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Tithing, and What It Really Means.

Updated on February 12, 2019
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Given the historical and spiritual significance of the Bible, Kevin has devoted himself to studies through prayer and discernment.


Welcome. Today we are going to discuss tithing. A majority of people would argue that it is when you give 10% of your money and give it to the church as an offering. Why is that? And according to the Bible is this scriptural?

  1. What, And Who Was The Tithe For?
  2. Reaping What You Sow (Galatians 6 5-7).
  3. Where Did Monetary Tithing Come From?

What, And Who Was The Tithe For?

According to the Bible, tithing was about food. The Bible debunks money tithing because tithing is commanded in the scripture from the agricultural increase in Leviticus 27:30-33, Deut. 12:17, Duet. 14:23, 28, 2 Chron. 35:1-6 Nehemiah 10:37 and 12:44, Malachi 3 10, Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42.

Deuteronomy 26: 12 says the tithe was for the Levites, the stranger in the land, the fatherless, and the widows. It was to go to every one of those categories, not just one particular person or group of priests. This means that not only is the pastor using tithes to get money when the scriptures say that is wrong, but they aren't even giving it to the ones it was supposed to go to. As evidence shows it was for the less fortunate and was a practice of showing love for your neighbor as both the Old and New Testament commanded. And notice how the tithe was not an option. It was more like a tax implemented in Israel. So tithing was not something you did if you felt like it as they do in some churches.

Some may use Mark 12:41-44 or Luke 21:1-4 to say that tithing was about money. The woman here gave money to the treasury. But notice this; it never says she tithes. Verse 42 "And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing." What she did was not what we would call a tithe. She was just giving money to the treasury.

Note: I am not saying giving money to ministries (so long as they aren't selling the Gospel) or the less fortunate is wrong. There is nothing wrong with that. But if we are going to do that we need to know what we are doing and what to call it.

30 And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's: it is holy unto the Lord.

31 And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof.

32 And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord.

— Leviticus 27 30-32

Thou mayest not eat within thy gates the tithe of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thy oil, or the firstlings of thy herds or of thy flock, nor any of thy vows which thou vowest, nor thy freewill offerings, or heave offering of thine hand:

— Deuteronomy 12 17

Reaping What You Sow

That is not exclusively about money. Reaping and sowing are about putting seeds into the ground. Whatever seed you plant will determine what fruit you get. The Bible uses it as an example of how when we do something it comes back upon us, whether it is good or bad. For example, Noah and his family were saved because he was righteous. But everyone perished. They reaped what they sowed. These pastors will often use this only in an economical and financial example. Let's look at a passage about reaping what you sow.

5 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things,

6 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

7 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

— Galatians 6 5-7

Where Did Monetary Tithing Come From?

According to this encyclopedia on Catholicism, this came from Roman Catholicism.

In the Christian Church, as those who serve the altar should live by the altar (1 Corinthians 9:13), provision of some kind had necessarily to be made for the sacred ministers. In the beginning this was supplied by the spontaneous offerings of the faithful. In the course of time, however, as the Church expanded and various institutions arose, it became necessary to make laws which would insure the proper and permanent support of the clergy.......

The payment of tithes was adopted from the Old Law, and early writers speak of it as a divine ordinance and an obligation of conscience. The earliest positive legislation on the subject seems to be contained in the letter of the bishops assembled at Tours in 567 and the canons of the Council of Ma├žon in 585. In course of time, we find the payment of tithes made obligatory by ecclesiastical enactments in all the countries of christendom.

There were three different kinds of tithes during this time period.

  1. Predial, or that derived from the annual crops.
  2. Mixed, or what arises from things nourished by the land, as cattle, milk, cheese, wool.
  3. Personal; the result of industry or occupation.

This explains why we have tithing today. Despite their differences, many traditions from Roman Catholicism have been passed down to the other denominations. But where does tithing 10% of your income come into play? Although the exact origins are hard to place, it seems that this was most likely a result of trying to mix our modern day culture with the Bible. This paved the way towards the Prosperity Gospel that we know of today.

I hope this article has provided some insight into tithing. Peace and blessings, and all praises to the Most High.


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