I have been studying out the idea of selfish ambition because I can be a selfish person from time to time! I noticed that in the NASB version it says "disputes" instead
of "selfish ambition"……..why the difference?
I assume you are talking about Galatians 5:21. A good rule of thumb is that when you have several versions of the Bible with a range of translations in English, you will find that the sense of the Greek or Hebrew word is somewhere between the different translations. This is one reason it is advisable to use more than one translation when studying the Bible carefully.
There is nothing sinful per se about having ambition, but having ambition for great things for ones self at the expense of others–not having concern that your gain is another’s loss, even being willing to step on others in a cold and calculated way to reach your own ambition is sinful. The word "disputes" can have more than one connotation, including non-sinful disputes, but given that the Greek word is also translated as selfish ambition, that helps me to understand the meaning of "disputes" in this context. I assume the meaning is that it is sinful to be the type who is always creating controversy and manipulating situations and creating disagreements for our own personal selfish gain, not considering how our fighting and arguments can hurt other people.
I will have to admit that at first glance the two translations "selfish ambition" and "disputes" seem rather different. Here is my suggestion. What you should do is get a comprehensive concordance–the kind which has every use of a particular English word, plus every Greek and Hebrew word translated as that English word, which also allows you to look up the Greek or Hebrew word, its varios meanings and the various ways that Greek or Hebrew word is translated and used in context. It is my experience that this is normally more than enough to get an excellent feeling for the meaning of the biblical text. For 98% of your questions, one does not need to know the biblical languages to get the sense of Bible passages.