Science of Circumcision: Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac or St. Paul?

abraham

A painting of Abraham’s departure by József Molnár

Written and Collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

According to the Islamic understanding, Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac, may peace of God be on all of them, were all revered prophets of God.  The Holy Quran has mentioned all three of them several times.  But, today, my focus will be the Holy Bible.

All three of them were circumcised according to Genesis, as Patriarch Abraham was instructed about the practice, by God.

St. Paul gave up the Jewish practice to convert the Gentiles to Christianity, as an astute political move, to remove any hesitance among those, who were to be converted. Little did he know that it would eventually backfire and that medical science will come to haunt his two billion followers, some two thousand years later!

jesus boy

The Greek Orthodox Church celebrates the Circumcision of Christ on 1 January, while Orthodox churches following the Julian calendar celebrate it on 14 January. All Orthodox churches consider it a “Great Feast”

The immediate cause of my writing this article turned out to be the reading of an article, published recently in Los Angeles Times: Circumcision study supports HIV theory.

According to this article, researchers say the foreskin can shelter troublesome bacteria, so its removal may bolster the immune system to keep the AIDS virus at bay.

I will divide the evidence that I want to present here under a few headings in this post.

Teachings of Roman Catholic Church

Historically, the Roman Catholic Church denounced religious circumcision for its members in the Cantate Domino, written during the 11th Council of Florence in 1442.[35] This decision was based on the belief that baptism had superseded circumcision (Col 2:11-12),[36] and may also have been a response to Coptic Christians, who continued to practice circumcision. The modern Roman Catholic Church maintains a neutral position on the practice of non-religious circumcision, and has never addressed the issue of infant circumcision specifically.[37]

Some Catholic scholars, such as Fr. John J. Dietzen, a retired priest and columnist, have argued that paragraph number 2297 from the Catholic Catechism (Respect for bodily integrity) makes the practice of elective and neonatal circumcision immoral.[38] John Paul Slosar and Daniel O’Brien, however, argue that the therapeutic benefits of neonatal circumcision are inconclusive, but that recent findings that circumcision may prevent disease puts the practice outside the realm of paragraph 2297.[37] They also argue that statements regarding mutilation and amputation in the “Respect for bodily integrity” paragraph are made within the context of kidnapping, hostage taking or torture, and that if circumcision is defined as an amputation, any removal of tissue or follicle, regardless of its effect on functional integrity, could be considered a violation of moral law.[37] The proportionality of harm versus benefit of medical procedures, as defined by Directives 29 and 33 of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (National Conference of Catholic Bishops),[39] have also been interpreted to support[37] and reject[40] the practice of circumcision. These arguments represent the conscience of the individual writers, and not the official stance of the Roman Catholic Church. The most recent statement by the Roman Catholic Church was that of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI:

“The Church of Antioch sent Barnabas on a mission with Paul, which became known as the Apostle’s first missionary journey . . . Together with Paul, he then went to the so-called Council of Jerusalem where after a profound examination of the question, the Apostles with the Elders decided to discontinue the practice of circumcision so that it was no longer a feature of the Christian identity (cf. Acts 15: 1-35). It was only in this way that, in the end, they officially made possible the Church of the Gentiles, a Church without circumcision; we are children of Abraham simply through faith in Christ.”[41]

With the exception of the commemoration of the circumcision of Jesus in accordance with Jewish practice, circumcision has not been part of Roman Catholic practice. According to an epistle of Cyprian of Carthage, Circumcision of the flesh was replaced by circumcision of the spirit.[42]

Medical science and circumcision

According to a recent publication in Los Angeles Times, by Monte Morin, Circumcision study supports HIV theory:

Circumcision is known to reduce a man’s risk of HIV infection by at least half, but scientists don’t know why. A new study offers support for the theory that removing the foreskin deprives troublesome bacteria of a place to live, leaving the immune system in much better shape to keep the human immunodeficiency virus at bay.

Anyone who has ever lifted a rock and watched as the earth beneath it was quickly vacated by legions of bugs and tiny worms would be familiar with the principle, said study leader Dr. Cindy Liu: After the foreskin is cut away, the masses of genital bacteria that once existed beneath it end up disappearing.

I have cataloged a lot of evidence of medical benefits of male circumcision in my previous article, Male Circumcision, From St. Paul to Hillary Clinton.

