“Great Is Circumcision”

Leonard B. Glick

in Marked in Your Flesh

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9780195176742
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835621 | DOI:
 “Great Is Circumcision”

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The earliest converts to Christianity were expected to accept circumcision; but in his sharply worded letter to the Galatians, Paul disdained the practice as spiritually worthless. Justin Martyr and John Chrysostom extended the Christian critique, further laying the foundation for nearly two millennia of Christian rejection. Roman authorities legislated against circumcision of non-Jews, particularly slaves. In contrast, early rabbinic texts passionately defended the practice, arguing that it is a purifying experience pleasing to the Lord.

Keywords: Paul; Justin Martyr; John Chrysostom; rabbis; circumcision

Chapter.  9164 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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