What Bible Says About Tithing
Tithing is a practice that has been followed believers for centuries. It involves giving a portion of one’s income or possessions to support the work of God and the church. The concept of tithing is deeply rooted in the Bible and is seen as an act of worship and obedience to God. In this article, we will explore what the Bible says about tithing and address some frequently asked questions on this topic.
Tithing in the Old Testament
The practice of tithing can be traced back to the Old Testament. In the book of Genesis, we see Abraham giving a tithe to Melchizedek, who was a priest of God (Genesis 14:20). Later, in the book of Leviticus, God commanded the Israelites to give a tithe of their produce and livestock to support the Levites, who were responsible for the service of the tabernacle (Leviticus 27:30-32).
The Purpose of Tithing
Tithing served multiple purposes in the Old Testament. It provided for the needs of the priests and Levites, who had no inheritance of their own (Numbers 18:21). It also supported the worship and sacrifices at the tabernacle or temple. Additionally, tithing was a way for the Israelites to acknowledge that all they had belonged to God and to express their gratitude and trust in Him.
Tithing in the New Testament
While the New Testament does not explicitly command tithing, it does provide principles and examples that support the practice. In Luke 11:42, Jesus commends the Pharisees for tithing even the smallest herbs, while also reminding them of the importance of justice and love. In Matthew 23:23, Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for neglecting justice and mercy but affirms the need to tithe.
In the early Christian community, we see evidence of tithing as well. The apostle Paul encourages believers to give regularly and generously for the needs of the church and those in need (1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7). In Hebrews 7, the writer refers to Abraham’s tithe to Melchizedek as an example of a faithful act of worship.
Principles of Giving
While the practice of tithing is not explicitly commanded in the New Testament, the principles of giving remain. Believers are encouraged to give generously, cheerfully, and sacrificially. In 2 Corinthians 9:7, Paul writes, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
FAQs about Tithing
Q: How much should I tithe?
A: The tithe is traditionally understood as 10% of one’s income or possessions. However, the New Testament emphasizes the principles of generosity and sacrificial giving rather than a specific percentage. Some individuals may choose to give more than 10%, while others may give less based on their own understanding and conviction.
Q: Should I tithe on my gross or net income?
A: The Bible does not provide specific instructions on whether to tithe on gross or net income. This decision is a matter of personal conviction and understanding. Some may choose to tithe on their gross income as an act of trust and obedience to God, while others may tithe on their net income after taxes and deductions.
Q: Is tithing only for financial income?
A: Tithing is not limited to financial income. It can also include giving a portion of one’s time, talents, or possessions to support the work of God and the church. The principle of giving applies to all aspects of life.
Q: What should the tithe be used for?
A: The tithe should be used to support the work of God and the church, including the needs of pastors, leaders, missionaries, and the maintenance of church facilities. It can also be used to support charitable causes and help those in need.
In conclusion, tithing is a biblical principle that has been practiced since ancient times. While the New Testament does not explicitly command tithing, it provides principles and examples that support the act of giving generously and sacrificially. The amount and manner of tithing are personal decisions, guided an individual’s understanding and conviction. Ultimately, tithing is seen as an act of worship, obedience, and trust in God’s provision and faithfulness.