Circumcision of the Spirit

Superstitions are almost always fragments of oral history and wisdom passed down through cultures that carry kernels and grains of Truth. Sometimes they are wise in themselves, and the person carrying them doesn’t understand why, other than knowing and respecting instinctively the wisdom of their ancestors. At other times these superstitions don’t make any sense until you can find the other old puzzle pieces which they connect to.

It is certainly wiser than not to examine superstition; however, those that hold them are ‘vessels’ and one very important connection to our past and heritage we would not have otherwise. And wisdom does not always come with reason. As a matter of fact, I often find more wisdom in an old grandmother’s superstitions than I do the most reasoned and intelligent university professor.

“But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong” – 1st Corinthians 1:27

I found this the other day while researching Pelaguis. Hoping it’s alright to do a post about him sometime soon. It’s hard to find much about him, and that makes him all the more interesting to me. He was charged with being a “heretic” for something else he said, not about his commentary on Romans. Seems the church destroyed most of his works. My favorite is #26. I was about to throw in the towel when he started with “the visible need the invisible, but the invisible does not need the visible”…I thought I was seeing things. wow, but it’s good.

This is from “Pelagius’s Commentary on St Paul’s Epistle to the Romans” The Epistle to the Romans, is the sixth book in the New Testament. Biblical scholars agree that it was composed by the Apostle Paul. So while reading it you have to think Pelaguis is responding to what Paul said in each verse in Romans. I’ve only included the sections below here relating to circumcision. He asks questions, tries to interpret what Paul meant, etc. The following sections have to do with circumcision of both the flesh and the spirit.

25 Circumcision is indeed of value, if you keep the law. But if you are a transgressor of the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision. In what way, then, is it worthless, if it is of value (1 Cor. 7: 19)? Now, it is of value in its own day. It is of value as a sip, if righteousness, of which it is a 'seal', accompanies it (Rom. 4: 11); without righteousness the rest will be superfluous. Or: It is of value because it enabled the Jew to live and to escape destruction in infancy, before he came to an age of understanding. Or: Because he set it in the law, where one discovers, upon close examination, that when the circumcision of the flesh ends the true circumcision of the heart will come. One is then a transgressor of the law when one does not follow what is foretold therein.

26 If, therefore, the uncircumcision keeps the righteousness of the law, will not their uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? The visible needs the invisible, but the invisible does not need the visible, because the visible is an image of the invisible, and the invisible is the reality of the visible. The circumcision of the flesh, therefore, needs the circumcision of the heart, but the circumcision of the heart does not need the circumcision of the flesh, because the reality does not need the image, but the image needs the reality. If circumcision has no value by itself, one rightly wonders why it was instituted. First, in order to distinguish the people of God in the midst of the Gentiles; accordingly, when they were alone in the desert, they were not circumcised. Or: So that their bodies might be identified in war. Now the reason they were marked in that particular part of the body is, first of all, so that another part which was open to public view might not be disabled or defaced; secondly, on account of the promise of grace, which would render this part acceptable through chastity. Or: So that it might be signified that Christ would be born from its seed. He was destined to introduce spiritual circumcision, but until he was born physical circumcision would continue. Thus Joshua, son of Nun, who was a type of Christ, is commanded to circumcise the people a second time (cf. Josh. 5: 2).

27 Indeed that which is by nature uncircumcision, but fulfils the law, will judge you, who by the letter of the law and circumcision are a transgressor of the law. Either: As long as you pursue literal circumcision, you spurn spiritual circumcision. Or: For not following what the law said, namely, that by believing in Christ you might receive true circumcision.

28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision something outward in the flesh,

29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly. He is a real Jew: for everything that previously was performed with regard to the outer person contained a figure of the inner person. And circumcision is a matter of the heart, in spirit, not according to the letter; He has not been circumcised in the flesh. his praise is not front humankind, but front God. About this it is written in the law: ‘In the last days God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your seed so that you love the Lord your God’ (Deut. 30:6); and again: 'Circumcise yourselves for your God, and circumcise the foreskin of your heart (Jeremiah. 4:4), not according to the letter of the law, but according to the new testament, which investigates the inner secrets that God alone sees.

Romans 3:1 What more is there, therefore, for the Jew, or what is the value of circumcision?

