Bible Articles on the Topic of Concision

The following articles have been compiled and indexed by inWORD Bible software.

Help with Old Testament Allusions

...Of much greater value are the instances when the Septuagint helps appreciably with the understanding of obscure passages. “Beware of dogs, beware of the concision,” wrote Paul in curt contempt (Philippians 3:2). It was obviously a slighting reference to Judaists with their confidence in circumcision (see v. 3). But the point of it comes out so much more when the same Greek word is traced to the ordeal of Elijah on mount Carmel. Then the priests of Baal sought to commend themselves to the attention of their god by the way they “cut themselves... with knives and lancets” (1 Kings 18:28). To liken dedicated Judaists to such men was an act of temerity. Yet what fundamental difference was there? For these zealots for the Law also sought the favour of Jehovah by “cutting themselves with knives and lancets.”

Circumcisional Progression in Paul’s Letters

Beware of the concision. For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. (Philippians 3:2-3)

Paul, Puppies and Tattoos

Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you. Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh. (Philippians 3:1-3)


(Greek: katatome; i.e., “mutilation”), a term used by Paul contemptuously of those who were zealots for circumcision (Philippians 3:2). Instead of the warning, “Beware of the circumcision” (peritome) i.e., of the party who pressed on Gentile converts the necessity of still observing that ordinance, he says, “Beware of the concision;” as much as to say, “This circumcision which they vaunt of is in Christ only as the gashings and mutilations of idolatrous heathen.”


kon-sizh ́un (κατατομή, katatomḗ, “mutilation,” “cutting”): A term by which Paul contemptuously designates the merely fleshly circumcision upon which the Judaizers insisted as being necessary for Gentile converts (Philippians 3:2), as distinguished from peritomḗ, the true circumcision (Philippians 3:3). Compare Galatians 5:12 and Deuteronomy 23:1, and see CIRCUMCISION.


Concision, (κατατομή, a cutting down, i.e. entire mutilation of the parts), a contemptuous term used by Paul in Philippians 3:2, to denote the zealots for circumcision. In classical writers the Greek word denotes a groove or channel, etc. (see Liddell and Scott, s.v.), but the apostle parodies the term previously employed, for the purpose of indicating more pointedly the real character of the sectaries in question; instead of saying “beware of the circumcision” (περιτομήν), namely, the party who pressed the necessity of still observing that ordinance, he says “beware of the concision” (κατατομήν); as much as to say they no longer deserve the old and venerable name; what they stickle for is a mere concision, a flesh- cutting. He then goes on to state the reason, “for we are the circumcision “the reality has now passed over into us, who believe in Christ and are renewed in the spirit of our minds. (See Sommel, Obss. Philol. on this passage, Lond. 1793.) Similarly in Galatians 5:12, he says even more pointedly, “I would they [the same class of Judaizing teachers] were even cut off” (ἀποκόψονται, would for themselves cut off wholly the organ circumcised, and not be content with a mere scarification of it), i.e. make themselves outright eunuchs (comp. the allusions to their impurity, ver. 13, 19. 24). So Chrysostom and Jerome explain (περικοπτέσθωσιν, abscindantur). SEE CIRCUMCISION.

Brit milah

The brit milah (Hebrew: בְּרִית מִילָה‎, [bʁit miˈla]; Ashkenazi pronunciation: [bʁis ˈmilə], “covenant of circumcision”; Yiddish pronunciation: bris [b?ɪs]) is a Jewish religious male circumcision ceremony performed by a mohel (“circumciser”) on the eighth day of a male infant’s life. The brit milah is followed by a celebratory meal (seudat mitzvah).

Circumcision controversy in early Christianity

The Council of Jerusalem during the Apostolic Age of the history of Christianity did not include religious male circumcision as a requirement for new gentile converts. This became known as the “Apostolic Decree” and may be one of the first acts differentiating early Christianity from Judaism. Circumcision was enjoined upon the biblical patriarch Abraham, his descendants and their slaves as “a token of the covenant” concluded with him by God for all generations, as an “everlasting covenant”. ([Genesis 17:13])


Male circumcision is the removal of the foreskin from the human penis. In the most common procedure, the foreskin is opened, adhesions are removed, and the foreskin is separated from the glans. After that, the circumcision device (if used) is placed, and then the foreskin is cut off. Topical or locally injected anesthesia is occasionally used to reduce pain and physiologic stress. For adults and children, general anesthesia is an option, and the procedure may be performed without a specialized circumcision device. The procedure is most often an elective surgery performed on babies and children for religious and cultural reasons. In other cases it may be done as a treatment for a condition or for preventative reasons. Medically, it is a treatment option for problematic cases of phimosis, balanoposthitis that does not resolve with other treatments, and chronic urinary tract infections (UTIs). It is contraindicated in cases of certain genital structure abnormalities or poor general health.