Slander; An Act of Hate and Not of Love

You should slander (speak evil of) no one! It is an act of hate and not love. So, use your words to build people up and not tear them down.

Updated: Thursday, August 25, 2022


Picture of a cool day at the beach for the slander bible study Colossians 3:8
But now put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy speech from your mouth.
Colossians 3:8 (RKJNT)

Remind the people [where you minister] to be in subjection to [civic] rulers, [governmental] authorities, to be obedient [to them], to be prepared for [doing] every good deed, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceful, to be considerate [or, “gentle”] and to show every courtesy to all people.

3 For we [Christians] were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various kinds of [evil] desires and [sinful] pleasures. [We used to] live in malice and envy, hating people and being hated by them. [Titus 3:1-3 (AUV)].

[NOTE: verse 2 ‘slander no one’  (NIV) – ‘speak evil of’ (KJV, RKJNT and NKJV); ‘never talking trash about anyone for any reason’ (GOGIC)]

Think about this

To slander someone is normally telling a lie about a person to damage their reputation. Would you want others to treat you that way? Your words are powerful, use them to build people up (Romans 14:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:11) and not tear them down.

Key Points

  1. Negative talk

    To slander is to say negative things about another person with the intent to hurt. Is it a sin? Continue with this study to find out for yourself. So, put away from you all [kinds of] bitterness and anger and wrath and brawling and slander, along with all [kinds of] malice [i.e., bad attitudes], [Ephesians 4:31 (AUV)]. [Note: slander is replaced by evil speaking in the KJV. The Greek for ‘evil speaking/slander’ here is blasphemia]

  2. Helpful words

    As children of God, we should always do our best to say things that are helpful to others. When you talk, do not say harmful things. But say what people need—words that will help others become stronger. Then what you say will help those who listen to you [Ephesians 4:29 (ICB)].

  3. Warning

    One Greek word for slanderer, diabolos, translated as devil, false accuser, and slanderer. The Scriptures warn against becoming slanderers. But you should know this: There will be terrible times in the last days [of the Christian age]. 2 For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive talkers, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 lacking in natural affection, unwilling to be reconciled [to their enemies], slanderers, lacking self-control, brutal, haters of what is good, [2 Timothy 3:1-3 (AUV)].

Skip to the end.

Corrupt/Evil Speaking

Picture of for the slander bible study Romans 1:30
The result of not living a Spirit-led life; you become: Slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents…
Romans 1:30 – Slander

Slander is the last part of the ‘Corrupt/Evil Speaking’ series (see ‘Gossip1‘ and ‘Backbiting2‘). In the conclusion, we will point out the differences between slander, gossip, and backbiting. I pray that you will have a clear understanding of corrupt/evil speaking after reading/studying this series.

What is slander?

FYI, Paul warns in his letter, the act of slander among other sins deserves spiritual death. You must remember, he later warns, in the same letter Romans 6:23, “the wages of sin is death.”

And as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper. 29 They were filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, malice; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malevolence; whisperers,

30 Slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, untrustworthy, without natural affection, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the just decree of God, that those who commit such things are worthy of death, not only do these things, but applaud those who practice them [Romans 1:28-32 (RKJNT)].

NOTE: verse 30 the KJV and NKJV translators used ‘backbiting’; the NASB and NIV use ‘slanderers’


To slander is to say false and/or harmful things about another person. Intended to smear their character or status. The written or spoken statement may or may not be true. In any case, it is an act of hate and not of love.


  • Calumny – Slander; a false accusation of a crime or offense, knowingly or maliciously made to hurt someone’s reputation.
  • Censure – To find fault with and condemn as wrong; to criticize adversely; blame; express disapproval of.
  • Defamation – The offense of writing or saying something bad about someone that is not true and makes people have a bad opinion of them.
  • Scurrility – The quality of using low and indecent language; vulgar.
  • Slur – To disparage (disparage defined: to speak slightingly of; to show disrespect for; belittle) or discredit; to depreciate; calumniate; traduce; asperse; speak slightingly of.

4 Greek words for slander

In this study, we will review four Greek words used in the Scriptures related to slander.

