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Study Resources :: Dictionaries :: Circumcision, Uncircumcision, Circumcise

Dictionaries :: Circumcision, Uncircumcision, Circumcise

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Below are articles from the following dictionary:
Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
A-1 Noun Strong's Number: g4061 Greek: peritome

Circumcision, Uncircumcision, Circumcise:

lit., "a cutting round, circumcision" (the verb is peritemno), was a rite enjoined by God upon Abraham and his male descendants and dependents, as a sign of the covenant made with him, Gen. 17; Act 7:8; Rom 4:11. Hence Israelites termed Gentiles "the uncircumcised," Jdg 15:18; 2Sa 1:20. So in the NT, but without the suggestion of contempt, e.g., Rom 2:26; Eph 2:11.

The rite had a moral significance, Exd 6:12, 30, where it is metaphorically applied to the lips; so to the ear, Jer 6:10, and the heart, Deu 30:6; Jer 4:4. Cp. Jer 9:25, 26. It refers to the state of "circumcision," in Rom 2:25-28; 3:1; 4:10; 1Cr 7:19; Gal 5:6; 6:15; Col 3:11.

"In the economy of grace no account is taken of any ordinance performed on the flesh; the old racial distinction is ignored in the preaching of the Gospel, and faith is the sole condition upon which the favor of God in salvation is to be obtained, Rom 10:11-13; 1Cr 7:19. See also Rom 4:9-12" * [* From Notes on Galations by Hogg and Vine, p.69.]

Upon the preaching of the Gospel to, and the conversion of, Gentiles, a sect of Jewish believers arose who argued that the Gospel, without the fulfillment of "circumcision," would make void the Law and make salvation impossible, Act 15:1. Hence this party was known as "the circumcision," Act 10:45; 11:2; Gal 2:12; Col 4:11; Tts 1:10 (the term being used by metonymy, the abstract being put for the concrete, as with the application of the word to Jews generally, Rom 3:30; 4:9, 12; 15:8; Gal 2:7-9; Eph 2:11). It is used metaphorically and spiritually of believers with reference to the act, Col 2:11; Rom 2:29; to the condition, Phl 3:3.

The Apostle Paul's defense of the truth, and his contention against this propaganda, form the main subject of the Galatian Epistle. Cp. katatome, "concision," Phl 3:2.

A-2 Noun Strong's Number: g203 Greek: akrobustia

Circumcision, Uncircumcision, Circumcise:

"uncircumcision," is used

(a) of the physical state, in contrast to the act of "circumcision," Act 11:3 (lit., "having uncircumcision"); Rom 2:25, 26; 4:10, 11 ("through they be in uncircumcision," RV), 12; 1Cr 7:18, 19; Gal 5:6; 6:15; Col 3:11;

(b) by metonymy, for Gentiles, e.g., Rom 2:26, 27; 3:30; 4:9; Gal 2:7; Eph 2:11;

(c) in a metaphorical or transferred sense, of the moral condition in which the corrupt desires of the flesh still operate, Col 2:13.

Note: In Rom 4:11, the phrase "though they be in uncircumcision" translates the Greek phrase di' akrobustias, lit., "through uncircumcision;" here dia has the local sense of proceeding from and passing out.

B-1 Adjective Strong's Number: g564 Greek: aperitmetos

Circumcision, Uncircumcision, Circumcise:

"uncircumcised" (a, negative, peri, "around," temno, "to cut"), is used in Act 7:51, metaphorically, of "heart and ears."

C-1 Verb Strong's Number: g4059 Greek: peritemno

Circumcision, Uncircumcision, Circumcise:

to circumcise," is used

(a) lit., e.g., Luk 1:59; 2:21; of receiving circumcision, Gal 5:2, 3; 6:13, RV;

(b) metaphorically, of spiritual circumcision, Col 2:11.

C-2 Verb Strong's Number: g1986 Greek: epispaomai

Circumcision, Uncircumcision, Circumcise:

lit., "to draw over, to become uncircumcised," as if to efface Judaism, appears in 1Cr 7:18.


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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