Greek Pronunciation [AY doh lahn]
HCSB Translation: idol
Uses in the NT: 11
“Little children, keep yourselves from idols“
(1 John 5:21)
In the Greek OT, eidolon (idol) refers to the physical representation of a god (Ex. 20:4, Deut. 5:8). By extension, it points not only to that physical representation, but to the supposed existing god behind that form. The worship of these idols was evidence of that fact (Ex. 20:5, Num. 25:2, Deut. 5:9) and some were even understood to have demonic powers (Deut. 32:17). This usage provides the background for the NT use of eidolon. Paul regards idols as false gods, powerless compared to the true God (1 Th. 1:9). He acknowledges the existence of demonic powers behind idols but understands them to have no real power over the Christian, who knows that idols are but false gods (1 Cor. 8:4- 7; 10:19- 21). Christians are exhorted to abstain from association with idols and the false gods they represent (Act. 15:20; 1 Jn. 5:21), for there is only one God (1 Cor. 8:7).
Word Studies courtesy of the Holman Christian Standard Study Bible. Used with permissions from B&H Publishing Group, A Division of LifeWay Christian Resources.