Did Jesus Teach Tithing?

Tithing on Trial

As we continue our series ‘Tithing on Trial’, let’s evaluate another argument used to defend tithing.

Jesus Taught Tithing

In Matthew 23:23, Jesus is speaking to the pharisees and says this, “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.”

Undoubtedly because these words come out of the mouth of Jesus, many believe this settles the tithing issue for them. But this assumption is made out of ignorance and the conclusion is not within scriptural context. If you read the whole chapter of Matthew 23 and research the other Old Testament commands that Jesus taught, we can reveal that the tithing issue is not settled by the words of Jesus.

If you were to understand what Jesus was talking about, who he was talking to, and under what circumstances in Matthew 23:23, then we need to start at the very begging on the passage and understand it’s context.

Matthew 23:1 begins by saying, “Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe,[a] that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.

At the beginning of Matthew 23, Jesus confirms that the pharisees sit in Moses’ seat, and then commands the disciples to obey the pharisees (which is surprising). The introduction in Matthew 23 reveals that Jesus upheld the Mosaic law, and still commanded it. One of the keys to remember in this passage is that we can learn from the teachings of Jesus, but it doesn’t mean Jesus’ address to the disciples and the Israelites is a personal plea for the New Testament Church. If you believe Church leaders sit in Moses’ seat and that we are to observe the Mosaic laws, then  i can see why you believe that everything Jesus’ commanded back then should be commanded now.

In another example of Jesus teaching the law, we read Matthew 5:23-24, “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

 Considering that this was near the end of Jesus’ life on earth and somewhat close to the birth of the Church, i am somewhat shocked that Jesus is still giving the Israelites instructions on how to worship on an altar.

Luke 5:14 is another passage of Jesus upholding the law when he commands a healed man to show himself to the priest. If you read more scripture, you will see that Jesus observed the Passover and attended the feasts prescribed in the Mosaic law. There was no question that Jesus obeyed the law, practiced the law, and taught the law. So, who is to say that Jesus was commanding the New Testament Church to tithe?

Let’s review Matthew 23:23 again where Jesus highlights how meticulous the Pharisees were tithing the small herbs in their crops, and then criticizes them for omitting justice, mercy, and faith. If you have an understanding of how tithing was practiced in the Mosaic law, you would know that the only items that could be tithed upon were crops and animals. This means that neither money, nor goods were accepted for the tithe. What’s important to remember here is that Jesus did not ridicule them for their obedience to the specifics of the Mosaic law; he approved their obedience to the Law. So, if you believe Jesus commendation to tithe is applicable to us, then you must also believe that only the tithes of animals or from crops is applicable.

If you need some sort of litmus test to determine what laws in the old testament are commanded today and what laws are not, you could likely use the actions of the Pharisees as your test. We know the Pharisees excelled at keeping the Mosaic law, but did not excel at obeying universal principles such as justice, mercy, and faith. So, you could abstain from any of the laws that the pharisees were religious about without worrying if you are doing the wrong thing. In regards to tithing, please take note that the Pharisees excelled in this area.

Now that the evidence has been given in this court of law, it is your turn to decide; Did Jesus Teach Tithing for us- Guilty or not guilty?



Jared Bartholomew is the author of www.tithing.com. There are over 300 articles written on research and reviews about tithing information.

Posted in Tithing on Trial Tagged with: ,
73 comments on “Did Jesus Teach Tithing?
  1. Marc Rettus says:

    John, where are these blessings that we won’t believe, that comes from heaven.

    If tithing applies, then this must be true for everyone who tithes EVERY TIME.

    Doesn’t happen. Case closed.

    Give as your heart dictates, not from compulsion. Pretty confusing isn’t it? Not really.

    • john says:

      Marc, everything you said must be supported from biblical truth.
      do not rely so much on your understanding.

      our existence is to obey God and the purpose is in his laws that declared righteousness.

      what is the purpose of giving his laws to the people?

      it’s just there to obey them. God is spirit along with his spiritual laws. To obey is to believe that he exists, right?

      The tithing law was set up first in heaven then to earth (Mathew 6:10).
      To remove it is to deprive you of your right to inherit this heavenly gift which is the eternal life.

      Because the law was given to the people through his covenant.

      i want you to read this Paul’s statement in Hebrew 7:8 and understand.

