[B-Greek] Matt 13:32a

George F Somsel gfsomsel at yahoo.com
Fri Jul 27 22:30:54 EDT 2007

On genitive constructions Wallace is a rather safe bet to have something to say (so does BDF here)
3. Genitive of Comparison [than]
a. Definition
The genitive substantive, almost always after a comparative adjective, is used to indicate comparison. The genitive, then, is the standard against which the comparison is made (i.e., in “X is greater than Y,” the gen. is the Y). This usage is relatively common.

Daniel B. Wallace. (1999; 2002). Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics - Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament (110). Zondervan Publishing House and Galaxie Software.

Why do we not say "among the smaller seeds"?  Because it compares it not to seeds in general but to all seeds [PANTWN TWN SPERMATWN].

Therefore, O faithful Christian, search for truth, hear truth, 
learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth, 
defend the truth till death.
- Jan Hus

----- Original Message ----
From: Delbert Flora <delbert.flora at hotmail.com>
To: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
Sent: Friday, July 27, 2007 8:36:23 PM
Subject: [B-Greek] Matt 13:32a


I know the King James translators took this comparative MIKROTERON in a 
superlative sense (is the least of all seeds), but it seems like a Greek 
would have understood MIKROTERON, however awkward it would be translated 
into English, to be nothing more than an assertion that the mustard seed is 
‘smaller in comparison’ to all seeds. That is, if all seeds were measured 
and put on some scale, the mustard seed would be on the smaller end. I’m 
just not seeing where a Greek would have presumed a superlative sense with 
MIKROTERON even if the group to which it is being compared is all seeds 
(which would mean that the mustard seed is in both groups, so obviously it 
can't be smaller than itself).

Delbert Flora


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