With the institution of Christian Baptism the commandment to
circumcise ceased to apply!
(me) We have the Old Covenant giving way to the New Covenant! Jesus and His Church
carrying on where His Father left off!
At the Council of Jerusalem (cf. Acts 15) "But some men came down from Judea and were
teaching the bretheren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you
can not be saved." The Apostles (Peter in particular, Acts 10, 11, 15), definitively declared
that those entering the Church had no need to be circumcised.
St. Paul's explicit teaching on the irrelevance of circumcision in the context of the New Alliance
(New Covenant) established by Christ is to be found in: Galatians 5:2; "Now I, Paul, say to you
that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you."
Gal 6:12; "It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh that would compel you to
be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ."
Colossians 2:11; "In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands,
by putting off the body of flesh in the circumcision of Christ;".
READ: Col 2:8-13; (me) notice in v. 8 Paul mentions "human tradition", we know that
"circumcision" is a "good tradition" given by God to the Jews in Genesis, but now "in Christ"
we find the fulfillment of that command! Some would accuse the Catholic Church of making a
big deal out of Baptism, they say that although it is good to do, it is not necessary for
salvation, [see Mk 16:16] "He who believes and is baptized will be saved".
If as St. Paul is pointing out; Baptism is the replacement of circumcision, and Baptism is the
fulfillment of the Old Covenant rite of circumcision as he says above, then it would seem that
according to Scripture; Baptism is necessary!
Another objection is, that since a child, especially an infant, has not arrived at the age of
reason it can not and should not be Baptized. Again, if Baptism is fulfilling the rite of
circumcision done on the eighth day then according to Scripture, we can see that the Catholic
Church is the "True Bible Church"!
One other point needs to be made before we move on: There are some who say that the
Catholic Church follows the "traditions of men" or "human traditions" as St. Paul puts it.
Are there only "human traditions" or are there both "good" meaning "Godly" and "bad"
meaning "Human" traditions"?
It would seem according to Mk 16:16, that Christ was instituting a "good" or "Godly tradition".
We see a further explanation of that institution by St. Paul in his letter to the Colossians. St.
Paul continues with this line of thought in his 2nd Letter to the Thessalonians 2:15;
"Therefore, stand firm, hold fast, to the "traditions" which you were taught by us either by
word of mouth or by letter."
Again, we see, according to the Bible that the teachings of the Catholic Church are never
refuted by Sacred Scripture!
"It is not often admitted by [some] that nowhere does the Bible actually say baptism is to be
restricted to adults. They just conclude that is what it should be taken as meaning."
[Their] position on infant baptism is a consequence not of the bible's strictures, but of the
logic of fundamentalism's notion of salvation. Although the Bible is not as clear on the issue
as we might wish, certainly what it says leans toward the Catholic position, which is seconded
by early Christian writings and practice.
[They] ignore all that because they must preserve their concept of how salvation is obtained.
They see salvation as coming not through an infusion of grace, which is the Catholic/Biblical
position, but through an acceptance of Jesus as one's personal Lord and Savior. Since only
an adult can be saved this way, they conclude that baptism is wasted on infants and young
children - thus their opposition to the Catholic position!
SIMPLE BIBLICAL EXPLANATION OF BAPTISM:
From the Scriptures of John 3:5 & Matthew 28:19 all the elements of the New Testament
concept of the Sacrament can be derived. Baptism appears as an outward sign of grace,
consisting of ablution with water and the invocation of the Three Divine Persons; it effects
inward grace, namely re-birth, and is ordained for all time by Christ.
(Romans 4:2-3] (ME) If we read down to v. 9, we will see the real reason that St. Paul brings
up this section of Genesis. Paul was arguing against the Jewish idea that because they were
"sons of Abraham" they were saved. They believed, and rightly so, that they came into the
"Covenant" through "circumcision" [Genesis 17:11]. This is another reason why St. Paul's
Letter to Colossians, where he talks about BAPTISM replacing circumcision is so important! In
v. 9 of Romans 4 we see that Paul is showing the Jews that their "father Abraham" was actually
"saved" before he was circumcised"! This would have rocked the very foundations of the
Hebrew community! He is speaking against the "work" of circumcision here! If we read v. 11,
we see that circumcision was a "seal" or a "sign" of the righteousness he had - and the
Church teaches that the water & the Holy Oil used at Baptism is an outward "sign" of the
righteousness given to us as a free gift by God, and that we are "sealed" to God! In v. 12 we
see that Christians are to follow the "example of faith".
Sanctifying Grace: (CE) According to Scripture, Baptism makes a person a new creation,
through a rebirth and communication of the Holy Spirit [2 Peter 1:4]. [...] It is lost through
mortal sin [Romans 8:12] (but restored in the sacrament of Penance [John 20:21]) and can be
increased by good works [James 2:24] and the reception of the sacraments [John 6:53].
THEOLOGICAL VIRTUES: Faith, hope and love. Supernatural gifts enabling man to attain his
MORAL VIRTUES: Prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance. The moral virtues enable us
to easily perform good actions inspired by the Holy Spirit.
1) Theology for Beginners, Frank J. Sheed
2) Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Dr. Ludwig Ott
3) The Gospel According to Rome, by James G. McCarthy
4) Catholic Dictionary, general editor Donald Attwater
5) Scott Hahn, tape series on Romans;
6) Philip Turgati, (ME)
7) Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Karl Keating
8) This Rock, apologetics magazine
9) The Navarre commentary on St. Luke
*Unless noted, all Scripture quotes are from the Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition,
Luke 1:59, "And on the eighth day they came to circumcise
Circumcision was a rite established by God under the Old
Covenant to mark out those who belonged to his chosen
people: he commanded Abraham to institute circumcision
as a sign of the Covenant he had made with him and all his
descendants (cf. Gen 17:10-14), prescribing that it should
be done on the eighth day after birth. The rite was
performed either at home or in the synagogue, and, in
addition to the actual circumcision, the ceremony included
prayers naming the