According to Scripture, we should pay tithe from increase from our land and cattle. I don't find anything about tithing monetary income, so why do you pay from income or salary?

Also, if the income you receive has already been tithed, should you tithe again?

For example, someone tithes $100 on $1,000 income and is left with $900. From $900, that person pays $500 to another person for some work. Should the other person pay tithe for receiving $500?

  • I didn't know there were more than one tradition of tithing. What other tradition of tithing is there in Christianity? I thought people just gave 10% of their income because of OT laws of tithing.
    – user16659
    Commented Sep 8, 2011 at 20:02
  • <deleted previous comments> I brought your question to the attention of some guys in chat and Flimzy had a suggestion for editing this in a way that makes it easier to answer.
    – Caleb
    Commented Sep 8, 2011 at 20:26
  • This is clearly opinion based.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 22:44

5 Answers 5


Tithing income is an application of the Old Testament tithe principle - it's giving back 10% of what God has given you. If that is cows, great! If it is money (as it is in modern society), then tithe comes out of that.

The 10% number is not actually mentioned in the New Testament, where the principle is just "give generously!"

Based on the above, I tithe on all my "income". If I receive $500 from someone else for work done, yes I would tithe on it. On the other hand, I don't tithe my tax refund

One other thing - I believe that tithing should be done on gross (before-tax) and not net income. This is an application of the "firstfruits" principle from the OT - our tithe is to be "off the top". Tithing on your net income is letting the government have the first cut and tithing on what is left over.

  • As an extension of the principle you mention, I also tithe on the value of benefits my employer pays for--matching retirement funds, health insurance, etc.
    – Flimzy
    Commented Sep 8, 2011 at 19:37
  • This is exactly how I tithe as well. Great writeup. But in addition to 'first fruits', I tend to write the check at the beginning of the month of the expected paychecks I will receive. If I receive extra income, I tithe on that each week. Commented Sep 8, 2011 at 19:50
  • 2
    an idditional point is that when looking at all of the sources the Israelites were to give to God, their overall "tax" was closer to 23%
    – warren
    Commented Sep 8, 2011 at 19:57
  • @gmoothart, do you have a reference for the "give generously" principle in the Old Testament? The folks at judaism.SE would disagree: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/9690/…
    – Ray
    Commented Sep 8, 2011 at 23:21
  • @Ray - throughout the OT, God commands offerings, but He also expects the people to participate in more than merely what He commanded. (freewill offerings)
    – warren
    Commented Jun 21, 2012 at 14:54

The tithe does come from the Old Testament. We as New Testament Christians are not under the covenant that God made with the people of Israel, so the tithe does not specifically apply to us (nor does avoiding pork and a host of other ceremonial laws).

However, "each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give" and "God loves a cheerful giver."

It has been said that some measure a person's wealth by how much they have, but the true measure of wealth is in how much we give. I think this is a proper perspective. If we ask the question, "What is the least amount of money I can give and be ok?", that seems to miss the point. It is almost asking how much can we possibly keep to spend ourselves.

A better question could be, "Since God has given me so much, how can I steward all of my money for His glory and how much can I give to His work?"

For some people, 10 percent may be very difficult. For others, 10% may be far less than they are able. I personally give a little more than 10% of my income and hope to be able to continue increasing that as God blesses my financially.

So, I would say to have a right heart and then give generously for the glory of God.

  • 1
    I have always treated 10% as the minimal baseline; I love the spirit of this answer.
    – user32
    Commented Sep 8, 2011 at 22:25
  • 2
    I also like the spirit of this answer. I've debated many times with my wife whether we should tithe 10% on the net or on the gross, and I settled by giving the difference as offerings and charity. This reflected our hearts more of not only honoring God's tithes but also giving to the needy. Edit: This (probably) only works for a time being as I don't have a 401k or health benefits deducted, which would compel me to tithe on the net for sure.
    – felideon
    Commented Sep 9, 2011 at 3:33

Malachi 3:7 (KJV) “Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ORDINANCES, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?”

ORDINANCES NAILED TO THE CROSS: Colossians 2:14 (KJV) “Blotting out the handwriting of ORDINANCES that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;”

According to Hebrews 7:5,12,18, the tithe was disannulled.

By the way, the blessings referred to in Malachi 3 is RAIN:

Malachi 3:10 10 , and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing,

Does this refer to money or financial blessing, or does it mean something else according to scriptures?

Genesis 7:11-12 11 The same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. 12 And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.

Genesis 8:2 2 The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained

NO CURSE TODAY: Galatians 3:13 “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us…”

Seems a few pastors need to study their Bible.

