Circumcision: who invented it?

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

  1. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2005
    Messages:
    5,826
    Likes Received:
    0
    At last I get all these 'cheesy' jokes about smeghead on red dwarf (a UK sci-fi comedy series).!!!

    I tend to agree about the hygene aspects being at the root of the practice and the geography of its practice lends weight to that argument. Seems the case that HIV is transmitted to men through the extremely thin and porous inner wall of the foreskin and circumcision great reduces likelyhood of transmission. Perhaps its time for healthcare systems the world over to see it as a standard practice.

    TE
     
  2. Rouge47

    Rouge47 Follower of Christ

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    0
    So are you saying that, if we cut then we protect? That doesn't make sense. Wouldn't the extra stuff tend to help protect more?

    PJ
     
  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    21,270
    Likes Received:
    1,689
    In the US a hospital will pretty much recommend circumcision immediately, unless you have a religious preference, they will provide all the reasons you should do it...and will do it right away...no eight days.

    As far as disease goes... the reports of issues with/without have gone by the wayside...anecdotal evidence, part and parcel of our American society.

    Removal of the foreskin decreases sexual pleasure for men, therefor hack it off, too many men were focused on sex and not on G-d. So it appears the powers that be, like the creation of the sacred cow, made it holy, required for the benefit of all...
     
  4. mee

    mee Interfaith Forums

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Messages:
    6,363
    Likes Received:
    0
    "Circumcision" is used figuratively also in the bible

    Circumcision of the heart was a divine requirement of even the Israelites who were already circumcised in the flesh. Moses told Israel: "You must circumcise the foreskin of your hearts and not harden your necks any longer." "Jehovah your God will have to circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, that you may love Jehovah your God with all your heart and all your soul for the sake of your life." (De 10:16; 30:6) Jeremiah reminded that wayward nation in his day of the same thing. (Jer 4:4) ‘Circumcision of the heart’ means getting rid of anything in one’s thinking, affections, or motives that is displeasing and unclean in Jehovah’s eyes and that makes the heart unresponsive. Similarly, ears that are not sensitive or responsive are spoken of as "uncircumcised."—Jer 6:10; Ac 7:51

     
  5. Rouge47

    Rouge47 Follower of Christ

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    0
    Don't forget Genesis 12:10 I believe. I may be wrong. My youth director said something about it. Some kind of covenent type thing-a-ma-bob...blablabla...you know God's word, no offense to anyone.
     
  6. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2005
    Messages:
    5,826
    Likes Received:
    0
    No it does not help protect. The inside of the foreskin has a high number of receptors that the HIV virus can use to gain entry into the body. See following link for details: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/782656.stm

    Regards

    TE
     
  7. Rouge47

    Rouge47 Follower of Christ

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    0
    I see now.:)

    Thanks Tao,
    PJ
     
  8. PersonaNonGrata

    PersonaNonGrata CODinside

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    224
    Likes Received:
    0
    bluh.. how many men decide to get circumsized ? and then there is appendectomy, i don't know.. human form is perfect in most ways though there might be unnecessary or unhealthy parts is what you say, which doesn't fit my chain of thoughts.
     
  9. Rouge47

    Rouge47 Follower of Christ

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    0
    Actually, sometimes men don't have a choice. Their parents usually decide for them to be circumcised in their infancy. Kind of a common tradition, if you will.:)

    PJ
     
  10. pohaikawahine

    pohaikawahine Elder Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Messages:
    660
    Likes Received:
    0
    mee . thank you for sharing these references, they are most interesting ....the concept of getting rid of or cutting off those things that get in the way of the spiritual path or knowledge .... I know my next comment will stretch the imagination, but if one looks at the flow of energy within the human body that must move up the spinal column to enter the center of the brain (the place of visions and revelations) it is important to cut-off or remove the barriers that stop the upward spiral .... this could include emotional barriers as well as physical, our ego needs, etc..... well I have always used this metaphor that there are two aspects of the body that have "one eye" .... the penis and the third eye (the pineal gland in the brain) .... if you concentrate your energy lower, it is sexual, if you concentrate your energy to the upper "one eye" it is spiritual .... maybe this has something to do with circumcision or at least the concept .... cut off the sexual energy and you are more able to move the energy upward to the spiritual center .... ok, so this is a little out of the box .... but at least another perspective .... thinking on these things, poh ....
     
  11. pohaikawahine

    pohaikawahine Elder Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Messages:
    660
    Likes Received:
    0
    after posting the above, I went back and did a lot of reading on Brit Milah (circumcision) and can see how important it is to the Jewish tradition and the covenant with God .... there is also a web site that advocates and tries to support the concept of Brit without Milah .... I also read about the time of King Antiochus IV who defiled the Temple and forbade the Jews to observe the commandments of Brit Milah, Rosh Chodesh, the Sabbath, and barred the reading of the Torah. Jews who remained loyal to their faith were brutally tortured and murdered. While none of this answers the question, Circumcision: who invented it? .... it appears that there are several ways to look at the practice, one is health and tradition, and the other is spiritual and connected with a covenant .... regardless of who invented it, the practice is obviously an important aspect of Judaism .... are there any other traditions that actually have the same importance placed on circumcision? me ke aloha pumehana, pohaikawahine
     
  12. DJ1

    DJ1 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Moses came down from the mountain after receiving the law.

    Everyone gathered around to hear him.

    Moses said in a loud voice

    "I have good news and bad news. The good news is that God loves us. The bad news is that there is one bit he doesn't love."
     
  13. InChristAlways

    InChristAlways New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Messages:
    249
    Likes Received:
    0
    What about the OT prophecies of those of the "circumsized" being brought down with the "uncircumcised".
    The original Hebrews out to Egypt were the only ones given a covenant of "circumcision", though I am sure other nations practiced it perhaps for health reasons, but not because they were covenanted with it as the Hebrews of Israel/Jacob were.

    Do any Bible scholars have any idea if this prophecy in Jeremiah 31 has been fulfilled on Israel/Judah yet as this concerns the split Nations of Israel[put away by God]/Judah and how is this New Covenant going to be brought in by God? Thanks.

    Jeremiah 31:31 " Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah -- 32 "not according to the covenant ["circumcision of the flesh"?].............. 33 "But this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

    Ezekiel 32:18 "Son of man, wail over the multitude of Egypt, And cast them down to the depths of the earth, Her and the daughters of the famous nations, With those who go down to the Pit: 19 'Whom do you surpass in beauty? Go down, be placed with the uncircumcised.'

    Jeremiah 9:25 " Behold, the Days are coming," says the LORD, "that I will punish all [who are] circumcised with the uncircumcised --

    Jeremiah 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, And take away the foreskins of your hearts, You men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, Lest My fury come forth like fire, And burn so that no one can quench [it,] Because of the evil of your doings."
     
  14. Awaiting_the_fifth

    Awaiting_the_fifth Where is my mind?

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Messages:
    602
    Likes Received:
    0
    Has anyone considered the ethics of circumcising a baby?

    What if that child grows up to decide not to be a part of that faith, he can't get his foreskin back very easily can he. On the other hand, if it was left until adulthood, the decision could be made rationally and the foreskin could still be removed if required.

    If my folks had gotten me the chop when I was a baby, I would be quite upset with them now.
     
  15. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    21,270
    Likes Received:
    1,689
    In the US it became standard medical practice, nothing to do with faith, in many hospitals you have to sign a form for your son to not be circumcised...

    It is 'conventional medical wisdom' that having a foreskin is unhealthy for both the bearer and his partners....
     
  16. TrueBeliever

    TrueBeliever New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2006
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Both of my sons were circumcised at 1 day old. I was really outnumbered in this decision and was convinced that it was for their own good, looking back on it, I wonder.......

    I remember crying hysterically when they took my oldest son, Matthew away to be circumcised in the hospital. I remember thinking, this poor little guy,
    first he has to deal the trauma of being born and being thrust into a cold,
    noisy and very confusing world from a place where he felt safe and secure and then he has have his little winky snipped. It took me longer to get over
    it than it did him.

    Anyway, in the long run I don't think it caused any permanent phycological damage. He's grown into a wonderfully adjusted, secure, and compassionate
    young man and he makes me proud every day and I make sure I tell him that.

    He turned 15 this past November.

    My 11 yr old is just as wonderful, he's just a little weird sometimes, but that's
    just him I guess, can't blame his circumcision for that !!

    This is just my 2 cents worth.

    Overall the experience was harder on me than on them.
     
  17. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Messages:
    2,526
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey,

    So this is getting a little off-topic, perhaps, but I'd like to hear people's perspectives on this idea of circumcision as a hygeine issue. Is it "cleaner"? Or are we consistently and nearly thoughtlessly practicing a form of genital mutilation?

    I'm inclined to think like ATF here, although I certainly understand the point that people often make: that it is a difficult and potentially painful to have to decide whether or not to be circumcised at age 15+. But, what's the deal here, really? What's so nasty about a foreskin that it has to be cut off days after birth? And what the heck does that say about the wisdom of God? I'm leaving this last question open to different interpretations. ;)

    I'm really interested in hearing people's thoughts on this because this is a decision that I will have to make someday if I ever have a son.

    Thanks much,
    P


    P.S. ... and now that I am going back and actually reading previous posts in this thread, rather than just the last five, I see that there is already a lively discussion going on about this. :eek: So, excuse me. ;) :p But I'd certainly be interested in reading more replies.
     
  18. MagnetMan

    MagnetMan What is enlightenment?

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have not read all four pages of posts, so hopefully am not repeating anything here.
    Circumcision rites as an initiation into manhood began in the early Bronze Age. Hygiene was not involved. There is reason to believe they were initated as a direct response to lion predation. When mankind first began to dometicate wild cattle we trespassed on lion territory. (Lion prides roamed every continent up to ten thousand years ago.) When lions retaliated by raiding cattle enclosures at night, Bronzge Age farmers faced certain ruin and were forced to initiate a sytem of lion-fighting guilds that could meet the challenge. A lion is too heavy to be treed by dogs and shot with an arrow by a lone farmer. When pursued it retreats into dense cover and lies in ambush. Flushing a five hundred pound cat out of cover and then spearing it to death requires up to forty beaters. Once flushed, closing in on it, with only a spear and shield, requires an enormous amount of personal courage and group fortitude. (Even with a high-powered rifle it require intense focus.) Hense circumscision guild groups of pubertal boys, who were required to undergo the painful operation without flinching and encouraged by tribal elders to develope the ethic of personal courage. Once the lions were defeated, lion fightung guilds morphed into warrior regiments. Courage was again required to face an even more fearsome enemy - neighbouring clansmen. So the practice survived. Curren circumcision rites are simply the hold-over of a primitive era, and unless practiced on pubertal boys as a method of undergoing a trial of manhood, when practiced on babies (without anesthetic OUCH!!) serve no practical purpose.
     
  19. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Messages:
    2,526
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi MM,

    Although I certainly agree with you when you assert that circumcision serves no practical purpose, I have to wonder about the Bronze Age theory that you present. To quote Kip from Napoleon Dynamite, "How could anyone even know that?" I'm wondering what archeological evidence there is for the theory that you presented, or if it is simple speculation, which is what it seems like it must be to me. Of course, it just doesn't fit into the paradigms that I subscribe to about humanity's past, so I'm certainly biased. ;)
     
  20. didymus

    didymus New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    Messages:
    506
    Likes Received:
    0
    A couple of interesting notes on circumcision. Did anybody know that up until the 17 or 18th century after a circumcision was performed the Jewish Dr?( i don't know the proper name) he would suck the blood off of the penis to cleanse it? Wow, when I read that, that blew me away. That is documented in a book titled Paul, by A.N. Wilson.

    Also, men who are circumcised are less likely to contract and STD or HIV from an infected partner than a man who is uncircumcised.
     

Share This Page