How Much Does The Bible Say To Tithe

Tithing in the Old Testament

Tithing is an ancient practice of donating a portion of one’s wealth to the church, temple, or other religious organization. The Bible contains the earliest recorded instance of tithing, dating back to the Old Testament. In Genesis 14:20, Abraham is said to have tithed one-tenth of the spoils of war to Melchizedek, a mysterious figure said to be a priestly king of Salem (modern-day Jerusalem). This correlation between Abraham and Melchizedek was cited in the New Testament book of Hebrews as a type of Christ.
Mosaic Law, which was set forth by the books of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, formalized tithing as a religious obligation to those beneath the law. In addition to the ten percent tithe given to the temple or worship leader, verses like Leviticus 27:30 call for additional tithes be taken from crops, animals, and produce. According to Leviticus 27:32, when calculating the tithe, a person must factor in the age of animals and crops for the highest accuracy. Further tithing guidelines were given in Deuteronomy 14:22-29.

Tithing in the New Testament

The New Testament contains numerous passages on giving, Tithe, and sharing. In the famous Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), Jesus specifically encourages giving to those less fortunate. In Matthew 23:23 he criticizes Pharisees for neglecting to give a tithe for the care of the temple. He further clarifies that a tithe should not just be given to the temple, but to all kinds of needy people, as written in Luke 11:42.
In addition, Paul writes several New Testament letters talking about giving and generosity. In 1 Corinthians 16:2, Paul states that he wants the church to set aside a collection of money every Sunday to help the poor. In 2 Corinthians 9:7, he encourages believers to give generously to those in need. Finally, 2 Corinthians 8:5 encourages us to be generous with our possessions, and to give based on how much the Lord has blessed us.

The Significance of Tithing

Tithing has many purposes throughout Scripture. On one hand, it is symbolic of giving one tenth of our resources to the Lord as an act of worship and devotion. On the other hand, it is also intended for our own benefit, as Malachi 3:10-11 indicates: “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have enough room for it.”
Tithing is also significant because of the direct impact it can have on an individual or family. Even a small donation can make a lasting change in someone’s life, whether it’s paying an electric bill or providing food for a hungry family. In addition to the blessing a person will receive, tithing can provide a sense of unity and community. Donating to a church or charity can help bring people together for a shared cause.

How Much Should We Tithe?

Many churches and denominations have various teachings on how much to tithe. While some churches may teach that giving ten percent of our income is the standard, this may not be the case for everyone. Each individual’s financial situation should be taken into consideration when determining how much they can or should give. It is also important to remember that in places like the Old Testament, the tithe was a proportion of the income earned in a certain period of time, not necessarily a set percentage.
When deciding on an amount to give, one should consider their wholeness of heart and attitude. 2 Corinthians 9:7 states that we should give cheerfully and with a generous spirit, and not out of obligation or guilt. We should also be mindful that our income is from the Lord, so it is appropriate to give back to Him.

Tithing Challenges

Be it the Ancient Israelites or the modern church, tithing can present challenges for both individuals and congregations. The Biblical texts speaks of those who struggle to tithe due to their overtaxed, impoverished circumstances. Furthermore, congregations can struggle year-to-year to maintain their financial security if members are unable to give, either due to economic struggles or due to a lack of sufficient tithing members.
Different denominations provide different solutions to this struggle. In some places the tithe may be supplemented by additional gifts or donations, while in others tithing can be redirected to other works of service or missions. Churchgoers should consult their pastor or leaders to determine their generosity plan or gifting strategy, and to come up with a plan that works best for their community.

Tithing in Times of Financial Uncertainty

In times of economic hardship, some people may be fearful to tithe, or simply unable to. This fear comes from the uncertainty of our future prosperity and security. While times may seem difficult, tithing can still offer many benefits. Giving will allow us to experience an abundance mindset, even when our bank accounts aren’t full.
Tithing can help us focus less on the material possessions in our lives and more on the spiritual and eternal. Additionally, giving can relieve worries about money, by giving us assurance that God will provide for our needs, and that He will bless us for our tithes. In times of financial difficulty, tithing can bring us comfort and peace that money alone can not provide.

The Historical Context and Influence of Tithing

For centuries, the practice of tithing has held significance in different religious groups worldwide. In Christianity, the mandates for giving were increased to cover various religious needs and obligations. Early Christianity relied heavily on community support from its members, as new believers were often poor and needed to lean on each other for resources. Tithing provided a way for members to remain financially self-sufficient and to share resources with one another.
Today, many denominations and religious organizations still rely on tithing for financial support. Tithing is seen as a partnership between members of a faith-based community, where giving is not only an act of appreciation and worship, but also a way of supporting the church, its members, and its mission.

Modern Tithing Practices

Modern churches and organizations have incorporated new methods of tithing. In addition to traditional methods such as cash and checks, many organizations now offer online, digital, and mobile giving. This allows members to easily and securely give their tithes and offering from anywhere in the world. In addition to online platforms, some churches implement creative or innovative budgeting and stewardship plans that help their members better manage their finances and make meaningful contributions to the church and its mission.
Other tithe payment methods includes automatic deductions and apps like Venmo and Paypal, which streamline the process of giving. Churches also use donor management software to track donations and provide donors with personalized stewardship feedback.

The Future of Tithing

Tithing is growing in both scope and importance. More churches and organizations are realizing the power and importance of giving, and are developing new methods to ensure that donations can be me made both conveniently and securely.
As stewards of God’s provision, the modern church must continue to evolve the practice of tithing to match the needs and expectations of our members. With new technologies and Christian education, tithing is sure to be a timeless practice in the church, reaffirming a sense of unity, fellowship, and stewardship of our resources.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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