1Thessalonians 1:8 For the word of the Lord has sounded forth (3SRPI) from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth (3SRAI), so that we have (PAN) no need to say (PAN) anything. (NASB: Lockman)
Greek: aph' humon gar exechetai (3SRPI) o logos tou kuriou ou monon en te Makedonia kai [en te] Achaia, all' en panti topo e pistis humon e pros ton theon exeleluthen (3SRAI), hoste me chreian echein (PAN) hemas lalein (PAN) ti
Amplified: For not only has the Word concerning and from the Lord resounded forth from you unmistakably in Macedonia and Achaia, but everywhere the report has gone forth of your faith in God [of your leaning of your whole personality on Him in complete trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness]. So we [find that we] never need to tell people anything [further about it]. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere, even beyond Greece, for wherever we go we find people telling us about your faith in God. We don't need to tell them about it, (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: You have become a sort of sounding-board from which the Word of the Lord has rung out, not only in Macedonia and Achaia but everywhere where the story of your faith in God has become known. We find we don't have to tell people about it. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: For from you there has been caused to sound forth in a loud, unmistakable proclamation the word of the Lord, the echo of which still rolls on with a great sound; not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith which is directed toward God has gone forth, so that we are not under any necessity to be saying a thing, (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: for from you hath sounded forth the word of the Lord, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God did go forth, so that we have no need to say anything,
FOR THE WORD OF THE LORD HAS SOUNDED FORTH FROM YOU NOT ONLY IN MACEDONIA AND ACHAIA: aph humon gar exechetai (3SRPI) o logos tou kuriou en te Makedonia kai (en te) Achaia: (Is 2:3; 52:7; 66:19; Ro 10:14, 15, 16, 17, 18; 1Co 14:36; 2Th 3:1; Rev 14:6; 22:17)
For (1063) (gar) signifies an explanation (See discussion of value of observing and interrogating this term of explanation) of something previously stated. It is a good practice when you encounter a "for" at the beginning of a verse to ask "what is the author explaining?". What would Paul be explaining in present context? Clearly he is describing how the Thessalonians became "imitators" and "examples", the information that follows providing the details.
From you - These are the first words in the Greek sentence, which gives them an emphatic meaning.
As F F Bruce writes
What does the phrase "the Word of the Lord" (the Word of which the Lord is the Author) refer to in context? Clearly this is a reference to the Gospel. It can be understood both as that Word of which the Lord is the Author and as the Word with the Lord as the object (e.g., "the gospel of God" and the "gospel of Jesus Christ" are both the Word about God and about Jesus, Who are both the object or focus of the message). Remember that Thessalonica was on the Egnatian Way (Via Egnatia) which was
Thus Thessalonica was a great commercial and political center and as such would have functioned as a strategic point for disseminating the good news of salvation available to all who would believe.
The word of the Lord is a phrase found 243 times in the OT (Gen. 15:1, 4; Exod. 9:20f; Num. 3:16, 51; 15:31; 24:13; 36:5; Deut. 5:5; 34:5; Jos. 8:8, 27; 1 Sam. 3:1, 7, 21; 15:10, 23, 26; 2 Sam. 7:4; 12:9; 22:31; 24:11; 1 Ki. 2:27; 6:11; 12:24; 13:1f, 5, 9, 17f, 20f, 26, 32; 14:18; 15:29; 16:1, 7, 12, 34; 17:2, 5, 8, 16, 24; 18:1, 31; 19:9; 21:17, 28; 22:5, 19, 38; 2 Ki. 1:17; 3:12; 4:44; 7:1, 16; 9:26, 36; 10:10, 17; 14:25; 20:4, 16, 19; 23:16; 24:2; 1 Chr. 11:3, 10; 12:23; 15:15; 17:3; 22:8; 2 Chr. 11:2, 4; 12:7; 18:4, 18; 30:12; 34:21; 35:6; 36:21f; Ezr. 1:1; Ps. 18:30; 33:4, 6; 105:19; Isa. 1:10; 2:3; 28:13f; 38:4; 39:5, 8; 66:5; Jer. 1:2, 4, 11, 13; 2:1, 4, 31; 6:10; 7:2; 8:9; 9:20; 13:2f, 8; 14:1; 16:1; 17:15, 20; 18:5; 19:3; 20:8; 21:11; 22:2, 29; 23:17; 24:4; 25:3; 27:18; 28:12; 29:20, 30; 31:10; 32:6, 8, 26; 33:1, 19, 23; 34:4, 12; 35:12; 36:27; 37:6; 39:15; 42:7, 15; 43:8; 44:24, 26; 46:1; 47:1; 49:34; Ezek. 1:3; 3:16; 6:1, 3; 7:1; 11:14; 12:1, 8, 17, 21, 26; 13:1f; 14:2, 12; 15:1; 16:1, 35; 17:1, 11; 18:1; 20:2, 45, 47; 21:1, 8, 18; 22:1, 17, 23; 23:1; 24:1, 15, 20; 25:1, 3; 26:1; 27:1; 28:1, 11, 20; 29:1, 17; 30:1, 20; 31:1; 32:1, 17; 33:1, 23; 34:1, 7, 9; 35:1; 36:1, 4, 16; 37:4, 15; 38:1; Dan. 9:2; Hos. 1:1; 4:1; Joel 1:1; Amos 7:16; 8:12; Jon. 1:1; 3:1, 3; Mic. 1:1; 4:2; Zeph. 1:1; 2:5; Hag. 1:1, 3; 2:1, 10, 20; Zech. 1:1, 7; 4:6, 8; 6:9; 7:1, 4, 8; 8:1, 18; 9:1; 11:11; 12:1; Mal. 1:1) but only 13 times in the NT in ESV (Acts 8:25; 11:16; 13:44, 48, 49; 15:35, 36; 16:32; 19:10, 20; 1Th 1:8; 2Th 3:1; 1Pe 1:25), and in the latter occurrences is not always a reference to the gospel as it is in the present passage. Paul uses the phrase with a similar meaning (equivalent to the gospel) in the his second epistle writing to encourage the saints in Thessalonica to continue in prayers to God for them (Paul, Silvanus and Timothy)
In other words, as the word of the Lord (the gospel) spread and produced changed lives, this word would give a proper opinion of itself and its intrinsic, supernatural power to save dead men from the "guttermost" to the "uttermost"
Sounded forth (1837) (execheo from ex = out + echo = hold; in Lxx only in Joel 4:14) means literally to sound out (the verb is found in ancient secular Greek manuscripts describing the sound of a trumpet or the sound of rolling thunder), reverberating (continuing as if in a series of echoes) or bouncing off objects (in this case the hearts and minds of lost men and women) like an echo. The picture is that of clearly audible, unmistakable proclamation.
The Thessalonians became a sounding-board from which the gospel echoed across their world. The idea is, that the gospel was proclaimed like the sonorous voice of a trumpet echoing from place to place. Thessalonica was a great model of a genuine missionary church! They were a reproducing church! Their gospel message was like ripples in a pool, spreading out in ever widening circles - Macedonia (home base, their "Jerusalem" cf Acts 1:8)… Achaia (their "Judea and Samaria")… every place (their "uttermost part of the earth")! What a pattern to emulate.
I really like how William MacDonald phrases it…
Note that these saints at Thessalonica unlike the self-righteous Pharisees who "tooted their own horn", were trumpeting forth God's horn of Good News producing a clear, beautiful melody to those who had ears to hear!
