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In the Greek Scriptures (Matthew through Revelation), we find little more than a handful of verses that speak about tithing.

Topics include:

  1. Correcting Scribes and Pharisees regarding the placement of the tithe above justice, mercy, and faithfulness (Matt 23:23, Luke 11:42)
  2. Contrasting the truly repentant with those who tout their good deeds in public (Luke 18:12)
  3. Comparing Jesus' priesthood with that of Melchizedek and noting it is above the Levitical priesthood (Hebrews 7:5-9)


Those who support tithing today may use the term "offering" instead of "tithe" and claim that offerings were brought and "laid at the apostles' feet" and so we should do the same today. Let's take a quick look at these "offerings."

The first reference in Scripture to an offering after Messiah's death is in Acts 24:17-18 where Paul testifies at his trial that he was bringing alms to his nation (Israel) and offerings in the Temple, not to the apostles.  A few other later verses refer to the offerings commanded in the Law of Moshe, but a huge majority of these verses refer to Yeshua as our offering.

None of these verses refer to offerings being brought to the apostles.

In the interesting of being thorough, however, let's examine a few other passages:

And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising G-d and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2:45-47)

 

Nothing is that passage about giving to the apostles.

Let's check elsewhere:

And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them. And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all. For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales and lay them at the apostles' feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need. Now Joseph, a Levite of Cyprian birth, who was also called Barnabas by the apostles (which translated means Son of Encouragement), and who owned a tract of land, sold it and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet. (Acts 4:32-37)

 

Aha! Here we find irrefutable evidence from Scripture that property was being sold and given to the apostles for the purpose of distribution to the needy. While nothing is explicitly stated about the believers' personal income from their vocation, it might be assumed that their earnings were part of the "all things" that were common property.

If someone tries to use this passage to claim we should bring our money and "lay it at their feet" (so to speak), then we should require that everyone in the congregation share all of their personal property with each other. That is the complete example described in this passage.

We can also discern that the money given in this passage was for the purpose of meeting the basic needs of individuals who otherwise couldn't do so. If I may be so bold as to paraphrase "needy person" as "homeless, hungry beggars" we can see that the members of the congregation were only meeting each others' basic needs.

Let's move on to the conclusion of all that we have found thus far.

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Today is

Yom Chamishi, 13 Nisan, 5779

Thursday, April 18, 2019

 

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