What Was the Thorn in the Apostle Paul’s Side?

An insightful post from the Christian Apologist blog. We are not alone.   –LD

Christian Apologist

In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul said, “So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9).

What do the thorns represent?

Scholars over the centuries have theorized about the identity of the “thorns.” At a surface level, one might postulate the thorns represent a physical ailment. Yet given Paul’s impressive handling of physical ailments, that may not be the best answer. Paul did not complain about the many severe floggings…

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About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

2 responses to “What Was the Thorn in the Apostle Paul’s Side?

  • Unknowable

    Interesting thought. I’ve heard all sorts of theories bout the “thorn” but I don’t think we can ever know for sure.


  • Watchman

    I do agree that the thorn is plainly stated to be a “messenger of Satan”. And while men contributed to opposing Paul, the real problem was the powers behind these men. The principalities and powers in the heavenly realms that Paul talks about. Evil men are but the useful idiots who most likely are unknowingly being used by the spiritual forces of darkness.


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