Are Christians who don't tithe robbing God? Does malachi 3:8 really apply to believers or to jews under the law? Many pastors preach this as if a ten percent tithe of money is for the church today.

  • Abraham, the man of faith, gave tithes to Melchizedek, who is a figure of Christ, long before the law required it. Genesis 14:8.
    – Nigel J
    Nov 29, 2018 at 18:52
  • Abraham gave tithes is descriptive not prescritive. no one told him to do it he was free. he gave spoils of war, not money and it was one time, no indication that it was an ongoing support. using Melchizedek to support a new testament "tithe" is questionable. the new testament mentions this "the lesser honored the greater". Is pointing to the superior priesthood of melchizedek. if we apply this to new testament. Jesus is our high priest, one mediator between God and man. we as protestants don't believe that we have a human priest as mediator. Jesus is the one we honor not a human priest.
    – Ted Myrrh
    Dec 4, 2018 at 1:15
  • In many civilized countries, the salaries of priests or pastors are paid by the state, which gathers its financial or monetary resources from taxes, so the question seems mute. Reasonably, ask yourself this: Is the church building crumbling or in a state of disrepair ? Are the shepherds and their families going hungry or bankrupt, or otherwise threatened with eviction notices ?
    – Lucian
    Dec 22, 2018 at 6:09
  • the traditions of what many countries do is irrelevant to the christian life which is governed by doctrine NOT tradition. scripture clearly teaches certain things for new testament believers. never is it called tithing, a tenth, or limited to money. "Share all good things with those with whom you receive instruction in the word" opinions are not relevant to a doctrinal discussion.
    – Ted Myrrh
    Dec 23, 2018 at 8:33
  • @TedMyrrh: Why would it be irrelevant ? Taxes represent 30% of a person's salary in Romania, for instance, and 30% is greater than 10%, wouldn't you agree ?
    – Lucian
    Jan 1, 2019 at 0:20

3 Answers 3


Since your question is posed from a Christian point of view, my answer is from that perspective, ie New Testament related. There is no biblical justification for teaching tithing as a requirement in the New Testament. Tithing was something that was outlined by the Law of Moses but has no New Testament application. For the NT concept of giving is derived from verses like 2 Corinthians 9:6-7: (NIV)

7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.

As for the Book of Malachi, pastors who cite Malachi 3:8-10 as proof text for the requirement for tithing, are grossly quoting scripture out of context. We cannot just quote from Malachi 3 with respect to offerings when the entire book deals with this exact subject. The entire context of the book will tell you how to interpret chapter 3 verses 8-10. We must study the entire Book of Malachi to see the connection to the Book of Deuteronomy and the link to the blessing and cursings outlined there.

To give a complete answer would be to include the study of the entire book but here are the cliff notes:

From the start of the Book of Malachi, God is dealing with Israel about the woeful quality of their offerings to Him and this is precisely this context that will drive the meaning of chapter 3:8-10:

  1. God tells Israel that no one has been able to keep His commandments since the day the He gave them to Israel. See Malachi 3:7 (NIV)

7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them.

  1. God tells Israel that He is no longer accepting sacrifices from them. See Malachi 1:10 (NIV):

10 “Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord Almighty, “and I will accept no offering from your hands.

  1. God tells Israel that only after the Messiah comes, will offerings then become acceptable again. See Malachi 3:1-4 (NIV)

1“I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty. 2 But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, 4 and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years.

So based on the entire context of the book it makes no contextual sense whatsoever to interpret the meaning of Malachi 3:8-10 as a commandment to offer more and better sacrifices to God when the entire book is a scathing condemnation where God says the no one has ever kept His commands, that He now will no longer accept any more sacrifices and that only the coming of the Messiah will solve this issue.

Also, if we study the entire book, we will find that in chapter 3 verses 10-12, Malachi is referencing Deuteronomy 28:1-14 where God is out lining the blessings IF Israel keeps EVERYTHING that is outlined in the Law of Moses. We will also find that the “curse” (reference to Deuteronomy 28:15-68) is also a theme of the Book of Malachi and is precisely what Malachi is referencing in verse 9 right before the famous verse 10 and the windows of heaven. (NKJV)

9 You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation.

So we see that the quoting of Malachi 3;8-10 to coerce Christians to tithe is a classic case of quoting scripture out of context.

