Ask a Pastor Column

Presenting biblical answers to tough questions


November 23, 2023

Q: Does the commandment: “you shall not bear false witness” apply to gossip? If so, how?

A: Fundamentally, the 9th commandment involves communicating what is not true (particularly in a judicial setting), while gossip (in the biblical sense) refers to speech that tears someone down behind their back. So then, gossip would not necessarily fall under the 9th commandment, however since both lying and gossip are sins of the tongue, they often go hand in hand.

I only found one occurrence of the word gossip in the Bible (I Timothy 5:13). But other instructions to avoid “backbiting” (at...

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