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Circumcision
Dictionaries
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Circumcision
Circumcision (מוּלָה‎, mulah; περιτομη, peritomē). The ritual act of incising or removing a male child’s foreskin eight days after birth (Gen 17:12; Lev 12:3; Luke 2:21). A sign of Abraham’s covenant with God (Gen 17:9–14).
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary
Circumcision
CIRCUMCISION. In the ancient Near East circumcision was widely practiced in two distinct forms: certain classes of Egyptian men, especially priests, slit the foreskin to let it hang free; many men from western Semitic groups in Syria and Palestine removed the foreskin altogether. The origins of the practice
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
Circumcision
Circumcision. Surgical removal of the foreskin of the male reproductive organ. In Bible times circumcision was the seal of God’s covenant with Abraham (Gn 17:1–14). While circumcision originated as an ancient tribal or religious rite, since the early part of this century it has been practiced in Western
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
Circumcision
Circumcision [Heb. mûl, mālal (Gen. 17:11), mûlôṯ (Ex. 4:26); Gk. peritémnō, peritomḗ]; also “without being circumcised” [Gk. di’ akrobystías] (Rom. 4:11). The custom of cutting off the foreskin (prepuce) of the male genital organ, usually as a religious rite, but today often simply hygienic.
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
Circumcision
CIRCUMCISION Surgical removal of the foreskin of the male reproductive organ. In Bible times circumcision was the seal of God’s covenant with Abraham (Gn 17:1–14). While circumcision originated as an ancient tribal or religious rite, since the early part of this century it has been practiced in Western
The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (Revised and Updated)
Circumcision
circumcision, the removal of the foreskin (prepuce) of the penis. In the ancient Near East, the practice varied. Some societies, including the Hebrews, completely amputated the prepuce, while other cultures (e.g., the Egyptians) made dorsal incisions upon the foreskin. According to Jer. 9:25–26, many
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
Circumcision
CIRCUMCISION (Heb. mûlâ, Gr. peritomē) Circumcision is literally the surgical removal of the prepuce or foreskin of the male sexual organ. Similar operations on women are known but are infrequent and religiously meaningless. Circumcision is practiced by many peoples, especially in tropical and subtropical
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
Circumcision
CircumcisionThe removal of the foreskin from the penis. While practiced by some ancient Near Eastern peoples for various reasons and in specific ways, circumcision had a unique place in the worship and practice of the people of Israel.According to Genesis circumcision was first practiced by the patriarchs
Dictionary of Paul and His Letters
Circumcision
CircumcisionPaul’s insistence that circumcision not be imposed on Gentile converts led to one of the most serious and fundamental controversies in the early church. The controversy over Paul’s stance on circumcision is reflected in Acts 15, the letters to the Galatians and to the Romans, Philippians
Catholic Bible Dictionary
Circumcision
CIRCUMCISION The rite of cutting away the foreskin from the male generative organ, performed on Jewish boys on their eighth day of life. In Israel, circumcision was not just a surgical procedure; it was primarily a religious rite. It was a sign of God’s covenant with Abraham (Gen 17:10), and no man could
Key passages
Ge 17:10–14

This is my covenant which you shall keep, between me and you, and also with your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. And at eight days of age you …

Dt 10:14–16

Look! For to Yahweh your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it. Yet to your ancestors Yahweh was very attached, so as to love them, and so he chose their offspring after them, namely you, from all the peoples, as it is today. So you shall circumcise …

Ac 15:1–20

And some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom prescribed by Moses, you cannot be saved.” And after there was no little strife and debate by Paul and Barnabas against them, they appointed Paul and …

Ro 2:25–29

For circumcision is of value if you do the law, but if you should be a transgressor of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. Therefore, if the uncircumcised person follows the requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be credited for circumcision? And the uncircumcised …

Ga 5:1–6

For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Look! I, Paul, tell you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing! And again I testify to every man who becomes circumcised, that …

Col 2:11–12

in whom also you were circumcised with a circumcision not made by hands, by the removal of the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which also you were raised together with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. …

See also
Topics & Themes