Based on the following passages, it's my understanding that The New Testament clearly supports offering:

2 Corinthians 9 (NIV):

6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:

“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”

10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

Acts 2:44-47 (NIV):

44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Acts 4:32-35 (NIV):

32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

Acts 24:17 (NIV):

17 “After an absence of several years, I came to Jerusalem to bring my people gifts for the poor and to present offerings.

However, many denominations claim that Christians are expected to give both tithes and offerings, not just offerings (e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4).

Question: What is the biblical basis for claims that Christians are expected to give both tithes and offerings in the New Covenant, instead of just offering?

  • 1
    As with the previous question, you have managed to turn a simple matter of charitable generosity into a complication. I have no idea what you are attempting to achieve. The question needs to focus on something , preferably the charitable aspect of Christian generosity.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Dec 7, 2020 at 20:17
  • @NigelJ How is the question not focused? If you think the question lacks focus, feel free to flag the question and let the moderators do their job.
    – user50422
    Commented Dec 7, 2020 at 21:17
  • You do not seem to be getting anywhere significant with your 'investigations' so I was just trying to assist.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Dec 7, 2020 at 21:34
  • Nigel, I think it is focused. The only thing I would suggest, Spirit Realm, is to not use "New Covenant" -as this is an entire theological framework - [Covenant theology/Calvinist vs Dispensationalist Theology. It would be better to rephrase the question with In the New Testament, or after the resurrection.
    – Tennman7
    Commented Dec 31, 2020 at 2:49

2 Answers 2


You asked specifically about the New Covenant, where tithing is mentioned only once.

Matthew 23:23 NKJV

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! 
For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin,
and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. 
These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.

In other words, they should have tithed and practiced the "weightier matters". It's up to you to decide whether that means it still applies today or not. There isn't a 100% consensus but most Christians tend to believe that tithing still applies.

As for the difference between tithes and offerings, I'll draw the comparison. Offerings require conscious generosity as you cited above - in contrast, tithing is a prescribed amount. Paying a tithe means literally to pay a tenth. Tithe Etymology

Obviously there's no room for being generous or making such decisions if you're simply paying a predetermined 1/10th amount. The distinction seems clear. The only real argument is the question of Matthew 23:23 itself.

  • Technically speaking, Matthew 23:23 happened in the Old Covenant, as Jesus hadn't died and resurrected yet.
    – user50422
    Commented Dec 8, 2020 at 0:23
  • 1
    Exactly. So the only question is what Christ meant by "you ought to". Whether it would soon expire or still apply in the New Covenant. A centuries old discussion.
    – JarWarren
    Commented Dec 8, 2020 at 0:27
  • @spirit Ream Investigator. If as you say we are not under the Old Covenant any longer, How do you explain Revelation 14.12? "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus."
    – Adam
    Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 9:43
  • @Spirit Realm investigator...also, if we are no longer under the law since the cross (as you say), then this means that anyone who was born and died after the death of Jesus is no longer condemed and therefore in not in need of salvation! the Law is the only thing that condems us. Jesus is the only thing that saves us. You cannot have salvation without condemnation first! (even with just plain logic, the law must still exist because salvation clearly exists...its plastered all over the New Testament)
    – Adam
    Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 9:46
  • @Adam: there certainly are commandments Christians are expected to follow and obey, as Rev. 14.12 you quote makes it clear. The question is: what are those commandments? Is tithing among them? In the old covenant there are 613 commandments. Do you seriously think that gentile Christians are to obey all of them? Acts 15 makes me think otherwise. Also, see this discussion: hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/40100/…
    – user50422
    Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 12:55

I think it misguided to relate tithing to specifically "the old" or "the new" convenants.

google defines tithe as

NOUN one tenth of annual produce or earnings, formerly taken as a tax for the support of the Church and clergy. synonyms: levy · tariff · duty · toll · excise · impost · contribution · assessment · tribute · charge · fee · liability · customs · dues · cess VERB pay or give as a tithe. "he tithes 10 per cent of his income to the Church"

Wikipedia defines tithe as

A tithe (/taɪð/; from Old English: teogoþa "tenth") is a one-tenth part of something, paid as a contribution to a religious organization or compulsory tax to government.

Websters Dictionary defines tithe as

“a tenth part of something paid as a voluntary contribution or as a tax especially for the support of a religious establishment”

I think the first biblical instance of "tithe" (or the giving of 1/10th of ones income) is actually found in Gensis 14:18-20 (long before any Israelite covenant with God at Mt Sinai)

18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying,“Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. 20 And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

In Malachi God says

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.”

– Mal 3:10

The giving of Tithe forms part of a promise by God that is a demonstration of our committment to him. He challenges us saying that in giving tithes to him, we will recieve a pouring out of blessings in return. How can we recieve the benefits of such a promise if we do not uphold our end of it?

Finally, from a logical point of view, I will just provide a personal example (if this forum is willing to accept 1st person statements as evidence)

The religious denomination that i am a member of (and was a former employee of as a high school teacher), use Tithe as a way of providing wages to pastors/ministers and i have no problem with that. In my view its no different to supporting a good cause of ones own choosing. I have willingly chosen to join a religious organisation and I willingly support them financially. Having said that, based on Abram's experience with Melchizedek, and the 14 or so other times tithe is mentioned in the Bible, I do believe that God expects we pay tithe in both the old and new testament times.

  • Malachi 3:10 clearly pertains to the old covenant. If you read the context (v6 to v9): 6 “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. 7 Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’ 8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse— your whole nation —because you are robbing me.
    – user50422
    Commented Dec 8, 2020 at 9:25
  • 1
    @SpiritRealmInvestigator, God's people, and only they, were required to tithe. Originally God chose individuals (e.g. Abraham) to be his people, and then later made the descendants of Israel his chosen people. But that was physical Israel under the old covenant. The new covenant allows anyone God calls, regardless of physical birth, to become one of God's people, spiritual Israel. There is no implication that those that join as Christians aren't just as obliged to pay to God a tenth of what is his anyway. Commented Dec 8, 2020 at 15:39
  • @RayButterworth - this brings us to the long debate about whether Christians in the new covenant are to keep the 613 commandments of the old covenant. The same reasoning you are applying to tithing can be applied to any of the 613 commandments. However, we do have evidence that Gentiles were not forced to keep the Law of Moses (see Acts 15). Furthermore, the book of Acts only shows examples of offering, but no examples of tithing.
    – user50422
    Commented Dec 8, 2020 at 19:13
  • The Bible is as it is because the entire story is our Christian heritage and guide. Plucking bits out to suit yourselves is foolish. Without tithe, your pastor is penniless. He then dips into offerings to suit himself (that is a very dangerous thing in my ipinion). In any case, Gods promises given in the Bible apply to all, not just Israelites. The book of Revelation describes who Gods chosen people now are. We (the gentiles) are spiritual Israel.
    – Adam
    Commented Dec 8, 2020 at 20:01
  • 1
    @SpiritRealmInvestigator, Certainly not all 613. These lump together several kinds of laws, such as: civil laws for running the state (e.g. for the kings and civil infrastructure); levitical laws for running the church (religious infrastructure), laws specific to covenants (e.g. circumcision), and general laws for everyone (e.g. the Ten Commandments). Christians are not associated with any specific country and have a new covenant, so are not bound by most of these laws, only the last category, which was in effect long before Moses codified it, and was still honoured by the early church. Commented Dec 8, 2020 at 21:22

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