Tithing is an Old Testament concept


Tithing is an Old Testament concept. The tithe was a requirement of the law in which all Israelites were to give 10% of everything they earned and grew to the Tabernacle / Temple (Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:26; Deuteronomy 14:24; 2 Chronicles 31:5). Some understand the Old Testament tithe as a method of taxation to provide for the needs of the priests and Levites of the sacrificial system. The New Testament nowhere commands, or even recommends that Christians submit to a legalistic tithe system. Paul states that believers should set aside a portion of their income in order to support the church (1 Corinthians 16:1-2).

This is basically what I was told. That the New Testament (The Old Testament does not count apparently) does not mention us paying “ten percent” to the Church. “Catholics don’t do that” said the upset Catholic (who has a problem with authority and is married to a Protestant).

I explained…but you know how that goes:rolleyes:

Do most Protestants follow this idea? Do they consider it “Mosaic Law?” And therefore invalid? I know a few people who act like the Old Testament is “outdated”. They stress the importance on just the New Testament. Is that the “norm”?

My question is how would you have answered it? Thanks in advance. I can’t wait to read your response.

May the Lord be with You.


Well, I might have answered that Jesus calls us to a higher level of love in the New Covenant than in the Old. If we are financially well off, He may consider a 10% level of sharing inadequate on our part!

It’s always easy to answer hypothetically. :slight_smile: Much more difficult when you’re face to face and don’t want to alienate.



I don’t really know much about tithing, but I was under the impression that it was mainly a Protestant practice. At least I think that’s as it was in Ireland, but this may be so for historical reasons rather than theological ones - in former times, Protestants (though in a great minority) were the biggest landowners and were generally better-off than Catholics. So it is possible that the traditionally poor Catholics simply weren’t in a position to tithe - probably not ten percent anyway. Having said that, we know that they always gave as generously as their ‘funds’ allowed, especially if there were collections for new churches, which were frequent in the 19th century when Catholics were permitted to worship in public.

As for tithing being an Old Testament concept- yes, there are parts of it that were not necessarily discarded, but enhanced and developed, by the New Covenant in Jesus Christ. The Old Testament has relevance for Christians today, so while tithing may not be widely practiced or required, it is not sufficient to say that since it is not mentioned in the New Testament it is not a worthwhile practice. After all, Christ Himself, for example, replaced the 10 Commandments with only 2 - Love God and love your neighbour (which encompasses all 10)- but most Christian denominations still teach the 10 Commandments as a strong guide to Christian living. The New Testament is a continuation of the Old - one doesn’t cancel out the other.


Jesus calls us to recognize everything we have has gift from the Father and to surrender it gladly back to the Father. Blessed are the Poor in Spirit. He tells us if you have two cloaks, give one away. Share all you have, knowing it does not belong to you in any case, secure in the knowledge that you will be given what you need to get through the day. He also gives several examples of wise and just stewardship of those who have riches, or have responsibility of administering wealth. The tithing practice–a formal percentage of charitable giving–is a shorthand and easy method to apply what the Gospel calls for, which is a spirituality of stewardship as the governing principle we apply to the fruits of our labor and all material possessions.

bear in mind the OT tithe served not only as a benchmark for support of the Temple and priests, and for charitable giving, but also as an analogy to modern state taxation to meet common needs of the community.


God’s law doesn’t change. The two great commandments are binding on all people for all time and much of the rest of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, as well as church rules, are aids in helping us not so perfect humans achieve at least partial obedience to these commandments. Puzzleannie expressed it very well. The tithe is just a starting point.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.