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Thread: The rider of the white horse

  1. #1

    The rider of the white horse

    Revelation 6.2: And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer.

    This almost universally interpreted as referring to "the antichrist", but I maintain that this is wholly inconsistent with the Revelation, and here are my reasons for believing as such.

    First, literally every single instance of the word "white" in the Revelation is used consistently to describe things or people that are holy and righteous. It is never used extraneously to describe neutral things, or worse, wicked things. The idea that the rider of the white horse is evil contradicts John's usage of the color throughout the entire book.

    What should be taken into account is that the Revelation wholly consistently describes the wicked as being wicked, and openly states if the wicked are being deceptive. No such thing is even implied in regards to the rider of the white horse. Deception is not mentioned, so deception should not be considered by the reader.

    Second, and even less convincing is the argument that since the rider of the white horse goes out "conquering and to conquer" that he could only be doing so with evil intentions. In his messages to the seven churches, Jesus frequently calls for his followers "to conquer" (Greek, nikao), with promises of eternal life to those who do so. [2.7,11,17,26, 3.5,12,21] In fact, in two such instances, the "conqueror" is promised things colored white (a "white stone" in 2.17, and "white garments" in 3.5). Jesus is likewise described as "the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, [who] has conquered". [5.5] The followers of Jesus are said to have "conquered [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony". [12.11]

    Later mentioned are those who "conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name". [15.2] Jesus is describing as "conquer[ing]" the ten kings who serve the beast. [17.14] Finally, "the one who conquers" is promised the "heritage" of the New Jerusalem, and the water of life. [21.7] Twelve times the verb "to conquer" is used in reference to holy and righteous people, with only two counts for "to conquer" being applied to the wicked beast, [11.7, 13.7] with the remaining one count [6.6] being the rider of the white horse.

    Because of the verb "conquer" being applied for more regularly to the righteous, and the color "white" being applied absolutely only to righteous people or things of righteous nature, I would insist that the rider of the white horse is most certainly not wicked, but righteous in nature. Besides, the rendering of the Greek verb nikao as "to conquer" in this verse inherently brings along an unfairly negative prejudice that the reader should rid themselves of.

    Third, given that the four other three horsemen are seen to be personifications of events and actions, I would say that we should not look for a specific individual in the rider of the white horse, but remain consistent with John's presentation of the other three horsemen. With these other three horsemen, we see war, famine, plague, and violence. The reader of Scripture should keep in mind that these are consistently seen in the Old Testament during times of God's judgment (the Torah even records God's promise that these things will be turned upon Israel should they turn away from him); it was God who sent war, famine, plague, and violence upon those he was judging, and such should be how we interpret the seals of Scripture. These are not things set into motion by the wicked, but are events under the command of God. It is by his decree that these things happen in times of judgment, and the Revelation just so happens to describe a great deal of judgment.

    Fourth, the rider is "given a crown". The action of being given a crown is only otherwise seen in regards to the faithful followers of Jesus, [2.10] not of anyone wicked.

    So, the rider of the white horse should be interpreted by these characteristics:

    1. the horse is white, an attribute only ever attributed to the righteous within the book,
    2. the rider is said "to conquer", a verb far more commonly attributed to the righteous within the book,
    3. the white horsemen is not a specific person, but an event/action that takes place by God's righteous command,
    4. the rider is given a crown, an attribute only otherwise attributed to the righteous,

    The rider of the white horse can only be depicting something righteous in nature. I believe the giving of a crown implies a correspondence to remaining faithful and giving testimoney about Jesus, the action of the white horse going out into the earth suggests a spreading of the righteousness the color white, the accompaniment of personified events leans in favor of the horse going out by the will of God, and that the rider "conquers" further associates it with those who follow Jesus and remain faithful.

    I would suggest, then, that the rider of the white horse is a personification of the spreading of the gospel by the actions of the followers of Jesus, or something along those lines, far from the commonly believed "antichrist".

  2. #2
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    I read somewhere that in the original text the words for the crown and the bow of the rider of the white horse describe them as being simple or common, while the crown Jesus wears in Rev. 14:14 is a different word.

    Any thoughts about that?

    edit: bleh, checked it and the crown is the same word.. I'll try to find the article.

  3. #3
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    But someone can look to it as it being the enemy coming out into the earth dressed as the saints. Of course we all know that the devil is great at deceiving. So lets say that it is something that is going to happen, since the white horse represents conquest, it can be the enemy's last try to go out and take as many people as possible and stop them from believing in GOD.

    Then also take into account that the enemy always tries to cover himself as one of us(saved),

    Matthew 7
    "15Beware of the false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits....."

