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Background of the Study
The Jews and Christians accept tithing and offerings as an important principle
in their life. The bible first mentioned tithe in the relation to priest
(Melchizedek) and a servant of God (Abraham) in Genesis 14:17-20. This
seems something strange for people to understand because tithing system was
introduced in the book of Exodus. The payment of tithe is later mentioned in
the laws given to the Israelites (Num. 18; Deut. 14). The people of Israel were
to pay tithe to the Levites and the Levites were in turn supposed to give a tenth
of what has been given them by the common people of Israel. Apart from that,
the Israelites were having different kinds of tithing systems such as: the tithe to
be given to the Levites (Lev. 27:30-32; Num. 18:21), a third-year tithe for the
needy (Deut. 14:22-27)[1], tithe of tithes, and annual tithes and the King’s tithe
(1 Sam. 8:15)[2].
With time, tithe became a measuring rod in the economics of the people
of Israel.
At a point in history, the teachings of some Rabbis restricted giving
twenty-percent above tithe in support of the needy. At the time of the
Israelites, they were paying faithful tithe and offerings to God.
In our world today, many people do not pay their tithe and offerings
faithfully to God, why? Do our members understand what stewardship is
and being a good steward? How do we use our Time, Talents, and God’s
temple (Human Body)? Why do some church members do not return
their tithes and offerings faithfully? Do our members understand the
mission of the remnant church? Is our pocket dedicated to God? The
presentation will help us to address such issues.
Statement of the Problem
Several work has been done on why people find it difficult to
pay faithful tithe and offering in the church. In all those
works, the argument is still rages on about biblical tithing and
its importance to our contemporary churches today. Our
questions are as follows: what is the meaning of Tithe and
Offerings? Where does it come from? Is it Biblical? Is it
Important? Can both be accepted in our days? Why do some
people find it difficult to return their tithes and Offerings?
What can we do for people to return their tithe and offerings
Purpose of study

This paper will aim at the importance of tithing and

offering to our contemporary churches today. It will
further differentiate tithe from the other offerings. Our
focus will address the importance of tithing and God’s
motive on tithing. Is tithing biblical? Does it apply to
our contemporary churches today?
Significant of Study

This study will be a great attempt to

solving the long-standing debate about
the meaning of tithe and offerings and
why both are needed in the modern era.

This is the theological analysis which will deals

with what the bible is saying about tithing and
offerings, it will help us to know the effect or the
implications of tithing and offerings in this
modern era.
The focus of this chapter is to review literature that relate to the
topic of study.
Works done by scholars will be presented and evaluated where
necessary. This evaluation will affirm the need for this study.
“Concerning the implications Mal.3:10 has on Christians giving,
McGee notes that the tithe of Mal.3:10 and all others tithes
mentioned in the OT were meant for those under the Law” The
Israelites were under the law and were meant to keep the
principles of the law. He notes that tithing was a legal
requirement for every native of Israel. It was similar to the
payment of a tax.
Thomas Schreiner said, Believers are no longer under the Mosaic
covenant (Rom. 6:14–15; 7:5–6; Gal. 3:15–4:7; 2 Cor. 3:4–18).
The commands stipulated in the Mosaic covenant are no longer in
force for believers. Some appeal to the division between the civil,
ceremonial, and moral law to support tithing. Yet these divisions, I
would observe, are not the basis Paul uses when addressing how
the law applies to us today. And even if we use these distinctions,
tithing is clearly not part of the moral law. It’s true the moral
norms of the Old Testament are still in force today, and we discern
them from the law of Christ in the New Testament, but tithing is
not among these commands[2].
Some think tithing is required because both Abraham and Jacob gave a tenth, and
they both lived before the Mosaic covenant was in place. Such examples hardly
prove tithing is for all time, however. Abraham’s gift to Melchizedek was a one-
time event; there is no evidence he regularly gave God a tenth[3]offering

Some scholars said, when Christians are instructed to give to the poor, they aren’t
commanded to give “the poor tithe.” Instead, they are instructed to be generous
in helping those in need (Acts 2:43–47; 4:32–37; 11:27–30; Gal. 2:10; 1 Cor.
16:1–4; 2 Cor. 8:1–9:15). For example, 1 Corinthians 16:1–4—a passage often
cited in popular circles in support—doesn’t mention tithing; it relates to a one-
time gift for poor saints in Jerusalem.[4]

What is Tithe and Offering?

