Theologians Who Oppose Tithing

From: Should the Church Teach Tithing?
A Theologian’s Conclusions about a Taboo Doctrine
Russell Earl Kelly, PHD

The following Bible scholars do not teach tithing. Craig Blomberg, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, F. F. Bruce, Lewis Sperry Chafer; James Darby, Alfred Edersheim, Walter Elwell, Everett F. Harrison, Carl F. Henry, C. H. Lenski, Zola Levitt, John MacArthur, J. Vernon McGee, Bruce Metzger, Moody Bible Institute, Mike Oppenheimer, John Owen, Dwight Pentecost, John Piper, Charles Ryrie, Thomas R Schreiner, C. I. Scofield, Charles H Spurgeon, Charles Swindoll, Merrill Unger, Spiros Zodhiates. Note: Dr. James Kennedy is more in agreement with our position than he is against it.

Baker, Robert A.,[Baptist Seminary Textbook] A Summary of Christian History [p194, 250] (Nashville: Broadman, 1959), 11, 43. This Southern Baptist textbook states, “The leaders [before A.D. 100] usually worked with their hands for their material needs. There was no artificial distinction between clergy and laity.” … “The earliest bishops or presbyters engaged in secular labor to make their living and performed the duties of their church office when not at work.” 218

Blomberg,Craig L., see Introduction to Biblical Interpretation

Bromiley, Geoffrey W. see Wycliffe Bible Dictionary of Theology, tithing

Catholic Encyclopedia 1912 [p259], tithe; tithing. AIn the beginning [provision] was supplied by the spontaneous support 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 the 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 Macon in 585.@

Catholic, New Catholic Encyclopedia [p12], s.v. “tithe; tithing”
“In the Deuteromic code the tithe is limited to grain. wine and oil (Deu. 12:6, 11, 17; 14:22). These texts more or less equate the tithe with other ritual offerings adn sacrifices.” [223] “No law of tithing is found in the New Testament, although the principle of church support is laid down in Matt. 10:10 (see also Luke 10:7) and echoed in 1 Corinthians 9:13-14.”

Chafer, Lewis Sperry [p224-226], (tithing) Major Bible Themes, Revised, rev. John Walvoord (Grand Rapids: Academie Books), 253-55. Founder of Dallas Theological Seminary.
“In matters pertaining to the giving of money, the grace principle involves the believer’s recognition of God’s sovereign authority over all that the Christian is and has, and contrasts with the Old Testament legal system of tithing which was in force as a part of the law until the law was done away with (John 1:16-17; Rom. 6:14; 7:1-6; 2 Cor. 3:1-18; Gal. 3:19-25; 5:18; Eph. 2:15; Col. 2:14). Though certain principles of the law were carried forward and restated under grace, tithing, like Sabbath observance, is never imposed on the believer in this dispensation. Since the Lord’s Day superseded the legal Sabbath and is adapted to the principles of grace as the Sabbath could not be, so tithing has been superseded by a new system of giving which is adapted to the teachings of grace, as tithing could not be.”

“C. Their giving was not by commandment [1 Cor. 8:8], nor of necessity [2 Cor. 9:7]. Under the law, a tenth was commanded and its payment was a necessity; under grace, God is not seeking the gift, but an expression of devotion from the giver. Under grace no law is imposed and no proportion to be given is stipulated, and, while it is true that God works in the yielded heart both to will and to do His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13), He finds pleasure only in that gift which is given cheerfully, or more literally, “hilariously” (2 Cor. 9:7)….”

“D. The early Christians, first of all, gave themselves. Acceptable giving is preceded by a complete giving of oneself (2 Cor. 8:5). This suggests the important truth that giving under grace, like giving under the law, is limited to a certain class of people. Tithing was never imposed by God on any other than the nation Israel (Lev. 27:34; Num. 18:23-24; Mal. 3:7-10)….”

“F. God sustains the giver. God will sustain grace-giving with limitless temporal resources (2 Cor. 9:8-10; Luke 6:38). In this connection it may be seen that those who give as much as a tenth are usually prospered in temporal things, but since the believer can have no relation to the law (Gal. 5:1), it is evident that this prosperity is the fulfillment of the promise under grace, rather than the fulfillment of promises under the law. No blessings are thus dependent on the exact tithing….” 266

Code of Jewish Law [p62, 194, 248] tithing

Croteau, David, Liberty Baptist University theologian, graduate of SEBTS. See section, Southern Baptists, with Andreas Kostenberger article.

Dana, H. E., (tithing) [Baptist Seminary Textbook] The New Testament World [p194], 3rd. ed., rev. (Nashville: Broadman, 1937), 149, 217, 221 (Southern Baptist).

“Among the Jews professional life was limited. The one widely extensive profession was that of rabbi, if profession it might be called, for most rabbis followed some trade or secular pursuit for a livelihood, while devoting all the time possible to the study and teaching of the law. . . . Every Jewish boy was expected to learn some trade. Rabbinic tradition declared that ?whoever does not teach his son a trade is as if he brought him up to be a robber’” (p. 149) (italics mine).

“The prevalent use of tents [by travelers] made the tent-making trade a lucrative occupation. One belonging to the same trade-guild, religious cult, or having any other personal relationship to any resident of the locality could nearly always find welcome more or less genuine in a private home. . . . This was the prevailing manner in which the first Christian missionaries were provided for, though likely the entertainment was tendered them without cost (cf. 2 John 10-11; 3 John 5-8)” (p. 221).

Edersheim, Alfred (tithing) [p11, 42, 57, 63, 119, 185, 195, 247, 248, 250] (1825-1889); extremely well-respected Anglican theologian.

The Temple and Its Ministry, chapter 19, p379: “And it is remarkable, that the Law seems to regard Israel as intended to be only an agricultural people–no contribution being provided for from trade or merchandise.” pg. 19

Sketches of Jewish Social Life, Hendrickson Pub, page 118 Pg. 297

“Then, as for the occupation of ordinary life, it was indeed quite true that every Jew was bound to learn some trade or business. But this was not to divert him from study; quite the contrary. It was regarded as a profanation–or at least declared such–to make use of one’s learning for secular purposes, whether of gain or of honor. The great Hillel had it (Ab. I. 13); ?He who serves himself by the crown [the Torah] shall fade away’.”

Sketches, page 169; 220

“Thus . . . to come to the subject of this chapter . . . we now understand how so many of the disciples and followers of the Lord gained their living by some craft; how in the same spirit the Master Himself condescended to the trade of his adoptive father; and how the greatest of his apostles throughout earned his bread through the labor of his hands, probably following, like the Lord Jesus, the trade of his father. For it was a principle, frequently expressed, if possible ?not to forsake the trade of the father’”

Sketches, page 172 297

“And this same love of honest labor, the same spirit of manly independence, the same horror of trafficking with the law, and using it either as a ?crown or as a spade,’ was certainly characteristic of the best Rabbis.”

