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Sunday, October 07, 2018

Russell Kelly Rebuts Shawn Hennessey on Tithing, 2018


Russell Kelly Rebuts Shawn Hennessy Again, 2018

 

Shawn Hennessey: If you tithe for a year and you are not better off, he will give you your 10% back! No questions asked.....


 

Russell E Kelly: These kinds of propositions are highly unethical and unbiblical. They are unethical because they turn churches into houses of betting and gambling. They are unbiblical because they twist Holy Scripture and define the HOLY tithe incorrectly. Finally, Shawn Hennessey will  not defend his position in an open forum. The HOLY tithe (as the word is used by Moses, Nehemiah, Malachi and Jesus) was always only FOOD from inside HOLY Israel. Therefore, neither Hennessey,  nor I, nor his congregation could biblically tithe even if they wanted to do so.

 

Hennessey: Why Isn’t God Blessing Me? Psalm 37:4 ESV Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

 

Kelly: Ps 37 is not about tithing. For King David, this meant obeying all 600+ commandments, judgments and statutes of the Law.

 

Hennessey: Tzedakah = Justice, Fairness, or Righteousness
Righteous = In Right Standing With God

Kelly: Tzedakah is the same word as justification and righteousness in Hebrew; di-kai-o-su-ne means both justification and righteousness in Greek. Our right standing before God is the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. It is not attained by tithing or works of the Law.

 

Hennessey: The Talmud = The Body of Civil Law

 

Kelly: O. T. Judgments were civil law.  O. T. statutes and ordinances were ceremonial worship laws with included tithing. Why not discuss the Bible instead of the Talmud?

 

Hennessey: 2 Corinthians 9:7 NLT You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. "For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.

 

Kelly: Yet you pressure others to tithe while you ignore Numbers 18:20, own property and amass wealth. This post-Calvary N. T. teaching survives while tithing ended (Heb 7:5, 12, 18) and now all believers are priests.

 

Hennessey: 2 Corinthians 8:7 NEV But as you excel in everything--in faith, in speech, in knowledge, and in all eagerness and in the love from us that is in you--make sure that you excel in this act of kindness too.

 

Kelly: The context is freewill giving of food supplies for starving saints in Judea. It is not about tithing. Sacrificial freewill giving also survives tithes and does not include tithes.

Why do you quote 2 Cor 8:7 and 9:7? They counter tithing.

 

Hennessey: 1) Tithing Is A Test

 

Kelly: According to Deuteronomy 27-30, the whole Law was a test: obey all to be blessed; disobey one and be cursed. Tithing WAS only a test for O. T. Israelite food producers under the Old Covenant of Law. As a carpenter Jesus did not qualify.

 

Hennessey: Tithe = Tenth

 

Kelly: This is dishonest and Hennessey knows it.  That is NOT the biblical description of the HOLY tithe from the HOLY land of Israel. 16 texts from Lev 27 to Mt 23 define the holy tithe as only food. Be honest with God’s Word or stop preaching.

 

Hennessey: Malachi 3:6 “For I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore, you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.

 

Kelly: Does this mean that we should still offer animal sacrifices and observe all 600+ OT commands? The “you” are the dishonest priests from 1:6; 2:1, 17 and 3:1-5. Most “sons of Jacob” disappeared into exile in 722 BC.

 

Hennessey:  Mal 3:7 - Yet from the days of your fathers you have gone away from My ordinances and have not kept them.

 

Kelly: God is speaking only to the priests and is answering their challenge and question from 2:17. Only priests’ ordinances are found in Malachi in 2:1-10.

 

Hennessey: Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord of hosts. “But you said, ‘In what way shall we return?’

 

Kelly: This is still in the context of the priests’ question in 2:17.

 

Hennessey: 8 - “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.

 

Kelly: Priests had robbed God in Mal 2:13-14 and Neh 13:5-10. Strangely, nobody preaches tithing from those texts.

 

Hennessey: 9 - You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation.

 

Kelly: Why don’t your quote your modern versions here? Most read “this whole nation of you --- meaning “of you priests” which is the context of 2:13-14, 17 and 3:1-5. The priests had been cursed 4 x already in 2:13-14 and 2:1-2 --- every priest in the nation.

 

Hennessey: 10 - Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.

 

Kelly: (1) Tithes were still only FOOD over 1000 years after Lev 27. (2) Since, the Temple did not have room to store all the tithes from the nation, tis text only makes sense if it is only speaking to dishonest priests from 2:13-14 and Neh 13:5-10. (3) God would be cruel to expect priests and Levites to travel to the Temple for their daily food. See Neh 10:37-38.

 

Hennessey: 2) Tithing Is Biblical; Genesis 14:18-20

 

Kelly: It is dishonest to use Gen 14 to define holy tithes because they were war booty from Sodom and Gomorrah which were not holy tithes under the Law. History proves that Abram was only obeying the Semitic law of the land.

 

Hennessey: Genesis 28:22 Jacob tithed

 

Kelly: Again, it is dishonest to use this as an example of HOLY tithing. This was a freewill vow from the pagan land of Haran of Babylon. It was not commanded.

