In The Living Bible, Mark 6:39-40 is rendered:
Then Jesus told the crowd to sit down, and soon colorful groups of fifty or a hundred each were sitting on the green grass.
I was puzzled by the word colourful and initially attributed it to the Living's paraphrase. But then I read the same verses in the Amplified version:
39 Then Jesus commanded them all to sit down by groups on the green grass. 40 They sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties [so that the crowd resembled an orderly arrangement of colorful garden plots].
My two questions are:
- Is there any justification in the original Greek [πρασιαί] for using the adjective colourful to describe the crowd? Looking at Strong's and particularly that word1, I cannot see any justification, except a possible connection to flower beds (see footnote below).
- Assuming that using colourful is appropriate, what does that word signify here? Is it referring to various styles of dress, race, age or some other feature implying the crowd is diverse?
(Going through all the English translations on Bible Gateway, I see that word also inspired The Message translator: "...they looked like a patchwork quilt of wildflowers spread out on the green grass!")
1 The reason for zooming in on that word is from this footnote in the Geneva Bible: The word signifieth the beds in a garden, and it is word for word, by beds and beds, meaning thereby that they sat down in rows one by another, as beds in a garden.