Sketches, page 173 “For, in point of fact, with few exceptions, all the leading Rabbinical authorities were working at some trade, till at last it became quite an affectation to engage in hard bodily labor. . .”

Encyclopedia Americana [p6, 259] ; “tithe”
“It (tithing) was not practised in the early Christian church but gradually became common (in the Roman Catholic church in western Europe) by the 6th Century. The Council of Tours in 567 and the 2nd Council of Macon in 585 advocated tithing. Made obligatory by civil law in the Carolingian empire in 765 and in England in the 10th Century… The Reformation did not abolish tithing and the practice was continued in the Roman Catholic church and in Protestant countries (until it was) gradually replaced by other forms of taxation. The Roman Catholic church still prescribes tithes in countries where they are sanctioned by law, and some Protestant bodies consider tithes obligatory.”

Elwell, Water A., (tithing) Wheaton College, Editor, Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of the Bible; (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996), s.v. “tithe.” [p207] “Paul’s vocabulary and teaching suggest that giving is voluntary and that there is no set percentage. Following the example of Christ who gave even his life (2 Cor. 8:9), we should cheerfully give as much as we have decided (2 Cor. 9:7) based on how much the Lord has prospered us (1 Cor. 16:2), knowing that we reap in proportion to what we sow (2 Cor. 9:6) and that we will ultimately give account for our deeds (Rom. 14:12). 236

Encyclopedia Judaica [p44, 71] “tithe; tithing”

“As may be learned from 1 Sam. 8:15, 17 and from Ugarit the tithe could also be a royal tax which the king could exact and give to his officials. This ambiguity of the tithe, as a royal due on the one hand, and as a sacred donation on the other, is to be explained by the fact that the temples to which the tithe was assigned were royal temples (cf. Amos 7:13) and, as such, the property and treasures in them were put at the king’s disposal. . . .”

“As is well known, the kings controlled the treasures of palace and temple alike, which is understandable, since they were responsible for the maintenance of the sanctuary and its service. . . . It stands to reason that the tithe, which originally was a religious tribute, came to be channeled to the court, and was therefore supervised by royal authorities.” 84

Encyclopedia of Southern Baptists [p269] tithing. [REFERENCED IN DR. KELLY’S BOOK] This entire document is on my web site with my comments. It has both pro and con comments.

Epp, Theodore, (tithing) Moses, Vol III [p143], founder of Back to the Bible Radio Broadcast. “If the Christian’s standard of living is not the law, what is his standard of living? Basicly, the standard for a aChristian is to do the will of God by the enabling grace that is supplied in Christ Jesus our LOrd through the Holy Spirit.”

Fee, Gordon and Douglas Stuart, (tithing) How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth [p134], seminary textbook. “The Old Testament is not our testament. The Old Testament represents an Old Covenant, which is one we are no longer obligated to keep. Therefore we can hardly begin by assuming that the Old Covenant should automatically be binding upon us. We have to assume, in fact, that none of its stipulations (laws) are binding upon us unless they are renewed in the New Covenant. That is, unless an Old Testament law is somehow restated or reinforced in the New Testament, it is no longer directly binding on God’s people (cf. Rom. 6:14-15).” 138

Harrisohn, Evereett F. see Wycliffe Bible Dictionary of Theology ; tithing

Hasting’s Dictionary of the Apostolic Church, “tithe; tithing”
It is admitted universally that the payment of tithes or the tenths of possessions, for sacred purposes did not find a place within the Christian Church during the age covered by the apostles and their immediate successors

Henry, Carl F. see Wycliffe Bible Dictionary of Theology (tithing)

Holman Bible Dictionary and Concordance (Giant Print) [p223] (Nashville: Holman, 1999), s.v. “tithe; tithing.” Southern Baptist.
[Defines the tithe as a form of taxation.]

Hubbard, Robert L, see Introductin to Biblical Inteerpretation (tithing)

Kaiser, Walter C. and Moises Silva, (tithing) An Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics [p14, 20, 33, 40, 116], seminary textbook, pages, 187-188. 31-48 “Law based not on the nature of God but on his particular sayings on a special occasion is called positive law. . . . The commandment about the Sabbath is the only one in the Ten Commandments that is mixed with both moral and positive aspects. It is moral in that it says that God is owner of all time and therefore has a right to receive back a portion of our time in worship of himself. But it is positive, or ceremonial, in that it spells out the seventh day as that time.”

[Like the Sabbath, there is a moral aspect of giving because God is the owner of all creation and there is a positive, or ceremonial, aspect of giving in that the exact ten, twenty, or twenty three percent was specified in the law for Israel.]

“The Scriptures themselves offer us a way of sorting out which commands have continuing relevance for our lives and which ones have been rendered obsolete by God’s having declared their usefulness to have ended. Even though the law is one, we are taught in the Bible to distinguish at least three different aspects in that one law. Jesus authorized such a stance when he used the concept in Matthew 23:23 that some things in the law were ?weightier’ than others. It is this ranking and prioritizing within the law that establishes the moral aspect of the law as higher than its civil and ceremonial aspects. In this verse, justice, mercy and faithfulness are heavier and weightier than the rules for tithing spices, evidently because the former reflects the nature and character of God.” Page 279 122

Kennedy, James [p63], tithing pamphlet, Presbyterian TV preacher. Note: He takes a middle position that tithes should be paid on whatever remains after all essential bills have been paid. See full discussion on this web site.


Here is the key to understanding Kennedy’s position. He first wants his audience to read the previous statements which, very honestly, do NOT place him in the tithe-teaching camp at all! He says “In light of these Biblical principles I encourage believers in Christ to tithe.”

1. The tithe was only from profit (no profit means no tithe). #1
2. The poor do not pay tithes. #2)
3. The poor receive tithes. #2
4. Those who have no increase are not required to tithe. #2
5. Welfare recipients and those living off savings should not tithe. #2
6. Our FIRST economic duty is to pay family essentials. #3
7. Tithe-payers can give it directly to the poor if they choose. #4
8. Tithe-payers should only give SOME of it to the local church. #4
9. Situation ethics determine whether or not tithes should be paid (2)
10.“God wants you to assign a high priority to taking care of family needs.)
11. Churches should allow tithes to be paid in the form of work performed
12.Tithes are only on what is left after necessary expenses and after taxes.
13.“In light of these biblical principles, I encourage believers to tithe.”

