Bible Dictionary- The Hebrew word translated “gossip” in the Old Testament is defined as “one who reveals secrets, one who goes about as a talebearer or scandal-monger.” A gossiper is a person who has privileged information about people and proceeds to reveal that information to those who have no business knowing it.
Webster’s dictionary gossip- casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.
Gossip is distinguished from sharing information in two ways. What is being shared and why it’s being shared.
Bible dictionary -properly, a slanderer; a false accuser; unjustly criticizing to hurt (malign) and condemn to sever a relationship
in secular Greek means “backbiter,” i.e. an accuser, calumniator (slanderer). 1228 (diábolos) is literally someone who “casts through,” i.e. making charges that bring down (destroy)
Webster’s dictionary – the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation.
Verses About Gossip and Slander
Proverbs 11:13 Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babble
Proverbs 10:18 He who conceals hatred has lying lips, And he who spreads slander is a fool
Proverbs 16:28 A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends
Proverbs 11:13 Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered
Ephesians 2:8&9 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.
Exodus 23:1 Do not spread false reports. Do not help a guilty person by being a malicious witness.
James 4:11 Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it.
I Timothy 5:13&14 At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention. 14 Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach;
Titus 2:2-5 Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance. 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 4 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.
Ephesians 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
James 1:26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.
For further reading;
Slander in the Camp by Tim Lane
Godless Gossip by Max Dover
The 5 Gossips You Will Meet by Tim Challies
Resisting Gossip by Tim Challies
How to Shut Down Gossip by Erik Raymond