Tithing is Not a Christian Doctrine

Tithing is Not a Christian Doctrine

I consider Russel Earl Kelly to have the single best resource out there to defend and refute the false doctrines of tithing. If you are looking for a resource that uses scripture to dissect the irrefutable facts about tithing, then you need to read Dr. Kelly’s book. Below is a 2 hour video titled, “Tithing is Not a Christian Doctrine” where he shares with us some of his thesis with us.

Here is a short bio of Dr Kelly taken from his website

“Although legally blind since 1989, Russell subsequently completed a Th. M.. and a Ph. D. at independent Baptist-oriented Covington Theological  Seminary in Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia in August 2000.  His dissertation was on the subject of tithing. From that dissertation came his first book, Should the Church Teach Tithing? A Theologian’s Conclusions about a Taboo Doctrine.”

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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20 comments on “Tithing is Not a Christian Doctrine
  1. Willie says:

    What should be given to the church?
    How does the church support it’s ministries?
    What is the measure in response to Christ’s Gift?
    Is there any reason to with hold you gifts to the church?

  2. willis says:

    i was challenged to this fact if whether the tithing has been a part of the christian church. my observation that i want to share with you is, the new testament teachings have long been started ever since jesus started to preach the gospel as it related in the four gospels of God. however we can not say that the christian doctrine started with the appearance of Paul, for Paul came to the scene YEARS after jesus was taken to heaven. and if we say it started in Acts of the apostles then why would they not impose a directive from christ? after all the meaning of christian is a follower of christ and the teaching must come directly from his MOUTH!

    Did he teach that he will abolish thee tithing laws?

    let’s analyze his message in Mathew 23:23 in more precise point.

    Matthew 23:23
    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!
    You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin.
    But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness.
    You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.

    was there any signs of abolishment?

    what is the important matter of the law (tithe) that we should have been equiped of?

    justice – The quality of being just or fair
    mercy and faithfulness – are the elements of the spirit. (Gal 5:22) (Gal 6:16)

    what does that imply to us?

    that we should have practiced the elements of the spirit first as the requirements of the tithing laws. because the law is spirit! (Rom 7:14)

    what would be the sign of those who tithed but not equiped with these elements of the spirit?

    Luke 18:10
    10″Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood up and prayed about[a] himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.
    12I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.

    we won’t be able to satisfy him with the commandments unless we are governed by the elements of his spirit.

    tithings are still part of the christian doctrine!

    • Branwen says:

      tithing was for the Israelite Jews. part of the Mosaic law. just read Acts 15. 2 Corinthians 9:7 is a clear example of new testament Christian giving, its amazing how people twist the word so badly to support a false doctrine.

  3. Willie is asking questions and making comments about my material which he hasd neither viewed nor read. His first comment is the FIRST point of the video essay. And Mt 23:23 is covered in the essay and has its own chapter in my book which is free on my web site. Please watch and/or read the material before offering contrary comments. http://www.tithing-russkellyc.om

  4. Branwen says:

    Jesus was addressing a Pharasee, who was a Jew, who rejected Christ, whos mentality was still in old testament mode. so for him tithing was still current and normal. not hard to figure out. and notice that tithing never consists of money. modern church tithing giving 10% out of every pay check as a requirement is absurd and completely un biblical.

  5. Ezeh says:

    I have a question to all these. My question is did JESUS CONDEMN TITHING OF ANY TYPE?

    • blessed says:

      Read what Jesus said in Mathews 23:23 and please do not change anything he said .When Jesus said to pay tithes he mentioned arnise ,mint and cummin .Where in that you do not understand ? .The poor widow who Christ commented on the money she gave as an offering was given to the Temples treasury .Please think really hard before you start changing what Christ said about tithing and money before you argue your point .Satan tempted Jesus with all the riches and the money on earth not a storehouse of arnise ,mint and cummin or the tithe collected by the Levites . Jesus said you cant both serve God and money not God and food. No one lust or covet food ,its the love of money the root of all evil .
      Many pastors and leaders unfortunately “covet” christians money (10%) of income not 10% of their food.
      Satan does not tempt you with an ugly woman if you are married or anything not desirable, he uses what he does with non christians who love worldly pleasures and material possesions , life of luxury and excess .He does not temp us with food tithe but money ,materialism, fame, coveteousness .
      If you want to be free then be honest .

