=> General Discussions => Topic started by: mari_et_pere on June 06, 2007, 02:55:59 PM

Title: tithe/tithes in the NT
Post by: mari_et_pere on June 06, 2007, 02:55:59 PM
I was doing a study on tithing in the NT. Tithe appears only in Matt. 23:23 and Luke 11:42. (Both being essentially the same famous 'Woe unto you Pharisees" verse.) Tithes appears in Luke 18:12. All three instances are from the greek word "apodekatoo" - (#586) to tithe (as debtor or creditor): - (give, pay, take) tithe.

No more use of the word until we get to Hebrews chapter 7. In verses 5, 6, 8 and 9 the word appears. Here's where my question begins:

Heb 7:5  And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:

Here the word "tithes" is again taken from #586, apodekatoo.

Heb 7:6  But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.  

Here tithes is taken from #1183 "dekatoo: - to tithe, that is, give or take a tenth: - pay (receive) tithes.

Heb 7:8  And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.

Here it's taken from a third word, #1181 "dekate" - a tenth, that is, as a percentage or (technically) tithe: - tenth (part), tithe.

Heb 7:9  And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.

Here tithe switches back to #1183 again. So what, and why is the difference? Enlighten me. I'm no Greek scholar.  ;D  I see the similarity in the greek (apodekatoo, dekatoo, dekate) but I don't know why the difference is there. Different tense or what?  ??? Many here are smarter than me so I'm sure at least one of ya knows.  :D


Title: Re: tithe/tithes in the NT
Post by: gmik on June 07, 2007, 01:46:36 AM
Nope don't know.

Do you "see" something that causes you to pause??

I like Paul telling us to be a joyful giver.  I used to painfully count out to the penny what I "owed" for the tithe.  No joy there.

Heb. 7:8 is the verse the pastor would use to "prove" tithing WAS taught in the NT.  I never questioned "who" those men were or what it was even talking about!
Title: Re: tithe/tithes in the NT
Post by: mari_et_pere on June 07, 2007, 11:22:32 AM
I don't believe it teaches us to tithe. I was just wondering why he chose different words for the same meaning or how the different words were translated into the same. I'll never tithe again, that's for sure!

Title: Re: tithe/tithes in the NT
Post by: YellowStone on June 07, 2007, 03:15:43 PM
Hi Matt,

Your question intrigued me and prompted some further research. :) 

What I found comes straight from Paul. It is pretty long, but I think it speaks very clearly on the abolition of the requirements of tithing.

Hbr 7:1   This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him,
Hbr 7:2   and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.”
Hbr 7:3   Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever.
Hbr 7:4   Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder!
Hbr 7:5   Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people–that is, their brothers–even though their brothers are descended from Abraham.
Hbr 7:6   This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises.
Hbr 7:7   And without doubt the lesser person is blessed by the greater.
Hbr 7:8   In the one case, the tenth is collected by men who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living.
Hbr 7:9   One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham,
Hbr 7:10   because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.
Hbr 7:11   If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the law was given to the people), why was there still need for another priest to come–one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron?
Hbr 7:12   For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law.
Hbr 7:13   He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar.
Hbr 7:14   For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.
Hbr 7:15   And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears,
Hbr 7:16   one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life.
Hbr 7:17   For it is declared:

“You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek.”

Hbr 7:18   The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless
Hbr 7:19   (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.
Hbr 7:20   And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath,
Hbr 7:21   but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:

“The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind:
‘You are a priest forever.’ ”[/b]

Hbr 7:22   Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.
Hbr 7:23   Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office;
Hbr 7:24   but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.
Hbr 7:25   Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
Hbr 7:26   Such a high priest meets our need–one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.
Hbr 7:27   Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.
Hbr 7:28   For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.

Hbr 8:1   The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven,
Hbr 8:2   and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man.
Hbr 8:3   Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer.
Hbr 8:4   If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already men who offer the gifts prescribed by the law.
Hbr 8:5   They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”
Hbr 8:6   But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises.
Hbr 8:7   For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.
Hbr 8:8   But God found fault with the people and said:  "The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.
Hbr 8:9   It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.
Hbr 8:10   This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
Hbr 8:11   No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’   because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.
Hbr 8:12   For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.
Hbr 8:13   By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.

Hbr 9:1   Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary.
Hbr 9:2   A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand, the table and the consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place.
Hbr 9:3   Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place,
Hbr 9:4   which had the golden altar of incense and the gold‑covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron's staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant.
Hbr 9:5   Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover.[fn1] But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.
Hbr 9:6   When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry.
Hbr 9:7   But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.
Hbr 9:8   The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing.
Hbr 9:9   This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper.
Hbr 9:10   They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings–external regulations applying until the time of the new order (introduced by Christ).[/i]
I think this whole expose of Paul's clearly shows how the laws and regulations of the former covenant are now defunct. I know this does not answer your question regarding the use of the two different words, but I found is fascinating just the same and thought I would share.

Your brother in Christ,
Title: Re: tithe/tithes in the NT
Post by: gmik on June 07, 2007, 03:41:51 PM
Excellent.  I love Hebrews anyway, but Darren, those sections are awesome. Hard to dispute when ya see it isn't it??

I will print them off for further study.  I have been trying to read from the Concordant Literal and usually have to have an "easier" version next to me.

Title: Re: tithe/tithes in the NT
Post by: mari_et_pere on June 08, 2007, 03:36:22 PM
Hbr 7:12   For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law.

Amen to that! I know of no Levite priests, but I sure know Jesus Christ!

Darren, your post definitely proves that the old laws are defunct.

I may never know about those greek words though LOL.

