Church treasury

In an email group, a brother in Christ rebutted, from 1 Cor. 16 etc., the denial of the church treasury. I added a bit.

Here’s what I wrote to the email group, with a few tweaks.

Without denying the need for such careful study as you’ve done here, in terms of the first-century church, I would add what to me is also a definitive answer: Jesus and his disciples had a treasury. Judas was the treasurer.

Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor” (John 13:29 ESV).

I quote from Louw & Nida:

It may be useful, however, in rendering Jn 13.29 to say simply ‘Judas had charge of the money’ or ‘Judas was the treasurer of the group,’ since the Greek expression may be understood as an idiom (6.143).

The disciples, misunderstanding the concealed conversation between Jesus and Judas, thought the Lord was telling him to do what was likely often done: buy needed supplies and foodstuffs with the funds kept in the box, or take money out of the treasury to help the poor.

Jesus and the disciples had regular contributors who supported their “ministry” (Luke 8:2-3). From the contributors’ resources they “were contributing to their support” (NASB). So the money went from these several women, and perhaps even others, into the moneybox kept by the treasurer, which was removed at the instruction of the Master to provide for their needs and to help the needy.

The issue then seems to be solved clearly and simply. Jesus and his group are, if you will, the proto-church, and this means of contribution, treasury and disbursal of funds is exemplary for the church today.

There are some among us as well who deny that the church should have a treasury. Jesus did not live “hand to mouth;” neither should the church.

J. Randal Matheny

Be pithy.

What do you think?