About Tithing

Tithing or the giving of a tenth is found in the Hebrew scriptures. Tithing dates back to the time of Abram when Abram (later Abraham) gave a tenth to Melchizedek (Gen. 14).

Tithing under the Law of Moses.The Jew was to give a tenth of his crops and a tenth of his flocks (Lev. 27; Deut. 14). A tenth, was to be paid to the Levites (priests, Num. 18: 21-32). The Jew under the law required to give anywhere from 20 to 38 percent of his income. The laws regulating giving under the law were very exacting (Lev. 27; Deut. 14).

Giving according to the Gospel.When one comes to the Covenant or Testament of Christ, one finds a total absence of teaching regarding tithing. Instead of tithing, one is to give into the treasury of the local church as “he has been prospered” (I Cor. 16: 2). Giving is to be based on first having given oneself to the Lord and in proportion to love (2 Cor. 8: 5, 8). There must be a willing mind, as purposed in heart, and cheerful and liberal (2 Cor. 8: 12; 9: 7; 6). Giving to the truly needy is also taught (Eph. 4: 28).

The subject of tithing, as observed, pertained to the Jews and the Law of Moses. That system or law has been “blotted out” and “nailed to the cross” (Col. 2: 14). The New Testament, Jesus’ law and covenant, does not stipulate the amount to be given, but provides principles to guide the Christian in his giving. The gospel also contains the ultimate example of giving: The Father gave his Son and Jesus divested himself of heaven’s glory and died on the cross (2 Cor. 8: 9). In urging giving we read, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift” (2 Cor. 9:15).

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