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What Does the Bible Say About..Circumcision?

Do all Christians still get circumcised today? My Baptist friend says he and his brothers/friends are. Is this something that is required of a Christian? I am not and wonder if it is necessary at this point. I would actually prefer not to have it done but I would like to know for my kids one day. Thanks for your time.


No, not all Christians get circumcised today. Many have been simply because for a number of years most doctors performed that surgery routinely on all males unless they were specifically asked not to. Circumcision has never been required of non-Jewish Christians.

The first Gentiles (non-Jews) came into the church about ten years after Jesus died. About five years later the question came up whether they had to be circumcised. Acts 15 is an account of the discussion and decision about that. After a decision was made, the apostles and the elders in Jerusalem (whose members were causing the problem) wrote a letter with their decision.

“The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia: Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment: It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth. For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.” (Acts 15:23-29)

The entire book of Galatians was written to counter those people who tried to say that all Christians had to follow the Law of Moses to be saved. In chapter 5 Paul specifically addresses those who would require circumcision because the Law of Moses required it.

“Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” (Galatians 5:2-6)

If you were to choose to be circumcised for cosmetic or health reasons there would be nothing wrong with it. If you were to choose to have it done because of some religious requirement, Paul says you will have “fallen from grace.” You need not worry, and you need not have the procedure done.