What’s the NT Understanding of Tithing?
I just finished reading your answer to the question concerning the value of the Old Testament for New Testament Christians. How then, do we explain tithing? Does this mean that we are no longer bound to the command to give 1/10? Where in the NT does it give directions concerning tithes and offerings?
Thanks in advance for your guidance and your wisdom!
You ask a very good question and you are essentially correct in your observations. The Old Testament tithe, according to some estimates, actually approximated closer to 23% in total tithes and offerings! The New Testament, however, does not specify a particular percentage that believers are required to give. This being said, however, believers are most certainly encouraged to give (see Rom. 15:26-27; 1 Cor. 16:1-4; 2 Cor. 8:7) and to give generously and liberally (see Rom. 12:8; 2 Cor. 9:11-13), each according to his own ability (Acts 11:29; 2 Cor. 8:12), with a willing, cheerful heart (2 Cor. 9:7). Even those who are poor are permitted to give, and praised for doing so (Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4; 2 Cor. 8:1-5). Paul sets forth Jesus as the believer’s example for giving (2 Cor. 8:8-9). We should give out of a heart full of gratitude toward God for what He’s done for us through Christ! It is clear, then, that sacrificial giving is very much encouraged (2 Cor. 9:5) — though not commanded (2 Cor. 8:8).
Of course, believers should still be careful who they give to. We must be good stewards of the resources which God has given us, look into different opportunities for giving, and give to those who are above reproach in their financial stewardship (2 Cor. 8:20-21).
Although there are many passages in the New Testament which address the issue of giving, the most detailed passage on this subject can be found in 2 Corinthians 8-9.