Spurgeon - It is the vocation of faith to be a speaker. When the heart believes, the mouth follows suit and makes confession. Faith made Noah a preacher, and it caused it to be said of Abel, "He being dead yet speaketh" (see note Hebrews 11:4). A silent faith is a questionable grace. Faith first speaks to Christ and then for Christ. It hears his voice and then acts as an echo by repeating it.
Bible Knowledge Commentary has an interesting description of the Thessalonian saints noting that…
A similar metaphor is found in God's command to the prophet Isaiah to
John exiled to the isle of Patmos declares
The perfect tense indicates that their message began at a point in time in the past (their new birth) and continued effects were still reverberating. It had sounded, and still it sounds, reaching far and wide with its penetrating tones. It's sound in fact has reverberated down to our day in their written testimony in this divinely inspired epistle. Now that's reverberation! The perfect tense indicates the abiding effect of the blast; "the blast hangs on the air as the result of the trumpet having been blown." This is a good pattern for all believers to emulate being mindful that our Lord called us to be
The Thessalonian saints were not only "receivers" (the Word came to them, 1Th 1:5-note) but also were good "transmitters" as demonstrated in this verse. These ancient saints should challenge every modern believer and local church to be active, Spirit empowered receivers and transmitters of God’s Word!
The spread of the gospel from Thessalonica was the result of vital Christian living rather than aggressive missionary propaganda. Paul's picture is not that of an organized missionary campaign on the part of the Thessalonians aimed at spreading the gospel to the regions beyond. The amazing joy of the Thessalonian believers under affliction has amplified the message of the gospel, causing the reports to spread in all directions.
Warren Wiersbe has an powerful, convicting note writing that…
From you (aph humon) is the preposition apo meaning away from and clearly pictures the fact that they did not keep the good news to themselves but were fully obedient to the last words of Jesus' in Matthew (Mt 28:18, 19, 20) and Acts (Acts 1:8).
A T Robertson adds that from you pictures the Thessalonian saints
APPLICATION: Is the word sounding forth from you to the sphere of influence He has given you? Let these believers at Thessalonica challenge us all to let our "trumpet sound forth", echoing the good news of the resurrected Christ. We cannot imagine how far reaching the affects of such a "reverberating" witness might be to the glory of the Lord.
You are writing a Gospel,
Men read what you write,
Peters adds that…
BUT ALSO IN EVERY PLACE YOUR FAITH TOWARD GOD HAS GONE FORTH: all en panti topo e pistis humon e pros ton theon exeleluthen (3SRAI): (Ro 1:8; 2Th 1:4; 3Jn 1:12) (Ex 18:9; 2Co 3:4)
Your faith (4102) (pistis - see word study) (the faith of you) The repeated article ("the") in the original Greek makes it clear that their faith is now directed toward the true God and not toward the idols from which they had turned. The Thessalonian saints expressed their fidelity toward God, showing that they had a true belief in God and in the truth which He had revealed by their changed lives.
Toward (4314) is pros, the preposition of direction, indicating forward to, toward," or "facing," and indicates that their faith was directed toward and had as its object the God, the one true God whom they had come to know and serve, in contrast to their former idols. Their faith had experienced a change of direction, bringing them into a face‑to‑face relationship with the living God.
Gone forth (1831) (exerchomai) means literally to to go out with the use of the perfect tense (like "sounded forth" above) indicating that the "going forth" was a state of completion and was exerting a continuing effect. This pictures their faith like travelers having gone out in all directions.
SO THAT WE HAVE NO NEED TO SAY ANYTHING: hoste me chreian echein (PAN) hemas lalein (PAN) ti:
THEIR CHANGED LIFE WAS
So that - Always pause and ponder these terms of purpose or result (so that, in order that, that, as a result).
Say (2980) anything in context refers to there being no need for Paul, Silvanus and Timothy to say anything about the radically changed lives of the Thessalonians because the change was so obvious to all in this region. Father, by Your Spirit make this to be true of all local bodies in the universal body of Christ! Amen
Lord, speak to me, that I may speak
The effect of changed lives shining forth in a pagan culture was also addressed in the letter to the saints at Philippi, Paul exhorting them to
Believers today have no less of a charge to let their lives shine forth (cp Mt 5:16-note). How's your light shining - dim & difficult to see or convicting & clear? If we would win some we must be winsome.
Moody said "It is a great deal better to live a holy life than to talk about it. We are told to let our light shine, and if it does we won't need to tell anybody it does. The light will be its own witness. Lighthouses don't ring bells and fire cannons to call attention to their shining--they just shine."
Holy lives are just as persuasive as holy words. A good fisherman keeps himself out of sight. Let each of us strive according to His power to be holy as He is holy and all the more as we see the day of Christ's return drawing nigh.
I have found John Henry Jowett's words too true in my life when my light was "dim" = If we do not catch men we are in danger of losing even the desire to catch them… The joy of catching a soul is unspeakable. When we have got one soul we become possessed by the passion for souls. Get one and you will want a crowd.
Spurgeon minced no words when he asked "Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that… You do not love the Lord at all unless you love the souls of others… The soul-winner must first be a soul-lover… Winners of souls must first be weepers for souls.
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To Tell the Truth - When you think of the term evangelism, what picture flashes onto the wall of your mind? A large stadium filled with people? A small booklet with a set of diagrams? A Christian wearing a pin with the symbol of a fish? A zealous believer playing intellectual chess with a pagan opponent? A salesman convincing a reluctant person to "try Jesus"?
Evangelism is a 10-letter dirty word to some of us. While we think it's a dandy idea for others, we're sure it isn't for us. We're not cut out to sell, nor shrewd enough to play intellectual games with non-Christians.
Evangelism, though, isn't about being a huckster who cons people into buying what they don't need. It has nothing to do with grabbing people by the lapels and shoving on them a faith that goes no deeper than the shirt pocket. What a grim indictment resides in the remark, "You could identify the people she had witnessed to by their haggard look."
Evangelism is simply sharing with others what we know about Jesus. "We do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord" (2Corinthians 4:5). No tricks. No deception. Speak the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth—in love. Then leave the results with God.—Haddon W. Robinson (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
It's not our task to force God's truth
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LASTING IMPRESSIONS - When American financier John Pierpont Morgan died in 1913, his last will and testament revealed his genuine faith in Jesus Christ. He had prefaced his specific bequests with these significant words:
I love to tell the story,
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Dwight Moody regularly asked complete strangers about their spiritual life. One day he stopped a young man and asked, "Are you a Christian?"
"It is none of your business.
"Yes it is."
"Then you must be Dwight L. Moody.
What a splendid reputation to precede any Christian! What would others say of us if what we were best known for became public knowledge? If the letters of our life would form one word to describe us, what would it be? Better still, rather than describe ourselves, with what one word would others describe us? Evangelistic was the word that characterized Moody. What do we say, or do, that as quickly identifies us?