To understand the whole concepts of tithe and offering, let us answer the follow questions: what
stewardship is and who is a steward? “Stewardship is the lifestyle of one who has a living
relationship with Jesus Christ, accepts His lordship and walks in partnership with God, and acts as
His agent to manage His affairs on earth”.

Stewardship starts with God as Creator, master, owner, giver, and redeemer. It recognizes Him as
owner of all things (life, time, abilities, resources etc.). Acknowledge Him as the sustainer of life,
and is in control of His creation. Accepts Him as the provider of every good gift and blessing.
Stewardship also starts in the heart not in the pocket. Stewardship is a matter of loyalty and
obedience to God. Thus, obedience comes first before then blessings follow. A steward on other hand
is one to whom something of value has been entrusted to his or her care. The word entails that you
are looking after, control, nurture, defend, trade, multiply, as such, and one day, you will be called
upon to give account for what is given to you in trust. Here, Man serve as Steward: slave, creature,
manager, receiver, redeemed. For instance, our first parents, Adam and Eve, were given the Garden
of Eden to look after for the Lord. Thus Genesis 2:15 becomes the origin of Accountancy,
Management, Trust Services, Government, and Business Administration.
So, Today, God holds us accountable for whatever He has entrusted into our care.
For our income and increase, a tenth of it is to returned to the Lord, Malachi 3:8-
10. In fact, it is “holy unto the Lord,” Lev. 27:30. For our bodies, it is the temple of
the Holy Spirit and therefore, nothing unclean should enter there. Our time should
be used wisely and adequate time allocated to every activity, Eccl 3.

A tithe simply means a “tenth”. Tithing is our tangible way of bringing to God that
which belongs to Him anyway. It’s our obedient response to His clear command to
“bring” the first tenth of our income into the ‘storehouse’. God’s promise is that our
obedience brings us divine protection. We don’t tithe to “get” – we tithe to “obey”.
Offerings are our free will giving over and above the tithe. God speaks about the
principles of sowing and reaping and freewill offerings in every area of our lives
and this includes our finances.
Difference Between Tithe and Offering

Offerings are given to God but so are tithes. How do offerings

differ from tithes? Malachi 3:6-12 speaks of tithes and offerings
as being different but also says that withholding both is like
robbing from God. Malachi differentiates tithes from offerings by
the word “and” when he writes “your tithes and offerings.” God
says that they are robbing Him by withholding the offerings and
the tithes.
There are primary differences between a tithe and offering

1. A tithe is a fixed percentage of your income or monetary possessions. An

offering is not a set amount and is not restricted to your income or monetary

2. A tithe is governed by a set of church guidelines that determine how and

where it is used. An offering is not.
Another way to view the difference between a tithe and a financial offering is a
tithe is given out of trust, an offering is given out of love. If we believe that we
don’t actually own our possessions, including our money, then giving a tithe is
trusting God will care for us with or without our money, an offering is showing
God gratitude for doing just that.
An offering is much more than simply a portion of your
income or following a list of commands. It is a
willingness to give. It is a sacrifice of what you haven’t
already given back to God. This includes your money,
but it is much more than your money. It is your time,
your talents, your body and your money.
The origin of Tithe and Offering

