The Greek noun used for the likeness of the emperor's head impressed upon coins (Matt. 22: 20) and also for the likeness of Christ to God (2 Cor. 4: 4). Later an icon was a painting of Christ in his human form. The Iconoclast Council of 754 CE stated that the veneration of icons was contrary to the teaching of scripture and amounted to idolatry. But the validation of their use was confirmed by the Seventh Ecumenical Council in 780 CE and they have always been an essential element in Eastern Orthodox piety.