1Thessalonians 1:9 For they themselves report (3PPAI) about us what kind of a reception we had (1PAAI) with you and how you turned (2PAAI) to God from idols to serve (PAN) a living (PAPMSD) and true God, (NASB: Lockman)
Greek: autoi gar peri hemon apaggellousin (3PPAI) opoian eisodon eschomen (1PAAI) pros humas, kai pos epestrepsate (2PAAI) pros ton Theon apo ton eidolon douleuein (PAN) theo zonti (PAPMSD) kai alethino
Amplified: For they themselves volunteer testimony concerning us, telling what an entrance we had among you, and how you turned to God from [your] idols to serve a God Who is alive and true and genuine, (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
GWT: They talk about how you welcomed us when we arrived. They even report how you turned away from false gods to serve the real, living God
ICB: People everywhere are telling about the good way you accepted us when we were there with you. They tell about how you stopped worshiping idols and changed to serving the living and true God. (ICB: Nelson)
NJB: other people tell us how we started the work among you, how you broke with the worship of false gods when you were converted to God and became servants of the living and true God;
NLT: for they themselves keep talking about the wonderful welcome you gave us and how you turned away from idols to serve the true and living God. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: They tell us the story of our coming to you: how you turned from idols to serve the true living God (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: for they themselves keep on reporting concerning you what kind of an entrance we had as we came to you, and how you turned around to God from your idols for the purpose of serving a living and genuine God as His bondslaves (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: for they themselves concerning us do declare what entrance we had unto you, and how ye did turn unto God from the idols, to serve a living and true God
FOR THEY THEMSELVES REPORT ABOUT US WHAT KIND OF A RECEPTION WE HAD WITH YOU: autoi gar peri hemon apaggellousin (3PPAI) opoian eisodon eschomen (1PAAI) pros humas: (1Th 1:5,6; 2:1,13)
"They themselves" refers to the people of Macedonia and Achaia (and every place their faith had gone out) who had heard the news. The faith of the Thessalonians had become a topic of common knowledge.
Report (518) ("openly declare", "volunteer testimony", "give the news") (apaggello from apó = from + aggéllo = tell, declare) means to to provide otherwise unknown information by giving an account or report. Apaggello can also mean to make something known publicly and was used in secular Greek of a messenger bringing news. The present tense (continuous action) indicates that the reports were being received by the missionaries not as isolated instances but as repeated occurrences.
Reception (1529) (eisodos from eis = in + hodos = a way) is literally a way in or entering in and is used in the spatial sense to describe a way, entry (access), or approach to a place or building. As an action, eisodos can describe a coming in or entering. Eisodos also describes a reception given, an acceptance or a welcome extended to a person on the occasion of a visit.
Eisodos occurs 4 times in the NAS (Acts 13:24; 1Thess. 1:9; 2:1; Heb. 10:19; 2Pet. 1:11) and is translated coming, 1; enter, 1; entrance, 1; reception, 1.
Luke uses eisodos referring to Jesus' entrance into humanity as a man writing…
Paul uses eisodos in the next chapter writing…
The writer of Hebrews sums up his exhortation with the invitation…
The final use of eisodos is in reference to our entrance into glory, Peter writing…
Hiebert writes that
The phrase "with you" (pros = before and refers to a position near another location or object, often with the implication of facing toward) indicates Paul, et al, carried on their ministry to the Thessalonians face‑to‑face. They were open and above‑board in all their dealings with the new believers.
Clarke comments that this report shows the Thessalonians were walking
AND HOW YOU TURNED TO GOD FROM IDOLS: kai pos epestrepsate (2PAAI) pros ton theon apo ton eidolon: (Isa 2:17, 18, 19, 20, 21; Jer 16:19; Zeph 2:11; Zec 8:20, 21, 22, 23; Mal 1:11; Acts 14:15; Acts 26:17,18; 1Co 12:2; Gal 4:8,9)
New Jerusalem Bible paraphrases it "how you broke with the worship of false gods when you were converted to God."
A PICTURE OF REPENTANCE:
Turned from idols to the living and true God - It is interesting that in the OT one of the Hebrew words that conveys the abstract idea of idol is "awen" (Isa 66:3) which conveys the idea of emptiness, nothingness, as of breath or vapor! It is that which is vain or false (not true). In short, Paul's readers had repented, turning from belief in "nothing" to belief in the ultimate truth!
To God from idols - Note the order, as it is not "accidental". First = To God. Then = From idols. When our eyes of faith are opened to see the true and living God, the vain, dead so called gods are seen for the empty unsatisfying worthless created things they are. Do you have any worthless idols you are hiding in your heart? If you do then turn to God and confess them one by one so that by His grace and power you are enabled to turn away from them (to repent)?
You turned (1994) (epistrepho from epi = motion toward + strepho = turn) means to turn about, around or toward and then to convert, so that it frequently refers to a sinner’s conversion to God as in the current use. Epistrepho describes what the is elsewhere termed repentance (see Mt 3:1,2; 4:17; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 5:31; 20:21).
See related study on metanoia = repentance.
Epistrepho - 36 uses in NT - Mt. 10:13; 12:44; 13:15; 24:18; Mk. 4:12; 5:30; 8:33; 13:16; Lk. 1:16f; 2:39; 8:55; 17:4, 31; 22:32; Jn. 21:20; Acts 3:19; 9:35, 40; 11:21; 14:15; 15:19, 36; 16:18; 26:18, 20; 28:27; 2 Co. 3:16; Gal. 4:9; 1Th. 1:9; Jas. 5:19f; 1 Pet. 2:25; 2 Pet. 2:22; Rev. 1:12 (There are more than 400 uses of epistrepho in the Septuagint!)
See Harry Ironside's book - in Except Ye Repent by Harry A. Ironside Pdf format From Ironside's introduction…
Epistrepho describes a definite turn to God in thinking and conduct and is used with this evangelical meaning most often in Acts (Click here for all uses in Acts).
Turned is aorist tense pointing to a definite crisis experience and indicative mood indicates that such a change had truly taken place. The active voice indicates that the conversion was the consequence of a deliberate choice on their part and was not an act forced upon them. Their turning was voluntary. It was evidence of their faith and love mentioned in (1Thessalonians 1:3 see notes)..
MacDonald rightly observes…
Vine points out that
Charles Ryrie explains that…
From (575)(apo) is a preposition which means "from" or "away from," and often speaks of a break of a former relationship. Here apo clearly indicates that in turning to God they had turned their backs on those idols and had separated themselves from any further idol worship.
writes that based upon an analysis of the relevant Scriptures the following observations can be drawn regarding the idea of conversion…
Friberg's summary of eidolon - strictly form, copy, figure; hence (1) an object resembling a person or animal and worshiped as a god idol, image (Rev 9.20); (2) idol, false god, with reference to demonic power involved in idol worship (1Cor 10.19)
BDAG summary of eidolon - 1. cultic image/representation of an alleged transcendent being, image, representation 2. through metonymy the image and the deity or divinity alleged to be represented are freq. associated in such manner that the image factor is less significant than the component of unreality or spuriousness of what is represented (cp. Is 44:6-20; 46:1-7) fabricated/imaged deity, idol
Liddell-Scott on eidolon - an image, a phantom, Hom., Hdt. phantoms of dead men, Od.; of any unsubstantial form, II. an image in the mind, idea, Xen.:-also a fancy, Plat. III. an image, likeness, Hdt. IV. an image, idol, NT.
TDNT on eidolon - 1. (Classic Greek) This means “picture,” “copy.” It can be used for images of gods, but is not the usual term for cultic images (or human statues). When used for images, the idea is that of a reflection of the deity. The term can also denote shades or apparitions (beings in the underworld are only copies of people). Another sense is the image evoked by an object (which may be illusory). 2. The LXX uses the term in a derogatory sense for images of the gods, or idols. In this regard it is referring polemically to the deities themselves, which are empty, and which thus express the unreality of pagan belief. The main point is not that another god is worshipped but that this is an unreal god. The Greeks do not follow this usage, so that the LXX here coins a new expression out of a familiar term.
