Circumcision: who invented it?

Discussion in 'Ancient History and Mythology' started by iBrian, Oct 20, 2004.

  1. Abogado del Diablo

    Abogado del Diablo Ferally Decent

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    Actually, I disagree that it was spread by martyrdom the first two centuries. Or at least I disagree that that fact is established.

    There is very little historical evidence of how it was spread (or even what it was) until the middle of the Second Century. Some aspect of it was certainly connected to the pagan mysteries and Neo-platonic philosophy (the earliest "apologists" and the authentic Pauline epistles are more about Neoplatonist notions of the Divine Logos and Hebrew "Wisdom" as revealed in a secret revelation contained in the Hebrew Scriptures then they are about a historical Jesus).

    Some aspect of it was certainly connected to apocalyptic sects inspired by Jewish mysticism of the day. Indeed, the historical record DOES confirm that eductated, Greek-speaking Jews of the Diaspora were engaged in synthesizing Jewish mysticism, Greek philosophy and the pagan mysteries in cosmopolitan places like Alexandria. One obvious example: Philo the Pythagorean.

    The real problem is that the actual historical records were systematically altered and destroyed to create a false impression of unity in the faith in the first two centuries - creating a misleading image of unity both in the theology and history as understood by early believers. There is enough of the historical record recovered to demonstrate a clear absence of unity in how the faith was interpreted. The historical accounts written by Eusebius survived because they were sympathetic to a certain version of that history and appear to have been written for the very purpose of composing a sympathetic history for the Roman Church. Dissent from this historical view was then systematically destroyed. Does that mean that Eusebius account is wrong? No. However, unfortunately, it does leave us with a vague and unreliable historical record of the first two centuries of Christianity that may and probably was influenced by political forces at the time of Rome's adoption of Christianity as the official religion of the Empire.
     
  2. Postmaster

    Postmaster New Member

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    Are all those stories of them many many Christian martyrs not enough? I would encourage anyone to travel and see with there own eyes, because something’s still remain in the air. Go to the Greek islands to see glass coffins of Christian martyrs skeletons still in Churches including many tombs and stories. We're talking about a country which invented philosophy without theological figures and the original inventors of the evolutionary theory and democracy, what went wrong? The religion phenomenon will hit everybody one day.

    Seek and you shall find. :)

    Politics and religion are 2 different things just as they are today in democratic society.

    [Admin Edit: Spyware links removed - Postmaster, get that harddrive cleaned. :) ]
     
  3. Abogado del Diablo

    Abogado del Diablo Ferally Decent

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    I didn't say there weren't martyrs. There certainly were. I simply stated that the official history that the faith was spread by martyrdom in the first two centuries C.E. is dubious.

    It's not an issue of religion or politics (well, some politics are involved). It's an issue of historical evidence, or the lack thereof, and the interpretation of what has been preserved.
     
  4. Postmaster

    Postmaster New Member

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    apologies, in that case you are correct :D
     
  5. dauer

    dauer Active Member

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    No. Nor do I see what relevance it has to the discussion.

    Well it is a book of fiction. What do you expect to find?




    What's your point?

    There is nothing unusual about their deaths. There were many more Jewish martyrs due to numbers alone. Masada, the asara harugei malchut also known as the ten martyrs, and countless others who went unrecorded. Only Judaism has remained a religion of martyrs throughout time. Christianity became the religion of the persecutor, the one who makes martyrs out of others. Christianity spread because it paganized itself with a dying god born to a woman impregnated by a god, offered salvation based on faith instead of focusing on the individual's actions, etc.

    There was very little original in the message of Christianity.

    Dauer
     
  6. Postmaster

    Postmaster New Member

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    I feel it does have relevance to this discussion



    Dan Brown has publicly stated that if he was to write it as a historical account he wouldn't change much.


    And as for the rest of what you say, it's a matter of debate I suppose, as all the rest we say. Soooo, who knows.
     
