The tithe (10%) appears to be an Old Testament concept. There doesn’t seem to be exhaustive evidence that it should be held up as a standard for giving for Christians today. The only mention of the tithe in the New Testament specifically is Jesus’ words to the Pharisees who don’t come off looking too good for their practice of the tithe. But it wasn’t because of the tithe that they were rebuked. No, it was their lack of mercy, compassion and love. Jesus say they should continue to tithe while they added compassion, mercy and love (See Matthew 23:23). David Jeremiah asks a very profound question regarding Jesus and the Old Testament. “Can you think of one New Testament example in which Jesus Christ took an Old Testament principle and lowered the bar? No, in fact the Lord usually raised the standard: ‘You have heard that it was said…but I say to you.’ Jesus constantly held people to a higher standard of performance. So those who want to discount the biblical concept of tithing simply want to justify a lower level of giving. But they won’t find support for that in the teachings of Jesus Christ.”

Further, in my opinion the concept of the tithe has its roots in theological truths which existed long before the law. Many truths that are relevant for today have their roots in the early passages of Genesis: marriage, monogamy, heterosexuality, faith as the basis of salvation, and of course the tithe. It is mentioned in Genesis 15. Abraham practiced it. Later Jacob, running from his home, committed himself to the tithe. The New Testament isn’t specific as to what percentage a believer should give to God’s work. But it is clear that we should give “as God prospers us” (1 Corinthians 16:2).

David Jeremiah goes on to say, “While there isn’t any specific amount given us in the New Testament, there are several examples that encourage us to give generously. In the story of the widow’s mite, the aged widow gave all the she had—100%! Similarly, the rich young ruler was told to give all that he had to the poor—100%. In the early church, the Book of Acts tells us that the believers had all things in common, even selling their property and giving all the money to the church—100%. And in Christ’s command to Zacchaeus, the tax collector was instructed to give half of his goods to the poor—that’s 50%.” Each of these examples of giving represented a different amount, but all are held up as examples of giving that were well-pleasing to God. Many people seem to want a figure of how much to give, but more important than a number is an attitude of gratitude to God. Every Christian I know who is happy giving to God is involved in systematic stewardship, and they started with a commitment to give God at least a tithe. Most probably wondered how they could ever afford it. But by faith they obeyed the Lord, and watched as the Lord blessed them and provided for their needs.”