WHAT was Paul’s THORN in the FLESH?

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WHAT was Paul’s THORN in the FLESH?
The identity of that thorn in the flesh has been much debated. Paul did not describe it in detail, indicating that the Corinthians knew what it was. Most commentators assume it was a physical ailment, such as migraines,…

WHAT was Paul’s THORN in the FLESH?

WHAT was Paul’s THORN in the FLESH?
John Kissinger [12/04/2015 3:37 PM]The identity of that thorn in the flesh has been much debated. Paul did not describe it in detail, indicating that the Corinthians knew what it was. Most commentators assume it was a physical ailment, such as migraines, ophthalmia, malaria, epilepsy, gallstones, gout, rheumatism, an intestinal disorder, or even a speech impediment. That such a wide range of possibilities has been put forth indicates a lack of specific support in Scripture for any of them. (Even if Paul’s words in Gal. 6:11, “See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand,” indicate an eye problem, there is nothing in that verse that connects it with the apostle’s thorn in the flesh.) Skolops (thorn) could be better translated “stake,” graphically indicating the intensity of the suffering it caused Paul; it was not a small t …

35 Comments

  • Reply December 21, 2016

    Varnel Watson

    Robert Borders Reading the Greek today again it literally says: σκόλοψ τῇ σαρκί ἄγγελος Σατανᾶ – ἄγγελος Σατανᾶ is exactly “Satan’s angel.” Are all angels from Satan demons in the flesh or what else could they be?

  • Reply December 21, 2016

    Terry Wiles

    God purposely doesn’t tell us because He has one that is tailor made for each individual.

  • Reply December 21, 2016

    Charles Page

    Satan and his angels are in the bottomless pit presently. When they roamed the earth they were Paul’s thorn in his flesh, opposing the gospel.

  • Reply December 21, 2016

    Varnel Watson

    f ἄγγελος Σατανᾶ “Satan’s angel” present in the flesh and causing constant torment is not telling us, what would be telling us?

  • Reply December 21, 2016

    Brian Crisp

    Satan is here in earth not in the bottomless pit. And on another note angels and demons are 2 different beings and as far as the thorn in the flesh we are not told but it was demonicly influenced.

  • Reply December 21, 2016

    Varnel Watson

    Brian Crisp What is difference between Satan’s angels and satans demons? The theory of lost souls comes from the Walking Dead not from the Bible. Strongs 1140 daimónion (a neuter, diminutive noun) – a demon, i.e. fallen angel. 1140 (daimónion) always refers to demons in the NT – the only exception being Ac 17:18 (which refers to heathen gods).

    Could there have been a Hell’s angel too? Charles Page with more on that part of story live @ 5 from the pyramid in Memphis TN (not in Egypt)

    On a more theological note, the identity of that thorn in the flesh has been much debated. Paul did not describe it in detail, indicating that the Corinthians knew what it was. Most commentators assume it was a physical ailment, such as migraines, ophthalmia, malaria, epilepsy, gallstones, gout, rheumatism, an intestinal disorder, or even a speech impediment. That such a wide range of possibilities has been put forth indicates a lack of specific support in Scripture for any of them. (Even if Paul’s words in Gal. 6:11, “See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand,” indicate an eye problem, there is nothing in that verse that connects it with the apostle’s thorn in the flesh.) Skolops (thorn) could be better translated “stake,” graphically indicating the intensity of the suffering it caused Paul; it was not a small thorn but a large stake.

  • Reply December 21, 2016

    Brian Crisp

    A fallen angel came from heaven demons did not. They are the spirits of the nephelum. Angela have bodies demons do not. That is why the need or have a desire to process people because they have no bodies of their own. Angels never process as they operate from the atmosphere.

  • Reply December 21, 2016

    Charles Page

    My belief is nephilian are bodies without spirit
    At death we are disembodied spirits and
    I don’t know what happens to nephilian at death

  • Reply December 21, 2016

    Brian Crisp

    They had spirits as they are half human and half angel. A demon has no attribute to a fallen angel.

  • Reply December 21, 2016

    Varnel Watson

    Brian Crisp Love your spell checker – Angela has a body and process men like deer 🙂 The nephelims were in fact fallen angels (sons of God the Bible call them) but this is another discussion.

