Re: What is the greek curse word that Paul uses?

From: Micheal Palmer (
Date: Wed Mar 11 1998 - 01:33:28 EST

At 9:03 PM -0600 3/5/98, justin wrote:
>Does anyone know of the curse word that Paul uses in one of the letters? If
>so, what letter is it in? Also, how was it used in everday life?

The word you are looking for is probably SKUBALA in Philippians 3:8, but I
should point out that while it is true that the translation "rubbish" or
"garbage" may be a mild choice considering that SKUBALA was the word used
for human excrement, it is still NOT clear that the word was considered
profanity at the time of Paul. In fact, the problem of determining what
words would have been considered profane at this point in time is far from

It may be simply that SKUBALA meant something close to our English word
'waste', and could therefore be applied to both garbage and excrement
without the connotations of profanity.

Micheal W. Palmer
Religion & Philosophy
Meredith College

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