Ever wondered if Jesus ever spoke about the practice of tithing? Now tithing is – for better or for worse – a “very” sensitive topic (although it really should not be). So here, we will focus on some facts, just plain simple facts. For a subject claimed to be of such importance, some of these simple facts may surprise you. So let’s go right to them.
Fact number 1: In the “entire” bible, the noun/verb “tithe” (or tithing) whether in the singular or plural appears 40 times. For comparison, the noun/verb “love” (and it derivations) appear 555 times. This is a ratio of almost 14-to-1!
Fact number 2: If we focus on the New Testament alone, “tithing” is cited 8 times, while “love” is cited 261 times. This is a ratio of almost 33-to-1! And Oh…“Christ” is cited 555 times (this is 70-to-1)!
Now, if the number of times a concept appears in the bible is “some” indicator of its importance, what do you suppose the scripture is trying to tell us? Well, may be we should not guess and let Jesus speaks Himself. Here are some additional facts.
Fact number 3: The 8 times “tithing” is cited specifically in the New Testament appear to be only 4 accounts. One (1) of the four (4) accounts is by the Apostle Paul in the book of Hebrews (Hebrews 7:5-9). Interestingly, the other three (3) accounts are from the mouth of Jesus-Christ himself. Let’s put it bluntly: God wants us to know that Jesus spoke of tithing in none but 3 times! And He wants us to know what He said! Now, do you think that perhaps those three times deserve some attention? The first account is recorded in Matthew 23:23, the second is in Luke 11:42, and the third account is recorded in Luke 18:12. We look at them a little deeper in a separate article, especially the first account and the second, which we believe have even been mistranslated. But for now, let’s resume with the facts.
Fact number 4: In the three (3) unique accounts where Jesus makes specific reference to tithing, He is using it in a “negative” context! And before you try to guess, it is NOT because the people were not doing it! Read those accounts for yourselves.
Matthew 23:23 – Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Luke 18:9-14 – And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Fact number 5: The one account in the book of Hebrews is interesting for at least two reasons. 1) It is addressed to the Jews specifically, those people who were – and were supposed to be – “familiar” with the principle of tithing, and 2) it is referring to “past” events, events which belong to the era of the law!
These simple facts beg some questions:
One must ask: If tithing is as important as claimed by our church leaders today, why is there so little space dedicated to it in the “whole” bible, and even more stunningly, in the New Testament? If tithing is as important as claimed; how come there is not a “single” verse specifically addressed to the gentiles mentioning it? Gentiles were not familiar with this concept! So why did not God address it explicitly to introduce it to them, especially if it is so important? By the way, you may at this point be interested in our series entitled “A Very Inconvenient Truth”. If it is as important as claimed, how can one explain that the only reason Jesus-Christ ever spoke of it was to teach us that there are “far” more important things we should actually worry about?
If there is “one” subject in the Bible in which just about all churches and Christian denominations agree (of course, there must be a “few” exceptions) it is the subject of tithing: “We should give our tithes”, as they will gladly remind us as often as they deem necessary. But here is the non-trivial problem with this position: It is a fact that among these churches, some of them are run by demons, and some of them are led by false prophets and salvage wolves. Therefore, is this evidence, this undeniable fact suggesting that there is a truth in the scriptures that is SO TRUE that even false prophets and salvages wolves delight in it? Where in the scripture does God tell us that there is such a thing? Shouldn’t demons and false prophets delight instead in what is FALSE?! My brothers and sisters, there is too much at stake for us not to study the scriptures for ourselves. There is just too much at stake. Let’s do our own homework! The time to be mature is NOW. Praise, glory and dominion to the only true God and to His Lamb forever. Amen!