Reconstructing a Biblical Model for Giving: A Discussion of Relevant Systematic Issues and New Testament Principles -- By: Andreas J. Köstenberger

Journal: Bulletin for Biblical Research
Volume: BBR 16:2 (NA 2006)
Article: Reconstructing a Biblical Model for Giving: A Discussion of Relevant Systematic Issues and New Testament Principles
Author: Andreas J. Köstenberger


Reconstructing a Biblical Model for Giving: A Discussion of Relevant Systematic Issues and New Testament Principles

Andreas J. Köstenberger

David A. Croteau

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

In a previous article the authors discussed all relevant references to tithing in Scripture and concluded that the continuation of a tithing requirement cannot be adequately supported by the exegesis of individual texts. In the present article, we assess the applicability of tithing in light of pertinent systematic issues. Following a discussion of the relationship between the Mosaic Law and the new covenant, larger systematic issues that have been used to argue for the continuation of tithing are analyzed and criticized. The article concludes with a survey of NT principles for giving.

Key Words: tithing, tithe, Mosaic Law, new covenant, Law and gospel, giving, stewardship, Paul, 1 Cor 9, 1 Cor 16, 2 Cor 8-9, Phil 4

In our previous discussion of the OT and NT passages regarding tithing,1 we concluded that the view that Christians are required to give at least ten percent of their income lacks adequate support from the biblical data. This is not to say that Christians are not required to give but that no Scripture commands a certain percentage as the minimum giving requirement. The issue of whether or not Christians are required to tithe involves more than an exegetical discussion; larger systematic issues need to be considered as well. Therefore, we will now discuss the relationship between the Mosaic Law and the new covenant. Space prohibits an in-depth discussion and analysis of views such as the Reformed, Dispensationalist, or Catholic views on Law and gospel. After presenting the eschatological continuity view, which is that the relationship between the Mosaic Law and the new covenant does not support a mandated tithe for Christians, we will analyze several arguments for the continuation of tithing as flowing from larger systematic considerations. This will be followed by a presentation of the NT teaching on giving.

Systematic Issues Related to Tithing and Giving

“Not to Abolish but to Fulfill”: The Eschatological Continuity View

The discussion on the continuity or discontinuity of any law within the Mosaic code should include, at some point, a proposal for the relationship between the old and new covenants. The issue of whether or not a Christian is required to give at least ten ...

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