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Author Topic: Tithing  (Read 2234 times)

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Craig

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Tithing
« on: June 25, 2007, 07:20:22 PM »

    Mr. Smith,
     
    I am a minister and came across your writing on the unscriptural basis of tithing some time ago now. It has truly been a liberating paradigm shift for me. Thank you! Needless to say, this truth has not gone over well with many of my fellow clergy as I attempt to share this with them.
     
    I recently came across something that caught my attention regarding tithing from the very mouth of our Lord Jesus Himself. For the sake of brevity, I won't write the entire scripture, but it comes from the latter part of Mat. 23:23 from the New Living Translation (NLT). And I quote "...You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things."
     
    Can you please help me with this? I have searched every translation I know, and this is the only one that words this scripture quite like this.
     
    Sincerely,
    Derick
     

    Dear Derick:  "Sometimes a 'good' translation is to be preferred over a 'precise' translation." That is one of my original statements.  The first time we read the word "Judge" with a capital in the Scriptures, we see this: "...shall not the Judge of all the earth do RIGHT?" (Gen. 18:25). Now that is a very 'good' translation, albeit not a very 'precise' one. The original reads: "Shall not the Judge of all the earth JUDGE [or: 'do justice']."  But the King James nailed it with the word "right," seeing that Godly Judgment is RIGHTEOUSNESS--RIGHT. If the Church were to understand this first and simple definition of "Judge," we would not have this "eternal torture in a hellhole of fire" heresy in the church.

        Likewise, the Living Bible translation:  "...You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things," is a very good translation, if not totally precise.   

        The Law of Moses called for "judgment, mercy, and faith," as well as "tithing."  The Pharisees found it easier to tithe, however, that to fulfill what Jesus called the WEIGHTIER matters of the law. Certainly Jesus was not condoning the neglect of tithing, but He was showing that "judgment, mercy and faith" were of much greater weight.

        And why did Jesus say that the Pharisees should tithe? We He teaching "New Covenant tithing?"  NO, of course not. There was not New Covenant when Jesus upbraided the Scribes and Pharisees in Matt. 23. There still existed the Law of Moses under the priests and Levites at the Temple. These all Israelite were to support by their tithes of the herds and field--NOT MONEY. Money was never a titheable commodity, even though it could be donated as the widow did with her two mites into the treasury. The treasury was NOT where the tithes of the herds and field were brought. They were brought to the STORE HOUSE.  In I Cor. 16 Paul is calling for a collection (not a tithe) for the poor saints in Jerusalem. They were to lay IN STORE such things as food and closing for this collection. One does not lay IN STORE, money.

        As long as there was a nation of Israel and a temple, tithing was a law to be followed. After the destruction of Israel and Jerusalem, AND the time and priests, tithing ceased. Orthodox Jews to not teach tithing to their congregations. Why do you suppose this is. They KNOW that that is. There is no temple and there is no Levic priesthood, etc., etc.  As long as these existed, the Pharisees needed to tithe. Jesus never ever collected tithes for His Church. Neither did the apostles. Neither did Paul. It is a matter of Biblical and Historical fact. If Paul had taught and collected ten percent of the gross congregational product for all the churches in Asia, he would have been a multi-millionaire, and we would have never heard of Paul's hardships as outlined in II Cor. 11.     

        Likewise, before Moses, tithing was not a law for God's saints. Abraham did not tithe of his own personal property, products from is land or his herds. Melchizedek TITHED [tenthED] Abraham (Heb. 7:7.  "Yet he [Melchizedek] who is not of their genealogy, has tithED Abraham" (Concordant Literal New Testament); "...has TAKEN tithes of Abraham" (Rotherham's Emphasized Bible).  The Greek reads "has TITHED [TENTHED] Abraham."  How so. How did he "tenth" Abraham? He TAXED Abraham ten percent. It was the common practice for all the pagan kings and priests at that time. Melchizedek was "priest to the most high god"--"priest to the most high el."  The "most high El" in Canaan was BAAL!! That is precisely what the Canaanites called their god Baal--the most high EL.

        This is the very first time the title "el" is used in Scripture and it has reference to to Melchizedek a very important priest of the Canaanites.         

        And this Melchizedek was the BEST ten percent of the spoils of war (Heb. 7:4). The King James leaves this word out, "choicest" or "best" of the plunder.  Imagine Jehovah desiring THE BEST OF THE PAGAN GOLD IMAGES AND GODS OF THE SODOMITES?  Give me a break.  Where did God ever demand a tenth of the "spoils of war" from His nation Israel?  Abraham would have anything to do with that pagan junk, but we are to assume God said, "but, I'LL TAKE IT."  Ridiculous. There is ZERO justification for teaching that Abraham "tithed to God." I need to add this information regarding Melchizedek to my tithing paper.

        God be with you,

        Ray


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