A derogatory term the Epicureans and Stoics used against Paul in Athens (Acts 17:18). The Greek word literally means “seed picker” and was used of birds (especially crows) who lived by picking up seeds. It was applied to people who lived parasitically by picking up pieces of food off the merchants' carts. In the field of literature and philosophy the term was applied to those who plagiarize without the ability to understand or properly use what they had taken. The philosophers referred to Paul as a babbler because they considered Paul an ignorant plagiarist.
Another Greek word bebelos refers to something outside the religious sphere. It appears in
1 Timothy 4:7;
1 Timothy 6:20;
2 Timothy 2:16;
Hebrews 12:16, usually in reference to chatter or babbling talk about worldly things, an activity Christians should avoid. In Hebrews it refers to a godless person.
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'BABBLER'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".