555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

134. What Was Paul's "Thorn in the Flesh"?

It referred to some bodily affliction affecting him individually and physically, but not his work as an apostle. In Gal. 4:13, 14 he refers to it as an "infirmity of my flesh"—some form of bodily sickness which had detained him among the Galatians. It was probably something that caused him acute pain, and also some degree of shame, since it "buffeted" him (I Pet. 2:20). There have been many conjectures as to its real character. Some have imagined it to be blasphemous thoughts, and others, remorse for his former life; but the most probable view is mat it was an affliction which caused him physical annoyance, possibly a disorder of the eyes, or some nervous ailment. At all events, we are assured that it was so persistent and recurrent that he speaks of it in terms of apology and mortification.