  6. Jared Brian says:


    No, Jesus did not condemn tithing. Jesus even went further because he even confirmed that tithing was still ONLY to be given from produce and NOT from money. I am glad for Jesus’ words in Matthew 23 since it confirms that i do not need to give 10% of my paycheck. If i had a garden or animals, i would be delighted to give 10% as God commands in Leviticus 27.

    – jared

  7. If Jesus had condemned titing he would have been breaking the law and teaching others to break the law and he would have been SINNING. THINK ABOTU IT LONG AND HARD. This IS COMMON SENSE.




    • Branwen says:

      amen Brother Kelly that is core root of the problem, understanding the covenants, the law was still in effect when Christ was still alive, but he nailed the law to the cross Col 2:14

  8. Ezeh says:

    Greetings to you!
    I am still asking question because I still want to learn. I believe we need the Spirit of God to Interpret the word of God for the are older than man. Just like Moses who wrote The book of Genesis and Paul who was not among the disciples. So my question is what  did Jesus ask Peter to pay for both Him and peter?
    Mt 17:27 Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee
    Nath Ezeh

  9. Jared Brian says:


    What does Jesus asking Peter to pay the tax for the upkeep of the temple have to do with tithing that went to the levites and the poor?

    – jared

    • Kenneth says:

      I read this passage today and I don’t understand why Jesus equated the “temple tax” to taxes of kings. As he says “from whom do the kings of the earth collect taxes – from their own sons or others?” If its just the “temple tax” ,which was required by the law, why does he equated with the taxes of kings? I am confused why he would make this relationship since the taxes are for a different purpose.

      • Jared Brian says:

        It’s because the New Covenant would be opening a new relationship between God and his people. The veil was torn and his Spirit was manifested. Our relationship with God was one that used a mediator, much like citizens of a kingdom would use to address a king. But since we are now his sons and daughters with a direct relationship with him, he does not demand tribute and does not expect us to use a mediator.

  10. Ezeh says:

    What does Jesus asking Peter to pay the tax for the upkeep of the temple have to do with tithing that went to the levites and the poor?
    If what he pays is for this purpose of levites and the poor?, is tithe meant for what purpose now and before. You or some one said that tithes in the old is not money but food, what if I am not a farmer? Does That means that only farmer are to pay tithes of their produce? and why should Jesus at then pay money and not food for the temple up-keeping? If Jesus did not condemn Tithing as early said how do you in your teaching should Christian of today pay their tithe and you go on to say that tithing is not for Christians. pls I still want you to balance this teaching because it looks controversial to the teachings of other scholars of the bible. Tithe is part of Giving to God/ supporting the work of God just like every other giving in the bible as far as it is from the heart of the giver. The early apostles give even more that Tithes as the need arises in their time so could that be that they are sinning?
    Please don’t get me wrong in all these. I told you that I want to learn and I like to do things the right way. I am a pastor and some members of my local Assembly do pay their tithes. I teach them just as I was taught in my bible school days. You last answer to me looks like you are angry with my question… I told you that I want to know what I did not know before and it takes conviction for one to believe.
    Thank and Remain blessed

  11. Jared Brian says:


    If you were a blacksmith, banker, lawyer, doctor, or any other profession besides a farmer or herdsmen in Israel; then you did not give 10% (a tithe) off your occupational earnings. Only animals and crops were to be tithed upon. Money was not accepted by the levites or priests into the storehouse as a tithe.

    I agree that we should cheerfully support the work of Christ, and we should sacrificially support those who minister the gospel; but there is no requirement under the new covenant to give a tithe (10%) of our firstfruits to a storehouse.

    Giving 10% of the increase in crops and animals is “one” of “many” standards of giving found in the early bible. If we were to implement only one example of giving found in the old testament i can see why so many people choose tithing, But as you continue to read through the scriptures, you can find out that tithing was not applicable at all times, nor did it apply to all the people, and is also mentioned fewer times than many other types of giving examples.

