Is There A Biblical Reference for Tithing?


When I attended Methodist and Pentecostal churches, they placed a strong emphasis on tithing, even to the extent of repeatedly making it the subject of sermons.

The “sola scriptura” discussion got me thinking: what’s the Scriptural justification for the tithe?


Referring to Melchizedek, Gen 14:20

“Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.”


Ahh, excellent—that’s what I was looking for. Thanks!


Malachi 3:10 Bring the full tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house; and thereby put me to thetest, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessing.


If I was a priest and I had to do the dreaded appeal for funds–I would use this passage of Acts:

Acts 5:1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Saphira his wife, sold a piece of land, 2 And by fraud kept back part of the price of the land, his wife being privy thereunto: and bringing a certain part of it, laid it at the feet of the apostles. 3 But Peter said: Ananias, why hath Satan tempted thy heart, that thou shouldst lie to the Holy Ghost, and by fraud keep part of the price of the land? 4 Whilst it remained, did it not remain to thee? and after it was sold, was it not in thy power? Why hast thou conceived this thing in thy heart? Thou hast not lied to men, but to God. 5 And Ananias hearing these words, fell down, and gave up the ghost. And there came great fear upon all that heard it.

6 And the young men rising up, removed him, and carrying him out, buried him. 7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what had happened, came in. 8 And Peter said to her: Tell me, woman, whether you sold the land for so much? And she said: Yea, for so much. 9 And Peter said unto her: Why have you agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Behold the feet of them who have buried thy husband are at the door, and they shall carry thee out. 10 Immediately she fell down before his feet, and gave up the ghost. And the young men coming in, found her dead: and carried her out, and buried her by her husband.



However, Paul says this:

2Co 9:7 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

This verse shows that Christians are not compelled to tithe as Jews are.


Yes, Paul says in 1 Cor 16:
1Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 2On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.
There is no strict rule of giving 10% but rather giving a percentage you feel you should give within your means and calling in life (ie anywhere from 1%-100%).


Jesus has something to say on this matter.

Matthew 23:23
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.


I was worried about the10% deal for a while. I actually emailed Billy Grahams office and they said its really only a “guide” if thats easier to think of. If one cannot decide what to do, try 10% then go from there.

There is the widows deal those that dont have a lot to give. And there is those who have more. To those the scripture is “to whom much is given, much is demanded”.

Basically if you treat money like its the Lords, you always have what you need. And that doesnt mean giving foolishly, just not hording it to yourself.


You haven’t quoted the whole verse. The verse says that Abram gave a tenth of everything that he won in battle. It is possible that Abram at some other time tithed off his belongings but it sounds like he was giving ten percent of what was extra wealth to him.

By the way the tithe that is spoken of in Deuteronomy is interesting. Deut. 13: 22-23

be sure to save one tenth of all your crops each year. take it to the place the Lord your God will choose where he is to be worshiped. there where you will be together with the Lord, eat the tenth of your grain, new wine and oil and eat the animals born first to your herd and flocks…

It sound like there was some good times going on with that tithe.:smiley:


Of course Christians are called to give according to the gifts we have been given…As a previous poster stated…

“To those who have been given much, much is expected”

And what is it we [as Christians] have been given? Eternal life, bought with the blood of Christ!

Yes 10 % is a good starting point…remember the story of the widows might? The widow gave from her ‘need’ and not from her excess. She is blessed for having given much while the rich [who gave from there excess] were condemed.

Christians [and expecially those of us who are Catholic] need to heed this story for we are given much and have abundance…we need to be good stewards and cheerful givers…


Not everyone can give ten percent. If you are wealthy you should give more but if you are poor, ten percent might be to much.

When I was younger, before they had all day news cast to keep a story alive, I remember hearing a story about a family whose teenage son starved to death. Apparently the family was setting apart money for a tithe and didn’t have enough to eat off of. Perhaps they thought that God would provide if they were faithful to the tithe.

My own experiences in translating the law so severly was that I couldn’t pay bills. God didn’t magically make more money for me. Sorry, It didn’t happen. So, I stopped and am now deciding to give after I pay bills.


Of course one should pay their bills and feed your family…However, we can all look at where we spend our money and our time and our talents…

When I was younger with small children, I volunteered my time, gave blood and donated what monetary funds I could…but I did not just give from my excess [my abundance], whether it was time, talent or treasure…I gave [and give] in a manner that I feel it…

You can forego the Starbucks, rice and beans intead of hamburger in order to support your parish, St Vincent de Paul or a host of other causes…

And we all [at every conomic level] have money that can be better spent…If we give back to God only when it is easy, what are we saying?

