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Dictionary of Bible Themes – 8770 idolatry, in NT
8770 idolatry, in NT

8770 idolatry, in NT

The NT world included many religions which promoted the worship of idols. Idolatry was thus of continuing importance to NT writers, especially Paul.

Idolatry in the Gentile world

Ac 17:16 See also Ac 14:11-13; Ac 17:22-23; Ac 19:24; 1Co 8:5; Gal 4:8

Criticism of idolatry

Idolatry leads to other sinful behaviour Ro 1:24 Verses 22 and 24-25 show the link between idolatry and immoral conduct.

Idolatry is an offence against the doctrine of creation Ro 1:20 See also Ac 17:24-29

Idols are futile and degrading Ro 1:22-23 See also 1Co 8:4; 1Co 10:19; 1Co 12:2

Idolatrous worship of human beings Ac 12:22 See also Lk 20:24-25 Jesus Christ opposes the hypocrisy which objected to Roman coinage as idolatrous on the grounds that the emperor’s head infringed the Ten Commandments; Ac 28:6

Demonic powers are involved with idolatry 1Co 10:20 See also Rev 9:20; Rev 13:4

Food sacrificed to idols Ac 15:20 See also Ro 14:2-3,6; 1Co 8:4-13; 1Co 10:14-31

Encounters with idolatrous practice Ac 19:28 See also Ac 14:11-18; Ac 17:18-31

Spiritual idolatry

1Jn 5:21 “idols” here may well refer to a wide range of God-substitutes.

The temptations of Jesus Christ present three main kinds of spiritual idolatry

Possessions Mt 4:3 pp Lk 4:3 See also Mt 6:24 pp Lk 16:13; Lk 18:23; Php 3:19; Col 3:5; 1Ti 6:10

Prestige and self-esteem Mt 4:6 pp Lk 4:9 See also Lk 3:8; Lk 10:29; Lk 18:11-12,21; Ro 2:19

Power Mt 4:8-9 pp Lk 4:6-7 See also Lk 9:54-55; Lk 23:39; Jn 18:10-11; Jn 19:10; Php 2:6; Jas 4:6,10

See also

2575Christ, temptation
4185sorcery and magic
8319perception, spiritual