    In a body of people who have been born again with the Spirit of God living within us, why have we defaulted to tithing instead of the Holy Spirit as our guide on giving? As a pastor, i’m sure you consulted the Spirit of God and the people of God who are also led by the Spirit on how you should minister. On the same note, the Holy Spirit guides you on what verses to preach and who to minister to.

    With this in mind, i bring up the passage in 1 corinthians 9 “those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar?  Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.”

    In my explanation, i am saying that if you serve according to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then you should partake also of the food that the Holy Spirit has guided others to give. We cannot serve according to the methods of the Gospel, which includes a Spirit led life by faith, and yet live off of what was given at the altar.

    – jared

  12. The temple shekel has absolutely nothing to do with tithes and freewill offerings. It was for the upkeep of the physical building.
    Yes, only farmers and herdsmen qualified as tithe payers. Why? Because the tithe could only come from what God miraculously increased off His holy land. It never could come from what man increased, from Gentiles or from outside Israel. Tithes were not for temple upkeep.
    As a carpenter, Jesus could not and did not pay tithes. As a Jew He was obligated to pay both Temple head taxes and Roman taxes.
    Jesus could not condemn tithing. He was living under the full jurisdiction of the Law. If He had taught against tithing, he would have been sinning.
    Read Matthew 23:23 very slowly and very carefully.  It is discussing “matters of the law” and it is addressed to “you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites.” It is not addressed to the church. If Jesus had told His Jewish disciples to tithe to Himself, He would have been guilty of sin.
    There is nothing for us to balance. If you are going to teach tithing, then teach all of it: (1) only holy food from a holy land, (2) only to support OT Levites and priests, (3) only to Levite servants of the priests and (4) tithe recipients cannot own or inherit land in Israel. Numbers 18:21-28.
    “Other scholars” who mostly wrote after 1885!  Read Dr. Croteau’s PHD thesis, You Mean I Don’t Have to Tithe?  There are as many very good scholars who have disagreed with tithing as there are who agree with it. We are not to determine truth by asking how many scholars agree or disagree. These names are on my web site: http://www.tithing-russkelly.com under David Crotea.
    “Tithe is part of Giving to God/ supporting the work of God just like every other giving in the bible.” NOW YOU ARE DICTATING YOUR OPINION AS TRUTH WITHOUT SUPPORTING IT FROM GOD’S WORD.

    “The early apostles give even more that Tithes as the need arises in their time so could that be that they are sinning?”   They gave freewill sacrificial offerings, not tithes. The early Jewish disciples still paid tithes to the Temple system for another 30 plus years per Acts 21:20-21.
    “Please don’t get me wrong in all these. I told you that I want to learn and I like to do things the right way.” Then stay with us please.
    “I am a pastor and some members of my local Assembly do pay their tithes. I teach them just as I was taught in my bible school days.” Many hundreds of pastors and 8 theologians have agreed with me and in the last 10 years.
    “Your last answer to me looks like you are angry with my question… I told you that I want to know what I did not know before and it takes conviction for one to believe.”  That was not me, but “thank you from the bottom of my heart” for listening to our position.
    Watch my 2 hour video on You Tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4tkMu3Vrz0&feature=PlayList&p=B629166196B770CB&index=0&playnext=1 and London TV Debate at http://www.youtube.com/user/robatgeorgefoxname#g/u

    • Kenneth says:

      I have one question about your stance that the 10% coming from farmers and people who grew food. The pharisees were priests not farmers. Why would they pay the tithe of cummin and dill that Jesus is talking about. I am just wondering what your stance is on that. I don’t remember Pharisees being able to own land since they were Levites. I hope I am not coming off as condescending. Also, I give 10% and more but I do it our of “spiritual discipline” not out of a command from the Lord. My wife and I give this because it helps to maintain the work of the ministry. I am pretty sure that tithing is not talk about in the N.T because it was under an old covenant practice. Paul understood even trying to introduce and part of the “law” as Christian practice could put people’s faith on their works and not on Christ.

  13. Branwen says:

    it is impossible to tithe, according to the bible, what is being called a “tithe” today is not the true biblical tithe, but only an invented counterfeit,

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