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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2004
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Claim CH135.1:

The Bible, remarkably for its time, notes that the eighth day after birth is the safest time to perform circumcisions (Gen. 17:12; Lev. 12:2-3). When a baby is born, they have no bacteria in their intestines for the first few days. By the seventh day, the bacteria multiply and produce vitamin K. Without vitamin K and prothrombin protein (which is produced by the liver using vitamin K), the blood will not clot properly and the possibility of severe bleeding as well as infection would make circumcision dangerous in a primitive medical situation.


Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1985. Life--How Did It Get Here? Brooklyn, NY, p. 205-206.


  1. Although the danger of severe bleeding is worst in the first week, it can occur any time in the first month (Zipursky 1999). According to most medical experts, the best time for circumcision is never (Ritter and Denniston 1996). The procedure is medically unnecessary at best. The procedure is painful, and there is some evidence that pain in early infancy makes one more sensitive to pain throughout life (Ruda et al. 2000).

  2. Attributing a requirement of some special knowledge for this insight assumes the ancient Hebrews were stupid. Classic hemorrhagic disease of the newborn is usually seen on days two through five (Zipursky 1999); it would not take a lot of observation and thought to conclude that it would be best to wait until the worst danger is over.

    The Susus near Timbuctoo and the Guemos of South America are also said to perform the rite on the eighth day (Hirsch et al. n.d.).

  3. Accuracy on one point does not show overall accuracy.


  1. Hirsch, Emil G. et al. n.d. Circumcision.
  2. Ritter, T. J. and G. C. Denniston. 1996. (see below)
  3. Ruda, M. A., Q-D. Ling, A. G. Hohmann, Y. B. Peng and T. Tachibana. 2000. Altered nociceptive neuronal circuits after neonatal peripheral inflammation. Science 289: 628-630. See also: Helmuth, L., 2000. Early insult rewires pain circuits. Science 289: 521-522.
  4. Zipursky, Alvin. 1999. Prevention of vitamin K deficiency bleeding in newborns. British Journal of Haematology 104: 430-437.

Further Reading:

Ritter, Thomas J. and George C. Denniston. 1996. Say No to circumcision!, 2nd ed. Aptos, CA: Hourglass Book Publishing.
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created 2003-7-11, modified 2004-8-27