Did Jesus Teach Tithing?

Did Jesus Teach Tithing?

Tithing on Trial

As we continue our series ‘Tithing on Trial’, let’s evaluate another argument used to defend tithing.

ARGUMENT #2
Jesus Taught Tithing

In Matthew 23:23, Jesus is speaking to the pharisees and says this, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.”

Undoubtedly because these words come out of the mouth of Jesus, many believe this settles the tithing issue for them. But this assumption is made out of ignorance and the conclusion is not within scriptural context. If you read the whole chapter of Matthew 23 and research the other Old Testament commands that Jesus taught, we can reveal that the tithing issue is not settled by the words of Jesus.

If you were to understand what Jesus was talking about, who he was talking to, and under what circumstances in Matthew 23:23, then we need to start at the very begging on the passage and understand it’s context.

Matthew 23:1 begins by saying, “Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe,[a] that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.

At the beginning of Matthew 23, Jesus confirms that the pharisees sit in Moses’ seat, and then commands the disciples to obey the pharisees (which is surprising). The introduction in Matthew 23 reveals that Jesus upheld the Mosaic law, and still commanded it. One of the keys to remember in this passage is that we can learn from the teachings of Jesus, but it doesn’t mean Jesus’ address to the disciples and the Israelites is a personal plea for the New Testament Church. If you believe Church leaders sit in Moses’ seat and that we are to observe the Mosaic laws, then  i can see why you believe that everything Jesus’ commanded back then should be commanded now.

In another example of Jesus teaching the law, we read Matthew 5:23-24, “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

 Considering that this was near the end of Jesus’ life on earth and somewhat close to the birth of the Church, i am somewhat shocked that Jesus is still giving the Israelites instructions on how to worship on an altar.

Luke 5:14 is another passage of Jesus upholding the law when he commands a healed man to show himself to the priest. If you read more scripture, you will see that Jesus observed the Passover and attended the feasts prescribed in the Mosaic law. There was no question that Jesus obeyed the law, practiced the law, and taught the law. So, who is to say that Jesus was commanding the New Testament Church to tithe?

Let’s review Matthew 23:23 again where Jesus highlights how meticulous the Pharisees were tithing the small herbs in their crops, and then criticizes them for omitting justice, mercy, and faith. If you have an understanding of how tithing was practiced in the Mosaic law, you would know that the only items that could be tithed upon were crops and animals. This means that neither money, nor goods were accepted for the tithe. What’s important to remember here is that Jesus did not ridicule them for their obedience to the specifics of the Mosaic law; he approved their obedience to the Law. So, if you believe Jesus commendation to tithe is applicable to us, then you must also believe that only the tithes of animals or from crops is applicable.

If you need some sort of litmus test to determine what laws in the old testament are commanded today and what laws are not, you could likely use the actions of the Pharisees as your test. We know the Pharisees excelled at keeping the Mosaic law, but did not excel at obeying universal principles such as justice, mercy, and faith. So, you could abstain from any of the laws that the pharisees were religious about without worrying if you are doing the wrong thing. In regards to tithing, please take note that the Pharisees excelled in this area.

Now that the evidence has been given in this court of law, it is your turn to decide; Did Jesus Teach Tithing for us- Guilty or not guilty?

YOU BE THE JUDGE

 

Jared Brian is the author of www.tithing.com. There are over 300 articles written on research and reviews about tithing information.

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87 comments on “Did Jesus Teach Tithing?
  1. Tom R says:

    Outstanding article. I hear that verse in Matt 23 more and more lately as an argument that Jesus endorsed tithing. I hear it from the emergent churches, and I hear it in the more established SBC churches.
     
    I am going to highlight your series on my blog. Keep up the good work.
     

    • John says:

      how do u understand Mathew 23:23?

      “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.”

      which mean they had to exercise the element of the spirit of giving tithe such as judgment, mercy and faith.

      for easy understanding of Jesus’ words let’s take up Paul’s words and be added for this problem.

      Romans 8:3-4 New International Version (NIV)

      For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.
      And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

      -it’s plain n simple, the laws are spiritual and it takes for a spirit to obey laws’ requirements.

      an example of obedience in a flesh can be found in Luke 18

      Luke 18:11-12New International Version (NIV)

      11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.
      12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.

  2. Jared Brian says:

    Tom, where is your blog?

    • Kalolaine Fusikata says:

      I think tithe should be the one that we must be careful on that because some believers they question what they believe

      • Blanche says:

        The bible says if you break one of the laws of the old testament, you have broken all. It goes on to say we will be judged according to either grace or the law, depending on which one you lived by.
        If pastors preach tithing, they preach the law, and mix it with grace then that’s another doctrine, not so?

