Circumcision and Baptism
Jews and Christians each have difference customs and rites of passages, an common example
of this is circumcision in Judaism and baptism in Christianity, both of these rituals are drawn
from historical events.
Baptism is featured strongly in the New
Testament, including Jesus'
baptism by John in the River Jordan and despite the different customs for baptism, the
meaning and reason behind it is the same. It is an important aspect of Christian worship,
a rite of acceptance into the church seen as an act of:
- renunciation - the baptized adult or child are asked if they renounce
evil and repent of their sins.
- renewal - baptism symbolizes the beginning of a new life with God.
- Spiritual cleaning - the water used during baptism symbolizes
spiritual and inner cleanliness.
Circumcision also had its roots in the Bible (the Old Testament)
when Abraham was the first to practice it, it is regarded by the Jews as a sign of the
covenant, sealed in their flesh.
"God said to Abraham, 'For your part, you much keep my
covenant, you and your descendants after you, generation by generation. This is how you
shall keep my covenant between myself and you and your descendants after you: circumcise
yourselves, every male among you. You shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and it
shall be the sign of the covenant between us. "
The circumcising takes place on the eight day after the baby's
birth, it is performed by the Mohel who leads the prayers and performs the
operation. At the circumcision the child's Hebrew name that is to be used in every
religious event in the future is also announced by the Mohel.
information available on the ceremonies of baptism and