Is there tithing in the new testament? Many people believe that tithing is required in the new testament. However, the new testament does not specifically mention tithe. In fact, the Bible does not mention tithe at all! The tithe that is mentioned in the old testament was a tenth of someone’s income – this is not the same thing as modern-day giving.
Because of this, many Christian churches no longer require tithe payments from their members. Instead, they focus on giving generally throughout the year as part of their ministry. So, whether or not tithing is still required today is up to your personal religious beliefs. This blog post will discuss “is there tithing in the New Testament” and why is it not required for now.
Before we continue deeper, you can check out our article about tithing on our blog. Maybe you will find the answer to your question about it. Go to: Tithes New Testament – A Guide
What Does the Bible Say About Tithing
The Old Testament frequently used the word “tithe.” In essence, the tithe was more of a tax on the Israelites than it was a gift as we currently understand the term. God required them to return the first fruits of their earnings, including their crops, livestock, and other goods; this was how the Israelite nation was supported.
The first tithe was offered by Abraham, the father of Israel, in Genesis 14:18–20. Much more guidance on how the tithe should operate is provided later in the books of law where God lays out how his people should live.
We are given a clear definition of the tithe in Leviticus 27:30–33:
”Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the Lord’s; it is holy to the Lord. If a man wishes to redeem some of his tithe, he shall add a fifth to it. And every tithe of herds and flocks, every tenth animal of all that pass under the herdsman’s staff, shall be holy to the Lord. One shall not differentiate between good or bad, neither shall he make a substitute for it; and if he does substitute for it, then both it and the substitute shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.”
Today, a tithe is typically thought of as 10%. And there are instances of that, such as the first time a tithe was paid, which we already examined in Genesis 14:20.
We frequently think that the Israelites contributed a total of 10% of the Old Testament. However, the actual amount was probably far more. For various purposes, many types of tithes were paid. And when you add them all up, the result is much higher than 10%, maybe between 20% and 30%.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that tithing was first and foremost a religious ritual that God prescribed. But it was also how Israel as a whole was financed.
We haven’t looked at one more significant aspect yet. The Mosaic Covenant, commonly known as the Old Testament, is the only time that tithing is referenced in the Old Testament. Christians are no longer required to uphold the Old Testament law because Jesus satisfied its obligations. Soon, we’ll say more about that.
Although the Bible does mention tithing, many of the beliefs that are currently being propagated about it are distorted and misunderstood.
In an effort to raise more money for their church, far too many pastors and congregations today trivialize the true meaning of the tithe. That not only misinterprets what the Bible says, but it is also ineffective.
Is There Tithing in the New Testament
The New Testament does not use the word “tithe.” But it doesn’t say anything at all about money. Both Jesus and the Apostle Paul go into considerable detail about it.
Overall, the New Testament takes a very different stance on giving than the Old Testament. The Old Testament contains a lot more absolutes. It explains how much and when to donate. The New Testament contains slightly more nuance.
The New Testament essentially raises the bar. There is no checkbox for tithe in the New Testament. You must assess your own life to see if it is consistent with what Jesus has accomplished.
So, how does tithing appear in the New Testament?
The best summary is found in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7: “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”
How much ought a Christian donate? Whatever kindness might be to them. That may be 5%. That might be 50%. Maybe 90% is a generous estimate. We don’t know from the New Testament (or new covenant). Instead, it pushes us to reflect on what Jesus accomplished for us in order to live a giving life for others.
That is a significant departure from the stricter laws of the Old Testament. The standard is raised. There is no checkbox for generosity. We cultivate a heart like that.
Read more about tithing in the new testament in our article here: Tithing in the New Testament – Why is it Important?
Why Tithing Is Not Required Today
There is no tithing requirement in the New Testament. Tithing was a custom of the Old Testament, and it is not found in the New Testament.
There are seven compelling arguments against the notion that Christians must tithe.
Believers are no longer under the Mosaic covenant
(Rom. 6:14–15; 7:5–6; Gal. 3:15–4:7; 2 Cor. 3:4–18)
For believers, the rules outlined in the Mosaic covenant are no longer applicable. Some argue in favor of tithing by drawing a distinction between the civil, ceremonial, and moral laws. However, I would point out that Paul does not base his discussion of how the law relates to us now on these distinctions.
Even if we make these differences, it is still obvious that tithing does not fall under the moral code. Yes, the moral laws of the Old Testament still apply today, and we can tell them apart from the New Testament’s law of Christ, but tithing is not one of these instructions.
The examples of Abraham and Jacob are not normative patterns
Some people believe that tithing is necessary because Abraham and Jacob both donated a tenth and were alive prior to the establishment of the Mosaic covenant. But these cases hardly demonstrate that tithing is a permanent practice. There is no evidence that Abraham frequently offered God a tenth; his gift to Melchizedek was a one-time occurrence.
Jacob expressed his gratitude to God for vowing to stay with him and to protect him by giving a tenth as a gesture of his thanks. Although the historical account of what Jacob donated does not support the notion that all Christians must give God a tenth of their wealth, his gratitude and charity still inspire us today.
No Levites and priests in the new covenant
Tithes were given to the Levites and priests, but there are no Levites and priests in the new covenant.
