The Hebrew words “rib” and “madon” mean “strife, quarrel, dispute, contention (arguing from rivalry), or fighting/struggling”.
The following Greek words can be translated as “strife” or other more distinct synonyms:
- “eris” – contention, is the expression of enmity/hatred; quarreling or argumentative from rivalry/competition (Rom. 1:29; 13:13; 1 Cor. 1:11; 3:3; 2 Cor. 12:20; Gal. 5:20; Phil. 1:15; 1 Tim. 6:4; Titus 3:9).
- “antilogia” – strife; disputing; speaking against/contradiction/speaking the opposite view from a self-centered motive (Heb. 6:16; 7:7; 12:3; Jude 1:11).
- “mache” – strifes; fighting (2 Tim. 2:23; 2 Cor. 7:5; Jas. 4:1; Titus 3:9).
- “philoneikia” – a love of or eagerness to contend/argue (Lk. 22:24).
- “logomachia” – strife of/dispute about words or trivial things (1 Tim. 6:4).
– An Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Drs. Vine, Unger, and White, pp. 407, 1005.
“contentious” – exhibiting a perverse/stubborn tendency to quarrel and dispute – Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, p. 243.
Prov. 6:12, 14 Who is a worthless, wicked person?
Do you spread (draw others into) strife (dissension; contentious/self-centered/rebellious quarreling; disagreement caused by hatred or self-centeredness, 10:12), and why?
Prov. 6:16, 19 What is one of the things that the Lord hates, Prov. 6:19?
Did you know that it’s an abomination/extremely disgusting to God when you instigate/cause strife (self-centered quarreling/disagreement) among friends or believers?
What will you do to prevent this if you’ve been guilty of this?
Prov. 10:12 What stirs up/causes strife?
Have you noticed that when you cause strife (self-centered arguing/fighting/verbal disagreements) it’s because you, in actuality, hate the other person (because you’re not loving that person, but being self-centered)?
Prov. 13:10 What comes through presumption/pride?
Have you observed that an unyielding arrogance (an inflated, know-it-all view of oneself) leads to quarreling?
If so, what do you plan to do so that you don’t become or remain a prideful, know-it-all who causes strife (self-centered arguments)?
Prov. 15:18; 29:22; 30:33 Who stirs up strife?
Why do you think a hot-tempered person stirs up strife?
What should a hot-tempered person do so as to not cause strife (Eph. 5:18; Col. 3:12-13)?
Prov. 16:28 Who else spreads strife?
If you’re a perverse/stubborn person, how do you plan to deal with the sins of stubbornness and strife, and how soon?
Prov. 17:1 A dry morsel and quietness with it is better than what?
Would you agree, and why?
Prov. 17:14 Starting a quarrel may seem like a small matter, but it often grows out of control like a small crack in a dam which increases in size until the dam breaks. If you’re a contentious/argumentative person, what should you do, and why (Eph. 5:18; Gal. 5:22-23; Col. 3:12-13)?
Prov. 17:19 What does the person who loves strife (quarreling/arguing/self-centeredly disagreeing) love?
Is this an eye-opener and shocking for you?
If so, what do you plan to do about it, and how soon?
Prov. 18:6 What brings strife?
Why do you think this is?
Have you ever considered the fact that you may be a fool because you say stupid, unedifying things that create strife?
Prov. 18:19 A strained relationship/friendship due to a contentious/argumentative/self-centeredly disagreeable person is like what?
Just like it’s hard to remove the bars off of a castle, do you find it hard to remove a strained relationship so as to restore the friendship when you strained it through your being contentious (stubbornly quarrelsome)?
Prov. 19:13; 27:15 A contentious/quarrelsome wife is like what?
Have you ever noticed how irritating (like a constantly dripping faucet) a quarrelsome/nagging wife or person is?
Prov. 20:3 What will any fool do?
And what is honorable?
Are you a fool who likes to quarrel or an honorable person who seeks to avoid self-centered quarreling, and why?
Prov. 21:19; 25:24 It is better to live in a desert or a corner of a roof than with whom?
[Because this is true, guys, you’d better make sure you don’t marry a physically beautiful woman for sex, who is contentious and vexing/irritating; otherwise, you’ll deeply regret the day you married her.].
Prov. 22:10 When will contention/strife cease?
If you have a scoffer/mocker/ridiculer in your group or as a friend, you should remove/get rid of the troublemaker so that strife ends. Will you, and why?
Prov. 26:17 Meddling in a dispute/argument/quarrel that is none of your business because you’re not directly involved in the matter or with the people, is like what?
[Just as grabbing a strange dog by the ears can get you bitten, so meddling in other people’s quarrels/strife can bring harm to you too.].
Prov. 26:21 Just as wood fuels a fire, what does a contentious person fuel?
Are you a contentious (stubbornly quarrelsome) person?
How did you determine your answer?
If so, do you realize that being such fuels strife (both verbal and physical fighting)?
Prov. 28:25 Who stirs up strife?
Why do you think an arrogant/prideful person stirs up strife?
Could it be that he/she thinks that his/her views and opinions are always right and, therefore, stubbornly defends them?
Rom. 13:13 To behave properly would mean not being jealous or what else?
Are you behaving properly by not living in strife (being stubbornly quarrelsome/argumentative)?
If not, what do you plan to do about it?
Gal. 5:19-20 Dissension (strife/stubborn quarreling) is a deed/product of what?
Since dissension is a product of our flesh/sin nature, what can and should a Christian do so as to not have this bad trait (Eph. 5:18; Col. 3:12-13)?
1 Cor. 3:3 Why did Paul call the Corinthian Christians fleshly and living like mere men (non-Christians)?
Would you qualify as a fleshly/carnal/backslidden/sin-nature-controlled Christian because you’re involved in strife or stubborn, self-centered quarreling?
1 Tim. 3:3 Besides being gentle, not pugnacious/combative/having a rebellious attitude, nor a lover of money, nor addicted to wine, what else should an overseer/spiritual leader be?
Would you qualify as an overseer/spiritual leader because you’re uncontentious/not stubbornly quarrelsome?
2 Tim. 2:23 What is one thing that produces quarrels?
[The foolish and ignorant speculations that Paul is referring to involved myths, Jewish genealogies, and anagrams (rearranging the letters of a word to make new words), 2 Tim. 2:14; 1 Tim. 1:4; 4:7; 6:4; Titus 3:9. Modern examples might include arguing about whether there is life on other planets in the universe or what color of skin Jesus had.].
Who should not be quarrelsome, 2 Tim. 2:24?
Are you a dedicated servant of God?
If so, then you shouldn’t be self-centeredly quarrelsome.
Jas. 4:1-2 What was the source of quarrels and conflicts among these Christians?
Have sensual pleasures (wanting someone else’s girlfriend or wife or illicit sex or alcohol or food) and envy (wanting for yourself what someone else has by taking it away from them) caused you to get involved in quarrels and conflicts?
If so, what do you plan to do about it?