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Abarim Publications' Biblical Dictionary: The New Testament Greek word: πλατυς

Source: https://www.abarim-publications.com/DictionaryG/p/p-l-a-t-u-sfin.html

πλατυς

Abarim Publications' online Biblical Greek Dictionary

πλατυς

The adjective πλατυς (platus) means broad or wide. In the Greek classics, it may mean flat or level, broad or thinly spread (of herds), widespread or frequently occurring. Broad shoulders and a broad oath were reckoned virtuously strong, but otherwise "flat" behavior was considered common and rude.

This adjective stems from the same ancient Proto-Indo-European root that gave English words like flat, fold, field, plateau and platter, and of course the ever useful platypus, or flat-foot (from πους, pous, foot).

Our adjective occurs in Matthew 7:13 only, in Jesus' familiar warning: "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it." Literally nobody in Jesus' original audience would have missed the pun: the name of the philosopher Plato, or Πλατων (Platon), derives from our adjective and means Broad One.

From our adjective πλατυς (platus), broad, derive:

  • The noun πλατεια (plateia), literally a broadness, described a street. This word occurs 9 times; see full concordance.
  • The noun πλατος (platos), meaning breadth or width. This word occurs 4 times; see full concordance.
  • The verb πλατυνω (platuno), meaning to broaden or widen (Matthew 23:5, 2 Corinthians 6:11 and 6:13 only). In a city that isn't specifically planned but which grows organically, streets grow from paths and paths from the aligned intentions of the first pathfinders or trailblazers. When a path has been established, it will attract more travelers, because of which it becomes a street. That's probably the idea Paul is exploring in his letter to the Corinthians. Likewise, the phylacteries of the Pharisees once had a specific purpose but over the centuries had become host to an ever waxing caravan of folklore.