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Matthew 19:12, KJV;

  1. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from {their} mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive {it}, let him receive {it}.

Does the Bible encourage castration for the kingdom of heaven?,and, how there be eunuchs from their mothers' womb?

  • The one speaking these words was not physically castrated; nevertheless, He lived a chaste unmarried life, just as the eunuchs He mentions. – Lucian Sep 21 at 0:00
  • @NigelJ: Were He to have been born as such, He could not have been circumcised (Luke 2:21); were He to have emasculated Himself later in life, out of conviction, His contemporary followers would have known about it and done the same, out of sheer emulation (1 Corinthians 11:1); but Christianity rejected even the need for circumcision, let alone castration (!). To have kept it a secret is not an option, since He was not one to be ashamed of His own convictions, but rather spoke boldly and openly about them. To have been castrated by others is highly unlikely. – Lucian Sep 21 at 9:32
  • @NigelJ: You asked for evidence, and I've provided logical, textual, and historical reasons. Your assumptions are also anachronistic, inasmuch as, historically speaking, they are decidedly (post)modern concepts, whereas the New Testament was penned in late antiquity. – Lucian Sep 21 at 11:24
  • @Lucian Since I have not the slightest inkling what a '(post)modern concept' would be, I had better end the discussion at this point. Regards. – Nigel J Sep 21 at 11:36
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The short answer to the question is "NO". Let us be very clear about what Jesus is discussing. Matt 19:12 lists three types of eunuchs:

  1. Eunuchs that were "born that way" - presumably with some kind of genetic defect that prevents them procreating
  2. Eunuchs that were made that way by the hands of men - that is, were emasculated (castrated)
  3. "Eunuchs" that "live like eunuchs" (BSB) - that is have taken a personal vow of celibacy, ie, have decided to live a single life without being married.

Note carefully what Jesus actually said in V11 and 12, "Not everyone can accept this word,” ... "The one who can accept this should accept it.”

Observe that Jesus says quite clearly that not everyone can accept this and He does not require this of everyone. Many of the disciples were married such as Peter, Apollos and others and functioned quite will as married men.

Paul says the same thing in 1 Cor 7:25-28 -

25 Now about virgins, I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26 Because of the present crisis, I think it is good for a man to remain as he is. 27 Are you committed to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you free of commitment? Do not look for a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned. And if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.

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  • this is a really great explanation. Thank you @Dottard! – DeerSpotter Oct 5 at 15:03
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1 Corinthians 7:8 Now to the unmarried a and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. 9But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

Does the Bible encourage castration for the kingdom of heaven?

No.

Further, Paul continue in verse 19

Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God's commands is what counts.

So according to Paul, no need to get castrated or even circumcised.

How there be eunuchs from their mothers' womb?

It could generally refer to intersexual people.

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