Most Relevant Verses
You shall not give any of your children to pass through the fire and sacrifice them to Molech [the fire god], nor shall you profane the name of your God [by giving it to false gods]. I am the Lord.
Will you not possess what Chemosh your god gives you to possess? And all the Lord our God dispossessed before us, we will possess.
And they forsook all the commandments of the Lord their God and made for themselves molten images, even two calves, and made an Asherah and worshiped all the [starry] hosts of the heavens and served Baal.
The men of Babylon made [and worshiped their deity] Succoth-benoth, the men of Cuth made Nergal, the men of Hamath made Ashima,
Now while Paul was awaiting them at Athens, his spirit was grieved and roused to anger as he saw that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned and argued in the synagogue with the Jews and those who worshiped there, and in the marketplace [where assemblies are held] day after day with any who chanced to be there. And some also of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him and began to engage in discussion. And some said, What is this babbler with his scrap-heap learning trying to say? Others said, He seems to be an announcer of foreign deities -- "because he preached Jesus and the resurrection.read more.
And they took hold of him and brought him to the Areopagus [Mars Hill meeting place], saying, May we know what this novel (unheard of and unprecedented) teaching is which you are openly declaring? For you set forth some startling things, foreign and strange to our ears; we wish to know therefore just what these things mean -- " For the Athenians, all of them, and the foreign residents and visitors among them spent all their leisure time in nothing except telling or hearing something newer than the last -- " So Paul, standing in the center of the Areopagus [Mars Hill meeting place], said: Men of Athens, I perceive in every way [on every hand and with every turn I make] that you are most religious or very reverent to demons. For as I passed along and carefully observed your objects of worship, I came also upon an altar with this inscription, To the unknown god. Now what you are already worshiping as unknown, this I set forth to you.
But as time went on, there arose no little disturbance concerning the Way [of the Lord]. For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of [the goddess] Artemis [Diana], brought no small income to his craftsmen. These he called together, along with the workmen of similar trades, and said, Men, you are acquainted with the facts and understand that from this business we derive our wealth and livelihood.read more.
Now you notice and hear that not only at Ephesus but almost all over [the province of] Asia this Paul has persuaded and induced people to believe his teaching and has alienated a considerable company of them, saying that gods that are made with human hands are not really gods at all. Now there is danger not merely that this trade of ours may be discredited, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may come into disrepute and count for nothing, and that her glorious magnificence may be degraded and fall into contempt -- "she whom all [the province of] Asia and the wide world worship. As they listened to this, they were filled with rage and they continued to shout, Great is Artemis of the Ephesians! Then the city was filled with confusion; and they rushed together into the amphitheater, dragging along with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were fellow travelers with Paul. Paul wished to go in among the crowd, but the disciples would not permit him to do it. Even some of the Asiarchs (political or religious officials in Asia) who were his friends also sent to him and warned him not to risk venturing into the theater. Now some shouted one thing and some another, for the gathering was in a tumult and most of them did not know why they had come together. Some of the crowd called upon Alexander [to speak], since the Jews had pushed and urged him forward. And Alexander motioned with his hand, wishing to make a defense and [planning] to apologize to the people. But as soon as they saw him and recognized that he was a Jew, a shout went up from them as the voice of one man, as for about two hours they cried, Great is Artemis of the Ephesians! And when the town clerk had calmed the crowd down, he said, Men of Ephesus, what man is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of the sacred stone [image of her] that fell from the sky? Seeing then that these things cannot be denied, you ought to be quiet (keep yourselves in check) and do nothing rashly. For you have brought these men here, who are [guilty of] neither temple robberies nor blasphemous speech about our goddess.
Therefore, my dearly beloved, shun (keep clear away from, avoid by flight if need be) any sort of idolatry (of loving or venerating anything more than God).
- Pagan (23 instances)