Klein, William W., Craig L. Blomberg, and Robert L. Hubbard, Jr., Introduction to Biblical Interpretation [p206], seminary (tithing) textbook, (Dallas: Word Publishers, 1993), 415.”Just as poor people could offer less costly sacrifices in those days (Lev. 12; cf. Luke 2:24), so Christians should not require identical levels of giving from all believers today. In fact the N.T. does not promote a fixed percentage of giving. We may better capture the spirit of N.T. giving through what R. Sider calls ?graduated tithe,’ by which the more one makes, the higher percentage one ought to give to the Lord’s work, and especially to helping the poor (1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 8:12-15).”

Lang, J. Stephen [p207], (tithing) ,1001 Things You Always Wanted to Know About the Bible (Nashville: Nelson, 1992), 321. “The New Covenant urges generous giving proportionate to one’s income. Wealthy Christians were expected to give generously to aid the less fortunate brother in the faith.” page 321-235.

Lenski, R. C. H. [p196], (tithing) ,The Active Church Member (p. 161-164). Well-respected theologian, Wisconsin Lutheran.
God has given us His divine Law, and the spirit of Christ, which is the spirit of faith and love, freely uses God’s Law as a regulator of the Christian life. As Christians, however, we are under the Gospel, and that means that with faith and love we voluntarily obey the Lord and seek to do His holy will. Legalism is the name for all spurious law in the church. It is both the setting up of man-made laws in the church, and any obedience to such laws. … No church has a right to make laws by which bind its members; and no member has a right to obey such laws, and to allow his conscience to be thus bound. Both the church and the church member are legalists when they operate their church activities this way. The state may legislate; not, however, the church… Just as the Gospel alone rules in our hearts, so Gospel methods, or evangelical methods, should alone be used in our church activities. These methods use the power of faith and love alone, and no outward force. Hence these methods have the mark of Gospel freedom about them. The church member does what he does, of free will, gladly, gratefully, as a privilege. That is the evangelical method? The evangelical Christian goes to church from love of Christ, His Word, and worship. Only where the Lord sees this in the heart is He pleased? “no mere outward performance satisfies the Lord, least of all doing what the Lord has nowhere Himself commanded. And worst of all, to try to buy His favor is to insult His blessed grace, through which alone His savings gifts can be made ours. Legalistic methods look especially promising when it comes to getting money for the church’” Why not impose a tax on the members, say a flat tax of so much per head, or a tax according to the property of the members? Would not that insure the sum desired far beyond the evangelical method of voluntary Christian giving? The trouble is, that though the money itself might be secured in such a legalistic way, the Lord has no use for it. The only money He will accept must come as a true offering made unto Him by willing hearts in faith and love. Such offerings can be gathered only by using evangelical methods, never by working legalistic ones.

(p. 175) Wrong methods always tend to corrupt right principles, and thus hinder the blessings we ought to receive. Right methods support true principles, help to show how beneficial they are, and thus win the approval and blessing of the Lord.

Lenski, R. C. H., The Interpretation of I and II Corinthians (p. 1170-1172). A large number have had no faith or too little faith in complete voluntariness. They fear that this will not bring the needed and the desired sums. So they devise substitutes, all kinds of systems, schemes, and methods that seem to promise more than the giver’s own entirely free volition. Instead of depending wholly on such volition and stimulating it by means of pure gospel motivation as Paul does here, they use a little or great deal of legalism which acts as pressure, or they stoop to worldly, often rankly worldly, methods. So Christian voluntariness declines more and more. The odor of legalism and of worldliness makes the ‘gifts’ so obtained nauseating in the nostrils of God. The harvest of real blessings is lost? Tithing is Jewish. Applying a little Christian varnish changes nothing. Paul was reared as a Jew. If tithing could have been Christianized, the man who could and would have done it was Paul, and no better opportunity offered itself than this great collection which he planned for all his churches simultaneously. Paul shunned tithing. All the apostles shunned it. Not one word of Jesus favors it. His very mention of tithing is severely derogatory (Mat. 23:23; Luke 11:42; 18:12). The only other mention of it in the New Testament is purely historical (Heb. 7:5-9). Is this not enough? More than enough! ‘Each one just as he has chosen for himself in heart!’

Lenski, R. C. H., The Interpretation of St. Matthew’s Gospel (p.907-909):Although all of the apostles were originally Jews, reared in tithing, with not one word did any one of them even intimate that in the new covenant the Christians might find tithing a helpful method of making their contributions to the work of the church. This strong negative is immensely re-enforced by the totally different method suggested by Paul when called on the churches for a great offering, 1 Cor. 16:1, etc.; 2 Cor. 8:4, etc. Exegetically and thus dogmatically and ethically the New Testament is against tithing as a regulation in the new covenant. Desire for more money also for more money in the church and for the church must not blind our eyes to the ways employed for getting more money? Jesus does not want to be misunderstood.

Lion Encyclopedia of the Bible [p182, 197], page 218-221. Note: This was originally called Eerdman’s Family Encyclopedia of the Bible.
“Most of the scribes probably had a trade. The writings of the rabbis mention a nail maker, a baker, a sandal maker, a master builder, and a tailor.”

Luther. Martin (Sermon; August 27, 1525): (tithing) [P139]
“But the other commandments of Moses, which are not [implanted in all men] by nature, the Gentiles do not hold. Nor do these pertain to the Gentiles, such as the tithe…” For a full discussion see my article on my website.

MacArthur, John [p54], (tithing) , pp53-54] God’s Plan for Giving, Moody Press, 1985 Mega-successful church builder, college founder, author, TV ministry.
“So when someone says the Jew gave ten percent, that isn’t true. The Jew gave twenty-three percent to begin with. It was for the poor people, the widows, and people who didn’t have anything to eat. So they were funding the people who ran the government, which were the Levites; they were providing for national feasts through the festival tithe; and they gave for the welfare program. All this was funding for the national entity. All three of these were taxation, not freewill giving to God. Tithing was always taxation so that the programs of the government could run: the priestly program, the national religious program, and the welfare program” 76.

Commentary on the Book of Romans 9-16 (p.233) [NOT IN DR. KELLY’S BOOK]
Christians are not under obligation to give a specified amount to the work of their heavenly Father. In none of their forms do the tithe or other Old Testament levies apply to Christians.

Thoughts On Tithing (from sermon preached at Grace Community Church in Panorama City, CA):
Tithing, basically, is never, ever advocated in the New Testament; it is never taught in the New Testament-never!

McGee, J. Vernon [p104]. Thru the Bible, Malachi, Presbyterian; well-respected author and radio preacher.

