Several Bible verses on tithes and offerings reflect the fact that tithing is a fundamental concept that plays a central role in Christian stewardship and the biblical perspective on money. The practice of tithing, as well as the idea of making offerings, is deeply rooted in the Scriptures, offering invaluable insights into how believers are called to give back to God and their faith communities.
When your congregation embraces the power and spirit of tithing in the Bible, they become part of a community fueled by generosity and support. Through tithes and offerings, church members can make a lasting impact on your faith community, fund essential ministries, support missionaries, and ensure that your church continues to be a beacon of hope in a troubled world.
Bible Verses on Tithing
Tithing principles are deeply rooted in Biblical text and teaching. Let’s look at some significant offerings and tithe scriptures.
Genesis 14:20 (ESV) reads: ” and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!’ And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.”
This verse shows that Abraham gave a tenth of everything to Melchizedek, the King of Salem, following a victorious battle. It is the first mention of tithing in the Bible and signifies Abraham’s acknowledgment of God’s hand in his victory. The verse is significant because it sets a precedent for tithing to express gratitude and recognize the sovereignty of God.
Leviticus 27:30-32 (ESV) reads: “Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the Lord’s; it is holy to the Lord. If a man wishes to redeem some of his tithe, he shall add a fifth to it. And every tithe of herds and flocks, every tenth animal of all that pass under the herdsman’s staff, shall be holy to the Lord.”
This scripture firmly establishes the principle of tithing. It re-emphasizes the first tenth of any produce, as seen in Genesis 14:20. It also includes livestock — calculating every tenth animal during counting belongs to God as a tithe. Underscoring the seriousness of tithing to God, the verse states that if anyone keeps or redeems part of their tithe, they are to add a fifth to it when they repay the tithe. This scripture is a basis for what modern Christians consider a mandate for generosity in Christianity — to give a portion of their resources as an act of reverence and acknowledgment of God’s providence.
Deuteronomy 14:22-23 (ESV) says: “You shall tithe all the yield of your seed that comes from the field year by year. And before the Lord your God, in the place that he will choose, to make his name dwell there, you shall eat the tithe of your grain, of your wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and flock, that you may learn to fear the Lord you God always.”
These verses discuss the commandment of tithing annually. The verses instruct those faithful to God to eat the tithe in a sacred place chosen by God. This example serves a dual purpose by giving instructions about honoring God with tithes and showing reverence to Him through enjoying the tithe with Him.
The act of tithing in these Old Testament verses shows that tithing is not just an act of obedience but a way to establish a continuous, devout relationship with God.
A New Testament Perspective
The New Testament presents fresh insights into the concept of tithing in the Bible and charitable giving for Christians.
Jesus and Tithing
Matthew 23:32 (ESV) reads: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done without neglecting others.”
In this verse, we see Jesus directly addressing the Pharisees, chastising them for their systematic, legalistic adherence to the act of tithing because they neglect to live with justice and mercy. Jesus is not criticizing the significance of tithing but emphasizing that while tithing is crucial, matters of the heart — like justice, compassion, and faithfulness — are just as important.
Apostle Paul and Giving
2 Corinthians 9:6- (ESV) reads: “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
These verses reinforce the importance of generous giving. The reference to reaping and sowing draws a parallel with sowing seeds, suggesting that generosity will lead to abundance. The verses do not mention tithing directly. The emphasis on giving abundantly and cheerfully supports God’s directives about giving, highlighting how God cherishes a joyful, willing giver.
Historical Context of Tithing
Tithing in ancient Israel, as shown through the Old Testament, was more than tradition. It was an integral part of Israel’s faith and obedience to God. Leviticus 27:30 (ESV) is clear in stating, “Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the Lord’s; it is holy to the Lord.” These words are a divine mandate that the first tenth of all produce belonged to God and was to be set apart for Him.
Reading and studying reveals Bible verses on tithes and offerings. So, what is the difference between the two?
- Tithing was a specific requirement involving a percentage, a tenth of one’s increase.
- Offerings are more ambiguous. Unlike tithes, offerings in the Bible were not a mandated amount or percentage. Offerings were given freely, showing gratitude, love, or devotion to God.
In offering and tithe scriptures, tithes symbolized acknowledgment of God’s provision and were an obligatory act based on a specific mandate, while offerings were a testament to the heart and genuine generosity.
Offerings vs. Tithes in the Bible
Bible verses on tithes and offerings are significant as tangible ways to show devotion and worship of God.
- Tithing is systematic and mandated with specific instructions about giving a tenth of one’s income. It is an act of obedience and a way to acknowledge and honor God’s provision.
- Offerings are given outside of the tithe and are done after tithing as another tangible way to show gratitude, worship, and honor to God. An offering is a gift above and beyond a tithe.
Consider these scriptures about giving:
Exodus 35:4-9 (ESV) says: “Moses said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, ‘This is the thing that the Lord has commanded. Take from among you a contribution to the Lord. Whoever is of a generous heart, let him bring the Lord’s contribution…’”
Here, we see the Israelites giving offerings for the construction of the Tabernacle. These verses are not about a mandated gift of ten percent — they showcase a free-will offering and a demonstration of the people’s desire to contribute to building a sacred space for God.
Malachi 3:8-10 (ESV) reads: “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.”
These Bible verses on tithes and offerings shed light on the connection and distinction between the two. God is challenging His people to give their whole tithe and offerings. He promises to “open the windows of heaven” to those who give in this manner, emphasizing His promise to bless those who generously give mandated tithes and voluntary offerings.
Common Misconceptions About Tithes and Offerings
Today, there are many misconceptions surrounding tithes and offerings. One popular misconception is that giving tithes and offerings will guarantee material wealth. While offering and tithe scriptures like Malachi 3:10 do mention receiving blessings from God associated with tithing, tithing should not be viewed as a transactional relationship. Blessings can manifest in many ways and are not reserved only for material wealth.
Another misconception about tithing in the Bible is that God needs our money to do His work on Earth. Tithes and offerings are ways believers can show their obedience and devotion to God. They are tools to help build trust in God and prioritize Him in modern-day life. Supporting the church’s purpose in community and charitable endeavors is a way believers can take part in helping others and building their own personal relationships with God.
Approaching Tithing in a Digital World
As pastors deliver tithe and offering messages, they must understand that the digital age has reshaped traditional practices like tithing. Today, so many people attend church online. Declining in-person attendance and increasing virtual attendance force churches to adapt their approaches to collecting tithes and offerings. Integrating digital giving platforms that allow in-person and online giving is an effective way to do this.
Many user-friendly platforms offer multiple payment methods available for churches to use. Even with these platforms, some churchgoers may not be familiar or comfortable with virtual or digital giving. Offering brief tutorials or Q&A sessions helps guide members through the process and increase giving. Maintaining transparency is crucial for any processes surrounding church finances. Modern-day tithing must foster trust while embracing technology.
Continue to Empower Your Church with Tithing Wisdom
You’ve embraced the wisdom of Bible verses on tithes and offerings. Now elevate your church’s impact. Access a comprehensive church stewardship guide that explores how you can grow and sustain a healthy and celebratory culture of giving with education and transparency.
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