Add parallel Print Page Options

28 I tell you, among those born of women no one is greater[a] than John.[b] Yet the one who is least[c] in the kingdom of God[d] is greater than he is.”

Read full chapter


  1. Luke 7:28 sn In the Greek text greater is at the beginning of the clause in the emphatic position. John the Baptist was the greatest man of the old era.
  2. Luke 7:28 tc The earliest and best mss read simply ᾿Ιωάννου (Iōannou, “John”) here (P75 א B L W Ξ ƒ1 579). Others turn this into “John the Baptist” (K 33 565 al it), “the prophet John the Baptist” (A [D] Θ ƒ13 M lat), or “the prophet John” (Ψ 700 [892 1241]). “It appears that προφήτης was inserted by pedantic copyists who wished thereby to exclude Christ from the comparison, while others added τοῦ βαπτιστοῦ, assimilating the text to Mt 11.11” (TCGNT 119).
  3. Luke 7:28 sn After John comes a shift of eras. John stands at the end of the old era (those born of women), and is to some extent a pivotal or transitional figure. The new era which John heralds is so great that the lowest member of it (the one who is least in the kingdom of God) is greater than the greatest one of the previous era. (The parallel passage Matt 11:11 reads kingdom of heaven.)
  4. Luke 7:28 sn The kingdom of God is a major theme of Jesus’ teaching. The nature of the kingdom of God in the NT and in Jesus’ teaching has long been debated by interpreters and scholars, with discussion primarily centering around the nature of the kingdom (earthly, heavenly, or both) and the kingdom’s arrival (present, future, or both). An additional major issue concerns the relationship between the kingdom of God and the person and work of Jesus himself. See Luke 6:20; 11:20; 17:20-21. Here the kingdom of God is not viewed as strictly future, though its full manifestation is yet to come. That is why membership in it starts right after John the Baptist.