 

Hennessey: Leviticus 27:30-34 is first description of holy tithes.

 

Kelly: Yes, as only FOOD from inside HOLY Israel. Money was very common even in Genesis but was never included in the description of HOLY tithes.  

 

Hennessey: Deuteronomy 26:1-2

 

Kelly: These texts prove that even First-fruits were always only FOOD from inside God’s HOLY land.

 

Hennessy: Deuteronomy 26:13-14

 

Kelly: Ministers of God were expected to remain among the poorest of the land which ate from the 2nd yearly festival tithe which was EATEN by all in the streets of Jerusalem. Why does not Hennessey practice what he reads here?

 

Hennessy: Hebrews 13:8 NIV He’s the same yesterday, today and forever

 

Kelly: That certainly does not mean that God wants us to stay under the Old Covenant system of sacrifices (and tithing). No tithe teacher obeys Numbers 18:20 and not own or inherit land and refuse to amass wealth? God’s character does not change but God does expecdt different things from man under different covenants and dispensations.

 

Hennessey: Matthew 23:23

 

Kelly: This is very easily explained. (1) Before Calvary Jesus taught complete obedience of the Law, including tithes to the Levitical system and not to Him or to His disciples. Otherwise He would have sinned. (2) Tithes were still only FOOD over 1400 years after Leviticus 27. Which church collects tithes from back-porch garden spices?

 

Hennessey: Hebrews 7:1-8 These texts do not teach tithing. They teach the non-Hebrew high priesthood of Jesus. 7:12 teaches a necessary change of the law (of the tithing laws from 7:5) and 7:18 says it was abolished.  Why do tithe teachers stop explaining Hebrews 7 before verse 12?

 

Hennessey: 3) Tithing Is A Benefit; 2 Chronicles 31 all.

 

Kelly: The only ones benefitting from Hezekiah’s mistake were the rats, birds and worms on the street. First, he had mistakenly ordered all tithes to be brought to Jerusalem. Second, there were no facilities in Solomon’s temple to store most of them. Read the whole chapter. Third, he had to build storerooms for some of the tithes. Fourth, most were re-shipped back to the cities of the Levites. Does anybody read the whole chapter?

 

Please stop abusing and twisting God’s Holy Word.

 

Russell Earl Kelly, PHD


October 7, 2018

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Thomas Schreiner on Tithing, SBC Theologian


March 28, 2017  | Thomas Schreiner

Thomas Schreiner is the James Buchanan Harrison professor of New Testament interpretation and associate dean for Scripture and interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

The following is a greatly reduced essay with Schreiner’s original focal points.
Comments by Russell Earl Kelly, PHD. Kelly’s PHD thesis was on the subject of tithing. See his website for books and many more articles: www.tithing-russkelly.com

Why Tithing Is Not Required Today

1. Believers are no longer under the Mosaic covenant (Rom. 6:14–15; 7:5–6; Gal. 3:15–4:7; 2 Cor. 3:4–18). 
 
Kelly: Gentiles and the Church never were under the Old Covenant between God and national Israel.

Schreiner: And even if we use these distinctions, tithing is clearly not part of the moral law. It’s true the moral norms of the Old Testament are still in force today, and we discern them from the law of Christ in the New Testament, but tithing is not among these commands.

2. The examples of Abraham and Jacob are not normative patterns. 

Schreiner: Abraham’s gift to Melchizedek was a one-time event; there is no evidence he regularly gave God a tenth.

Kelly: Abram’s tithe as a Gentile did not qualify to be a holy tithe under law.

3. Tithes were given to the Levites and priests, but there are no Levites and priests in the new covenant. 

4. The tithe is tied to the land Israel received under the old covenant. 

Schreiner:  It related to the Jews as a nation—to Jews who lived in the land of promise.

Kelly: It was always only food from produce or clean animals inside holy Israel.

Schreiner: The earthly Jerusalem is no longer central in God’s purposes (Gal. 4:25).

Kelly: Eschatologically speaking, the unconditional promises of God to national Israel for a 1000-year literal Messianic reign of Christ on earth will again be central in God’s purposes.

5. If tithing is required today, how much should we give? 

Schreiner: As noted above, the number was certainly more than 10 percent and closer to 20 percent. Those who advocate tithing should probably settle on 20 percent.

6. When Jesus affirmed the tithe, it was before the dawn of the new covenant.

7. Nowhere is tithing mentioned when commands to give generously are found in the New Testament. 

Schreiner: Even though tithing isn’t required today, it does not follow that believers should hoard their possessions.
Since God is to be our treasure, believers are to give generously and freely. For many in the West, this will mean giving more than 10 percent.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Alfred Edersheim Quotes


ALFRED EDERSHEIM QUOTES FROM MY WRITINGS:

Google: The Widow’s Mite, Russ Kelly for this article.

From: The Temple, Its Ministry and Services As They Were At the Time of Christ, Alfred Edersheim, D. D., Ph. D. died 1889, p48-49.

