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Circumcision Not Recommended

Circumcision is not a Christian rite,1 in fact, it is discouraged in the New Testament, as shown by this Bible quote.

Circumcision counts for nothing, and its lack makes no difference either. What matters is keeping God’s commandments.” 1 Corinthians 7:18-19. 2

Christianity began as a Jewish sect, and for Jews, sacrifice has religious benefits. These include sacrificing the foreskin in a rite called the bris.3  However, for Christians, the crucifixion of Jesus is the definitive and sole sacrifice. Early Christians were warned to not be influenced by old ways.

Watch out for workers of evil. Be on guard against those who mutilate.” Philippians 3:2-4 4

Christianity broke off from Judaism in part because of their spiritual difference of opinion regarding circumcision.5 Although it was once required, according to the Old Testament, that mandate is rescinded by the New Testament.

Pay close attention to me, Paul, when I tell you that if you have yourselves circumcised, Christ will be of no use to you… In Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor the lack of it counts for anything; only faith, which expresses itself through love.” Galatians 5:2-6 6

Catholics in particular are adamant about leaving boys intact. Circumcision is expressly forbidden on the grounds of respect for bodily integrity; i.e. the body is a temple.7 Catholic Catechism states, “Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against moral law.”8

This information has been reviewed by our panel of experts and other trusted advisors, however, it is not a substitute for professional medical, legal, or spiritual advice.

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision_controversy_in_early_Christianity
  2. The New American Bible, Catholic Bible Publishers, Wichita, Kansas, Copyright 1970, 1978-1979 Edition. NIHIL OBSTAT Stephen J. Hartdegen, O.F.M., S.S.L., Christian P. Ceroke, O.Carm., S.T.D. IMPRIMATUR Patrick Cardinal O’Boyle, D.D., Archbishop of Washington.
  3. Eisenbaum, Pamela (Winter 2004). “A Remedy for Having Been Born of Woman: Jesus, Gentiles, and Genealogy in Romans”. Journal of Biblical Literature 123 (4): 671–702.
  4. The New American Bible, Catholic Bible Publishers, Wichita, Kansas, Copyright 1970, 1978-1979 Edition. NIHIL OBSTAT Stephen J. Hartdegen, O.F.M., S.S.L., Christian P. Ceroke, O.Carm., S.T.D. IMPRIMATUR Patrick Cardinal O’Boyle, D.D., Archbishop of Washington.
  5. Marked in Your Flesh, by Leonard B. Glick, Oxford, 2005
  6. The New American Bible, Catholic Bible Publishers, Wichita, Kansas, Copyright 1970, 1978-1979 Edition. NIHIL OBSTAT Stephen J. Hartdegen, O.F.M., S.S.L., Christian P. Ceroke, O.Carm., S.T.D. IMPRIMATUR Patrick Cardinal O’Boyle, D.D., Archbishop of Washington.
  7. Clark PA. To circumcise or not to circumcise. A Catholic ethicist argues that the practice is not in the best interest of male infants. Health Prog. 2006 Sep-Oct;87(5):30-9.
  8. (No. 2297)
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