      Hebrews 7:8

      8 In the one case, the tenth is collected by people who die ( Levite priests) ; but in the other case, by him ( Jesus ) who is declared to be living.

      The tithing law was transferred to Jesus’ directive. nothing more!

  2. Marc Rettus says:

    If tithing is still mandatory, then the windows of heaven MUST open up and pore blessings upon us THAT WE WON’T BELIEVE.”

    It must happen 100% of the time.

    It doesn’t.

    But, hey, living in a nicer house than the people in the pew must mean a larger mortgage payment, right? Come on, the pastor needs the money.

    Give as your heart dictates, not with reluctance, nor compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

    • LAMONT PITTS says:

      The floodgates of heaven are open to us 100% of the time empowering us to prosper. We tithe by faith just like any other thing we do to please God. We bring our tithe now to our high priest, Jesus, if you’re worried about the pastor mishandling the money seek God for guidance.

      • john says:

        yeah! Just like i said that this tithing law according to Paul’s letter in Hebrew 7:8 is the new testament tithing law. that’s what i believed.

        Hebrews 7:8

        8 In the one case, the tenth is collected by people who die ( Levite priests) ; but in the other case, by him ( Jesus ) who is declared to be living.

        • Marc Rettus says:

          Hebrews 7:8 states And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.

          • john says:

            of Melchizedek!

          • john says:

            …and one more, u can’t feel the blessings pouring from heaven. it’s symbolic for freely given to men from God.
            and if it doesn’t come on time remember u r being tested for ur faith of how long will u endure up to the end of time. just like Paul said some didn’t receive anything yet they were proven righteous.

            Hebrews 11:39
            These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised

  3. jones ferrari says:

    it must not be in a church and expected to be accepted in heaven, cos jesus said u must go back and make peace. how many times have we kept total peace? yes God loves a cheerfull giver. not thitegiver. but a generous giver. my friends God is after our hearts. when our heart is pure no matter how u practice mosaic and traditional laws God is not there. but when u please the lord, you will feel the lord. you can only do it for ur self. no ur activities,religion,belief, Gods blessings is free for all.’

  4. Shane says:

    Tithing is not New Testament. The tithe was a type and shadow of Jesus. As God gave the increase the tithe was only Crops and Livestock. The tithe was always something you ate. It was commanded in Deuteronomy to take the tithe to a place every 3 years and eat it in the presence of the Lord ( even strong drink) a first fruit offering was given to the Levite and had a share with the people as they could not own land. Jesus is the firstfruit and He said this is my blood of the new covenant this is my body broken for you. Blood and Bread ….livestock and Crops …a shadow of things to come….who is being robbed the church today. Mathew 23 23 Jesus was talking to the Pharasees who were still under the law. He had not yet gone to the cross and all of those comments start with Woe to you. As far as the blessings in Malachi 3 ” will I not poor out such “A” blessing there will not be enough room to contain “IT” these are singular talking about Jesus coming to earth not as the pastor says you will be blessed by material things if you tithe. The whole tithing in the church is a crock of junk a way to extract money from uninformed people. Giving is New Testament freely without compulsion and in love.
    Some say tithing in the old covenant with animals and crops was because that was the coinage of the day but that is not true. Money is recorded throughout the bible starting in Genesis. It time for the truth to come from the pulpit and no longer bring guild and condemnation on those that cannot afford to tithe. Jesus is the tithe study the scripture it will blow your mind it’s all there. There is no more tithing in the New Testament no matter how hard they try and tell you to extract money it simply is not found in the New Testament . Tithing… Eat of my flesh and drink of my blood you can have no part of me. There are hundreds of examples in the bible just research then and it will bring total freedom to you. Those that don’t agree you will probably find they have been brainwashed into the prosperity gospel ….another gospel .It would be considered blasphemous to tithe in money. We don’t sacrifice animals today we don’t circumcise today we are free from the law. if you are being taught correctly in your church and feel led to give then give generously. You are free….

  5. Lamont Pitts says:

    We have been redeemed from the curse of the law but we still can receive the blessings of the law. We don’t do it because it is the law but it is freely given to receive what was attached to the tithe. If you plant no seed, you get no harvest and this is why there are so many Christians who have nothing. They got saved and stopped there. Yes they will make it to heaven but they are not living an overcoming lifestyle. If the devourer is not rebuked and constantly eating your harvest how will you live an abundant life? Trust Him with a tenth. I know this from experience. I’ve increased every year since I began to tithe consistently, all glory to God!

