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A gossip is one who repeats idle talk or rumors about others. Gossip need not be, but often is, malicious. The word is not found in the KJV, but is found in the RSV in both Testaments.

Old Testament Uses

In the Old Testament it is the translation of two Hebrew words:

  • רָכִ֑יל, Proverbs 20:19 (KJV “talebearer”) warns against associating with gossips, who reveal secrets and speak foolishly. The same word is found in Leviticus 19:16, where the RSV trs. it “slanderer,” and in Proverbs 11:13, where the RSV renders it “talebearer.”

  • New Testament Uses

    In the New Testament the word appears three times, and in each case it is the rendering of a different Greek word:

  • ψιθυριστής, G6031, (Rom 1:29 KJV “whisperers”); listed among the sins of which the heathen are guilty.
  • ψιθυρισμός, G6030, (2 Cor 12:20 KJV “whisperings”; among the sins which Paul feared existed in the Corinthian church.
  • φλύαρος, G5827, (1 Tim 5:13 KJV “tattlers”); a sin to which idle persons are susceptible.