  3. R. Renee says:

    Some Christians claim that Jesus taught tithing therefore Christians should tithe.  First, mentioning tithing and teaching tithing are not the same.  Jesus is not speaking in terms of tithing as a commandment for Christians.  The tithe commandment is part of the Mosaic Law/Old Testament.  According to scripture the only people commanded to tithe were the ancient Israelites/Hebrews/Jews who farmed the land and raised livestock.  As such Jesus, his disciples and Paul, for example, would not have tithed.  

    One important fact is that Jesus lived under the Moasaic Law – not the New Testament.  The NT wasn’t established until after the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus the Christ.  And this would also explain why Jesus mentions tithing and why he upheld the Mosaic Law.

    You’re doing an excellent job of explaining tithe scriptures in context.  Keep spreading the truth.     

    • Igho Andy. says:

      I want to thank you for your insight on this pastors money making machine called TITHE. If you understand what Malachai is say, you will see that our pastor or preachers just pick some verses to back up their sinful act of tithing.
      The prophet was warning the people of Isreal not all but the prinst who are incharge of recieving tithes about Gods disappointment in their practices. offering blemish and rotten sacrifices and keeping the good once for themselves thereby robbing God. God is not talking to the church. It is good to support church activities as your heart leads you not as a command in the form of tithe.

  4. Blanche says:

    I live in a community of people who do not even want to discuss the tithing subject away from the church. they either shut down or tell me im teaching unacceptable doctrine. if the keeping of the law is tough enough for the jews who grew up on it, how much more us who just happened to come in this late. anyway i wonder about what it means to us if the word says a man is cursed for not keeping the whole law. are those who practice tithing are cause they do not keep the whole law? Gal 3:10.

  5. If circumcision were as big a moneymaker as tithing, that law would be enforced on the church as well.  All the males would be running out the front door and the women would take over.  People can make that Bible say anything they want it to say if money is at stake!

  6. Virus says:

    But we should all understand that the bile tells us in Colossians 2:4… that Jesus nailed the Law on the cross. How do we read our bibles. Its due time we jump out darkness and get our eyes open.
     

  7. Sue Ellen says:

    Giving ten percent of your income is a blessing to you and the person or people you give it to. It becomes a problem when you make it a law or demand. We are under grace and tithes was never money and no one pays tithes like they did in the Bible, they just give ten percent of their money and the Bible has no example of this. You are not sinning if you give ten percent and you are not cursed if you don’t, you are only cursed if you are trying to keep the Law. Gal. 3:9,10.  If you consider yourself a pharisee as in Matt. 23:23, tithe.

  8. jenesis says:

    Let the tithe advocates also keep stoning to death of any married women caught on sexual immoralities

  9. Maroundana says:

    When I say this to people, I recieve negative glares that speak volumes. I dont mention it anymore. I dont pay tithes, but the whole church I attend does. I have felt more encouraged to give rather than someone telling me I’m cursed for not tithing. I believe that the church of Christ is to look after the needy like they did in the book of acts. that is far more responsible than the in that, giving someone money or help without expecting them to pay it back is far more noble, yet more difficult to do. If we could look in the church and help the needy. I sometimes feel tithing is a scapegoat because people feel “I have tithed, I have done my part, I need not do more”. Yet right there in the pews, is someone who is so in need, we ignore them.
    My concern is, in this world, why do Christians seek to empower themselves and not each other. How do you do that in a world where it is not taught in the churches. Everyone seems to believe the same way. You see in the church, they give white envelopes for tithes and brown for offering. so if you never take the white you obviously dont tithe. It just bothers me the way we act as Christians.

    • Guest says:

      The word pay is throwing redeemed Gentiles under a pay up or else mentality with God who sent Jesus to freely give us all things Romans 8:32.
      Bible illiterates read Galatians 5:4 because you might fall from grace trying to earn what Jesus died to give you for free. Glory in the payment Jesus made and stop glorying in your tithe works like a typical Pharisee. Jesus did not thank them for tithing and being braggarts about it but rebuked them.

  10. moffat says:

    Interesting topic indeed. And the bible says that unless your righteousness surpases that of pharicees. You see under the law tithe was the outmate but under the grace we give far and above the tithe. Tithe was a form of tax and it was obligatory but under grace we give it cheerfuly and freely. Christians should not be limited to a tithe but should give out of the abundance. Under the law it was limited to crops and animals because of the jewish society, but our society is very different but the principle of giving has not changed. Whatever God has blessed us with can be given. Money is just a medium of exchange that is easy to transact.