  7. dauer

    dauer Active Member

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    Would you care to explain how so I can understand where you're coming from?


    Are those his exact words? If they were, they're rather vague. And either way, what exactly does this have to do with our conversation? I never endorsed his book nor did I endorse his theories.

    True true.

    Dauer
     
  8. Postmaster

    Postmaster New Member

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    Well first off, I just want to make clear that I have nothing to hide, I have no hate I have no problem with Judaism, I see other religions and I would say if only they were more like Judaism :), but you got to remember that when I speak I simply speak from my point of view. Judaism is a religion that in my view needs plenty justification, not only because Jewish people are one of the most Diaspora people on the planet and living in other societies where there is Islam, Christianity, and just about any other religion but also because they are still awaiting GODS messenger. Also Judaism is very distinctive in many ways, from circumcision, to dressing ect ect, now I'm not even saying Christianity is perfect but like I said from Baha'i point of view from doing a lot of reading on it recently I realised that it's tradition and disconnection that causes negativity towards people, and both sides are just as responsible to deal with it, as Jew and say as a Muslim and even a Christian and I was simply saying that circumcision is an extreme, old and worthless tradition, however this is purely my point of view. Hope that also clears why I mentioned Dan Browns mother is Jewish and nothing else.
     
  9. dauer

    dauer Active Member

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    PM,

    Honestly, I have no idea what any of this has to do with the Di Vinci Codes at all. I never mentioned the book and I have no idea why you mentioned it, nor do I understand why it matters that Dan Brown's mother is Jewish. If it clarifies anything, I never read it. Maybe that's why I don't follow. But I just don't see the connection at all.
     
  10. Postmaster

    Postmaster New Member

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    Well the Di Vinci Codes is a version of Christianity that many people have started to believe as truth that is a totally says Chrsit was only a teacher, no one divine and the Romans used him for political benifits. Can you believe hat even the Vatican is pissed off with the book and even made a public announement about it being totally lies.

    Other then that, hope I haven't offended you and if you are a practising Jew I'sd certainly recomend you carry on ;)
     
  11. dauer

    dauer Active Member

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    I don't mean to be a complete pest. But I'm still not sure I understand how that relates back to the conversation.

    The Di Vinci code, as I understand it, takes some valid historical theories, some conspiracy theories and myths that run counter to the Christian myth and mixes them into a fictional story. Am I missing something extremely obvious?

    You haven't offended me. I worry about any group that claims it has its hands on some universal Truth because such a claim hasn't worked very well in the past, especially your gleeful support of taking away the head scarves is a flag in my book (I don't really have a book of flags.) This type of prejudicial mentality only seems to harden over successive generations, and it only serves to separate one group from another rather than promoting tolerance.

    Dauer
     
  12. Abogado del Diablo

    Abogado del Diablo Ferally Decent

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    The attention-grabbing claim in the Da Vinci Code is that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were lovers and that Jesus sired children and that Mary Mag. and Jesus's children immigrated to Marseilles where their bloodline eventually wed into the line of Merovingian kings, the most famous of which was Dagobert II. The book further claims that this bloodline is symbolized by references to the Holy Grail and that a secret society existing since the Crusades has been protecting this secret bloodline for the last 1,000 years. I don't recall there being much stink about Brown claiming Jesus was just a teacher. That would be pretty mild compared to what he does claim in his book.

    That claim, BTW, (the one about Mary Magdalene) isn't unique to Brown. There is a book of speculative fiction called "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" by Liegh and Baigent published around 1983 or so from which Brown took most of this "Holy Grail" stuff.

    Having said all that, the principal claim that Jesus sired children and was a lover of Mary Magdalene and the Holy Grail is Jesus's bloodline is nothing but wild speculation. Granted, he's doing it to sell books, but Brown's claim that this is some sort of historically grounded fact does not appear to me to be intellectually honest - especially given the fact that even Leigh and Baigent don't really buy off on this theory anymore - and they are the ones that came up with it.
     
