Backbiting is Backstabbing and Does Not Show Love; Is That Christ-like?

The act of backbiting is to make unkind comments about someone that is not there. It is not an act of love!

Revised: Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Summary

A backbiter is no better then a serpent that stingeth without hissing [Ecclesiastes 10:11 (Bishops)].

Think about this:

Are you backbiting? Child of God you must be aware and mindful of the things you say about and to others. A person that backbites/backstabs is not showing the love of God. Backbiting is saying hurtful, insulting, unkind, or evil things about a person or people when they are not there. If you listen to someone who talks about another person (behind their back) are you also guilty of backbiting?

Key Points:

  1. Corrupt/evil speaking

    Backbiting is part of the corrupt/evil speaking series. It is connected with slander and gossip. FYI: backbiteth, backbiting, backbiters, and backbitings are found once (each) in the KJV.

  2. Secret slander

    Webster’s definition of backbiting is secret slander; detraction 1. The act of taking away from the reputation or good name of another.

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Backbiting

Picture of Pismo beach for the backbiting bible study

Backbiting is saying hurtful, insulting, unkind, or evil things about someone when they are not there.

The act of backbiting is unhelpful, harmful, and does not please God since it is not Christ-like. A backbiter, AKA a backstabber, is a person who abuses with offensive language by saying mean things behind one’s back. According to Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary – “Backbiting involves an element of deceit and cowardice.

It should be avoided by Christians.” A backstabber is “a traitor or hypocrite, such as a co-worker or friend assumed trustworthy but who figuratively attacks when one’s back is turned 2.”

A problem in the church

2 Corinthians 12:20-21

For I fear that when I come, I shall not find you as I wish, and you shall not find me to be as you wish; lest perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of wrath, rivalries, slander [backbiting], gossip, conceit, disorder:

21 And I fear that, when I come again, my God may humble me before you, and I shall mourn over many who have sinned and have not repented of the impurity and sexual sin and licentiousness which they have committed (RKJNT).

2 Corinthians 12:20 a closer look

In 2 Corinthians 12:20 “backbitings” is used in the KJV and NKJV but is replaced by the following words or phrase in other translations:

  • defamation of character ♦ evil talk ♦ ill-natured talk ♦ evil speakings ♦ insults ♦ evil talk about others ♦ saying wicked things about each other.
  • slander ♦ gossip ♦ backstabbing ♦ whispering.

G2636 – The Greek word for backbitings here is καταλαλία katalalia (kat-al-al-ee’-ah) n. 1. defamation 2. evil-speaking, detraction, backbiting, slandering. Katalalia is also found in 1 Peter 2:1 (KJV translates as ‘evil speaking’).

Not Christ-like

Your life in Christ is one of genuine love for each other. Always show that love from your heart (1 Peter 1:20). A Christian should not be a backstabber. It is an act of hate.

1 Peter 2:1-3 ‘evil speaking’

Put out of your life hate and lying. Do not pretend to be someone you are not. Do not always want something someone else has. Do not say bad things about other people [evil speaking in KJV].

2 As new babies want milk, you should want to drink the pure milk which is God’s Word so you will grow up and be saved from the punishment of sin. 3 If you have tasted of the Lord, you know how good He is. (NLV)

Proverbs 25:23

Early English translations can be hard to understand. This proverb is a good example. Check the two modern English wording below.

The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue. (KJV)

Comparison: “Just as wind blowing from the north brings rain, telling secrets brings anger.” (ERV) || “As the north wind brings rain, telling gossip [a hidden tongue] brings angry looks. (EXB)

H5643 – The Hebrew word for ‘backbiting’ in Proverbs 25:23 is סֵתֶר סִתרָה cether (say’-ther) n-f. secrecy (of tongue being slanderous); backbiting.

Psalms 101:5

I will silence whoever secretly slanders his neighbor. I won’t tolerate one who is haughty and conceited. (NHEB)

Proverbs 16:28 A man of twisted purposes is a cause of fighting everywhere: and he who says evil secretly makes trouble between friends. (BBE)

Psalms 15:1-3

LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.

3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. (KJV)

Compare verse 3: Psalms 15:3 The one who does not slander with his tongue, who does no evil to his neighbor, and who does not destroy his friend’s reputation. (ISV)

H7270 – The Hebrew word for backbite in Psalms 15:3 is רָגַל ragal (raw-gal’) v. 1. to be a tale-bearer (i.e. slander). KJV: backbite, search, slander, (e-)spy (out), teach to go, view.

