THE TITHE IN SCRIPTURE

BEING CHAPTERS FROM "THE SACRED TENTH"

BY

HENRY LANSDELL, D.D., F.R.G.S., M.R.A.S.

CHAPLAIN OF MORDEN COLLEGE, BLACKHEATH

AUTHOR OF "THE SACRED TENTH," "THROUGH SIBERIA,"

"RUSSIAN CENTRAL ASIA," "CHINESE CENTRAL ASIA," ETC.

Preface, Contents, Cain & Abel, Abraham & Jacob, Israel's 3 Tithes, Mosaic Offerings, Joshua to Solomon, Before & After Captivity, Apocrypha, Talmud, Demai, Christ's Attitude on Tithing, Christ's Teaching on Tithing, Early Christian Giving, Paul. Download.

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[An additional recommended article on Tithing is Herman L. Hoeh's "What You Should Know About Tithing"]

 

 

"All the tithe of the land . . . is the Lords; it is holy unto the Lord," Leviticus 27:30.

"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, . . . and prove me now herewith, . . . if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it," Malachi 3:20.

"In all thy gifts show a cheerful countenance, and set apart thy tithes with gladness," Ecclesiasticus 35:9.

"Ye tithe mint and anise and cummin . . . these ought you to have done," Matthew 23:23

PUBLISHED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE TRACT COMMITTEE

SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE

LONDON: NORTHUMBERLAND AVENUE, W.C.

BRIGHTON: 129, NORTH STREET

NEW YORK: E.S. GORHAM, 285, FOURTH AVENUE

TORONTO: MUSSON BOOK CO. WINNIPEG: RUSSELL, LANG & CO.

1908

Transcribed from the original by John Guffey, edited by Richard C. Nickels.

Re-published by Giving & Sharing, 1995.

PREFACE

THERE are, happily, throughout the world, many persons of all countries and in every clime who recognize that it is a religious and moral obligation to give; and the publication of The Sacred Tenth has brought to the knowledge of the Author that, as in past ages, so now, many earnest people not only approve but practice the principle of setting aside from their incomes "not less than a tenth for God."

Some of these have suggested that inasmuch as the two volumes of The Sacred Tenth are not, and cannot be, within the reach of all, it is very desirable that there should be published apart, at least those portions thereof which are directly concerned with Holy Scripture.

Hence the appearance of the following chapters, to which is added a revised edition of the original bibliography with additions up to date. That these Scriptural studies may help many inquirers to "perceive and know" what is the mind and will of God respecting their giving, and that they may have :grace and power faithfully to perform the same," is the prayer and fervent desire of the Author.

HENRY LANSDELL, D.D.

MORDEN COLLEGE, BLACKHEATH, S.E.

Whitsuntide, 1908

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PATRIARCHAL

CHAPTER I

 

 

CAIN AND ABEL

Offering material things to God -- Anciently connected with failure in tithe paying, etc. -- Bearing of the Septuagint on the rejection of Cains offering -- Sacrifices of Noah, Abram, and Jacob

CHAPTER II

ABRAM AND JACOB

Abrams tithe to Melchizedek -- Tithing traced to Babylonia -- extent of Abrams tithes -- Jacobs vow and its confirmation of tithe-paying -- Scientific deduction from patriarchal tithing, -- Hypothesis for primeval origin of tithe-paying -- Adams sons presumably the first tithe-payers -- absence of written law, and silence of Genesis, no objection thereto -- Pagan tithe-paying not learnt from Jewish Scriptures

MOSAIC

CHAPTER III

ISRAEL'S THREE TITHES

Tithe-paying expressly enjoined in the Pentateuch -- The first tithe, and observations thereon -- Given by God to the Levites -- The second, or festival tithe; its object, mode of payment, and personal benefit to the offerer -- The third, or poors tithe -- Not a substitute for second tithe, as witnessed by Tobit, Josephus, and others; Maimonides to the contrary, notwithstanding -- The third tithe, by modern comparison, not excessive

CHAPTER IV

MOSAIC OFFERINGS

Other fixed claims on Israelites; corners, gleanings, firstfruits, the firstborn, and seventh year debtors -- Freewill offerings and vows -- An income of six thousand bushels reduced by one fourth after tithing -- Method of tithing and profession before God -- Nature of evidence from the Pentateuch as to tithing, subsidiary, indirect, and fragmentary -- Law of tithe-paying somewhat similar to that of the Sabbath -- Adaptation of tithe-paying to the Mosaic law

OLD TESTAMENT

CHAPTER V

FROM JOSHUA TO SOLOMON

Working the laws during the two periods -- I. Under Joshua and Judges -- The law established under Joshua -- Lawlessness under Judges -- Returns to Jehovah under Jephthah, Eli, and Samuel -- II. Under the monarchies -- Sauls offerings of spoils -- David anointed king -- Ark brought to Jerusalem, and Levites reorganized -- Davids accumulated offerings -- Solomons dedication of the Temple, and his offerings -- Tithes under Israels monarchs

