What was Paul's 'thorn in the flesh'?

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:7
What was Paul's 'thorn in the flesh'? Most scholars believe it probably had to do with his vision. We don't know for sure, but he was blinded on the road to Damascus. He signed a letter in big letters. So, it was probably his vision.
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Caller:  In 2nd Corinthians the 12th chapter and the seventh verse where it talks about this thorn in Paul’s flesh, I’d like to know if that’s a sickness or something?  I don’t know what that is.

Pastor Doug:  Well most Bible scholars believe – and I agree with them – that Paul had a problem with his vision and there are a number of reasons in the New Testament for that.

First of all, you remember when he was converted he went blind.

Caller:  Oh yeah.

Pastor Doug:  In Acts chapter 9 it says scales fell from his eyes and he could see, but it never says he saw perfectly.  He had other people write his letters for him, even though Paul was very brilliant.  He spoke many languages and he was very well educated, but he signed the letters himself.

One letter he signed he says, ‘Notice what big letters I’m signing’ – and that doesn’t mean long letters – it means big characters, because he couldn’t see.

When Paul was being tried by the Sanhedrin, he reviled the High Priest and then the guard said, ‘Don’t you know who you’re talking to?  That’s the High Priest!’  He said, ‘I’m sorry.  I didn’t know who it was.’

And so there are so many little things.  Paul said in one of his letters he says, ‘I know you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me.’  They knew he had a problem with his eyes.

So we believe the thorn in Paul’s side was his vision.  In the same way when Jacob wrestled with the Angel when he was converted, he limped the rest of his life after that experience.  When Paul was converted, he temporarily went blind, but he still had seeing problems the rest of his life.

Caller:  Yes.

Pastor Doug:  Ok?

Caller:  Ok.  Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug:  Thank you.

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