kon-tend', kon-ten'-shun: The meeting of effort by effort, striving against opposition; sometimes physically, as in battle (De 2:9), or with horses (Jer 12:5), sometimes orally (Ne 13:11), sometimes spiritually (Isa 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 universally used with an unfavorable meaning, and as worthy of condemnation, for an altercation arising from a quarrelsome disposition. "By pride cometh only contention" (Pr 13:10). The contentions at Corinth (1Co 1:11) called forth the rebukes of Paul. Where used in the King James Version in a good sense (1Th 2:2) the Revised Version (British and American) has "conflict." In Ac 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