    So the anti-christ probably not but I'm not sure that it is a righteous person or righteous in nature.
    9For zeal for Your house has consumed me,
    And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.
    Psalm 69:9

    4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
    James 4:4

    19 You believe that God is one You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder
    James 2:19

    "5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Genesis 6:5

  4. #4
    forum lurker,

    The same Greek word, stephanos ("crown") is used in: 2.10, 3.11, (faithful followers of Jesus) 4.4,10, (the elders in heaven), 6.2 (the rider of the white horse), 12.1 (the woman), and 14.14 (Jesus, the Son of Man on the cloud). All of the other instances (6.2 being excluded, as it is the verse in question) use stephanos in regards to holy or righteous people (Jesus included). The only exception to this is found in 9.7, regarding the locusts; but, the text explicitly says the locusts had something like crowns on their heads, not that they actually wore crowns. The usage of the word "like" makes this instance distinct from the others: all of the other instances definitively refer to actual "crowns", whereas this one only uses "crowns" as a comparison, which disqualifies it from being counted with these other examples.

    The Greek text uses the same Greek word for "crown" in referring to the crown given to Christ's followers in 2.10, the crown given to the rider of the white horse in 6.1, and the crown Jesus is seen wearing in 14.14.

    Also, the Greek word, diadema ("crown", "diadem") is used in: 12.3 (the dragon), 13.1 (the beast of the sea), and 19.12 (Jesus, the one called faithful and true).

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by DeadToSelf View Post
    But someone can look to it as it being the enemy coming out into the earth dressed as the saints. Of course we all know that the devil is great at deceiving.
    As I said before:

    [The color white] is
    never used extraneously to describe neutral things, or worse, wicked things. The idea that the rider of the white horse is evil contradicts John's usage of the color throughout the entire book. What should be taken into account is that the Revelation wholly consistently describes the wicked as being wicked, and openly states if the wicked are being deceptive. No such thing is even implied in regards to the rider of the white horse. Deception is not mentioned, so deception should not be considered by the reader.

    Claiming that the white horse represents a figure of deception is simply not supported by the text. One can only read this alleged deception into the text, not out of it, which is the exact opposite of how to properly interpret Scripture. Your claim that the rider of the white horse is a deceiver was counterpointed before you even made your post...

    So lets say that it is something that is going to happen, since the white horse represents conquest, it can be the enemy's last try to go out and take as many people as possible and stop them from believing in GOD.
    As I also already counterpointed this claim...

    Put in a simple manner: My OP provided Point A (the rider of the white horse is a deceiver) and Point B (the conquest is one of evil), and already provided Counterpoint A and Counterpoint B. It does no good for you to simply repeat Point A and Point B after I have already Counterpointed them. Repeating a point doesn't strengthen it. I do not intend to be rude, but if you would like to address my Counterpoints (labeled as "First" and "Second" in the OP), I would appreciate the contribution to the discussion, but otherwise, all you done is repeat two Points that I have already Countered.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by markedward View Post
    forum lurker,

    The same Greek word, stephanos ("crown") is used in: 2.10, 3.11, (faithful followers of Jesus) 4.4,10, (the elders in heaven), 6.2 (the rider of the white horse), 12.1 (the woman), and 14.14 (Jesus, the Son of Man on the cloud). All of the other instances (6.2 being excluded, as it is the verse in question) use stephanos in regards to holy or righteous people (Jesus included). The only exception to this is found in 9.7, regarding the locusts; but, the text explicitly says the locusts had something like crowns on their heads, not that they actually wore crowns. The usage of the word "like" makes this instance distinct from the others: all of the other instances definitively refer to actual "crowns", whereas this one only uses "crowns" as a comparison, which disqualifies it from being counted with these other examples.

    The Greek text uses the same Greek word for "crown" in referring to the crown given to Christ's followers in 2.10, the crown given to the rider of the white horse in 6.1, and the crown Jesus is seen wearing in 14.14.

    Also, the Greek word, diadema ("crown", "diadem") is used in: 12.3 (the dragon), 13.1 (the beast of the sea), and 19.12 (Jesus, the one called faithful and true).
    I didn't find the article but you're correct, there's only one word describing the crowns. It does seem the bow (toxon) of the horseman can be translated as something along "of cheap fabric", discussed here:

    http://bibleforums.org/showthread.ph...ar#post1419211

    I haven't studied it further, just thought it might be interesting.

  7. #7
    Based on the context, however, there is no immediate reason for translating toxon as a fabric bow (i.e., a "ribbon", essentially), and even if such were the case, there isn't any other instance in the New Testament of a bow/ribbon being mentioned. The word toxon is used, however, outside of the New Testament to refer to a bow (as in, a bow with arrows), so that seems to be the best translation.

