My Question: Is tithing a core mandate for new testament believers?

Hi everyone,

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@Amaniampong Great question :slight_smile: The 10% rule from the OT does not apply to us because it was written in order to support the Levitical priests, who had no other income. Basically, it was a tax on Israel to support the priesthood.

However, the NT does expect us to give sacrificially as the Holy Spirit leads us. I do not necessarily think that always means money and I don’t think the amount is set in stone. I think we need to prayerfully examine our resources - time, money, talents - and the opportunities before us for giving and our responsibilities to those in our care - and in each season of life choose wisely how to use all that God has given us for His Kingdom.

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The tithe predates the ‘Old Covenant’. The ‘Old Covenant’ began with Moses. Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils from the war with the five Kings to Melkisedek the priest of be the ‘Most High God’. This predates Moses by more than four hundred years.
When God gave instruction to Moses about the tithe, the tithe was for maintaining the temple building and paying the Levites whose sole employment was the care if the building and the sacrifices.
Today, the ‘temple’, though Paul likens the body to the temple, corresponds to the church building and the Levites to the ordained staff, clerical, custodial, and those who repair and maintain the building. All of these are still necessary expenses, so the tithe is still necessary. Malachi 3 also mentions offerings. “Let all the tithes and offerings be gathered . . .” The offerings are free will and as the heart directs. These would include the he oblation, outreach, evangelism and other gifts not directly related to the operation of the organization.

I hope I have not offended anyone, but that is MY interpretation of the tithing question.

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@Dave_Nunn Thank you for sharing your thoughts :slight_smile: Which passage in the NT do you think makes a direct connection between OT tithing and the NT pattern for living?

One caveat I would add - in the New Testament the temple is not the Church building - it is us. The Church building is not necessary - only that the people of God gather to worship together. There were no Church buildings often in the early Church - they met in peoples’ homes.

1 Cor 3:16 - Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?

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Matthew 23:23
" . . .you should have done the latter WITHOUT NEGLECTING THE FORMER ." emphasis mine
The latter being oblations, the former being the tithe.

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@Dave_Nunn In this particular case, I would say that Jesus was speaking to people who were still under the Old Covenant, so it would not apply to NT believers. While you may not agree, can you understand that perspective?

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Hi, Dave. Thanks for your contribution. However, I have to point out that you are writing into the New Testament text something that is not there and that, in fact, contradicts it.

The church building doesn’t correspond to the temple. As you and Sean both pointed out, Paul says that we are the temple now. If something we say clearly contradicts God’s Word, then we have to submit ourselves to God’s Word over our own. We need to be careful about not going beyond what Scripture says and adding to it. = God doesn’t dwell in a building. He dwells in us.

Again, there is no biblical support for this statement. Also, the tithe was given to and for the Levitical priests in exchange for their work. It says nothing about their using it for repairs for the building–mostly because they couldn’t because most of what they received was meat and crops. It says this in no unclear terms in Numbers 18:21. The entire chapter talks about it, and so do a couple of other places in the Old Testament. Nothing at all is said about the Levites using the tithe for repair and maintenance of the Tabernacle.

As far as Abraham and Melchizedek, Abraham gave once, but there is no evidence showing that Abraham continued to repeatedly give ten percent to God.

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He was telling them they ignored the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith. The basics of the new covenant. That they should have done that as well as tithe. I think He was saying it is still important today.

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The new covenant was not in existence yet, and those things (mercy, judgment, justice, faith) were not just a part of the new covenant. If we read our books of the prophets, God was constantly scolding the people through the prophets concerning these things. At that point, the people were still under the law. It was Christ’s death and resurrection, not his coming, that set people free from the law by grace through faith. His blood established and ratified the new covenant. So when Jesus was talking in the discussed Scripture, he was speaking to those still under the Mosaic law.

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[quote=“Dave_Nunn, post:3, topic:23768”]
All of these are still necessary expenses, so the tithe is still necessary.
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I would take issue with this statement. The question was not is the tithe still necessary. The question was is the tithe mandated under the new covenant. Those are two different issues that you have equated.
All of “my” possessions belong to God and are a gift. I try to share this gift generously with my church, and “poor widows , children and the poor. This sharing should be sacrificial. example : the widows mite. We do not buy our way into heaven with a tithe. You can consider it a sacrificial guide if you wish.

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Not specifically stated in as many words, no. But neither is keeping the sabbath specifically mentioned and we still do that, most of us. Of course that’s one of the Big Ten. Tithing goes to the heart and spirit if the law. Although the Levitical priestly line is now merged with the Melchezadekian (some say abolished but that’s a matter of theology), there are still eternal truths about tithing seen in Genesis. Perhaps re-reading those while asking God for revelation will answer your question.

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