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[gthomas] Re: physical means ...

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  • Michael Grondin
    ... There is this possibility: that circumcision of the spirit was thought to involve cutting away a portion of the spirit. If what you say is true, the
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 13, 1999
      At 10:48 PM 11/13/99 -0600, Harold Helm wrote:
      >* CIrcumcision of the Spirit is EVIDENCED by
      >fruits of love joy peace kindness gentleness
      >faithfulness etc

      There is this possibility: that "circumcision of the spirit" was thought to
      involve cutting away a portion of the spirit. If what you say is true, the
      implication is that there is a portion of one's spirit prior to "spiritual
      circumcision" which is NOT kind, gentle, etc., and that kindness,
      gentleness, etc., result from cutting off this "bad" part of the spirit.
      Under this interpretation, the analogy to physical circumcision may be more
      exact, but I'm not sure that the interpretation is ultimately defensible.
      The textual evidence seems to be mixed. The evil man has an evil heart, for
      example - perhaps also an evil soul - but does he have an evil spirit?
      Again, there were thought to be good and evil spirits within the world
      (which is why the word "Holy" was needed to designate the good spirit of
      God) - but the spirit within man seems to have been at least sometimes
      spoken of as if it were purely good. Or maybe it's just initially good, and
      the task is to restore it to its initial state (as it occurs in children).
      Or maybe not everyone has the spirit within him. Can one lose the spirit
      entirely, or does it simply become tarnished? Too many maybe's - not enough
      hard evidence so far.

      Regards,
      Mike
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