1. Blasphemeo – blasphemy

To blaspheme is to use words meant to hurt or injure. These words are covered in study #2:

blasphemos {adjective; used with a noun} is the root word for blasphemeo and blasphemia. a) blasphemeo {verb; conveys a state of being or action}. b) blasphemia {noun; names of person, place, or thing}.

2. Katalaleo – to speak against

The words for the phrase ‘speak evil/to speak against’ are covered in study #3:

katalalos {adjective} is the root word for a) katalaleo {verb} and b) katalalia {noun}.

3. Loidoreo – insulted (reviled)

The words for ‘insults/abusive language’ are covered in study #4:

loidoros {adjective} is the root word for a) loidoreo {verb} and b) loidoria {noun}.

4. Diabolos – (false) accuser or slanderer

The words for ‘false accuser’ are covered in study #5:

diaballo {verb} is the root word for diabolos {adjective}.

Skip to the end.


Picture of blue sky and white clouds for the slander bible study Mark 3:29
Jesus said… “the person who speaks against the Holy Spirit can never be forgiven”
Slander – from Mark 3:29

Two Greek words blasphemeo and blaphemia, both often translated ‘slander’, are connected to the sin against the Holy Spirit for which there is no forgiveness; blasphemy. The Pharisees claimed the miracles of Christ were from the Devil (Beelzebub); this is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (see Matthew 12:22-32).

But now put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, slanderG988, and filthy speech from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, who is being renewed in knowledge after the image of the one who created him [Colossians 3:8-10 (RKJNT)] [‘blasphemy’ (KJV)].


βλασφημέω blasphemeo (blas-fay-meh’-o) v. 1. to vilify 2. (specially) to speak irreverently; 3. to slander, hence to speak lightly or profanely of sacred things 4. to be slandered.

Also used in KJV as: (speak) blaspheme(-er, -mously, -my), defame, rail on, revile, speak evil. Found 35 times in KJV.

♦ ‘to be evil spoken of‘ (KJV) – Romans 14:16. ♦ reviled (KJV) – Matthew 27:29. ♦ railed (KJV) – Luke 23:39. ♦ ‘being defamed‘ (KJV and NKJV); slandered (RKJNT) – 1 Corinthians 4:13.

♦ ‘am I evil spoken of‘ (KJV); slandered (NASB); denounced (NIV and RKJNT) – 1 Corinthians 10:30. ♦ blasphemed (KJV and NKJV); slandered (HCSB); ‘to speak evil of‘ (DAR, GNV and YLT) -Titus 2:5.


βλασφημία blasphemia (blas-fay-mee’-ah) n. 1. vilification, defamation (especially against God); slander, detraction, speech injurious, to another’s good name. Evil speaking.

KJV: blasphemy, evil speaking, railing. Found 18 times in the KJV.

For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immorality, thefts, false witness, slanders: [Matthew 15:19 (RKJNT)].


βλάσφημος blasphemos (blas’-fay-mos) adj. 1. scurrilious, i.e. calumnious (against men). 2. (specially) irreverent (against God). 3. slanderous, evil-speaking.

KJV: blasphemer(-mous), railing. Found 5 times in the KJV.

They couldn’t argue with Stephen because he spoke with the wisdom that the Spirit had given him. 11 Then they bribed some men to lie. These men said, “We heard him slander Moses and God.”

12 The liars stirred up trouble among the people, the leaders, and the experts in Moses’ Teachings. So they went to Stephen, took him by force, and brought him in front of the Jewish council [Acts 6:10-12 (GW)].

[NOTE: slander in verse 11 is ‘speak blasphemous words against’ in KJV, NIV, NASB, RKJNT and NKJV]

You should not slander anyone

Peter warns those who damage others with words act like senseless animals. Have you made bad comments about your leader or another person? Please let the Spirit minister to you through God’s word!

So you see that the Lord God knows how to save those who are devoted to him. He will save them when troubles come. And the Lord will hold evil people to punish them on the day of judgment. 10 That punishment is for those who are always doing the evil that their sinful selves want to do. It is for those who hate the Lord’s authority.

These false teachers do whatever they want, and they are so proud of themselves. They are not afraid even to say bad things against the glorious ones.[a] 11 The angels are much stronger and more powerful than these beings. But even the angels don’t accuse them and say bad things about them to the Lord.