    • Marc Rettus says:

      Ah, the Gospel of Prosperity, which I HATE. Just give money to the person who will spend it and see Jesus BLESS YOU!!! Lamont, you preach the Gospel of Prosperity well, are you on a church’s payroll? Just wondering.

      Except it doesn’t work. A third grader can see that. If tithing worked, there would be NO poor African-American Christians in the ghettos of the United States. There would be NO poor Christians in Iran and Iraq. Etc.

      Oh, by the way, Lamont, I’ve increased almost every year of my life, even before I was a Christian, AND during the years of Christianity when I gave NOTHING to the work of Jesus. No one can explain it.

      In fact, 100% of the time pastors who teach the tithe will do one or two of the following three things, when they know they can’t defend their false teaching; 1. Refuse to answer. 2. Change the subject (to giving or to how much his church needs the money.) 3. Attack me personally.

      There’s the proof in the pudding.

      • Lamont Pitts says:

        No I am not on payroll for my church, I volunteer my time for whatever I do. It’s not about just giving money, as I said before it’s about faith, the only way to please God.(Hebrews 11:6) You are correct, there should be no poor Christians period but many Christians don’t go beyond using the faith God gifted them with to get salvation.(Ephesians 2:8) After that, as I myself have been a part of and seen up close, we accept that it’s going to be a great time in heaven but on earth we just have to suffer through until it’s over.

        I’m glad that you’ve increased in your life, glory to God. I pray that if you haven’t you do begin to sow into the work of Jesus, whether it be to a church or some other charity because we are blessed to be a blessing.(Genesis 12:2-3) In actuality though tithes aren’t for the pastors, we should be sowing into them if we are being fed by them.(1Corinthians 9:1-14)

        I pray that you no longer hate the Gospel because it is who Jesus was and is and taught himself, not just prosperity but every aspect of the Blessing of God.(Luke 4:18-22) It’s not that a preach prosperity so much as what I read and hear from the Bible I choose to believe, not picking and choosing what parts suit me. I also believe in healing, and love, and forgiveness.

        You speak like someone who has been hurt by religious thinking before from people who lacked the revelation that God gives of His Word.(Matthew 16:17) Without revelation we are stumbling about in the dark and some love to lead others around like they know where they are going but stumbling every step of the way.

        I thank God for the opportunity to speak with you, and anyone else on here so that we His light can be shed that we all continue moving closer to the unity of faith in Ephesians 4. I ask for His wisdom, going forward and Thank God for His Spirit being our teacher, the Spirit of truth that hears the Father and only speaks what He hears the Father say. I ask for His safety upon us that we can give time to His Word for the renewing of our minds to the perfect will of God.

        In Jesus name, I receive it now. Amen

    • David Wilkes says:

      ..wouldnt this mean, that conditioned upon your tithes, we receive Grace from God? But isn’t said, “We don’t receive God’s grace by our good works but believing in the Son whom he sent?”

  6. Marc Rettus says:

    I love the gospel, it’s lies from people who profit from it by telling lies that I don’t love.

    I’ve given out thousands and thousands of tracts that tell how to get on the road to salvation.

    Don’t make assumptions, as that will make you look ignorant, Lamont.

    I’ll be heaven, because I have been saved by grace.

    Not back to the robbing of God’s children by someone who gets paid out of the collection basket; how can supposedly mature Christians sit there and listen to something that obviously doesn’t make sense? The thief (pastor who gets paid out of the collection basket) reads Malchi 3:10, and tells the people that it means exactly opposite of what is written, because, well, it doesn’t work as written. Changing God’s word!!!!!

    The thief (pastor who gets paid out of the collection basket) reads 2 Corinthians 9:7 and states that this creates a new minimum. Changing God’s word!!!!!

    Maybe these thieves are even saved.