  13. Postmaster

    Postmaster New Member

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    Pretty much so Abogado del Diablo.

    Certainly not a pest. I was talking about how Christianity broke away from Judaism and stoped circumcision then I mentioned the Da Vinci codes and I mentioned the author was from a Jewish mother, may the reason been for closure for him towards his or his mothers faith and pointed out why. Just general debate I suppose.
     
  14. dauer

    dauer Active Member

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    Oh, I see. I think I understand where you were going with that then. It just seems very tangential to me. That's probably why I didn't understand what you were getting at.
     
  15. Postmaster

    Postmaster New Member

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    I was a bit tangential got to admit and also I can talk crap too, apologies if I have.
     
  16. mee

    mee Interfaith Forums

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    Jehovah God made circumcision mandatory for Abraham in 1919 B.C.E

    Circumcision was made a mandatory requirement of the Mosaic Law. "On the eighth day [after the birth of a male] the flesh of his foreskin will be circumcised."

    And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin will be circumcised (Leviticus 12;3)

    in recent years man has learned some of the physical reasons why the eighth day was a good time to circumcise. Normal amounts of the blood-clotting element called vitamin K are not found in the blood until the fifth to the seventh day after birth. Another clotting factor known as prothrombin is present in amounts only about 30 percent of normal on the third day but on the eighth day is higher than at any other time in the child’s life—as much as 110 percent of normal. So, following Jehovah’s instructions would help to avoid the danger of hemorrhage. As Dr. S. I. McMillen observes: "From a consideration of vitamin K and prothrombin determinations the perfect day to perform a circumcision is the eighth day . . . [the] day picked by the Creator of vitamin K."—None of These Diseases, 1986, p. 21

     
  17. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    mee - if we relied upon rational or scientific reasons to do things, then if these reasons were disproved, the impetus would disappear. Divine commandment or mitzvah is just that - G!D Commands us to do something, so we do it to fulfil the Will of the Creator. not because it's "scientifically the best day" - otherwise our belief is in science, not in G!D.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  18. mee

    mee Interfaith Forums

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    yes i agree, we do things because God says to do it, i was just making the point that back then when God said the eighth day , he knew that the clotting was better on that day than any other day ,so its always best to follow instructions from God because he knows better than us, back then the people did not know about the clotting being better on the eighth day , and even now humans think that they know better than God and do things their way instead. but for me as a christian , it is my belief that circumcision is nolonger a requirement for Gods people
    The "necessary things" for Gentiles and Jews alike did not include circumcision.—Ac 15:6-29

    For the holy spirit and we ourselves have favored adding no further burden to you except these necessary things, to keep abstaining from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication. If you carefully keep yourselves from these things, you will prosper. Good health to you! Acts 15;28-29

     
  19. Rouge47

    Rouge47 Follower of Christ

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    You know I kinda have the same quetion as Brian. Who the heck did invite the ritual of cutting off a man's penis anyway:eek:? I mean its an interesting conversation and all but I'm having trouble understanding it. And dauer mentioned in one of his earlier posts the word "communism." WHAT in the name of God does that have to do with anything? I'm sorry but I'm confused here. Brian why did you have to bring up such an "odd" post? Nice to know that we like to talk about men's penis' here...
     
  20. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    My own personal view on circumcision is that it developed in warm climates with little water for cleansing purposes... Smegma secretia is not very pleasant. It was also believed at one time that there were health risks associated with accumulated smegma that could cause penile cancer, but lately this is not been substantiated.

    Recently, in a discussion with a public health nurse I had on the subject we were talking about circumcision and she was not recommending it... I asked if she thought it was difficult to convince children to brush their teeth..and she agreed. How much more difficult would it be to convince a child to cleanse their foreskin? I asked... and she was silent.

    Where there is plenty of water available I think the practise of circumcision is less common.

    - Art
     

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