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Bible specifies best time for circumcision (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article
This article (Bible specifies best time for circumcision (Talk.Origins)) is a response to a rebuttal of a creationist claim published by Talk.Origins Archive under the title Index to Creationist Claims.

Claim CH135.1:

The Bible, remarkably for its time, notes that the eighth day after birth is the safest time to perform circumcisions [Gen. 17:12; Lev. 12:2-3]. When a baby is born, they have no bacteria in their intestines for the first few days. By the seventh day, the bacteria multiply and produce vitamin K. Without vitamin K and prothrombin protein (which is produced by the liver using vitamin K), the blood will not clot properly and the possibility of severe bleeding as well as infection would make circumcision dangerous in a primitive medical situation.


  • Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1985. Life—How Did It Get Here? Brooklyn, NY, p. 205-206.

CreationWiki response: (Talk.Origins quotes in blue)

1. Although the danger of severe bleeding is worst in the first week, it can occur any time in the first month. According to most medical experts, the best time for circumcision is never. The procedure is medically unnecessary at best.

Even if true, this would not change the fact the the 8th day after birth is the best time for it. But studies have shown that the statement "the best time for circumcision is never" is not true. Results of a study released in November 2006 by the Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences in New Zealand says there are "substantial benefits" from the practice.

The New Zealand study suggested that circumcising all baby boys could cut the rate of sexually transmitted diseases by about half, according to a report in USA Today. [1] The report said. "The study adds to the growing scientific evidence that challenges a policy against routine circumcision by the American Academy of Pediatrics."

The procedure is painful, and there is some evidence that pain in early infancy makes one more sensitive to pain throughout life.

Pure malarkey. The pain of circumcision is not remembered, nor does it affect a person's future sensitivity to pain. This is nothing but psycho-babble.

2. Attributing a requirement of some special knowledge for this insight assumes the ancient Hebrews were stupid. Classic hemorrhagic disease of the newborn is usually seen on days two through five; it would not take a lot of observation and thought to conclude that it would be best to wait until the worst danger is over.

Except that this was a direct commandment from God.

The Susus near Timbuctoo and the Guemos of South America are also said to perform the rite on the eighth day [Hirsch et al. n.d.].

There is nothing in Talk Origins' source that suggests that this is not a result of Biblical influence.

3. Accuracy on one point does not show overall accuracy.

True, but accuracy on many points supports overall accuracy.