Bible Verse about Gossip

Did you know that the Bible has a lot to say about gossip? It’s not just a petty annoyance–gossiping is actually a sin! This handy Scripture card will help you keep yourself and others accountable when it comes to talking behind people’s backs. With God’s guidance, you can break free from this harmful habit and start living in peace and harmony.

Slander and Gossip Quotes in the Bible

Ephesians 4:29 The Apostle Paul says corrupting talk has no place in the mouth of a Christian in this Bible verse about gossip.

Ephesians 4:29
(ESV)  Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
(KJV)  Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
(MSG)  Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.
(NIV)  Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
(NLT)  Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

Proverbs 16:28 Solomon says whisperer and dishonest men spread trouble among close friends in this scripture quote about gossip.

Proverbs 16:28
(ESV)  A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.
(KJV)  A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.
(MSG)  Troublemakers start fights; gossips break up friendships.
(NIV)  A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.
(NLT)  A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.

Proverbs 6:16-19 This Bible passage on gossip says the LORD God hates a false witness who breaths out lies and causes conflict among brothers.

Proverbs 6:16
(ESV)  There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him:
(KJV)  These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
(MSG)  Here are six things GOD hates, and one more that he loathes with a passion:
(NIV)  There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:
(NLT)  There are six things the LORD hates—no, seven things he detests:

Proverbs 6:17
(ESV)  haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
(KJV)  A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
(MSG)  eyes that are arrogant, a tongue that lies, hands that murder the innocent,
(NIV)  haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,
(NLT)  haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent,

Proverbs 6:18
(ESV)  a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil,
(KJV)  An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
(MSG)  a heart that hatches evil plots, feet that race down a wicked track,
(NIV)  a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil,
(NLT)  a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong,

Proverbs 6:19
(ESV)  a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
(KJV)  A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
(MSG)  a mouth that lies under oath, a troublemaker in the family.
(NIV)  a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
(NLT)  a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family.

James 1:26 James the brother of Jesus says a wise person must bridle his tongue in this Bible verse on gossip.

James 1:26
(ESV)  If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.
(KJV)  If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
(MSG)  Anyone who sets himself up as “religious” by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air.
(NIV)  Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.
(NLT)  If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.

Proverbs 20:19 Solomon says to avoid people who speak slander and flattering talk in this biblical quote on gossip.

Proverbs 20:19
(ESV)  Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.
(KJV)  He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.
(MSG)  Gossips can’t keep secrets, so never confide in blabbermouths.
(NIV)  A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much.
(NLT)  A gossip goes around telling secrets, so don’t hang around with chatterers.

Matthew 12:36 The Lord Jesus Christ says God will judge every person for every careless word they speak. This is a strong Biblical warning against slander and gossip.

Matthew 12:36
(ESV)  I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,
(KJV)  But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
(MSG)  Let me tell you something: Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously.
(NIV)  But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.
(NLT)  And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak.

Psalm 101:5 King David says slander and gossip will bring God’s judgement in this scripture quote.

Psalms 101:5
(ESV)  Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly I will destroy. Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not endure.
(KJV)  Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.
(MSG)  I put a gag on the gossip who bad-mouths his neighbor; I can’t stand arrogance.
(NIV)  Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret, I will put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, I will not tolerate.
(NLT)  I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors. I will not endure conceit and pride.

Titus 3:2 Paul reminds Saint Titus to speak evil on no person in this biblical verse about gossip.

Titus 3:2
(ESV)  to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.
(KJV)  To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
(MSG)  No insults, no fights. God’s people should be bighearted and courteous.
(NIV)  to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.
(NLT)  They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.

Proverbs 26:20 Without gossip conflict will burn out according to this Bible verse about whispering against others.

Proverbs 26:20
(ESV)  For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.
(KJV)  Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.
(MSG)  When you run out of wood, the fire goes out; when the gossip ends, the quarrel dies down.
(NIV)  Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down.
(NLT)  Fire goes out without wood, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops.

Leviticus 19:16 The Lord God commands his people to avoid slander in this Bible verse on Gossip recorded by Moses.