Let’s look closely at Abram’s tithe. First, the goods that Abram gave the tenth from didn’t even belong to Abram:

Genesis 14:21 (KJV) - And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself.

Notice in verse 21 the king of Sodom didn’t ask Abram if he would give back to him the people, but rather said GIVE ME the people and keep the goods for yourself. The way that is worded indicates that the king of Sodom was claiming that the people and the goods belonged to him, but he offered the goods to Abram.

It would normally have been the custom that the victor owns the spoils, but normally the spoils would have belonged to the enemy. In this case, Abram was RECOVERING goods belonging to the King of Sodom.

NOTE: The king of Sodom had an original right both to the persons and to the goods, and it would bear a debate whether Abram’s acquired right by rescue would supersede his title and extinguish it; but, to prevent all quarrels, the king of Sodom makes this fair proposal (v. 21). --Should the Church Teach Tithing by Dr. Russell Earl Kelly, pages 24-25

Genesis 14:22-24 (KJV) 22And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, 23That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich: 24Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.

Notice in verses 23 and 24 Abram also acknowledges that the goods belonged to the king of Sodom. But the king of Sodam offered that Abram could keep the goods for himself. Abram declined the offer. He didn’t want man to take credit for his wealth. By not accepting any of the goods for himself, Abram was putting all his faith in God to provide for him rather than man.

Therefore, it is clear that both the king of Sodom and Abram acknowledged that the spoils of war did NOT belong to Abram, yet he gave a tenth of the spoils to King Melchizedek. This would seem that Abram did something wrong, if not even illegal, but Biblical historians agree that it was custom in Abram's day to give the king a tenth of the war spoils. Had Abram not given the tenth, he would have gone against custom.

Conclusion: Abram did NOT give a tenth of his income, or his wealth. Abram gave a tenth of the spoils of war that didn’t belong to him and declined to keep the goods offered to him. That is NOT an example of tithing for Christians to follow today. By declining to keep any of the goods for himself, Abram showed his faith that God would provide. That is the example of faith that Christians should be following. Furthermore, the law did NOT require a tenth of war spoils to be given, so to say that tithing was before the law and then in the law is not true. What Abram did was NOT even codified into the later law.

The New Testament teaches generous, sacrificial giving, from the heart, according to our means. For some, $1 might be a sacrifice, while for others, even giving 50% of their income might not induce a sacrifice. In the Old Testament, ONLY the farmers tithed, and it was equal percentage (a tenth). The New Testament teaches the principle of equal sacrifice instead of equal percentage. Equal sacrifice is much harder to achieve, if not impossible, than giving ten percent.


Tithe as per Old Testament is 10% of your income. This was apart from offering first fruits and many other offerings from the income. As others answered already, New Testament follows Grace not Law (Romans). It follows spirit not letter. We can draw principles from New testament on tithing.

Some of them are below.

Jesus: "For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." Mathew 5:20 (NKJV).

Scribes and Pharisees were trying to obey law to the letter, so they surely paid 10% tithe. (In practice this was 20-30%, A historical reference would be Book of Tobit - Apocrypha for many christians, part of Bible which says He given 30%). We are to exceed them !

John the Baptist: "He answered and said to them, 'He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.' " (Luke 3:11).

John says about willingness to give half of what you have.

"Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor" Luke 19:8 (NKJV). Jesus did not rebuke him, but commended him, He given 50%

Jesus : “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; 4 for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.” Mark 12:44 (NKJV)

Given all she had to God. That is 100%.

Disciples of Jesus in Jerusalem: "sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need."Acts 2:44.

That was all sharing everything. Nothing considered belong to them

So what is the Principle

Everything belong to God. Our income, time and life belongs to him before He given to us. So we should consider it as God's and should be willing to share/shed any to another in need around us. Once we consider everything belong to Him and we are just stewards/care takers we can cheerfully give 20%, 30% or 50%. That way we can obey Jesus here and store up treasures in heaven.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. " Mathew 5:19-20


The beginning of Hebrews 7 discusses Abraham paying tithes to Melchizedek. He paid one tenth, which is the only amount mentioned in the Bible related to tithing.

Hebrews 7:1-6 (KJV)

1 For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;
4 Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.
5 And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:
6 But he whose descent is not counted from them (Melchisedec) received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.

Another thing to consider is that the blessings promised for paying tithing are enormous. In Malachi 3 we learn that God will "open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." In that same passage we learn that the consequences of not paying tithing are just as large as the blessings.

Malachi 3:8-12 (KJV)

8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.
12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.

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