  8. #8
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    I repeated them to show my view on what u had said.

    Yes John does say really great things about the followers of GOD and all this white that he uses.

    Yes deception isn't ever mentioned. But if the white horse is the anti-christ then deception would be presupposed.

    I mean your case is good. But I just want my questions answered.

    No you're not being rude. When you want to get a point across you want to get it across. So no hard feelings.
    9For zeal for Your house has consumed me,
    And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.
    Psalm 69:9

    4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
    James 4:4

    19 You believe that God is one You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder
    James 2:19

    "5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Genesis 6:5

  9. #9
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    Oh yeah which leads me to another question. How do we know there will be an anti-christ? I know that John talks about it in his last letters but that's just the spirit of anti-christ anything opposing GOD. But where do we read that there will be one guy doing all the deceiving and controlling gov't's.
    9For zeal for Your house has consumed me,
    And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.
    Psalm 69:9

    4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
    James 4:4

    19 You believe that God is one You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder
    James 2:19

    "5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Genesis 6:5

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by DeadToSelf View Post
    Oh yeah which leads me to another question. How do we know there will be an anti-christ? I know that John talks about it in his last letters but that's just the spirit of anti-christ anything opposing GOD. But where do we read that there will be one guy doing all the deceiving and controlling gov't's.

    Read John's epistle again. It says it right there. It says that anti-christ (singular) will come.

  11. #11
    Partaker of Christ Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by rom826 View Post
    Read John's epistle again. It says it right there. It says that anti-christ (singular) will come.
    And antichrist is a spirit.
    John says that you have heard that antichrist will come, and even now is in the world.

    1Jn 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
    1Jn 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

    Greater is He that is in you (Christ) then he that is in the world (antichrist)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Partaker of Christ View Post
    And antichrist is a spirit.
    John says that you have heard that antichrist will come, and even now is in the world.

    1Jn 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
    1Jn 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

    Greater is He that is in you (Christ) then he that is in the world (antichrist)
    Actually, the word "spirit" isn't in the Greek right there. What John is saying is that those who are antichrist speak by the spirit of error. Just one of those little known fun facts. Makes you want to learn Greek, huh?
    analyze. synthesize. repeat.

    *It is the next chapter of my life, whether I'm ready or not. My time here in these forums has come to its close. I bless you as I go!*

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    Quote Originally Posted by astrongerthanhe View Post
    Actually, the word "spirit" isn't in the Greek right there. What John is saying is that those who are antichrist speak by the spirit of error. Just one of those little known fun facts. Makes you want to learn Greek, huh?
    But if spirit of the antichrist is wrong, how come spirit of error is ok? And someone speaking in error does not necessarily equate to denying that Christ came in the flesh. I mean, any and all errors do not qualify to make one antichrist.




  14. #14
    Yes deception isn't ever mentioned. But if the white horse is the anti-christ then deception would be presupposed.
    Presupposition is not a valid form of interpreting Scripture. If the reader admits that the text does not mention something (deception in this case), the reader cannot simply presuppose it about the text. That is called "eisegesis", in which a reader, without the support of the text, reads something into it, rather than out of it. If Revelation 6.2 doesn't mention deception, and all of the evidence is does provide points in a totally different direction towards something righteous instead of something wicked, then it would be purely eisegetical to still claim that the passage is about a deceptive figure. Presupposing something about the text requires ignoring the evidence it does give, which is a terrible way to go about finding a proper interpretation.

    But I just want my questions answered.
    Well, I didn't see you ask any questions, but like I said, I responded to your points before you even raised them...?

    Read John's epistle again. It says it right there. It says that anti-christ (singular) will come.
    The word "antichrist" is singular, but the manner in which John speaks plainly allows, and even demands, the existence of multiple people who are antichrist. "You have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists [plural] have come ... they [plural] went out from us". Later he says, "every [suggestive of plural] spirit that does not confess Jesus Christ as having come in the flesh is not of God, and is that of antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is already in the world [referring back to his previous statement, which is explicitly plural]". In his second epistle, "For many deceivers [plural] have gone out into the world ... Such a one [suggestive of plural] is a deceiver and an antichrist."

    So... back to Revelation 6.2? This seems to be derailing in any entirely irrelevant direction. The topic isn't about whether there is or isn't an individual "the antichrist", it's about whether or not Revelation 6.2 is depicting such a figure as most claim it to be.

  15. #15
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    I did a study on this a long time ago and came to the same conclusion..this is indeed Christ on the white horse.

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

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