Revelation 6:8 a Pale horse or a Green horse?
In Revelation 6:8 we read: “And I looked, and behold A PALE horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him...”
Some Bible critics try to tell us that the word translated as “pale” is an error or a mistranslation in the King James Bible. Of course, it is not an error, and we will explain why.
One such Bible critic ignorantly posted the following alleged translational error in the King James Bible at one of the online Bible clubs. He writes: “Another word mistranslated in the KJV is one of the 4 horses of the Apocalypse. the Bible says Rev 6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse:
In the Greek pale was written as Chloros (kloros) which translated is green. So why did the translators use Pale instead then the original word green? Maybe they thought "there is no such a thing as a green horse” and they chose the best color that went with the rest of the text.” [End of Bible critic's note]
One has to wonder where these bible agnostics dig these things up and why they don’t bother to do basic research themselves to see if what they are saying has any merit to it or not. You will see in a moment just how ridiculously silly this alleged error really is.
The King James Bible translators were not dummies. There has never been a company of greater scholars assembled by God in all of history. After all, God was bringing forth His Infallible Book and He was using these men to do it.
The Greek word in question is Kloros and it is found 4 times in the New Testament. Three times it is translated as “green” and once as “pale”. There is good reason for this. The Greek word itself can mean BOTH green and pale, depending on the context. The three times the KJB translates it as “green” the context is clearly referring to green PLANTS.
Mark 6:39 “And He commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the GREEN grass.”
Revelation 8:7 “and all the GREEN grass was burnt up.”
Revelation 9:4 “And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any GREEN thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their forehead.”
Can the word kloros also mean PALE? You bet it can.
Liddell and Scott’s massive Greek Lexicon tells us on page 1995 that the Greek word kloros means: 1. greenish yellow, pale green; and 2. Generally PALE, PALLID.
Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon likewise defines the word kloros as 1. green; and number 2. yellowish, PALE. (page 669, Thayer’s 19 printing, Zondervan, 1978).
Bauer, Arndt and Gingrich’s Greek-English Lexicon defines the word kloros as: 1. yellowish green, light green of plants; and 2. PALE as the color of a person in sickness as contrasted with his appearance in health. SO THE HORSE RIDDEN BY DEATH - the kloros of death- Revelation 6:8.” (page 891)
Here is another Lexicon with a clear reference that shows that "χλωρός" in Rev. 6:8 should be translated as "pale" A Greek and English Lexicon of the New Testament by Edward Robinson, copyright 1836 p. 895
b.) i.q. pale, yellowish:
Rev. 6:8 ἵππος χλωρός
Artemidorus 1.77 or 79 χλωρός τε γὰρ ὁ χρυσὸς
Anthology Greek III p.11 χλωρην σαρκα
Homer's Iliad book 11, verse 631
Homer's Iliad book 11, verse 631 μέλι χλωρόν [pale honey] English translation:
It is interesting to note how various Bible translators have rendered this word in several languages.
First, let’s take a look at the weird ones. Going along with this fellows alleged error in the KJB we have a few versions that have a GREEN horse in Revelation 6:8
Among these are the NRSV of 1989 which says “a pale green horse”, but the previous RSV of 1973 and the ESV that followed in 2001-2016 both have “a PALE horse”.
The Holman Standard of 2001 also has “a pale green horse” and so too do Green’s ‘literal’ 2000 version (though Green’s 1993 edition said “a PALE horse”) and Daniel Wallace’s NET version. If there is something weird going on in "$cholarville", you can bet Docktor Dan is in on it. The International Standard Version 2014 has "a PALE GREEN HORSE."
It is interesting that Tyndale’s translation of 1525 also had “a green horse”, however virtually every English translation to follow Tyndale agrees with the King James Bible’s “a pale horse”.
The New Covenant New Testament 1888 - "A PALLID HORSE"
The 1961 Bible in Basic English tells us it was “a GREY horse”
J.B. Phillips N.T. 1972 - "a horse SICKLY GREEN in color"
The New English Bible 1970, Revised English Bible 1989 - "another horse, SICKLY PALE"
The New Life Bible of 1969 has “a LIGHT COLORED horse”
The Riverside N.T. 1923 - "a PALE YELLOW horse"
Rotherham’s 1902 Emphasized bible and The Moffatt N.T. 1913, Fenton Bible 1966 say it was “a LIVID horse” - (Boy, was that horse mad!)
The Last Days Bible 1999 - " SICKLY-YELLOWISH PALE horse"
Conservative Bible 2011 - "a PALE SOUR-APPLE GREEN horse" (that pretty much covers all the bases, huh?)