Abraham and Ishmael and their circumcision

A simple reading of the whole of Genesis 17, highlights the religious importance of circumcision and that Ishmael, may peace be on him, was the first born of Patriarch Abraham and was circumcised at an age of 13.  Here I quote Genesis 17 from New International Version and have omitted a small portion, which talks about discrimination between Isaac and Ishmael, for I do not agree with that portion of Genesis 17 and that may have been an interpolation:

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.  Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”

Abram fell face down, and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”

Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised,including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring. Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”

And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.” When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him.

On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him. Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised, and his son Ishmael was thirteen; Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that very day. And every male in Abraham’s household, including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was circumcised with him. (Genesis 17:1-27)

Isaac was not born yet at the time this covenant was given to Abraham and the external sign was marked by circumcision of all the male members, young and old.  How do I know that Isaac was not born yet?  I know it as the Bible tells that at the time of circumcision Abraham was ninety nine year old, as mentioned in Genesis 17 above.  We also learn from the Bible, itself that when Isaac was born Abraham was 100 years old: “Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.” (Genesis 21:5)

Isaac’s circumcision

Isaac was 14 years younger than Ishmael and he was also circumcised in due course of time.  According to Genesis: “When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him.” (Genesis 21:4)

According to Jewish law, ritual circumcision of male children is a commandment from God that Jews are obligated to follow, and is only postponed or abrogated in the case of threat to the life or health of the child.[4]  

The penalty of non-observance was kareth, spiritual excision from the people (Genesis 17:10-14, 21:4; Lev 12:3). Non-Israelites had to undergo circumcision before they could be allowed to take part in the feast of Passover (Exodus 12:48).

Jesus’ and St. Paul’s circumcision

While Jesus’ circumcision was recorded as having been performed in accordance with Torah requirements in Luke 2:21, according to the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 15, the leaders of the Christian Church at the Council of Jerusalem rejected circumcision as a requirement for Gentile converts, possibly the first act of differentiation of Early Christianity from its Jewish roots,[27] see also list of events in early ChristianityPaul of Tarsus, who called himself Apostle to the Gentiles, attacked the practice, but not consistently, for example in one case he personally circumcised Timothy “because of the Jews” that were in town (Timothy had a Jewish Christian mother but a Greek father Acts 16:1–3).[28] He also appeared to praise its value inRom 3:1–2, hence the topic of Paul of Tarsus and Judaism is still debated. Paul argued that circumcision no longer meant the physical, but a spiritual practice (Rom 2:25–29). And in that sense, he wrote 1 Cor 7:18: “Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised”—probably a reference to the practice of epispasm.[29] Paul was already circumcised (“on the eighth day”, Phil 3:4–5) when he was “called”. He added: “Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised”, and went on to argue that circumcision did not matter: “Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts (1 Cor 7:19).”

Later he more explicitly denounced the practice, rejecting and condemning those who promoted circumcision to Gentile Christians. He accused Galatian Christians who advocated circumcision of turning from the Spirit to the flesh. And in Gal 3:3 says “Are you so foolish, that, whereas you began in the Spirit, you would now be made perfect by the flesh?” He accused circumcision advocates of wanting to make a good showing in the flesh Gal 6:12 and of glorying or boasting of the flesh Gal 6:13. Some believe Paul wrote the entire book of Galatians attacking circumcision and requiring the keeping of Jewish law by Christians,saying in chapter five: “If ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.”

In a late letter he warned Christians to beware of the concision, or mutilation,[30] saying that Christians were the true circumcision because they worshiped in the Spirit of God (Phil 3:2–3).

The Catholic Encyclopedia’s entry on Judaizers notes: “Paul, on the other hand, not only did not object to the observance of the Mosaic Law, as long as it did not interfere with the liberty of the Gentiles, but he conformed to its prescriptions when occasion required (1 Cor 9:20). Thus he shortly after circumcised Timothy (Acts 16:1–3), and he was in the very act of observing the Mosaic ritual when he was arrested at Jerusalem (21:26 sqq.).”[31]