    • LAMONT PITTS says:

      Marc I was just speaking from what you said yourself. You spoke on hating the gospel of prosperity but you can’t separate prosperity from the gospel when Jesus says He came to preach the gospel to the poor (Luke 4:18). What good news could you give the poor other than they don’t have to be poor, they can prosper? (3John 1:2)

      It is awesome of you to share the Word through tracts intended to lead people to Christ but our lives should be displaying the glory of God and doing the same. Many in the world believe the gospel to be ineffective and that they can provide better on their own when we should live better than anyone because we should be living heaven on earth as God wants us (Matthew 6:10).

      I specified that the pastors aren’t paid from the tithe. I spoke of sowing into their lives the same way we still pay tithes, by faith. To be a mature Christian we have to be spending our own time in the Word as well as hearing the Word through preachers and we will have our trust in God who said He would give us wisdom to understand (James 1:5-6) and He would make sense of the Word and how to operate accordingly, but if you choose not to believe that how can you expect to believe any other part of His Word.

      It may just be me but I’m not moved to withold because I do not fear what man can do to me, I’ve read where it is written to give and that is what I will do. You are welcome to choose yourself how you will act on it but I believe God and I will praise Him for how He has blessed me by grace through my FAITH in giving as He instructed, not to think of my own power I have what I have.

      • David Wilkes says:

        I’m sorry, I meant doesn’t it say, “we don’t receive Grace from God because of our good works, but through the son whom he sent.”

        • LAMONT PITTS says:

          You are correct David, we receive grace through faith and that not of ourselves (Ephesians2:8-10).

          The faith we have was given to us as a gift from God and it was given so we could do good works. Remember faith without works is dead, meaning our faith isn’t working to bring us the harvest of God’s grace (James 2:17-18).

          It was never about the items people brought but the faith that was behind the bringing. If God never changes as the Word says (Numbers 23:19) then it has always been impossible to please Him without faith (Hebrews 11:6).

          Jesus is the Word that we have faith in now, the fine flour and bread offerings are His body, the animal sacrifices are His blood, the oil is His anointing through the Spirit. All by grace, not because of anything we did, not by earning but because He loves us first (1John 4:9-11).

          Now through our actions of love towards one another do we show that we accept what He has freely given. Our wife or girlfriend doesn’t just accept the words “I love you” without us backing them up with actions of corresponding type. The Word is full of actions we can take to show that acceptance and tithing is one of them.

          • David Wilkes says:

            Thanks Lamont. I see this better now through your context. Tithing is something ive been battling for a little while. I had prayed about it some time back and was then lead to Parable of the Rich Farmer. The only conclusion I’ve been left with is, God isn’t concerned about a tenth, he is concerned that we aren’t stingy with our money…

          • David Wilkes says:

            ..but I’m still not sure on this matter

    • Dr Blessed-Osbert says:

      i agree with you that the true robber is the pastor who robs the congregation of their freedom to give out of freewill and not by compulsion (2 Cor 9:7).
      Any pastor who quotes Mal 3:10 to a Christian as a basis for tithe of money, contradicts the law of grace ( John 1:17, Gal 3:11-13)

      Tithe collectors either out of sheer ignorance or greed would always argue that instead of cow. oil. wine, cattle that Mosaic demanded as tithe items, that a Christian should tithe money because in Moses time, there was no money or money was no the means of exchange. This is erroneous because Deut 14:22-28, clearly shows there was money and the tither was to eat his tithe sacrifice at a place God would choose.

      Moreover, it is evident from Mal 1 says that the tithe was specifically a duty to the Israelites to pay to the Levine’s who God chose to collect tithe of his brethren( the other tribes). As a Christian gentile I am not under the Jewish tradition and so that Mosaic tithe law doesn’t apply to me. cf Act 15:24;28-29,Numbers 18:21-24.

      since church programmes needs money what I would rather like and encourage would be for pastors to have their members see reason of contributing agreed percentage of their income to support God’s work rather than quote Mosaic law to create fear in the minds of the believers and collect compulsory tithe, which some out of fear of trying to avert a curse pay yet not out of love but of fear of a curse( devourer)

      saying also that Abraham paid tithe and was rich is a contradiction as Abraham was rich before he paid tithe and even Abraham’s tithe ( if at all) was not from his property but from the spoil of the war cf Gen 13:2;14:21.

