Thursday, 5 February 2015

Conor O'Brien: Bede's Views on Circumcision and His Sources

The Venerable Bede (d. 735) declared in no uncertain terms that what baptism was for Christians under the new dispensation, circumcision had been for Jews under the old - a genuine sacramental means to remove original sin. This paper will examine how he drew together the scattered comments of Fathers such as Augustine and Gregory on the topic to make increasingly clear statements about the grace-giving qualities of ancient circumcision. Bede developed the ideas of earlier writers to suggest that Old Testament Jewish religion had been not simply a prefiguration of Christian truth, but itself a grace-giving part of the City of God.

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