Circumcision – Good or Bad?

Feb 15, 2017


Ruth asks about circumcision:

Why did God create man in his own image/reflection, and then tell him to cut off some part of his genital to form a covenant with God?

Was this for a sacrificial purpose? Was it karma for wrong use of sexual energies? Why would God create genitals and foreskin and then tell humans to circumcise themselves to form a covenant? Didn’t anyone bother to question this, Abraham just went along with it, because it seemed perfectly normal?

Or does circumcision have a different meaning? What is the Hebrew word for circumcision? Why is circumcision an everlasting covenant, if the Law is not everlasting? Wouldn’t God have realised that creating such an everlasting covenant, that humans would naturally corrupt this teaching and then it would become something worse?   It doesn’t say in the Bible to circumcise women.

God apparently said this:

Gen 16:14   And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant……

So all down the generations those who are from the Abraham seed, and who haven’t been circumcised would now have broken that covenant with God, and be cut off from his people, according to this?

Something sounds dodgy in those paragraphs.


“Circumcise” comes from the Hebrew MUWL which means “To cut off, curtail or to cut short.”

The basic reason for this was that it was deemed necessary to have some unmistakable physical identification mark to set apart the true followers of Jehovah. I suppose it could have been something like cutting off a little finger or a piece of the ear – or possibly a certain type of tattoo, but instead circumcision was chosen.

Circumcision was probably chosen because sexual desire was seen as a source of much sin and this was a sign of curtailing that desire and dedication oneself to God.

It was said to be an “everlasting” covenant, but the word “everlasting” comes from OWLAM which merely means a long time, or for the foreseeable future. There is no exact word for eternity, or everlasting in the Biblical Hebrew.

Fortunately, the practice was not demanded forever and was discontinued largely through the efforts of Paul.

He seemed to downplay the practice, not so much because it was barbaric, as was the animal sacrifice, but because of the attitude of moral superiority that many Jews had because they were circumcised.

He said this:

For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” Rom 2:28-29

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

“Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. …

“For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” Gal 5:1-6

And finally this:

“And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.” Col 3:10-11

The question many have is whether circumcision was really inspired from God to begin with. After all, Ruth makes a great point that if we were in the image of God then why would God command us to change that image?

The practice also seems barbaric and many say that it creates trauma for the young baby. In addition, there are many slip-ups and many a child has been maimed for life because of malpractice.

Blavatsky says that Moses learned of the practice from the Egyptians so it is quite possible that it was an invention by humans to control and mark other humans.

Whatever its use was in ancient times, it seems to have no spiritual place in the modern world.

Copyright by J J Dewey

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2 thoughts on “Circumcision – Good or Bad?

  1. Causing the infant to feel pain is barbaric. Tolerating the haphazard outcomes is insane. But…

    We need to say. Circumcision wrecks sex.

    No person should be forcefully denied the benefits of all their god-given parts. Informed adults can decide for themselves about whether to diminish their sexual parts.

    1. Male and female circumcision should be considered child abuse and grievous bodily harm and needs to be stamped out. Many of the old scriptures have been modified by humans for the purposes of controlling people and I think that is where the information on circumcision in the Old Testament comes from. There’s alot of dodgy stuff in the Old Testament, particularly when it comes to punishment.

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