German Postage Stamp Honors Circumcision as Ancient Tradition

Amid raging debate over circumcision in Germany, postal service issues commemorative stamp describing the circumcision of Jesus.

As debate over circumcision rages in Germany, the postal service in that country has issued a commemorative stamp likely to play into the hands of those supporting the custom.

The stamp, which will be released on September 11, contains a passage from the New Testament describing the circumcision of Jesus: “On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus” (Luke 2:21).

In ongoing controversy over the circumcision of children, the German-Jewish community has emphasized repeatedly that circumcision is an ancient religious custom dating back over 4,000 years, and insisted that it must not be outlawed. Now, the German postal service has unwittingly strengthened this claim.

The 85-cent stamp is being issued to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the German Bible Society − a foundation that encourages Bible studies. Ralf Thomas Moeller, spokesman for the society in Stuttgart, said the timing of the stamp’s issuance was totally coincidental and bore no relation to the current debate on the subject.