KLEPTOMANIAC is a journey into the annuals of biblical history concerning what the Bible teaches about tithing and giving. This book will take you on the proverbial archeological quest to uncover the true meaning of biblical words that deal with money. When confusion exists about what certain words mean in the Bible, such as tithe, tithing, tenth or ten percent, this book will examine the Hebrew and Greek language to bring to life what these words actually mean in context. This book will upend the common beliefs held by believers concerning giving and tithing based on the history of the original people of the Bible and how they related to money. From the very beginning to the end of the book, everything is supported by Scripture and research. You will know from the onset why the author, Dr. Frank Chase Jr., wrote the book and learn about his personal story of what happened as a result of embracing New Covenant giving principles from the New Testament. No book asks questions like this book. And some of those questions are: does the Bible talk about tithing? Did God change the tithe at some point in biblical history? Are first fruits money? Is the tithe food or money? Is the church the storehouse? Did Jesus, Paul and the Disciples tithe? Did the early church honor a money tithe system? Are Christians really cursed for not tithing ten percent of their income?
Frank Chase, Jr. was born in 1959. He is the son of Frank Chase and Romaine Berry. He grew up in Baltimore Md. and graduated from Walbrook High School in 1978. After high school, Frank spent four years in the United States Army and during that time became a follower of the Messiah. After completing his tour of duty, he attended Washington State University (WSU) and graduated in 1989 with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and a minor in Sociology. Because Frank believes in education, he pursued religious degrees and graduated from North Carolina College of Theology with a Bachelor of Biblical Studies, a Master of Arts in Theology, and a Doctor of Theology. You can follow is blog at http://tithenomore.com and the ebook is available on now on Book Baby and the paperback June 1st at https://store.bookbaby.com/book/kleptomaniac. For signed copies go to the Author's website at http://www.fcpublishing.com/about_kleptomaniac
Did the Church Pay Paul Tithe Money for Preaching?
Paying attention to detail is important when listening to pastors preach. In this excerpt, I was shocked to discover the phrase “I robbed other churches by taking wages,” spoken by Apostle Paul to the Corinthians had been interpreted that he received a salary or tithes, and that those words were uttered to encourage Corinthian congregants to pay him, since other churches were poorer and Corinth was rich. Digging into the context and studying the history of the text in Greek, it’s clear Paul didn't preach for a salary or receive tithes. His words were a figure of speech and we know this to be true because to literally rob churches would've been a crime. As a Hebrew, Paul would never take a salary because his background and culture did not permit him to preach for a salary. He had to work and preach as an example to other elders who he encouraged to follow in his footsteps as he did following Jesus Christ. So if the goal is to be like the Messiah, then every man and preacher who believes in the Savior must work like Yeshua did as a carpenter or some gainful profession. So to answer the question, Paul did not receive a salary or tithes for preaching.
There is another verse where Paul uses language that is often used as the smoking gun to prove he taught and asked for a salary or for tithes. However, when you examine the context thoroughly, another meaning becomes apparent. In 2 Corinthians 11:7-9 Paul states:
Did I commit a sin in humbling myself that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you free of charge? I robbed other churches [should read congregations] taking wages from them to minister to you. And when I was present with you, and in need, I was a burden to no one, for what I lacked the brethren who came from Macedonia supplied. And in everything I kept myself from being burdensome to you, and so will I keep myself (NKJV).
Reading the verse in the KJV or the NKJV could be misleading because the phrase “taking wages” leads people to believe that Paul took a salary from other churches to minister in Corinth. The context must be examined closely to understand why Paul chose the word wages. Paul made it clear he would never burden the Corinthians for money during his stay with them. When you read 2 Corinthians 11:7-9 in the ESV transliteration, it more closely represents the original Greek language:
Or did I commit a sin humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached God’s gospel to you free of charge? I robbed other churches [should read congregations] by accepting support from them in order to serve you… (ESV).
If you want to understand Paul’s language, you have to take into account the other verses in 2 Corinthians, Chapter 11 because if you don’t, you can easily conclude that Paul was receiving a salary from other churches. To assume that Paul took a salary, when he said, “I robbed other churches” is without foundation. Paul received voluntary support from others and he never solicited any money from them. The Scripture is clear that the brothers from Macedonia brought him what he needed. Furthermore, Paul also received voluntary support from the Philippian congregation. When Paul said he “robbed other churches,” what was he trying to say? Of course, if he literally robbed other churches that would be a crime. Paul did not rob anyone literally; he was speaking figuratively. The phrase “I robbed other churches” is a figure of speech to make his point to the Corinthians because Corinth was a very rich city.
The phrase taking wages is the Greek word “opsonion” (Strong’s #3800). It is defined as rations or a stipend given to a Soldier. If you check out Thayer’s Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament on wages, it further supports that Soldiers received corn, meat, fruits, salt instead of pay. We can only surmise that the early believers supported gospel workers by providing daily rations and did not pay 10 percent of their income.107 There you have it: wages is translated as rations or stipend and cannot be construed as a salary, earnings or tithes that Paul received or requested. Paul’s argument to the Corinthians is that what other poor churches gave him for support should be viewed as if he robbed them because what little support he received from them was used to support the needs of the rich Corinthians. This seems to me that the rich Corinthian church appears stingy and the poorer churches that supported Paul were freewill givers. I might argue then that the early church supported the ministry with items that a soldier received such as grain, meat, fruits, and salt.
Russell Kelly in his Book, Should the Church Teach Tithing, concludes that wages was not a salary. He writes,
In its comments on Second Corinthians 11:8, The New Bible Commentary says, ‘Paul is really indicating that he did not receive wages at all for preaching the gospel. If what was given him for his support by other churches was to be regarded as ‘earnings,’ then he had in effect ‘robbed’ them since the service given was not to them but to the Corinthians.’ Also, the Greek word for wages, “opsoonion,” means daily rations and is that which Roman soldiers were provided. For a real twist of modern logic, rather than receive sustenance from the Corinthians, as a spiritual parent, Paul felt that it was his obligation to care for their needs, rather than their obligation to take care of his needs (2 Corinthians 12:14; Acts 20:35).