According to Ramsay, then, Peter was present during the famine, and made a private agreement with Paul that the latter should preach to the Gentiles, and so far Gentile Christianity was recognized, but the conditions of the intercourse between Gentile and Jewish Christians were not defined, and the question of circumcision was perhaps not finally settled.
In the Diaspora admission of converts may have been made easy, circumcision being sometimes omitted, but the conditions became gradually more severe, until they reached their present form.
At about twelve or fourteen circumcision took place and (or sometimes as an alternative on the east coast) a front tooth was knocked out, to the accompaniment of the booming of the bullroarer.
His coming did not annul the Law, for he was merely a prophet and teacher; Paul was wrong and circumcision still necessary.
Next follow the passage of the Jordan (commemorated by the erection of twelve stones), the encampment at Gilgal, and the observance of the rite of circumcision and of the passover (iii.-v.).
Paul insists that he was appointed the apostle to the Gentiles, as Peter was to the Circumcision; and that circumcision and the observance of the Jewish law were of no importance to the Christian as such.
Hadrian had forbidden circumcision as illegal mutilation: he had also replaced Jerusalem by a city of his own, Aelia Capitolina, and the temple of Yahweh by a temple of Jupiter.
Since 1868 circumcision has been observed by each family at any time convenient to itself.
That circumcision (though perhaps not till puberty) was regularly practised is proved by the mummies (agreeing with the testimony of Herodotus and the indications of the early tomb sculptures) until an edict of Hadrian forbade it: after that, only priests were circumcised.
Israel received circumcision as a sign that they were the Lord's, and this privilege of circumcision they enjoyed in common with the two highest orders of angels.