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It seems to me that people are having a serious problem defining what the Bible means in reference to the graven image, so I pose this question: if the Bible says not to create any graven images, then does it matter whether you worship one or not?

Furthermore, consider this: it never says in any verse that I know of to make a cross in honor of Jesus which it is but it most definitely says not to make images of things in heaven or images of people. This fact would give you two things that support not making a cross, certainly not having a cross with an image of Jesus on it—especially when most of the images today are totally and unquestionably grossly inaccurate according to scripture.

In addition does my question address both the spirit and the letter of the law?

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marked as duplicate by Flimzy, Affable Geek, Narnian, Dan, fredsbend Aug 13 at 19:00

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Whoa! Please edit this to add in punctuation, capital letters and paragraph breaks! We expect everything on this site to be well written. –  curiousdannii Aug 13 at 8:50
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Why did God ask Mosses to make graven images in Exodus 25:18-20 and Numbers 21:8-9? Why did God dwell in Salomon's temple which had graven images (1 Kings 6:23-35)? I am asking these because the way in which you resolve these seemingly apparent contradiction will help us to understand your question and answer it more clearly. –  Jayarathina Madharasan Aug 13 at 11:05
    
It would help if you added into your question the Scriptural citations you had in mind. –  Matt Gutting Aug 13 at 11:27

1 Answer 1

What is an Idol?

From the first two commandments:

Exodus 20:3-5a (ASV)
Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any likeness [of any thing] that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them

I think this very clearly describes what is meant by "graven image" ("idol" in other translations): an object of worship, or the representation of such a an object used as a part of worship.

Are We Subject to the Law of Moses?

There is not uniformity among Christians regarding to what extent the Law of Moses affects us. This answer does a good job of summarizing the most common views. Someone who believed that the Law of Moses was give to Israel and is no longer binding might not feel compelled by the second commandment in this regard, because it has at its core the worship of things that aren't God (and perhaps attempting to represent God in some form—but that is a much larger discussion).

Is a Cross or a Crucifix an Idol?

People who have these images/icons in their assemblies or around their necks would not say that they worship them or use them as representatives of God to worship, distinguishing between "veneration" (δουλεία, 1397) and "adoration" (λατρεια, 2999).

Included in this article is a reasonable defense of the practice: My Bible study group asks, “Why does the Catholic religion portray Jesus hanging on the cross while Protestant crosses are empty?”

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