  • Very good answer +1
    – user25930
    Nov 30, 2018 at 8:55
  • thanks for your comment. please contest that my question was flagged as off topic . some claiming in didnt site a bible verse which is untrue. Malachi 3.8
    – Ted Myrrh
    Dec 23, 2018 at 8:42

First, "tithe" is simply and Old English word for "tenth". Many of the practices of modern churches have no basis (read zero, nil nix none) in the NT whatsoever, such as:

  • Attending church each week
  • Tithing was part of the Ceremonial System and so is no longer required by Christians.
  • Ordination of church offices by the “laying on of hands”
  • Liturgy is neither discussed nor mandated in the Bible. The closest we get to any liturgy (if we stretch the meaning somewhat) is 1 Cor 14:26, 40.

This is not to suggest that these things are wrong simply unbiblical and not commanded by the NT. However, there are many other things that ARE commanded by the NT that some ignore such as:

  • Doing good to others, especially believers, Prov 3:27, 28, Prov 11:25, Luke 3:10, 11, 6:27-45, Gal 6:2, 9, 10, Col 3:23, Heb 13:16, 1 Peter 4:10, 11.
  • Providing the means, voluntarily, for the support of church ministry and outreach, Matt 10:10, Luke 10:7, 8, 1 Cor 16:2, 2 Cor 9:3-14 (including a believing wife, v5)
  • Being generous to the poor, Ex 23:11, Prov 3:27, 28, 11:24, 25, 14:31, 17:5, 19:17, 21:13, 22:2, 9, 16, 22, 23, 28:3, 8, 27, 29:7, 13, 31:9, 20, Isa 10:1, 2, 58:1-21, Jer 7:3-6, Amos 4:10, Micah 6:8, Matt 23:23, Acts 4:32-35, Gal 2:10, James 1:27. More specifically, feed the hungry and thirsty, be hospitable to strangers, clothe the naked, care for the sick, visit prisoners, Matt 25:31-46.
  • Regular and frequent prayer, 1 Thess 5:17, 1 John 5:16, 1 Chron 16:11, 2 Chron 7:14, Psalm 5:3, Mark 1:35, Eph 6:18, James 5:13, Matt 5:44, 26:41, Prov 15:8, Ps 17:6, 102:17, Rom 12:12, 8:26, Luke 18:1, Phil 4:6, Col 4:2, 1 Tim 2:1, 2, 8, 4:5, 1 Peter 4:7, etc, etc.
  • Discipling of new people, Mat 28:19, Acts 1:7, 8.
  • Celebration of the Lord’s Supper/communion, etc. 1 Cor 11:23-29, Matt 26:26-30, Mark 14:22-26, Luke 22:15-23. Note that according to John 13:2-17, this Christian rite should include the foot-washing. (There is no mention of how often the Lord’s Supper should be practised.)
  • Baptism following conversion.
  • Hospitality, 1 Tim 3:2, Titus 1:8, Heb 13:2, 1 Peter 4:9.
  • Being just and fair, 2 Chron 19:6-10, Micah 6:8, Matt 23:23.
  • Obey civil legal laws, including paying government taxes, Matt 22:21, Rom 13:1-7, 1 Peter 2:13-17.
  • Keeping in good physical health, Rom 12:1, 1 Cor 6:19, 20, 3 John 2.
  • Prohibition against eating blood, Acts 15:29

This area is highly contested in the church generally. There is a huge variation in the official (and private) attitudes as to how the OT non-ceremonial regulations should be regarded, such as tithing, jurisprudence, attitudes to aliens, etc.

Tithing is popular by church officials because it makes budgets predictable and less erratic and thus supports the institutions.

  • Not really an answer to the original question but lots of good tangential truths so +1.
    – Ruminator
    Nov 29, 2018 at 20:22

Tithing (tenth part) was a Jewish requirment under the Moasic Law thus is was conmpulsery to the Jewish religion:-

NWT Leviticus 27:30 "‘Every tenth part of the land, whether from the produce of the field or the fruit of the trees, belongs to Jehovah. It is something holy to Jehovah.W

So should Churches follow the Jewish Law on this and do it today; not according to Scripture Paul answered this question in a short but to the point way when he was taliking about the Mosaic Lwa to the Christians in Rome:-

NWT Romans 10:4 "For Christ is the end of the Law, so that everyone exercising faith may have righteousness."

So not ot tithe is not robbing God but paul did also say:-

NWT 2 Corinthians 9:7 "Let each one do just as he has resolved in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

Thus giving offering to God is a personal matter from the heart and no Christian Church should demand tithing as that would be going beyond what God's Word says on this matter; if fact it would then become compulsery!!

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