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Popular and/or Featured Works
Muhammad Asad
and say, “Which is better - our deities or he?” [But] it is only in the spirit of dispute that they put this comparison before thee: yea, they are contentious folk
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab
They exclaimed, “Which is better: our gods or Jesus?” They cite him only to argue. In fact, they are a people prone to dispute.
Safi Kaskas
and they said, "who is better, our gods or him?" They cite him only for arguments sake. In fact, they are a confrontational people.

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Source Arabic and Literal tools
Arabic
وَقَالُوا أَآلِهَتُنَا خَيْرٌ أَمْ هُوَ مَا ضَرَبُوهُ لَكَ إِلَّا جَدَلًا بَلْ هُمْ قَوْمٌ خَصِمُون
Transliteration
Waqaloo aalihatuna khayrun am huwa ma daraboohu laka illa jadalan bal hum qawmun khasimoona
Transliteration-2
waqālū aālihatunā khayrun am huwa mā ḍarabūhu laka illā jadalan bal hum qawmun khaṣimūn
Word for Word
Dr. Shehnaz Shaikh, Ms. Kauser Katri, and more
And they said, "Are our gods better or he?" Not they present it to you except (for) argument. Nay, they (are) a people argumentative.

Generally Accepted Translations of the Meaning
Muhammad Asad
and say, “Which is better - our deities or he?” [But] it is only in the spirit of dispute that they put this comparison before thee: yea, they are contentious folk
M. M. Pickthall
And say: Are our gods better, or is he? They raise not the objection save for argument. Nay! but they are a contentious folk
Yusuf Ali (Saudi Rev. 1985)
And they say, "Are our gods best, or he?" This they set forth to thee, only by way of disputation: yea, they are a contentious people
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab
They exclaimed, “Which is better: our gods or Jesus?” They cite him only to argue. In fact, they are a people prone to dispute.
Safi Kaskas
and they said, "who is better, our gods or him?" They cite him only for arguments sake. In fact, they are a confrontational people.
Wahiduddin Khan
saying, Are our gods better or him?they cite him only to challenge you: they are a contentious peopl
Shakir
And they say: Are our gods better, or is he? They do not set it forth to you save by way of disputation; nay, they are a contentious people
Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar
and said: Are our gods better or is he? They cited him to thee not but to be argumentative. Nay! They are a contentious folk.
T.B.Irving
They say: "Are our gods better, or is he?" They quote him to you only for the sake of argument; indeed they are such quarrelsome folk!
Abdul Hye
and say: “Are our deities better or is he (Jesus)?” They did not quote the above example for you except for argument. But they are a quarrelsome people.
The Study Quran
They say, “Are our gods better, or is he?” They do not cite him to thee, save to dispute. Nay, they are a contentious people
Dr. Kamal Omar
And they said: “Are our aalihah better or he?” They did not make him a target before you except for creating trouble. Nay! They are a nation of quarrelsome people
Farook Malik
and say: "Are Our gods better or is he?" They cite this to you merely to provoke you. They are but a quarrelsome people
Talal A. Itani (new translation)
They said, 'Are our gods better, or he?' They cited him only for argument. In fact, they are a quarrelsome people
Muhammad Mahmoud Ghali
And they have said, "Are our gods more charitable, or rather he? In no way have they struck (the similitude) to you except in dispute; no indeed, (but) they are a people, (who are) constant adversaries
Muhammad Sarwar
"Are our gods any better than Jesus (for according to Muhammad), if our gods go to hell so too will Jesus. What they say is only a false argument. In fact, they are a quarrelsome people
Muhammad Taqi Usmani
and said, .Are Our gods better or is he?. They did not cite it (the example) but for the sake of disputation. Rather, they are a quarrelsome people
Shabbir Ahmed
And they say, "Which is better, our gods or he?" They raise this objection as a vain argument. Nay! But they are a contentious folk
Dr. Munir Munshey
They say, "Are our gods better or is he _ (Jesus)?" They raise such questions merely to argue and bicker. Indeed, they are a quarrelsome belligerent people
Syed Vickar Ahamed
And (they) say: "Are our gods best or he (Isa)?" This they put in front of you, only by the way of dispute: Yes! They are a challenging (and opposing) people
Umm Muhammad (Sahih International)
And they said, "Are your gods better, or is he?" They did not present the comparison except for [mere] argument. But, [in fact], they are a people prone to dispute
[The Monotheist Group] (2011 Edition)
And they said: "Are our gods better or is he" They only cited this to argue with you. Indeed, they are a quarrelsome people
Abdel Haleem
saying, ‘Are our gods better or him?’- they cite him only to challenge you: they are a contentious people
Abdul Majid Daryabadi
And they say: are our gods better, or is he? They mention him not to thee save for disputation. Aye! they are a people contentious
Ahmed Ali
And say: "Are our deities better or he?" They say this only for disputing. Surely they are a contentious people
Aisha Bewley
They retort, ´Who is better then, our gods or him?´ They only say this to you for argument´s sake. They are indeed a disputatious people.
Ali Ünal
And they say, "Are our deities better or is he?" They put it to you only for disputation. Indeed, they are a people addicted to contentiousness
Ali Quli Qara'i
They say, ‘Are our gods better or he?’ They only cite him to you for the sake of contention. Rather they are a contentious lot
Hamid S. Aziz
And they say, "Are our gods better, or is he?" They raise not the objection save by way of disputation; nay, they are a contentious people
Ali Bakhtiari Nejad
And they said: are our gods better or is he? They only gave you (this example) to argue. No, but they are argumentative people
A.L. Bilal Muhammad et al (2018)
And they said, “Are our gods best, or is he?” This was presented to you only for argument. Yes, they are a contentious people
Musharraf Hussain
and say, “Are our gods better or him?” They say this just to annoy you; they really are a quarrelsome lot.
Maududi
and said: "Who is better, our deities or he?" They said so only out of contentiousness. They are a disputatious people
[The Monotheist Group] (2013 Edition)
And they said: "Our gods are better or is he?" They only put this forth to argue with you. Indeed, they are a quarrelsome people
Mohammad Shafi
And they say, "Are our gods better, or he [Jesus]?" They mention him to you not but by way of argument. Yes, they are a contentious people