Eidolon is found 11 times in the NAS and always translated idol (4) or idols (7).
Eidolon - 70 times in the non-apocryphal Septuagint (Lxx)- Gen. 31:19, 34-35; Ex 20:4; Lev. 19:4; 26:30; Num. 25:2; 33:52; Deut. 5:8; 29:17; 32:21; 1 Sam. 31:9; 1 Ki. 11:2, 7f, 33; 2 Ki. 17:12; 21:11, 21; 23:24; 1Chr. 10:9; 16:26; 2Chr. 11:15; 14:5; 15:16; 17:3; 23:17; 24:18; 28:2; 33:22; 34:7; 35:19; Esther 4:17; Ps. 97:7; 115:4; 135:15; Isa. 1:29; 10:11; 27:9; 30:22; 37:19; 41:28; 48:5; 57:5; Jer. 9:14; 14:22; 16:19; Ezek. 6:4, 6, 13; 8:10; 16:16; 18:12; 23:39; 36:17, 25; 37:23; 44:12; Dan. 3:12, 18; 5:4, 23; 6:27; Hos. 4:17; 8:4; 13:2; 14:8; Mic. 1:7; Hab. 2:18; Zech. 13:2
NIDNTT has an excellent explanation of the background on eidolon which is necessary to understand the Greek use of this that…
In summary, the spiritual significance of eidolon is primarily derived from the use of this word in the Septuagint (LXX) where (as discussed above in the NIDNTT) eidolon is considered a derogatory term for images of the gods or pagan deities. The Septuagint uses of eidolon emphasize the fact that idols are the products of fantasy and are manufactured by human hands (e.g. Isa 44:12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17). The Old Testament writers considered that these so-called gods had no reality at all, but were simply pieces of wood or stone. They were not alternative gods, but rather unreal gods. The NT usage is based on the understanding of eidolon in the Septuagint.
Read Psalm 115:1-9-note for a vivid description of what it is like to worship an idol.
Arthur Wallis an English evangelical writer said that "An idol may be defined as any person or thing that has usurped in the heart the place of preeminence that belongs to the Lord."
In Scripture eidolon is an image or representation whether corporeal or imaginary or some other thing which resembles a person, animal, false god, etc. and which is an object of worship. In Colossians 3 Paul broadened the meaning an idol using the combination word eidololatreia (eidolon + latreia = render religious service) writing…
When people engage in either greed (literally = "desire to have more"), they follow their desires rather than God’s desires, in essence worshiping themselves, which amounts idolatry. Greed then in this context is any materialistic desire including lust that disregards the rights of others. As one writer has phrased it greed is "the arrogant and ruthless assumption that all other persons and things exist for one’s own benefit."
Louw and Nida - The technical distinction between an image and an idol is that an image may merely represent a supernatural being, while an idol not only represents such a being but is believed to possess certain inherent supernatural powers. Images often become idols when they are assumed to possess such powers in and of themselves rather than being mere representations of some supernatural entity. If, for example, various images of a particular supernatural being are supposed to have different healing powers, then what began merely as images or representations of a supernatural power have become idols, in that the different images themselves have acquired special efficacy. (Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains. United Bible societies)
Eidolon in a practical sense is anything, anyone, etc that takes priority over the True and Living God. Idols therefore are not just carved images but any objects which come between the soul and Christ, including things like money, pleasure, fame or material things. Many idolaters literally serve idols as in ancient Egypt where statues of gods were regularly and ritually clothed and fed!
In Lystra when the pagan Gentile idol worshipers began calling Barnabas, "Zeus" (the supreme Greek deity) and Paul "Hermes" (the messenger of the Greek gods), they countered by preaching the gospel and instructing them to
Because idolatry was inseparably connected with all phases of pagan life, a conversion that led to the rejection and renunciation of idols was indeed a revolutionary experience. There seemed to be a solid basis for the Jewish opponents' charge that the missionaries were men who "turned the world upside down" (Acts 17:6).
The first NT use of eidolon is to describe Israel's sin at Mt Sinai…
In Jerusalem at a council of the Jewish believers James declared that…
In Romans 2:22 (note) Paul addressed individuals (which in context appear to be Jews) as those "who abhor idols (eidolon)", the Jews having been taught, by the severe discipline of the 70 year Babylonian Captivity, to obey God’s decree against idolatry.
Writing to the Corinthians who lived a city alive (really "dead") with idol worship Paul explained…
Later in the same letter Paul explained further about idols asking
Paul was making the point that even though the physical images worshiped by idolaters are nothing but vanity, they do represent a dangerous reality. The idols and the things sacrificed to them have no spiritual nature or power in themselves (1Cor 8:4, 8), but they do represent demonic beings. In some mysterious way, idol worship is linked with demons and using the idols, the demons can exert control over the hearts and minds of those who worship them, thereby impressing them with the validity of their false religion, and binding them ever more securely in the spirit's grasp. We see this bondage to demonic spirits in many of the unreached people groups in the 10/40 window.
In 1Cor 12:2 Paul says that
In his second letter to the Corinthians Paul emphasizes that as believers we are to live a separated life asking…
John warns believers in his first epistle…
Marvin Vincent commenting on 1Corinthians 8:4 (see above) notes that…
It is notable that there are no occurrences of eidolon in the Gospels, which suggests that at that time idolatry among the Jews was not a major problem. But as soon as the apostolic preaching moved into the pagan world of the Gentiles we see the use of eidolon revived. As noted here in first Thessalonians turning to the "living and true God" was impossible without a turning away from idols and pagan worship. Their retention was a sign of lack of repentance as demonstrated in the final NT use of eidolon in the Revelation, which contains several statements concerning those who are barred from heaven. High on the list are those who worship man-made idols, John recording that…
Ray Stedman - "Modern America is surely one of the most idolatrous countries the world has ever seen. We are surrounded with idol worship. I once heard of a Chinese man who visited here and was asked upon his return to China whether Americans worshipped idols. "Yes, they do," he reported. "They have three of them. In the winter they worship a fat man in a red suit. In the spring they worship a rabbit. And in the fall they sacrifice a turkey!"
Pulpit Commentary - "The Thessalonian Church was mainly Gentile; there were a few Jews among them, but the Jews as a body bitterly persecuted the infant Church. The gospel was glad tidings indeed to thoughtful Gentiles. The Jews had great and precious truths, though their teachers had well-nigh hidden them under a mass of traditions and idle forms. But what was there in the heathenism of the day on which a thinking man could rest his soul? There were temples everywhere, but what man who felt the yearnings of the human soul for righteousness and God could in his heart reverence the deities who were worshipped there?"
Martin Luther warned of the danger of idolatry writing "We easily fall into idolatry, for we are inclined to it by nature; and coming to us by inheritance, it seems pleasant."