Metzger, Bruce and Michael D. Coogan, (tithing) , Oxford Companion to the Bible [p223], “The New Testament nowhere explicitly requires tithing to maintain a ministry or a place of assembly.” 259

Nelson’s Bible Dictionary, tithe; (tithing) ,, Nashville: Thomas Nelson [p11]. “The law of Moses prescribed tithing in some detail. Leviticus 27:30-32 stated that the tithe of the land would include the seed of the land and the fruit of the tree. In addition the Hebrew people were required to set apart every tenth animal of their herds and flocks to the Lord. . . . Nowhere does the New Covenant expressly command Christians to tithe. . .”

New Bible Commentary, (tithing) , Inter-Varsity Fellowship [p18, 25, 164, 197, 203, 240-242]

[Acts 18:1-4] “It was regarded as proper for a rabbi to practice a manual occupation so as not to make monetary profit out of his sacred teaching.”

[1 Thess. 2:9] “This policy [working night and day] not only reflected a desire to be financially independent of those among whom they ministered, but it also marked them off from the ordinary religious traffickers of the day, and showed the converts a good example.”

[2 Cor. 11:8] “Paul is really indicating that he did not receive wages at all for preaching the gospel. If what was given him for his support by other churches was to be regarded as ‘?earnings,’ then he had in effect ?robbed’ them since the service given was not to them but to the Corinthians” (italics mine).

[Heb. 7:18] Also, the priesthood was so fundamental to the Old Covenant between God and His people (the whole relationship was constituted in dependence upon its ministry), that any change in the order of priesthood must of necessity imply and involve a change in the whole constitution; i.e. it implies nothing less than an accompanying new, and indeed better, covenant. 179

New Bible Dictionary, Inter-Varsity [p120], tithe. (tithing) ,”The New Testament reference to the tithing of mint, anise, and cummin (Matt. xxiii, 23; Luke xi, 42) illustrates a Talmudic extension of the Mosaic law, ensuring that ‘?everything that is eaten . . . . and that grows out of the earth’ must be tithed.”

Qualben, Lars,[Lutheran] (tithing) , A History of the Christian Church [p249, 251] Thomas Nelson, 1942 301 “The local church had elders and deacons who supervised and directed the work of the congregation, administered its charity, took care of the sick, and saw to it that services were regularly held. But the early church organization was not centered in office and in law, but in the special gifts of the Spirit. The teaching, the preaching, and the administration of the sacraments were conducted by the’gifted men’ in the congregation. An elder might also teach, preach, and administer the sacraments, but he did not do so because he was an elder, but because he was known to have the ‘gift.’ None of these ‘gifted men’ held church office in a legal or judicial sense. The preaching, the teaching, and the administration of the sacraments were not legally confined to any specific office. The gospel could be preached and the sacraments could be administered in the presence of any assembly of believers, gathered in the name of the Lord.”

“Toward the end of the first century a change took place. A general lack of confidence in the special gifts of the Spirit, a desire for more specific order, and a pressing demand for proper safeguard against heresy resulted in a gradual transfer of the preaching, the teaching, and the administration of the sacraments from the ‘gifted men’ to the local elders. . . .”

“During the second and third centuries another important change took place. Instead of government by a group of elders, the local churches were headed by single officials for whom the name ‘bishop’ was exclusively reserved. . . . The election of the bishop became a legal ordinance and the bishop alone had a right to preach, to teach, and to administer the sacraments. . .”

Rhodes, Ron, (tithing) , The Complete Book of Bible Answers [p297] (Peabody: Harvest, 1997), 296. “I do not believe that Christians today are under the ten percent tithe system. We are not obligated to percentage tithe at all. There is not a single verse in the New Testament where God specifies that we should give ten percent of their income to the church. . . . We are to give as we are able. For some this will mean less than ten percent, but for others whom God has materially blessed, this will mean much more than ten percent.” 235

Ryrie, Charles (tithing) , Ryrie Study Bible [p49], well-known theologian, Dallas Theological Seminary. .See also Basic Theology, p105; The Grace of God, p63; 68, 69.

Schaff, Phillip, [Presbyterian] History of the Christian Church, Vol II [p198, 249, 251, 259], world-famous istorian, Eerdmans Page 124: “In the apostolic church preaching and teaching were not confined to a particular class, but every convert could proclaim the gospel to unbelievers, and every Christian who had the gift could pray and teach and exhort in the congregation. The New Testament knows no spiritual aristocracy or nobility but calls all believers “saints,” though many fell short of this vocation. Nor does it recognize a special priesthood in distinction from the people, as mediating between God and the laity. It knows only one high-priest, Jesus Christ, and clearly teaches the universal priesthood, as well as universal kingship, of believers. It does this in a far deeper and larger sense than the Old; in a sense, too, which even to this day is not yet fully realized. The entire body of Christ is called ?clergy,’ a peculiar people, the heritage of God.”

Page 128: “With the exaltation of the clergy [in the third century] appeared the tendency to separate them from secular business, and even from social relations. . . They drew their support from the church treasury, which was supplied by voluntary contributions and weekly collections on the Lord’s Day. After the third century they were forbidden to engage in any secular business, or even to accept any trusteeship.”

Page 392: “The ascetic principle, however, was not confined, in its influence, to the proper ascetics and morals. It ruled more or less the entire morality and piety of the ancient and medieval church.”

Page 395: “Among these works [of supererogation] were reckoned martyrdom, voluntary poverty, and voluntary celibacy. All three, or at least the last two of these acts, in connection with the positive Christian virtues, belong to the idea of the higher perfection, as distinguished from the fulfillment of regular duties or ordinary morality.

Page 395: “The ground on which these particular virtues were so strongly urged might be easily understood. Property, which is so closely allied to the selfishness of man and binds him to the earth, and sexual intercourse–these present themselves as the firmest obstacles to that perfection, in which God alone is our possession, and Christ alone is our love and delight”). “The [Jewish Christian] Ebionites made poverty the condition of salvation.”

Page 396: “The recommendation of voluntary poverty was based on a literal interpretation of the Lord’s advice to the rich young ruler. . . . To this were added the actual examples of the poverty of Christ and his apostles, and the community of goods in the first Christian church in Jerusalem. Many Christians, not only of the ascetics, but also of the clergy, like Cyprian, accordingly gave up all their property at their conversion, for the benefit of the poor.”

Scofield, C. I., (tithing) The New Scofield Reference Bible [p141, 144, 177-179], Oxford Press, 2 Cor 8 and 9: 270. “In contrast with the law, which imposed giving as a divine requirement, Christian giving is voluntary, and a test of sincerity and love.”

