"Circumcision is a sign to set you apart from the people of the nations"

by stuckinarut2 36 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Pete Zahut
    Pete Zahut

    I mean, HOW did someone know if a male was circumcised or not??

    Yeah....always wondered about that too and I wondered why this topic was discussed so often at the meetings.

    At one of the last meetings I attended, I remember a little girl raising her hand during the watchtower study and in her little girl voice, began telling us in detail, the difference between actual circumcision and circumcision of the heart. It was one of those moments you hoped there wasn't anyone new there.

  • waton
    even in the gymnasiums that the sons of the elites of the time attended, the young men would compete naked. fts

    The word for naked in greek is gym. so you were expected to strip before entering it. Not a good idea today in your high school setting or in germany where aome high schools are referred to as Gymnaseums. Gymnastics no sans gym.

    stanlivedeath: Speaking of design faults, dwarfism of the foreskin can be very painful and odorous after puberty, so circumsion, however often it takes to get it right, is a freeing experience.

  • Wake Me Up Before You Jo-Ho
    Wake Me Up Before You Jo-Ho

    Since public nudity isn't a mainstream part of modern culture, maybe JW brothers can start identifying themselves as a part of God's nation by snipping the ends off their ties.

  • David_Jay

    There is no text in the Hebrew Bible that reads or states anything along the lines of circumcision being "a sign" to set Jews apart from Gentiles. Neither does Judaism or any Jew like myself teach that it was supposed to "set us apart" in such a manner.

    Circumcision was a common practice of the Mesopotamian world from which the descendants of Abraham sprang. It was practiced for generations long before Abraham was born, centuries before there was a Jewish people. The rite was usually practiced upon males coming of age before going to battle or before taking a wife. It was merely received by Abraham from his culture and passed down to the Jewish world, likely without any of the ceremony mentioned in the Torah.

    After the Babylonian deportation, the Jews assigned this custom a religious meaning in their liturgy by means of the Biblical texts. This religious interpretation was new, but not historical by any means.

    It was not however a "sign to set them apart" from Gentiles, many of whom also practiced it. As the Genesis narrative makes clear at Genesis chapter 17:11, "it is a sign of the covenant" between God and Abraham, not a sign to differentiate between the Jews and the nations.

    The Jews have been well aware since antiquity that the historicity of this sign is only symbolic in Scripture however. The same goes for much of what is written in Torah (such as our celebration of Sukkot or the Festival of Booths, which is currently going on; it did not originate during the time of the Exodus as the Bible narrative says, but comes from Mesopotamian harvest festivals in which harvesters dwelt in booths during the final days of ingathering).

    Some Christians, like the Jehovah's Witnesses, as well as others have obviously added a literal interpretation to the texts of the Jews as well as misquoted details that don't even occur at all in Jewish Scripture. There is nothing anywhere in the Bible, Jewish texts, etc., that state that God gave circumcision as a sign to Jews to set them apart from the Gentiles, neither is this a part of our Jewish theology.

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    Good points D_J but certain people prefer to promote their assumptions as divinely ordained before researching the facts.

    However the words at Deut 14;1 showed that cutting the flesh, albeit for the dead, was a no-no in Israelite society of that time and Paul in Phil 3;2 equated dogs and evildoers with cutters of the flesh.

    Why persecute foreskins?

  • fastJehu
    ...Did people meet each other while walking in the desert , drops their pants, or lift their robes just to show each other their penis? "Now you can see from which nation I have come"
    So stupid....

    Have a close look to Abraham - this was normal at his time

    (Genesis 24:1-3) Now Abraham was old, advanced in years; and Jehovah had blessed Abraham in everything. 2 Hence Abraham said to his servant, the oldest one of his household, who was managing all he had: “Put your hand, please, under my thigh, 3 as I must have you swear by Jehovah, the God of the heavens and the God of the earth, . . .

    (Genesis 24:9) With that the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master and swore to him concerning this matter.

    Or Jacob:

    (Genesis 47:29) Gradually the days approached for Israel to die. So he called his son Joseph and said to him: “If, now, I have found favor in your eyes, place your hand, please, under my thigh, and you must exercise loving-kindness and trustworthiness toward me. (Please, do not bury me in Egypt.)

  • punkofnice

    The unkindest cut of all.

  • waton
    The unkindest cut of all. pon

    wrong!,-- try it, you might be pleasantly surprised. FGM is different, and takes that title.

  • tiki

    Islandman....perhaps Adam arrived without the foreskin and then one grew after the sin and ejection from Eden.

    I always liked the Zipporah story....what a woman....now that took guts

  • Wake Me Up Before You Jo-Ho
    Wake Me Up Before You Jo-Ho

    Did you hear about the short-sighted Rabbi?

    He got the sack.

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