Simon Peter, who for Catholic Christians is the first Pope, condemned circumcision for converts according to Acts 15. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, charged that the advocates of circumcision were “false brothers” (Gal 2:4). Some Biblical scholars think that the Epistle of Titus, generally attributed to Paul, may state that circumcision should be discouraged among Christians (Titus 1:10–16), though others believe this is merely a reference to Jews. Circumcision was so closely associated with Jewish men that Jewish Christians were referred to as “those of the circumcision” (Col 3:20[7] or conversely Christians who were circumcised were referred to as Jewish Christians or Judaizers. These terms (circumcised/uncircumcised) are generally interpreted to mean Jews and Greeks, who were predominate, however it is an oversimplification as 1st century Iudaea Province also had some Jews who no longer circumcised (see Hellenistic Judaism), and some Greeks (see Proselytes or Judaizers) and others such as Egyptians, Ethiopians, and Arabs who did.

In the Gospel of John 7:23 Jesus is reported as giving this response to those who criticized him for healing on Sabbath: “If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?”

This passage has been seen as a comment on the Rabbinic belief that circumcision heals the penis (Jerusalem Bible, note to John 7:23) or as a criticism of circumcision [8].

The Greek Orthodox Church celebrates the Circumcision of Christ on 1 January,[61] while Orthodox churches following the Julian calendar celebrate it on 14 January. All Orthodox churches consider it a “Great Feast”.[62] In the Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran churches it has been replaced by other commemorations.[63]

Epilogue

Today the medical science has thoroughly exposed the teachings of the Catholic Church and St. Paul.

A large portion of American and African Christians agree with me, in some sense, as substantial numbers are practicing male circumcision and Europe will soon catch up.

However, they will deny the elephant in the room, by ignoring the religious and spiritual implications, until they can.

I for one, will keep inviting them to the covenant that God gave to Patriarch Abraham, as long as I live.

