Comparative adjective in John 5:36

Carl Conrad cwconrad at
Sat Jan 30 20:29:21 EST 1999

On 01/30/99, "David Miller <dmiller at>" wrote:
> A friend of mine is trying to revive his college Greek and came over the
> other day with a few questions.   One concerned the presence of MEIZW in
> John 5:36.  I would have expected MEIZWN.  GRAMCORD parsed this as a FSA
> comparative adj. from MEGAS.  However, a search of all other FSA comp.
> occurrences of MEGAS in the NT and LXX did not bring up any other
> occurrences of MEIZW.  Metzger's textual commentary refers to Moulton,
> Prolegomena (which I don't have).
> How was I supposed to know that this was an accusative form?  Is this
> form of MEGAS common outside of Biblical Greek?  

When one learns the comparative adjectives, one OUGHT to learn that, in 
addition to the comparative marker -ION- that would yield an acc. sg. 
MEIZONA here, there is an alternative comparative marker -IOS- which 
regularly involves an evanescing sigma, such that the acc. sg. form here is 
MEIZO(S)A which becomes, after contraction of the vowels left in hiatus 
after evanescence of the sigma, MEIZW. There are several of these -IOS- 
comparative forms, and even if th -ION- forms are more common outside of 
Attic dialect, the -IOS- forms ought to be learned as alternatives, as they 
do occasionally, as in this instance, appear.

[I am having to check B-Greek today through the web site, as my home mail 
server has been down all day, although oddly enough, I have direct internet 
access through the same domain. If anyone's tried to reach me off-list 
today, the reason is that no e-mail is getting through directly to me.]

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