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What Is Biblical Tithe?

People have forgotten to live Biblically, it has given me a burden, so through biblical writing I try to encourage them to read their Bible.


Tithing for most people means giving 10%, Well, we'll return to that question but before that I want to say it's an important question, but it's not the most important thing. It's the kind of thing that we as Christians can disagree on and have good fellowship together if we disagree on that matter. So let's look at what the Bible says about tithe.

The Old Testament actually commands not one, but three different tithes.

  1. One tenth went to support the Priests (Numbers 18:20-24).
  2. Another tenth for Sacred Festivals (Deuteronomy 12:17-18, 14:23). And
  3. Every three years, another tenth was collected to support Widows, Orphans, and the Poor (Deuteronomy 14:28-29, 26:12-13).

So, if we want to apply an old testament, old covenant law for that people at that time then we better give at least 20 to 30%.

But when we take a look at the tithes, the poor tithe, the festival tithe, the operating of the temple tithe which totaled from 23-28%, The money they were paying was basically their taxes for the operating of the system, for the government, and for the nation, that is what the tithe of the old testament was, those are basically the taxes. When we think wisely we realize that this is all legalism giving and not free will.

But what about giving? How much were we supposed to give in the old testament, and the answer in the old is the same as the new "AS MUCH AS YOU WANT TO".


Free will giving in the old testament was whatever you wanted to give for example when they built the temple people were told to bring whatever they wanted to bring then they brought gold and they brought jewels and they brought everything and finally they brought so much that Prophet Moses had to say 'stop bringing we have more than enough for doing the work the Lord commanded to be done', it's an overload and people not only sacrificed their wealth, but also offered themselves as an offering for the construction of the temple, for the work of God (Exodus 35:4 - Exodus 36:7).


Lord Jesus said give whatever you want to give but here's the principle,

  • In Luke 6:38 'Give and it shall be given unto you', the simple principle is that whatever you give you invest with God and He gives you a return. Or
  • The language of Matthew 6:19–21 where Lord says 'lay up treasure in heaven'. Or
  • In Luke 16:9–10 'use your money to purchase friends for eternity that is use your money for Gospel enterprises because then people will be converted by your giving and they'll be there to welcome you when you enter into heaven be faithful over little and the lord will give you much',
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So the bottom line is always been the same throughout all redemptive history the principle for giving is 'Sow sparingly reap sparingly sow bountifully reap bountifully, Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.'

What such kind of offering look like?

  • It looked like generous love.
  • Jesus once saw a poor woman offer 100% of all she had, He commends her faith. (Luke 21:1–4)
  • Even when people didn’t have any money to give, they sold their stuff so that they could give.(Acts 4:32–37)
  • To sum up, Apostle Paul has testified about the Macedonian church so that we can understand what it means to give freely and what it looks like when we give willingly. (2 Corinthians 8:1–5)

So we had Taxation/legalism which was fixed and we had free will giving which was flexible based on the heart of the giver. But the taxation/legalism is the part of the Mosaic covenant, it’s part of the Mosaic law, the covenant made at Sinai with Moses and with Israel. And the New Testament is very clear, we're not under that covenant any longer, Galatians 3, Romans 7, Hebrews 9 and 10, there's a lot of texts that indicate we're not under the Mosaic law but that doesn't mean or justify that we shouldn't give to the Lord but The New Testament never commands a specific amount to be given to the Church, instead it was a heart decision.

In the New Testament, believers gave out of love, not Taxation/legalism. They offered themselves because it pleased God. They gave because physical and eternal lives were on the line. They gave all they could, knowing God gave all He could to us, through Jesus. We should do the same.

Proverbs 3:9 - Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops.

Acts 20:33–35 - I have not coveted anyone's silver or gold or clothing. You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus Himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive'.

Watch this for better understanding!

Is Tithing the Standard for Christian Giving? - Tim Conway - YouTube

© 2022 Haynes Jebas

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