References of the Wikipedia article, quoted here

  1. Jump up^ Hodges, Frederick, M. (2001). “Religious circumcision: a Jewish view” (PDF). The Bulletin of the History of Medicine 75 (Fall 2001): 375–405.doi:10.1353/bhm.2001.0119. PMID 11568485. Retrieved 2007-07-24.
  2. Jump up^ http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/13541-shem
  3. Jump up^ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3494220/
  4. Jump up^ Ajuwon et al., “Indigenous surgical practices in rural southwestern Nigeria: Implications for disease,” Health Educ. Res..1995; 10: 379-384 Health Educ. Res..1995; 10: 379-384. Retrieved 3 October 2006
  5. Jump up^ Agberia, John Tokpabere (2006). “Aesthetics and Rituals of the Opha Ceremony among the Urhobo People” (PDF). Journal of Asian and African Studies 41 (3): 249–260.doi:10.1177/0021909606063880. Retrieved 2006-10-18.
  6. Jump up^ “Masai of Kenya”. Retrieved 2007-04-06.
  7. Jump up^ “Eastern Cape – The Abakwetha Circumcision Ceremony – Xhosa”. Retrieved2013-05-31.
  8. Jump up^ Mandela, Nelson (1995). The Long Walk To Freedom. MacDonald Purnell. pp. 3–36.ISBN 0-316-87496-5.
  9. Jump up^ Smith, David. “South Africa urged to end silence on dangerous circumcision rituals”. The Guardian. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
  10. Jump up^ Vincent, Louise (March 2008). “Cutting Tradition: the Political Regulationof Traditional Circumcision Rites in South Africa’s Liberal Democratic Order”. Journal of Southern African Studies 34. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
  11. Jump up^ Moyo, Thandeka. “PrePex could cut down on botched circumcision deaths”.http://mg.co.za. Mail & Guardian Online. Retrieved 20 July 2014. External link in|website= (help)
  12. Jump up^ Gollaher, p. 2.
  13. Jump up^ Cf. the old Hebrew classic, Midrash Rabba (Exodus Rabba 30:9), where Aquila of Sinope said to Hadrian the king, “I wish to become a proselyte.” When the king retorted, “Go and study their Divine Law, but do not be circumcised.” Aquila then said to him,”Even the wisest man in your kingdom, and an elder who is aged one-hundred, cannot study their Divine Law if he isn’t circumcised, for thus is it written: ‘He makes known his words unto Jacob, even his precepts and judgments unto Israel. He has not done the like of which to any other nation’ (Ps. 147:19-20). Unto whom, then, [has he done it]? Unto the sons of Israel!”
  14. Jump up^ Gollaher, p. 3.
  15. Jump up^ Tandavan, Doctor (February 1989). “Routine Circumcision is Unnecessary”. Hinduism Today. Archived from the original on 2003-07-07. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
  16. Jump up^ http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2007/9789241596169_eng.pdf
  17. Jump up^ “Guidelines for health Care Providers Interacting with Patients of the Sikh Religion and their Families” (PDF). Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council. November 2000. Retrieved 2007-05-01.[dead link]
  18. ^ Jump up to:a b Glass, J.M. (January 1999). “Religious circumcision: a Jewish view”. BJU International 83 (Supplement 1): 17–21. doi:10.1046/j.1464-410x.1999.0830s1017.x.PMID 10349410.
  19. ^ Jump up to:a b  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain“Morbidity”. Jewish Encyclopedia. 1901–1906.
  20. Jump up^ Gollaher D (February 2001). “1, The Jewish Tradition“. Circumcision: A History Of The World’s Most Controversial Surgery. Basic Books. pp. 1–30. ISBN 978-0-465-02653-1.
  21. Jump up^ Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik. Vol. 4. 2nd ed, eds. (2007). “Encyclopedia Judaica – Circumcision”. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA. p. 732. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  22. Jump up^ Circumcision Policy Statement of The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that “There are three methods of circumcision that are commonly used in the newborn male”, and that all three include “bluntly freeing the inner preputial epithelium from the epithelium of the glans”, to be later amputated with the foreskin.
  23. Jump up^ Gracely-Kilgor, Katharine A. (May 1984). “Further Fate of the Foreskin” 5 (2). NURSE PRACTITIONER: 4–22. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
  24. Jump up^ Talmud Bavli Tractate Yebamoth 71b: Rabbah b. Isaac stated in the name of Rab: The commandment of uncovering the corona at circumcision was not given to Abraham; for it is said, At that time the Lord said unto Joshua: ‘Make thee knives of flint etc.’ But is it not possible [that this applied to] those who were not previously circumcised; for it is written, For all the people that came out were circumcised, but all the people that were born etc.? — If so, why the expression. ‘Again!’ Consequently it must apply to the uncovering of the corona.
  25. Jump up^ Mishna Tractate Shabbos 19:6, and The Jerusalem Talmud there.
