Matthew 23:11; the adjective μέγας

A Workbook of New Testament Greek

Jesus has been talking to his disciples, telling them not to call another person ‘teacher,’ or ‘father’.

ὁ δέ μείζων ὑμῶν . . . . the greater/greatest of you

ἔσται ὑμῶν διάκονος. . . . . he will be of you a servant.

The greatest among you will be your servant.  (NIV)


The verb form ἔσται is the 3-S, future indicative of εἰμί, ‘I am’.  For this verse, one finds ἔσται translated in three ways in English:

[he] will be

[he] shall be

[he] must be

with the translators seeming to put a lesser or greater emphasis on the obligatory nature of being a servant.

The masculine noun διάκονος gives us the English ‘deacon’.


μέγας 2The adjective μείζων is technically the masculine singular nominative comparative form of the adjective ‘μέγας’ – ‘great, large’.  In other words, ‘greater, larger’. However, often – as here – the comparative form of μέγας seems…

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