The Over-Emphasis on the Paying of Tithe and the Quest for Materialism among Religious Leaders: An Evaluation of the Biblical Teaching on Tithe

  • Philip Igbo
Keywords: Tithe, hieratic tax, Aaronic Priest, Levites, Melchizedek


The concept of tithe and tithing is a biblical concept. Tithing was a hieratic tax instituted as a means to support the Levites who ministered at God’s sanctuary. The Levites were to receive the tithes offered by Israel to Yahweh, because of the service they rendered at God’s sanctuary, and because they had no landed inheritance. The tithe system was enacted as a hieratic tax meant to provide support for the priests and Levites “for the service that they perform at God’s sanctuary (Num 18:21f). The tithes are voluntary; tithable things were products from the land or the herd. The tithe was basically for the support of the Levites who served at God’s Sanctuary. However, it has been observed and sadly so, that some contemporary Church leaders, especially in Nigeria, seem to be laying undue emphasis on tithing to their own financial advantage. This study was, therefore, conceived as a re-evaluation of the concept of tithing and the context under which it developed. The goal is to use the findings of this reevaluation to mirror the over emphasis on tithing by contemporary Church leaders in Nigeria. Findings reveal that there is a deviation from the context under which tithing was developed to somewhat exploitation of unsuspecting members of the Church to the advantage of prosperity preachers in Nigeria. This raises the question as to whether  Christians of the contemporary era should still tithe since the context in which the tradition developed has changed.


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2006-5442