The initial illustration in the Bible about any tithing concerns the account of Abraham
and Melchizedek in Genesis chapter 14. Following the slaughter of the kings, Abraham
returned to central Palestine with his nephew named Lot, the other captives, and with a
large amount of spoil that was taken from the northern kings (verses 16–17). Abraham
then met Melchizedek and gave him a tenth of the spoil. "He gave him tithes of
all" (verse 20). The remainder of the captured goods was given to the king of Sodom
(verses 21–24). Consider this action of Abraham. There is no agreement whatever with
the law of tithing later revealed in the Book of Leviticus. Indeed, Moses required that
the tithe be paid only on the increase of the land and animals (Leviticus 27:30–31). But
with Abraham, he did not work to produce any of the spoil he had recovered. Spoil does
not represent an increase from farms or ranches. There was no biblical teaching which
showed that Abraham was required to give a tenth of the spoil to Melchizedek.
Actually, much later in the time of Moses, the Israelites were
informed what should be done with any spoil they might
capture from their enemies such as that which Abraham
captured in his day. Such spoil was not to be tithed as shown in
the law of Moses. When the Israelites obtained spoil from the
Midianites, Moses insisted that the priests receive 1/500thof the
goods from those who had gone to war—not 1/10th as a tithe
would require (Numbers 31:9, 27–29). The Levites got more
booty. They received 1/50th of the congregation’s half of the
spoil (verse 30). Again, the law concerning "spoils" in war had
nothing to do with the later ordained tithe.
Notwithstanding, the offering were not like that of the tithe because there
were different kinds of offerings: The Burnt Offering, the Grain Offering, the
Peace Offering, the Purification Offering, and the Reparation Offering—
should not be viewed as legalistic rites one must perform to earn God’s
grace. The Prophet Samuel said, “to obey is better than sacrifice,” (1 Sam
15:22), and Jeremiah likewise negates Burnt Offerings for atonement and
says that disobedience results in calamity (Jer 44:23). Rather, the sacrificial
system in the Old Testament was a means of grace by which one who
unintentionally sinned might make reparations for that sin without paying
with his or her life, or with the life of his or her child. The system was an
outward expression of a person or community’s inward desire to restore the
broken relationships between humanity and God and humanity and the
Kinds of offering

1. Burnt Offering
The first offering is the olah, literally, “an offering of
ascent,” commonly called the Burnt Offering. The
purpose of the Burnt Offering was for general
atonement of sin and expression of devotion to God.
The instructions for the Burnt Offering are given in
Lev 1:3-17. The offering could be a bull (1:3), sheep
or goat (1:10), or dove or pigeon (1:14).
2. Grain Offering
The second type of offering in the Old Testament is the minchah, or Grain
Offering. The purpose of the Grain Offering was a voluntary expression of
devotion to God, recognizing His goodness and providence. The instructions for
the grain offerings are given in Leviticus 2. Generally it was cooked bread—baked
(2:4), grilled (2:5), fried (2:7), roasted, or made into cereal (2:14)—though always
seasoned (2:13), unsweetened, and unleavened (2:11).

3. Peace Offering
The third offering is the shelem, or Peace Offering. This category, first discussed
in Leviticus 3, included Thanksgiving Offerings (Lev 7:12), Freewill Offerings
(7:16), and Wave Offerings (7:30). The offering could be cattle (3:1), sheep (3:7),
or a goat (3:12). It could be male or female, but must be without defect. If it was
a Thanksgiving Offering, it could also include a variety of breads (7:12).
4. Sin Offering
The fourth offering was called chattath, literally “sin” or “sin offering.” This offering is
sometimes seen as an offering of atonement for unintentional sin (4:2-3, 4:20). Similarly,
it is sometimes viewed as guilt offering, removing the consequences for lack of
perfection (4:13-14, 4:22-23).

5. Guilt Offering
The fifth and final offering was the asham, traditionally translated “Guilt Offering.”
Unlike the English word “guilt” this does not refer to a matter of one’s conscience
but rather to something one owes on account of a “sin.” Other suggestions for the
name of this offering are the “Trespass Offering” or the “Reparation Offering.” The
purpose of this offering was to make reparations for one’s sin. As such, this
offering had a specific monetary value, and one who owed another on account of
a debt due to a “sin” could repay it in silver rather than by sacrificing a ram (5:15).
In the New Testament, since Jesus commented
on the offering of the woman, it shows that
money offerings were accepted in the time of
Israelites as well in mark 12:41-44. This means
that both tithe and offerings are important.
Why people do not return tithe and offerings faithfully?