J Vernon McGee gives an excellent summary of this section writing that…
TO SERVE A LIVING AND TRUE GOD: douleuein (PAN) theo zonti (PAPMSD) kai alethino: (Dt 5:26; 1Sa 17:26,36; Ps 42:2; 84:2; Isa 37:4,17; Jer 10:10; Da 6:26; Hos 1:10; Ro 9:26; 2Co 6:16,17; 1Ti 4:10; Heb 12:22; Rev 17:2) (See Torrey's topics Conversion; Idolatry; Repentance)
To serve (1398) (douleuo [word study] from doulos = bondservant in turn from deo = to bind so one who is bound to another) means to be a slave to God and to act accordingly. The present infinitive denotes that it was a life of continual, complete, and wholehearted service to God. The Thessalonians had completely yielded their wills to continuously (present tense) carry out the will of their heavenly Master. A doulos conveys the idea of one closely bound with his master, belonging to him, obligated and desirous to do his will, in a permanent relation of servitude and having his will be altogether consumed by the will of the master. Doulos and douleuo emphasize that one is no longer their own but that they have been bought at great price and therefore willingly commit to serve their master whom they love and respect.
Someone has observed that men have free will and thus the freedom to choose who their master will be, but they do not have the freedom to choose no master. We will serve either "God or mammon" and Jesus made it abundantly clear that we can only serve one master…
Calvin - Only the man who has learned to put himself wholly in subjection to God is truly converted to Him.
Hiebert - To be the Lord's "bondsman" is perfectly consistent with true Christian liberty. Man's freedom consists in his liberty to choose his master, not to be without a master. As he voluntarily yields himself to Gods service, the believer finds the power and the desire to do what is right thereby experiencing true liberty. (Hiebert, D. Edmond: 1 & 2 Thessalonians)
Moulton and Milligan point out that the verb douleuo was apparently never used in a religious sense in pagan literature. Paul's beautiful picture of the Thessalonians serving a living and true God by a life of voluntary obedience to His will was quite beyond pagan conception.
Denney - No Greek or Roman could take in the idea of "serving" a God… There was no room for it in his religion; his conception of the gods did not admit of it. if life was to be a moral service rendered to God, it must be to a God quite different from any to whom he was introduced by his ancestral worship.,"
True (228) (alethinos from alethes = true, one who cannot lie) is an adjective which pertains to being in accordance with historical fact - genuine, real, true, valid, trustworthy (worthy of confidence, dependable).
Alethinos describes that which has not only the name and resemblance, but the real nature corresponding to the name, in every respect corresponding to the idea signified by the name -- thus genuine not spurious, fictitious, counterfeit, imaginary, simulated or pretended.
In describing God as "True God" Paul is saying that He is a genuine, truthful (and thus trustworthy) God, as opposed to the counterfeit gods of idolatry that have no objective existence nor divine truth. Paul is emphasizing the monotheistic character of the Deity the Thessalonians now served which sharply distinguished them from the pagan so-called gods.
True God - This phrase is also found in 2Chr. 15:3 (Lxx = alethinos); Jer 10:10; Jn. 17:3; 1Th 1:9; 1Jn. 5:20. Beloved, aren't we glad we worship and serve the One Who Alone can truly be called the "True God!" Praise Him today for revealing His truth to our blind, spiritually darkened hearts in Jesus Who is the Truth (Jn 14:6, cp 2Cor 4:6, Acts 26:18).
John frequently combines alethinos and "faithful" (pistos) in the Revelation (Rev 3:14-note, Rev 19:11-note, Rev 21:5-note, Rev 22:6-note). There is one passage by Luke in which he uses both words but not in a coupled phrase as in the uses in the Revelation. What is the Spirit of Truth (!) saying to us in this last book of the Holy Bible? God is trustworthy and He corresponds in His essence to that which is real and genuine. Why do we so often not trust our God Who gives us such a soul encouraging description of Himself? Notice that when He returns to defeat the enemies of God in Revelation 19, the Lord Jesus Christ's actual name is "Faithful and Truth!" O how we need to allow these simple but profound words marinate our heart and our mind, so that we might remain "steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord" (1Cor 15:58-note) in these last tumultuous days preceding His imminent, return "with power and great glory." (Mt 24:30) Let it be so Lord. Amen.
Nuances of meaning of definition of alethinos (adapted from Thayer's Lexicon)…
Friberg on alethinos…
Vine summarizes alethinos…
(a) of God, John 7:28 (cp. No. 1 Alethes in Jn 7:18, above); Jn 17:3; 1Th. 1:9; Rev. 6:10; these declare that God fulfils the meaning of His Name, He is “very God,” in distinction from all other gods, false gods (alēthēs, see John 3:33 in No. 1, signifies that He is veracious, true to His utterances, He cannot lie);
(b) of Christ, John 1:9; 6:32; 15:1; 1 John 2:8; 5:20 (thrice); Rev. 3:7, 14; 19:11; His judgment, John 8:16 (in the best texts, instead of No. 1 - Alethes);
(c) God’s words, John 4:37; Rev. 19:9; 21:5; 22:6; the last three are equivalent to No. 1 (alethes);
(d) His ways, Rev. 15:3;
(e) His judgments, Rev. 16:7; 19:2; (with reference to God’s ways or judgments “valid” - TDNT)
(f) His riches, Luke 16:11;
(g) His worshippers, John 4:23;
(h) their hearts, Heb. 10:22;
(i) the witness of the Apostle John, John 19:35;
(j) the spiritual, antitypical Tabernacle, Heb. 8:2; 9:24, not that the wilderness Tabernacle was false, but that it was a weak and earthly copy of the Heavenly.
Note: “Alēthinos is related to alethes as form to contents or substances; alēthēs denotes the reality of the thing, alēthinos defines the relation of the conception to the thing to which it corresponds=genuine” (Cremer) (Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words- Topic: True, Truly, Truth)
NIDNTT notes that "alethinos frequently has the meaning in cl. Gk. of “real” or “genuine”, but it may also mean simply “truthful”. Xenophon speaks of securing a real army (strateumati alēthinōi), in the sense of an army worthy of the name (Anabasis 1, 9, 17). Plato speaks of having a real passion for genuine philosophy (alēthinēs philosophias alēthinos erōs) (Republic 499c). Philo has an interesting theological use in which he describes God as “the real one”, like a coin which is genuine rather than counterfeit, or an article which is not merely veneer (Congr., 159). (Brown, Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan )
Vincent comments on the related word alethinos versus alethes…
Alethinos - 28x in 26v in NAS - NAS renders alethinos as - sincere(1), true(26), true one(1).
Luke 16:11 "Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you?
Comment: The genuine riches, those associated with real (and lasting) good, standing in opposition external riches the world futilely so desperately craves and seeks.
John 1:9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.
Comment: The opposite is not necessarily false, but imperfect, shadowy. Christ is the perfect light in whose radiance all other lights seem dim (Bernard; Morris). He is the true light, the genuine and ultimate self-disclosure of God to man
John 4:23 "But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.
John 4:37 "For in this case the saying is true, 'One sows and another reaps.'
John 6:32 Jesus then said to them, "Truly, truly (Amen, Amen), I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven.
Comment: True Bread is a picturesque description of Jesus, Who Alone is able to nourish the soul unto everlasting life. Have you tasted and received the Bread of Life dear reader?
John 7:28 Then Jesus cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, "You both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, Whom you do not know.
Comment: "God is the ultimate reality" (Barrett)
John 8:16 "But even if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone in it, but I and the Father who sent Me.
Comment: Psalm 19:9 uses alethinos to describe the "judgments of Jehovah" as "true".
John 15:1 "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
John 17:3 "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
John 19:35 And he who has seen has testified (John had just witnessed Jesus' crucifixion and the soldier's spears piercing His side - Jn 19:34), and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe.
