A friend sent me an interesting follow-up to last week’s post on profanity. In the article which you can read if you click here, the author points out Paul’s use of the Greek word σκύβαλα (skubala) in Philippians 3:8. The author then offers that this word can and should be easily translated to “shit”.
I’m not a Greek scholar so I really can’t fight this point too much (as if I’d want to) but it is fair to say this is debatable. A translation of this sort goes across cultural boundaries and implications and certainly isn’t a given. Paul’s uses this word only once in the New Testament so there’s little to cross reference or compare it too. That being said, modern translations are notorious for losing the tone of the original text, and softening Paul’s translation here wouldn’t be the first time they’ve done so. My lexicon cites the word’s meaning as:
- any refuse, as the excrement of animals, offscourings, rubbish, dregs
- of things worthless and detestable
So, paraphrased in modern language, well…yes…”shit” works. Either way, check out the article. Whether you agree with it or not, it is wicked interesting and really furthers the point.
Oh, and happy Monday.