    • Blanche says:

      I agree with you. It is also my understanding that tithing was given to the levites because they did not get an inheriance of land, but rather were looked after by the tribes they ministered to. There were levites in every tribe of the jews. Because they had no land, they were provided for from the tithes. They in turn tithed to the High Pries who eas living in nonee of the tribes but represented them all.

  11. Guest says:

    Hey bible illiterates, there was not one redeemed Gentile in Matthew 23:23. It was also said before Jesus said Paid in full on the cross. Read Galatians 4:24, Galatians 4:30 31 and Galatians 3:13 and stop trying to throw redeemed from the curse of the law Gentiles backward under the Old Covenant curse that Jesus suffered and died and nailed to the cross. If u bible illiterates could fulfill the whole of the law then Jesus would not have had to die for you and give you his grace and unconditional favor.

    • Guest says:

      Galatians 4:24 These things are an allegory: the women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, which gives birth to slave children; this is Hagar.

      Galatians 4:30 30 But what does Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.”[a] 31 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.

      Hey bible illiterates who force tithing from the poor, figure this one out

  12. Arthur Tragg says:

    It is my hope that that giving to churches is made non tax deductible. Then, churches would have zero legitimate reasons for keeping track of how much you give to pay for the buildings and salaries. (Mine is easy, though, because I give zero to the local church.)

    Shouldn’t your giving be between you and Jesus. (Matthew 6:3-4.)

  13. Lamont Pitts says:

    Although there are many tithes under Mosaic law, tithing itself actually started with Abram even before he became Abraham and long before Mosaic law. It’s found in Genesis 14:17-20. Tithes are applicable under grace, Jesus is our high priest and we give tithe, a tenth of all God has blessed us with, to our high priest through His body which is the church. It should be an honor to pay tithe not a chore as we celebrate the fact that Jesus still lives to receive them from us.

  14. John says:

    “If you have an understanding of how tithing was practiced in the Mosaic law, you would know that the only items that could be tithed upon were crops and animals. This means that neither money, nor goods were accepted for the tithe. ”

    it’s a shame to see these few lines being misrepresented from the biblical point of view and gets worst that not all the verses of the bible were interpreted correctly.
    stepping aside the truth in order to make way for their human reasoning demolish sound doctrines.
    Let’s answer this first:
    ” neither money, nor goods were accepted for the tithe”

    Deuteronomy 14:23-25King James Version (KJV)
    23 And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always.
    24 And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place is too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath blessed thee:
    25 Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose

    see the scope of what to tithe? it never said that the tithe was required for animals and crops alone[of thy wine, and of thine oil ]

    this is an actual proof of biblical misunderstanding about the tithe.
    For your information animals and crops were the primary source of their livelihood and these products were produced from the land they tilled. animals were fed by their agricultural product they produced.

    if the location for holding tithes was too far to reach, their tithes can be exchanged into money [Then shalt thou turn it into money]

    but that is not what it seems.
    the right illustration for this, they sold their products and the money they earned from it was given for their tenth. of course, they would likely sell their products for money. that’s the way their economy run. they don’t engage in barter trades.

    so if we put them all together in one word for easy understanding of God’s purpose, He required a tenth of all products the people produced from the land and that includes the crude oil we are using today.

    • Kelvin says:

      25 Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose

      26 And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the Lord thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,

      27 And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee.

      why have you deliberately decided to unquote the subsequent verses??? it says that the money be used to buy oxens and food to make merry with your family and eat till you satisty your soul. when you eat, give some to the levites who were non-inheritants of land for farming. the money was not for tithe, it was for merry making. thank you.

      • john says:

        Merry making?

        Oh my God!

        • Blanche Seyisi says:

          Guys I think as Christians we must enlighten each other and not fight or want to seem wiser. The scriptures need no interpretation. They are clear but Philipians 3:15 says it is the same Spirit who gives revelation. He is not the Spirit of confusion. But if there is any misunderstanding among us, He will bring it all to light. The book of Timothy says we should not have strife. God bless. Let us use this forum to enlighten each other but agree to disagree till God reveals Himself to us.

        • Kelvin says:

          what do you think then, when the bible explicitly says “thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen…… or for whatsoever thy sould desireth….. and eat there before thy God and shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household.”???

        • Kelvin says:

          the bible is not about what you think or what your emotions tell you. the language is there; in plain text…thou shalt rejoice and thine household. what do you think it means?

          • john says:

            that’s not merry making celebration but plainly a contented state of being happy, healthy, prosperous or satisfaction.

      • john says:

        see! i found fault again from some missed points you posted here.

        [ 26 And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the Lord thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,]

        – for whatsoever thy soul desireth?

        remember, they were people of old times where farming was the only source for their living.

        they’re not earning for IPADs or Tablets or even a BMW to make their life easy.

