Paul's thorn in the flesh

David Pesta and i had a conversation the other day about 2 Corinthians 12:7

"Even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God... to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me."

and the meaning of the phraseology in the passage. i was once taught that this whole scripture passage was put in there to show that the apostle was an enfeebled person of small stature and perhaps blindness due to his conversion experience. i would like to talk about some basic things right now.

#1: thorn in the flesh
#2 what the thorn was
#3 where the thorn came from
#4 why it was there

and that seems fair because i am pretty curious myself.

i went to a four year charismatic bible school and learned a lot of really cool stuff. i also learned a lot of horse-shit. that's ok. people are people. the one thing that they all agreed upon was that i should continue to study the words of God for myself and that's what i have done on a weekly if not daily basis. the one thing i learned was: how to learn, and that was all worth it.

so let me break down the verse for you real quick in greek, which is the original language it was written in:

and by the surpassingness of the revelations therefore that not i might be exalted was given to me a thorn for the flesh a messenger of Satan that me he might torment that i might not be conceited

now in greek we have no punctuation and the word placement is a little weird... let me change some of that for you. i will also change "therefore" to "so".

And by the surpassingness of the revelations so that not i might be exalted... (it) was given to me: "a thorn for the flesh" a messenger of Satan, that he might torment me, that i might not be conceited.

i hope this helps. now this is an almost PERFECT translation of the original letter that paul wrote.

so what is he saying?

let me dissect.

part one
And by the surpassingness of the revelations so that not i might be exalted...

this is actually a fragmented thought from the previous verse but he is setting us up for the idea that he was given something so that he wouldn't get too proud.

part two
(it) was given to me:

by Satan

part three
"a thorn for the flesh"

this is pretty cool. "skolops te sarki" are the greek words. these mean

skolops - stake, thorn, affliction - in other words: something sharp that causes pain
te - for the, for the purpose of, to
sarki flesh, body, human nature, materialism, evil desires - in other words: the bad parts of us

so you could, in fact directly translate "thorn in the flesh" to "affliction in my human nature" and it means SOMETHING ELSE.

i once heard someone say that thorn in the flesh meant pain in the neck. lol. idiot.

in other words this thing that was given to him was a severe detriment to his ability to be carnal.

part four
a messenger of Satan,

what? seriously. what do you mean "what can this mean?" this is what it means. a messenger of Satan.  what is a messenger? an angel? don't believe me? the greek words are:

"angelos Satana" or in other words: "a Satan Angel" or "Satanic angel" or "angel of Satan"

duh. it wasn't blindness. it wasn't sickness. it wasn't poverty or limping or whatever they try to tell you. IT WAS A DEMON. a straight up evil spirit.

part five
that he might torment me,

this is pretty self explanatory.

part six
that i might not be conceited.

and also self explanatory.


in today's vernacular:

"so that i might not have my head up my ass, Satan had a demon follow me around, hurting me, so that i wouldn't get too prideful i was Gods chosen."

bible reading is fun!

you should try it on your own sometime instead of listening to what others have "chosen" for you to listen to. you do NOT need a priest. you do NOT need a catechism or prayerbook or hymnal. you do NOT need a spirit-guide or a medium or a sacred animal.

you NEED the Lord Jesus Christ.

read the next three verses (NLT):

"Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong."


His grace is all you NEED.