A Translation of Philippians 3:7-11

Nevertheless, all the things that I used to think were profitable; I have considered them all a loss because of Christ.  But even more than that, I am considering everything (not just my religious heritage) a loss because of the transcending knowledge of Jesus Christ my Lord.  Because of Him I have willingly laid everything down.  In fact I am considering everything as crap*, so that I might win Christ and be found in Him:  not having my own external righteousness that comes from the law rather than through the faithfulness of Christ, but an internal righteousness that comes from God through faith.  I desire to know Him and the power of his resurrection, participating in his suffering, being molded by His death, if, in some way, I might also endure until the resurrection from the dead.

*I would use a more descriptive and shocking word if I wasn’t as concerned for the sensibilities of others.  I think, however, that a different translation might be helpful.  See Daniel Wallace’s online article for more help.

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4 thoughts on “A Translation of Philippians 3:7-11”

  1. I have never seen the case that foul language, whichever of the two you chose to use, added anything to wisdom! (I imagine you will not post this comment.) I’m sorry that I had failed to unsubscribe — I’ll take care of that now.

  2. Del,

    I hope you do not unsubscribe. I will continue to publish the comments of anyone who provides their point of view (unless it is derogatory to another person).

    Also, I just read my translation again and cannot find a “foul” word in there (I am not the one who used the language, Paul did). I hope you understand just how shocking Paul’s language (or the Bible’s language in many other situations) would have been to the original readers. In my translation I was trying to communicate just how little value my own “accomplishments” are in light of knowing Jesus.

    In one of my Greek classes with Dave Black (a more godly and intelligent man I have not met) I chose the more incendiary translation of “skubalon” and, while he might not have used the exact same word, he felt my translation adequately communicated Paul’s intent.

    The TDNT (Theological Dictionary of the New Testament) even says that the word for “rubbish” (with which you take exception above) is a “vulgar term [that] stresses the force and totality of [Paul’s] renunciation.” For more on my view of cussing (namely that words aren’t immoral but the way one chooses to use them) you can read a recent post I wrote entitled “Do You Believe in &$#$@!?: “Cussing” and Biblical Language.” (https://renrutkram.com/2010/05/07/cussing-and-biblical-language/)

    If you have a problem with my translation then you would certainly have a problem with the original Greek in this passage and many other passages throughout Scripture. Remember, Paul chose to use the word “skubalon” I just tried to translate the meaning across a vast cultural and literary distance. If I failed, then I apologize. I was merely trying to be faithful to the text.

  3. You did not use “rubbish,” nor did you use “refuse” as the Zondervan Interlinear uses, or “dung” as the KJV uses, or “filth” as the Holman uses. I will give you credit that you didn’t use the stronger word that you implied you wanted to use, but I believe it is the thought that counts. In our home where I grew up and in our home where I raised two children and have much good time with seven grandchildren, we don’t use the word you used. It is accepted and treated as if the stronger word was used.
    In any case, I thought you took unnecessary liberties on translation to a current vernacular that I don’t consider appropriate and that I certainly wouldn’t ascribe to Paul — just my humble opinion.
    I haven’t found a way to unsubscribe without unsubscribing from WordPress and I do want to start a blog on the Providential founding of America and what that fully means to us as citizens of heaven and of the United States of America.

  4. I appreciate your thoughts. I’ll take them into consideration on future translations. For further reading, the link I included was for a page by Daniel Wallace. You can read his credentials at the Dallas Theological Seminary page (http://www.dts.edu/about/faculty/dwallace/). Also, you can see how the NET (New English Translation) translates the word – pay attention to the footnote (http://net.bible.org/passage.php?search=philippians%203:7-11&passage=philippians%203:7-11#n7)

    Again, I hope you don’t unsubscribe. Also, send me the link to your blog when you start it. I am interested to read your thoughts from the outset and hope our interactions can be mutually beneficial and helpful as we try to serve Christ.

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