Some Notes on Tithing

Question from a Site Viewer
For tithing in the New Testament check on Matthew 23:23 and repeated in Luke 11:42.

Tim’s Answer
Thanks for your mention of Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42. To be complete, I should have noted those two passages in the article on tithing. Those passage, however, are not intended to be a teaching on tithing. In the context of those passages, Jesus is not giving commands to His disciples; rather, He is warning the hypocrites that they are missing the more important matters. Jesus knows how to issue commands when He intends us to follow them. He commands love. He commands abiding in Him. He commands serving. He never commands the tithe to His disciples. And neither do the disciples He chose. As the article points out, the many passages in the New Testament that teach on giving never mention the tithe. The New Testament remains strangely silent in teaching on tithing.

This is not to say that tithing is bad. If someone feels led to tithe, then they should tithe. But I would simply challenge those who believe in tithing not to stop with the tithe, but to give richly to others with generosity, as Jesus Himself urges. And I also note that there is no command in the New Testament as to where the tithe, if it is given, should go. The temple no longer exists. The Levites are not present. The Aaronic priests are not around. So the place where the Old Testament tithe was to be given is no longer present. If the answer is that the tithe should go to God, then you can give your tithe to the needy, as Scripture tells us that those who lend to the poor lend to the Lord. The focus of New Testament giving is on giving to the needy. You can also give to support those who minister to you. You can also give to support others. The important thing is to give with a cheerful heart; and not to judge one’s brother in this matter.

May the Lord Jesus bless your ways with His presence,

a servant,


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