  26. Jump up^ Werblowsky, R.J. Zwi & Wigoder, Geoffrey (1997) The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press
  27. Jump up^ Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah, 265:10
  28. Jump up^ Lamm, Maurice (2000) [1969]. “6: Special Situations”. The Jewish way in death and mourning. Middle Village, New York: Jonathan David Publishers, Inc. pp. 215–216.ISBN 0-8246-0423-7. LCCN 99088942. The custom is to circumcise male infants who have not undergone circumcision until then, usually during taharah.
  29. Jump up^ adapted from Shamash (2007). “The Origins of Reform Judaism”. Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 2007-11-03.
  30. Jump up^ Berit Mila Program of Reform Judaism, Union for Reform Judaism website. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
  31. Jump up^ Hilary Leila Kreiger (21 November 2002). “A cut above the rest”. The Jerusalem Post.
  32. Jump up^ Shaye J. D. Cohen (2005). Why Aren’t Jewish Women Circumcised? Gender and Covenant In Judaism. University of California Press. pp. 283–. ISBN 978-0-520-92049-1.
  33. Jump up^ Circumcision | title=A History Of The World’s Most Controversial Surgery | author= David Gollaher | publisher =Basic Books 2000 | pg =pg 17
  34. Jump up^ The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan, Translated from the Hebrew by Judah Goldin, Yale Judaica Series 10, Chapter 2, p 23.
  35. Jump up^ Hodges, F.M. (Fall 2001). “The ideal prepuce in ancient Greece and Rome: male genital aesthetics and their relation to lipodermos, circumcision, foreskin restoration, and the kynodesme”. The Bulletin of the History of Medicine 75 (3): 375–405.doi:10.1353/bhm.2001.0119. PMID 11568485.
  36. ^ Jump up to:a b Glickman, Mark (November 12, 2005). “B’rit Milah: A Jewish Answer to Modernity”. Union for Reform Judaism. Retrieved 2007-11-03.
  37. ^ Jump up to:a b Cohen, Rabbi Howard (May 20, 2002). “Bo: Defining Boundaries”. Jewish Reconstructionist Federation. Retrieved 2007-11-03.[dead link]
  38. ^ Jump up to:a b Epstein, Lawrence (2007). “The Conversion Process”. Calgary Jewish Community Council. Retrieved 2007-11-03.[dead link]
  39. Jump up^ Tractate Shabbat. xix. 1.
  40. Jump up^ Talmud Shabbat 137a.
  41. Jump up^ Talmud Kid. 29a.
  42. Jump up^ Talmud Avodah Zarah 27a; Menachot 42a; Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah, Milah, ii. 1;Shulkhan Arukh, Yoreh De’ah, 264:1
  43. Jump up^ Berit Mila Program of Reform Judaism Retrieved 2 February 2015
  44. Jump up^ Talmud Hul. 4b; Avodah Zarah 27a; Shulkhan Arukh, Yoreh De’ah, 264, 1.
  45. Jump up^ Chernikoff, Helen (October 3, 2007). “Jewish “intactivists” in U.S. stop circumcising”. Reuters. Retrieved 2007-11-03.
  46. Jump up^ Reiss, MD, Dr. Mark (2006). “Celebrants of Brit Shalom”. Brit Shalom. Retrieved2007-10-03.
  47. Jump up^ Goldman, PhD, Ron (2006). “Providers of Brit Shalom”. Jews Against Circumcision. Retrieved 2007-10-03.
  48. Jump up^ “Gentiles: Gentiles May Not Be Taught the Torah”. Jewish Encyclopedia
  49. ^ Jump up to:a b Customary in some Coptic and other churches:
    • “The Coptic Christians in Egypt and the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians—two of the oldest surviving forms of Christianity—retain many of the features of early Christianity, including male circumcision. Circumcision is not prescribed in other forms of Christianity… Some Christian churches in South Africa oppose the practice, viewing it as a pagan ritual, while others, including the Nomiya church in Kenya, require circumcision for membership and participants in focus group discussions in Zambia and Malawi mentioned similar beliefs that Christians should practice circumcision since Jesus was circumcised and the Bible teaches the practice.”
    • “The decision that Christians need not practice circumcision is recorded in Acts 15; there was never, however, a prohibition of circumcision, and it is practiced by Coptic Christians.” “circumcision”, The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 2001-05.
  50. Jump up^ Mattson CL, Bailey RC, Muga R, Poulussen R, Onyango T (2005) Acceptability of male circumcision and predictors of circumcision preference among men and women in Nyanza province Kenya. AIDS Care 17:182–194.
  51. Jump up^ Pfuntner A., Wier L.M., Stocks C. Most Frequent Procedures Performed in U.S. Hospitals, 2011. HCUP Statistical Brief #165. October 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. [1].
  52. Jump up^ Castellsagué, X; et al. (2005). “Chlamydia trachomatis infection in female partners of circumcised and uncircumcised adult men”. Am J Epidemiol 162 (9): 907–916.doi:10.1093/aje/kwi284. PMID 16177149.