CHAPTER VI

BEFORE AND AFTER THE CAPTIVITY

Working of tithe-law during two further periods: III. Under Judah and Israel -- Reformations under Asa and Jehoshaphat -- Giving in the times of Elijah and Elisha -- Church repairs under Joash -- Amos on Israel's tithes -- Hezekiah's restoration of Passover, tithe-paying, and firstfruits -- Temple repairs and offering under Josiah -- IV. After the Captivity -- Offerings from Cyrus -- Rebuilding and presents to Temple under Ezra -- Malachi's "robbery" for withholding tithes -- Nehemiah's offering, and the people's oath concerning tithes -- Tithing organized -- Review of tithing from Joshua to Malachi

 

APOCRYPHAL

CHAPTER VII

TITHING IN THE APOCRYPHA

Apocryphal books illustrative of Jewish antiquities -- Tobit pays three tithes -- Judith dedicates spoils of war -- Offerings by Demetrius, Heliodorus, King Seleucus, and Judas Maccabeus -- Liberality and tithe-paying urged in Tobit and Ecclesiasticus -- Summary of evidence from Apocrypha

TALMUDIC

CHAPTER VIII

TALMUDIC TEACHING ON THE FIRST AND SECOND TITHES

The Talmud: Mishna and Gemara -- Divisions and translations of Mishna -- Book VII, on first tithe, regulates what is to be tithed, and when -- Tithing applied to business transactions -- Tithing cooked fruit, transplanted vegetables, and ant-hills -- Rules concerning the second tithe, -- Not to be exchanged, not coins for it reckoned common -- Redemption of the second tithe, -- Second tithe in relation to reciting Mosaic formula


CHAPTER IX

THE "DEMAI" OR DOUBTFUL TITHE

The Demai, or doubtful tithe -- Its exemptions, differences, and minute requirements -- Its bearing on the uneducated, on buying and selling, exchange of corn, payment of rent, and acceptance of hospitality -- Four tithes recognized in the Talmud, and their application to all classes -- Antiquity of Talmudic, by-laws, and their influence when Christianity appeared

NEW TESTAMENT

CHAPTER X

CHRIST'S ATTITUDE AND EXAMPLE AS TO TITHING

Jews, in the time of Christ, ruled by Gentiles -- Tithing among the Romans, Samaritans, and Palestine Jew -- Essenes, Sadducees, and Pharisees -- The Pharisees, tithe payers par excellence, and how admitted to membership -- Varieties of Pharisees, and our Lord's attitude towards them -- Prevalence of tithe-paying, and impossibility of indifference thereto -- Christ not regarded as "uninstructed" -- His teaching respected and consulted by the learned -- Christ entertained by Pharisees and not accused of withholding dues -- His parents scrupulous in legal observances on His behalf -- Christ's observance of the law and payment of temple money -- Our Lord's purse, and its tripartite expenditures



CHAPTER XI

CHRIST'S TEACHING ON TITHING AND BENEFICENCE

Christ's teaching on tithe-paying and beneficence -- Christ's exhortations to almsgiving, its proportion, and wholeheartedness -- Denunciations of Pharisees explained -- His commendation of three large givers -- Summary of Christ's teaching in relation to tithe-paying



CHAPTER XII

EARLY CHRISTIAN GIVING

Community of goods and money among the first disciples -- Wholeheartedness of Barnabas, and fraud of Ananias -- Apostolic organization of charity -- Alms of Tabitha, and of Cornelius -- Peter's relation to rabbinical tithe-paying -- Grecian Jews at Antioch sending alms by Barnabas -- Tithe-paying not rescinded at first Council at Jerusalem, Paul acting as almoner



CHAPTER XIII

ST. PAUL'S TEACHING AND PERSONAL EXAMPLE

Paul's injunctions about raising a church fund -- His instructions to Galatians, Corinthians, and Philippians about giving -- Paul's application of Mosaic claims to Christian -- Is the law concerning tithe abrogated? -- Paul's example, and instructions to Corinthians and Ephesians concerning almsgiving and hospitality -- The proper recipients of Christian almsgiving -- Paul's own standard as to giving -- Retrospect of entire field of revelation as to tithe-paying and beneficence -- Denial of God's claim to a portion of income equivalent to spiritual anarchy


EDITOR'S COMMENTS

Tithing is a foundational act of worship. Biblical Tithing laws are applicable to Messianic believers today. However, many false ministers have abused the Tithing System to make themselves rich, lording it over the flock by coercing them to "pay and pray and stay and obey." The individual tithe-paying person has a moral responsibility to make sure that the tithes are properly spent, with accountability, and full disclosure. Re-publication of this comprehensive study of Tithing is a challenge to both Church elders and Church members to live up to the Divine requirement of Tithing.

We have converted Dr. Lansdell's Bible references with Roman numerals, to the more familiar Arabic numbers. Also, we have incorporated his footnotes into the body of the text, delineated by brackets, e.g., [ ].

I am grateful to Joseph W. Tkach, Sr., who in 1973 gave me a copy of Lansdell's book. Unfortunately, Lansdell's "Bibliography on Tithe-Paying and Systematic Proportionate Giving," was missing from this copy, and I am unable to reproduce it at this time. For a free copy of this book, write to:

Giving & Sharing, PO Box 100, Neck City, Missouri, 64849, USA.

Richard C. Nickels

3316 Alberta Drive

Gillette, Wyoming 82718

November, 1995

 

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