13 TREASURY CHESTS CALLED TRUMPETS

#1 thru #8 Mandatory Giving

#1 and #2 were for the half shekel Temple tribute.
#3: For women who had to bring doves [after their issues of blood and childbirth]. They dropped the equivalent in money and that many doves were offered daily. Mary used this when she met Simeon.
#4: Also received the value of the offerings of young pigeons.
#5: To buy the wood used in the Temple.
#6: To buy incense used in the Temple.
#7: To buy golden vessels for Temple ministry.
#8: For excess money after buying sin offerings.
--------------
#9 thru #13 Voluntary Giving

#9, #10, #11, #12, #13: For excess money after buying trespass offerings, offerings of birds, the offering of the Nazarite, of the cleansed leper and voluntary offerings.

(p379) “And it is remarkable that the law seemed to regard Israel as intended to be only an agricultural people --- no contribution being provided for [tithes] from trade or merchandise.”





STCTT p12; The Temple, ch 19, p379 softback
Alfred Edersheim: “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.”
STCTT, P42, CH5; Sketches, p18-19
Tithes originally could come from any part of the land of Israel used by Israelites. However, Alfred Edersheim states that this requirement later was made much more narrow rather than being expanded [Preachers expanded the definition; the Jews limited the meaning.] After the return from exile, the land was subdivided into three different zones of holiness. The second and third tithe could not come to the temple from land beyond the Jordan. While Israelite land which had been captured by King David [O.K.], parts of Egypt [not biblical], and part of Babylon [not biblical] could be used for lesser tithes to local Levites, most other land was considered defiled and incapable of producing acceptable holy tithes for the temple in Jerusalem.
STCTT, ch8, p57; Sketches p18-19
In Sketches of Jewish Social Life, Old Testament and Hebrew scholar, Alfred Edersheim devoted the first two chapters to discussions of the holy land of Israel which are well worth reading. After the exile, the country was subdivided into three different zones of "holiness." Only tithes from the most holy land-zone could be brought to the temple. Tithes from lesser holy land zones within Israel could provide for local shrines and the poor. However, since even the "dust" from pagan Gentile lands defiled, it is certain that no temple tithe could come from "defiled" ground.


STCTT, ch9, p63; The Temple, p378
Concerning the gleaning law, Edersheim wrote, "Bicurim, terumoth, and what was to be left in the corners of the fields for the poor were always set apart before the tithing was made." He added that a poor person with less than five sheep was not required to bring the firstfruits of the fleece. Certainly the poor did not tithe from gleanings!
STCTT, ch14, p117-118; Sketches 52, 215
The Pharisees were hypocrites concerning tithing! Alfred Edersheim explained how the Pharisees actually paid less tithe than did others. When John Hyrcanus (135-100 B.C.) enacted a new law which required the buyer to pay tithes rather than the seller, the Pharisees vowed to only trade within their own fraternities, or chabura. Thus, while others paid certain tithes every time produce exchanged hands, the Pharisees declared all except the first time to be “free” from subsequent tithing (p. 215). In addition to this, the rabbis had excluded themselves from Jewish local taxation. Thus, while the typical citizen paid at least an extra ten percent (10%) in local Jewish taxation, the Pharisees had that much extra to pay in tithes--and boasted about tithing (p. 52). Therefore, in reality, the Pharisee paid less tithes in two different ways than others who did not boast.
STCTT, ch22, p185; The Temple, p102-103
According to Edersheim, priests received income from 24 sources and their tenth of the tithe was one of the least.
STCTT, ch22, p195; Sketches 169, 172, 173
“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’” (p. 169). Furthermore, although its origins is unknown, Roman law required that a son should follow in the trade of his father (per the life of Martin, an early monk).

“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” (p. 172).
“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…” (p. 173).
………………………………………
 STCTT, ch29, p247; The Temple, ch19
A noted authority on Judaism, Alfred Edersheim, gives several important points which prove that tithing did not exist in the early centuries of the church. He reminds us of the Jewish customs which were surely followed by at least the Jewish-Christian apostles and disciples. First, tithing was not universal, even in Israel, because it did not apply to crafts and trades, “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.”
STCTT, ch29, p248; Sketches 15-17, 118, 172-173
Second, proper tithes could only come from the holy lands of Israel (p. 15-17). Third, most Jews considered it a sin to make a profit from teaching the law, “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’” (p. 118). Fourth, rabbis, such as Paul, were not expected to earn a living from teaching the law, “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…” (p. 173). And, fifth, honest labor was considered a cherished virtue, “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.” (p. 172).[1][2] Edersheim leaves no room in his conclusions for any idea that rabbis might have taught God’s Law to provide for their own financial sustenance. This very strong tradition among Jews certainly would have been extended into the Jewish Christian church by former Jewish rabbis such as Paul.
STCTT, ch29, p250; Sketches 169
Alfred Edersheim (Anglican), in his book, Sketches of Jewish Social Life, devoted an entire chapter to the Jewish work ethic. “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.’”