Some have argued that Paul’s use of skybala (Phil 3.8), a word translated as rubbish or refuse, is justification for saying more earthy terms for the word. Is this true?
This is somewhat speculative. While I don’t have major qualms with translating the word with a harsher word, I don’t think this justifies using language at liberty like this.
If Paul were at liberty to use such language wouldn’t we see more evidences of it than we do. I mean, he goes pretty buck on the Corinthians and Galatians. You would think that with the anger and emotion he was feeling he would let an f-bomb drop or something. ((Of course, “f-bomb” is contextual, but you get the gist.))
What is wrong with saying all things are as refuse? Is this not earthy and picturesque enough?