These are some of the reasons why people do not return

1. It was Priests and Levites who received tithes During the days of the Old
Testament, it was Levites and Priests who used to receive tithes. However,
under the new law of Christ in the New Testament, all believers are priests,
led by Jesus himself 9 (1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 20:6; Heb. 7).

2. Jesus affirmed tithe, but it was before the new covenant Most Christians
usually argue that Jesus Christ endorsed tithing when He praised those who
willingly give it out (Matt. 23:23; Luke 11:42). However, what many fail to
mention is that Jesus praised both tithing and offering sacrifices in the temple.
That was way before the new covenant, so if Christians no longer offer sacrifices
in the temple, why then are some still paying tithes.
3. Give to the poor doesn’t mean tithing: The Bible states clearly how Christians
must give from their hearts but it never said giving means paying your tithes.
Rather, it urged believers to give to the needy and destitute (Acts 2:43–47;
4:32–37; 11:27–30; Gal. 2:10; 1 Cor. 16:1–4; 2 Cor. 8:1–9:15). 1 Corinthians
16:1–4 clearly doesn’t mention anything about tithing but rather supporting
poor saints in Jerusalem with gifts.

4. Tithe was tied to the land of Israel under old covenant: The Bible states
that the people of Israel were supposed to celebrate tithe every three
years in Jerusalem. But this is not applicable to Christians of today. That
is because the earthly Jerusalem is no longer central in God’s purposes
(Gal. 4:25) and believers are now a part of the heavenly Jerusalem (Gal.
4:26) and look forward to the city to come (Heb. 11:10), to the new
heavens and new earth (Rev. 21:1–22:5).
5. Believers no longer under Mosaic covenant Christians of today are no longer under the
Mosaic covenant (Rom. 6:14–15; 7:5–6; Gal. 3:15–4:7; 2 Cor. 3:4–18). You could argue
that some moral norms under the Old Testament are still in force, but clearly tithing was
never part of the commandments, not even under the New Testament.

6. It’s all mine anyway. Why should I give?

7. I give elsewhere.

8. Tithing is not in the New Testament.

9. God will provide through other people. This person believes that other people will give
to support the cause of Christ in their church.

10. I don’t trust preachers. This is understandable due to the few high profile ministers
who misuse God’s money.

11. I only give to projects I like.

12. I have no control over my finances. My husband does. In this case (and it’s
almost always a wife in this position) her husband controls the finances and
although the wife wants to give, he prohibits it.
How can we help people to return tithe and offerings faithfully?

Ellen White’s amplification of the biblical counsel, she says “The

tithe is sacred, reserved by God for Himself. It is to be brought into
His treasury to be used to sustain the gospel laborers in their
work.” The tithe is a debt we owe God. We return it. “Tithe is
indeed God’s portion, not at all the property of man”
Tithing is a command from God. “Bring ye the tithes into the
storehouse, that there may be meat(food) in mine house”
(Malachi 3:10. The tithe is to be devoted especially to the
support of those who are bearing God's messages to the
world; and it should not be diverted from this purpose.
Suggesting guidelines

•Develop a year-round, comprehensive stewardship program. Preach stewardship

sermons throughout the year, not just in the weeks before asking for an estimate
of giving. Know that developing a congregation of faithful givers does not happen
during a three to four-week stewardship drive. People do not become faithful
stewards in one moment or through one influence.
•Encourage them to tithe by being open and transparent – show them what
their giving is accomplishing. Some churches send out quarterly giving
record reports to their congregations with a financial bulletin. Churches who
regularly communicate with their congregations about budgets and ministry
expenses have more people tithing than those that don’t. Your congregation
are your biggest donors – they deserve to know what’s happening with their
Know that people give to healthy organizations
where they know their money is used wisely.
Tell stories of how lives are changed because of
their giving. People need to know their giving
makes a difference. As a sign of appreciation, make
sure all your procedures for giving are as
convenient as possible.
Result of Robbery or not returning tithes and offerings faithfully

