Q:

What does the color red mean in the Bible?

A:

Quick Answer

The color red has varied and extensive appearances in the Bible, and verses mention it in both the Jewish Bible, also known as the Tanakh or Old Testament, as well as in the New Testament. The pure color red is consistently associated with blood throughout the Scriptures, while derivations of it, such as scarlet or crimson, often pertain to sin. Additionally, crimson and scarlet sometimes invoke fine fabrics or textiles.

Continue Reading
What does the color red mean in the Bible?
Credit: Caspar Benson N/A Getty Images

Full Answer

While red in the Bible often invokes blood, there are a host of other associations. For example, in Genesis 25:25, it denotes skin color; in Matthew 16:2-3, it denotes the color of the sky. In the Book of Revelations, red takes on more ominous overtones, indicating the Great Dragon, also understood to be Satan, as well as one of the four horses carrying the riders of the Apocalypse, specifically, the rider that ultimately brings terror via warfare. Additionally, red is understood as invoking war in II Kings 3:22, vengeance in Isaiah 63:2 and temptation in Proverbs 23:31.

While references to crimson and scarlet are often found in contexts concerning sin or fine fabrics, there is often overlap between them and the theme of blood more explicitly associated with red. In several passages from Isaiah, for example, crimson indicates sin of an especially violent nature, particularly brutal instances of murder. Frequently, red and similar colors also indicate a need for people to be purified of sin through the actual shedding of blood itself, a process which ultimately results in a moral cleanliness that brings such persons closer to God. In many of these cases, purification is connected to or represented by the color white.

Learn more about Christianity

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some online Bible classes?

    A:

    Some online Bible classes include Applying Scripture in the Contemporary World, Elements of Bible Study, New Testament Literature I, Old Testament Literature I, Genesis and Interpreting Scripture, notes Moody Bible Institute. These courses are part of its undergraduate online studies program. Most are available during the fall, spring and summer semesters.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some of the most quoted bible verses?

    A:

    Some of the most quoted Bible verses are Psalm 23:1-6, which is one of the shortest psalms in the Old Testament, and John 3:16, which Christians frequently call the golden text of the Bible. Matthew 11:28 is also a popular Bible verse about receiving comfort.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Which books of the Bible are the Epistles?

    A:

    The Epistles of the Bible are the 21 books in the New Testament that constitute formal letters of instruction from elders to leaders and members of the new Christian church. Thirteen of the Epistles were written by the Apostle Paul, three by the Apostle John, two by the Apostle Peter, and one each by James and Jude. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews is unknown.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Is tithing a New Testament principle?

    A:

    Tithing is mentioned in both the Old Testament and New Testament. Although there are more references to tithing in the Old Testament, references in the New Testament include Jesus speaking about the careful tithing of the Pharisees in Luke 18:12 and another mention of the concept in Matthew 23:23.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore