Monday, 20 July 2015

The first circumcision

Circumcision for the Egyptians was a method of purification; the body’s openings were considered portals through which impure and malignant spirits might penetrate.

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Europeans, with the exception of the Jews, did not practice male circumcision. Did he or someone close to him lose a child to circumcision? We don't know. The oldest documentary evidence for circumcision comes from ancient Egypt. He also noted that circumcision should be performed as an effective means to reduce sexual pleasure: "The legislators thought good to dock the organ which ministers to such intercourse thus making circumcision the symbol of excision of excessive and superfluous pleasure." There was also division in Pharisaic Judaism between Hillel the Elder and Shammai on the issue of circumcision of proselytes.

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According to author David L. Abraham that circumcision was a part of the Covenant, or part of man’s promise to God. Circumcision also served as a tribal sign; without it, one was banished from the tribe, which was certain death for the Jewish people were desert inhabitants. What we know is that the first church council supported Peter, and not the circumcision enthusiasts. Routine infant circumcision never took off in Europe but circumcision enthusiasts promoted it in English-speaking countries from the late Victorian era. He was a married man and he lived before aseptic surgery, blood transfusions and antibiotics. Although scholars suggest that circumcision was limited to the elite only (priests and pharaohs), others disagree. The ACP termed circumcision traumatic, a possible violation of human rights, and called for parents to be provided with full and complete information about circumcision before making a decision.

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The Apostle Peter said that circumcision and the Jewish law were an unbearable burden. The ritual of circumcision was therefore applied to all Jewish males, and because of this, writers began to consider circumcision as a normal step as to how the penis was supposed to function as God intended. As a result, some Christians have been misled into believing that Christianity recommends circumcision. References to circumcision are found throughout the Old Testament, but they are vague as to how and at what age the action of circumcision itself was to be performed.

Today, many Anthropologists disagree on the origins of circumcision. By being circumcised, God ensured the promise of fertility to the Jewish people. Circumcision was condemned in The Ecumenical Council of Florence on 4 February 1442. Egyptians of the time lived in an intellectually and technically advanced society. This is simply not true.

Various reasons have been given for the adoption of circumcision as a practice in different cultures around the world. The Catholic Church condemned the observance of circumcision as a moral sin and ordered against its practice in the Council of Basel-Florence in 1442. If the Egyptians performed circumcision, it was considered to be rooted in wisdom. Therefore, many people were led to believe that circumcision was healthy and natural. Some, such as English Egyptologist Sir Elliot Smith, believing that circumcision originated in the 'Heliolithic' culture over 15,000 years ago and was adopted by other cultures, while others believe that circumcision developed independently within separate cultures. In the aftermath of the conquests of Alexander the Great, however, Greek dislike of circumcision (they regarded a man as truly "naked" only if his prepuce was retracted) led to a decline in its incidence among many peoples that had previously practiced it.

The incidence of neonatal circumcision in the US has continued to decline, and stood at only 60% in 1996. (Acts 15: 10)

The 1st-century Jewish author Philo Judaeus (20 BCE - 50 CE) defended Jewish circumcision on several grounds, including health, cleanliness and fertility. According to UNAIDS, it stated that circumcision was unnecessary for Christians; El-Hout and Khauli, however, regard it as condemnation of the procedure. Circumcision was common, although not universal, among ancient Semitic peoples. He also thought that circumcision should be done as early as possible as it would not be as likely to be done by someone's own free will. A rare exception occurred in Visigothic Spain, where during the armed campaign king Wamba ordered circumcision of everyone who committed atrocities against the civilian population. They had a vast understanding of the human body, were respected for their military conquests and great architecture, and were therefore regarded as amazing to their contemporaries. Although the origins of circumcision are uncertain, it is documented that circumcision has been practiced in areas throughout Africa, in the Near East, by Australian Aborigines, and by Muslims in South-East Asia.

Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant churches never adopted circumcision. In Egypt, circumcision was a ritual that transformed the youth into manhood, allowing them into admittance of the divine mysteries. He claimed that the foreskin prevented semen from reaching the vagina and so should be done as a way to increase the nation's population. Gollaher in his book, Circumcision: A History of the World’s Most Controversial Surgery, the Jewish people borrowed the practice of circumcision from the Egyptians. In the same year, the Australian College of Paediatrics (ACP) reported that the incidence of neonatal circumcision in Australia has continued its decline to 10%. One exception was the Coptic Church in Egypt, and the Council condemned this practice amongst them.

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