The old covenant’s sacrificial system was linked to Levites and Priests. With Jesus serving as our Melchizedekian high priest (1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6; 5:10; 20:6), all believers are now priests (Heb. 7).
Israel got land as part of the old covenant
Israel got land as part of the old covenant, which is connected to the tithe.
Every three years, Israel was meant to commemorate a tithe in Jerusalem. But Christians today are not subject to that requirement. The nation of Israel—the Jews who dwelt in the land of promise—was mentioned. The Jewish country was once the center of God’s people, but with the advent of Christ, that changed. However, because of their faith in Jesus, individual Jews are still a part of the church.
God’s goals are no longer centered on the earthly Jerusalem (Gal. 4:25). Believers anticipate the future city of Jerusalem, the new heavens and new earth, and are a part of the heavenly Jerusalem (Gal. 4:26). (Rev. 21:1–22:5). Abraham is the world’s heir, not just the country of Israel (Rom. 4:13).
If tithing is required today, how much should we give
As was already mentioned, the percentage was almost definitely higher than 10%. Those who support tithing ought to choose 20 percent.
When Jesus affirmed the tithe, it was before the dawn of the new covenant
Some defend tithing by saying Jesus praised tithing, even if he said it was less important than other things (Matt. 23:23; Luke 11:42).
Although this argument seems solid, it is not convincing. Jesus also discussed making offerings in the temple (Matthew 5:23–24), but Christians do not believe that we should do it even if the temple were restored. When we consider where Our Lord stands in the timeline of redemptive history, his words make sense.
Before the cross and resurrection, before the start of the new covenant, Jesus talked about sacrifices and tithing. When speaking to his contemporaries, Jesus invoked the examples of tithing and sacrifices.
Being “born under the law,” he upheld the law (Gal. 4:4). But just as we cannot interpret his comments about making sacrifices, we also cannot interpret his remarks regarding tithing today.
Tithing is mentioned when commands to give generously
When instructions to contribute liberally are found in the New Testament, tithing is never mentioned.
Christians are not commanded to donate “the poor tithe” when they are told to give to the poor. Instead, students are told to be kind and assist others in need (Acts 2:43–47; 4:32–37; 11:27–30; Gal. 2:10; 1 Cor. 16:1–4; 2 Cor. 8:1–9:15).
For instance, 1 Corinthians 16:1-4, a verse frequently quoted in favor of tithing, refers to a one-time contribution to the needy saints in Jerusalem rather than tithing.
Applying New Testament Tithing Verses from the Bible
After studying what the Bible teaches about tithing and charity, let’s examine how these concepts manifest in our daily lives. Here are four ways we might use this idea in our daily life. The New Testament’s teaching on tithing demonstrates a better way to donate.
As of now, the New Testament has replaced the instruction to tithe with the instruction to live generously (2 Corinthians 9:6-7, 1 Corinthians 16:1-4, Acts 2:32-37, Galatians 2:10).
We should live and give generously as a result of what Jesus has accomplished for us. Our greatest treasure should be in God, not in our possessions or anything else.
Giving a tenth of one’s salary is no longer mandatory for Christians. Instead, we must always work to be giving to people.
Your definition of generosity is up to you. Giving more than 10% is seen to be charitable by many in the West. But it’s important to remember that Jesus isn’t looking for a specific sum. He expects you to make a big donation. That amounted to a few pennies for the widow. That may be millions for some.
Giving shouldn’t be compelled or pressured in any way. It ought to be something you do with joy.
We are reminded of the attitude we should have when giving in 2 Corinthians 9:7. Sadly, a lot of pastors and churches try to guilt their followers into giving. But the Bible does not advocate for such. Giving should always come from the heart; it should never be forced.
You should examine your heart to determine why it is connected to your money if you don’t feel joy when you give.
This expands on the earlier statement. Giving voluntarily is a component of giving with delight. Once more, a lot of pastors and churches try to push the subject of donation.
Now, I’m not advocating against discussing money in church. Since Jesus frequently discussed money, they ought should. I’m attempting to say that the heart should be the center of attention, not guilt.
Give To Those In Need
The New Testament makes it quite plain that those who follow Jesus should be charitable and should help those in need.
The New Testament specifically commands us to provide for the underprivileged and our kin in need (Matthew 19:21 and 1 John 3:17). In other words, Christians are expected to look out for one another and those who are in dire need in our community.
This is not to argue that you shouldn’t support your neighborhood church. These two activities, along with other missions, are very skillfully done by many churches. The idea is that giving to your church isn’t the ONLY way to demonstrate our generosity. That might contribute to it, but it’s not everything.
Giving is a good thing and one that we should all do. However, the Bible does not advocate for forced giving or guilt trips to get people to tithe. Thankfully, tithing is not mandatory in Christianity and there are other ways of being charitable besides tithes. If tithing is a requirement in your church, it might be worth examining whether or not giving joyfully is the heart of the matter.
However, we hope that this blog has helped to clarify the different arguments and provided some valuable insights into the topic. Thank you for reading!
I am a popular Bible Prophecy Teacher who has lived in New York City and taught at Life School since 2010. His prophetic message reaches thousands of people via live webcasts every month and his books, teachings, and DVDs are sold worldwide.