Comment: This is John's own testimony ("he who has seen" = the apostle John), in which he emphatically asserts that he was recording what really happened. This emphasis on a true testimony was necessary both because of the vitally important nature of the Crucifixion and the importance of the truth that Jesus was in fact physically dead. John's emphasis on true testimony anticipated the false witnesses (these skeptical agnostics are still alive today presenting fallacious television "documentaries", writing fictional accounts as if they were true, etc) who would attempt to explain (away) Jesus' (true) resurrection as supposing that He merely swooned ("to sink into a fainting fit, in which there is a suspension of the apparent vital functions and mental powers") and had not actually died.
1 Thessalonians 1:9 For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God,
Hebrews 8:2-note a minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man.
Hebrews 9:24-note For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;
Hebrews 10:22-note let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Comment: What an incredible "exhortative invitation" the writer gives this band of persecuted Hebrew Christ followers (and us today as well!) - Draw near! How this contrast with the words of the Law - "Stand back!" (Cp Ex 19:12-22, 23, 24, Heb 12:20, 21) referring to Mt Sinai from whence the Law was given)
1 John 2:8 On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true (alethes) in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true Light is already shining.
1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
Comment: "True God" is also used in Jn 17:3. Did you observe what was associated with the "true God" in both of these Scriptures?
Revelation 3:7-note "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says this:
Revelation 3:14-note "To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:
Revelation 6:10-note and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"
Revelation 15:3-note And they sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, "Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations!
Revelation 16:7-note And I heard the altar saying, "Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments."
Revelation 19:2-note BECAUSE HIS JUDGMENTS ARE TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and HE HAS AVENGED THE BLOOD OF HIS BOND-SERVANTS ON HER."
Revelation 19:9-note Then he said to me, "Write, 'Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.'" And he said to me, "These are true words of God."
Revelation 19:11-note And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.
Revelation 21:5-note And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true."
Revelation 22:6-note And he said to me, "These words are faithful and true"; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place.
Alethinos - 34 verses in the Non-apocryphal Septuagint (Lxx) - Ex 34:6; Num 14:18; Deut 25:15; 32:4; 2 Sam 7:28; 1Kgs 10:6; 17:24; 2Chr 9:5; 15:3; Job 1:1, 8; 2:3; 4:7, 12; 6:25; 8:6, 21; 17:8; 27:17; Ps 19:9; 86:15; Pr 12:19; Isa 25:1; 38:3; 57:18; 59:4; 65:2, 16; Jer 2:21; Dan 2:45; 4:37; 6:12; 10:1; Zech 8:3
Adam Clarke has an insightful contrast between the false and true noting that the phrase true God stands in direct
Living (2198) (zao) means to have life and existence as opposed to death and nonexistence. Zao is in the present tense which is more literally translated "the continuously living God". He is a living God, having life and power in Himself as "the author and preserver of life unto others" and He stands in contrast to the dead idols that are impotent to help their worshipers.
Study the 28 occurrences of the phrase Living God in Scripture - Dt. 5:26; Jos. 3:10; 1Sam. 17:26, 36; 2Ki. 19:4, 16; Ps. 42:2; 84:2; Isa. 37:4, 17; Jer. 10:10; 23:36; Dan. 6:20, 26; Hos. 1:10; Matt. 16:16; 26:63; Acts 14:15; Rom. 9:26; 2 Co. 3:3; 6:16; 1 Tim. 3:15; 4:10; Heb. 3:12; 9:14; 10:31; 12:22; Rev. 7:2
The psalmist declares
King Darius although a pagan, recognized
After Daniel's miraculous deliverance from the lion's den King Darius declared
When others see you, do they see the "living God" in you? When Jesus asked His disciples
And here in Paul's epistle, we see that the Thessalonians who had formerly served dead, lifeless, empty, vain, futile gods, who are no gods at all, now willingly submit to the only living God. Have you surrendered your will to the good and acceptable and perfect will of the ever living God?
God is called the living God thus standing in radical contrast to the dead, dumb, deaf, blind, lifeless idols. The psalmist declares that
Writing to the Corinthians who were in an "idol infested" environment, Paul reminds them
Willard Aldrich has some interesting thoughts on this definitive turning to God and from idols writing that…
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Genuine Faith - He said he had trusted Jesus as his Savior, but he was involved in an illicit affair. His buddies were men who bragged about getting away with dishonesty and immorality. I wanted to encourage him to live for Christ, so I met with him weekly.
What is it to be born again,
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Lipstick on a Bulldog - "In a lot of organizations, change is like putting lipstick on a bulldog. There's a tremendous amount of effort involved, and most times all you get is some cosmetics—and an angry bulldog." So writes Dave Murphy of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Don't hide your sin and cover up,
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Religion Or Relationship? - Two kinds of religion exist in our world: Religion A and Religion B. The first is "faith" in name only (2Ti 3:5-note). It's the outward practice of Christianity without genuine faith in the living Lord.
You only are true life--
What it is -Isaiah 45:22; Matthew 6:19-21; Acts 14:15; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Colossians 3:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; Hebrews 12:1,2
Commanded to all by God -Ezekiel 18:30-32; Acts 17:30
Commanded by Christ -Revelation 2:5,16; 3:3
