an object lesson to set against the disciples’ preoccupation with who should be greatest in the kingdom of God. The Greek word for ‘young child’ is paidion. We
are more familiar with the element ‘paid-’ in its Latin form ‘paed-‘. It gives us
words like ‘paedagogue’, meaning ‘schoolmaster’, but it originally referred to the slave in Greek households who took a young child to school, the ‘paidagogos’.
It then developed the meaning ‘tutor’ and so ‘schoolmaster’. ‘Paediatrics’ is the branch of medicine dealing with children and their diseases. An orthopaedic hospital was originally one that specialised in the straightening out (orthos = ‘straight’) of bones and skeletal deformities in children. Now, of course, such a hospital is not confined to children. Today, we are more familiar with the element ‘paed-‘ as it occurs in ‘paedophile’. Originally, a ‘paidophilos’ was someone who
was fond of children, but today it has acquired the negative meaning of ‘child-abuser’.