Whether we speak evil of a man to his face or behind his back; the former way, indeed, seems to be the most generous, but yet is a great fault, and that which we call reviling;” the latter is more mean and base, and that which we properly call slander”, or Backbiting.” Tillotson https://1828.mshaffer.com/d/word/slander

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Backbiting wrap-up

Picture of tiger in zoo for the backbiting bible study Ephesians 4:29

Ephesians 4:29 Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you. (GNT)
Backbiting

Ephesians 4:29 and 31-32

Don’t let any evil talk come out of your mouths. Say only what will help to build others up and meet their needs. Then what you say will help those who listen (NIRV).

31 Never be bitter, angry, or mad. Never shout angrily or say things to hurt others. Never do anything evil (ERV). 32 You should be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, even as God also forgave you through (by means of) Christ (NSB).

Interesting fact: Ephesians 4:27 "Neither give place to the devil." (KJV) ♦ "neither give place unto the backbiter." (MSTC) NOTE: the MSTC translators replace ‘devil’ with ‘backbiter’.

Don’t be a backbiter

Backbiting is a destructive and damaging sin, similar to—but different from slander and gossip (which I will cover in other studies). It is the ‘filthy communication’ spoken of in Colossians 3:8. ‘Backbiters’ is listed as one of the sins of those with a reprobate/depraved/corrupt mind {read Romans 1:28-32 (30)}.

G2637 – Backbiter in Romans 1:30 is  from the Greek word κατάλαλος katalalos (kat-al’-al-os) adj. 1. talkative against, i.e. a slanderer, backbiter. 2. slanderous; backbiting. Katalalos is used once in the KJV.

Consider this for a final thought, James warns that the tongue “…is the power of evil placed in our bodies, making all the body unclean…” James 3:6 (BBE). “Praise and curses come from the same mouth. My brothers and sisters, this should not happen!” James 3:10 (GW).

Don’t be a backbiter/backstabber, use self-control to take control of your tongue and the things you say about others. Say things that encourage, use words that help and inspire. Backbiting is not a loving act it is a sinful act of hate.

I love you my dear brothers and sisters; be blessed my friends— Tim ☺.

Bible study Scriptures outline

Note: parenthesis (#) enclose the key verses.

Summary: Ecclesiastes 10:11-15 (11).

Backbiting: 2 Corinthians 12:14-21 (20); 1 Peter 1:22-2:3 (1:22 and 2:1). Proverbs 25:23 and 16:27-30 (28). Psalms 15:1-5 (1-3) and 101:5.

Wrap-up: Ephesians 4:25-32 (27 and 29); Romans 1:18-32 (30); Colossians 3:1-11 (8); James 3:1-12 (6 and 10).

Related Bible studies:

Gossip || Slander || Our Conflict – Spirit vs. Flesh || Christian Life – Changed Life || Self-control – Fruit of the Spirit || Changed Life – Have You Changed?

Question for “Backbiting”: Are you mindful of the things you say about others, either face-to-face or when they are not present?

See what is available on the Sound Truth Ministry website.

Resources

1 webster-dictionary.org || 2 wiktionary.org

Copyright information:

(ERV) Taken from the HOLY BIBLE: EASY-TO-READ VERSION © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center, Inc. and used by permission. || (EXB) The Expanded Bible Scripture taken from The Expanded Bible. Copyright ©2011 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. || (NIRV) Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Reader’s Version®, NIrV® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com The “NIrV” and “New International Reader’s Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™







Bishop Pettiford

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2 Comments:


  1. Backbiting
    If you want to be a better person. Learn to talk like a Christian should… #stopbackbiting Click/Tap pic 4 more

    Improved for mobile devices 📱 have a wonderful day/evening! 😊

    Continue to be a better person after the ‘Backbiting’ Bible study: http://stministry.com/backbiting/ <<-- the link. Message in the picture: Backbiting is not Christ-like Scripture for the day: 1 Peter 2:1-3 Put out of your life hate and lying. Do not pretend to be someone you are not. Do not always want something someone else has. Do not say bad things about other people [evil speaking in KJV]. 2 As new babies want milk, you should want to drink the pure milk which is God’s Word so you will grow up and be saved from the punishment of sin. 3 If you have tasted of the Lord, you know how good He is. [New Life Version (NLV)] Please share this with your family and friends! Visit the full Bible study; click on/tap the picture or link. Wednesday, September 06, 2017 #backbiting G=12 F=12 P=7 I=2


  2. Make today a zero negative talk day 😊.
    Start to #improve your #ways. Do not make #unkind #comments about others. God’s children are not #backbiters. Let’s do #better!

    Scriptures for the day:
    Proverbs 16:28 A man of twisted purposes is a cause of fighting everywhere: and he who says evil secretly makes trouble between friends.
    [Bible in Basic English (BBE)]

    1 Peter 2:1 Put out of your life hate and lying. Do not pretend to be someone you are not. Do not always want something someone else has. Do not say bad things about other people.
    [New Life Version (NLV)]

    Message in the picture:
    Backbiting, an act of hate
    2017-6-2

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