Silva, Moises, see under Kaiser, William C. (tithing)

Stuart, Douglas see How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth (tithing)

Thompson, Rhodes, (tithing) Stewards Shaped by Grace [p62, 230], Chalice Press. Disciples of Christ/Christian Church. Page 122: “Some disagree that people are ever too poor to tithe. But my experience in the Third World [India] and inner-city St. Louis exposed me to people whose poverty I had wittingly or unwittingly helped to create and whose liberation from it still receives too little of my time and resources. Luke’s biting words to first century scribes and Pharisees jump across the centuries: ?Woe to you twentieth-century religious leaders! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers (Luke 1:46).’ Watching poor folks in St. Louis facing the winter choice between ‘meat’ and “heat,’ I could not lay on them the burden of tithing that would have forced them to forego both at the risk of health and life.”

Page 113: “Another discovery is now revealed: God’s grace shown in those churches [in India] was complemented by people’s voluntary response [quotes 8:3]. Precisely! No legalistic response to the amazing grace of God is appropriate. That is why Paul wrote [quotes 9:7]. God’s grace obviously encourages, but does not force, the decision to be made. However, when faith responds to grace, God’s power at work within that life . . . or within the churches . . . is able to do far more abundantly than all that people can ask or think (Eph. 3:20). What we cannot do or cannot even imagine being done, God’s grace working through our faith does.”

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, (tithing) The New, Jerome Smith [p188]

(p. 1026.). The LORD commanded the Israelites to “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house….” (Malachi 3:10) Christians are often urged to tithe based upon a mistaken appeal to this Old Testament text, which is wrested out of its rightful context, when applied to such a purpose… The storehouse is clearly the temple, not the church… Taken in context this passage lends no support to the mistaken doctrine of `storehouse tithing,’ whereby Christians have been directed to restrict all their financial giving to their own denomination or local church, or as a variation, church members have been directed to pay the tithe to the local church, and restrict giving to outside organizations to amounts over and above the church tithe.

(p. 1152.): Tithing is not taught in the New Testament as an obligation for the Christian under grace… Because we are not under law, but under grace, Christian giving must not be made a matter of legalistic obligation, lest we fall into the error of Galatianism?

Unger, Merrill, Unger’s Bible Dictionary (tithing) [p12, 19, 119, 135, 144], Moody Press “Tithe”: “The tenth of all produce, flocks, and cattle was declared to be sacred to Jehovah by way, so to speak, of rent to Him who was, strictly speaking, the Owner of the land, and in return for the produce of the ground . . . . Although the law did not specify the various fruits of the field and of the trees that were to be tithed, the Mishnah (Maaseroth 1.1) includes ?everything eatable, everything that was stored up or that grew out of the earth. . .’” (italics mine). 12-11

“New Testament”: 64-140 “Therefore, to understand the Gospels one must expect to be on legal ground up to the cross (Matt. 10:5-6; 15:22-28; Mark 1:44). . . . In understanding the New Covenant it also must be borne in mind that the full-scale revelation concerning grace is to be found in the Epistles, not in the Gospels. . . . The Gospels do not present the doctrine of the church.

Walker, Williston, A History of the Christian Church [p149, 258], seminary textbook, 3rd ed., (Charles Scribner’s Sons: New York, 1970).

Page 83: “The early Jerusalem company were faithful in attendance at the temple, and in obedience to the Jewish law, but, in addition, they had their own special services among themselves, with prayer, mutual exhortation, and ?breaking of bread’ daily in private houses. This ?breaking of bread’ served a twofold purpose. It was a bond of fellowship and a means of support for the needy.” 160

Page 83: [ The church in the first centuries had a very different use for money than the typical church today. Williston Walker reports that, in the year A.D. 251, the church of Rome under Bishop Cornelius had a membership of approximately 30,000 members and supported over 1,500 dependents. This amounts to one dependent per 20 members!] 136-310

Page 84: “By the middle of the third century the higher clergy were expected to give their whole time to the work of the ministry, yet even bishops sometimes shared in secular business, not always of a commendable character. The lower clergy could still engage in trade.” 311

Walvoord, John, (tithing) see Major Bible Themes, Revised

Walvoord, John and Roy B. Zuck, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, . Dallas Theological Seminary.

Wycliffe Bible Commentary (tithing) [p11, 17, 41, 43, 71, 193, 203, 239, 240, 244], C. F. Pfeiffer and E. F. Harrison, Moody and Southwestern Press [Gen. 14] “? Zedek’ is the Hebrew word for ?righteousness’ and also the name of a Canaanite deity….?Shalom’ is the Hebrew word for ?peace’ and ?Shalem’ probably was the Canaanite god of peace.”

[Genesis 14 written by Kyle Yates, Ph.D., Baylor Univ., Southern Baptist)

[1 Sam. 8:14-17] “This is the only reference in the Old Testament to the exaction of tithes by the king. However, in the East it was not unusual for the revenue of the sovereign to be derived in part from tithes, as, for example, in Babylon and Persia.”

[Matt. 10:8-9] “These ministrations were to be performed freely, without charge, for their authority had been received in this manner. These instructions apply only to this specific mission of limited duration.”

[Acts 18:1-4] “It was customary for Jewish rabbis not to receive pay for their teaching, and therefore, Paul, who had been raised as a rabbi, had learned the trade of tent-making.

[Acts 20:34] “Paul reminded the Ephesians of his custom of making tents not only to support himself but to provide for the needs of others with him. He quoted a saying of the Lord which is not recorded in any of the Gospels, about the blessedness of giving. . . . The main objective of giving in the early church was to provide for the needs of the poor brothers rather than to support the preaching of the gospel as is the case today.”

[1 Cor. 16:2] “By him” is probably a reference to the home; giving was to be private giving. . . . This system would revolutionize present church customs! Paul’s carefulness in money matters should be noted. He never appealed for money for himself and did not even desire to handle money for others if there could be the slightest question about it.”

Wycliffe Bible Dictionary of Theology (tithing) [p173], Everett F. Harrison, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, and Carl F. Henry, editors.,

Orig. Baker’s Dictionary, 1960 (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1999), s.v. “tithe.”

“The silence of the N.T. writers, particularly Paul, regarding the present validity of the tithe can be explained only on the ground that the dispensation of grace has no more place for a law of tithing than it has for a law on circumcision.” 80-191

Zodhiates,Spiros, (tithing) Zodhiates’ Key Word Study Bible, Spiros [p144], “i.e. Malachi 3:7-15, p.1173: This passage is often used by those who advocate “storehouse tithing”; that is, bringing the “tithe” into God’s storehouse (the local church), rather than giving it anywhere else. They suggest that gifts to ministries other than the local church should be above the “tithe.” Certainly the “storehouse” in Malachi represents the temple or a building in the temple complex. However, the OT “tithe” or “tenth” cannot be reasonably equated with ten percent of gross salary or wages which most people earn today. Above all, giving should be a matter between the Holy Spirit and the believer, not a regulation. The “tithe” may be an adequate guide for determining how much some people could give (indeed, for many in a prosperous society, it is probably an inadequate level), but the amount of giving must be a personal decision. The Apostle Paul wrote that God examines the motives for the giving, not the amount (2 Corinthians 9:7).