It's all Greek to me,

Matt  :D
Title: Re: tithe/tithes in the NT
Post by: DuluthGA on June 25, 2007, 02:10:27 AM
Hi.  It's coincidental that I have been preparing an information packet for a new friend who pays tithes.  My packet includes the quote from the Encyclopedia Britannica that Ray has quoted along with copies of some select Ray emails on the subject.

The quotes Darren brought forth are appreciated.  I won't print all the verses out, just mention they are found in Heb 7:1 thru Heb 9: 10.

Thanks!  Janice/Caregiver
Title: Re: tithe/tithes in the NT
Post by: Chris R on June 25, 2007, 09:40:22 AM
Hbr 7:12   For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law.

Amen to that! I know of no Levite priests, but I sure know Jesus Christ!

Darren, your post definitely proves that the old laws are defunct.

I may never know about those greek words though LOL.

It's all Greek to me,

Matt  :D

Apo is a prefix in greek words, that may or may not change the meaning, here is a definition of the prefix, perhaps someone can explain it to both of us.

apodekatoo, dekatoo


Chris R

Pronunciation: (ä'pô), [key]

a prefix occurring originally in loanwords from Greek, where it was joined to verbs, deverbal forms, and other parts of speech. Among its functions in Greek, apo- has the spatial sense “away, off, apart” (apogee; apocope; apostasy; apostrophe); it occurs with deverbals that denote a response or defense (apodosis; apology) and is found on verbs having perfective force relative to a corresponding simple verb (apoplexy; aposiopesis). In modern scientific coinages in English and other languages, apo- marks things that are detached, separate, or derivative (apocarpous; apoenzyme). Also, esp. before a vowel,ap-.

Title: Re: tithe/tithes in the NT
Post by: DuluthGA on June 25, 2007, 11:01:05 AM
For clarification on the Encyclopedia Britannica article I mentioned as Ray having quoted, it indicates tithing in Christendom started with the Catholic church around the eight or ninth century.

Title: Re: tithe/tithes in the NT
Post by: Tom on June 25, 2007, 02:28:18 PM
All three words are derivates of "deka" which is the Greek word for "10" or "10th."

#586, apodekatoo is a present active infinitive.  Infinitives use the word "to" to complete their meaning, thus "to take tithes".  The present tense denotes ongoing or continual action.  This was something the "Levites," not us, did in an ongoing/continual manner.  It was an action that fit their present purpose in God's plan, which purpose has now come to fulfillment/completion in Christ.

The "apo" on the front of the infinitive is a preposition, which in this case means "from," thus they received tithes "from" the people.  The Greeks like to connect their prepositions on to nouns, and verbs, rather than leave them hanging out there all by themselves, like we do.

#1183 "dekatoo is a perfect active indicative.  This denotes an action that took place at a given time, but which had ongoing results.  Apparently the writer of Hebrews would have us to understand that Abraham's "one time action" of giving tithes to Mel had long term important effects.  It symbolized something that continues well beyond the actual event of giving to him.  This is what the writer of Hebrews' whole point is about.  What Abraham did had far reaching implications.

#1181 "dekate is the adjective form of deka, and is in the accusative case as an adjective describing "men that die."  It's a bit of a complicated Greek construction, but the author is describing these who died.  They are a specific subset of men who die.  They are "tenth having died men," I.e. men who regularly received the tithe who have now died.  It simply describes these dead men as "tithe receivers."

The Levites (not us) were a specific subset of human beings, who were called to receive tithes.  If the NT described ministers as Levites, or as those who replaced the Levites but continued their ministry as NT Levitical ministry, then it would be appropriate for them to receive tithes of the NT saints, and thus it would be appropriate for the NT saints to tithe.  But, since NT ministers are not the functional replacements of the Levites (I.e. we don't officiate animal sacrifices, care for the literal tabernacle/temple, etc.) they are no longer the rightful beneficiaries of the believers' tithes.  However, Paul does say that just as the Levites (of which we aren't) received tithes, and because the oxen who tilled the ground received a portion from the earth's produce, and because a soldier received wages for his labors to protect (three very different analogies to make one point), it is appropriate to financially, materially, and with honor, bless those who teach you the Word of God.  As the Levite cares for the natural things of the temple, so the NT minister ministers spiritual things to the living temple of God (you/people).  As the ox labored to feed you natural things, so the NT minister feeds you spiritual things.  As the soldier protected you naturally, so the NT minister protects your soul from error and false doctrine.  Therefore...bless him in whatever way the Father leads, not focusing on the 10th aspect, but on the willingness to give, at the Spirit's leading, to those who feed and nurture your soul.

Good things...!!!


Title: Re: tithe/tithes in the NT
Post by: mari_et_pere on June 25, 2007, 08:13:57 PM
Hi Tom,

Thank you so much for that extremely insightful reply!  :o I'd forgotten about posting that question in the first place.  ;D But wow you did a heck of a job explaining it to me! As I said, I'm no greek scholar. I know just enough to look up the word in the first place. I don't know the prefixes, suffixes, different tenses and uses, etc etc etc.

So in a nutshell, the verses in question were promoting voluntary, heart-felt, spirit-led giving to our Christian leaders, not tithing.

Thanks again Tom!

Title: Re: tithe/tithes in the NT
Post by: Chris R on June 25, 2007, 08:18:15 PM
Hi Tom,

Thanks for the investigation.

Chris R
Title: Re: tithe/tithes in the NT
Post by: Tom on June 25, 2007, 08:40:05 PM
Glad to be a help!

Title: Re: tithe/tithes in the NT
Post by: DuluthGA on June 26, 2007, 12:46:03 AM
Big thanks Tom,

I very much appreciate your Greek scholarship!  Great job!   :)