Given by God -Acts 11:18; 2 Timothy 2:25
Christ came to call sinners to -Matthew 9:13
Christ exalted to give -Acts 5:31
By the operation of the Holy Spirit -Zechariah 12:10
Called repentance to life -Acts 11:18
Called repentance to salvation -2 Corinthians 7:10
WE SHOULD BE LED TO, BY
The long-suffering of God -Genesis 6:3; 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 3:9
The goodness of God -Romans 2:4
The chastisements of God -1 Kings 8:47; Revelation 3:19
Godly sorrow works -2 Corinthians 7:10
Necessary to the pardon of sin -Acts 2:38; 3:19; 8:22
Conviction of sin necessary to -1 Kings 8:38; Proverbs 28:13; Acts 2:37,38; 19:18
By Christ -Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:15
By John the Baptist Matthew 3:2
By the Apostles -Mark 6:12; Acts 20:21
In the name of Christ -Luke 24:47
Not to be repented of -2 Corinthians 7:10
The present time the season for -Psalms 95:7,8; Hebrews 3:7,8; Proverbs 27:1; Isaiah 55:6; 2 Corinthians 6:2; Hebrews 4:7
There is joy in heaven over one sinner brought to Luke 15:7,10
Ministers should rejoice over their people on their -2 Corinthians 7:9
Should be evidenced by fruits -Isaiah 1:16,17; Daniel 4:27; Matthew 3:8; Acts 26:20
SHOULD BE ACCOMPANIED BY
Humility -2 Chronicles 7:14; James 4:9,10
Shame and confusion -Ezra 9:6-15; Jeremiah 31:19; Ezekiel 16:61,63; Daniel 9:7,8
Self-abhorrence -Job 42:6
Confession -Leviticus 26:40; Job 33:27
Faith -Matthew 21:32; Mark 1:15; Acts 20:21
Prayer -1 Kings 8:33; Acts 8:22
Conversion -Acts 3:19; 26:20
Turning from sin -2 Chronicles 6:26
Turning from idolatry -Ezekiel 14:6; 1 Thessalonians 1:9
Greater zeal in the path of duty 2 Corinthians 7:11
Exhortations to Ezekiel 14:6; 18:30; Acts 2:38; 3:19
Averse to -Jeremiah 8:6; Matthew 21:32
Not led to by the judgments of God Revelation 9:20,21; 16:9
Not led to, by miraculous interference Luke 16:30,31
Neglect the time given for -Revelation 2:21
Condemned for neglecting -Matthew 11:20
Danger of neglecting -Matthew 11:20-24; Luke 13:3,5; Revelation 2:22
Neglect of, followed by swift judgment -Revelation 2:5,16
Denied to apostates -Hebrews 6:4-6
Illustrated -Luke 15:18-21; 18:13
The Prodigal Son -Luke 15:17-19
The Repentant Son -Matthew 21:29
Paul Galatians 1:23
Israelites -Judges 10:15,16
David 2 Samuel 12:13
Manasseh 2 Chronicles 33:12,13
Job -Job 42:6
Nineveh -Jonah 3:5-8; Matthew 12:41
Peter -Matthew 26:75
Zacchaeus Luke 19:8
Thief on the Cross Luke 23:40,41
Corinthians -2 Corinthians 7:9,10
Saul -1 Samuel 15:24-30
Ahab -1 Kings 21:27-29
Judas -Matthew 27:3-5
By God -1 Kings 18:37; John 6:44; Acts 21:19
By Christ -Acts 3:26; Romans 15:18
By the power of the Holy Spirit -Proverbs 1:23
Is of grace -Acts 11:21,23
Follows repentance -Acts 3:19; 26:20
Is the result of faith -Acts 11:21
THROUGH THE INSTRUMENTALITY OF
The scriptures -Psalms 19:7
Ministers -Acts 26:18; 1 Thessalonians 1:9
Self-examination -Psalms 119:59; Lamentations 3:40
Affliction -Psalms 78:34
OF SINNERS, A CAUSE OF JOY
To God -Ezekiel 18:23; Luke 15:32
To saints -Acts 15:3; Galatians 1:23,24
Is necessary -Matthew 18:3
Commanded -Job 36:10
Exhortations to -Proverbs 1:23; Isaiah 31:6; 55:7; Jeremiah 3:7; Ezekiel 33:11
Promises connected with -Nehemiah 1:9; Isaiah 1:27; Jeremiah 3:14; Ezekiel 18:27
Pray for -Psalms 80:7; 85:4; Jeremiah 31:18; Lamentations 5:21
Is accompanied by confession of sin, and prayer
1 Kings 8:35 -
Danger of neglecting -Psalms 7:12; Jeremiah 44:5,11; Ezekiel 3:19
Duty of leading sinners to -Psalms 51:13
Encouragement for leading sinners to -Daniel 12:3; James 5:19,20
Of Gentiles, predicted -Isaiah 2:2; 11:10; 60:5; 66:12
Of Israel, predicted -Ezekiel 36:25-27
Forbidden -Exodus 20:2,3; Deuteronomy 5:7
Bowing down to images -Exodus 20:5; Deuteronomy 5:9
Worshipping images -Isaiah 44:17; Daniel 3:5,10,15
Sacrificing to images -Psalms 106:38; Acts 7:41
Worshipping other gods -Deuteronomy 30:17; Psalms 81:9
Swearing by other gods -Exodus 23:13; Joshua 23:7
Walking after other gods -Deuteronomy 8:19
Speaking in the name of other gods -Deuteronomy 18:20
Looking to other gods -Hosea 3:1
Serving other gods -Deuteronomy 7:4; Jeremiah 5:19
Fearing other gods -2 Kings 17:35
Sacrificing to other gods -Exodus 22:20
Worshipping the true God by an image, &c -Exodus 32:4-6; Psalms 106:19,20
Worshipping angels -Colossians 2:18
Worshipping the host of heaven -Deuteronomy 4:19; 17:3
Worshipping demons -Matthew 4:9-10; Revelation 9:20
Worshipping dead men -Psalms 106:28
Setting up idols in the heart -Ezekiel 14:3,4
Covetousness -Ephesians 5:5; Colossians 3:5
Sensuality -Philippians 3:19
Is changing the glory of God into an image -Romans 1:23; Acts 17:29
Is changing the truth of God into a lie -Romans 1:25; Isaiah 44:20
Is a work of the flesh -Galatians 5:19,20
Incompatible with the service of God -Ge 35:2,3; Jos24:23; 1Sa 7:3; 1Ki 18:21; 2Co 6:15,16
An abomination to God -Deuteronomy 7:25
Hateful to God -Deuteronomy 16:22; Jeremiah 44:4
Vain and foolish -Psalms 115:4-8; Isaiah 44:19; Jeremiah 10:3
Bloody -Ezekiel 23:39
Abominable -1 Peter 4:3
Unprofitable -Judges 10:14; Isaiah 46:7
Irrational -Acts 17:29; Romans 1:21-23
Defiling -Ezekiel 20:7; 36:18
THEY WHO PRACTISE
Forget God -Deuteronomy 8:19; Jeremiah 18:15
Go astray from God -Ezekiel 44:10
Pollute the name of God -Ezekiel 20:39
Defile the sanctuary of God -Ezekiel 5:11
Are estranged from God -Ezekiel 14:5
Forsake God -2 Kings 22:17; Jeremiah 16:11
Hate God -2 Chronicles 19:2,3
Provoke God -Deuteronomy 31:20; Isaiah 65:3; Jeremiah 25:6
Are vain in their imaginations Romans 1:21
Are ignorant and foolish -Romans 1:21,22
Inflame themselves -Isaiah 57:5
Hold fast their deceit Jeremiah 8:5
Carried away by it -1 Corinthians 12:2
Go after it in heart -Ezekiel 20:16
Are mad upon it -Jeremiah 50:38
Boast of it -Psalms 97:7
Have fellowship with devils Hosea 4:12
Ask counsel of their idols -Hosea 4:12
Look to idols for deliverance Isaiah 44:17; 45:20
Swear by their idols -Amos 8:14
Objects of, numerous -1 Corinthians 8:5
OBJECTS OF DESCRIBED AS
Strange gods -Genesis 35:2,4; Joshua 24:20
Other gods -Judges 2:12,17; 1 Kings 14:9
New gods -Deuteronomy 32:17; Judges 5:8
Gods that cannot save -Isaiah 45:20
