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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Tithe

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TITHE.—On the tithe as a Jewish institution, see art. ‘Tithe’ in Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible .

Our Lord makes but three references to the tithes, and they are all of the observance of them by the Pharisees (Matthew 23:23, Luke 11:42; Luke 18:12). In the first two passages He contrasts the minute exactness with which the Pharisees observe their less important and external laws of tithe with their careless disregard of the inner and more important virtues of justice, mercy, faith, and the love of God. In Luke 18:12 He illustrates how compliance with external requirements, especially when these are exceeded, as in the case of the Pharisees, and dissociated from the corresponding state of heart, breeds a culpable and overweening self-righteousness. Our Lord in these references, as also in Matthew 5:19, recognizes degrees of importance in the Law’s demands. Minute observance of the less important does not excuse from attending to the greater, but neither does compliance with the greater absolve from the obligation to observe the lesser. ‘This ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.’ Our Lord evidently thought the tithe, as well as the other OT institutions, of Divine origin, and binding upon the Jews of His day. At the same time, He foresaw a period when outward observances should give place to the more purely inward, as men should worship the Father in spirit and in truth (John 4:21-24). See also artt. Anise and Rue.

G. Goodspeed.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Tithe'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdn/t/tithe.html. 1906-1918.

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