As I read the Bible, 偶像 means the idols made by man and being worshiped. As I know there are 3 meaning of the word 偶像:
- 木偶 & 雕像, used in different proposes such as decoration art performance
- the items made and worshiped by man
- the celebrities followed by fans
The 3rd meaning is definitely an extension of the 2nd meaning, but the 1st meaning seems to have no relation with the 2nd one: I don't see the direct causal relationship in art and worship. Because the 1st meaning is the closest to the literal meaning, I guess it is the original meaning.
The reason makes me more curious about this word is that the English word "idol" has exactly these 3 meanings. Is that coincident? But the English language is influenced a lot by the Bible, so I guess it makes sense the English word "idol" has these 3 meanings. However, I don't think the Chinese Language has such an influence.
- There are some intrinsic relations between the 1st meaning and the 2nd meaning, so the English word and the Chinese evolved in the same way.
- Some ancient Christian like 景教 in the Tang dynasty created the relation between statues and worship.
- The English language directly influenced the Chinese language, so the result is the Chinese word 偶像 just copied all the meanings from the English word “idol”.
I think the key to this question is when the word 偶像 began to have worship related meaning. However, that is something I failed to find after searching online.