Early Church Fathers:

Justin Martyr [p252] (150 AD) (tithing) “And the wealthy among us help the needy. . . when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgiving, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succors the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us” (First Apology, chap. 67). Also compare Dialogue with Trypho, chapters 17, 19, 33, 112.

Irenaeus [p254] (150-200 AD). (tithing) Did not teach tithing. Against Heresies, book 4, chap. 13, para. 3 and chap. 18

Tertullian [p242] [Church Father] (150-220 AD), 304. (tithing) Did not teach tithing.

(Marcion, book 4, chap. 27) (Marcion, book 5, chap. 9).

[Apology, xxxix “Every man brings some modest coin once a month or whenever he wishes, and only if he is willing and able; it is a freewill offering. You might call them the trust-funds of piety; they are spent . . . on the support and burial of the poor. “

[The following more compete quote is not in the book.]

Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 3, page 46, quotation of Apology, chapter 39. “The tried men of our elders preside over us, obtaining that honor, not by purchase, but by established character. There is no buying or selling of any sort in the things of God. Though we have our treasure-chest, it is not made-up of purchase money, as of a religion that has its price. ?On the monthly day, if he likes, each puts in a small donation; but only if it be his pleasure, and only if he be able: for there is no compulsion; all is voluntary. These gifts are, as it were, piety’s deposit fund.’ For they are not taken thence and spent on feasts, and drinking-bouts, and eating-houses, but to support and bury poor people, to supply the wants of boys and girls destitute of means and parents, and of old persons confined now to the house; such, too, as have suffered shipwreck; and if there happen to be any in the mines, or banished to the islands, or shut up in the prisons, for noting but their fidelity to the cause of God’s church, they become the nurslings of their confession.”

Believer’s Bible Commentary, The, editor William MacDonald.

Malachi 3:8-10 The NT teaches believers to give systematically, liberally, cheerfully, and as the Lord has prospered them, that is, proportionately. But no mention is made of tithing…”

Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: Questions and Answers.

It (tithing) is not mentioned in the New Testament except where it is describing Old Testament practices or in the Gospels where Jesus is addressing people who were under the Old Testament law. Note Jesus’ comments to the Pharisees in Luke 11:42? A New Testament teaching on giving which may be helpful to you is found in 1 Corinthians 16:2…. This passage brings out four points: we should give individually, regularly, methodically, and proportionately. The matter of your giving is between you and God, and He always takes into account our circumstances. He knows when they are beyond our power to direct and control. The important thing is that we see giving as a privilege and not a burden. It should not be out of a sense of duty, but rather out of love for the Lord and a desire to see His kingdom advanced. Second Corinthians 9:6-7….. What has priority in our lives? Is Christ really first–or do we put ourselves and our own desires first? Make sure Christ is first in your life, and then ask Him to guide you. Note: Billy Graham himself does teach tithing.

Black, David Alan, SEBTS theologian. See Southern Baptist section for article.

Catholic Encyclopedia, New, tithe; tithing

The early Church had no tithing system … it was not that no need of supporting the Church existed or was recognized, but rather that other means appeared to suffice.

Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent, tithing history. In the Christian Church, as those who serve the altar should live by the altar (1 Cor., ix, 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 [Financial Statement]: Note: This probably applies to all Churches of Christ.

By what means does the church secure financial support? Each first day of the week the members of the church “lay by in store as they have been prospered” (1 Corinthians 16:2). The amount of any individual gift is generally known only to the one who gave it and to the Lord. This free-will offering is the only call, which the church makes. NO assessments or other levies are made. No money-making activities, such as bazaars or suppers, are engaged in. A total if approximately $200,000,000 is given on this basis each year.

Couch, Mal, Scofield Prophecy Studies, Th. M. Dallas Theological Seminary; M. A. Wheaton Graduate School.

Easton’s Bible Dictionary, “tithe; tithing”. It cannot be affirmed that the Old Testament law of tithes is binding on the Christian Church…

Encyclopedia Britannica (s.v. “tithing”):
The Christian Church depended at first on voluntary gifts from its members

Evangelical Church of Lutheran Confession in Brazil:
IECLB is supported through funds originating from voluntary contributions and gifts of the members of its communities destined for community and mission work. There is no mandatory tithing, and church services, including baptism, weddings, visitation, among others, are rendered free of charge.

Everett Ferguson, Church of Christ author of Early Christians Speak, is Professor of Church History Emeritus at Abilene Christian University. // Ferguson notes that the early church did not practice tithing because they were breaking away from the Old Testament teachings (page 86).// His numerous academic and scholarly honors include an honorary John Harvard Fellowship (1956-57), a Harvard Graduate School Fellowship (1958-59), a Ph.D. ‘with distinction’ (Harvard, 1960), and selection as the John G. Gammie Senior Lecturer by the Southwest Commission for Religious Studies, 1996-97. He is a member of the Council of the Association internationale d’etudes patristiques and past president of the North American Patristics Society. In 1998, he was presented with a festschrift, The Early Church in Its Context: Essays in Honor of Everett Ferguson, ed. Abraham J. Marlherbe, Frederick W. Norris, and James W. Thompson (Leiden: E.J. Brill). Dr. Ferguson has been co-editor (with Elizabeth A. Clark) of the Journal of Early Christian Studies. His other publications include Backgrounds of Early Christianity (Eerdmans, 2nd ed. 1993), Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, ed. (Garland, 2nd ed. 1997), Recent Studies in Early Christianity, ed. (Garland, 1999), and The Church of Christ: A Biblical Ecclesiology for Today (Eerdmans, 1996).

Gary Friesen, former Dean of Multinomah College, Decision Making and the Will of God

Irwin’s (C. H.) Bible Commentary (tithing)

KOSTENBERGER, ANDREAS, SEBTS theologian. See Southern Baptist sectin for article with David Croteau.

Levitt, Zola ; (tithing) ,Frequently Asked Questions; The Jewish People; Is tithing for the Christian today? Tithing was a part of the Law of Moses under the legal economy of Israel. It does not apply to the Church today, since we are under grace and not the law (Romans 6:14; 10:4). Therefore, we are obligated to give first our bodies and souls as living sacrifices in reasonable service to God (Romans 12:1–2). The New Testament teaches proportional giving according to what we have, not what we don’t have (2 Cor. 8:12). If we can only give 5% as the Lord leads, so be it. It is not how much you give that matters to God, but the attitude and motive which you are giving from. This is the concern of the New Testament with regard to giving, rather than measuring the amount that is given (see 2 Cor. 8–9).