  7. A Grateful Alcoholic says:

    My limited understanding was that Abraham gave the first tithe to the Priest of the Most High. And Abraham’s tithe was not according to the “Law”? But more of a honor to God for victory? Later, the tithe became a Law, Hebrews 7:5. Then Paul when writing to the Roman Christians states, Romans 6:15 “We are not under the Law, but under grace.” Of course 2 Corinthians 9:7 encourages us to give according to our heart. My wife and I give our tithe not because we should or because it is a command, but we are thankful for what God has done. Was not that the beginning of tithe by Abraham?

  8. mezie says:

    The most important thing here was that you gave from your heart.

  9. David Wilkes says:

    You battled with this thing for a long time now, I’ve given the tithe and not given the full tithe, all coming back to the scriptures that have all been mentioned. One thing that I feel the spirit revealed to me was this; they asked Jesus, “Should we pay our taxes?” And Jesus said, “Give to Caesar what is his and to GOD what is his.” The last part of the sentence has put me in park. I’ve heard some say , “He’s talking about giving God yourself(your heart)etc; but the question was about, “do I give my money to tax collectors?” and Jesus said, Yes; and give to God what’s his. Jesus couldn’t have meant anything different than speaking of money.

  10. David Wilkes says:

    Please anyone feel free to explain this. If Jesus said anything about tithing, it was only in that small remark. Furthermore, the rest Jesus taught was simply, to give. Love thy neighbor as yourself. I believe Jesus gave us two concepts/ rules for giving

    • john says:

      it’s categorically wrong! Tithe is the law while giving or give is an act of love essential to fulfill God;s law and there is complicated between these two ingredients if u’d ever read the bible seriously. don’t get me wrong the churches of today leaned much on Romanic form.

      • john says:

        …or there is no complicated between these two ingredients

        • David Wilkes says:

          Hear what you’re saying, kinda. I’ve been back and forth; but it still doesn’t justify the response of Jesus concerning taxes. “Give to Ceaser his and God his.” Not that God ever needed a dollar but to the ministry. Jesus also said, “I did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill the Law.” The tithe was the requirement we read in Malachi but when we go back further then that, it was noted that Abraham paid tithe to the high priest 400 years before the law happened

          • john says:

            David, u might be wondering why tithe(s) wasn’t so much mentioned in the New Testament or taught by the apostles of Jesus.
            there’s a factor that we need to reconsider about the situation they were in and note, Jesus did not do away the laws of commandment of his father that had been handed down to his prophets. IT IS BOUND TO CONTINUE UP TO THE LAST DAYS OF MAN ACCORDING TO MATHEW 5:17.

            18 ….For truly I tell you, until Heaven and Earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

            no word is so powerful than the word of Jesus!

            These are the factors that needs to look at.

            1. During the apostle time the only scripture available was the first scripture and the new testament scripture wasn’t around or being in the process of making. so every preaching done by the apostles must be based on this scripture.

            2. The Gentiles as well as the Greeks should keep the law of the jews as instructed by Paul as stated in Acts15.

            3. The only tithe topic that was raised by Paul can be found in Hebrew 7:8, let’s read:

            Hebrews 7:8
            New International Version (NIV)

            8 In the one case, the tenth is collected by people who die (mortal man or the Levite priest);

            but in the other case, by him (Jesus) who is declared to be living (Possessed an eternal life).

            it’s clear that the tithing law wasn’t abrogated even in the time of Paul or in the modern times. it’s just there clearly written for people who loved to seek truth.

            i hope u do understand my point.

  11. Bill Pfister says:

    John, when you quote Hebrews, the passage states that, “In the one case, the tenth is collected by people who die.” You will notice that the tithe was literally, physically, collected by people who die.

    It goes on to say, “But in the other case, by him (Jesus) who is declared to be living.” If we accept that this means the tenth continues to be literally and physically collected, then we must accept that it is literally and physically collected by Jesus.

    If we believe this language to be literal rather than symbolic, we must simply set our tithes out and allow Jesus to physically pick them up and consume them.

    But as to whether Paul meant to indicate that all believers in the Church age were to literally give a tenth of a particular material good, please consider the following message sent from the Apostles by the hand of Paul (among other faithful men), as recorded in Acts 15:

    23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia.

    24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:

    25 It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,

    26 Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth.

    28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;

    29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

    30 So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle:

    31 Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation.


    Love in Christ.

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