Leviticus 19:16
(ESV)  You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the LORD.
(KJV)  Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD.
(MSG)  “Don’t spread gossip and rumors. “Don’t just stand by when your neighbor’s life is in danger. I am GOD.
(NIV)  “‘Do not go about spreading slander among your people. “‘Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the LORD.
(NLT)  “Do not spread slanderous gossip among your people. “Do not stand idly by when your neighbor’s life is threatened. I am the LORD.

Exodus 23:1 The 10 Commandments forbids the people of Israel from slander and false witness.

Exodus 23:1
(ESV)  “You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness.
(KJV)  Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.
(MSG)  “Don’t pass on malicious gossip. “Don’t link up with a wicked person and give corrupt testimony.
(NIV)  “Do not spread false reports. Do not help a guilty person by being a malicious witness.
(NLT)  “You must not pass along false rumors. You must not cooperate with evil people by lying on the witness stand.

James 4:11 Christians must not speak evil against one another in this Bible verse about gossip.

James 4:11
(ESV)  Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.
(KJV)  Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.
(MSG)  Don’t bad-mouth each other, friends. It’s God’s Word, his Message, his Royal Rule, that takes a beating in that kind of talk. You’re supposed to be honoring the Message, not writing graffiti all over it.
(NIV)  Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.
(NLT)  Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you.

1 Timothy 5:13 Paul the Apostle warns Saint Timothy that the early church community must now allow gossips and busybodies to disturb the peace in this scripture quote against slander.

1 Timothy 5:13
(ESV)  Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not.
(KJV)  And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.
(MSG)  frittering away their days on empty talk, gossip, and trivialities.
(NIV)  Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to.
(NLT)  And if they are on the list, they will learn to be lazy and will spend their time gossiping from house to house, meddling in other people’s business and talking about things they shouldn’t.

Romans 1:29 This Bible verse says gossip is a mark of unrighteous people who do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Romans 1:29
(ESV)  They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips,
(KJV)  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
(MSG)  And then all hell broke loose: rampant evil, grabbing and grasping, vicious backstabbing. They made life hell on earth with their envy, wanton killing, bickering, and cheating. Look at them: mean-spirited, venomous,
(NIV)  They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,
(NLT)  Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip.

FAQ about Gossip and Slander for Bible Believers

What should Christians do when they hear gossip, rumor, defamation and slander?

The Bible says that Christians should not participate in or encourage rumors (Proverbs 20:19), speak against others behind their backs (Leviticus 19:16), or spread malicious gossip (Psalm 101:5).

Christians should go out of their way to build relationships with others, and when they hear someone speak about someone else in a negative way, they should lovingly correct them. It’s also important to remember that we all make mistakes, so we should always give people the benefit of the doubt.

What does being a busybody mean?

Being a busybody is often defined as minding other people’s business instead of your own. Typically, busybodies are considered to be nosy or gossipy people who pry into the affairs of others. In some cases, being a busybody can simply mean being overly concerned with the goings-on in other people’s lives. While there may be some truth to these definitions, there is much more to being a busybody than meets the eye.

At its core, being a busybody is about caring too much about what other people think or do. It’s an unhealthy obsession with trying to control everything and everyone around you. Busybodies are usually control freaks who have difficulty letting go and trusting others

What is the definition of slander?

Slander is the verbal communication of a false statement that harms the reputation of another person.

Slander is a form of defamation, which is the wrongful act of injuring a person’s reputation. Defamation can be done in various ways, such as by slander (spoken defamation) or libel (written or published defamation). To be successful in a slander lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant made a false statement about him or her, that the statement was communicated to someone else, and that it caused harm to his or her reputation.

What does gossip mean?

Gossip is typically defined as idle talk or rumors about other people, usually involving unsubstantiated or malicious claims. Gossip can be harmful and hurtful, leading to damage of relationships and reputations. It’s important to be mindful of the impact of our words when engaging in gossip, and to remember that everyone is deserving of respect.

More Bible Study on Gossip and Slander in the Scripture