Moody Bible Institute, (tithing) , Today in the Word, Questions and Answers, Sept 23, 1996. Giving to God first can become a real challenge to our faith when it seems that our paycheck won’t stretch far enough. There’s no New Testament command to this effect, because we don’t have the detailed instructions on tithes and offerings found in the Law. But setting aside our offering to the Lord first is a tangible way of telling Him that He is first in our affections. It’s also a wonderful way to express our confidence in His ability to meet needs.

OPPENHEIMER, Mike, (tithing) , Let Us Reason Ministries. His web site has two excellent articles about tithing which I highly recommend. The Origin of Tithing;,htm Are You Tithing?

OWEN, JOHN: Famous Calvinist Apologist
Commentary on Hebrews 7
[Hebrews 7]: 2. If the strict legal course of tithing be intended, it cannot be proved from this text [Hebrews 7] nor from any other instance before the law;

[Genesis 14:18-20] … for Abraham gave only the tenth of the spoils, which were not tithe-able by law. For if the places taken or destroyed in war were anathematized, as Jericho was, and also Amalek, no portion was to be reserved, under a pretense of sacrifice or any other sacred use; as Saul found to his cost.

And if they were not anathematized, all the spoils were left entirely unto the people that went to war, without any sacred decimation. So the Reubenites and the Gadites, at their return over Jordan into their own land, carried all their rich spoils and cattle with them, no tithe being mentioned, Joshua 22:8; — although there is no question but many of them offered their freewill offerings at the tabernacle.

And when God would have a sacred portion out of the spoils, as he would have in the wilderness, out of those that were taken from the Midianites, to manifest that they fell not under the law of tithes, he took not the tenth part, but one portion of five hundred from the soldiers, and one of fifty from the people, Numbers 31:28-30. Wherefore the giving of the tenth of the spoils was not from the obligation of any law, but was an act of free-will and choice in the offerer.

But yet there was so great an equity herein also, — namely, that God should have an acknowledgment in the fruits of those successes which he gave in war, — that out of the spoils of his and his people’s enemies David made his provision for the building of the temple. And the captains of the host that went against Midian, after a tribute was raised for the Lord out of the spoils according unto the proportions mentioned, when they found the goodness of God in the preservation of their soldiers, whereof there was not one lost, they made a new voluntary oblation unto God out of their spoils, Numbers 31:48-50.

[Genesis 28] And as for the instance of Jacob, who vowed unto God the tenth of all, it is so far from proving that the tenth was due by virtue of any law, that it proves the contrary. For had it been so, it could not have been the matter of an extraordinary vow, whereby he could express his obedience unto God.

[Matthew 23:23] 3. The precise law of tithing is not confirmed in the gospel. For that saying of our Savior’s approving the tithing of mint and cummin, evidently respects that legal institution which was then in force, and could not be violated without sin. And by his approbation of that law, and of the duty in observance of it, he did no more confirm it, or ascribe an obligatory power unto it under the gospel, than he did so unto all those other ceremonial institutions which both he himself observed as a man made under the law, and enjoined others so to do. They all continued in full force “until the time of reformation,” which gave them their bounds and limits, Hebrews 9:10, and ended with his resurrection.

His other saying, of “giving unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s,” respects our whole moral obedience unto God, and not this or that particular institution. The meaning of it is, that we are to pay or perform unto God all whatever he requireth of us in a way of obedience; but what that is in particular, is not here determined. And other mention of tithes in the gospel there is none.

4. [1] Whereas by the light of nature, all rules of reason and positive institutions, a portion of what God is pleased to give unto every may, is to be returned unto him, in the way of his worship and service, wherein it may be used according unto his appointment; and [2] whereas before the giving of the law sundry holy men fixed on the tenth part, as that which was meetest to be so dedicated unto God, and that, as is probable, not without some especial conduct of the Holy Spirit, if not upon express revelation; [3] and whereas this was afterwards expressly confirmed under the law by positive institution, [4] the equity whereof is urged in the gospel; (5) it is the best direction that can be given unto any what proportion of their estate should be set apart unto this purpose.

Herein, I confess, so many circumstances axe in particular cases to be considered, as that it is impossible any one certain rule should be prescribed unto all p0ersons.

But whereas withal there is no need in the least to furnish men with pleas and excuses for the non-performance of their duty, at least as unto the necessary degrees of it, I shall not suggest any thing unto them which may be used to that purpose. I shall therefore leave this rule in its full latitude, as the best direction of practice in this matter.

[1 Cor 9] . On these suppositions it is that the apostle, treating of this matter, makes no use of the right or law of tithing, though directly unto his purpose if it had not been abrogated. For intending to prove that the ministers of the gospel ought to be liberally supported in their work with the earthly things of them unto whom they do administer the things of God …

… [Paul] argueth from the light of nature, the general equity of other cases, the analogy of legal institutions, the rules of justice, with the especial institution of Christ in the gospel, but makes no mention of the natural or legal right of tithing, 1 Corinthians 9:7-14.

Peninsula Bible Church of Palo Alto, CA (Financial Policy):
New Testament principles of giving form the guide for our financial policy. Those who know and love the Lord Jesus Christ are asked to prayerfully consider the needs of the church and give as the Lord Himself directs. Stewardship of money is considered equally important along with all other areas of ministry and service, including the proclaiming of God’s Word. Love for the Lord and for His work constitutes the proper motive for giving or preaching. We believe the Lord has called this church into existence, and therefore we look to Him to supply our needs. All believers in Christ have the privilege and responsibility of giving as God has prospered them, and as He directs them. Each of us is thereby investing material gifts to produce spiritual, eternal dividends. PBC does not keep a record of its contributors or the amounts they give other than that required by IRS regulations governing the reporting of charitable donations. The board of elders believe this policy insures impartiality and follows the scriptural guidelines that we are not to “let the right hand know what the left hand is doing” in matters of giving, which is to say, neither the elders nor staff know who gives what amounts. For tax receipt purposes, PBC provides annual receipts for each individual gift of $250 or more. For individual gifts of less than $250, a person’s canceled check will suffice. In the case of special offerings for Christian organizations, missionaries or specific ministries, a donor may choose to give through PBC and remain anonymous or give directly to the organization, missionary or ministry and be recognized. The elders encourage the latter course of action. (Revised April 15, 1998). [PBC’s estimated average annual church budget is well over 1.4 million dollars.]