2 Much in every way. The apostle has explained that the law is useless once it has been treated with contempt, and that the privilege of physical circumcision is worthless unless it is sustained with works. Now, as though he asks what advantage a Jew has, he receives a reply in the person of a Jew: Much in every way. For if the expressions Much in every way and Everyone is a liar are Paul’s (Rom. 3: 4), in what sense does he later on argue to the contrary by saying: But if our wickedness sets off God’s righteousness, what shall we say? That God is wicked? Certainly not! and so on

(Rom. 3: 5)? In what sense does he finally assert that the Jews have no advantage, if here he reminds us that they have much (cf. Rom. 3: 9)? First of all, because the words of god were entrusted to them. You mean to say this before all else, that the words of God were entrusted to them, while nothing was entrusted to the Gentiles.

I have the link but it’s a google document, not certain if I should post it here. I’ve downloaded it and it’s safe. If not just search Pelaguis commentary on Romans PDF and it should pop in Goggle Search.

I don’t care how famous, or infamous Pelaguis may be, I don’t agree with him. The rite of circumcision was commanded to Israel for “all your generations forever”, and so there is no time limit to its veracity as a sign of the covenant between Yahweh and Israel. Just like the Shabbat commandment, and all the rest, there is NO time limit, they are all commanded for All our generations forever.
People may believe what they like, but in the end, it is for nobody else, than Israel and Israel’s G-d to be parties to this covenant, so say the very scriptures themselves.
A goy can “convert”, and even then has to have Brit Millah (circumcision) to verify his allegiance to the Torah and Israel, and Israels G-d.
Christians can speculate all they like, but the only real witness to the why and wherefores is the Torah.
St Paul or Sha’ul , is not worth a hill of beans to a Jew, he is considered a traitor to the Jewish people, and even lied to the people of Ephesus, by telling them that Israel worshipped the “unkown” god, that they had an altar for.
I have my own opinions as to the origins of circumcision, as do others. But it is wrong, I believe, to try and come up with reasons, false reasons, why G-d does not require it anymore, when the command itself states that it is an eternal sign, between “me, and the house of Israel, forever”.

As for any "new covenant, it says in Jeremiah (Yermiyahu ) that “In those days I will RENEW my covenanant with the house of Israel”. This does not say “make a new”, it says “renew”, and is set in the context of the return of the reprobate “lost ten tribes of Israel”, and their re uniting with the house of Judah. The joining of the two sticks of Ezekiel (Yechezki El)

Love and light.

Pelaguis was interpreting and commenting on what Paul had written. He was questioning. Your dispute would be with Paul.

My reason for posting it was to show that even back around the late 300’s to 400 AD the debate was going on about circumcision concerning the New Testament, not the Torah. What Paul meant. So it was a “Look”! Even then they were discussing this, and let’s read what they said back then. How interesting. My favorite part was…

[The visible needs the invisible, but the invisible does not need the visible, because the visible is an image of the invisible, and the invisible is the reality of the visible. The circumcision of the flesh, therefore, needs the circumcision of the heart, but the circumcision of the heart does not need the circumcision of the flesh, because the reality does not need the image, but the image needs the reality.
Again this is Pelaguis interpreting what Paul said, and not necessarily what Pelaguis himself believed. The above is my favorite because I can relate to it. I think we can agree that just because one is circumcised it doesn’t make a person a Jew. There’s a lot more to it than that. Outward signs do not automatically make inward signs. Remember how the Jews had to be re-circumcised? We know too that not everyone who is Circumcised is a Jew.

Paul was a liar? You may have hit on something very interesting there. Imagine how many other Jews when reading the New Testament thought just what you’re thinking now. Pelaguis was wondering too exactly what Paul meant by some of the passages. Paul should have known exactly what circumcision meant to those of the Jewish faith. I think Pelaguis knew too, along with many, many others. So was Paul trying to redefine it? If so for what purpose? Just for the record, I’m not a huge fan of Apostle Paul…so feel free to let it all out. :slight_smile:

Sha’ul, you keep calling on the authority of the Torah, yet you still have not answered the verse quoted above from the Torah:

"Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn.

For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe." – Deuteronomy 10:16-17

What is Paul or Pelaguis saying different from the Torah itself, especially in regards to Gentiles? Or perhaps you disagree with the Torah, but if so, you will need to stop naming it as an authority.