  53. Jump up^ Lajous, M; et al. (2006). “Human papillomavirus link to circumcision is misleading (author’s reply)”. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 15 (2): 405–6. doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-05-0818. PMID 16492939. Circumcision is not usually performed by public sector health care providers in Mexico and we estimate the prevalence to be 10% to 31%, depending on the population.
  54. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h “Male circumcision: Global trends and determinants of prevalence, safety and acceptability” (PDF). World Health Organization. 2007.
  55. Jump up^ Thomas Riggs (2006). “Christianity: Coptic Christianity”. Worldmark Encyclopedia of Religious Practices: Religions and denominations. Thomson Gale. ISBN 978-0-7876-6612-5.
  56. Jump up^ Jewish Encyclopedia: Baptism: “According to rabbinical teachings, which dominated even during the existence of the Temple (Pes. viii. 8), Baptism, next to circumcision and sacrifice, was an absolutely necessary condition to be fulfilled by a proselyte to Judaism (Yeb. 46b, 47b; Ker. 9a; ‘Ab. Zarah 57a; Shab. 135a; Yer. Kid. iii. 14, 64d). Circumcision, however, was much more important, and, like baptism, was called a ‘seal’ (Schlatter, “Die Kirche Jerusalems,” 1898, p. 70). But as circumcision was discarded by Christianity, and the sacrifices had ceased, Baptism remained the sole condition for initiation into religious life. The next ceremony, adopted shortly after the others, was the imposition of hands, which, it is known, was the usage of the Jews at the ordination of a rabbi. Anointing with oil, which at first also accompanied the act of Baptism, and was analogous to the anointment of priests among the Jews, was not a necessary condition.”
  57. Jump up^ McGarvey on Acts 16: “Yet we see him in the case before us, circumcising Timothy with his own hand, and this ‘on account of certain Jews who were in those quarters.'”
  58. Jump up^ “making themselves foreskins”; I Macc. i. 15; Josephus, “Ant.” xii. 5, § 1; Assumptio Mosis, viii.; I Cor. vii. 18;, Tosef.; Talmud tractes Shabbat xv. 9; Yevamot 72a, b; Yerushalmi Peah i. 16b; Yevamot viii. 9a; [2]; Catholic Encyclopedia: Circumcision: “To this epispastic operation performed on the athletes to conceal the marks of circumcision St. Paul alludes, me epispastho (1 Cor 7:18).”
  59. Jump up^ Blue Letter Bible. Strong’s G2699
  60. Jump up^ Catholic Encyclopedia: Judaizers
  61. Jump up^ Greek Orthodox Archdiocese calendar of Holy Days
  62. Jump up^ Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarchate of Moscow
  63. Jump up^ For example, “The Calendar of the Church Year” in The (Online) Book of Common Prayer (Episcopal Church in the United States of America), http://www.bcponline.org/retrieved 11 October 2006.
  64. Jump up^ Whelan. Male dyspareunia due to short frenulum: an indication for adult circumcision.BMJ 1977; 24-31: 1633-4
  65. Jump up^ F Grewel – The Frenum Praeputti and Defloration of the Human Male – Folia Psychiatrica, Neurologica et Neurochirurgica Neerlandica 61(2) p 123-126 1958
  66. ^ Jump up to:a b Douglas E. “JQuad”.
  67. Jump up^ Douglas E. “JQuad”.
  68. Jump up^ Dockray J, Finlayson A, Muir GH (May 2012). “Penile frenuloplasty: a simple and effective treatment for frenular pain or scarring”. BJU International 109 (10): 1546–50.doi:10.1111/j.1464-410X.2011.10678.x. PMID 22176714.
  69. Jump up^ Eugenius IV, Pope (1990) [1442]. “Ecumenical Council of Florence (1438–1445): Session 11—4 February 1442; Bull of union with the Copts”. In Norman P. Tanner ed.Decrees of the ecumenical councils. 2 volumes. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press. ISBN 0-87840-490-2. LCCN 90003209. OCLC , Greek, and Latin. Retrieved 2007-04-25. [The Holy Roman Church] firmly believes, professes and teaches that the legal prescriptions of the Old Testament or the Mosaic law, which are divided into ceremonies, holy sacrifices and sacraments, because they were instituted to signify something in the future, although they were adequate for the divine cult of that age, once our Lord Jesus Christ who was signified by them had come, came to an end and the sacraments of the new Testament had their beginning. Whoever, after the Passion, places his hope in the legal prescriptions and submits himself to them as necessary for salvation and as if faith in Christ without them could not save, sins mortally. It does not deny that from Christ’s passion until the promulgation of the Gospel they could have been retained, provided they were in no way believed to be necessary for salvation. But it asserts that after the promulgation of the gospel they cannot be observed without loss of eternal salvation. Therefore it denounces all who after that time observe circumcision, the [Jewish] sabbath and other legal prescriptions as strangers to the faith of Christ and unable to share in eternal salvation, unless they recoil at some time from these errors. Therefore it strictly orders all who glory in the name of Christian, not to practise circumcision either before or after baptism, since whether or not they place their hope in it, it cannot possibly be observed without loss of eternal salvation.
