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Ends Meet: Qumran and Paul on Circumcision

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the relationship of circumcision to conversion. While one can point to such texts as Acts 15 and Josephus' Adiabene story in Antiquities 20, in which some Jews demanded that Gentiles who wish to worship the true God be circumcised and some did not, one cannot point to any direct evidence for the view that a male Gentile can become a Jew without circumcision. Rather, both Acts and the Adiabene story testify to the view that a Gentile need not be circumcised in order to worship God. But Gentiles who worship God are not Jews. Jub 15:26, following but intensifying Gen 17, insists that Jews must be circumcised but at the same time excludes the possibility that any Gentile circumcised later than the eighth day could become a Jew.

Keywords: Adiabene story; circumcision; Jew; Jubilees 15:26



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