Cogitations: Tithing

January 4, 2015

Cogitations – Dr. Van’s Viewpoint

written or collected by the late Dr. Warren Vanhetloo

Bring all your tithes unto My storehouse (Mal 3:10).

Query on Tithing: Dr. Van, How is it that some preach the importance of tithing and yet say that we are no longer under the law?

Note from Pastor Don: I include this Cogitation even though I would not answer the question exactly the same way Dr. Van does. I do so because there is a variety of teaching on this subject, the differences are not such as should divide brethren, it is good to think about different perspectives, and much of what Dr. Van says is profitable. I will add my thoughts to the end of the piece.

Response (Dr. Van): As I recall, a Bible dictionary listed thirteen different ways the words for law are used in Scripture. There are not different Hebrew or Greek words to help distinguish these. Context is usually clear enough. For purposes of answering this inquiry, three uses are helpful: ceremonial law, civil law, and moral law.

Ceremony has to do with practices of worship or principles of worship. Extensive instruction was given to Moses on Sinai, but there were patterns of worship prior to that, including the giving of tithes (Gen 14:20). The principle of giving one tenth to God may have been from creation. Detail of tithing directly involved with the Tabernacle/Temple was fulfilled by Jesus (Matt 5:17). Things distinctive to the Mosaic instruction do not carry over to the present dispensation unless specifically named. Read more