Larry Richards’ New International Encyclopedia of Bible Words (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1991), p.307-310. Thomas Nelson Ministry, Author fo over 200 books.

”We give because it benefits the body of Christ that we are a part of. We give so that the needs of the less fortunate are met and so there could be some level of equality in our midst. Paul in 2 Cor 8:13-15.”

The Social Context in the New Testament
There are many obvious differences between OT and NT faith communities:

With such differences, the NT faith communities did not transfer the tithe in their era. There were no instruction in Acts or in the Epistles suggests that tithing is to be practiced by Christians. Instead, a new set of principles that reflect new theological and social realities is introduced
These NT principles for cheerful giving [2 Cor 8 and 9] call for serious consideration. We must measure our attitude toward material things, measure our own needs, and measure the needs of our brothers and sisters. In the process, we must be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Through this process that calls for the most responsible of behavior, we must each come to our own conclusion about how–and how much–God is leading us to give.

The OT pattern of giving was an integral part of the social system that was established in the Mosaic Law. It provided for the specific needs of persons within the nation Israel–needs for a central worship center, for a large company of persons set aside for religious service, and for the poor who were not fully cared for by other social mechanisms.

The early NT church existed in a different social context, and thus the principles regarding giving were suited to the new setting and new theological realities. Churches were responsible for the support of those set aside for full-time ministry and for those whose families could not meet basic needs. There were no buildings to maintain, as Christians simply met in house-churches. But collections were taken to aid fellow believers made destitute by natural disasters or economic conditions in other parts of the world. No set amount was required for giving, but individuals were taught to be aware of principles that should guide their giving and to be sensitive to others with needs.

Conditions are different today, as the church exists in institutionalized form and as all citizens are called on to contribute to the needs of the poor through government taxes. Yet the basic NT principles of giving must still be applied, for each person is responsible to use material possessions in ways that honor God. Today too we must remain sensitive to others and commit ourselves to giving generously for those needs we believe are closest to God’s heart.”

Sparks, J. B., (tithing) God’s Plan For A Scriptural New Testament Church, chap. 6

SPURGEON, CHARLES H; APRIL 18, 1880, SERMON 2716; “But you are not under a system similar to that by which the Jews were obliged to pay tithes to the priests. If there were any such rule laid down in the Gospel, it would destroy the beauty of spontaneous giving and take away all the bloom from the fruit of your liberality! There is no law to tell me what I should give my father on his birthday. There is no rule laid down in any law book to decide what present a husband should give to his wife, nor what token of affection we should bestow upon others whom we love. No, the gift must be a free one, or it has lost all its sweetness.”

Stedman, Raymond C., d1992. (tithing) Pastor at Peninsula Bible Church, Palo Alto, CA from 1948-1990. Author of many books. Graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, 1950.; Friend of J. Vernon McGee, H.A. Ironside. Recommended by Lambert Dolphin: “I heartily recommend, as must reading on this subject of giving, the outstanding sermon series by Ray Stedman, ‘The Christian and his Possessions’ (”

Viola, Frank, Straight Talk To Elders (tithing)
If we approach the New Testament by lifting verses from various letters and putting them together, we can build a case that tithing is a New Testament practice. And therefore we can tell God’s people that they must tithe. But if you look at the story of the first-century church, you will discover that the Christians did not pay tithes. It is not there, brothers. It is not there. I will add something to this. The early Christians recognized that the tithe was part of the Old Covenant. The tithe was Israel’s income tax to support the temple and to help the Levites, who were not given an inheritance. But it was also for the purpose of supporting the widows, the fatherless, the poor, and the strangers. This rarely gets mentioned when ministers preach on tithing today. Nevertheless, Jesus Christ has put to death that whole system. Today, all of us, all of God’s people, are functioning priests. We, the church–God’s people–are the temple. Now here is something that I don’t think any of you know. Historically, you cannot find any Christians tithing until the eighth century! The eighth century. This is historical fact. The Christians in the first century did not tithe. The Christians in the second century did not tithe. The Christians in the third century did not tithe. It wasn’t until 700 years passed that tithing became a Christian institution. But that’s not all. Brothers, it wasn’t until the fourth century–under Constantine the Roman emperor who converted to Christianity and made a Christian state out of the Empire–it wasn’t until Constantine that the church had a paid clergy. Church leaders did not receive a salary from God’s people until the days of Constantine. Do you understand? Tithes were not practiced among the Christians until eight hundred years passed. It was not part of the first-century church’s practice. It was part of the Law. And we have been freed from the Law. I know that Melchizedek was given tithes by Abraham. And I understand that this happened before the Law. But, brothers, may I make this observation? Abraham gave tithes to Melchizedek one time. So if you wish to hang tithing around the neck of God’s people by using Abraham, then you can only use it to support a one-time tithe.

Walston, Rick, Ph.D., (tithing) The Spiritual Discipline of Christian
Stewardship, Lecture# 4: “Stewardship Versus Tithing” //]

Wesley, John, Explanatory Notes (tithing) (s.v. “1 Corinthians 16:2) According to this lowest rule of Christian prudence, if a man when he has or gains one pound give a tenth to God, when he has or gains an hundred he will give the tenth of this also. And yet I show unto you a more excellent way. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. Stint yourself to no proportion at all. But lend to God all you can.

“On the Use of Money” from a sermon preached in 1744): give all you can; or in other words, give all you have to God. Do not stint yourself, like a Jew rather than a Christian, to this or that proportion. Render unto God not a tenth, not a third, not half, but all that is God’s (be it more or less) by employing all on yourself, your household, the household of faith and all mankind, in such a manner that you may give a good account of your stewardship when ye can be no longer stewards…

Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, Vol. 5, (tithing) (s.v. “tithe”).

Church fathers such as Irenaeus and Epiphanius did not believe Matt. 10:10, Luke 10:7 or 1 Cor. 9:7 ff could be used to establish a pattern for the church based upon the practice of the Jewish synagogue. They believed “freedom in Christian giving [should be] emphasized”

Major Church Colleges and Seminaries Opposing New Covenant Tithing

Dallas Theological Seminary, Charles R. Swindoll, President

Masters Seminary, John MacArthur (tithing)

Moody Bible Institute (tithing)

Talbot Bible College (tithing)

Wheaton College (tithing)

Let Us Reason Ministries, Hawaii, Mike Oppenheimer

Sword Ministries, Atlanta, GA, Reconsidering Tithing, Kluane Spake Ph.D. (tithing)

Word International Ministries – Singapore) (per Butch Yu) (tithing)

World Ministries International, (per Prophet Jonathan Hansen) (tithing)

Worldwide Church of God (new): recommends my book (tithing)