28 Jul Tithing In The New Testament: A Look At Post-Resurrection Giving Practices
Tithing In The New Testament: A Look At Post-Resurrection Giving Practices
When it comes to tithing in the New Testament, many people debate exactly what the bible says about it.
In this post, we hope to shed some light on what the Bible says about tithing — both in the Old Testament and the New Testament.
But first, we’ll talk about what exactly the word tithing means and where it comes from.
Let’s get started!
What is “Tithing”?
The word ‘tithe’ comes up in the Old Testament as a translation from Hebrew. Deriving from the Old English root, tithe means ‘one-tenth.’
Within the Old Testament agricultural economy, tithes were paid to Lords as an expression of thanks and dedication from farmers. While today we associate tithe as 10 percent, in the Old Testament tithes actually occurred two times each year (and three times every third year).
Throughout the Old Testament, tithes were given by the patriarch Abraham and Jacob, and a system of tithes was created in the law of God given through Moses. The children of Israel also came under fire for failing to give the tithe to God in Malachi 3:8.
But what about tithing in the New Testament?
Well, it should be noted that the New Testament never applies the tithe to believers, though the idea of the tithe can still be found within its pages.
For example, in 2 Corinthians 9:6-10, Christians are called to generously give in response to the gospel of the Lord Jesus, based on faith in God as Provider.
Old Testament vs. New Testament Tithing Breakdown
It’s an age-old debate — whether or not the tithe applies to only the Old Testament or if it is
truly included in the New Testament.
No one will argue against the fact that tithing is most frequently used throughout the Old Testament, with Malachi 3:8-12 being one of the commonly referenced passages:
“Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 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 there will not be room enough to store it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the LORD Almighty. “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.”
But, as mentioned previously, the New Testament also features tithing.
In Matthew 23:23, Jesus condemns the Pharisees for tithing and ignoring the more important issues of justice, mercy, and faith:
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.”
Notice how He doesn’t say how tithing is wrong but rather suggests that they should have tithed in addition to practicing justice, mercy, and faithfulness.
How to Teach Tithing to Your Congregation
When you speak on the importance of tithing during a service, make sure to reference Matthew 23:23 — which states that tithing should be done in conjunction with practicing faithfulness.
It’s also important to relay the main idea that surrounds tithing — which is about both trusting and acknowledging that everything already belongs to God.
Relaying the significance of tithing to your congregation should start early. Bible Study and Sunday school is a great time to instill the value of tithing of the younger members of your church.
Another effective teaching strategy is to interview a couple of longtime tithers during service or to mention them in your sermon.
Talk about how long they have been tithing for, whether or not it was challenging to start tithing, and advice to members of the congregation who are maybe hesitant to tithe or fear they cannot afford it.
It’s important that their answers are honest so that they can help those who are having trouble committing to tithing in their own lives.
Above all else, make sure to teach tithing in it’s purest form:
When we give to the church, it helps the church do more good in the world — which is precisely what God has asked us to do. When we tithe, the church can go forth and teach more people about God.
It’s a simple but effective message.
When Is It Appropriate To Tithe At A Church?
Ultimately, where and when you choose to invest money is your prerogative. When deciding if you should tithe to a church or not, there are a few general rules we like to keep in mind.
For starters, don’t give money to a church because you feel guilty or if they make you feel guilty. Romans 8:1 makes it very clear there is no condemnation for those who believe. Consequently, churches should not use guilt or condemnation as a tool to get money from their church body.
Another area we like to say you don’t have to give is if you are visiting the church. When the pastor makes an offering call, they are talking to the regular attenders of their church. If their message moved you, or you feel prompted to give, then give away! But you shouldn’t feel obligated to tithe just because you attended one service.
There are a lot of reasons to NOT tithe at a church. To make things a bit easier, here are three general rules you should make sure are true for you and your church before you tithe.
- You strongly agree with the church’s mission, and those running it.
- You regularly attend the church and are invested in its community and growth.
- You tithe happily, not because you have to or are obligated to, but because you authentically want to.
This isn’t a perfect system, but following these general rules will help you determine when and where you should be tithing your money. We are all about happy and healthy giving because its the most sustainable form of support a church can ever receive. A happy and supportive church body makes all the difference when it comes to building a lasting financial foundation for your ministry.
Making Tithing Easier For Your Congregation
One way to encourage tithing within your church is to ensure that you’re using 21st-century technology.
A partnership with mobileAxept means that you’ll have access to our ReachNow, GiveNow Text, GiveNow Online, and ConnectNow solutions. These solutions are aimed at making it more convenient for members of your church to tithe.
If managing your churches finances is proving difficult, I’d recommend looking into small church accounting software options. Many are affordable and can be very useful for church staff.
For more reading, check out our best online giving for small churches post!
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is tithing?
The word ‘tithe’ is actually derived from an Old English term that means ‘one-tenth’. Tithing is the practice of regularly giving 10% of your income to your local church. Its purpose was originally to take care of those running the church and upkeep the church itself.
What Does The New Testament Have To Say About Tithing?
In the new Testament, tithing is less about a strict 10% and more about positioning your heart to be generous. In 2 Corinthians 9:6-10 Christians are called to generously give in response to the gospel of the Lord Jesus, based on faith in God as Provider.
How do I know if I should be tithing at my church?
Choosing when to tithe and how much to tithe is something you have to decide for yourself. A good rule to follow is only to tithe if you regularly attend the church, are invested in its community growth, and can financially give happily and freely.