Now, not only did the Jews stop practicing circumcision, the traditional author or inspirer of the Torah, Moses, was never himself circumcised. Does this mean Moses was not a Jew? Or was he a hypocrite, or a traitor to his people?

As for the “unknown God”, Paul was speaking to the Athenians of Greece, and one of their gods, not the God of the Jews:

“Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.”

– Acts 17:22-23

And why was Paul a traitor, because he stopped killing Christianized Jews? Perhaps murdering fellow Jews because they believed in the Teachings of Jesus was the traitorous act… Murdering your own people because they follow the (peaceful) Teachings of one of your own kinsman? Yes, I consider that very treasonous! Think about those who were responsible for that genocide…

And Diane yes, the visible needs the invisible, but the invisible does not need the visible! Hence, the true difference between spiritual and physical circumcision. Pelaguis, Paul, and Jesus were all referring to the Torah when they spoke of the circumcision of the heart/spirit. If you do not keep the law in your heart, you might as well be uncircumcised, you are no longer a Jew. Simply cutting your flesh does not make one a Jew as “God, who is not partial and takes no bribe” will not accept the simple ritual act of circumcision without circumcising the heart. In other words, God will not be bribed by the empty ritual of cutting your flesh.

And yes, there are many Jews that call themselves Jews but do not follow the law as proclaimed here. They are not Jews… They are deceivers, to themselves and their followers.

I am not so much calling on the authority of the Torah, as you say, but defining the argument with it as the measure, since the rite of circumcision is defined by the Torah.
Far from being an “empty ritual” as you say dear brother, this rite is what defines an Israelite, or a Jew, as the case maybe, since in Moshe’s time, nobody was called a Jew, rather an Ivri. or Hebrew.
Without being snipped, no Hebrew could partake of the Pesach meal, any of the levitical ritual, marry a Hebrew woman, join in inheiratance of land or property, or, unfortunately for Moshe, even enter the land of Cannan.
If it was really only a matter of circumcising the heart, whatever that means, then Israels G-d, would have stated so way back when, but He didn’t, circumcision comes first, and as the apostlel writes himself, “first the physical, then the spiritual”, 1 Corinthians Ch 15 VV:46.
One wasn’t a Hebrew without brit milah and had no claim to any of the spiritual or physical blessing of the children of Ya’akov without it, no matter what they “believed” in their heart. The rules were the rules, or will you also question Israels G-d about this ?
Paul, and even Jesus, do NOT make the rules, G-d does, who Israels G-d was, and is, is another question, the Supreme Spirit ? I think not, but nevertheless, a G-d.
I think of myself less and less as a “Jew”, I have always felt more Israelite, as apposed to one from the house of Judah, though my grandmothers family are rumoured to be of the tribe of Benyamin.
I am finding myself more and more attracted to the spirituality of the Kolbrin, it fits well with me, especialy Morals and Precepts, and I am fining it is having a real effect on my character, and my reaction to life’s trials.

I have plenty of Kelt blood, and that is, from what I have learned, from the Lost 10 Tribes of Israel. Ones tribal lineage being determined along the Patriarchal line.
Anyhow, I am practising being a “real man”, and not letting myself get hot about this. let things be, and people will see for themselves, or not.
I love all my Cauldian, and non Cauldian breathren.
Love and light.

Right, as were Jesus, Paul, and Pelaguis doing the same…

It is only an ‘empty ritual’ if it is not likewise done in the heart as well, as the Torah clearly states. And, Moses was a Levite himself who was there to establish the rituals you speak of. Do you mean to say he could not partake of them?

What Paul means here is that the spiritual is only realized after a long progression in the evolution of man. The spiritual is only raised after a long struggle of unknowing and ignorance with the physical. He does not mean that the physical in reality was created before the spiritual. To clarify, in the same chapter of which you quote, verse 44 he states, “If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.” In other words, he says right there you cannot have a physical body without a spiritual body.

I never said Jews should not circumcise, I was just simply pointing out that the “rules” state you must circumcise your heart. If Jews choose to ignore their own rules, that is their choice.

And yes, I will question Israel’s God about this, and about a great many other things. I also question the Kolbrin, and the Supreme Spirit as well. I test, question, and criticize until I have a satisfactory answer or explanation. I do not lay down blindly for gods or men, and believe, preach, and practice only what I can verify personally. For example, I will praise and criticize both Moses and Paul, as they had both virtues and faults.

