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Uncontentious (269) (amachos from a = without + mache = battle) according to Vine originally meant "invincible" (incapable of being conquered, overcome or subdued) but then came to mean a "non fighter", one who is reluctant to fight and who is not always looking for a fight (especially of a verbal nature). Not quarrelsome (not apt or disposed to quarrel in an often petty manner = stresses an ill-natured readiness to fight without good cause). This person is not contentious and so does not exhibit an often perverse and wearisome tendency (even a fondness) for arguing, quarreling and disputing. You usually know who these folks are! Wuest says that amachos describes a person who does not go about with a chip on his shoulder. (Wuest, K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans) The only other NT use of amachos is in the list of qualifications of an overseer, where Paul records that a candidate should not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, uncontentious, free from the love of money. (1Ti 3:3) Amachos refers not so much to physical violence as to a quarrelsome person. To have a contentious person in leadership will result in disunity and disharmony, seriously hindering the effectiveness of that leadership team. Matthew Henry adds that Christians are to be no fighters, either with hand or tongue, no quarrelsome contentious persons, apt to give or return ill and provoking language. A holy contending there is for matters good and important, and in a manner suitable and becoming, not with wrath nor injurious violence. Christian must follow the things that are conducive to peace, and that in a peaceful, not a rough and boisterous and hurtful way, but as becomes the servants of the God of peace and love (Ro 12:19-note). The glory of a man is to pass over a transgression; it is the duty of a reasonable, and therefore certainly of a Christian man, whose reason is improved and advanced by religion; such may not, and will not, presently fall foul on one who has offended him, but, like God, will be slow to anger, and ready to forgive. Contention and strife arise from men’s lusts, and exorbitant unruly passions, which must be curbed and moderated, not indulged; and Christians need to be reminded of these things, that they do not by a wrathful contentious spirit and behaviour displease and dishonour God and discredit religion, promoting feuds in the places where they live." (Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible) Barclay writes that uncontentious does not mean that the good citizen will not stand for the principles which he believes to be right, but that he will never be so opinionated as to believe that no other way than his own is right. He will allow to others the same right to have their convictions as he claims for himself to have his own. (Barclay, W: The Daily Study Bible Series, Rev. ed. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press) We are to be men and women who are careful to avoid strife. Believers are to be friendly and peaceful toward the lost rather than quarrelsome and belligerent. Christians should be conciliators not agitators! In an ungodly, immoral society it is easy to become angry with those who corrupt it, condemning them and writing them off as hopeless and beyond the pale of God’s grace. But we have no right to become hostile when unbelievers act like unbelievers! Paul says we must avoid quarrels, in church as well as in the world. Such behavior validates our witness in a skeptical, sarcastic society. Morris notes that "The coarse behavior of the Cretans was difficult to correct, even among those who became Christians. Titus had a real challenge as he sought to plant sound and winsome churches with such people. But when a person becomes a Christian, "old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2Co 5:17). Missionaries to pagan cultures have faced similar problems throughout the centuries since, but the gospel has time and again proved its power to transform lives. Notice that Paul does not say to try to accommodate Biblical teaching on the behavior of Christians to the customs and culture of their previous environment. The consistent, godly living of the converts may well, in time, transform the environment as well." (Morris, Henry: Defenders Study Bible. World Publishing) Ryrie writes that "Quarreling only arouses the hostility of non-Christians. Christian virtues are of an opposite sort." (The Ryrie Study Bible: New American Standard Translation: 1995. Moody Publishers) GENTLE: epieikeis: (2Sa 22:36; Is 40:11; Mt 11:29; 2Co 10:1; Gal 5:22; 6:1; Ep 4:2; Php 4:5; Col 3:12,13; 1Th 2:7; 2Ti 2:24,25; James 1:19,20; 3:17; 1Pe 3:8) "Copy and paste the address below into your web browser in order to go to the original page which will allow you to access live links related to the material on this page - these links include Scriptures (which can be read in context), Scripture pop-ups on mouse over, and a variety of related resources such as Bible dictionary articles, commentaries, sermon notes and theological journal articles related to the topic under discussion."

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