12 But these false teachers speak evil against what they don’t understand. They are like animals that do things without really thinking—like wild animals that are born to be caught and killed. And, like wild animals, they will be destroyed. 2 Peter 2:9-12 (ERV)

Skip to the end.

Evil Speaking/Defamation

Picture of for the slander bible study James 4:11
Brothers and sisters, stop slandering each other. Those who slander and judge other believers slander and judge God’s laws. If you judge God’s teachings, you are no longer following them. Instead, you are judging them.
James 4:11 (GWT) – Slander

James advised that we should not say bad things about others [James 4:11]. In fact, it is a form of judging others. It is easy to judge others by their mistakes. Remember, Jesus warned in Matthew 7:1-2

Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged…


καταλαλέω katalaleo (kat-al-al-eh’-o) v. 1. to be a traducer, i.e. to slander. 2. to speak against, slander, accuse, to blab out. 3. to defame, slander (backbite).

Usage: speak against (evil of). Katalaleo is used 5 times in the KJV. 3 times in James 4:11 ‘speak evil‘ ‘He that speaketh evil‘ ‘speaketh evil‘. Once in 1 Peter 2:12 ‘they speak against’, and 3:16 ‘they speak evil’.

But sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord; and always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, yet with humility and fear: 16 having a good conscience; so that when they speak evil against you, they may be put to shame who slander your good manner of life in Christ [1 Peter 3:15-16 (NHEB)].


καταλαλία katalalia (kat-al-al-ee’-ah) n. 1. defamation; evil speech 2. evil-speaking, backbiting, detraction, slander (railing, defaming talk).

KJV and NKJV: backbiting, evil speaking [‘slander’ (RKJNT)]. Katalalia is used twice in the KJV.

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 {backbitings (KJV)}, gossip, conceit, disorder [2 Corinthians 12:20 (RKJNT)].

Therefore, laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisy, and envy, and all kinds of slander {evil speakings (KJV)}, 2 As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow by it in your salvation: 3 Since you have tasted the kindness of the Lord [1 Peter 2:1-3 (RKJNT)].


κατάλαλος katalalos (kat-al’-al-os) adj. 1. talkative down or against, i.e. a slanderer, backbiter 2. slanderous, back-biting; subst: a railer, defamer evil speaker.

KJV: backbiter [‘backbiter’ (NKJV); ‘slanderers’ (RKJNT, NASB, and NIV)]. katalalos is used once in the KJV; Romans 1:30 ‘backbiters’.

Living examples

Can others see the God in you? Do they hear the Lord in what and how you say things? Be careful that your words do not damage others.

You should live such good lives before [unconverted] Gentiles, so that even though they accuse you of being evildoers, by seeing your good deeds, they will [be led to] honor God [for you] on the day He visits us again [i.e., to bring judgment] [1 Peter 2:12 (AUV)].

So I urge you to be a living example of Christ. Let others hear the God in you! Use words that build others up with love.

Skip to the end.

Verbal Abuse

Picture of cloudy sky for the slander bible study 1 Peter 2:23
They insulted Christ He never insulted them – slander no one!
from 1 Peter 2:23

Paul gives a stern warning about your words. You can avoid being a verbal abuser. Your eternal state depends on it.

Do not you know that wrong-doers will have no share in God’s Kingdom? Do not be deceived. No one who is immoral, or an idolater, or an adulterer, or licentious, or a sodomite, 10 or a thief, or covetous, or a drunkard, or [verbally] abusive, or grasping, will have any share in God’s Kingdom.

11 Such some of you used to be; but you washed yourselves clean. You became Christ’s People! you were pronounced righteous through the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and through the Spirit of our God [1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (OEB)]!


λοιδορέω loidoreo (loi-d̮o-re’-ō) v. to reproach, i.e. vilify (abuse with words). 2. to rail at, revile, heap abuse upon.

KJV: revile. Loidoreo is found 4 times in the KJV. John 9:28 ‘they reviled’. Acts 23:4 ‘Revilest thou’. 1 Corinthians 4:12 ‘being reviled’. 1 Peter 2:23 ‘when he was reviled’.

