A friend of mine and I are sharing information on tithing. He is what he wrote to me, please share with me your thoughts.. thanks Tali Is Tithing required by the New Testament? FREQUENTLY QUOTED VERSES Commonly quoted scriptures: Matt 23:23 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. Luke 11:42 But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass by justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Christ spoke these words during His ministry and this teaching was in harmony with the directives of the Old Covenant. The following verse explains the position of Christ in relation to the existing Old Covenant Law. Gal 4:4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, :5 to redeem those who were under the law, ... Christ planted the seeds of the New Testament while acting and speaking in harmony with the law of the Old Covenant. It is for this reason that He also commanded a cleansed leper to obey the law of Moses. Matt 8:3 ... And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. :4 See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them. The physical offering of animals does not apply under the New Testament, so why did Christ compel this compliance with the Law of Moses? For the same reason he compelled tithing in Matthew 23:23. The Law of Moses was still in force during the life of Christ. It would have been 'sin' for Christ at this time to have taught against the Law of Moses! In the Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42 verses Christ was not teaching that tithing was required by the New Testament, but rather was just re-enforcing that this was a requirement under the Old Covenant! OTHER NEW TESTAMENT VERSES Looking for other tithing verses in the New Testament we do not find any requirement for Christians to tithe. A) A PHARISEE'S PRAYER Tithing is mentioned in the parable of the prayers of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector, where the Pharisee states; Luke 18:12 'I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.' In this illustration we have the teaching that strict obedience to the law, and the self righteousness it can produce, amounts to less than the display of humility by a sinner seeking mercy. B) THE TITHING OF ABRAHAM The following verses discuss the example of Abraham paying tithes to Melchizedek and how the Levites under the Old Covenant were to receive the tithes of the people. Heb 7:4 Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils. :5 And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren, though they have come from the loins of Abraham; :6 but he whose genealogy is not derived from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. :7 Now beyond all contradiction the lesser is blessed by the better. :8 Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives. :9 Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so as to speak, :1 for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him. This text and the subsequent commentary is discussing the identity of Melchizedek and the changing of the priesthood under the New Testament. The issue of tithing in the time of Abraham and in the Old Covenant is covered, but the question of tithing in the New Testament is not clarified. However, should the analogy of the transfer of authority to receive tithes be extended along the lines of the priesthood change, then this text would be suggesting we in the New Testament would be required to tithe directly to Christ (and not to any type of representative). EXAMPLE OF THE APOSTLES If we wish to see the New Testament position in respect to tithing the logical place to look is in the writings of the apostles. We do not find any specific commandment for the newly converted Christians to tithe so we have to consider verses which may suggest this teaching prevailed at that time. Acts 20:33 I have coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel. :34 Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me. :35 I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. 2Cor 11:8 I robbed other churches, taking wages from them to minister to you. :9 And when I was present with you, and in need, I was a burden to no one, for what was lacking to me the brethren who came from Macedonia supplied. 12:13 For what is it in which you were inferior to other churches, except that I myself was not burdensome to you? Forgive me this wrong! :15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved. 9:1 Now concerning the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you; :2 for I know your willingness, ... :5 ... I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren to go to you ahead of time, and prepare your bountiful gift beforehand, which you had previously promised, that it may be ready as a matter of generosity and not as a grudging obligation. :6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. :7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. :8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 8:12 For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have. :13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; :14 but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack - that there may be equality. 1Cor 9:11 If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things? :12 If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more? Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ. :14 Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel. Gal 6:6 Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. OBSERVATIONS: 1) In these verses the apostle Paul both accepted wages from other congregations and also worked to supply his own needs. 2) Paul had avoided placing a monetary burden upon the Corinthian congregation, but this apparently had not favorably altered their disposition toward giving. 3) We encounter in the letters to the Corinthians considerable references to the collection of food Paul was organizing to assist the brethren in Jerusalem, due to the famine they were experiencing. Refer Acts 11:27-30 and Romans 15:26. 4) Giving should be balanced by the goal of 'equality', that is one party should not be unnecessarily burdened. 5) Those involved in preaching the gospel should be financially rewarded by those receiving the message. Despite the existence of a need to assist in supporting the ministry these verses do not clarify if the factor of 10% as suggested by the tithing principle is applicable. In fact, from the example of Paul's handling of the Corinthian church, we can see that the New Testament leadership did not always request monetary assistance. SUMMARY We can conclude from reviewing the New Testament scriptures that although there is support for the sharing of material wealth with the ministry, there is no conclusive proof in the New Testament to support the inclusion of the Old Covenant tithing principle in Christian teaching.