    Let’s say you are correct, then how was the angel of the Lord in Paul’s flesh. Please consider Genesis 6 before you answer this question

  • Reply December 21, 2016

    Brian Crisp

    It was an attack of the enemy. We are not told what it is though.

  • Reply December 21, 2016

    Varnel Watson

    Hardly so. It says it was in Paul’s flesh – a very specific description

  • Reply December 21, 2016

    Charles Page

    anti-supernaturalist would and have said it is an infirmity of the flesh ie. eye disease
    “I think” it was a spirit and it would not depart upon Paul’s command

  • Reply December 21, 2016

    Varnel Watson

    In verse 7, right after the thorn in the flesh is mentioned, there is a phrase set off by commas which says, “The messenger of Satan to buffet me.” This is an explanation of what the thorn was. It was not a thing but rather a demonic messenger. The word used as “messenger” here is always translated as angel or messenger and refers to a created being. So, Paul’s thorn was literally a demon sent from Satan to buffet him. The word “buffet” means to strike repeatedly as waves would buffet the shore.

    How did this demonic force continually strike Paul? Traditionally it has been taught that it was with sickness, and the thing that made many accept that is the use of the words “weakness” and “infirmity” in verses 9 and 10. Infirmity definitely does mean sickness and is used that way in 1 Timothy 5:23, but that is not the only meaning of the word. The number two definition is any lack or inadequacy. For instance, Romans 8:26 says, “the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities.” In this case, the context makes it clear that it is not speaking of sicknesses but rather not knowing what to pray for. Our finite minds are an infirmity, or an inadequacy.

    If we look at the context of Paul’s thorn in the flesh, we find that infirmity does not mean sickness in 2 Corinthians 12:9 and 10. In 2 Corinthians 11:30, Paul uses the exact terminology of “glorying in infirmities” that is used just a few verses later in speaking about this thorn. In the eleventh chapter he had just finished listing what those infirmities were. In verses 23-29, he lists such things as imprisonment, stripes, shipwrecks, and stonings; none of these speak of sickness. Verse 27 mentions weakness and painfulness, which some have tried to make mean sickness, but it is just as possible he could have been weary and suffered painfulness from such things as being stoned and left for dead (Acts 14:19). All these things listed in 2 Corinthians 11 refer to persecutions as infirmities. So, in context, Paul’s thorn was a demonic angel or messenger sent by Satan.

  • Reply December 21, 2016

    Street Preacherz

    I always thought it was opposition. Particularly riots.

  • Reply December 21, 2016

    Joseph Kidwell

    Troy Day, that’s accurate.

  • Reply May 27, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    There many and various interpretation out there but in the context of what Paul was actually talking about was his circumcision and following of the legalistic law Tom Steele Gary

  • Reply May 28, 2018

    Daniel J Hesse

    Hemorrhoids?

  • Reply May 28, 2018

    Thomas Henry Jr.

    His persecutions which he alluded to in the same chapter

  • Reply May 28, 2018

    Louise Cummings

    I know a lot of things was said , even down to bad eye sight. But I believe it was just like the Bible said. He was buffered by Satan so bad he called it a thorn in the flesh. Every time he tried to do good Satan was there to stop him, even down to killing him. He prayed three times for Jesus to take it away. So it was something that could be relived if Jesus desired. But he said it was to keep him from being exalted above measure. So I don’t know for sure what the thorn was , except he said it was Satan buffeting Him.

  • Reply May 28, 2018

    Louise Cummings

    I need to get back on track of questions. I was being ask. I lost the page.

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Tim Taylor

    U dontneed theoogy u need jesus as saviour not moses and his laws theology is not free and its rediculously expensive n does nothing tat jesus on the cross hasnt done already paid for we are redeemed

  • Reply May 31, 2018

    Louise Cummings

    The line of pictures where I marked. The picture of my son Michael Cummings. Music director at Dora Church Of God for about five years or more. Started when Bro Beck was pastor. And continued when Bro Smith and wife came to pastor. And still there. And I know Sis Sandra Hicks. For many years. And it looked like Bro nnCalvinPalmer , pastor of Phill Campbell Church Of God. Maybe some more. But couldn’t see well enough to know. I have worked

  • Reply June 17, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    Stephan Webb Thomas Henry Jr.

