Circumcision Rhetorical Analysis

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Another area of divergence concerns the act of circumcision. It is clear that Jesus and Paul are Jews who are circumcised, yet throughout Paul’s epistles, he repeatedly and vehemently states that circumcision is not necessary. For example, in his first letter to Corinthians, he writes, “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing; but obeying the commandments of God is everything. Let each of you remain in the condition in which you were called” (I Cor. 7:19-20). The significance of this passage is that Paul does not condemn circumcision, rather he saying that they both mean nothing because faith should be expressed from the heart, not from outward appearances. In this letter, Paul is noticeably more lenient when it comes to circumcision as he is addressing a diverse audience of gentiles …show more content…
To those under the law I become as one under the law, [although I myself am not under the law], so that I might win those under the law” (I Cor. 9:20). In other words, Paul values getting as many people to accept the new covenant more than he values forcing them to adhere to strict laws. He feels that perhaps circumcision could be one of the reasons that gentiles are hesitant to convert, thus he tells the gentiles that they do not need to circumcise. For example, in his letter to the Galatians, he says that there is no special benefit to getting circumcised as it will not bring one closer to God and that the only thing that counts is “faith working through love” (Gal. 5:2-6). Furthermore, in the letter to Roman, Paul reassures his converts that they do not need to worry about circumcision because the mark does not count as faith nor sin. He says, “Circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law; but if you break the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcised. So if those who are uncircumcised keep the requirements of the law, will their uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision?” (Roman

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