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Does the New Testament Command Christians to Tithe?

The following is a transcribed Video Q&A, so the text may not read like an edited article would. Scroll to the bottom to view this video in its entirety.

The word tithe comes from the Old Testament principle of a tenth—giving a tenth. Actually, going back to Leviticus one of the feasts was a feast of first fruits which has the same idea that the first fruits you gather we want to honor God because He is the one who provided the fruit in the first place. So, we want to return that and honor God and worship him by giving back a tenth to him. The principle of tenth goes all the way back to Abraham when he brought a tithe to Melchizedek, 10%. So that principle has been running throughout Scripture.

With regard to whether it is commanded or not. In the New Testament there really is nothing where a tithe is commanded. But certainly, giving generously back to the Lord, to His work and His kingdom, is clear. Paul in 1 Corinthians 8 speaks about giving back abundantly to the Lord.

I would say that in terms of practice it is a good place to start—10%. Many want to work up to 10% but it is better to start there, with 10% and go up from there. We don’t want to legalistically say “it has to be 10%”. If you want to avoid legalism perhaps don’t start there but start at 11, or 12 or 13% and go up from there. The direction is that we increasingly love the Lord through time and we learn and because of His graciousness to us we should be freer with our hands and instead of grasping we should be opening our hands and joining the Lord in His kingdom work.

Photo Credit: EBonilla14 

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