Friday, November 19, 2010

Tithe Areas of Babylon and Alexandria


That which Jesus told to the rich young ruler became the rallying cry, not for tithing, but for monasticism. Beginning with the first century church the most important style of living was asceticism rather than the prosperity gospel.

There is no mention found in the Church Fathers of tithing for over 200 years until Cyprian tried a version and failed around 250 AD. Augustine and Chrystostum also failed to sway the church in that direction. Two local church councils in the 6th century also failed to sway the whole church. Tithing was not enforced by law until late in the 8th century. This history is found in both the Encyclopedia Britannica and three Roman Catholic encyclopedias.

I do not accept tradition as equal authority with the Bible.

Yes, Jews set up by their own authority tithing zones in Babylon and Alexandria after Jerusalem fell in 586 BC. That does not make it right. Even so, those tithes were still only food from specifically designated areas as tithes were still only food in Malachi 3:10-11 and Matthew 23:23. Yet even then tithes from those zones could not be used in the Temple. These exceptions are very small compared to the area of the Diaspora.

If it does not matter what you call it, then why not call it “sacrificial generous freewill giving” which is biblically correct.

Joseph’s tithe of 20 per cent in Egypt merely validates my point that tithing was a well known pagan custom in all areas of the Fertile Crescent. So also were idolatry, temple prostitution and child sacrifice. Point: merely being very old and very common does not automatically make something eternal and moral. The TRUE HOLY biblical tithe was never an eternal moral principle.

What a poor example we find in Eygpty. They ended up not tithing anything the next 7 years, trying to buy back their own tithes and then loosing all the land to the state.

In Christ’s love
Russ Kelly

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