The Catholic Connection
As usual, we see constant changes in the Catholic versions. The older Douay-Rheims of 1582 read "A PALE HORSE". But then the Douay Version of 1950 changed this to "a PALE-GREEN HORSE." Then the St. Joseph New American bible of 1970 went with "I saw a HORSE SICKLY GREEN".
Then the New Jerusalem bible 1985 changed once again to "a DEATHLY PALE HORSE". Now the 2009 Catholic Public Domain Version has come out and it goes back to "A PALE HORSE" and so does the Revised Douay-Rheims Bible of 2012.
The NASB lets us know it was “an ASHEN horse” with a footnote saying “or sickly pale”, and Goodspeed’s 1923 translation has “the color of ashes”.
The New Berkeley Version in Modern English 1969 says: "an ASH-COLORED horse." The meaning of the NASB, Berkeley and Goodspeed is the same as that found in the King James Bible since ashen means pale, but they have just given us a harder word to understand than the simpler one “pale”.
Agreeing with the King James Holy Bible and correctly reading “a PALE horse” are the following Bible translations: the Latin Vulgate of 405 -”equss pallidus”, Wycliffe 1395, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, the Beza New Testament 1599, the King James Bible 1611, the Bill Bible 1671, the Mace N.T. 1729, Whitson's N.T. 1745, John Wesley's N.T. 1755, the Worsley Version 1770, the Clarke N.T. 1795, the Thomas Haweis N.T. 1795, The Thomson Bible 1808, The Improved N.T. 1809, The Revised Translation 1815, The Thomson N.T. 1816, The Kneeland N.T. 1823, Webster's Bible 1833, The Living Oracles 1835, The Pickering N.T. 1840, the Longman Version 1841, The Hussey N.T. 1845, The Morgan N.T. 1848, The Hewett N.T. 1850, The Commonly Received Version 1851, The Boothroyd Bible 1853, the Sawyer N.T. 1858, The Kenrick N.T. 1862, American Bible Union N.T. 1865, The Alford New Testament 1870, The Smith Bible 1876, The Davidson N.T. 1876, The Revised English Bible 1877, The Sharpe Bible 1883, the Revised Version 1885, The Dillard N.T. 1885, Darby's Translation 1890, Young's translation 1898, the Douay-Rheims 1899, the ASV of 1901, Worrell N.T. 1904, The Corrected English N.T. 1905, The Modern English N.T. 1909, The Weymouth N.T. 1912, The Clarke N.T. 1913, the Anderson N.T. 1918, Montgomery N.T. 1924, Lamsa’s 1936 translation of the Syriac, The Living Bible 1971, the RSV of 1971, The Word of Yah 1993, the ESV 2001-2016, the NIV 1984 - 2011, the NKJV 1982, The Good News Translation 1992, the KJV 21st Century version 1994, The God's Word Translation 1995, the Third Millennium Bible 1998, the Koster Scriptures 1998, The Lawrie Translation 1998, The Common N.T. 1999, The World English Bible 2000, The Sacred Scriptures Family of Yah 2001, The Tomson N.T. 2002, The Complete Apostle's Bible 2005, The New Century Version 2005, The TNIV 2005, The Pickering N.T. 2005 -" a sickly PALE horse", The Revised Geneva Bible 2005, The Easy-to-Read Version 2006, The Spoken English N.T. 2008, The Faithful N.T. 2009, the Catholic Public Domain Version 2009, The Bond Slave Version 2009, The New European Version 2010, The New Heart English Bible 2010, the Mounce Reverse Interlinear N.T. 2011, The Names of God Bible 2011, The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011, the Biblos Interlinear Bible 2013, The English Majority Text N.T. 2013, The Modern English Version 2014, The Translator's Bible 2014, The Hebrew Names Version 2014 - "a PALE horse", The New International Reader's Version 2014, The International Children's Bible 2015 and A Faithful Version 2019 - "a PALE horse".
Foreign language Bible translations that also agree with the King James Bible and read “a pale horse” are the Reina Valera Gomez bible of 2004 - “Y miré, y he aquí un caballo pálido”, the Frech Louis Segond of 1910 - “un cheval d'une couleur pâle”, and Luther’s German bible of 1545 - “ein fahles Pferd”
The King James Bible is right, as always, and the bible critic who claims “a pale horse” is a mistranslation in Revelation 6:8 simply does not know what he is talking about. He does not have any Bible in any language that he believes is the complete and 100% true words of God and he has made his own very fallible mind and understanding his “final authority”.
There are a lot of guys running around like this today. May God have mercy on them and open their eyes to the truth of where His perfect words are found today and have been for 400 years in the English language - the Authorized King James Holy Bible.
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