  70. Jump up^ The Catholic Encyclopedia: Circumcision
  71. ^ Jump up to:a b c d Slosar, J.P.; D. O’Brien (2003). “The Ethics of Neonatal Male Circumcision: A Catholic Perspective”. American Journal of Bioethics 3 (2): 62–64.doi:10.1162/152651603766436306. PMID 12859824.
  72. Jump up^ http://www.catholicdoors.com/faq/qu340.htm
  73. Jump up^ Father John J. Dietzen. The Morality of Circumcision. The Tablet, Brooklyn, N.Y., 30 October 2004, p. 33.
  74. Jump up^ “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, Fourth Edition”. U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. 2001. Retrieved 2008-04-11. Directive 29 All persons served by Catholic health care have the right and duty to protect and preserve their bodily and functional integrity. The functional integrity of the person may be sacrificed to maintain the health or life of the person when no other morally permissible means is available. Directive 33 The well-being of the whole person must be taken into account in deciding about any therapeutic intervention or use of technology. Therapeutic procedures that are likely to cause harm or undesirable side-effects can be justified only by a proportionate benefit to the patient.
  75. Jump up^ Fadel, P. (2003). “Respect for bodily integrity: a Catholic perspective on circumcision in Catholic hospitals”. American Journal of Bioethics 3 (2): W9.doi:10.1162/152651603766436379. PMID 12859800.
  76. Jump up^ Benedict XVI, General Audience, Wednesday, 31, January 2007.
  77. Jump up^ Translated by Robert Ernest Wallis. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 5. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. Epistle 58. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1886. Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/050658.htm>
  78. Jump up^ Book of Moroni 8:8 and Doctrine and Covenants Section 74
  79. Jump up^ Book of Mormon Student Manual, (2009), 395–400 [3]
  80. Jump up^ http://www.who.int/hiv/pub/malecircumcision/infopack_en_2.pdf
  81. Jump up^ Al-Munajjid, Muhammed Salih. “Question #9412: Circumcision: how it is done and the rulings on it”. Islam Q&A. Retrieved 2006-07-01.
  82. Jump up^ Al-Munajjid, Muhammed Salih. “Question #7073: The health and religious benefits of circumcision”. Islam Q&A. Retrieved 2006-07-01.
  83. ^ Jump up to:a b “Circumcision of boys”. Religion & ethics—Islam. BBC. 2006-03-24. Retrieved2008-07-29.
  84. ^ Jump up to:a b c “Traditional Muslim Male Circumcision—Performed by Arabs, Turkish, Malaysian and Others of This Faith”. Retrieved 2008-07-29. Cite error: Invalid tag; name “circlist” defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  85. Jump up^ Aaron David Samuel Corn (2001). “Ngukurr Crying: Male Youth in a Remote Indigenous Community” (PDF). Working Paper Series No. 2. University of Wollongong. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2004-06-23. Retrieved 2006-10-18.
  86. Jump up^ “Migration and Trade”. Green Turtle Dreaming. Retrieved 2006-10-18. In exchange for turtles and trepang the Makassans introduced tobacco, the practice of circumcision and knowledge to build sea-going canoes.
  87. Jump up^ Rebollido, Rommel G. (March 21, 2005). “Passage to manhood”. General Santos(Sun Star Publishing, Inc.). Retrieved 2006-07-01.
  88. Jump up^ de Morga, Antonio (1907) [1609]. “11”. History of the Philippine Islands. Translated by Alfonso de Salvio, Norman F. Hall, and James Alexander Robertson. ISBN 0-527-65000-5. LCCN unk82042869. Retrieved 2006-07-01. These Borneans are Mahometans, and were already introducing their religion among the natives of Luzon, and were giving them instructions, ceremonies, and the form of observing their religion.…and those the chiefest men, were commencing, although by piecemeal, to become Moros, and were being circumcised and taking the names of Moros.
  89. Jump up^ Jones, IH (June 1969). “Subincision among Australian western desert Aborigines”.British Journal of Medical Psychology 42 (2): 183–190. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8341.1969.tb02069.x. ISSN 0007-1129. PMID 5783777.
  90. Jump up^ “Recent Guest Speaker, March 15, Professor Roger Short”. Australian AIDS Fund Incorporated. 2006. Retrieved 2006-07-01.
  91. Jump up^ “Circumcision amongst the Dogon”. The Non-European Components of European Patrimony (NECEP) Database. 2006. Retrieved 2006-09-03.

Works cited:

  • Glick, Leonard B. Marked in Your Flesh: Circumcision from Ancient Judea to Modern America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. (ISBN 0-19-517674-X)

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainJewish Encyclopedia. 1901–1906.

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