The meeting of effort by effort, striving against opposition; sometimes physically, as in battle (Deuteronomy 2:9), or with horses (Jeremiah 12:5), sometimes orally (Nehemiah 13:11), sometimes spiritually (Isaiah 57:16). In the New Testament diakrinein, for the hostile separation of one from another, dispute (Jude 1:9), or epagonizomai (Jude 1:3), descriptive of the strain to which a contestant is put. The noun is almost uersally used with an unfavorable meaning, and as worthy of condemnation, for an altercation arising from a quarrelsome disposition. "By pride cometh only contention" (Proverbs 13:10). The contentions at Corinth (1 Corinthians 1:11) called forth the rebukes of Paul. Where used in the King James Version in a good sense (1 Thessalonians 2:2) the Revised Version (British and American) has "conflict." In Acts 15:39, the noun has a peculiar force, where English Versions of the Bible translates paroxusmos (whence English "paroxysm") by "sharp contention." The Greek word refers rather to the inner excitement and irritation than to its outward expression.
H. E. Jacobs
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