      • john says:

        [ it says that the money be used to buy oxens and food to make merry with your family and eat till you satisty your soul. when you eat, give some to the levites who were non-inheritants of land for farming. the money was not for tithe, it was for merry making]
        .
        .
        the money was not for the tithe?
        of course!the money itself is the tithe!
        .
        “..Then shalt thou turn it (tithe) into money ”
        .
        see the enclosure i made in reference to the tithe?
        .
        the tithe (animal or grains) was exchanged into money because the place where the lord had designated to bring their tithe was too far. to solve the problem, they had to exchange the tithe into money and the money, upon reaching the place would be used to buy whatever wish for it.

        the tithe was not use to build temples. it was intended for feeding program (Deut 26:12), or sharing with (Deut 14:26) but definitely not for merry making.

        see the logic i made?
        .
        .
        why is it so hard for you to understand Deut 14?
        the tithe subject was covered from verse 22-28.

        please see your bible and read it.
        .
        .

  15. Lamont Pitts says:

    I personally am a tither and giver and I can only speak from where the Spirit leads me. It is not for us to teach tithing as a law but to not teach tithing at all leaves the congregation without knowledge. It is the Holy Spirit that now teaches us so we should only speak as He leads us and He leads us always to abundance. If you tithe you can expect the blessings God said would come to a tither and as a giver you expect the blessings of a giver. Why wouldn’t you want all the blessings available to us?

  16. Lamont Pitts says:

    Then you’re tithing for the wrong reason. When you choose to tithe you are choosing life and blessing not death and cursing. We are not living according to emotional responses and feelings but by every word out of the mouth of God.

  17. Marc Rettus says:

    “The letter of the law has been abolished.”

    “You are to give as your heart dictates, not with reluctance, nor from compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

    Two pretty clear New Testament bible verses. One Chicago area pastor, Scott Chapman, who lives in a house with a value of $450,000, states that the latter verse actually establishes a new minimum.

    Maybe there is a special place in hell for money hungry pastors.

  18. Marc Rettus says:

    “The letter of the law has been abolished.”

    “You are to give as your heart dictates, not with reluctance, nor from compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

    Two pretty clear New Testament bible verses. One Chicago area pastor, James MacDonald, who bought a house for almost $2,000,000 a few years ago, concedes the incredibly obvious, that the teaching of the tithe DOESN’T work. Duh, all you have to do is look around. Look at the uneducated minority Christians, our brothers and sisters, and ask why this tithing deal isn’t helping them.

    Anyway, MacDonald goes on to state that you will be blessed in OTHER ways, yes, that’s the ticket, you will be blessed in ways other than monetarily. (His churches second in command, Rick, lives in a house that has an estimated value of $450,000.)

    By the way, MacDonald will passionately state that he has given his life to the cause of Jesus, just like those “teachers” you see on TV. Did I mention that his nearly $2,000,000 house had poker tables in the basement? Christianity pays……………for some people.

    MacDonald’s church was $60,000,000 in debt awhile back, and his secret salary, based on what his mortgage payment was, is about $500,000 a year. Tithing works, for MacDonald.

    Maybe there is a special place in hell for money hungry pastors.

  19. Marc Rettus says:

    “The letter of the law has been abolished.”

    “You are to give as your heart dictates, not with reluctance, nor from compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

    Kelvin, John did not quote the rest of the bible verses because that is the way Satan operates. That is the irrefutable truth.

    :)

  20. Marc Rettus says:

    “The letter of the law has been abolished.”

    “You are to give as your heart dictates, not with reluctance, nor from compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

    Anybody well off, and there are plenty in the U. S., where most of the posters are from, wants to think they are deserving of the blessings they have received. It soothes our guilt feeling when we know Christians are being murdered, raped, and robbed in other parts of the world while we live in INCREDIBLE freedom and wealth.

    I will NEVER understand why Jesus gives His blessings in the manner He does, but He is God and I am not.

    A suburban Chicago pastor, Scott Chapman, who lives in a house valued at $450,000, actually claimed that his kid received a college scholarship because he, Scott, tithed.

    But, atheists get scholarships, too, Scott. No, no, no, this scholarship was given because Scott tithed.

    • john says:

      you’re basically wrong! The letter of the law constitute the fleshly manner of obedience. it’s true! Paul was misquoted by some jews and even some people in the modern times believed to have said that the law was done away.

      however, if we follow his teaching, it never said that way but rather he was urging the people to obey the law in a spiritual way instead of obeying the law through the letter.

      “Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law” – Acts 21:24

      it is in the manner of obedience that matters!

      now read this to clear your mind.

      “For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh” – Romans 8:3

      • john says:

        “…And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit”

        – Romans 8:3-4

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