an image, Acts 15:20; Romans 2:22; 1 Corinthians 8:4, 1 Corinthians 8:7; 1 Corinthians 10:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; 1 John 5:21.

"The corresponding Heb. word denotes 'vanity,' Jeremiah 14:22; Jeremiah 18:15; 'thing of nought,' Leviticus 19:4, marg., cp. Ephesians 4:17. Hence what represented a deity to the Gentiles, was to Paul a 'vain thing,' Acts 14:15; 'nothing in the world,' 1 Corinthians 8:4; 1 Corinthians 10:19. Jeremiah calls the idol a 'scarecrow' ('pillar in a garden,' Jeremiah 10:5, marg.), and Isaiah, Isaiah 44:9-Isaiah 44:20, etc., and Habakkuk, Habakkuk 2:18-Habakkuk 2:19 and the Psalmist, Psalms 115:4-Psalms 115:8, etc., are all equally scathing. It is important to notice, however, that in each case the people of God are addressed. When he speaks to idolaters, Paul, knowing that no man is won by ridicule, adopts a different line, Acts 14:15-Acts 14:18; Acts 17:16, Acts 17:21-Acts 17:31."* [* From Notes on Thessalonians, pp. 44, 45 by Hogg and Vine.]

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words