Controversial or status undetermined works
Ahmed Raza Khan (Barelvi)
And say 'are our gods better or he? They said not this to you but for quarreling, Nay, but they are a people quarrel-some.
Rashad Khalifa
They said, "Is it better to worship our gods, or to worship him?" They said this only to argue with you. Indeed, they are people who have joined the opposition.
Hasan Al-Fatih Qaribullah
and say: 'What are our gods better, or is he? ' They do not mention him to you except to dispute, truly, they are a contentious nation
Maulana Muhammad Ali
And they say: Are our gods better, or is he? They set it forth to thee only by way of disputation. Nay, they are a contentious people
Muhammad Ahmed - Samira
And they said: "Are our gods better or He?" They did not give it (the question) to you except arguing/disputing (E), but they are a nation disputing/controverting
Bijan Moeinian
“Who is better to worship, our gods or Jesus?” They said this in the spirit of dispute [and not a sincere discussion.] They are indeed nothing but a bunch of argumentative people
Faridul Haque
And they say, “Are our deities better or he?” They did not say this to you except to unjustly argue; in fact they are a quarrelsome people
Sher Ali
And they say, `Are our gods better, or he?' They mention not this to thee but for the sake of disputation. Nay, but they are a contentious people
Dr. Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri
And say: ‘Are our gods better or he (‘Isa [Jesus])?’ They say this only to have a dispute with you. No doubt, they are very quarrelsome
Amatul Rahman Omar
And they said, `What! are our gods better or he (- the Christ)?' They have mentioned his case to you only by way of disputation. Nay, but (the thing is that) they are a contentious people
Muhsin Khan & Muhammad al-Hilali
And say: "Are our aliha (gods) better or is he (Iesa (Jesus))?" They quoted not the above example except for argument. Nay! But they are a quarrelsome people. ((See VV. 21:97-101) - The Quran.

Non-Muslim and/or Orientalist works
Arthur John Arberry
and say, 'What, are our gods better, or he?' They cite not him to thee, save to dispute;. nay, but they are a people contentious
George Sale
and they said, are our gods better, or he? They have proposed this instance unto Thee no otherwise than for an occasion of dispute. Yea, they are contentious men
Edward Henry Palmer
and said, 'Are our gods better, or is he?' They did not set it forth to thee save for wrangling. Nay, but they are a contentious people
John Medows Rodwell
And they said, "Are our gods or is he the better?" They put this forth to thee only in the spirit of dispute. Yea, they are a contentious people
N J Dawood (2014)
and say: ‘Who is better, he or our gods?‘ They cite him to you merely to provoke you. They are indeed a contentious people

New, Partial, or In Progress Translations
Linda “iLHam” Barto
They say, “Is he any better than our gods?” They ask you this only for the sake of argument, because they are a contentious people.
Ahmed Hulusi
They said, “Are our gods better or him?” They only presented this to dispute with you! They are a people fond of dispute!
Mir Aneesuddin
and say, “Are our gods better or he?” They do not strike you (with) this statement but for disputation. No, they are a disputing people.
Al-muntakhab fi tafsir al-Qur'an al-Karim
Knowing that he is venerated as a deity by Christians and that you Muhammad might have consigned him with their idols, to damnation, they created a connected series of statements intended to annoy you and subvert your position when they said: " Are our God's the better or Him, and if his abode is Hell, we and our God's would love to be there". They are quarrelsome people given to contention

Obsolete and/or older editions
Yusuf Ali (Orig. 1938)
And they say, "Are our gods best, or he?" This they set forth to thee, only by way of disputation: yea, they are a contentious people
OLD Literal Word for Word
And they said, "Are our gods better or he?" Not they present it to you except (for) argument. Nay, they (are) a people argumentative