People insulted [abused; reviled] Christ, but he did not insult [abuse; revile] them in return. Christ suffered, but he did not threaten. He let God, the One who judges rightly, take care of him [He delivered/entrusted himself to the One who judges justly/rightly] [1 Peter 2:23 (EXB)].


λοιδορία loidoria (loy-dor-ee’-ah) n. 1. slander or vituperation (bitter and abusive language) 2. abuse, railing, reviling. 3. insult, slander, verbal abuse.

KJV: railing, reproach(-fully). Loidoria is found 3 times in the KJV. 1 Timothy 5:14 ‘speak reproachfully’. 1 Peter 3:9 ‘railing’ (twice).

So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander [1 Timothy 5:14 (ESV)].


λοίδορος loidoros (loy’-dor-os) adj. 1. abusive, i.e. a blackguard {A person of stained or low character, esp. one who uses scurrilous language, or treats others with foul abuse; a scoundrel; a rough. from Webster’s 1913 Dictionary}. 2. a railer, reviler, abuser.

Loidoros is found twice in the KJV. KJV: 1 Corinthians 5:11 ‘railer’; 1 Corinthians 6:10 ‘reviler’.

But now I write to you not to keep company with any man who is called a brother if he is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a slanderer {‘railer’ (KJV)}, or a drunkard, or an swindler; with such a one do not even eat [1 Corinthians 5:11 (RKJNT)].

Skip to the end.

False Accuser

Note: To slander or accuse someone falsely is meant to ruin a persons reputation.

Picture of trees against blue sky for the slander bible study
Stay away from false accusers
Slander – from 2 Timothy 3:1-5

Are terrible times coming or have they already come? The Scriptures warn of times when people will be false accusers. Not only should you not be guilty of this sin but you are advised to stay away from these slanderers!

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (KJV)


διαβάλλω diaballo (d̮iy-a-ɓal’-lō) v. 1. (figuratively) to slander. 2. to bring charges (usually with hostile intent). 3. to traduce, calumniate, slander, accuse, defame. [from G1223 [a primary preposition denoting the channel of an act] and G906 {to throw (violently)].

KJV: Luke 16:1 ‘accuse’. Diaballo is found once in the KJV.

And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods [Luke 16:1 (KJV)].

Note: The steward was cheating. The accusations were true. Luke 16:8 ‘And the lord commended the unjust steward.’ What was meant to harm, worked for the good.


διάβολος diabolos (dee-ab’-ol-os) adj. 1. a slanderer 2. (specially) devil, Satan; 3. metaphorically applied to a man who, by opposing the cause of God, may be said to act the part of the devil or to side with him 4. devilish, malicious, slanderous; as a noun, the devil, Satan, or a wicked person who is like the devil.

KJV: false accuser, devil, slanderer 35 of 38 KJV references = devil (demon). Diabolos is found 3 times in the KJV. Twice as advice to women to not be slanderers or false accusers [1 Timothy 3:11 and Titus 2:3]

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers {slanderers (NKJV)}, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; [Titus 2:3 (KJV)].

Skip to the end.

Slander wrap-up

Chart of slanderous talk for the slander bible study
Slander chart

I pray that you have a much better understanding of corrupt/evil speaking. Slandering others is not a godly act. Be mindful of what you talk about with others. Others suffered from backbiting, gossip, and slander. God gave them up to the evil desires of their hearts [Romans 1:24]. Learn from their mistakes.

Until they were filled (permeated and saturated) with every kind of unrighteousness, iniquity, grasping and covetous greed, and malice. [They were] full of envy and jealousy, murder, strife, deceit and treachery, ill will and cruel ways. [They were] secret backbiters and gossipers,

30 Slanderers, hateful to and hating God, full of insolence, arrogance, [and] boasting; inventors of new forms of evil, disobedient and undutiful to parents [Romans 1:29-30 (AMP)].


Corrupt/evil speaking: (wicked/malicious) gossip, backbiting, and slander are not helpful as shown in the Scriptures. Wicked/harmful/evil gossip is spreading rumors or secrets, true or false, about another person usually when they are not present. However, to defame a person that is not there to hear what is said is called backbiting.

When gossip is sharing or spreading information about another person with the intent to help, it is not a sin (see the Bible study gossip). Backbiting is very similar to evil gossip; however, it is always considered a sin as it is always secret slander.

Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, And whoever spreads slander is a fool [Proverbs 10:18 (NKJV)].

[Hebrew דִּבָּה dibbah (dib-baw’)]

Slander is also always a sin; the goal of slander is to damage, destroy and/or hurt another person. The thing to remember, they are all acts of sin.

To whom do you belong?

My children, do not let anyone mislead you. The person who lives righteously is righteous — as Christ is righteous. 8 The person who lives sinfully belongs to the devil, for the devil has sinned from the first. It was for this that the Son of God appeared, that he might undo the devil’s work.

9 No one who has received the new life from God lives sinfully, because the nature of God dwells within them; and they cannot live in sin, because they have received the new life from God. 10 By this the children of God are distinguished from the children of the devil —

No one who lives unrighteously comes from God, and especially the person who does not love others. 11 For these are the tidings that we heard from the first — that we are to love one another [1 John 3:7-11 (OEB)].

We do not gossip about, backbite, or slander those whom we love. Those actions are sins and sinners belong to the devil. Learn to love each other my friends and be blessed Tim. ☺

Question for “Slander – An Act of Hate and Not of Love”: Slander damages and hurts, do you know what it feels like, are you careful not to do it?

Related studies/lessons/snacks for further Spiritual growth:

Outline for Slander

Note: parenthesis (#) encloses the key verse(s).

  • Slander (speak evil of) no one!

    • Think about this: Titus 3:1-11 (2); Colossians 3:1-11 (8); Romans 14:14-23 (19); 1 Thessalonians 4:1-11 (11).
    • Key points: Ephesians 4:25-32 (29 and 31); 2 Timothy 3:1-9 (1 and 3).
  • Corrupt/Evil Speaking

    • Romans 1:18-32 {focus verses: 28-32; (30)} and 6:15-23 (23)
  • Blasphemy=slander?

  • Evil Speaking/Defamation

  • Verbal Abuse

  • False Accuser

  • Conclusion

    • Romans 1:18-32 (24 and 29-30); Proverbs 10:18; 1 John 3:4-15 (7-11)


A bonus for staying with us. Slander in the two most popular King James Bibles.

12 times in KJV: Numbers 14:36 ‘slander’; 2 Samuel 19:27; Psalms 31:13, 50:20, 101:5; Psalms 140:11 ‘evil speaker’; Proverbs 10:18; Jeremiah 6:28 and 9:4; Ezekiel 22:9 ‘carry tales’ and 36:3 ‘are an infamy’. Romans 3:8; 1 Timothy 3:11; 2 Timothy 3:3 and Titus 2:3 ‘false accusers’.

Used 14 times in the NKJV: Numbers 14:36 ‘bad report’; 2 Samuel 19:27, Psalms 31:13, 50:20, 101:5, and 140:11 ‘slanderer’; Proverbs 10:18; Jeremiah 6:28 and 9:4; Ezekiel 22:9 ‘slander’ and 36:3 ‘slandered’. Romans 3:8; 1 Timothy 3:11; 2 Timothy 3:3 and Titus 2:3 ‘slanderers’.

Remember, do not tear down people with your words.

See what is available on the Sound Truth Ministry website.


One thought on “Slander; An Act of Hate and Not of Love

  1. Slander - dolphin (looks like a shark)
    Be mindful of what you talk about with others. ? 1 Corinthians 5:11 says “you must not associate with people that slander [insults or verbally abuses] others…” So, you should not do it either! Clean up your conversation…

    Message in the picture:
    Slander hurts others

    Verse for the day:
    James 4:11-12 Brothers and sisters [fellow believers], do not tell evil lies about [slander] each other [Lev. 19:16].

    If you speak against [slander] your fellow believers [a brother or sister] or judge them, you are judging and speaking against [slandering] the law [because the law commanded love]. And when you are judging the law, you are no longer a follower [doer] of the law. You have become a judge [sitting in judgment over the law].

    12 God is the only [There is one] Lawmaker [Lawgiver] and Judge. He is the only One who can save and destroy [Matt. 10:28]. So it is not right for you [So who are you…?] to judge your neighbor [Lev. 19:18].
    [Expanded Bible (EXB)]

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