Religious Educator: Perspectives on the Restored Gospel


Ryan J. Wessel


circumcision, Old Testament, gospel

Document Type



It can be awkward to say the word circumcision in the gospel classroom. The problem lies in that many students (and some teachers) know just enough about the physical process of circumcision to make mentioning the topic uncomfortable but not enough of the religious history and symbolic meaning to gain much spiritual insight from classroom time dedicated to the topic. Yet the concept of circumcision is related to many chapters in the Old Testament; it is interwoven into scriptures relating to the Abrahamic covenant, the Exodus from Egypt, the promised land, and teachings of multiple Old Testament prophets.1 An understanding of the religious significance of circumcision in the Old Testament not only teaches gospel principles directly, but also helps students more fully understand other Old and New Testament messages. Further, circumcision was important enough culturally and religiously to be practiced by Jehovah’s covenant people for over two thousand years. Skipping or glossing over the topic might not be the most effective practice.