Out of the Old Testament, right? I thought Christianity came out of the New Testament?
But don't let that interfere with a great marketing program . . .
It is in both the OT and NT.
The topic of what applies, OT/NT differs depending on the Christian sect. For Orthodox, Catholic, Coptic and Byzantine Christians the NT takes precedence but the OT is still relevant.
"Tithe" means a tenth or 10 percent. The tithing system described in the Bible was designed specifically to meet the needs of the religious, economic and political system of ancient Israel. Each of the twelve tribes of Israel, except the tribe of Levi, initially received an allotment of land in the promised land of Canaan. The Levites were assistants to Israel's priests and were supported by a tithe offering from other eleven tribes. All families of those eleven tribes were to give a tenth of all produce, flocks, and cattle to the Levites. In turn, the Levites were to give a tenth of that to support the priests (Leviticus 27:30-33, Numbers 18:21-28). Tithes were also used to meet the needs of foreigners, orphans and widows. (Deuteronomy 26:12-13)
In addition, everyone was to be generous with those in need:
If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs. (NIV, Deuteronomy 15:7-8)
There are several mentions of tithing in the New Testament (Matthew 23:23, Luke 11:42, 18:12; Hebrews 7:5-9), but all refer to the Old Testament system. The New Testament does not give any specific rules about tithing, and most aspects of the Old Testament Law do not apply to Christians. (See What Does the Bible Say About the Old Testament Law?)
Jesus seems to support the tithe in Matthew 23:23-24, but these verses are primarily intended as a criticism of the Pharisees as hypocrites who obeyed the letter of the law but not the spirit of the law. They were so meticulous about the law that they tithed even the small amounts of spices they grew in household gardens, but they ignored the more important matters of justice, mercy and faith!
However, Jesus made it clear that we are obligated to be generous to those in need (Matthew 25:31-46).
Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. (NIV, Matthew 5:42)
Giving is to be done cheerfully, rather than as an obligation (2*Corinthians 9:6-7), and not for the purpose of public recognition (Matthew 6:1-4). The right amount to give may be more or less than ten percent, depending on one's circumstances (Matthew 19:21, Luke 18:22, 21:1-4, Hebrews 13:16, 1*John 3:17). Generous giving is an acknowledgment that everything we have is a gift from God, and is to be used in His service (Luke 12:33, Acts 20:35, 1*Timothy 6:17-19, James 1:17, 1:27, 1*Peter 4:10).
Rather than give a certain amount as an obligation, we are urged to share generously of whatever talents, abilities and wealth God has entrusted to us:
We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. (NIV, Romans 12:6-8) What Does the Bible Say About the Tithe or Tithing?