Although man has made his own gods, he nevertheless became their captive once he was handed over to their fellowship by his act of worshiping them… For what are idols but things, as the Scripture says, which “have eyes and see not”? City of God
Such, then, being the case, the Greeks ought by the Law and the Prophets to learn to worship one God only, the only Sovereign; then to be taught by the apostle, "but to us an idol is no, thing in the world"
We know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other than God but One. An idol is not what it is commonly supposed to be, not what it stands for, is not God. It has no Divine power; materially it is of wood, formally it is nothing. It is an image of a falsehood, or of a non-existent God. Consequently that which is offered to idols is as such nothing, has no Divinity or sanctity derived from the idol to which it was offered.
The word "idol" itself is derived from the Greek ÎµÎ¹Î´Î¿Ï‚, which Tertullian says denotes appearance; and from it the diminutive, ÎµÎ¯Ì‰Î´Ï‰Î»Î¿Î½, was formed (de Idolol. ciii.). An "idol" among the earlier Greek writers denoted any empty and untrustworthy image, such as hollow phantasms, spectres, the shades of the dead, and the like. In the same way Holy Scripture and the Church writers have limited the term idol to an image of God which is evident from this verse. The LXX, too, throughout the Old Testament, apply the same term to the statu...
An idol is nothing. The apostle seems to allude in this place to the Greek signification of this word, eidolon, signifying a false representation; as for instance in ghosts, which are said to appear sometimes at night. Umbroe tenues, simulacra luce carentium. (Calmet)
For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth; yet to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we through Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him."
4. Concerning therefore the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that no idol is anything in the world, and that there is no God but one. Look what a strait he has fallen into! For indeed his mind is to prove both; that one ought to abstain from this kind of banquet, and that it has no power to hurt those who partake of it: things which were not greatly in agreement with each other. For when they were told that they had no harm in them, they would naturally run to them as indifferent things. But when forbidden to touch them, they would suspect, on the contrary, that their having power to do hurt occasioned the prohibition. Wherefore, you see, he puts down their opinion about idols, and then states as a first reason for their abstaining the scandals which they place in the way of their brethren; in these words: Now concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that no idol is anything in the world. Again he makes it common property and does not allow this to be t...
Renounced all idols, they are utterly unsuitable. "Not that an idol is anything".
He introduces his discussion about meats offered to idols with a statement concerning idols (themselves): "We know that an idol is nothing in the world."