Biblical Leadership Traits - Uncontentious

Masters Men: Leadership

Biblical Leadership Traits


1 Timothy 3:3



The other versions translate “not quarrelsome” (ESV, RSV, NIV, NKJ) while the KJV is “not a brawler”. It is the word ἄμαχος that literally means not a fighter whether an individual fight (macon) or with an army as in a battle (mach). It is only used here and in NAS Titus 3:2 to malign no one, to be uncontentious, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.

However, it is used elsewhere without the negative prefix:


Mach NAS 2 Corinthians 7:5 For even when we came into Macedonia our flesh had no rest, but we were afflicted on every side: conflicts without, fears within.  NAS 2 Timothy 2:23 But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. NAS Titus 3:9 But shun foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law; for they are unprofitable and worthless.NAS James 4:1 What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?

Macomai NAS Acts 7:26 "And on the following day he appeared to them as they were fighting together, and he tried to reconcile th em in peace, saying, 'Men, you are brethren, why do you injure one another NAS 2 Timothy 2:24 And the Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged,)?'  NAS James 4:2 You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. And you are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. NAS John 6:52 The Jews therefore began to argue with one another, saying, "How can this man give us His flesh to eat?"

So the idea is contentions or quarrels in a non-physical sense. This might even be a reference to a settled disposition or attitude – a contentious person.

One might ask how this trait differs from the “pugnacious” trait. Certainly they are very similar. The slight difference might be that “pugnacious” leans more toward physical blows and spontaneous outbursts while “uncontentious” leans more toward verbal blows and a settle spirit of contention.


  1. How do you respond to heretical teaching and/or deviant conduct? Do you respond differently initially as compared to a few days later?
  1. How would you describe your temperament?
  1. Describe you outlook on life.
  1. Ask someone close to you to answer questions 2 and 3

© Copyright. Joseph Flatt. 2018. All rights reserved. May be used for educational purposes without written permission but with a citation to this source.