  • An evil spirit…just as the word says so. And no so many Bible scholars say differently..
    amazing ain’t it!

    • Reply June 18, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      OK this is interesting We’ve entertained the idea with Isara Mo I believe Robert Borders has also stated as of HOW there is a separation between Christian body and spirit Now let’s see if Paul L. King and Chad Macdonald with pitch in with their take on this very important theological issue

    • Reply June 18, 2019

      Paul L. King

      Troy Day Scholars give many interpretations, which demonstrates that there is not a consensus. I have studied this inside out in Greek and consulted numerous exegetes and commentators. I have not come to a dogmatic conclusion on this, but it seems to me that it was not persecution in general, because it was 1) a messenger (singular) and 2) a thorn (singular), nor was it intense persecution from a single person because 1) he had many such intense persecutions, 2) it was “in the flesh” indicating something physical. Nor was it from God, because he says “it was given” not God gave me. It appears to me that it was an intense pain in his body from Satan. I have had that happen to me. But regardless of what the thorn was, that is not the important thing to note. The matter of significance is that Paul prayed and prayed and prayed–3 times intensely to be relieved of the thorn until he received a word from the Lord otherwise. The message for us is that we continue to pray repeatedly and fervently for healing, for answer to prayer, for removal of the problem, until the Lord gives us a word otherwise.

    • Reply June 18, 2019

      Chad Macdonald

      Troy Day I believe that it was a demonic attack- Paul’s calls it ‘the messenger of satan’ The word messenger in the Greek is the same word used for angel.
      Paul’s metron and assignment attacked demonic attack of cosmic proportions. He fought the beast at Ephesus and I don’t believe this was referring to a natural animal. Ephesus was the center of sorcery and the dark arts in Paul’s time. In fact witches and wizards would travel from all over Asia to come there to be schooled in witchcraft. It was here that Paul was used to ‘turn the world upside down’. This would not have gone unnoticed in the Kingdom of darkness. Thus there was an attack leveled against him. A ‘thorn’-Something that was a constant irritant and ongoing attack. ‘Buffeting’

      In this The Spirit of God gave him strength.

    • Reply June 18, 2019

      Peter Vandever

      It was his past

    • Reply June 18, 2019

      Isara Mo

      Troy Day
      The question of separation between a “Christian”s body” and spirit is quiet obvious..
      The man who spoke in tongues(the Spirit language) had a thorn in the flesh….possibly a spirit because if it was an infirmity or sickness or affliction, Paul wouldn’t want it ” to depart”.He was very versatile with healing so he would have said “I had an infirmity…or such other thing.
      The scripture on this is heavy with evidence of a ” foreign” element in Paul’s situation
      It reads:…// because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.
      2 Corinthians 12:7 NIV//
      A messenger if Satan to torment him?
      King Saul had an issue with the Lord and the Lord sent an “evil” spirit to discipline him….
      Unclean spirit do indwell “flesh”..
      With all Pauls sanctification, the tormentor didnt depart..

    • Reply June 18, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      Peter Vandever how past are we talking about?

    • Paul L.King
      Very good answer… One thing I will argue is that Paul was not blind or suffered from very poor eyesight. No, he was not led around the world by hand. I think he’s thrown was from all the beatings he received. And 2nd. Cor. 12…5 times I received from the Jews 39 stripes. Beaten with rods and we knew he was stoned to death. So a physical condition yes, blind no…remember he was baptized and healed of those scales that covered his eyes.

    • Reply June 18, 2019

      Peter Vandever

      No matter where he went he was reminded of his past of be Saul. When he was on the island in Acts 27 ( I think it is) the snake bit him and they said “he must be a murderer” They were (by a demonic spirit) reminding him of his past.

    • Peter Vandever I disagree. That serpent came out of that fire and bit him..
      The islanders thought he must have been a evil guy cause the snake attacked him. He shakes it off..folks expect him to die. He does not. Results!!! Revevial, salvations, miracles, and a church established! Nothing here in the text that reminds Paul of his Past! nations

  • Reply June 18, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    Peter Vandever They were (by a demonic spirit) reminding him of his past. – now thats a bit too far fetched dont you think?

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