Gnostic Doctrine

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Circumcision Gospel of Thomas Saying 53

Saying 53
like the books in the NT, Thomas rejects circumcision, What counts is true, spiritual circumcision (cf., Philippians 3:3)." spiritual circumcision was the important thing was emphasized even in Old Testament times (cf. Deuteronomy 10.16; Jeremiah 4.4; Ezek 44:9); in Colossians 2:11, where the true circumcision is linked with the stripping off of the body of flesh. A circumcision 'spiritual and not literal' is mentioned in Romans 2:29, and the question here assigned to the disciples is asked by Paul himself in Romans 3:1 - but with a very different answer. Other passages to which reference may be made include Romans 2:25, 1 Corinthians 7:19, and Galatians 6:15.

Paul says, "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." It is circumcision of the heart, of which circumcision of the flesh is but the sign of the circumcised heart of Abraham, that confers a title to the land and all its attributes. Before Israel can inherit the land for ever, and so be no more expelled by " the Horns of the Gentiles," they must "circumcise the foreskin of their hearts, and be no more stiff-necked"; and "love the Lord their God with all their heart, and with all their soul, that they may live. (Deut. 10:16; 30:6) This may seem to some to put their restoration a long way off. And so it does, if the circumcision of their hearts is to be effected by the instrumentality of the Society for the Conversion of the Jews. By the well-meant endeavours of this body, it never can be accomplished; for the Society and its agents are themselves deficient in this particular.

53) His disciples said to Him, "Is circumcision [works of the flesh - self-sacrifice] beneficial or not?" He said to them, "If it were beneficial, their [earthly] father would beget them already circumcised from their [earthly] mother. Rather, the true circumcision [of the heart] in spirit has become [over time] completely profitable [circumcision of the flesh (an act of faith not of the child but of the parents) was an allegorical reference pointing towards the circumcision of the heart and as with all allegories and parables in the bible - these visible, lower/outward (carnal) manifestations have a deeper invisible, higher/inward (spiritual) manifestation in those who receive it and benefit from it]."

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