Did Jesus give only what was easy? as I remember it, Jesus sweat blood and tears, ask that the cup e taken away but in the end, it ws as God willed…Well God wills for us to care for those less fortunate than us…he asks for us to give from what we have been given. We are to be good stewards…

If you truly can’t give 10 % or more, give 5 %…but it is too easy to say I don’t have enough…surely the widow who gave her last mite had needs that went unfulfilled? Give less money - donate more time…


I agree. Since I am unemployed at the present time, I volunteered my time for the parish festival. I also volunteer my time every month for an ecumenical mission meal for the poor at a local Methodist Church.


I think and certainly the impression I got from Mr Graham is its all to do with your heart and obeying God.

Not to the letter as said but if your willing to give, or have the spriit of giving, your first thought is, oh here have this. Be it money, time, yourself, your first thought is not you, but others.

And thats not starving your child, to impress or stick to a rule of some kind. :frowning:


I think that is highly admirable…

I used to say I had more time than money…and more blood than time…I volunteered in various causes, donated to the Red Cross and gave as much money as I could…

Now I say I have more money than time…I still donate blood and I volunteer so many hours some poeple have thought I work for the parish…

My husband and I spend time in prayer and discernment for our contributions of Time, Talent and Treasure…

We take stock of where we spend our time…how much time do we spend doing various activities[commuting, working, household chcores, hobbies, etc. We look at where we spend our resources [mortgage, utlitities, goceries, gas, car, entertainment, etc. We look at where we want God to be in our life…where we wat to be in our spirituality, prayer, etc.

Then we look at where we find God [and where we wanted Him to be] in our lists of activities and expenditures…We always try to merge the goals with the reality…it gets easier…God really does provide…I highly recommend it…


My parish had a Red Cross blood drive on Sunday. I donated. I got an inexperienced nurse who left me with a huge bruise on my arm (which never happened in the past, and this was my 11 time donating blood!). I will still donate in the future, in spite of the nurse who did not know how to draw blood properly. It hurt this time, but it was still worth it.


I am not speaking of a rule of law…

We are called to be god stewards…starving a child is not being a good steward, a good parent or a good christian…

I do not believe that anyone said anything about ‘starving your child’…We make decisions about how and on what we spend our money…charitable giving should have a place in the priority of the christian life. We are called to serve…to be Chriist to the world…to carefor those who have little.

Some of the posts remind me of a story Bishop Sheen told about having dinner with the priests of a parish, one older and one younger priest.

He said during the dinner the younger priest kept going on and on about how rich the church was. How the church shoud sell the art and precious chalices, icons, silver service sets etc and feed the starving and poor poeple of the world. It was not fair that the church had so much wealth when there were starving people.

When dinner was over and after about an hour of this conversation, Bishop Sheen took the young priest aside and asked him how long he [the young priest] had been stealing from the Sunday collection? With that, the young priest broke down and repented, confessing his sin…


Keep in mind that “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Jesus talks more about money than about love. A lot of people don’t like to hear that. The point is, get it right with money and you’ll be well on your way toward getting it right with God. And it doesn’t necessarily come in the reverse order. Often we learn to love God by doing what is expected of us, even before we understand why or before we think we will be able to do it. Sometimes you just have to step out in faith.



You are correct, we do just need to have faith. We sometimes need to be challenged to ‘do the right thing’.

I am challenged by virtue of my birth right, as an American, born in the country that promotes freedom and recognizes the inalienable rights of man endowed by his creator. Founded upon Judeo-Christian morality and values. Called to be a force for good in the world, to use my freedom and properity to benefit not just myself but others less fortunate…

The Gospels challenge me, Jesus tells the parable of the talents. One man is gven 10, one is given 5 and another 2. The first man returned to the master the original 10 plus 10 more, the second one 5 plus 5 more. The third man buried his talents and returned to the master only the original 2. Jesus refers to this man as a wicked servant.

All of the scriptures challenges, the hebrew people were expected to tithe 10%, declare jubilee years to free captives, forgive debts, etc. They were given the law and were fed with manna from heaven. We have been given Jesus, the heavenly bread and wine. So much more than at any time before the Word of God became Man…our lives ransomed by the blood of Jesus… Jesus tortured upon the cross for my sins, out of love for me. That is a challenge. Everything I possess is a gift that originates with God. My abilities to earn a living is rooted in Jesus. My health, family, profession, income, everything comes from God and not through any inate virtue of my own. We like to think about how hard we work but even that abiltiy is a gift from God that we only cooperate in [or fight against] with God.

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