The tithes and offering is used to support the church budget (rent, bills, staff
salaries, missions, etc). Malachi 3:8-12 that says:
“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, 'In what way have we
robbed You?' In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you have
robbed Me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that
there may be food in My house, And try 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 such
blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. "And I will rebuke the
devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor
shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field," says the Lord of hosts; And all
nations will call you blessed, For you will be a delightful land," says the Lord of
Many use these verses to say that not bringing the “tithes and
offerings” to the house of God (which they take it to mean the
local church building) is a sin and withholds people from their
“blessings”.. The Old Testament is wonderful and is part of the
Holy Scriptures that God inspired. As Paul says in Romans 15:3-4
“For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, " The
reproaches of them that reproached you fell on me." For whatever
things were written before were written for our learning, that we
through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have
When we withhold tithe and offerings, we deprive someone of an opportunity to hear the
gospel, to find peace, hope for better life.“The evasion of the positive commands of God
concerning tithes and offerings is registered in the books of heaven as robbery toward
We shall give an account of our not being faithful steward to God.

“A Tithe of all our increase is the Lord’s. He has reserved it for Himself, to be employed for
religious purposes. It is Holy.”
“God’s people are called to a work that requires money and consecration.” CS.p.35.

It is not returning to the Lord His own that makes men poor withholding tends to poverty.
CS. p.36.Hasten, my brethren and sisters, to bring to God a faithful tithe, and to bring Him
also a willing thank offering. There are many who will not be blessed till they make
restitution of the tithe which they have withheld. CS.p.87
“Some have been dissatisfied and have said, ‘I will no
longer pay my tithe [into His treasury]; for I have no
confidence in the way things are managed at the heart of
the work.’ But will you rob God because you think the
management of the work is not right? Make your
complaint. . . Send in your petitions for things to be
adjusted and set in order; but do not withdraw from the
work of God, and prove unfaithful, because others are
not doing right.” Testimonies, Vol.2, pp.518, 519

Summary and conclusion

Everyone is supposed to return tithe. Even Pastors are to return tithe. “Moreover,

you shall speak and say to the Levites, ‘When you take from the people of Israel
the tithe that I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall
present a contribution from it to the Lord, a tithe of the tithe.” Numbers
18:26“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in
mine house” Malachi 3:10
Philippians 4:19: And my God will supply every need of yours according to his
riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Malachi 3:10: “…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].”
Proverbs 3:9,10 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the first fruits of
all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall
burst out with new wine. KJV

Happiness starts with the presence of God in our heart. God’s blessings are not
only financial. As Christians, we have confidence in God not only because of
good things that happened, but also in all that happens to us. Job was a
committed steward but he lost everything as if he was cursed by God.
We are loyal to God because we are His people. We are faithful to God because
He is our Father, our Creator, our Redeemer, and our Saviour. We depend on him
for life and for everything. We are loyal to God because we are a chosen race,
God’s own people. His children. (1 Peter 2:9-10)As life goes on, some will be
sick; some will suffer injustice, poverty, prison, financial difficulties, etc…
Even though, things go right or wrong, our faith in Him remains the same like
those heroes quoted inHebrew11:35-40

Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth: A Guide to
Understanding the Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1993), 163.

Eric H. Cline, Biblical Archaeology: A Very Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University, 2009),

Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament. 2nd ed.
(Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 1993), 60, 94.

J. V. McGee, “Theology of The Tabernacle; Part1” Biblioteca Sacra. 94 (374): 153-175-

(CDROM) (Garland: Galaxie Software: 1937) quoted inReuben David Van Rensburg,
“Tithes and Offering in the South Africa Context: The Bible and reality”, (Dissertation,
university of Zululand, South Africa, 2002). 79