Are the rules of the Torah God’s rules, or man’s? I know they were written by men, subject to error, and man, writing them, is in the dimension of time and therefore change. And how do you distinguish the Supreme Spirit from a god or angel, demigod or demon? Besides the Supreme Spirit, all of these others are lesser beings, whose message even still must be channeled through the imperfect understanding of men.

I am happy for you, and notice your maturing and clearer character after just a short time. People should go with whatever makes sense to them, through what they can understand, and by what makes them a better person.

Much Love to you as well, Sha’ul. ;D

Len, I love you.
Thanks for not taking my argument on a personal level, as so many immature weaklings would, weaklings as defined by the Kolbrin that is.
Frankly, my beleifs are in a very fluid state right now, not knowing anymore what is true, other than the wisdom passed down from other men, and tested by time.
I find doctrinal argument a bore now, and am only arguing the circumcision point out of a feeling that there is something about it that those who partake of it understand, that those who don’t, do not.
I can’t put it into words really my brother, but it is there. Maybe one day I will be able to articulate my feelings into words.
Moshe was indeed disqualified from Levitical ritual, though he himself was the channel for its institution.
He recived all the instruction, but never saw the Temple for which it was brought forth.
Of course, there is now the little voice that says to me"but maybe Moshe never wrote a lot of the Levitical cannon, and it was penned much later by another". Possible, but saying that, my own would throw me to the lions also.
My own, LOL, my own are now, as Y’shua said, those who hear the voice of my Father, and obey".
Circumcision, or un circumcision, mattereth not, but the heart that bends towards the Supreme Spirit, like a flower to the enriching rays of the sun, is what makes a real man, and a true servant of the Most High G-d.
Dedication and loyalty to the law, and feet firmly planted, and striding the path of the true way, are what will bring a man to know G-d, and then death, not so bad after all, will bring his reward, or otherwise.
Circumcision of the heart, is only a metaphore, for one cannot physicaly do so, of course, so one must think what the comparison being made to Brit Milah is all about ?
Aside from my own thoughts on Avraham and his wanting to pass Annunaki ways down to his descendants.
Circumcision separated one from the people of other lands and races, it made one “separate” (Kadosh=holy) as in the scripture “You shall be a holy people, holy unto your G-d” Holy, just meant “separated for a specific use” as apposed to part of the general lump. So, I suppose that this being the case, and we are looking for a parallel here to the physical act of circumcision, one must assume that to circumcise ones heart, would be to make one’s heart holy, or separate , somehow. one’s heart, or inner self, or soul, from the normal day to day ordinariness of daily life.
How this is done, or even what it means, is another question, but I feel that is the answer.
Love and light brother.

I love you too, Sha’ul. Your honesty and pure heart are a refreshing inspiration.

And I generally don’t take disagreements or debates personally. Instead, I use them as an essential tool to discover Truths previously unknown.

I, also, generally find doctrinal argument a bore. However, in certain instances, such as this, it can reveal perspectives we may have missed that have a deeper relevance to our lives. Now, you say that there is something about the ritual of circumcision that has had a deeper effect on you, that cuts deeper into your Spirit than simply the flesh. Perhaps this feeling once understood and defined is the circumcision of the heart/spirit, or at least a partial answer to this question.

Yet it was Moses who handled the contents of the Ark of the Covenant first. Thereafter, only those most purified after going through the most difficult ritual could even view these contents. Interesting, isn’t it…

And it wasn’t God that required a Temple, but man. Likewise, God didn’t require a king, but man (Israelites) demanded it. It was always man that wanted to put a buffer or intercessor between himself and God (or True Authority).

I think your ‘little voice’ maybe onto something… :wink:

The voice of God and men are often confused, and this explains many biblical discrepancies. And one must truly hear the voice of the Father to obey God, otherwise one is led by another Father, or by corruptible men.

This is very deep insight, indeed, brother. There is physical circumcision, and spiritual circumcision. One is made a Jew by accident of birth, the other makes a Jew, or holy people set apart, through the second birth, or Twice Born. These are truly God’s chosen people in His Realm, set apart and chosen by Him, not by man or priestly intercessors. And yes, saying this would put many into the Lion’s Den, just like Daniel. But I would say that puts those called in good company, no? :wink:

Think deeply on this last quote of yours… you are onto something here.