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Contesting Conversion - Genealogy, Circumcision, and Identity in Ancient Judaism and Christianity | Oxford Scholarship Online
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Contesting Conversion: Genealogy, Circumcision, and Identity in Ancient Judaism and Christianity

Matthew Thiessen


This book examines ancient Jewish thought with regard to Jewish identity construction, circumcision, and conversion. It argues that there is no evidence in the Hebrew Bible that circumcision was considered to be a rite of conversion to Israelite religion. The infant circumcision that was practiced within Israelite and early Jewish society, and was demanded by Genesis 17, excluded from the covenant those not properly descended from Abraham. In the Second Temple period many Jews did begin to conceive of Jewishness in terms that enabled Gentiles to become Jews. Nonetheless, some Jews, especially ... More

Keywords: circumcision, conversion, ethnicity, identity construction, Jewishness, Acts, Genesis, Jubilees

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780199793563
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199793563.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Matthew Thiessen, author
College of Emmanuel and St. Chad and Lutheran Theological Seminary, Saskatoon Theological Union
Author Webpage