TITHING TODAY - TITHING 101
DEFINITION OF TITHE
Before we start our studies of the tithe, we need to understand the definition of tithe. Today's definition is not the same as the biblical definition.
The dictionary defines a word according to its usage at the time the dictionary is published. Over the years, the definition of tithe has changed many times. Below are some actual examples taken from three different dictionaries, all published at different times.
MacMillan's Modern Dictionary - 1938 edition: Tithe - tenth part, or any small part, of produce, profits, or the like paid as a tax or as a voluntary contribution, esp. for religion or charitable use.
The American Heritage Dictionary, Third Edition - 1994: Tithe - A tenth part of one's annual income contributed voluntarily or due as a tax, especially for the support of the clergy or church.
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary - latest edition: Tithe - a tenth part of something paid as a voluntary contribution or as a tax especially for the support of a religious establishment.
As you can see, just during the past 70 years or so the definition has changed from a tenth part of produce or profits, to a tenth part of one's annual income, to a tenth part of something.
All three definitions include something to do with the support of the church or a religious establishment. But what was the definition of the word tithe when the Kings James Version of the Holy Bible was written?
As you can see from above, the Hebrew defintion merely means a tenth, or a tenth part. Nothing else is connected with the definition of tithe in the Book of Genesis. So when we study Abraham's Tithe, and Jacob's Vow to Tithe, remember the definition applicable to the time is strickly a tenth, or a tenth part. Period. The word tithe used in Genesis is strickly a mathematical term, not a religious term.
Now let's continue to Abraham's Tithe by clicking here.