Tithe

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Tithe

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Christianity

In the Christian and Jewish traditions, a tithe is a sum of money, usually 10% of a person's income[1], that is given to the church.

The tithe is mandated in the Old Testament (Leviticus 27:30–33) as applicable to Jews, and praised by Jesus (Matthew 23:23).

Tithing is strongly preached – for different reasons – within theologically conservative fundamentalist churches and those which hold to the Prosperity Gospel. It is also commonly emphasized greatly within megachurches (to the extent that church employees, in some cases, have it automatically deducted from their paychecks).

However, there are many churches which do not believe that it applies to Christians today: among arguments against the tithe is Acts 15, where after disagreements as to what extent (if any) newly-converted Gentiles were to keep Mosaic Law, it was decided that only four specific requirements needed to be kept (v. 29; the tithe not being among them). Also I Corinthians 16:2 does not mention the tithe, though written by a Jew (the Apostle Paul) to Gentiles who would not know Mosaic Law; if the tithe were to be maintained he would have specifically pointed that out to people not having prior knowledge.

References

  1. The Hebrew word for tithe is tenth.

Further reading