Gods that have not made the heavens -Jeremiah 10:11
No gods -Jeremiah 5:7; Galatians 4:8
Molten gods -Exodus 34:17; Leviticus 19:4
Molten images -Deuteronomy 27:15; Habakkuk 2:18
Graven images -Isaiah 45:20; Hosea 11:2
Senseless idols -Deuteronomy 4:28; Psalms 115:5,7
Dumb idols Habakkuk 2:18
Dumb Stones -Habakkuk 2:19
Stocks -Jeremiah 3:9; Hosea 4:12
Abominations -Isaiah 44:19; Jeremiah 32:34
Images of abomination -Ezekiel 7:20
Idols of abomination -Ezekiel 16:36
Stumbling blocks -Ezekiel 14:3
Teachers of lies -Habakkuk 2:18
Wind and confusion -Isaiah 41:29
Nothing -Isaiah 41:24; 1 Corinthians 8:4
Helpless Jeremiah 10:5
Vanity -Jeremiah 18:15
Vanities of the Gentiles -Jeremiah 14:22
Making idols for the purpose of, described and ridiculed -Isaiah 44:10-20
Obstinate sinners judicially given up to -Deuteronomy 4:28; 28:64; Hosea 4:17
Warnings against -Deuteronomy 4:15-19
Exhortations to turn from -Ezekiel 14:6; 20:7; Acts 14:15
Renounced on conversion -1 Thessalonians 1:9
Led to abominable sins -Romans 1:26-32; Acts 15:20
Keep from -Joshua 23:7; 1 John 5:21
Flee from -1 Corinthians 10:14
Not have anything connected with in their houses -Deuteronomy 7:26
Not partake of any thing connected with -1 Corinthians 10:19,20
Not have religious intercourse with those who practise -Jos 23:7; 1Co 5:11
Not covenant with those who practise -Exodus 34:12,15; Deuteronomy 7:2
Not intermarry with those who practise -Exodus 34:16; Deuteronomy 7:3
Testify against -Acts 14:15; 19:26
Refuse to engage in, though threatened with death- Daniel 3:18
Saints preserved by God from -1 Kings 19:18; Romans 11:4
Saints refuse to receive the worship of -Acts 10:25,26; 14:11-15
Angels refuse to receive the worship of -Revelation 22:8,9
Destruction of, promised -Ezekiel 36:25; Zechariah 13:2
Everything connected with, should be destroyed -Ex 34:13; Dt 7:5; 2Sa 5:21; 2Ki 23:14
Woe denounced against -Habakkuk 2:19
Curse denounced against -Deuteronomy 27:15
Judicial death -Deuteronomy 17:2-5
Dreadful judgments which end in death -Jeremiah 8:2; 16:1-11
Banishment -Jeremiah 8:3; Hosea 8:5-8; Amos 5:26,27
Exclusion from heaven -1 Corinthians 6:9,10; Ephesians 5:5; Re 22:15
Eternal torments -Revelation 14:9-11; 21:8
Israel -Exodus 32:1; 2 Kings 17:12
Philistines -Judges 16:23
Micah -Judges 17:4,5
Jeroboam -1 Kings 12:28
Maachah -1 Kings 15:13
Ahab -1 Kings 16:31
Jezebel -1 Kings 18:19
Sennacherib -2 Kings 19:37
Manasseh -2 Kings 21:4-7
Amon -2 Kings 21:21
Ahaz -2 Chronicles 28:3
Judah -Jeremiah 11:13
Nebuchadnezzar Daniel 3:1
Belshazzar Daniel 5:23
People of Lystra Acts 14:11,12
Athenians Acts 17:16
Ephesians Acts 19:28
Asa -1 Kings 15:12
Josiah -2 Kings 23:5
Jehoshaphat -2 Chronicles 17:6
Israel -2 Chronicles 31:1
Manasseh -2 Chronicles 33:15
All forms of, forbidden by the law of Moses -Exodus 20:4,5
All heathen nations given up to -Psalms 96:5; Romans 1:23,25; 1 Corinthians 12:2
Led the heathen to think that their gods visited the earth in Bodily shapes -Acts 14:11
Led the heathen to consider their gods to have but a local Influence -1Ki 20:23; 2Ki 17:26
The heavenly bodies -2Ki 23:5; Acts 7:42
Angels -Colossians 2:18
Departed spirits -1Samuel 28:14,15
Earthly creatures -Romans 1:23
Images Deuteronomy 29:17; Psalms 115:4; Isaiah 44:17
Temples built for -Hosea 8:14
Altars raised for -1 Kings 18:26; Hosea 8:11
Accompanied by feasts -2 Kings 10:20; 1 Corinthians 10:27,28
OBJECTS OF, WORSHIPPED
With sacrifices -Numbers 22:40; 2 Kings 10:24
With libations -Isaiah 57:6; Jeremiah 19:13
With incense -Jeremiah 48:35
With prayer 1 Kings 18:26; Isaiah 44:17
With singing and dancing -Exodus 32:18,19; 1 Kings 18:26; 1 Corinthians 10:7
By bowing to them -1 Kings 19:18; 2 Kings 5:18
By kissing them -1 Kings 19:18; Hosea 13:2
By kissing the hand to them -Job 31:26,27
By cutting the flesh -1 Kings 18:28
By burning children Deuteronomy 12:31; 2 Chronicles 33:6; Jeremiah 19:4,5; Ezek 16:21
In temples -2 Kings 5:18
On high places Numbers 22:41; Jeremiah 2:20
In groves -Exodus 34:13
Under trees Isaiah 57:5; Jeremiah 2:20
In private houses -Judges 17:4,5
On the tops of houses -2 Kings 23:12; Zephaniah 1:5
In secret places -Isaiah 57:8
Rites of, obscene and impure -Ex 32:25; Nu 25:1-3; 2Ki 17:9; Isa 57:6,8,9; 1Peter 4:3
Divination connected with -2 Chronicles 33:6
Victims sacrificed in, often adorned with garlands -Acts 14:13
IDOLS, &c MENTIONED IN SCRIPTURE
Adrammelech 2 Kings 17:31
Anammelech -2 Kings 17:31
Ashima 2 Kings 17:30
Ashtoreth -Judges 2:13; 1 Kings 11:33
Baal -Judges 2:11-13; 6:25
Baal-berith Judges 8:33; 9:4,46
Baal-peor -Numbers 25:1-3
Baalzebub 2 Kings 1:2,16
Baal-zephon Exodus 14:2
Bel -Jeremiah 50:2; 51:44
Chemosh -Numbers 21:29; 1 Kings 11:33
Chiun -Amos 5:26
Dagon Judges 16:23; 1 Samuel 5:1-3
Diana Acts 19:24,27
Huzzab Nahum 2:7
Jupiter -Acts 14:12
Mercury -Acts 14:12
Molech or Milcom -Leviticus 18:21; 1 Kings 11:5,33
Merodach -Jeremiah 50:2
Nergal 2 Kings 17:30
Nebo -Isaiah 46:1
Nibhaz and Tartak -2 Kings 17:31
Nisroch -2 Kings 19:37
Queen of heaven -Jeremiah 44:17,25
Remphan Acts 7:43
Rimmon -2 Kings 5:18
Succothbenoth 2 Kings 17:30
Tammuz -Ezekiel 8:14
Objects of, carried in procession -Isaiah 46:7; Amos 5:26; Acts 7:43
Early notice of, amongst God’s professing people -Genesis 31:19,30; 35:1-4; Joshua 24:2
Practised, in Egypt -Joshua 24:14; Ezekiel 23:3,19
Brought, out of Egypt with them -Ezekiel 23:8; Acts 7:39-41
Forbidden to practise -Exodus 20:1-5; 23:24
Often mixed up, with God’s worship -Exodus 32:1-5; 1 Kings 12:27,28
Followed the Canaanites in Judges 2:11-13; 1 Chronicles 5:25
Followed the Moabites in Numbers 25:1-3
Followed the Assyrians in Ezekiel 16:28-30; 23:5-7
Followed the Syrians in -Judges 10:6
Adopted by Solomon -1 Kings 11:5-8
Adopted by the wicked kings -1 Kings 21:26; 2 Kings 21:21; 2Chr 28:2-4; 33:3,7
Example of the kings encouraged Israel in -1 Kings 12:30; 2 Kings 21:11; 2Chr 33:9
Great prevalence of, in Israel -Isaiah 2:8; Jeremiah 2:28; Ezekiel 8:10
A virtual forsaking of God -Jeremiah 2:9-13
The good kings of Judah endeavored to destroy -2Chronicles 15:16; 34:7
Captivity of Israel on account of 2 Kings 17:6-18
Captivity of Judah on account of -2 Kings 17:19-23